Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Big Changes

Wow it's been like two months since I've posted. In my defense, my life has been CRAZY! In the last two months:

  • We moved! It actually happened! We sold our house and bought a new one and everyone made it to the new place in one piece!  Moving is terrible! I can't find my stuff! I have a ton of unpacking and projects to do! My new neighborhood is great, though. The house is great too, although we've already had a few hiccups. On to the next bullet!
  • We had a ton of rain and then water leaked into my mom's room in the basement. BOO! Our friend/contractor came over last weekend and he and Adam graded the ground on that side of the house--apparently it was somewhat sloped down toward the house, which isn't good. We've had a good 5 dry days but more rain in expected tomorrow so fingers crossed that it's fixed the problem!
  • We had to have some electrical work that was supposed to be done after inspection repaired, which was super annoying. Then we had our friend/contractor fix it some more. We'd asked that all the ungrounded 3 prong plugs in the basement be grounded, but the replaced them with 2 prong grounded plugs, which these days are pretty useless! Since we needed to plug in computers and the like, our friend changed them out.
  • Did I mention our neighbors are so nice? The realtor that sold the house lives across the street with her husband (who I recently found out is the dad of a guy I went to high school with). Two doors down from them is a guy around my age that works at Tyler's school. He brought over coupons for Macy's the first weekend. We also met the neighbors on both sides of us. There is an elderly lady to one side and a middle aged couple on the other. We are particularly fond of Mary (who is deaf and I'm fascinated by sign language)  and her husband Kevin. Kevin found out that our mower had died (literally the week before we moved) and I looked out my back window one evening and Kevin was mowing our grass. SO NICE!
  • Where did I leave off with the book? I think I mentioned we were seeking out professional editing. Our publisher recommended a couple of people and we ended up working with a guy named Rob. His price was fair and he was very willing to edit without making huge plot changing suggestions. He cleaned up our technical writing a lot (God bless him, I hate that part) and made some great suggestions that we were able to incorporate with only minor edits and additions, but that I really feel make a big difference. And he's just all around a really nice guy and he really seemed to like the book and admire our writing. He was particularly impressed by our synergy writing together.
  • Once we incorporated Rob's edits, we sent the book back to our publisher. About a week ago, we got the edits and their smart-edit report back. This publisher offers this report on all books they publish--basically, it's a list of possible grammatical errors, commonly misused words, works that are possibly overused, and other such things that their computer program can recognize. They are very clear that you can chose to make no changes based on the report. I thought it was pretty helpful and made a good deal of very minor tweaks, most of them on the repetitive word issue. The manuscript went back to the publisher late Sunday night and now we are OFFICIALLY in the production queue! A publishing date should be coming very soon, along with their proposal for our cover art!  So exciting!
  • I got a promotion at work! I've done the same job for 11 years (at least in title, although the job has changed a lot over the years) and I've been searching for a new opportunity with my company for a long time. It's been difficult. We are a large corporation, but my office is relatively small and opportunities are very limited. About a year ago, my boss helped me make a big push to take on leading the group of people that do the same job as I did. The girl that coordinated the group ended up going on maternity leave (she was the one who was due around the same time I would have been with Gabe), so I performed a lot of her duties while she was out. When she returned, she didn't really go back to doing that portion of her job. They posted the job as a hybrid-type role--someone who would have regular shipping and invoicing duties (that's what I do (did)) and also act as coordinator and lead the team--train new associates, update work instructions, liaison with other departments, develop new process, etc. I am very happy that I got the opportunity and I had a lot of support. It's a lot of work, but I'm glad to be more challenged again.
  • Unfortunately on the work front, I'm really juggling things at work now, covering for a coworker that is out on medical leave and preparing to cover for an invoicer that is leaving as of next week. Remember when I did the Canadian invoicing and then went to Ontario to train their new hire. Well, she's leaving. So now I'll be doing that again.
  • Aside from that, there has been birthdays, field trips, and not nearly enough sleep!
Oh, one last thing! Kelly and I created a separate website for author/book stuff. If you'd like to follow us there, just visit positivevoicewrites.wordpress.com . All of our social media is linked there as well.

