I have not posted for awhile. Life as it were. I've been busy living it. Parenting a teen, which is much different that BEING a teen or WRITING about teens. It's a whole new perspective and while I love my teen with every ounce of my being, it is also a challenge. Who knew! Ha!
I've also been on a whirl of jobs over the last year. Exactly one year ago I left a perfectly lovely full time job as a sales merchandiser when an opportunity came up to work in a high school as an EA. (Educational Assistant) for the English Department. I thought I would use my writing background and flourish and work school hours and have time to create more words while making a difference in young people's lives. Yeah. I lasted two weeks. Now that was not a light choice (leaving the job) and it was VERY embarrassing to pull the plug on it, but it was a HORROR for me and my emotional health. I simply was not prepared. I had no training and no guidance and the learning curve would have taken all my time. I had to learn the entire curriculum and also take on subjects OTHER than English. Like Social, which I didn't even like when I took it over thirty years ago. It looked like months of studying high school all over again, when I thought my evenings would be free to write books. I took it all way too seriously and was drowning in feelings of ineptitude and helplessness and overwhelm. I felt like I was failing everyone I was dealing with and failing myself and realized I was wildly unsuited for this type of thing at this stage of my life. Whew. I'd though I was taking on something that would enhance my writing and it sucked everything out of me. It was humbling and emotionally draining and did I mention, embarrassing! So I left quickly with the hope they were able to quickly hire the other person who interviewed for the job. From what I hear, it all worked out well for that person, and other than my bruised ego and lowered self esteem, life went on for everyone. I ended up quickly getting another temporary full time job (within days) back in the same industry I'd left to try the EA position.
So I worked full time for that company until the new year, and then found a part time job with a chocolate company, thinking the extra time to write would balance it out. Except I found that dealing with expired chocolate and a marketing company highly unsatisfying and frustrating and really disliked it. So I kept my ears and eyes open and fate led me back to the company that I originally left one year ago to try working as an EA. The person who replaced me as a sale merchandiser when I left got promoted and when I expressed interest, my old boss asked me to come back. A full circle as it were, and this time I go back with an appreciation for the job and the company. I'm grateful it worked out as it did.
As for the writing, well, I do have a wonderful YA proposal out on submission. I really love the story and had hopes it would find a home, but in the current market, with things as they are, it may not. If it doesn't, well, I'll have to see where the journey takes me next.
I've had a great run with my six YA books pubbed with Sourcebooks. The first two titles were published over six years ago (and those two are still the best sellers). Unfortunately the last titles haven't done well in sales, and this makes a difference when trying to sell a new book.
I was pretty sad when I went into an Indigo book store last week and discovered that after carrying all my titles for many years, it looks like they've (Indigo) de-listed them from the stores. I took it as a real sign when I first discovered it, thinking it meant my days as an author are over. Cue sad music and teary eyes. At the time of the discovery, I was waiting to hear if I'd get my old job back and also waiting to hear from a couple of editors about the book on submission. It seemed like a SIGN. The end of my book writing days.
Since then I've been offered the job. My son continues to be a teen. Life kind of keeps going on. I'm contemplating. I miss "being an author". I miss the book world. I miss writing all the time. But it's also hard. It's a hard industry to make it in. It's time consuming and it can be draining. But I move forward over the next couple of weeks, knowing I still have a couple of houses looking at my proposal. So I'm not done yet. I think the book is good, I do, and I think it could sell. But. It might not. And yet, I'll still be here. Living my life. Figuring it out. I've seen a lot of authors fade away over the last years. There's lots of new authors coming up. For some I guess, it becomes a career. For others it's a dream come true. And then well, I guess there's more dreaming to do. Life gets lived and moves on.
Whatever happens, I have to remember that I did what I set out to do. I published books. I had book signings and people read my work. Some loved the books, others not so much. None of it goes away. It just kind of becomes a memory. And memories aren't so bad are they? In the next couple of weeks I'll go back to a job that offers me many great things. I have books in my brain, pieces on my laptop in files. I still want to write. I have two women's fiction ideas that are patiently waiting for me. Life will take me places. I will make decisions, and decisions will be made for me. Sometimes we're in the driver seat, and sometimes we're just along for the ride.