Fiction Unboxed Summit: Photos and video recap

I have a lot to say…. 3+ blog posts worth of stuff.

Just over a week ago, I was in Austin, Texas, at the Fiction Unboxed World Building Summit. It was hard for me to describe to people what I was doing ahead of time because I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect. Would it be more like a workshop? Instructional? Like a retreat? Impossible to say. This was the first time the guys (from Sterling & Stone) were running the event, too, so there wasn’t very much specific info ahead of time.

The whole weekend ended up being more like a mastermind group (read: amazing) than anything else and I loved it so much!

But not just me — the other attendees are putting out their own videos and social media posts. In fact, Garrett recorded a TON of video and will actually be putting together some kind of documentary in the coming months/year. I cannot wait to see it all, but here’s some little peeks:

One other quick aside before I share photos …. now that I am making more friends with writers, I am (once again) finding myself the only person who has a proper camera. The only person who makes an effort to document. It’s so funny to be in both this scrapbooking, memory keeping world AND this totally different fiction world. I think from the whole weekend there is only 3 photos that I am in (other than mirror selfies in my room) and I think only 1 of those is flattering. Oh well.

We stayed at the Renaissance Arboretum Hotel in Austin. Well, technically suburbs of Austin. But there was plenty of food (and ice cream!) within walking distance so it ended up working out perfectly.

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Friday night was totally casual. No agenda, nowhere to be. But I got to the hotel ~6pm, checked in and some of the guys were just hanging out in the lobby bar. We ended up sitting around talking, drinking and just getting to know each other until about midnight. Yea. Look at me being all social :)

Sean and Johnny left for a couple hours in the middle to say goodnight to their kids, but otherwise it was Friday night social hour.

Saturday morning the officially official weekend began — 9am. We met in a small conference room off of the center atrium-area with a little coffee shop right nearby. The door to our conference room (Colorado room) is one of the open doors on the bottom-left of this photo:

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Saturday was … mentally exhausting. About 4 hours of world brainstorming, lunch, and then another 4 hours of brainstorming. We talked about marketing and plans for the coming year, as well as huge backstory ideas to flesh out the world. I was SO tired by the end of it.

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Saturday night we went to dinner with Sean and Johnny’s families. At one of those Brazilian restaurants with swords of meat carried around? Yea. AMAZING.

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Only problem is Dave only eats chicken … and won’t eat from a salad bar. He had a rough time food-wise. But he also sat next to Sean’s super-happy, adventurous, enthusiastic 12-year-old daughter, so I think he enjoyed himself despite the food.

I laughed so hard! There were 14 of us at the table. I’m fairly certain we were WAY too loud for that restaurant.

Sunday morning bright and early at 9am again. Only this time without Matt who had to go home for a family emergency. We *definitely* missed him. It breaks my heart that he had to miss half of the weekend.

Sunday itself was more productive in terms of world details that actually help MY personal story. I don’t know if that is why, or if I was just used to it, but Sunday was not nearly as mentally exhausting as the day before.

Still a lot of laughing though …

JSD

We put together the map of Alterra (essentially alt-Britain). My story will take place in alt-Wales, a little bit south of that red island you see in this image:

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We talked about characters and fashion and steampunk weapons and rules for the whole world. Since there are so many writers interested in writing in the world, we are responsible for putting together the basic architecture so they can.

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Lunch on Sunday — more laughing, teasing Dave and our only group photo. I told Sean I need the next event to be in a garden with full shade at mid-day so the photos will all be prettier :)

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I think everyone was so happy by the end of the weekend. I can’t speak for all the attendees, but the whole experience exceeded my expectations so much.

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Any questions about my weekend?

(more posts to come)

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A year to NURTURE: Spending money on my future

nurture

This year, I am focusing on making the small choices to bring my One Little Word into my life on a weekly-or-so basis.

This year I want to NURTURE my life and the things I already have, rather than fall into that rat-race-style trap of more, bigger, further, etc. I want to cultivate my existing business rather than stretching myself too thin. I want to take care of ME and all the little pieces that make up me.

Recently:

I invested A LOT of money in my yet-to-be-launched fiction writing career. I have been writing all year (3 first drafts finished so far in 2014) and this opportunity came up that I had be be brave and take.

Here’s why this is remarkable: I am terrible at spending money. On myself.

