NaNo Day 4

Okay. I wrote seven words today, lolz.

But I also went to my friend Gaye Sanders’ book signing for her debut!! And I walked around downtown with the husband for a while and played Pokemon Go. And I ate DIM SUM for the first time AND I ate a mushroom, what???

And then I did some writer stuff and tried to push my novel on Swoon Reads to my social media followers and friends. And then we watched two episodes of Stranger Things.

And then I got on the computer with four minutes to spare and wrote seven words so I could say I wrote every day and I logged it on my NaNo account and then here I am.

Yes, I wish I had written. But I don’t exactly regret today either. :)

NaNoWriMo ’17

So. It’s November 1 and yesterday I decided to do NaNo. I didn’t think I could because of my unfinished wip. Then I decided I could finish the wip for NaNo. I’m about 16K in and if I add 50K it would be dynamite. Of course, I had this same goal in 2015. And in ’16 I didn’t even attempt NaNo. I had a lot of weird stuff going on then though.

I have some trepidation because I haven’t written much in so long. I was so full of words before…now I’m just full of it, ha ha.

Maybe this will help me get my mind off of things that I can’t change. I’m generally content and peaceful, but there are a few things that still swirl in my mind and won’t let go. I believe I need to continue to learn how to live with the things I can’t change, but it’s easier said that done.

Anyway, I haven’t written yet, so I should probably save the words for NaNo right now.

Good luck to me.

Coffee shop musings

So I’m at this cool coffee shop in OKC while I’m typing this. I am, however, too chicken to ask the baristas if I can get the wifi password, so I’m going to post this later. I might use my phone’s hotspot. Depends on my mood when I get done, maybe. I’ve got a hot cocoa and biscotti and a glass of water. Plug in is nearby but I haven’t taken advantage. I’m in pretty good shape, battery-wise.

Anyway. I came into town early to help Ben with something at lunch. And now I have our SCBWI Oklahoma OKC Connect meeting in three hours, so it seemed kind of crazy to go home and basically turn back around. So I got brave and entered a place I’d never been before. Vintage Coffee. And it had one of my greatest fears – front doors you can’t see into. So there’s no way to really know what’s inside. But I got smart and looked the place up on facebook, so at least I had an idea of what to except. Once inside, I figured out where to stand to get my order taken and then I relocated to a plushy chair in the corner where I can observe everyone easily. Bliss.

I have several things I can work on today. I read through my wip the other day and got a good vibe for it again. I dislike some of the things that happen – it seems very surface in some spots – but I remember it was that way when I first did it but I just decided to do the rough draft and then go back and fix. It’s just such a complicated, issues-heavy book. I didn’t want to get bogged down on the first time through. I did, anyway, though. So I’ve been trying to decide if I was going to go back and try to fix the shallow parts, or if I would just keep powering through. I guess I’ll just keep going. I’m not even a third of the way through, so I really need to keep after it. So that’s project one.
Project two is the fanfic that I haven’t worked on. But that one should probably wait until I work on the wip. I mean, if I was desperate to work on the fanfic, I’d probably put it first, but this is actually a hard premise for me, so I don’t mind waiting on it. And that’s better anyway. I used to do fic on weekends and the real stuff during the week. That would be a nice rut to get back into.

Project three is the blog. I have lots of things I do each day, so I don’t see why I can’t do this that way too. I just need to have a plan. I still want to the 100 journal entries. And I like doing things to promote my local SCBWI and the members. And I have a new idea to start giving snaps to my agent’s other clients, because a lot of them are doing AMAZING things and deserve the recognition…even if it’s just from my obscure blog.

Mondays I’m probably not going to do anything, due to our homeschool co-op. But I should be able to blog other days, though. But should I do it multiple times a week or just once, at a minimum? I don’t know what schedule would keep me at it in a more consistent manner. I know it’s important to write regularly, to stretch that writing muscle. Of course, I also have journals and things that I write and just keep at home, either on the computer or in a book. Those are generally personal enough that they will not be appearing on the blog. And how much do people really want from my personal thoughts anyway?

