Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 accounting and 2014 intentions.

This year flew by. Seriously, I have no idea where it went. I feel like I was just doing I made the year before and see how I did and then set some goals for the next year.
this. If you've not read my blog in December before, I like to go through the

But first, let's talk about the year. It's had its ups and downs...

  1.  For the first couple months I continued to visit schools and talk about Never Eighteen and then I got sick and tired of it and decided it was time to work on getting something new out.
  2. Never Eighteen was nominated for its first award, the New York City Reading Association's Charlotte Award. 
  3. Never Eighteen got a book deal in Brazil.
  4. Battled with my ex-agent over my film and movie rights. There was no winner, even though I have them now.
  5. After querying approximately 3 agents I decided toke the plunge and indie publish. CRAZY!!
  6. I took some amazing trips, Arizona with friends and my daughters, my first time to Vegas with a new friend, a few trips to the ocean, Lake Chelan.
  7. Got to meet writer friends Taylor McCleve, Bettina Restrepo, Suzanne Lazear, and Liz Fichera, Jenny Milchman on my travels (or theirs). Forgive me if I forgot anyone!!
  8. I've seen come great live music, small and big shows that included my daughter's band, and private show with Ian McFeron for my niece's birthday, the friend of a friend who plays some awesome Americana, my brother's band Smilin' Jack, Stephanie Anne Johnson, Pearl Jam...
  9.  Dating, well, hmmm, it happened. Times were good, times weren't so good. Now they're great.
  10. Both kids driving. Oy. Thing two gets her license next month.
  11. One book edited, a new one started, and one...
  12. ...Indie published!! Woot! A nerve wracking and awesome experience. Will I do it again? Hell yes!
  13. I call this "The Year of Great Sleep".  If you've followed my blog, you know I've been having this health problem, and yes I call it a health problem, in which I have to sleep 2-3 hours a day, in the middle of the day which drives me nuts. I've done everything, tested everything and it's not diet, exercise or anything else. Trying a couple more things...frustrating.
  14.  Read lots of good book. Lots for me at least, which is probably just a few for you, lets see, Divergent, Catching Fire, Mockingjay, Joe Peace, Cover of Snow...I'm pretty sure I've read more than that...those are just the ones I could think of off the top of my head.
Now, for the resolutions. Let's see how I did, and if I didn't succeed, how I will adjust in the upcoming year to try to achieve these goals.

Exercise 3-5 times a week. Eat healthier, cut down on my wine. Drop some weight. I didn't put a number on it. Quiet reflection 30 minutes a day.

Results -  HAHAHAHA. Just kidding. I did good with the exercise, kickboxing 3 times a week...until "The Year of Great Sleep" caught up with me. Then I just couldn't do it any more. I have started walking again though and it feels good. Eat healthier, for the most part. Cut down on wine, yes! Drop weight. I dropped it, then I picked it back up, then I dropped it again, then I picked it back up. I did that a couple times within the 10 pound range. Last time I checked I was down, but I'm pretty sure I've gained during the holidays so I've not checked, and I'm not going to until I fee liked I've dropped a couple pounds. Quiet reflection 30 minutes a day...EPIC FAIL.

2014 goal - Hope what I'm doing for "The Year of Great Sleep" works and keep walking and when I feel up to it, get back to kickboxing. Eat better. Cut out more sodium specifically. Stop eating popcorn for dinner and cook more. Considering going gluten free, but I REALLY like my half bagel in the morning with Laughing Cow cheese. Try to lose 10 pounds by my birthday in April. Quiet reflection for 10 minutes a day. Maybe that's more doable.

Last year's goal was to finish my nano project and write 2 more books. And I was making decisions between these three things: 1) Entering ABNA 2) Self publishing 3) Finding an agent.

Results - I scrapped the nano project. I may pick it up at some point, but for now, it's Yay me!!
on the back burner. I have other projects I want to finish first. Write 2 more books? Was I completely insane when I wrote that? Drunk? Possessed by some kind of writing demon? HAHAHA yeah, that didn't happen. I did start one. I got up to 21k. Nothing to sneeze at. And of the last 3 items I did enter ABNA and of course I self published Dissected.
2013 goal - Definitely not to write 2 books this year. I know that's not going to happen. I do want to finish the one I'm writing. I would also like to self publish another in late summer early fall - my football book titled, Girl in Motion. And possibly edit my school shooting book and work on my dystopian series, though that's getting a little lofty.

