writing

soul searching.

Hey friends, how’s it going?

Life is.. weird over here. If you’ve been following my socials, you know, but just in case you haven’t…

Here’s what’s good:

-one-

I GOT ARCs! ARCs are Advance Review Copies; uncorrected proofs that will be sent out to trader reviewers, bookstores, book bloggers, and other authors for potential blurbs. I have a copy of my book that I can HOLD IN MY HANDS and I’m just… wow.

IT’S GETTING CLOSER AND CLOSER TO BEING A REAL BOOK!

With that, my pre-order links have gone up, so if you want a copy of my book, you can get it from any of these fine retailers:

amazon • b&n • indiebound • chapters

-two-

People have been ordering my book! I know this because amazon tosses up orange ribbons from time to time. I try not to stalk my book too much, but sometimes my friends will show me!

I mean… what??!!??

-three-

I got to moderate a panel at C2E2, a comics and entertainment convention that takes place in Chicago every year. This was my first time attending, and it is the COOLEST. Maybe my favorite con of all time. So, I got to be a moderator, and it was at a cool con, and it was an official author type thing, and I loved it so, so, so much. More of this in my life, please.

I mean, I got to be a guest and have a page on the website and everything. Wow!!

-four-

I started an author newsletter. You can sign up here! I’ve sent out 3 issues, which you can see here if you’d like. I think they’re a good time, but I might be biased!!

So yeah, some good things for sure. I’m hanging in there, I am. Spring is here. Well, it’s “technically” here. Weather wise… well, winter isn’t giving up without a fight. Which is normal for Chicago.

Where I’ve lived for 11 years now. WTF.


Here’s what’s weird:

First thing: my hair is super thin now and will not hold any curl. At all. And that’s depressing. I’ve ruined it and I’m either going to cut it all off and start over or get extensions. OK, who am I kidding? I’m not going to do anything.

I miss my curls, though.

Second thing: I’m gaining weight and I don’t like it. Mainly because I don’t feel like buying new clothes.

Third thing: shortly after I posted my last post, I came down with a migraine that felt like stabbing knives and ice picks through my brain. Then the week after that, I was blessed with the worst panic attack I’d had in at least 12 years. That happened while I was at my desk at work and IT WAS NOT FUN.

Have you ever had a panic attack? It had been so long that I’d forgotten what it felt like. I wanted to literally rip my skin off, then crawl under my desk and burst into tears. My stomach was messed up, I didn’t feel like myself, and I hated every second of it. My dear friend Wanda helped me hold it together through texts. I made it through the day and pretty much collapsed when I finally got home. Adam brought me McDonald’s.

I still don’t know what happened. :(

A week later, as I was walking across the bridge to the shuttle on my way to work, I fell and couldn’t get up. I had to ride in an ambulance (a first), and I got an X-ray. This X-ray, in fact:

You’ll know when you see it.

I had to have surgery the next day, and I haven’t been back to work since.

That was 3 and a half weeks ago. The knee is healing (although it’s still warm and swollen which I don’t like). I’m in physical therapy 3 days a week, and I have to do exercises every day. I’m slowly getting better. I use crutches to get around for the most part. I’m trying not to overdo it, but the world doesn’t slow down for a broken knee. I have painkillers for the bad nights, which, luckily, are few and far between anymore.

I didn’t know an injury like this messed with one mentally and emotionally as well as physically. It hasn’t been easy. But I’m managing. And trying to focus on the good.

  1. I didn’t break any teeth
  2. I’m expected to make a full recovery
  3. The cost of the surgery sucked up my 2019 deductible and out-of-pocket maximum, so yay for that
  4. No commuting for now!

Now….

Soul searching. Trying to figure out what’s next. I really don’t fancy getting back into the rat race of commuting and having to be “on” for 12 hours a day. But I need to make money. Steady money. Good money. Because I have at least $8K in medical bills coming and I need to figure out how to pay for that along with my other bills. Which means work-life balance is about to fly out the window … as I will need to work, work work.

And I need to write, which is not good money (yet). I’m also scared to write. I don’t know if I’ll even have time to write, since I’ll have to take on as much freelance as I can for the foreseeable future.

But that doesn’t stop me from wanting other stuff. I want to travel. I’m still healing. I have debt. My apartment is a mess. There’s always a million things to do and organize and sort out, and it’s so hard to get motivated. Or I get motivated at the wrong damn times (like when I should be sleeping, hence the insomnia yay). I have too much stuff (especially clothes and books) and I need to get rid of a lot of it. I want to play the Sims and watch Netflix. I want to sleep.

I know other stuff I want, but I’m scared to get it. And then my mind goes round and round and I get all tense and freaking out in my brain and even though I’m exhausted, I can’t sleep at night and my appetite is super weird and I’m TIRED.