I used to be more open with things, I guess. I did livejournal regularly and was very active on social media. But now I’ve pulled back. Maybe because I have a lesser need for external validation? I also think I have less of a need lately to please everyone. My biggest reason to be on social media so much before was to please people and FOMO. Honestly, there’s pretty much only one reason for me to be on social media anymore – apart from work-related things – and it is FOMO in a way, but not like it used to be. Missing out on most things doesn’t really concern me any more.

Anyway, enough cryptic talk for now.
Muse is on the speakers at the coffee shop. I’m going to take that as a sign. A sign of what, I don’t know. But I think it’s positive.

In like a lion

So it’s March!

Biggest news for me so far is that I finished my final revisions for Maybe, Baby and sent them to my agent. That was yesterday. Fingers crossed that she thinks we’re ready to go on submission.

I’m ready to get back into a regular writing schedule (FINALLY). That’s good because I have a couple of projects that have been simmering for a while. I thought it might be a good idea to put them right here and maybe have a little bit of accountability, lolz.

So. Things I want to accomplish – ideally in 2017.

–I want to finish my halfway completed first draft of Liddy Chatterley’s Lover. I know what I need to go back and fix, and where I want to go from there. It’s really a matter of just powering through the tough middle parts.

–Project two is writing the first draft of a novel I’ve been playing around with in my head for a year now. Working title is Hunting Down Dylan.

–After I get that one done, I get to write the first draft of my newest idea. Working title is Taco Bell Wedding.

–Keep updating the blog with better regularity. Like…once a week would be crackerjack. Once a month would be acceptable. I’m not a machine, ya’ll.

–Doing more and better publicity for SCBWI Oklahoma.

–I also want to continue working on my fanfic, but just a little bit. I can’t believe I haven’t done anything there in more than a year. I want to write more on at least one of my unfinished fics. More would be nice but I’m not going to make myself crazy over that. I hope to work on this when I’m taking a break from my main projects. Keep my writing fresh and all that.

–And, of course, I know there will be lots of editing and revising on these and other projects. Plus, you know, real life.

Here we go.

2016, for me

A lot of people hated 2016. I can understand why. I know all the terrible things that happened in the year we’ve just ended. And I can emphasize. But my 2016 was possibly the best year of my entire life.

It didn’t start out that way, though.

Oh, I was happy enough when January came. Really happy, actually. I’d just signed with my wonderful agent a few months before, and I was very optimistic about the book she was going to submit for me. I think we’d gotten the manuscript where we wanted it at that point, and it was going out. But I can’t remember for sure. But I was optimistic and excited for the future, working on a new project, writing my just-for-fun fanfiction like crazy, and feeling so positive every single day.

Then something happened to me at the beginning of February that shook things up a lot. I don’t really want to delve into the specifics, but I only wrote one thing at that time – a fanfiction chapter that I’d been planning for a while. It took one day and I posted it and said I’d do more and I didn’t. I hope I do more with it in the future though. This new thing took up all of my time and attention, and I didn’t even have time to write. It was a very happy time for me.

But like Robert Frost said, nothing gold can stay. And when my project began to fall apart, I was left grasping at the wind. As the days dragged on, I fell into the darkest time my soul had ever experienced – even more than when loved ones had died in the past. I couldn’t understand why this affected me so greatly. I had several strange illnesses fall on me at the same time, and I felt like I would never find hope or joy again.

I read a lot. Nothing that was really important to me, but just something to pass the time. I would sit on my porch and read and read. Because if I wasn’t reading, I was thinking. And that was unbearable. But I had do something to fill the endless days, stretching onward to forever.

I didn’t write. I didn’t do any edits. I avoided people as much as I could. When I did have to get out, I hid it the best I could, but I was so broken inside. I found enough strength to finally contact a therapist, and I began seeing her at the end of April. It helped. Somewhat. But I was still so confused and full of sorrow. And it shouldn’t have affected me like that. It shouldn’t have. But it did. And that was all there was to it.

Sometime in May, I reread a book that had always meant a lot to me – “I’m Gonna Bury You” by Gene Neill. I had been given this book as a teenager and read it many times. This man’s journey to God was always inspiring to me. I decided to give it away, so I reread it first.