I am overly cautious and constantly in planning mode and can always find a logical reason why I don’t need something. I don’t actually have that big of a problem getting treats for Andrew, or spending money on good food when we host guests or picking up the tab when we are traveling with friends.

It’s just that I much prefer to save money than to spend it, so when I am the beneficiary of said spending I talk myself out of it. Every time. I literally need to let Andrew make the decision for me.

But now, for the first time in years and years, I have decided to spend money on my future. I let Andrew talk me into spending the money that will help NURTURE my potential new career.

So … this weekend I will be in Austin, Texas, at a writing summit that I believe (if I put in the necessary work) could jump start my fiction-writing career. I spent weeks and weeks (and weeks) talking it over with Andrew. I put off actually registering as long as possible. Even now when it’s too late to do anything about it I wonder if I made the right decision.

But this is something for me, that 100% fits into both last year’s word BRAVE and this year’s word NURTURE.

Spending this much money doesn’t bother Andrew in the slightest and I am so lucky to have him on my team. There are so many things I would not do for myself if it weren’t for him.

I will report more on the weekend when I return. I really am excited, even though I am *super* nervous.

P.S. We also just bought tickets to see Wicked in December, even though we can’t really afford it. Because we both believe that experiences are worth spending money on. I can’t wait!

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August Book Report

Oh my goodness! SO many great books this month!

Here are some of them…

Eleanor by Jason Gurley: Lovely kind-of-time-travel story, but I would have edited it down a bit more. I read the kindle version, so I don’t know exactly what page, but the first 15% or so of the book should have been cut out and redistributed as flashbacks or exposition delivered in another way. It was all beautiful writing, it is just not where the story really began. I enjoyed the writing itself (I especially liked some of the water descriptive passages), but overall the book just not quite tight enough for me. There was a whole character that kept showing up that I didn’t really understand the point. It was not clear at all and if Gurley thought he was planting little hints at all, I didn’t pick them up. I just trusted it would all tie together (it did. Mostly. Eventually).

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith: I really loved Cuckoo’s Calling (and want to add a bunch of mysteries to my to-read), so I checked out this one from the library as soon as I could. I read it in 2 days — and I probably could have read it faster if it hadn’t also been the weekend before #30Lists registration opened. It turns out I really like Rowling’s writing style. I spent much of the reading vacillating between making notes to myself about how to improve my own writing and wondering who the hell the killer was. (sidenote: I have a seed of an idea for a mystery series to write, so I’m going to use that as an excuse to buy every Galbraith novel and re-read them)

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz: I love books like this with very distinctive, unapologetic voices (The Magicians and Jonathan Strange and Jonathan Safran Foer’s books come to mind). It’s a fantastic combination of slang/street plus untranslated Spanish plus nerdy allusions plus Dominican history. Ex: “Don’t misunderstand: our boy wasn’t no ringwraith, but he wasn’t no orc either” (p 119). The book is written from the P.O.V of a family friend, but you don’t actually learn that specifically until about halfway through the book. It’s not really about this friend — it’s more a coming of age about this adorably nerdy Oscar and how all of his family for generations kind of came together to make up who he is. Reminded me a little bit of The House of the Spirits in that way. I really liked it.

Crash by David Wright and Sean Platt: Another from the guys at Sterling and Stone, but this is just a simple stand-alone novel so more my style. It’s a heart-breaking ghost story. Rather short; I think it is more of a novella, but I can’t be sure. One of the best 5-star reviews on Amazon says something like ‘This book will ruin your life’, but it is also the best I’ve read from this author so far so there’s that. I wasn’t able to guess the ending. I got it on kindle for $1 during launch week – deal and a half.

Random by Tom Leveen: I love Tom (knew him when we lived in Phoenix) and I will buy every single one of his books (contemporary Y.A.). That said, Random was a bit too spot-on-after-school-special for me. It’s about a girl who is being accused of cyber-bulling and gets a random call from someone about to kill themselves. You can probably see where this is going. Maybe I’m just used to “YA” books that are plenty complex for adults, or maybe I’m just cynical, but this was not my favorite (even though I read the whole thing in 2 hours). Start with Party or Sick if you’re just checking out Tom’s books.

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer: I adore books like this. Ensemble cast, lives interwoven over years, very subtle details and observations realizations. Wonderfully real and complex characters. Feels a bit meandering until it all ties in together. GAH! I want to write books like this. Loved it (reminded me of The Art of Fielding and The Marriage Plot). It’s just beautiful.