So yeah. Soul searching. But I don’t think I’m doing it right.

Told ya things were weird over here.

0 comments

when i’m a published author.

I am writing this now, less than a out from the release of my debut novel, as a testimony and a promise. I want you to point me to this post if by some reason I become an asshole down the line.

When I’m a published author:

I will remain humble
I will remember how long it took me to get here
I will remember all the people who helped me along the way
I will do my best to pay it forward
I will welcome any and all fan art and fan fiction (oh please God let there be fan art and fan fiction)
I will avoid Goodreads the best I can
I will be ready for ANYTHING to happen, or nothing to happen at all
I will continue to be grateful that this dream of mine is finally coming true

I will not cull my Twitter or instagram to seem “cooler” or “more important”. If I do cull, it will be for my protection and to enforce safe boundaries
I will not tell people variations of “you can’t sit here” because they’re on a different part of their path from mine
I will not become a diva
I will not read reviews!!!!
I will never respond to reviews, especially if they’re negative!!!

I will protect my family
I will protect my mental and physical health

Most importantly….

I will keep writing, and keep dreaming big, no matter what happens

Want to support me?

Like my Facebook page Ronni Davis – YA Author
Follow me on instagram!
Follow me on twitter!
Follow my Goodreads author page, and add my book!

0 comments

breakthrough.

Untitled

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.

Ten years ago, my novel, ONLY YOURS, got rejected by its last publisher.
I was drowning in debt and financial troubles.
I was a single mom, living in an apartment with the weirdest neighbors ever, and working in a job that was… hard. (The work was great, the co-workers were great, but the culture was challenging.)
My boyfriend (now poor husband) at the time was long distance.

My writing well was draining. I tried, and only produced crap. Well, there are a few good parts here and there, but for the most part? Nothing. No novels, not even short stories or poems. Just snippets and false starts and oh God, it was hopeless.

So I gave up on publishing.

That was ten years ago.

After I moved to Chicago, I decided to focus on “real” things. Things that made me money. It was hard at first. The job market in Chicago is tough. But somehow I found my way and now there are times I have to turn work away because I get so much. This is a blessing.

I worked in advertising agencies. Long, demanding hours. Six day workweeks. Plus freelance! I was making so much money but I was sick and unhealthy and stressed. I started getting grey hairs!

Lily Pads & Yellow Flower
 

I trained to be a yoga teacher. And while I will *never, ever* regret that year—really one of my happiest, most intense, and most amazing—I decided I didn’t want to teach yoga.

I was an extra in a movie, and decided I wanted to be an actress. That journey was one of the hardest things, and I don’t mean the trying to get famous or even book jobs part. I mean the research, the studying, the self-exploration, the creativity it takes to embody a whole new person and make that person real and whole and true. I liked acting, but friends, I just didn’t love it enough for the amount of hustle it entails. So I was content to work as an extra for a season, and hang out in the background, eating junk food and hanging out with my friends who were extras.

That last experience yanked me back to my writing roots. I’d been writing crap on and off this whole time, but often abandoned stories about five thousand words in. Then work got too demanding and I couldn’t write if I wanted to. But being on set? It’s like being IN a story. And I guess the combination of background work and acting classes woke up my creative mind. I also went back to my roots. I love writing love stories. The day I woke up and said “I’ll just write a love story,” things clicked. And the words began to flow.

I finished my first novel since 2006. It was a hot mess. It still needs work. But I did it. I DID THAT.

I started writing it without the intent of pursuing publication. I was rusty. I was out of the loop so I didn’t have critique partners or a writing community to guide me through. This story was meant to be fun. But then it kept growing and developing into something more. Something that someone else might want to read. So I changed my goal. And started working harder. I found critique partners. I began studying the craft again. I wrote and revised and wrote and revised… and there is STILL work to be done.

But it feels like home.

I often lament about the publishing journey. It’s hard, and the constant NOs and rejections and “go back and try agains” can really do a number on one’s self esteem and dreams. I tried to quit writing again last summer after a heartbreaking rejection. I moved all my documents to the recycle bin. I muted all my writing friends on twitter and facebook. And I grieved. and I can’t think of a time when I felt more WRONG in my life. I’m a writer. I have to write. So I decided, I can write, but I’m done with publishing. My manuscript was with agents and I was seriously considering pulling them off submission, and settling into my “real” life of freelance and contract editing, cleaning up cat poop and vomit, and trying to figure out where to put all my stuff. I have a lot of stuff.

But something kept giving me hope. My writing friends pulled me out and pushed me. They put things in perspective for me. They told me to send my work to them if I felt like deleting it again. (I did have to do that, quite a few times.) Those conversations often blew up into encouragement. And so I lived to fight another day.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

I had a few more close calls earlier this year. Not quitting writing, just publishing. But remember, I still had those manuscripts out with agents. Something told me *not* to pull them off submission. Instead, I focused on my recovery and brainstorming TWO new books (which is wild, because I was scared I had nothing else in me), watching Netflix, sleeping all the sleeps, and catching up on reading.