And for the first time, I noticed something. New the end, the author mentioned a book that he had enjoyed by a man named Merlin Carothers. I was intrigued by the thought of a book that had helped the man who had inspired me so much. So I took a photo of the book title with my phone. A few weeks later, I ordered a copy on Amazon. It came, I read it.

And that’s when things began to change for me. Most of Carothers’ works are about finding joy in everything in your life through thanking God, and praising Him for it all. And it says everything. Good and bad. It’s scriptural – in the Bible it says to rejoice in all things. So I decided to give it a try.

As the days turned to weeks, I began to change inside. I once again found hope where there had been none. And I began to feel truly thankful and close to God. The more I thanked Him for everything in my past and present, the more I learned to trust Him and be at peace with what was happening in my life.

I still had trouble. A lot of trouble. But I kept reading, and praising, and praying, and learning about more scriptural teachings, and things kept steadily getting better. Even when I had setbacks, I would come around within a day or two. I kept talking to my counselor, confiding in my husband, and praying. I had several Christian books on all types of subjects that I read every day. It would usually take me between two and four hours to get through my devotional time every day. But I didn’t mind it – I enjoyed it…and I’d never experienced that before in my life. I highlighted key verses in my Bible and took pictures of important thoughts from all my books, so I could read over them later. I’ve been a born-again Christian for a very long time…but this was something new. Something more real and vibrant than I’d ever experienced.

This went on for some time. Lots of good days, a few bad. Overall I was surviving. I still wasn’t writing. I still had my mind on the things had had happened earlier in the year, and what I had lost. And I kept trying to determine how to manipulate the situation. How to fix everything. How to help things.

And then November came. The year was almost complete. At the beginning of that month, I would not have said 2016 was all that great. I was excited about the new relationship I was experiencing with God, and I was so grateful for it, but I was still confused and hurting…even though I was thanking God for the confusion and the pain! But then something changed in me. I know the exact date – November 11. I was wasting time as usual (and feeling guilty about it, as usual) reading things online. And then I read something that changed everything. It was like a switch turned on for me and suddenly I could see the light.

And I can’t even tell what it is, because it’s odd. It doesn’t really make sense. But it does to me. And that’s what matters.

I have never, ever, felt a peace like I do now. And it’s been strong and consistent this entire time. I no longer worry about things. I am truly filled with a peace beyond all understanding. I still thank God for everything, and I praise Him each day. I completely trust Him with everything in my life, and I am willing to go wherever He leads me.

And self-love! Oh, man, I finally understand this concept! When that big thing suddenly clicked in my mind in November, I really loved myself…maybe for the first time in my life. I love myself unconditionally. And others I love? Also unconditional. I do not need anyone else in the world to do anything for me any more. I choose to be with the ones I love, and I want to be with them…but I don’t need them. I will still be whole and be me regardless. Not needing them doesn’t mean I don’t love them – I suddenly loved them even more. They don’t have to do anything to earn my love. My love is there, always and forever, regardless of the circumstance or choice.

I’m so free. I’m so free, ya’ll! I don’t even know how to express it fully. I finished my revision and got it to my agent. I’m getting ready to start back on my unfinished manuscript. And I’m starting to think a little bit about fan fiction. It’s just so freeing! No matter what happens in life, I have God. And I have me. Those are the only two things I really, really need. Everyone and everything else is wonderful blessings heaped on top of an already complete and fulfilled life. And it’s mine!

And this is why 2016 was the best year I ever had. All the suffering and pain, all the long days and endless nights full of questions and doubts and misery…they were all worth it. I’d go through them again a million times if the way I feel now is the end result.

And the thing is…I’m not even describing it well enough. I’m a writer but there are no words for the unspeakable joy that is within my soul 100 percent all of the time. But it’s blissful. And I don’t think I’m ever going to lose it again.

I want to thank everyone who has been with me in one form or another, loving me when I couldn’t love myself, through so many years. I especially appreciate those who loved me in 2016, when I was in the dark night of the soul. I finally found the light and I am honestly, truly well.

May the joy of the Lord be with you always. <3

The Tsar’s Guard Parade

Guard Banner

I’m very honored to be a part of the Tsar’s Guard and to be participating in the Tsar’s Guard parade, spreading the word about the upcoming sensation, THE CROWN’S GAME by the amazing Evelyn Skye!!