What a year I'm having!  The book, the job, and the house have been things I've wanted for a long time and they are all going to become a reality in the course of a few months! It's awesome and overwhelming!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

10th Blogoversary!!!

10 years!  I have been writing (on and off, but I had posts every year) here for 10 years! Granted, I have very few readers, but still, I have to give myself points for longevity. Maybe I just like to hear myself talk?  LOL anyway, I'm still here and man, a lot has been documented here in the last 10 years--high points and low points.  I've documented the birth of my kids, my losses, my infertility journey, the joys of motherhood and marriage, the trials over everyday life, fitness journeys, new homes (more to this coming VERY soon!), and now my journey as an author.  There are posts that are merely funny and some filled with deep thoughts and self-exploration.  I know not many people read my ramblings, but I go back and read them sometimes and I'm glad I have them written here.


So if you're reading, thanks.  And past me, thanks for taking the time to document these memories.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Work in Process

It's starting to feel more real! After signing our contract to publish our book with Black Rose Writing, we started researching professional editors. Black Rose does some editing, but very minor, and the recommend you consider this. We decided it was worth it to put the best product possible out there. I contacted several editors for quotes and we settled on an editor who was really excited about our story. He's working on the book now and should have his edits to us this coming week!  We're setting up a call with him to discuss his suggestions--although we made it clear we were looking for grammar, punctuation, spelling, continuity, etc, not plot or character changes.  He mentioned that he felt we didn't need a lot of editing compared to what he usually sees and also that he was impressed by our synergy--being able to blend our writing styles together seamlessly. I'm excited to see what he thinks!

We also had some photos taken of use last week for our bio. A friend of Kelly's (my friend and co-author) did the photos and I really love how they are turning out so far (she took a ton and is still editing). Kelly and I both hate getting our pictures taken, but I think we got the best shots possible. Some of the shots were from a park right across the street from where I grew up. The rest were done at a business nearby that is covered with professional graffiti.

So by the end of the week we should have the edited manuscript back, then I need to start going over the changes. We also decided to change the setting from a fictional town in Ohio to a fictional town here in Indiana. We've been hearing so much about the issues from our book here where we live that we decided it was important to "bring it home" so to speak. I'm guessing the editing process will take me a couple of weeks. I'm hoping to get the final draft to the publisher by mid April or the first of May at the latest. That time line might have gotten more important (and difficult) as of this week, because we have an offer pending on our house. I don't want to say much yet, but things might get crazy very very soon so wish me luck to juggle all of this!

Once our publisher gets the draft back, they'll put it through their editing process and then we'll start talking cover art, publicity, marketing, etc. Wow, this is for real!

Here are a few of the best shots from our photo shoot.
Besties and co-authors.
Kelly - The creative mind that came up with our novel.


What a cool background!

Us in black and white

This is probably my favorite single shot

Just me

Monday, February 20, 2017

Belated Eight

Bad Mommy!  I missed doing Tyler's birthday post!  In my defense, it has been BANANAS lately. Work is busy, we've got the house listed and we're house shopping, etc etc, etc. Anyway, I missed it. My baby boy turned 8 on January 28th and I have to mark the occasion.
Toothless cutie!

This year, Tyler's birthday was on a Saturday, so we ate lunch with him at school on Friday. I also brought M&M cookies for his class. Saturday, we had a nice lunch with my dad. Angie and her b/f Jon also came. We had O'Charley's, Tyler's favorite. We went home and I planned to make cupcakes.  I turned on the oven to pre heat it while I mixed the batter.  When I went to put them in, the oven was still stone-cold. 

Of course.

Long story short, something in the oven had stopped working. We were able to fix it after a couple of days, so no big deal in the end, but we had to make due with store bought cupcakes.

Gifts and his Gaga's favorite potato soup finished the day!  Almost.  After he went to bed, he actually started throwing up! :( Poor guy. He actually had a stomach bug (or something) twice in two weeks!