I’m glad I didn’t pull them. I’m glad I didn’t quit. I’m glad I saw a McDonald’s commercial with a little girl who reminded me so much of little me (with better hair), and a brown father. I’d NEVER seen that before. Ever, ever, ever. That commercial touched me so much and reminded me how much representation matters. I’m glad I kept going, and that I *will* keep going.

Because friends, I’m now repped by Caitie Flum of the Liza Dawson Associates, and I could not feel more excited to be working with her! I’m so thrilled that she gets me and my book, she is a fierce fighter, and looks out for her clients. I’m eager to see where this journey will take us.

I still have a long way to go to realize that NYT best-seller dream. A lot more work, a lot more angst. But now I have an advocate, someone who believes in me, even when I might not believe in myself. (That happens a lot in this industry.) In the meantime, I’m so happy to be part of #teamcaitie!

4 Comments

2017: brave, bold, free

New year, new you!
New start!
New everything!

…wait what?

2017 is going to be a weird year for me. I already know this. And somehow I’m looking forward to it. Aidan heads back to Ohio on January 2, which always makes me sad. I enjoy having him here so much. He’s smart and funny and one of my favorite people in the world ever.

January 6 is my last day at Humana for 90 days. There are some rules with their contracts that means I need to take a 90 day break before I start my next contract with them, and frankly, I’m OK with it. As I said before, I’m burning out and I’m looking forward to the time off.

The most important thing, though, is that I’m having a major surgery on January 10 and will need the time for recovery. So really, the timing for the contract waiting period is perfect. I will get the surgery, use the time off to recover, and then enjoy a few extra weeks of downtime—hopefully deep into writing my next novel—before working 9–5 again. I’ve saved a lot of money, and one of my clients said they’d have work for me when I’m ready, so I’ll be OK.

Once I’m over that milestone and firmly on the road to recovery, I’m looking forward to the following in 2017:

Writing a new book. I’ve been brainstorming and making notes, and my character finally has a name I think… but I’m going to hold off until the story is ready to burst out of me and I’m in the position to really focus on it without dealing with too much pain and brain fog.

Writing more boldly and unapologetically. Taking risks. Trying new things. I really want to write beautiful books that hook readers and won’t let go of them, and I want to affect readers all over the world with my words. The only way to do that is to push through the fear, stop holding back, and write from my heart. It’s important.

Attending the Writing Cross-Culturally workshop, and learning more about the craft, spending time with my bestie Rena, and meeting and spending time with some of my most favorite authors ever. It’s going to be amazing and I’m so excited. (I will rest and recover and follow all directions so I can be up for the trip—it’s 7 weeks after my surgery.)

Traveling to visit friends. Jennifer has invited me to LA, and I have other friends out in LA who I want to visit and spend time with, so that is definitely on the docket for 2017. I’m still dreaming of visiting Ivy in Florida someday as well, and my friend S. Abdul has been trying to get me to MN for years now. Maybe 2017 will *finally* be the year it happens!

Working less, enjoying life more. I am forever grateful for all the work that comes to me. It’s given me the opportunity to do so many cool things and to be generous to those I love. I never want to lose that, and I definitely don’t want to repeat 2006–2007 financially. Ever. But I also know that I burned myself out, and I got frustrated and angry at all the working I did with barely taking time for me other than silly internet/iPhone games and Netflix. I need to figure out a better balance so I’m still doing well financially, but not out of my mind with exhaustion.

Reading more books! I have a huge stack in my TBR pile for while I am recovering and I’m so looking forward to getting my ‘read’ list back up there. I used to read more than 100 new books in a year, so this 26? I don’t like it one bit.

(Hopefully) visiting another country! The writing retreat this year is in Wales, so I might go there. Or I might go somewhere else. I do love the UK so much though, and there are friends at the retreat who I really want to see again. So we’ll see!

Getting back into shape. My doctor said that after my surgery, I will have a flat stomach. I hope she’s right! But at any rate, I really want to get back into my yoga practice, I miss barre a LOT (but the mere thought of barre makes me breathless right now), and I’d love to take a few dance classes. But I’ll start slow. I’m just ready to be back, you know?

More meaningful connection with those I love. I want to start sending handwritten letters again, sending surprise packages, and sending long emails to those very far away. Twitter is fun and all, but I want a more visceral connection. Which is tricky for this introvert who gets insecure all the time, but I need it. Maybe I’ll even *gulp* pick up the phone sometime. (But maybe just to text.)