Last year's goals -Better balancing work, writing, kids, and all the other pleasures in life. Reading more, staying organized, travel more.

Results - I think I did worse with the balance this year than the previous and I blame that on "The Year of Great Sleep." You seriously have no idea how debilitating it's been. I do want to read more. I have certain books on my TBR list, Insurgent, I've been wanting to read some John Green, my friend Gae's 2nd book comes out and sounds amazeballs (I've already pre-ordered it), I have other friend's books to get to many books, so little time. Organization, oy. Um, I think I was better although my office was messy from July to October. I bought a new desk and other furniture to get me organized. I have yet to put three more pieces together, but I'll get there. Travel more...I traveled as much as I could I think.

2014 goal - Balance...screw balance. I'm going to take these things one by one...
  • Work - Who cares?
  • Writing - An hour a day. I think I can promise myself that, can't I? It's not too much to ask of myself?
  • Marketing - An hour a day. I may break this down even more, weekly tasks or monthly, like send out so many books or postcards, or do a live event a month, IDK yet. 
  • Kids - My kids and I have already decided to commit one day a week to each other in which we have dinner and spend the evening together doing something, with no one else, just us.
  • Organization - Um...I'll work on it. That's all I can say.
  • Travel - Yes. I will be going to the ocean, in fact, I'm starting the year out there. I know there will be more trips to the ocean and I will be going to Arizona, Mexico, and Florida, these things are for sure. Other than that, I don't know. One of these days I want to take my daughters to NY. Before I am too old, I need to do my drive across the country. I've only been wanting to do it since I graduated high school. Maybe this should be the year. I should really do it before I'm 50 at least.

Last year's goals - To love myself and others to the best of my abilities. Remember that I am fallible and will make mistakes, but it is just a part of life, who I am, and who I will be. As long as I keep growing and learning from the mistakes I make, it's fine. Continue to trust in myself and others, but I also need to be more careful when doing this and know not everyone has my best interests at heart. And I will continue to let happiness happen.

Results - Let's see...hahaha, um, I tried really hard to love myself and sometimes I was hugely successful at it and sometimes I epically failed. It's pretty much impossible not to remember that I'm fallible and make mistakes. I've gotten used to it. Totally kidding, but yeah, I'm okay making mistakes. As humans we never stop growing and learning and I'm okay with that. I think I become a better more interesting person every year. And maybe even a little more profound. I don't know. happiness happen, I do, but I also

2014 goals - I pretty much love me for who I am. I think I'm a pretty cool cat. I'm crazy pants, but I think they help me appreciate when life is good and right. They remind me of times in which I was really low and how I don't ever want to go back there. I found a quote I love - "...but for the dark, we'd never see the stars." I've been writing it in Dissected when I sign it. As far as mistakes and fallibility go, I'm going to keep doing that and keep learning and growing as a person and keep feeling and experiencing life. Our mistakes, our experiences our adventures is what makes us interesting, unique. They are what give us stories to tell. Trust...who cares...if I want to throw my heart at someone, it's mine to throw. If they break it into tiny pieces and throw it back at me, it's just another of life's lessons learned the hard way and I have another story to tell.
Or maybe I'm just narcissistic to think that because, well, I am. I don't trust myself. Period. Pttthhh. I don't care. I do stupid stuff. I make bad decisions, mistakes. I'm okay with it. See sentences above. I trust others though, but I've become jaded and skeptical. I'm careful these days. And I let
like a little sadness from time to time.
smart, I'm funny, I'm adorable, but I do have moments of self loathing, but to be perfectly honest, in a way I like those moments and I think I need those low moments, as long as I don't have them too often. I don't know if this sounds completely

A few more goals I have:

  • Smile more. :)
  • Visit my parents at least once a week.
  •  Learn patience or at least learn to breathe a little.
  • Shut up and listen.
  • Dance in my living room when no one's home.
I'll probably come up with more, but you're not supposed to take on too many resolutions or you're setting yourself up for failure. I blogged about that for the day job last week. That blog comes out on New Year's Eve. You should check it out.

