TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY! Hubbs said happy birthday yesterday on Facebook, and, since he is the hubbs, a lot of other people followed suit. It was sort if hilarious, and I got to pretend I had two birthdays! BUT today is my actual birthday. But don't get me wrong, I am so NOT complaining about having extra birthdays! (Every day is my un-birthday anyway. That's what Alice and the Mad Hatter taught me.)
For years, I've treated my birthday as a big affair. Often I celebrate with little things for a week. This week I've had something I enjoy, chocolate, wine, scary movies, etc., every day. And there's one other thing I'd really like. This year I'd just like to reiterate, for my birthday all I want is for my friends, readers, friends of friends, everyone to buy IN THE REARVIEW. And if anyone has the time I'd also love an honest review on amazon, goodreads, etc. Good or bad, just honest.
And for those wonderful folks who have already spent their hard earned money on my little book, then I ask for a copy gifted to a friend who may enjoy it (that's a fabulous feature on cites like amazon, you just need your friend's email). Let them know it's a gift for my birthday!
The $3.99 is cheaper than most birthday cards these days, and this will mean a whole lot more. A purchase and a review will last forever :)
As I've said on twitter and in posts before, I am all about reading. I don't care if you read kid lit, YA, erotica, or anything at all. I will NEVER discourage reading, or any kind. I've spoken out against the articles that say you should be embarrassed for reading Young Adult, and I will again. I find the discouragement of reading of any kind to be what is embarrassing. Reading, of any kind, is worth it.
That being said, I'm very against banning books. I think that challenging or banning books is just another form of discouraging reading. And it's a form that's highly regarded by some, as it comes with an air of authority.
Well I say I READ BANNED BOOKS, and you should too!
Here is what I've accomplished:
1) Finish my second novel (done)
2) Begin submitting my first novel (done!)
3) Read at least 12 new books (done)
4) Go on vacation with my husband (done)
5) Crochet a blanket (Nope)
6) Try a new food (done)
7) Attend a class (community or grad) (does a workshop count? - Done)
9) Attend a football game (sad, nope)
10) Throw a dinner party (nope)
11) Learn a new game or sport (done)
12) Do something outside of my comfort zone (done)
13) Spoil my husband for a day (I didn't mark this one as done before, but I think it is)
14) Reconnect with old friends (done)
15) Do something nostalgic that makes me feel like a kid (done)
16) Visit an old school of mine (done)
17) Learn more/practice sign language (nope)
18) Make a new friend (done)
19) Go to a movie alone (DAMN - nope)
20) Hang out with my sisters more (done)
21) Learn 5 new yoga poses (nope)
22) Do something completely selfless (shit)
23) Treat myself for a day (maybe?)
24) Have a movie marathon in my pjs (I WILL THIS WEEKEND)
25) Go on an amusement ride (I have no idea why I put this one on here - they make me sick!)
26) Pet an animal I haven't before (done)
Okay... I left a little to be desired in completing this list! Better luck in the next year!
1) I learned that... I am not a fan of long deployments. This year my hubbs and I are getting through one that is twice as long as the last one. I have THE BEST husband in the world. I could not have stayed sane through this deployment with anyone else, and I'm SO DAMN READY for him to come home. I just want to hug him!
2) I learned that... I want a half sleeve tattoo. I want it all to be about writerly related things. I learned that with my published debut it's really important to me.
3) I learned that... I CAN publish. And I plan to continue publishing until the day I die. If I never agent, and no other publisher wants something I've written, then I will still find a way to publish my writing. I think it's worth sharing with the world. I love my writing!
4) I learned that... I love writing again. I started sometime before my birthday last year, but my passion really came back in the last year.
5) I learned that... I can set a goal and stick to it pretty well. I wrote 240k words in less than five months, and that makes me SO proud. I can accomplish a lot.
6) I learned that... I'm close with my family than I used to be. My sisters are some of my best friends.
7) I learned that... you don't have to be close in geography to be close with someone. One of my BEST friends, Kim, lives very far away from me. But that doesn't make her any less of a friend than someone who lives right in my own state. She’s awesome, and I’m even more awesome than I used to be because I know her!
8) I learned that... I love my fur baby, and I can't wait until I can have another one. Someday when hubbs and I have a house that will be possible.