The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman: The final book in this trilogy. I LOVED them all. I can’t wait to make Andrew read them. From the first chapter: “It didn’t matter where you were, if you were in a room full of books you were at least halfway home.” I mean, really. I’ve heard people describe these books as ‘Harry Potter for grownups’ … but they are not exactly. They’re much to close to literary fiction to be Harry Potter-y. But I love them. Literary fiction through a filter of fantasy.

(and others… )

This is a note for a totally different post, but if you are a voracious reader try following/making friends with self-published writers. SO many of them give away books in exchange for reviews (like here and here and here and Brush with Darkness in June). Eleanor was sent to everyone on Gurley’s email list. For free. OR at the very least, you can get on their mailing list and learn when sales are going, since indie authors have way more control over that stuff. Just sayin.

I also spent a lot of time this month editing short stories for an anthology I am part of! It should be free on kindle when it gets release so I’ll tell you all about it.

Read anything good lately?

P.S. I’ve added all of your recommendations to my To-Read list. But since there’s 1800+ books on there, please forgive me if I don’t get to them all right away.

P.P.S. I recently tried out Overdrive App at the recommendation of my friend Jessica and HOLY COW! I can now borrow ebooks from my local library so I may never do anything productive ever again! The 1 deterrent is I don’t have a kindle, just a laptop and it’s not exactly snuggly.

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Around here

thursday 3

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Last week we *finally* gave up and hired a gardener for our front lawn. I feel a little bit guilty and a little bit exhilarated.

We are trying to conserve water, but I can’t figure out how to reset my sprinkler system, so instead I just have an alarm set for me to do it manually.

I want nothing more than for it to be about mid-September. Not because I’m dreading anything in these next few weeks, but because I want so badly for the weather to cool off so I can sleep in my own bed comfortably again.

I am nervous about how much money we have spent lately, even though I know it’s worth it. I mostly hate spending money on myself.

I have been reminded why I love literary fiction so much. I want to write books like The Art of Fielding, Middlesex and The Interestings. I want to re-read all my Henry James, F. Scott Fitzgerald and E.M. Forster.

I could not be more proud of my husband and where his career is going. I have always been the ambitious one in our relationship, but he is so much more focused and hard-working and it is totally paying off. I can’t wait til I’m allowed to tell you all about it!

I’m excited about all the TV show seasons that are coming available on Netflix now (previous seasons of Parks and Recreation or The Walking Dead, for example). I just may watch them without Andrew.

My cats are just cracking me up. Fang has learned what it sounds like when I take the lid off ice cream (vanilla to go in my iced coffee) and comes running because she wants some. Khaleesi has learned I don’t like it when she plays with the cords behind the TV so she goes back there only when she wants something and to get my attention.

We had some plumbing issues over the weekend and Monday and I am so very grateful to be married to someone who is happy to take care of it all for me.

Once I have finished this rough draft I am currently working on, I’m not going to start any new novels until mid-September (when I go to a writing weekend in Austin).

I am excited to be moving forward in my U.S. History class. I’m getting a book about James K Polk this week.

I’m a little nervous to be doing my #30Lists digitally this time. I haven’t actually started them yet which is WAY behind schedule for me.

I have been immersing myself in the business of blogging. Both for myself and to prep for this weekend’s live event.

What’s new with you?

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NURTURE: On 6 months of saying No

My One Little Word for this year is NURTURE. I think I’m doing OK with it.

At the beginning of the year I decided I needed to slow down, cut back, get to know my new life without a cubicle job and so much more. I wanted to spend more time saying No than saying Yes. I wanted to see what I could do with the products I already have than just launching a new one.

I’ve been backing away and keeping to myself and doing more or less the bare minimum I needed to do to keep up with everything.

I had more ideas of what I wanted to do this year, but I needed a break. I needed to stop looking forward and start saying No.

At about 6 or 7 months of not looking for the next big thing I feel…

  • Behind. Like everyone else is moving forward and I am being left behind.
  • Relaxed. Mostly.
  • Poor. Made far less money this year than last.
  • Lazy.
  • Productive. But only in writing fiction. L&R feels stagnant (to me).