More meaningful connection to me. This means less screen time and social media and more journaling, reflection, continuing therapy, working hard in my Self Love Workbook, and taking time to breathe and manifest good things in my life.

Working on my handwriting. I want pretty handwriting! Or at least funky, cute, and/or unique, but still legible. I know, such a weird thing to focus on but whatever. It’s fun. Also, I need to get used to writing longhand again. My wrists are so weak now and I need to fix it. Handwriting is visceral and helps me process things in a much different way than typing.

Being brave and bold with my writing, with my intentions, with my voice.

I have ~dreams~ for 2017 as well, but I’m not totally in control of those. All I can do is keep working hard and improving my craft and praying for the stars to align for me. So I will keep doing that.

Here’s to an amazing year!

2 Comments

breather.

Airport selfie while wearing my fave hat and #colourpop ultra matte lip

You guys. YOU GUYS. I survived! I’m up for air. I made it.

This latest contract had me working many hours, reading hundreds of pages a day. And this was in addition to the DayJob™, sneaking in writing revisions, events, visits from family and friends, meet-ups, appointments, and errands.

I am POOPED.

I’m exhausted and sick; coming down with my first cold in maybe a year or so?

But also proud. Because I did that, they are very happy with my work, and my relationship with is client is awesome. I survived the madness and I am so excited. (I am also hopped up on cough medicine with codeine in it at the moment so if this entry seems a bit goofy, that’s why.)

So far, this month (and part of September as well—because that’s when all this stuff started), I:

01. Attended a #ChiYA meet-up. It’s a group of Chicago authors of YA, and we’re going to do all sorts of cool things. *sings* Just you wait….
02. Finished this massive contract—maybe thousands of pages. Sent the invoice yesterday, so now I wait. And then save/pay off credit card/Christmas shop/buy something special for me.
03. Started *two* new contracts! One with a new company called Envision—they seem really nice. I’m excited about the work I’ll be doing for them. And another project for Berlitz. This one’s scope is WAY less intense.
04. Had many important doctor’s appointments (including my very first mammogram!).
05. Been keeping up with my medicine and my therapy, including the homework assignments she assigns. I really like my therapist.
06. Attended Anderson’s YA Literature Conference and YA Fan Frenzy. Got to hang with lovely author friends and make new author friends, and came away feeling loved and inspired and exhausted.
07. Stayed on the fancy floor in the hotel during the conference. They brought us cookies every night. I could get used to this—it’s part of the reason I work so hard.
08. Got the CUTEST Kate Spade Minnie Mouse bag.
09. Voted.
10. Got to see Rena *twice*. She’s my bestie, I should be seeing her more often. We’re both so swamped with work. Thank God for Google Hangouts. We talk almost every day on there.
11. Hosted my friend Sun, who I’ve known online forEVER. It was so fun hanging with her, relaxing with her, and having her in my home. She brought a nice energy.
12. Spent time with Aidan, who was here from 10/12–10/17. Never enough time, but it was fun. We ate junk food, watched raunchy stand up comedy, and laughed a lot.
13. Shopped, donated, supported people I care about, and some strangers I barely know.
14. Attended the Sia concert. Loved her show very much. Lots of dancing and artsy stuff. Very enjoyable!
15. Started Christmas shopping! 😮🎄

Now I’m back to revisions. Goal is to have them done Halloween! I want to start a new project for #NaNoWriMo, so I have to have my current one in a very good place before then. I’m very excited for the possibilities for both. :) I want to be really bold with this new project. Unapologetic, but still sweet. So eager to get started. We’ll see if I still feel the same once I’ve started, though.

But this weekend, aside from some tinkering with the novel, I SLEEP ALL THE SLEEPS. READ ALL THE BOOKS. And maybe call my mommy if my throat settles down.

Next week, I have to fix my car, get it tested, and then register it for another year. Just bought one of those portable battery chargers–hope that gets her running again. I’d love to have the freedom to drive so I can get a massage from Jan and also Christmas shop!

So, up next for the next 4–6 weeks:

01. Whatever deliverables for the two new contracts.
02. Plan Christmas shopping.
03. Get car squared away.
04. More doctor’s appointments.
05. #NaNoWriMo
06. Schedule and partake in a spa day.
07. Keep taking meds properly and going to therapy.
08. Prep for Thanksgiving! OMG.
09. More Christmas shopping.
10. Read read read. So behind on reading, my TBR pile is obscene.

I’m sure there is more, but I’m ready to relax now.

RELAX.

Wow. It feels very strange not having a big deadline looming over me. My next freelance deliverable isn’t due until EOD Monday, and it’s not a huge thing. Which means an entire weekend free. I’d forgotten what that felt like.

But I’m sure it’ll come back to me. Easily. 😂

Just Me. Feeling Kinda Pretty. :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

1 Comment