At first, my plan was to go back to the beginning and rehash the hell I've been through--at least a recap. There is no need to relive that pain, the suffering, or the loss. I don't want to drag you (or myself) back down that dark hole I'd started thinking of as home. Instead, I'll tell you where I am now.
I thought I was lost, without a map or a compass, or even an idea of how to get back. I was wrong. I wasn't lost, I just couldn't follow the direction I needed to go. I didn't want to. Change is hard. It's terrifying. Letting go, accepting what is, moving forward when all you want to do is dig your heels in and refuse to move with time because you're not ready, is HARD. But time, life, moves forward whether you want it to or not. Amazingly, against all the odds I thought were against me, I've realized that. I've accepted that.
So today, I'm celebrating my birthday. Technically, I'm *gasp* 32 years young, but I'm considering this a first birthday of sorts. The K.T. Crowley that started this journey, she's gone, and she's not coming back. I guess that, even though I knew this and said it out loud countless times, I never actually believed it until recently. But she left for a reason. She left so I could arrive, grow, learn, remember how to breathe and recover. And now, now I'm stronger. I see shades and colors I wasn't able to before, both beautiful and ugly. I have cut ties with most--if not all--the toxic people in my life, and I am trying to live in a drama-free, positivity only zone. I need to. I deserve to. Because life is WAY too short to deal with even an 1/8 of the crap I'd been dealing with, and if I've learned anything from my brother-in-law's death at the start of this year, it's to LIVE. APPRECIATE. FORGIVE AND MOVE FORWARD.
My wish list for myself is pretty simple now. One thing is to reignite my passion for writing, and I have. I partially have NaNoWriMo to thank for that, and my new editor, whom I'll introduce later in full fanfare. Another wish is to keep my eyes open, my head clear and my judgement impartial. Let rejection (especially of the subjective kind) slide, because everyone has to deal with it. In addition to letting rejection slide, I have to continue to learn from it, but not beat myself up when it happens. Those two things should never go hand-in-hand; they breed negativity like rabbits. Face challenges with feet firmly planted, refuse to get discouraged. And most of all, throw my hat in the ring completely. Not just at my feet, on the edge of said ring, nudging it timidly toward the center at a sluggish rate of progression. I have to be and remain 100% committed, like I was in the beginning. The old K.T. may be gone for good, but that factor carried over to my new self. It just took some time to discover it.
Now for some updates. My NaNo novel is ah-mazing, I'm so happy with it. It's an adult suspense/crime story in 3rd POV, all of which are brand-spanking new for me to write, so it's been challenging but fun. Just the change of pace I needed to feel fresh again.
My very first novel has a shiny glow, but still needs to be buffed by my fabulous editor one more time before it meets my standards.
My husband is back to full health after our 6 month ordeal! Yay!! We're planning a big move, with hopes of building our dream home in a wonderful place. More on that to come.
My boys are growing so fast; my oldest is in preschool now and my youngest is close to walking. They are the light of my life and I don't know how I would've survived 2013 without their precious hearts. I'm seriously the luckiest mom ever. I just wish I could slow down time because it feels like I blink and they're a year older. Another reason I try and appreciate every single moment with them.
The site will continue as it has, critique rounds and my random posts about things. Though I am really going to try to write posts much more often than I have been. Hopefully I'll have some interesting things for you.
That's it for now... Oh wait, no, it's not.
Blind critique round will be opening up for submissions on Monday!! What do I mean by "blind"?
Well, let me explain.
I've often wondered how much influence the first critique has on the ones that follow. Not saying everyone is following suit, but just like movie reviews, sometimes our opinions can be swayed, even if only a little, by what the first person who saw/read it said. So, when I post the entries, there will be a critique window. All critiques must be submitted during this time frame. But the catch is, no one but me will see the critiques until the time frame closes. When it does, I'll release the critiques from the queue for all to read. I think it will be really interesting to watch unfold!!
If you've never participated before, now is the time to join the fun, seriously. This is also an excellent opportunity to get feedback on your Baker's Dozen 2013 entry, because, yanno, even though we may not have made it in, we have to keep moving forward, and the best way to start is to identify what may have been the issue.
And with all of that said, I'm done for now. Love to you all, and have a wonderful weekend! <3