Catching up…

 Catching up…

 

Now that the holidays are behind us and things have settled back into a routine more or less; I’m adjusting to balancing work with the challenges of grad school. I absolutely LOVE grad school and am biding my time until I can enjoy the fruits of my labor.In the meantime, I spend too much time trying to figure out how some people manage to tie their own shoes. I can honestly say it makes me nervous that these people wander around unsupervised because they really shouldn’t be left without full time adult supervision despite the fact that they are adults.

I learned also that winter does come to the desert. Granted, it’s nothing like the winters in the Midwest, but after you become acclimated to abnormally warm weather anything below 60 degrees feels like the Artic. However, it should be back in the mid-70s in a couple of weeks. I used to laugh at people who put on winter coats in 60-degree weather because when it reached that in the spring in the Midwest, people were breaking out the shorts and celebrating. Now I am one of them.

I have received numerous emails lately in regards to when my books will be available again. I am hoping to have them all back on the market and in the stores my late spring. I’ve done a lot of soul searching with the direction I want to go with them. I’ve been fortunate to receive several offers from publishers who are interested in republishing my work and putting out my new ones, but I haven’t signed with anyone. And I’m not sure if I want too. The more research I do the more I am considering self-publishing so that I have full control over my work. I’m tired of everyone benefiting from all the hours, hard work, and tears I have invested into creating them. They are my babies and I want to make sure they are well taken care of and distributed for the world to enjoy. I will keep you posted on which direction I decide to go in.

But please be assured, regardless of what I decide, I am diligently working on Transferring Credits and Transcendence. I have shelved I Should Have Known… for the moment just because it needs some tweaking that I am struggling with in making the main male character more likable and able to bring the readers in to care about him. Hopefully, it will come to me soon, but until then I am focusing on the characters and the stories that I love.

Scarier than Jason and Freddy

freddy-vs-jasonWhat could be scarier than Jason and Freddy? Going on a date with Bobby and Trey. Dating in your 40s is more frightening than any Halloween movie I’ve ever seen! Dating is supposed to be the time that two people get to know one another and see if they have common interests, a physical attraction, a chemistry between them. Yet, they are more like mini-job interviews where you spend a couple hours with someone having a drink and/or dinner/lunch and scanning through their BS for red flags or deal breakers.

Both men seemed nice and normal enough when I first met them and accepted their invitations for dinner. Trey is a 54-year-old retired military air craft specialist (I was shocked when he told me his age because he looks in his mid-40s). He’s 6’6”, blond with clear blue eyes, and works out at least four days a week. He’s put together very nicely. He’s been divorced 13 years and has one daughter who is 26 years old.

Bobby, on the other hand, is a 47-year-old divorced attorney with teenage daughters and a son still in elementary school. He’s only 5’8”, but has stunning blue eyes and sandy brown hair. He claims he works out regularly, but his body shows no evidence of it. He’s not overweight, just soft. Sort of like everything else about his personality. He’s more sensitive than any woman I’ve ever met.

I’ve gone on a couple dates with each of them trying to decide which, if either, I have anything in common with. Trey took me to a nice dinner, we had a great conversation, and a wonderful time. Two days later I get the ‘I miss you’ text. Whoa….slam on the breaks there, Mister!

Bobby took me out for ice cream. He was sweet, funny, and I enjoyed talking with him. I quickly discovered that when he wore his glasses he was a full-blown attorney, but when he took them off he was easy to laugh and mildly entertaining. But after our second date he confessed that he had ‘googled’ me and not only perused through my author social media pages/sites/reviews; he had downloaded and listened to all my interviews since I first got published. Now while that can seem flattering, it felt more like stalking and creepy and made me very uncomfortable. If he was going to do something like that, he probably shouldn’t have told me about it. Five days after our second date he got so clingy because of my limited free time between work and grad school, I remarked to my daughter that perhaps I should bring him some warm milk, cookies, and a Snuggie to pacify him while I’m studying.

I can’t do clingy…

I can’t do needy…

I can’t do overly emotional…

Therefore, I thought I would give Trey a second chance and went out of a third date with him. Five minutes into it, I realized it was a mistake.

Oh well….