Guys, I’ve totally read this book.

Okay. That’s not true. April Fools, hilarious. I figured that since I got the luck of the draw at getting this day, I should try to do something, no matter how lame.

But I know some things about it. I’ve preordered from the Amazon page. I’ve read the Buzz  excerpt. I’ve viewed the trailer. Also, I know Evelyn, like, personally, and I’ve read another, unpublished novel of hers, and so I’m practically an expert.

She’s a great writer. And a great person. And if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have my agent. For reals. That’s why I’m so honored to even be part of this. I’ve stressed about it since I applied to be a part, because I didn’t think my stop on the parade would measure up to everyone else. But I do know that if nothing else, I can completely and without hesitation recommend this book.

The Tsar’s Guard Parade also includes a giveaway for an ARC of the book. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

CrownsGame hc cTitle: THE CROWN’S GAME

Author: Evelyn Skye

Release Date: May 17th, 2016

Pages: 416

Publisher: Balzer+Bray

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

 

About Evelyn:
Evelyn Skye head shot high resEvelyn Skye was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on “So You Think You Can Dance,” and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. When she isn’t writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies. THE CROWN’S GAME is her first novel. Evelyn can be found online at www.evelynskye.com and on Twitter @EvelynSkyeYA.

 

Website | Twitter |Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr | Instagram

 

 

Giveaway Details:

 

1 winner will receive an ARC of THE CROWN’S GAME. International.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Rafflecopter

 

Find the complete Tsar’s Guard Parade Schedule at Evelyn Skye’s website!

#ok16scbwi

So. It’s February. Cold and wind and ick, right?

But today was different. The wind wasn’t attacking, the clouds were in hiding, and the thermometer was reasonable. It was a crazy seventy-four degrees today, so I went for a walk.

Even though I knew I was supposed to have already published this blog post, in anticipation for the conference. Whoops.

After all, the conference is sixty-five days away, right? There’s time.

But then…I went for my walk. And whoa it was nice outside. And suddenly, spring didn’t seem that far away anymore. Spring is just about here, and the conference is coming with it. And that’s exciting. But it also means that it’s time to dust off the manuscripts and get ready.

I just procrastinated here because this is such a rambly post, and went to twitter. Our social media coordinator, Valerie, mentioned that she was looking forward to some great animated gifs in this post. So I’m going to go find one now.

best croissant everBest croissant ever.

So, if you’re a procrastinator like me, you’ll really want to get going on this thing, because there’s less than a week before the deadline for paid critiques and pitch sessions and other awesome stuff like that. That deadline is Feb. 17. That’s seriously coming up.

You can check it all out on the Oklahoma SCBWI web site, and then get signed up.

Do that first. And then eat your croissant. But it won’t be as good as hers.

 

 

The last day of 2015

This has been a year that I will never forget. It was a year that brought me back to a season of joy – a lifting of my spirits and a peace that I hope, through the grace of God, will continue for many years to come.

This was the year that the goal was achieved. The year someone said, “Yes. What you are doing IS worthy. And we’ll meet that next goal together.”

This was the year I was blessed to be offered representation by my literary agent, Rena Rossner.

In the grand scheme of things, I really hadn’t been trying for all that long. Many, many people try to find an agent for much longer than I did. But I was still filled with doubt. I believed I had talent, but maybe it wasn’t going to happen. I’d been trying for several years. I had written six books. I just couldn’t get to the next step.

Here’s something I wrote early last year:

It’s 2015.

I’m starting to realize that I will probably never be traditionally published. I still don’t want to self-publish.

I guess I’ll be okay. I’ve written six novels that I love. But if no one ever sees them but my friends and family, them’s the breaks.

But I’m not me if I’m not a writer. This is what I wanted my entire life. I don’t know what I’m going to do.

I know. Woe is me, right? But I really was hurting. And I wanted it so badly. I’m lucky. I don’t have a lot of experience with not reaching goals I’d set for myself. But it made it really hard to accept.

