This blog has been sadly neglected, and I apologize for that. It's been a combination of being busy, overwhelmed, and not feeling like I had anything interesting to share.
But as we're in the final 24 hours of 2018, I thought it was the perfect time to recap and reflect.
I started 2018 with a goal to start an exercise routine and focusing on my health this year. I committed and bought new workout gear and everything. I started out by doing Zumba at home, which I still do. Being able to buy the videos off Amazon and doing it in the privacy of my own home has been a godsend.
But thanks to Adele Buck, I discovered the wonder that is Bar Method, which has been fantastic. I go to my local studio in Rittenhouse, and have discovered a wonderful community there, starting with the owners Gina and Kristin. Everyone there has been welcoming, positive, and supportive. I took my first class in March and was sure I was going to die. I was convinced the instructor was trying to kill me. (Hi Sarah!) But I just completed a challenge of taking 15 classes in 28 days. That averaged out to about 4 classes a week. If you'd told me I'd be able to do that in March, I would have told you you're crazy. It is amazing to actually see physical tangible proof of how far you've come and how much stronger you've become.
Ever since 2016 I've been trying to do my version of Shonda Rhimes's Year of Yes. I keep trying to push out of my comfort zone, and not be afraid of trying new things. Since 2016, I have gone kayaking, gone to a comedy club, saw The Capitol Steps live in DC, crossed Colorado off the list of states I've visited, went to a modern dance performance, and braved the Wells Fargo Center to see my forever FLOTUS on her book tour. I am also getting ready to go on my first writing retreat in a few weeks and I CAN. NOT. WAIT. It's going to be fantastic.
Towards that end, this year, I became one of Christina Hicks's co-hosts on the Let's Go Steal a Podcast podcast where we recap and discuss old episodes of the TNT show Leverage. It's been such fun, and I have loved getting to know Sti and found a new kindred spirit and friend.
On the writing front, this has been a pretty incredible year. I have 50k written of book 2 of my As She Likes It series, and I have 10k written in the first book of a new series idea. I pitched As She Likes It at RWA in Denver this past July and to my surprise and amazement, it was really well received. I was gobsmacked. But the most incredible thing that happened was that I officially have an agent! I am repped by the incomparable Courtney Miller-Callihan and I couldn't be more happy or thrilled. I met Courtney last year and we hit it off right away, and I was ecstatic when she formally offered representation and we made it official this summer. I have loved being part of the Handspun family. I knew Courtney was the right choice for me because we had a rapport right away, I felt comfortable with her, and most importantly, she got my work and my voice, and we were on the same page from the get go. Thank you so much Courtney!
Courtney currently has Book 1 of As She Likes It and we are working on the second round of tweaks/revisions. I basically froze and went down a bad spiral for two months and barely managed to get myself back on track. with the first round. Courtney has gone above and beyond with her patience and understanding as I went through the process. But I am going into this second round in a better frame of mind. The goal is to be submission by the spring so fingers crossed!
I am also grateful to all the Philly area writers I've met the past two years thanks to Xio Axelrod. The PRW chapter has only been official for a few months and I can't wait to see the chapter grow and mature.
But as always, I have to give massive thanks to my amazing girl squad who have propped me up, held my hand, had my back, and kicked my butt as needed. I am beyond lucky and blessed to be surrounded by such an amazing circle of women in my life. They have been there for me every step of the way. In particular, Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Liana de la Rosa, Laura Kristie, Adele Buck, PJ Ausdenmore, and Alexis Daria helped me get through the roller coaster that was RWA. When I told them CMC had offered representation, they were so happy for me, and that meant the world for me. That they were more excited for me than I was was so humbling. I couldn't have done it without them. Massive hugs and kisses to all of you.
I also need to thank Julie James, Courtney Milan, Lenora Bell, Theresa Romain, Priscilla Oliveras, Farrah Rochon, Suleikha Snyder, Kristan Higgins, Ms. Bev, and so many others who have offered support, encouragement, and were there for me in large ways and small. Thank you seems inadequate but please know how much I love and appreciate ALL of you.
I am also grateful to all the new friends I've made this year, despite my introvert and neurotic ways. It's always mind boggling to me that folks want to spend time with me.
This year I have received massive amounts of love and support and it's been incredible. I can only hope to give back a fraction of what I've received. But 2018 has reinforced for me that I need to give myself more credit and grace. I have group of smart amazing kickass women in my life who love and believe in me. If they believe in me that strongly, the least I can do is believe in myself. I have Tessa Dare's Doubt Not sticker plastered on my computer and a gift that says "Thou Shalt Be a Badass" I have tried to adopt that mantra, but I am going to go ham on it in 2019.
I need to make more changes in my life. I want to continue the work out habits I started this year and maybe even build on them. But I really want to improve my financial situation and kick that up a few notches in 2019. So that is going to be my goal.
So bring it 2019!