Are you making resolutions? What are they?

Have a great New Years Eve and Day. Stay safe and sane.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The end is nigh...

...of the year that is. I've been doing a lot of reflecting on my life lately. I
suppose we all do this time of year, right? I mean, it's the time in which we decide what's good in our lives and what's toxic and make those resolutions we sometimes keep and sometimes ditch after a couple days.

For me, this year, like some of the last few has had its ups and downs, but every year the ups seem to get higher and the lows , not as low, so that's a good thing. I've also found myself depressed this holiday season. I know many suffer this time of year. Mine aren't so much the holidays as they are my own personal demons based on this time of year, but I've been making strides and I think big changes that have taken place in my life, on my terms have helped.

 I've made big decisions. Good decisions. It's like I'm starting my resolutions early.

Publishing my book. I'm so happy I did it. I've not had a lot of time to publicize it yet, but in the new year I'm going to get to it and hopefully will sell more copies. It is selling slowly but surely and I have friends helping me out in the publicity department, word of mouth, posting on Facebook and retweeting for me. I hope to have another book out next fall.

I'm writing a new book I'm really excited about. Dual points of view, a boy and a journal, a little bit of suspense, a little humor, a little sadness, a lot of social issues, which I write best. :)
 I've decided to spend more time with my kids. I don't know what it is, maybe it's the fact that, one daughter will be going to college next year and the other gets her license, but I was starting to miss my daughters terribly last month. I mean, they live with me a week at a time, and I see them on my off weeks, but they're teenagers and they have their own agenda and I'm busy, so it seems like we rarely see each other. We made a plan to have a night a week together.

I went back to the doctor to resolve my tiredness. It's been frustrating and it's been going on for well over a year. I've never been a napper and to have to take 2-3 hours out of my day, hours in which I can be productive, in order to sleep, just irritates me. I've already had blood tests for everything, it has nothing to do with exercise because it was happening while I was exercising regularly, I eat right, so we added a medication and cut back on another, PLUS we're going to do a sleep study.

I've started walking again. I will get back to kickboxing once my schedule clears up, but I've always loved walking. I used to walk, no matter the weather, it could be pouring rain, freezing, didn't matter. I've always loved how the fresh air clears my mind. It's not only good for my health, but it helps with my writing and I truly think it's good for my soul.

Other than that, I've made some other difficult decisions that I think will put a positive spin on my life, I've started seeing someone new and it's been awesome so far (we've known each other since 5th grade), and I feel really good about about 2014.

Have you made any positive changes this year? Any changes planned for 2014? This is my current theme song, it's helped me get through a lot this holiday season...

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas and all that.

Just wanted to wish everyone celebrating a Merry Christmas. Obviously I've had another couple busy weeks, at work, at home, everywhere. I'm sure we all have.

Just wanted to offer up that once again I'm offering up Dissected for free on Amazon for your Kindle today. Click here.

 And I'll share my Christmas card poem with you all that I sent out this year...

Can you believe it’s been a year,
since we’ve sent out these cards full of Christmas cheer.
We Bostics have been busy, that is for sure.
Let’s start with Rachel, my baby girl.
She turned 15 and started to drive,
at the wheel she certainly does thrive.
With both the girls drivers tests almost passed,
oh dear God I’m free at last!
She’s also still playing music with her band,
microphone in front, guitar in hand
As far as music, the girl is on fire,
she also made Wilson’s Concert choir.
Mary is also in high gear,
playing on three soccer teams this year
And she’s finally part of the working class,
now Megan no longer has to give her money for gas.
Can you believe she’s a senior already?
Applying to colleges, testing steadily.
Good news last week came through,
she got into her first choice school, Wazzu.
Megan’s been busy this year, to bring home the bread.
She coached both girls in soccer, which was quite a coup,
as her team Venom went 10 and 2.
She’s been a busy writing elf,
her new novel hit Amazon and bookstore shelves
She markets, cleans, laundries and shops,
and she’s starting her own business, the woman don’t stop.
So there you have it, 2013,
we three ladies await for what the next year might bring
A quieter house as Mary goes on her own,
and Rachel takes to the car instead of the home
Megan’s freedom comes but it’s bittersweet
her two angels are off to their drummer’s own beat
But for now we celebrate our life day to day,
in chaos and messes, in music, writing and play
Enjoy your families and the holiday cheer.
Merry Christmas to all, see you next year.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

It was the week, without a blog

This week (last few really) has been crazy, busy, weird and reminiscent, to say the
least. Read through, the important stuff is at the end.