BUT…I didn’t accept it, did I? I kept repeating to myself something I’d read on agent Mandy Hubbard’s website long, long ago (Mandy was the first agent to ever request additional pages from me, for PAIRS). It said (paraphrased from memory): The only difference between a published writer and an unpublished writer is that one didn’t quit. Don’t quit.

Those little words were what I reminded myself of again and again. Even though it felt hopeless sometimes. Even though I felt alone and stupid and completely out of my league.

And now…I’m so happy. I’m ecstatic. This has seriously been the most joyous holiday season I’ve had in a very long time, and it’s because I’m so at peace right now. Having Rena as my agent is just so freaking grand that I can’t think of words good enough to describe it.

ive never been better

One year ago tonight, I was disappointed that I hadn’t reached my goal in 2014. I was frightened that I never would. And I was depressed about not achieving what I’d set out to do – to share my stories, and my characters, with readers. And now, as we slip closer and closer to 2016, I’m so optimistic. So positive. So ready to see what the future holds.

I know it won’t always be easy. I know there’ll be rejections, even at this step. And when I’m published, there’ll be negative reviews. Disappointments. Regret.

But tonight, that’s not on my mind. Tonight, I’ll relish the pleasure of accomplishing the thing I wanted most in 2015, and I’ll look forward to 2016 with a smile. No matter what comes next, I know that I won’t be facing it alone.

If you’re still working toward your goals as a writer (I still am, too!), then don’t quit. If I can succeed, you can too.

The only difference between a published writer and an unpublished writer is that one didn’t quit. Don’t quit.

<3

 

I have an agent!

IT HAS HAPPENED.

And I am so excited to announce that I am now represented by literary agent Rena Rossner of The Deborah Harris Agency!

yes

Every time I write that, it seems a little more real. It has happened!

But I already said that.

So.

Here is the story of how I got an amazing, perfect agent!!!

I went into this journey like many, with an optimistic attitude and a fresh new novel. First off, I was astounded that I was able to complete an entire novel at all. That was my sci-fi, PAIRS. And yeah, I still love it. And so did my betas.

But I didn’t get an agent with it.

But that was okay. Keep writing. Keep trying. So I did. I wrote THE LAST LETTERBOXES. I poured my heart and soul into it. And I queried that.

And I didn’t get an agent with it.

wait what 2

But I DID get chosen in Pitch Wars, an incredible contest ran by author Brenda Drake. Back in the olden days (2013), mentors in Pitch Wars selected a mentee and two alternates and helped polish their query and manuscript for submission to agents. And I was lifted out of the slush pile by the amazing, gifted Evelyn Skye, who helped me, and guided me, through a query revision and the first few chapters of THE LAST LETTERBOXES. It got SO MUCH BETTER thanks to her wisdom.

The first chapter was posted online, for agents to read and request. And request they did. I got ELEVEN requests, which was kind of a big deal. It was going to happen. Finally.

But…it didn’t. I got a lot of nice rejection letters.

And the nicest rejection letter of all came from Rena Rossner.

I teared up when I was reading it. She read my story (MY STORY!!) in one sitting. And it made her cry more than once. But ultimately, she thought she wasn’t quite the best person for it, and she referred me to a friend. And the friend seemed enthusiastic. So on we went.

But then…that agent never responded.

Okay.

So in the meantime, I wrote another book. Well, I actually wrote two, but one of those seemed a little more ready than the other. So I entered it in Pitch Wars for 2014.

And I didn’t get in.

I didn’t get in.

That was hard. Really hard.

Even though I knew not everyone could be picked. And I knew that the competition was amazing. It was still hard.

I was in a pretty dark place. So I did something to try to help lift myself up.

I read that old email from Rena. I reread how she had enjoyed the manuscript, and how she identified with the characters. How with a few tweaks, she thought my story had a great chance.

It had been more than a year since I’d heard from the agent she referred me to. And she’d been so encouraging with LETTERBOXES.

And I desperately needed some encouraging.

So I sent her CANDID DATES.

That was February 2014. In May, she requested the full.

And in June, she responded.

With a revise and resubmit!!

And the things she said! Like, if it was 20,000 longer she would have offered rep right then. And that she knew exactly what she thought I should do to get it to that point.

It was amazing!

And so I dove right in, right? Right?!?