So who is Tyler at 8 years old?

He's a smart cookie. He is a solid A student at school, maybe one B in handwriting (he got that curse from me).  He was slipping on his reading tests a little, so we started working harder on reading comprehension and now he's right back to his high scores.

He still loves all things electronics. We used to limit "screentime" with him, but we've slowly let that go. It's just what he likes. He's no couch potato and he does play games and read some too, but he's just not into toys too much.

He does love a collection. Yo Kai Medals, Pokemon cards, and stuff animals are just a few of the things he's collecting right now.  We just got him a new bed to help fit all his animals! He insists on toting a bunch downstairs every day, so we got him a little grocery bag (TMNT of course) to carry them in.

Still a picky eater! That really hasn't changed much. I'm still hoping that he'll expand his food likes someday.

He weighs 52 lbs and is 4 ft tall. He's smaller than average, but right on track for him.

He tells a great story, he's so darn cute! Especially right now, because he's missing a couple teeth (see evidence of this cuteness in the pics).

I love him to bits, that sweet, sensitive, smart little man!



Checking out his bday loot

Heartbreaker!

Friday, February 17, 2017

I'm going to be an author...for real, this time.

We got a contract on the book!  On Tuesday (Valentine's Day), I got an email from Black Rose Writes, a publisher based in Texas.  They were offering us a contract to publish our novel!  I saw the email on my phone--I was at work at the time.  As a matter of fact, I spent the work week training a new hire, which meant long days and juggling the training while still trying to keep up with some of my work.  I couldn't do much until I got home in the evening, so I spent Tuesday night doing research on the publisher (I had done some research when we sent the query to them, but this time I was digging for anything that might make us wary of signing with them). They are a fairly young publisher and they're small--but really, that's fine with us. I read through the contract and asked a few other people to do the same. Kelly and I emailed back and forth and after much consideration, we signed the contract on Thursday.

So it's really happening. We will officially be authors. Our "book" will become a REAL book, with pages and a cover and our names on it.

Holy crap.

Once we signed on the dotted line, our publisher (eeek) sent us a bunch of documents going over the steps in the process. This will all lead to a publishing date of sometime in July-August.

So it's really happening.  I remember sitting in my creative writing classes in college, reading a rejection for the school's literary magazine, and vowing that someday I'd be a published author.  For me, it's not about royalties or best sellers lists.  It was a goal, and one I wasn't sure would be reached.  This is a big deal.

I'm sure I'll be documenting this process here, but I'm also including our social media information below.  A good author markets herself every chance she gets!

If you're reading this and have any experience in the professional literary field, we'd love to get a review or quote from you to go on our book cover!  You can contact me via our Facebook page listed below!



www.facebook.com/positivevoice02
Twitter: @positivevoice02

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Dear Gabriel

Dear Gabriel,
Today I should be holding you in my arms.

Well, logically I know you'd have been born before today. Since your brother Tyler was an almost failed induction (and a three month recovery from the "success") and your brother AJ was born via C-Section, we were going to schedule your birth. But still, by today you would have been here with all of us.  And you're not, which makes Mommy very sad today.

My little boy.  In the months since you had to leave us, I've thought of you every day.  I've watched other mommies as their time came near and now I've watched as they brought their sweet babies into the world. I'm so happy for them, but it's a sad reminder that you and I will never share that moment.

I am so grateful for the time we had together. You were such a surprise to me, I really wasn't expecting for you to come into my life when you did.  You were a gift for me, the day before Mother's Day. It seemed meant to be!  For the first time, I got to surprise our family with the news that you were coming.  Daddy laughed, Gaga screamed, and Aunt G cried!  Your big brother helped me make little owl crafts--one from Tyler, one from AJ, and one from you.  We gave them to your Gaga for Mother's Day to tell her about you.

I carried you for just 11 and a half weeks. That doesn't seem so long, and it seems unfair that it was your entire lifetime.  I'm so sorry for that.  I feel as though I failed you, that my body failed us both.  I wish I could have done more to keep you here.

