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:


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.


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


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??!!??


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!!


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!


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.


it’s october 3rd.


How in the world is it already October? Time really does fly. In the meantime, I’m trying to get over this cold that settled in nearly two weeks ago and shows no signs of leaving me any time soon. I’m on some good meds, so that’s a concession. Except I can’t DO anything when I’m on the meds except stare at my computer screen and try not to fall asleep. That’s no good. But I do NOT want another four month sore throat, so I’m taking advantage of being in the position to get a lot of rest so I can get better. There’s a lot coming up this month! Two workshops, an author visit, finishing up my Acting 1 class, filming for Sirens, a visit from Aidan, and new books to read! I need to get better and QUICK.

What have I done? This is just today's haul!! #books #ya #andersonsbookshop #abyalitconf #yafandomfrenzy #noregrets

Even though I was sick, I powered through and was able to do a few neat things. The main one being the YA Literature Conference that Anderson’s Bookshop puts on every year. This is the first year I decided to go, and I’m glad I did. Something about being around authors, and books, and watching the panels and talking to people–it’s soooo inspiring. Plus, I got to meet Stephanie Perkins, who is one of my favorite authors. She is super lovely and just amazing all around.

Me and Stephanie Perkins
me and stephanie

Yeah, that was kind of a dream come true right there. :)

Among others, I also met Kendare Blake, Demitria Lunetta, T.M. Goeglin, Joan Bauer, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Jenny Han…man I could go on. So many good books and authors and people. It was a very inspirational weekend.

Monday I started filming for Sirens. That was a lot of fun. Yes, I was half-crazed with exhaustion and trying not to cough while the cameras were rolling, but I met some really cool people and had a really fun time on set. And the food was soooo good. Looking forward to going back next week.

This week, my TO DO list was so long that all of it couldn’t fit in my planner. And of course, I was sick! So I lost Tuesday to sleeping, went to the doctor on Wednesday, and lost the rest of that day and some of yesterday to sleeping again. Today I managed to drag myself to a Bar Method class (barre workouts kick my butt but I love them) and over to Native Foods to have lunch with some of my favorite yogi friends, but about halfway through lunch, I started fading. Big time. :( I was glad to get home.

I finished up a big project that I’ve been working on since August; it’s a relief to have that done. I didn’t realize it was almost 900 pages because I was so into it (plus it was broken down into manageable chunks), but when I look back, I feel proud that I did all that work.

Now it’s Friday night, and being the lame person I am, I’m going to take some medicine, have something to eat, and go to bed with a book and my teddy bear. And possibly a cat. Crookshanks has just plopped himself down very close to me and doesn’t seem inclined to move any time soon. At any rate, I am done for the day.

Till next time….


Still Tired

yeah, this picture is from the same night as this entry. u mad?

Bleah. I am still tired. I wonder if it’s the change of seasons. Or something. I remember feeling this same way right after Thanksgiving. I don’t know, but I don’t like it. I want my energy back.

I’ve also not been feeling very well. My stomach’s been sensitive the past few days, and my appetite’s not been so good. My cravings have been off (did I tell you that one night I turned down sushi? I KNOW RIGHT??), I’ve had some nausea, and I’ve been extra thirsty, so I’ve been drinking a lot of water and juice. It’s weird. Although, Wednesday night, Cassidy and I both had bottomless pits for stomachs. We ate a ton for dinner, then we ate dessert from the bakery on the corner, and not even an hour later, we were both seriously hungry for another dinner. We managed to hold out ’til we were in the movie theater, but it was hard! Ever since then, though, my appetite’s been weird. I’m avoiding anything too rich.

The pain that I had in my right side last April is back, so that means going back to my Omeprezole regimen until I feel better again.

Despite not feeling 100%, I have a lot of reasons to be happy. :) Adam’s family visited last week, I got some more hours in at VSA, I got to see The Hunger Games again, and Friday, Aidan arrived!!

Aidan and Meta Knight

He’s been getting a LOT of use out of my iPad. As I expected he would.

Other random stuff:

– After we got Aidan on Friday, we ate Home Run Inn for lunch. Their pizza reminds me of the pizza at Pizzafari at Animal Kingdom at Disney World. It’s pretty good for a chain. Probably because it’s a local chain rather than national, huh?

– It rained in our kitchen today. It did it a couple of weeks ago, and all I could think was “Oh no, it’s like Yaxley’s office!” Fortunately, we know the solution and we’re friendly with our neighbor upstairs, so we got it resolved without a mess.

– I love Downton Abbey so much that I want to watch the first season all over again. But I keep going to episode three of the first season for some reason. Curious, that. At any rate, my iPad has Netflix. I just sign in with Adam’s account, and I can watch it in my room and not bug anyone.

– I still need to organize my playlists on the iPad. I only have a few songs on there now. I should at least have some of my favorites.

– Adam’s observing Passover–or Passover Lite more accurately. We didn’t clear out all the stuff or anything because I don’t observe. (Getting rid of all the spaghetti? Can you even imagine, though?) He’s just avoiding everything leavened. It’s been a challenge, as he craves pizza all day every day as it is, and now he can’t have it, so I can only imagine what the cravings are doing to him now. He’s been making matzoh pizzas: matzoh crackers, mozzarella cheese, and tomato sauce. Tonight we had matzoh ball soup for dinner.