Yeah. I didn’t. First, I had just started a new manuscript. So I thought I’d just get that out of the way. I’m a pretty fast writer – my first novel was done in about 21 days. And I was really excited about the one I was working on. Plus, another agent had a full of mine after we met at the spring 2015 SCBWI Oklahoma conference. And she had critiqued my first ten pages and chose me as the best of her conference submissions, and met with me. And I felt like we clicked. And she’d loved my first ten. So I thought I had a pretty good chance there. (And this wasn’t CANDID DATES. This was MAYBE, BABY, which I was incredibly swoony over at the time.) Also, revisions are HARD.

So I piddled around. Did a little here, and a little there. It was stupid. Incredibly stupid. This is what I wanted. What I’d been working toward for YEARS. But I’d had R&Rs before that hadn’t gone anywhere. Excitement that hadn’t gone anywhere. I really was losing my optimism. Even with an R&R.

But then an amazing thing happened.

Rena reached out to me. To ME. About CANDID DATES. In late August. Asking how revisions were going.

You remember those revisions. The ones where I basically had been thinking about it, but not actually putting anything down on paper.

So I patted the manuscript I was working on (YES, the same one, and YES, it had definitely been longer than 21 days) on the head and started work on CANDID DATES. Hard. For real. And that was September and October. (Yeah, that’s a long time, but it was like 27,000 new words and I homeschool my kids so be cool, okay?) My goal was to finish it before our SCBWI Oklahoma fall conference. And I did. With several minutes to spare. Seriously. I didn’t start packing for the conference until after I finished the rewrites. Which meant I had about an hour and a half to pack.

But I did it.

And then I sat on it some more.

Of course.

The conference was so good, and I felt so inspired. But I was giving the manuscript the old “wait a couple of weeks before rereading” treatment. I wanted it to be perfect when I sent.

And Rena reached out again, BLESS HER.

Because she was going to be in New York for two weeks, and she wanted to be able to talk about my novel with editors if she ended up offering me rep.

Whut.

I reread that bad boy IMMEDIATELY, corrected a handful of typos, and sent it off.

And after the longest eight days of my life, she offered representation!!!

AMAZING!!

I felt like breakdancing. I didn’t, but I felt like it.

Shot out the emails to agents who had my other stuff. No one had CANDID DATES, but I had some fulls and partials out. I even sent an email to the agent who had never responded to my other nudges. She didn’t respond.

But the others did! The congratulations and good luck passing emails came back in, nice and neat.

Except for one. A request for more time. And it was from…my dream agent. The one I’d had an agent crush on since meeting him at a conference in 2013. (Hey, just an agent crush, okay? He’s married. And I’m married.) But he was funny, and charismatic, and he liked my stuff. He’d had a couple of my manuscripts, always had good things to say, and always asked for more. I’d sent him LETTERBOXES. Because why not. And he asked for more time to finish it.

And this was a problem.

Because I talked to Rena on the phone and I fell head over heels. Her vision for my novel…the way she gets it…gets me…I don’t think it could ever be replicated. This was what I wanted. Exactly what I wanted.

But dream agent…

Did I mention that he’s consistently on the top sales lists for young adult novels? And he’s practically an icon in the industry?

And everyone I had let in on the secret kept asking. If he offers, what will you do? I tried not to think about it. To not put the cart before the horse.

To my overwhelmed mind, it looked like on paper, he was the obvious choice. But my heart wanted Rena. I really felt like she was the one.

And I’ve generally always listened to my heart over my head.

But I’m also a person who can’t let go of the past. I didn’t want to spend my entire life wondering what would have happened if I had gone the other way, regardless of the choice. I hate decisions. And somehow I’m the main decision maker in my house, which SUCKS. But this decision was a little different than buying a car or what color to paint a room. This one would be a life-changer.

And so I prayed. I prayed hard.

And my prayers were answered.

He passed.

His email to me was so complimentary, so encouraging, so warm and kind. No wonder I loved him for so long. (I still do, actually.) I teared up at the wonderful things he said about my writing. But he also said that it sounded like the offering agent was really excited about my work, and he would step aside for that.

And I couldn’t have been more grateful.

It happened just the way it was supposed to happen.

I can’t wait to get started.