This is the busy...
  1. Trying to promote my new book, which I've really done none of, so I've finally contacted bloggers and sent some books out. (If you're a blogger, and want to read Dissected, I'd love to send you a book, either paperback or digital).
  2. Monday got together with my dad and sisters.
  3. Tuesday had a bowling date with friends.
  4. Wednesday promised a date to my daughters we'd see Catching Fire.
  5. Thursday choir concert for my daughter and niece and nephew. Mine is in concert choir, the other two in show choir.
  6. While doing all of this, every day I've been working on planning our office Christmas party which is no small matter. We do it up big at a hotel, this year we decided to do a theme and I'm also in change of the PowerPoint presentation of awards this year which I'd never done. I've worked on this at work and in my own time, probably 10-15 hours of my own time between all this other stuff. There used to be 5 on what we call the "fun committee" but now we're down to 3, making more work for us.
  7. Aside from planning the Christmas party, I'm also in charge of putting together gift baskets and delivering them for our office, so this week I also had to take work and my time for 2 days to put together 54 wine baskets which I will be delivering next week throughout the greater Pierce County area.
  8. We finally decorated our Christmas tree and took our Christmas card pics Thursday night after the choir concert.
  9. Last night I start trying to design my Christmas cards.
  10. Tonight is our office Christmas party.
I've had a blogger friend going through some stuff that is reminiscent of things I went through just a few years back. Things that eventually left me broken in the form of a nervous breakdown and marriage destroyed. Not that it is the sole thing that caused my divorce or that what I was going through at time wasn't probably building for years, but everyone has a breaking point and I met mine.

This made me look up an old blog of mine, when I was at my darkest and reread it. Not pretty stuff. This is one thing I wrote, I shared on my FB yesterday, "In darkness I shall roam until blindly, I feel around and find my way home."

That  is not the only thing that has been reminding me of the past lately. Some friends have been going down memory lane on Twitter. 

And I kid you not, I was on Facebook last night and it started spinning out of control and landed on 2008 and a post of mine that said, "Megan Messina Bostic is no longer contemplating the rest of her life, she's just contemplating tomorrow."

I've been a little down lately. Not just down, but I've been feeling lonely, anxious, angry and a bit out of control and my emotions are really getting the best of me. As with others, this is a hard time of year for me and not just because of the holidays, but I have my own personal demons to fight this time of year. 

I think the Ghost of Christmas Past is working in a strange way this year. He's using the power of the internet to remind me that no matter how bad things seem, there is light at the end. There is hope. There is a way out and just have to see it, to find it, but it's there.

He's even trying to tell me with the release of my new book, because the quote I found to write in people's books is this,  "...but without the dark, we'd never see the stars."

It's a good reminder to not lose hope when we are at our lowest. I also try to remember that no matter my problems, there are people worse off than me. I have a home, a job, food on my table and beautiful children who are part of that light that help me through my days.

Hope is a powerful thing. Never lose sight of it.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Books be wordy and stuff.

Apparently Kanye West said this:

Now, I didn't look it up on Snopes, well I tried and couldn't find it, so I'm assuming it's truth. This statement for me is wrong in just so many ways. Let me tell you why.

1. He is a role model for young people. Young people should read. Why? Because it is proven to make you smarter.
2. He is a proud non-reader of books and proves my first case in point by using "they just be so" and not wanting an inanimate object's autograph.
3. Is it the people or books that are self absorbed? Of this I'm not sure, but no matter. Pot, meet Kettle.

Someone said something very funny on the Facebook thread in which I found this photo. They said, and I quote, "He fucked a Kartrashian without a condom. Case closed."

Um, yeah. That about says it all, right?

By the way, I found the photo on my friend Allison Dickson's Facebook page. If you like horror novels, you should check out her body of work

I'm a bit disheartened, because I really like his music. I won't listen to it anymore. I will take it off my iPod. I will tell my children not to listen to it. I will urge all to boycott him. 