– Aidan won’t let me sing along to Bekah Kelso because he says he’s trying to draw another Meta Knight and he needs to concentrate because Meta Knight is “really hard” to draw. But he’s already drawn one?

Aidan's Meta Knight

I think he just wants me to stop singing. And also play AlphaButt (a song by Kimya Dawson).

– So fine, he won. I played AlphaButt and now we’re listening to random songs from the Doctor Who soundtracks.

We watched that new Muppet movie the other night. I thought it was OK. I did tear up in a few places, but there were some things I found REALLY problematic about it and some of the messages–I am not sure I’m comfortable with Aidan internalizing them even though he won’t really even realize it right now because he’s a kid. And I don’t know if I would have noticed them as much if I’d not been forewarned, or if I wasn’t extra sensitive because of recent events… but I probably would have.

Oh well. This entry has no point, but I really felt like blogging. But now I am going to take a warm bath and relax. I have a busy week coming up (Aidan’s here, a phone call tomorrow, yoga teacher training on Tuesday and a lecture on Wednesday, and a sattvic nutrition workshop on Thursday (Aidan is SO looking forward to that–NOT!). This’ll be the first week since coming back from Disney that I haven’t been in an office at some point, so as long as nothing comes up, I get to be nothing but a student and a mommy for the next week or so.

Til next time!


Feeling Just A Little Bit Off…

Crazy Tree

I haven’t been feeling well the past several days. Although, if I want to be honest, I haven’t been feeling 100% since Atlanta. I’ve been way more tired than usual–I can sleep all day and all night if I’d let myself, only venturing out of bed to use the bathroom and grab a small bite to eat (my appetite hasn’t been all that great). Nausea hits at the most random times (like this evening in Trader Joe’s). I think it’s either iron-deficiency anemia or my gastritis is back. BOO.

I’m ready to feel better again! I have stuff to do, people to see, *awesome* house guests staying with us next week. So here’s what we’re doing:

1. Loading me up with iron-rich foods, such as spinach and Cream of Wheat.
2. Loading me up with lots of fluids: water, orange juice, etc.
3. Getting me loads of rest.

Plus, I want to get back to yoga, I need to clean, take down the Christmas decorations, and get groceries. NO MORE TIME TO BE SICK, RONICA.

I will beat this thing.

Adam thinks it’s my SAD coming back. I tend to get really down in the winter…but it usually doesn’t kick in until February or so. But I’m pretty convinced this is just physical. At least for now. My mind is fine, and I’m still interested in doing things I like. Just the thought of actually doing them makes me feel overwhelmed and I just want to go back to sleep. So it’s not that I’m not interested, I’m just too tired.

At any rate, I am confident I will have this thing beat by Sunday.


One thing I have been doing in all my downtime is rereading a bunch of books. I decided to reread ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS. This book got a LOT of hype when it first came out. Me? I was just excited to read a contemporary book by a debut author. As most of you know, I tend to stick to YA books, and the YA market is SATURATED with paranormal. Now, I do like paranormal from time to time, but I LOVE contemporary. Contemporary YA is where my heart lives. Deb Caletti, Sarah Dessen, Laurie Halse Anderson, Susane Colasanti are just a few of the authors I love. (And I’ve met three of them!)

Anyway, I read ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS several months ago, and I liked it enough. But this second time around? I am in LOVE. A love story about a girl who gets sent to an American boarding school in France? Yes, please! The characters are so three dimensional. The setting is PARIS. It has a boarding school. And food! And hot guys. WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE?

So am I recommending this book? YES! And I might just order a copy just to make notes in the margins. Stephanie Perkins did the damn thing. Today I ordered LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR and I can’t wait to read it.


Then we can like, talk about them and stuff.

Now that the new year is here, I’ve decided to read new books again. I have a huge stack of them in my apartment (so I really didn’t need to buy LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR, but dammit, I wanted it), so while I wait for my delivery, I am reading WITHERING TIGHTS by Louise Rennison. It’s a cute book so far (I’m almost done!), but it’s not as funny or engaging as the Georgia Nicholson books. Still enjoyable, though, so I’m not complaining. I’m also reading RADIANT SHADOWS, the last book in the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr. YES I’m reading two books at once, what?

So there is that. And I am obviously well enough to be blogging. And I added Aidan’s birth story to my blog. (You should go read it!) So that means I will be 100% soon, right? Right? My energy will come crashing back and I’ll be so happy I will DANCE. I mean, we’re having amazing weather, and I want to enjoy it! Plus, I DEFINITELY need to be ready for Disney World. And I miss using my exercise bike. Plus yoga. And you know, not sleeping all day.

OK then. That’s all for now. Ta ta!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.
That means if you buy any of those books, I’ll get a lil somethin’ somethin’.
But trust me, I will not steer you wrong just to make a buck. Just sayin’.
Also, books were purchased or borrowed from the library.
Because that’s how I roll.