9) I learned that... it's okay to wait for things that are special. My hubbs is studying for the MCAT, I am always writing and shooting for it to be my career, and we do not have concrete plans other than school and writing.
10) I learned that... I am a lot of things. I would like to think I'm this badass person, but really I'm mostly an introvert who really loves writing, reading, and wine. I talk a lot, but only when I'm close with someone. I am getting pretty comfortable with who I am, and that's pretty cool.
11) I learned that... going to bed early is pretty awesome. It's not lame. It's actually pretty badass to get enough sleep.
12) I learned that... I need to read more. I wrote a SHIT TON in 2014, but now in 2015 I really want to edit and read. I want to read as much as I can. I want to read banned books, good books, bad books, ANY books! I also learned that my to-be-read pile will NEVER be all checked off. I will never read everything I want to read, because there are so many more amazing books begin published every year.
13) I learned that... I really need to edit. I have a book that I've drafted, one that I based the whole idea on from my favorite song, and it is my FAVORITE thing that I've ever written. I call it the book of my heart, my love affair book. And I NEED to edit it soon. SOON.
14) I learned that... I have amazing supports. I have a Wonderful hubbs, friends, and family. They're here for me as much as I'm here for them. My list of close friends may be smaller than it was in school or other times, but the ones that are still on that list (or newly on the list) are closer than anyone who has ever fallen off.
15) I learned that... I'm a little twisted, and that's Totally OKAY. I looooove scary and dark movies, and I love writing dark and twisted things just as much. Scary is good though.
16) I learned that... I really like to make changes. I love to dye my hair all the time. I've had arielle read in the last year, chocolate brown, purple, and I've had Zooey bangs.
17) I learned that... I love the fall and everything it brings. I love crisp cool air. I love hot chocolate, coffee, and apple cider. I love hooded sweatshirts, scarves, and boots. Now I just need a fire place to sit and write by.
18) I learned that... while setting goals is great, it's good to reevaluate and give myself leeway when needed. When I need a break, I just need a break. That's okay too.
19) I learned that... I know myself better than I ever used to. There are things that change, and there is a lot that stays the same. I'm a lot more open than I used to be. As we get older I think we learn more and more about ourselves, and hopefully we become more comfortable with who we are as well. I learned that I like me :)
20) I learned that... there aren't enough hours in the day. I would really like to write full time, but since that isn't quite possible just yet I've learned that I wish I had more time for everything after work. I would love more time to sleep, more time to write, anymore time to spend with those I love.
21) I learned that... I am fierce when it comes to those I care about. Do and way what you want to me, I can handle myself. But if you hurt someone I love, I won't be the cute and sweet little girl anymore. I do what I need when it comes to my loved ones. I am fierce when needed.
22) I learned that... taking time to pamper myself is worth every second lost to productivity. Doing things that I enjoy and that are just form me are absolutely necessary. Painting my nails, taking a bubble bath, pouring a glass of wine with my movie, relaxing, it's all SO worth it.
23) I learned that... I'm sort of picky. The more I write, and the more I improve my craft, the picker I get when I read. Little things bother me, and I learn more and more ways to improve my own writing. BUT a good plot will always get me past the little things that make me picky.
24) I learned that... as picky as I've gotten with my writing, I've gotten more relaxed with my pallet. I like more types of wines this year than I did last year (all still sweet white, because ICK reds). I've tried new foods, and I've liked most. The older I get, the more open I become to new experiences.
25) I learned that... I'm sort of awesome. Is that vain? Maybeeee, but I'm a good friend, a good wife, and a good sister (so I've been told!). BUT I try to be a better person all the time. That's a better lesson, I guess. I learned that I should always continue to try and be MORE awesome every day.
26) I learned that... aging and grey hairs are okay. I know I've been saying that since 25, but it gets truer the more that show up. Each day that I get older is another day I've been lucky enough to live and experience new things.
27) I learned that... 27 things is a lot to learn in a year. But I'm appreciative of every lesson, every misstep, and every chance that I'm given to keep learning. Getting old kinda sucks, but being able to get old is wonderful.
I feel like this list is already so long, and will only get longer every year! I want to leave this SUPER long post off with a very happy birthday, and un-birthday, to every friend, fellow writer, and reader :)