Finding a common thread? It turns out when I don’t give in to my ambition and extreme work-ethic I feel bad about myself. <sarcasm> That’s healthy. </sarcasm>

To be honest, it IS good that I had planned on pulling back this year. Because Andrew has been working so very much, I need to be available for the house and to do things for him that he just doesn’t have time to do (when he’s only home 20 minutes out of a 6 day period). Also, I did finish some things, like my Scotland Blurb book and a few novel drafts. But overall when I look back at 2014 so far I feel unproductive.

So, that settles it. Not pursuing goals is bad for my self-esteem.

I’m going to be spending the next couple weeks going over my goals and my direction and what I want to accomplish before the end of the year. I’m really excited about setting up a new little niche site on Friday! It’s going to be a fun project for me that can also benefit you all.

I’m going to say Yes to a new opportunity. I’m going to say Yes to taking a new risk. I’m going to say Yes to growth and planning and working hard.

I want all of it to remain in the NURTURing vein, but I need to be working. I need to DO stuff and not just relax.

I can’t wait!

How do you feel about 2014 so far?

SHIFT_free creativity guide

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What it means for me to work from home

When I tell people I work from home and I rarely leave the house they look sympathetic. But I love it. The solitude and the comforts of home and not having to commute or wear make-up. My house is the second best part of me quitting my day job.

The best part is the flexibility.

Friday night I was alone at home, camped out in our living room, minibook stuff all over the coffee table, halfway through Friends Season 9. Plus, I am totally counting it as ‘work’ because the minibook was in preparation of the minisite launch this Friday.

I know, I know. You all want my life.

So Friday night … I’m sitting alone, minding my own business when there’s a knock on my door. We live in a quiet suburban neighborhood and it’s almost dark out. Who on earth would be knocking on my door?

Even better? We don’t have a peephole, so I have no way of checking without opening the door.

“Who is it?” I called.

“mmsoudoiin” someone mumbled. Maybe not mumbled, but I didn’t hear what was said.

I open the door and there stands my cousin. Who lives a whole state away. He just appeared on my doorstep.

I love my family. They are awesome and crazy. Turns out he had gone to our uncle’s house (close to me), and they had all hopped in the car and dropped him off on my door step before they went to dinner. And then my uncle drove around the corner so it would appear as though my cousin had appeared from nowhere.

He asked me, “Maria’s or Presidente?” No idea what he meant so I questioned him and harassed him and finally figured out what was going on.

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Here’s the kicker: Because I was able to quit my day job and work for myself, I just had to change out of my at-home-for-the-night clothes and then I could join them all for dinner with zero notice.

I texted my husband (he was jealous) and I grabbed my purse and I was out the door for the night. Total spur of the moment dinner and ice cream with my aunt, uncle and 2 cousins. I suppose I kind of invited myself, but, hey. It’s family.

We talked about Matt’s recent trip to Europe and about what Lucas would be doing in college and about my aunt’s plans to redo her floor and about how I had a bell pepper for dinner just before they arrived so I wasn’t really hungry. You know. Normal stuff.

And the only reason I could even be there was because I had built myself an online platform that let me design my own life. All because I had quit my day job to work for myself. 14 months earlier I would have been at work on a Friday night when Matt showed up.

That is us in the back of my uncle’s car. Matt (in the left of the photo) is an engineer in Phoenix. Lucas (on the right) will be leaving for college in NYC in just a week or so.

Other things I can do now that I’ve built my online platform and work for myself?

  • Take an afternoon off for a micro-adventure with Kam
  • Be available at any time of day for Andrew. Bringing him home-cooked meals or clean clothes to work because he hadn’t been home in 4 days.
  • Work from wherever Andrew is. I’ve blogged from the control room of a recording studio, recently.
  • Make conference call or meeting scheduling easier on other people because I’m totally flexible
  • Get back to my early-morning schedule and work before Andrew wakes up
  • … and lots of other little things that make my every day so much happier

Are you BUILDing your online platform?

Don’t forget I’ll be setting up a site live this Friday!

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July Book Report

Much fewer books read this month — mostly because I started writing a new first draft and because 2 of the books were big, thick, SLOW books.

I’ve adjusted my library list a little to get some fun, faster reads for this next month. And (as always) lots of U.S. History. I am finally moving on to John Tyler this month!