I will start the  No West movement (will come up with pithy name) to keep our kids reading and literate and speaking proper English. I will write books filled with words and I will be self absorbed! My books will give autographs!!


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

What pain are you willing to suffer?

There was an article in the Huffington Post by Mark Manson recently that posed this question. Actually his question was - what pain do you want? What pain do you want to sustain?

 This is in respect to our wants. He asks those question instead of the standard question -  what do you want out of life? This is because we all want the same things so they don't really mean anything. We all want to be happy and healthy.

I don't think anyone WANTS to suffer pain, so I ask what pain are you willing to suffer?  That is the real question, and perhaps the key to if we will achieve the things we want out of life and how successful we will be at those things.

Just about everything we do takes a certain amount of pain, suffering and sacrifice, doesn't it? Maybe not physical pain, but mental, emotional?

I used to be a stay at home mom. When my kids went to school, this allowed me a lot of time for writing. When I got divorced I had to get a job. This took away writing time, kid time, cleaning time, shopping time. Basically half my day was suddenly gone.

But, I still want to write, I still want to be a good mom and that takes a lot of work and it can be very stressful.

What pain am I willing to suffer for my craft, my kids, my job, my health, my home?

I don't sleep well. I can probably count on one hand the good night's sleep I've had in the last three months. I'm not sure what it is completely. It could be stress, it could be that my mind works overtime and just won't shut up, it could be something else entirely that we haven't figured out yet. I've tried numerous ways to stay asleep, and none of them work consistently.

Me time. I have no idea what that is, really. I go to work, I get to my kid's events, I come home and try to work at writing or marketing,  or I clean the house or run errands. I used to get massages and pedicures and get my hair did. I can't remember the last time I did any of those things.

I suffer exhaustion. This has been going on for close to a year now, and it's about more than just the lack of sleep or exercise because even when I sleep well and even when I was kickboxing regularly I was still having to take these crazy long naps during the day. I think I've pinpointed something, but not sure. I try to fight my way through my tired time, which is early afternoon, but even if I do, I'm pretty worthless unless I'm getting errands done. I can't really write or work through it.

I'm a broke bitch. I work part time. I make enough to get by. I could work full time, I certainly have enough to do at work, but I have writing goals. I want to be there for my kids while they're still around. But I can't take all the vacations I want or have everything I want.

My household. This includes my yard, garden, laundry, general cleaning filing...etc. It's all lacking. I keep my house as clean as possible. It's hard with 2 of my own kids and others coming and going often. I try to garden. I usually start off strong in the spring but get busy and have a fairly black thumb and things end up dying. My yard at times makes my house look like an abandoned crack house and the laundry gets washed, then ends up in a giant pile to fold. I try to get my kids to help, but ya know, they're teenagers.

My health. I eat well most the time but lately I've not been willing to suffer the pain of exercise to get that body I want. And it's not so much suffering the pain because I LOVE my kickboxing classes. It's a combination of time, exhaustion and laziness and I would truly put laziness in about 10% with the other two making up 45% each. I've actually lost weight lately, but I'm not toned. My goal is to get back to it, I've just not found the motivation yet.

I can't keep a relationship. Maybe I don't want to, I don't know. I certainly don't have time for one to get too serious, and it seems the men I meet are ready to move in and get married right now. I'm nowhere near that. I'd like a companion, someone to hang out with, but, they need to have a place to go home. And I need my own time. Time to write, time for my kids, time to hang out with my friends.

I sometimes feel like a bad mom. This is an all encompassing pain for me. Though I try not to miss a soccer game or music gig, there are still things I feel I lack and lately I have been missing them like crazy and I know that's not all on me. They are teenagers and have their own agendas, but lately I think they've been feeling that lack of connection too. I've not cooked a meal in ages, we haven't just sat down and watched a movie together in forever. We're taking a day today. And we've decided that at least once a week we will sit down and cook and have a meal together and watch a movie or do something.

 I guess those are my levels of suffering I endure  for what I want. But I wouldn't say I WANT that pain. I deal with it because it's what I need to do right now for what I want in life. But I'm hoping all of it changes. I mean, at what point do we stop suffering? At what point does it all come into fruition?

So what pain are you willing to suffer to accomplish your goals?

My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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