We all have deal breakers/red flags that we look out for – for the most part they’re pretty much universal. But entering the dating scene again and after this last adventurous month, I’ve discovered a couple more to add to my list:

 1. After two dates DO NOT tell me how I should be living my life!

2. Minor children and sometimes adult children living at home that you solely support can be a deal breaker (No, I’m not a bitch but I’ve raised by children and want to enjoy life without that added baggage)

3. Don’t complain to me about your four thousand dollars a month child support payment when I’m working two jobs!

4. While I command someone for getting the help they need, a man on depression medication and in therapy is not something I’m willing to tackle.

5. Whining to me about your ungrateful adult child and not being willing to make them stand on their own is your own fault, so stop bitching.

Of course, I am simplifying things immensely here and there is a lot that I haven’t confessed (red flags that appeared in conversations that I won’t make public), but you all get the gest. The fact is I’ve gotten extremely picky at this age – at least per my daughter, but I honestly feel I deserve to be. I know what I’m looking for and I refuse to settle for anything less. So, I suppose I’m going to remain single and enjoy the freedom it allots me.

Confession:  I love having my own place with no man expecting dinner on the table when he comes home. I love having sole ownership of the remote. I love coming and going as I please. I love not having to do the extra laundry or worry about what he wants when I go to the grocery store. I love working full time as a research analyst and part time as a sales associate at Kirklands (nothing better than earning a little extra and enjoying an employee discount when decorating a new home). I love going to grad school. And mostly, I love for the first time in 25 years I have full control over my life!

Still, there is always that one friend, that one best male friend, that you love more than life, who enjoys above all else ribbing you about the sad condition of your love life. He called me recently to thank me for the huge increase in his dividend check. Confused; I asked him what he meant. He said that thanks to my dry spell in the dating world, his dividend check from Duracell had quadrupled in the last two years!

 Talk about embarrassing! Well, at least someone is benefiting…

 Happy Halloween!!

New Horizons

Life changes pretty quickly, sometimes when you’re not even looking. Arizona has opened up so many new possibilities and opportunities that some days it’s hard to believe how drastically different my life is now from when I left Indiana eighteen months ago.

Arizona-Beer-Tours-Logo

My business, J.A.K. Ink, is growing quickly. The Great Arizona Beers Tours account has turned out to be a lot of fun. Even though I don’t drink beer (the downside of being allergic to wheat), I get to go on all the tours of the 99 breweries in Arizona. We’ll be heading down to Hemosillo, Sonora, Mexico on October 6th for a Showcase Conference. I’ve never been to Mexico so I am very excited. Unfortunately, it’s to far inland and there are no beaches nearby. Then, the weekend of the 15th  I get to take the tour bus up to Flagstaff for an overnight brewery tour of three breweries. Plus, I get to enjoy the fall foliage which is a rarity in the desert.

I am now on the board of the Young Writers Foundation and will be giving a presentation, a book signing, and sitting on a panel with other authors at a conference at Huntington University on October 22nd. It will be a great opportunity to meet young readers, writers, and people from various career fields. It should be an entertaining experience.

Needless to say it should be a very busy fall. Especially with the release of the first book in my new Trice Burned series, I Should Have Known … I’ve also got the first book in the spin-off to my EVE series, the Spirit Quest series, Transcendence releasing, hopefully, sometime around the holidays … if I can find the time to finish it up! Let’s not even focus on the fact that the third and final book in my With Honors series, Transferring Credits is slated for release on Valentine’s Day. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that I can aptly manage my time and keep everything on schedule.

 And in saving the best for last, I am very proud to say that I have finally applied for my graduate program to get my masters in psychology. Classes begin on October 26th and it will take two years to complete. I submitted my application, paperwork, and essay. Now I am at the fun stage of dealing with financial aid. It’s always such a joy.  I cannot say how excited I am to finally be going after something I have been dreaming about for a long time.  

 When I look back on the last year and a half I am stunned with how things have changed so much. I found my voice, my independence, and the strength to stand on my own. My career is in a great place and rising, I love my new apartment in Phoenix, and I have someone special in my life who, thankfully, has a demanding career as well so time together is even more special, but more importantly, he supports my independence and is understanding of my own demanding schedule. It has been a long time since I’ve been truly happy … and I am. I’m exhausted, but am truly happy.