You were strong, my Gabe.  Everyone said so.  When your life was threatened at 8 weeks, everyone said you were strong to still be with us then.  And I'm so glad I got to see you.  Four times I got to see you on the screen, watch your little heart beating--so fast! Your Daddy and I got to see you wave your arms and even nodd your head!  It was a special moment, and one I cherish, so thank you for that.  I know in the end, it was just too much.

We miss you, Gabe. Mommy misses you. Daddy and Gaga and Tyler and AJ and Aunt Chall and Aunt G, we all miss you. People knew about you. I tried to make sure of that.  You were loved, you will always be loved.

Thank you for coming into my life, however briefly. I will always remember you and love you. As the boys grow older, I'll remind them that they had another brother.  They will know you.  I'll show them the little purple box (sorry, I didn't know you were a boy when I bought it and you know I love purple) and it's contents. They'll know of you as I know of your Aunt Nicky.

Watch over us with her and Butterfly, will you?

Love you always, to the moon and back.
Mommy

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Ready for 2017!

After my last post the whole house got sick!  BOO! But we got everything done and the kids had an amazing Christmas. It was quiet and simple and great.  

Obviously 2016 was not all I'd hoped it would be. On the bright side, I'd like to think I'm stronger for it. And hopefully good things await in 2017!

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?  I made my first strides toward becoming a published author

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I didn't make resolutions really. We did finish working on the house and Kelly and I sent the book out. 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No one super close to me.

4. Did anyone close to you die? I lost my unborn son, Gabriel in June.

5. What countries did you visit? I didn't get to travel at all this year.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you didn’t have in 2016? I would like to be able to buy a bigger house that suits my growing family better! (same answer as the last three years). I'd also love it if the book was published

7. What dates from 2016 will be etched upon your memory, and why? May 7th (found out we were pregnant) and June 28 (found out he was gone)

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year? The house and the book.

9. What was your biggest failure?  Just didn't make the strides I'd hoped for.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?  Miscarriage and D&C

11. What was the best thing you bought? Didn't have the funds for much this year. I guess it was a good investment to work on the house. Hopefully, anyway.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? I give us all major props on surviving this year.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Ugh, Donald Trump.

14. Where did most of your money go? Bills and the house

15. What did you get really excited about? Actually getting to house hunt was fun.

16. What song will always remind you of 2016? Beam Me Up by Pink

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer? This year was a downer, honestly. So sadder, fatter (I need to delete this question), and poorer. But hey, it can only go up, I hope.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Finding ways to be positive

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Stressing out

20. How did you spend Christmas? We hung out at home. Angie's b/f came over, we did gifts and breakfast and just relaxed all day watching the kids enjoy their gifts and letting Tyler ride his bike outside since it wasn't to cold.

21. Did you fall in love in 2015? More and more every day with my husband and kids

22. What was your favorite TV program? Big Bang Theory, Dancing with the Stars, and The Little Couple

 23. What was the best book you read? The Martian

24. What was your greatest musical discovery? My loss playlist. It brought me great comfort.

25. What did you want and get? To finish the house and book

26. What did you want and not get? A promotion, publication, and a new house!

27. What was your favorite film of 2016? The Martian

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 34.  I actually had the day off. I don't remember doing anything much, but it was nice and low key and I DIDN'T HAVE TO WORK!

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? If there hadn't been quite so much to overcome.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2016 ? I'm still loving leggings and boots, especially my Candian boots and the new brown ones my mom got me. And I got a pair of "jogger" sweats yesterday and I think they might be my new lounge go-to.

31. What kept you sane? My hubby, my kids, my mom, my sisters, my family, my friends, and my coworkers! Talking and writing and laughing and music!

32. What political issue stirred you the most? Donald Trump is really going to be president.

33. Who did you miss? My sister, my grandparents and my great aunt and my little Gabriel.

 34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.  What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

 35. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. "I hear your voice and I break in two and now there's one of me with you." Pink "Beam Me Up"