No Bueno

I’m not doing so well today. I am worn down, exhausted, and have zero motivation to do a dang thing. Mercury is in retrograde and OH WOW is it showing.

1. Web browsers are acting weird. Google Chrome is acting weird with my WordPress dashboard, so I have to use Firefox to add posts. I also need Firefox to work on the newsletter for Moksha because Namaste Light does not play nicely with Chrome these days. However, Firefox is SLOW once it gets going and it really lags on my system. Plus, it doesn’t always play nice with LiveJournal. So now I get to bounce back and forth until one of them gets their act together.

2. Monthly newsletter went out and there were some hiccups AGAIN. I asked them if they wanted me to step down and she said no, that I’m doing a great job, and it was just one of those things. I’m doing a good enough job on everything else that they’re still going to trust me with January 2012. So, I will DO DAMN BETTER. I promise.

3. I ran MacKeeper to get rid of duplicate files, but it decided that many different original files were the same, so it tried to delete all those as well. I caught them, but now it’s a disorganized mess. Fortunately, I have backups of most of the organized folders, so I can just overwrite the messed up ones.

4. My iPod crashed. It crashed and deleted all of my music and playlists. I manually sync because I don’t have the same things on my iPod that I do on my computer. Saturday evening, a Tori Amos song kept erring out, and I think that’s what did it. iPod corrupted. Hours of hard work, selecting and sequencing those playlists by hand… gone. *sigh* The Christmas 2011 mix was the best mix I’d ever made, too. And the yoga practice mix? That was freaking hard to put together and now I have to do it again. But first, I have to get the thing to mount. And also to stop crashing and locking the library. Time to restore all systems, I suppose.

5. Computer battery needs to be serviced. Which likely means replaced. Which means bye bye $130.

On top of Mercury’s retrograde screwing with all my technology (and giving me an inexplicable urge to buy an iPad when I don’t need one at all), I’ve just been feeling like a poop log lately. Worn down, nauseated, and just generally tired. And my ear is hurting again. I have so much I need to do and no motivation to do it. This weekend, I was hit with a double whammy headache, one of them being a migraine that was extremely painful. Little appetite, just not feeling myself. I don’t like it. Oh, and the tip of my tongue has been burning the past few days. Feels like I burnt it with food or bit it a million times, but instead of getting better and going away, it’s getting worse.


Just to give you an idea of how worn out I’ve been:

1. I turned down a trip to Target. Adam knows that if I say “no” to a Target run then something’s seriously wrong.

2. I haven’t watched one Christmas program/DVD/movie. Not even A CHRISTMAS STORY. I adore A CHRISTMAS STORY. What is happening?

3. The apartment’s not completely decorated for Christmas. Honestly, Adam and I put the tree up Friday, I decorated it, then I was done. I haven’t made any effort to do anything else since. THIS IS NOT LIKE ME.

To add insult to injury? My new(ish) awesome glasses? They have a chip in the lens. I dropped a plate the other day and thought it had avoided the glasses, but I guess not. So it’s back to the ugly cheap frames for me until I can get them repaired or either get a new pair. I mean, I can *somewhat* ignore the chip, but I don’t know if other people can. Suck.

I have so much to do (in no particular order, it just all needs to be done on or before December 15):

01. Christmas newsletter
02. Christmas cards
03. reestablish iPod
04. finish decorating apartment
05. major litter box cleaning
06. organize closet and clothing
07. wrap presents
08. clean living room (this may as well be a permanent on the list)
09. plan Christmas menu
10. make Christmas food shopping list
11. return library books
12. finish Christmas shopping
13. buy cat food
14. laundry
15. two newsletters for Moksha
16. use Body Shop Groupon
17. send packages

Yea, whatever is bugging me needs to GET TO STEPPIN’. I ain’t got time for this mess.

As much as I love iProcrastinate, I didn’t like that it didn’t give me reminders of when things were due. So I decided to use Producteev. It has a reminder function. Except… it doesn’t seem to be working. I should add that to the list of things screwed up by Mercury’s retrograde. *sigh* Or maybe the software just sucks.

So now I’m on the hunt for another To Do program. I might have to break down and PAY FOR ONE. *gulp* I mean, what’s the point of having a productivity program if all it does it make me panic because it doesn’t tell me when stuff’s coming up, just when it’s due RIGHT NOW?

In spite of all this bleh, I had a good time Saturday night. I hung out with a bunch of former coworkers from Schawk. It was so good to see them all again. One can be glad to escape the craziness of the workplace, but the people will always tug at me.

Silent Night...Not So Much
Brad, JT, Hayley, me, Tyrone, Duane

I’m a homebody. I don’t go out a lot. It’s nice to get out sometimes, though. Although I think Saturday night might have done me in. Maybe I’m still recovering from that.

Also, did I mention that my birthday is in 14 days? No? Well, now you know.

Anyway, I’m off for now. Time for more resting so I can get better once and for all. I WILL get better. Hear that, Universe? I WILL get better within the next 12 hours.

Please send me lots of good vibes for many various things, OK? :)

Till next time….

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