Some of my reads from July:

The Magician King by Lev Grossman: The sequel to The Magicians. I was reading the first part of this book, trying to explain to Andrew why I like this book so much. It has such a clear, entertaining voice that I feel like I could turn to any page and find a sentence I just love. A character described as “almost alarmingly short” or describing the Middle Ages as “some point between when Jesus was alive and when Shakespeare was alive.” At one point the MC mentions feeling like he’s in a Monty Python sketch, and also at different points quoted both Friends and Die Hard (I texted Andrew immediately: ‘I genuinely love this book’). I love this. I want to write like this. The third book in the series comes out this week (I think) and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt: I somewhat enjoyed this book, but I’m kind of surprised it is a best-seller. It’s rather long and slow. Kind of Meh. Good, yes, but rather overdone. I didn’t really care about the characters much or what was happening to them. A good book I think about in between reading and can’t wait to get back to. This one I had to make myself read. It was rather dense and detailed. Not to say that is bad, but it doesn’t strike me as the kind of book that the masses would read. I would be interested to find out how many people bought the book for the hype and never finished reading it. There are plenty of people who love it but you should know, by the way, if you get to page 100 and still don’t like it just give up. It is not any different in the other 600 pages.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan: I read this as part of Kristin’s NovelTea Book Club and really really liked it. I love books. I love the idea of mystery. I love totally normal people finding themselves on a quest of some sort. It’s hard to talk about this book without spoiling it – so I’ll just say that I immediately added it to Andrew’s to-read book pile.

(and others…  including MOST of a John Quincy Adams biography. I love him)

Read anything good lately?

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June Book Report

June I did A TON of reading, but not a lot to add to this list.

Why? Because last month I edited a gigantic novel for a new writer. I read it through twice (took me 2 weeks). I imagine the final version will be changed from the version I read, too.

Turns out I LOVE editing fiction. I can do it from my hammock. I love to read. And I love to think through and solve problems. I’ve got a few more editing clients coming up in the next few months, but if you’re looking for an editor definitely hit me up.

So, other than unpublished novels … My favorite reads from June:

Anne of Green Gables seriesMy annual re-read. I still love this character so much. This year, Anne actually inspired a whole new book series idea for me (that Andrew says is my best idea yet). I will never get enough of the Anne series.

Brush with Darkness by Jamie Maltman: This is book 1 of a projected series, and I edited book 2 for the author (so we agreed I should probably read book 1 to get caught up). To be honest, I did not expect to like it as much as I did. Pseudo-historical fiction (Rome/Greece/Mediterranean) + fantasy. Not really the kind of thing I would seek out. The story was really good, though. I love being sucked into a story. He did something interesting with art being the source of the magic/power in the world. Still some amateurish bits in the writing, but I imagine that will improve with later books in the series. Here’s another review with more details re: the story.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman: Really liked it. Appreciate that it was not for children. It’s kind of compressed Harry Potter + Narnia for 20-year-olds. The main character was only sometimes sympathetic, but it went with the story, really, that you want to smack him several times throughout the book. I actually really like this review even though it is 1 star, particularly point#4.

I plan on getting the sequels (The Magician King and The Magician’s Land). Any other magic-as-a-hidden-part-of-real-life books I should read? Other than Harry Potter, obviously. And Jonathan Strange (a favorite). I don’t love made up worlds (like Middle Earth, Narnia, etc), but magical rules in ‘real life’ are fun. Ideas?

Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis: I love Michael Lewis. I plan on reading all his books. This was his first and has been on my to-read list for a long time. I’m kind of glad I kept putting it off, though. I really think I enjoyed it more because I have listened to the first 6 months of Planet Money (and so understand the economics of the mortgage bond industry slightly) and seen The Wolf of Wall Street (so have a visual for the chaos). Liar’s Poker is a memoir of wall street from about the same time as the DiCaprio movie. (P.S. counting this for U.S. History (but I won’t be posting my review there until I get to that rough time period)).

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown: Yea, I know. Garbage in, garbage out. But all of his books must have been best-sellers for a reason, and I’m trying to figure that out. I have in mind an idea for a mystery/thriller series and I am finding Dan Brown’s style interesting (not ‘good’). Knowing exactly where to stop a chapter so the reader really wants to turn the page is a skill.

Interestingly, while still not a great book, Angels and Demons is far better than books 3 and 4 in the Langdon series. This one was published first. Then Brown had his insane success with book 2 The DaVinci Code. So I’m imagining his editor working hard on book 1 (Angels and Demons ) and then throwing up his hands and saying ‘screw it, who cares,’ and putting out far worse books 3 and 4.

