Well hello there! I bet you thought I fell off the earth or something, right? But, luckily for me, I’m still right here. I feel like I’m on WordPress a lot more often, because I maintain two WordPress-based blogs for work, so even I was a little surprised to see how long I’ve left you hanging here! Life has been a little bit busier than usual, but fortunately it’s been with all good things! I shall now attempt to get you up to speed without boring you.
I finished my second novel, SIREN: THE EXILE, and realized about halfway through writing it that it needs a second part, so I’ll have to write a sequel to resolve everything I left hanging in the first book. That’s OK. I feel like the protagonist really has a chance to grow by being forced to do yet another thing she doesn’t want to, but this time to help not only herself but others as well. My group of “early readers” is chewing on it now; I should hear back from them by 6/30 with anything that stood out to them – things that worked really well, things that didn’t, things they didn’t understand, things they loved, etc. Hopefully more love than not, but it’s good to know what doesn’t work so I can fix it.
I’ve also been thinking about self-publishing. The search for an agent has been going on for almost a year now – though I’ll admit I’ve done no querying in the past few months due to all the other stuff going on – and I’m wondering about whether I should more seriously consider self publishing. On one hand, I really want the blessing of a professional who believes in my work. On the other, all my life I’ve had a history of only every wanting to do things the “proper” way, i.e. the hard way, and it has often meant that I miss out on something good. I’m getting to the point that maybe I should just put my work out there and see what happens – it’s worked for others. I mean, Fifty Shades of Grey started out as porny Twilight fanfiction on the internet – and look at it now! So the internet is JUST as legit a place to get started as the old way, and it’s just as much work tirelessly querying agents as it would be to self-promote, so the reasons not to self-pub are getting smaller and smaller. But I’m not quite ready to make the jump. What would you do?
In addition to creative writing, I’ve also started making YouTube videos. I’ve done a few before, when I was reviewing my Birchbox and Ipsy subscriptions, but frankly no one really watched or liked them; I was just some other loser with a camera and no one cared. But this time it’s going really well – lots of subscribers (I mean, I don’t think YouTube is going to ask me to be a partner or send me a plaque anytime soon, but my following, while still small, has grown more quickly than I ever thought it would), and all I’m doing is talking to people about some of the things I love most in this world – planners, paper, and journals. How did that all start?
I don’t even really remember how exactly, but I managed to stumble into the world of the Midori Travelers Notebook. Not much of a stretch there, really – I love paper, planners, journals, and Japanese things – and the Midori is all that and more. So I bought one, set it up, and then started wandering around YouTube – OH! I remember. It was a YouTuber called TheLittleInk. I came across her channel and started watching her journal flips. She was working in a Midori, and I fell in love. THAT’S when I decided to buy one and do some journal-building of my own.
The YouTube research continued, and the creativity exploded my brain in a whole new way. It wasn’t much of a jump to TheResetGirl and her #listersgottalist challenge, and from there I was totally hooked on decorating and beautifying my journals to make them not just functional but fun. I’ve always had a thing for collaging my notebooks, so it came naturally, and I’ve had SO MUCH FUN on YouTube and Instagram getting to know, through their journals, some of the amazing women who make up this online paper community. ^_^ My own videos are on hiatus for a few weeks. Why?
MOVING! Of all the things that have kept me super busy over the past few months, the biggest time-taker has definitely been the search for a house. Matt and I finally found one we love, though – both the house and the town/neighborhood it’s in – and if all goes according to plan and the loan comes through on time, we’ll close on 5/29 and move in over the course of June. I’m particularly excited because the town we’re moving to is very bicycle-friendly – I can ride my bike to the bank or the store or the library, or to the center of town. Actually I should look into getting a cup holder on the front of the bike, so I can ride along with some Starbucks, LOL. The location will also cut about 15 minutes off my commute, which is VERY appealing. The house has a big backyard for the dog to run around in (though it’s not fenced, which is kind of a bummer) and a cute little shed in the back, a nice back deck, a sunroom, a garage (very handy for putting stuff in while we’re moving), and a nice, dry basement. There are 2 parks within walking distance, a great Parks & Recreation program, good schools, a decent downtown area…the list goes on. I’m so excited to move. Not least because among all this other great stuff, I also get to order new return address stamps. The paper addiction never ends. 😉
One of Matt’s co-workers is expecting a baby with his wife around the same time we’ll be moving, so with the knowledge that we’ll have to work quickly to get everything repainted so we’ll have time to move the big stuff before he has to go back to work, we’ve already got our paint palette for the whole place picked out. We’re doing a blues/grays/yellow-base neutrals theme – think the colors of an Atlantic beach. My two favorite things to look forward to are the dark blue dining room and my study/library/creative space, which will be a medium-light gray with a charcoal accent wall. It’s going to be heavenly. Matt’s got this idea of a red room, which I’m not crazy about – not only because I don’t particularly fancy red rooms to begin with but also because red spits in the face of the rest of the palette. Luckily he’s open to at least a little reason, which I hope to use to show him that a red kitchen next to a dark blue dining room is not a good idea. At least not if he ever wants to see me in the kitchen cooking anything, because red is one of my least favorite colors for a room, second only to purple. Blech.
Once we found the house, all the time we spent going to look at properties translated into me getting PACKING FEVER. I want to put everything away and be ready to go at the drop of a hat, which is pretty much impossible because Matt’s idea of packing is “oh crap, it’s moving day,” and he’s been giving me a hard time about having boxes around. So at this point it’s just wiser to wait until he’s off painting the place so I can focus on packing in peace. I’ll have about 8 days to get the little stuff off the big stuff and into boxes so we can move the big stuff with a rented truck. Then, because we’re overlapping the first month in the new house with the final month in our rented condo, we’ll have a couple of weeks after the “big move” to bring the smaller stuff over in batches.
And that’s pretty much it. At the moment I’m super focused on packing and on being ready for the move – to the point that I’m waking up in the middle of the night thinking about it – so I’m not doing a lot of writing. Not surprising, though; my brain tends to need a break of a few weeks after finishing a book draft, though I always feel guilty in those weeks that I’m not constantly generating output. But taking some downtime between projects is nice, and I’ve certainly got other stuff going on right now.
I’ll be glad to get out of this condo complex; I hate feeling like I live in a glorified parking lot, and I hate having so many neighbors so close, especially this one woman who is just…there are a lot of things I don’t like about our neighbors and the place we live, let’s just leave it at that, so leaving all that behind is just icing on the cake of getting our house and moving to a friendly neighborhood in an awesome town where we’ve got a little more space to be ourselves.
So that’s where we’re at. You can check out my YouTube videos here, or follow me on Instagram @thepapermagpie, and I’ll try to be back here more often. ^_^ See ya!