The Dream Engine by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant: This book will be published *very* soon, but as it was the book they wrote ‘live’ as the Fiction Unboxed project, I’ve been reading a little bit every day through the month of June. It’s about a 15 year old girl who learns that she is special and is plucked by a secret organization to save the world. You know. Most YA books. I like it, but don’t love it but can’t put my finger on why. I think just the simple fact that there is a heavy focus on world-building, and I don’t feel like I know the characters terribly well.

(and others… )

Read anything good lately?

6 comments

1 year quit-iversary: An ode to support from a spouse

I quitRather quietly last week I celebrated the 1 year anniversary of quitting my day job. My last day in a cubicle was Friday, June 21, 2013.

There are a lot of things I could say in this post, like how to quit your day job yourself, or 3 things I wish someone had told me, or plans for my future non-cubicleness. …

But really, I just want to tell you how grateful I am to my husband because I 100% could not have done this without his support.

I suppose as a proper blogger, I should be focusing on a good takeaway for you the reader. I should be able to distill this into a couple good lessons or tips for you do use in your own journey. I shouldn’t make this all about me.

But I can’t do that. Because I could not have quit my day job at this point in my life without Andrew’s whole-hearted commitment to make me happy.

You see….  When I quit last year, I was *barely* making enough money through L&R, #30Lists and working for Maggie to cover what Andrew’s salary did not.

Since then, a year later, I have not really increased my income at all. We still have very little money. And what is Andrew’s response to that? “Read in the hammock. Watch a movie. Do whatever makes you happy.”

Yes, I have read a lot in the last year. 50+ books since the beginning of 2014. But I have done more than read in a hammock too. I’ve painted the garage and done more yardwork than I ever wanted to. I launched a minisite and a book club just for fun. I’ve written 2 novel rough drafts, and edited 2 more. I’ve completed my big ecourse and grown that community. I’ve shot a few weddings and shuttered that business. I spent a whole week taking care of my grandmother in Phoenix. I’ve dropped everything to drive to Andrew’s work for an impromptu date. I’ve thought and dreamed and planned and worked (and planned some more).

I may not be making any more money than I was a year ago, but I am approximately 17,000x happier than I was in the cubicle.

All because my husband supports me, supports my goals, and (most of all) believes that me being happy with zero expendable income is a much better way to spend life than me being miserable and having a bit more money to spend.

I’m super excited for my next year of cubicle-less-ness.

Feel free to go tell Andrew how awesome he is on his Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. It will embarrass the heck out of him.

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still taking BRAVE steps

Even though my “Year of BRAVE” is technically over, I still want to consciously make BRAVE steps. All the time.

Ali has talked about this with her own One Little Words – words from previous years stick with her. I am 100% finding that to be true. It’s hard to shake a whole year of developing a new habit and mindset. Especially when it has all worked out so brilliantly!

Making the brave choice is ALWAYS in the forefront of my mind. Always. Is it braver to say yes to an opportunity to expand my reach or to say no because of opportunity cost? Is it braver to attend a social function (because I’m an introvert) or to stay home and work on my novel (where I want to move my career)? These are the kind of questions I (repeatedly) filter through my BRAVE One Little Word AND now my NURTURE One Little Word.

For example … In the last couple months I:

  • filed the paperwork necessary to dissolved my photography business
  • filed the paperwork necessary to create my small online media business that will serve as the umbrella for several smaller sites.
  • spent money to join a group of writers (more on this later this month)
  • committed to writing a short story for an anthology (even though I haven’t written a short story since about… 2004).
  • registered a new URL for an author site (more on this and the above as I have news)
  • asked people to unsubscribe from an email list
  • braved Lowe’s by myself, looking like an idiot, trying to explain what I needed for a plumbing project even though I didn’t really know

…. and probably more little things here and there that I am not remembering because being BRAVE is so much more part of my life than it was a year ago.

Last year I spent a lot of time thinking and weighing options and really trying to figure out what works best for me. This year the decision-making is getting easier, but still scary as hell. I’m coming up on a year of being 95% self-employed and I still love it. Even though we have *far* less money than before. Even though I *still* only see Andrew an hour or 2 every other day.

Are you trying to take a BRAVE step? Trick your brain. Tell yourself it’s only temporary and you can always change things back.

Some of these ALSO fall under my NURTURE One Little Word. I’ll write about that soon!

What BRAVE steps have you taken lately?

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