For Better or Worse

A common characteristic supposedly shared by those born under the Capricorn astrological sign is that they do not like change. While I do not necessarily believe that everyone born within the same horoscope has the same general personality traits, I am a Capricorn and I abide by the cliche, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

For example, I don’t like when a colleague I like and am used to working with resigns from my company to be employed elsewhere, leaving me to forge a fresh relationship with someone else. I don’t like when a close friend moves across the country, thereby changing the dynamic of our relationship. I don’t like when my law firm changes health insurance, when a favorite author changes her writing style, when a television show breaks up my favorite couple to hook them up with other people, when my publisher makes me change the title of my book, when an appliance breaks and I need to get used to a new one. In a nutshell, if I’m in my groove, I do not see the need to shake things up.

That’s not to say that I do not like spontaneity. If a friend asks me for last-minute drinks, I’m cool with it. I’ve swiftly booked vacations based on a friend’s recommendation with little or no research of my own. I can (and do) make impulse purchases of expensive handbags and shoes. It’s not the introduction of new things that I shy away from; it’s the fear that the new won’t be as good as the old. Each time I finish a novel and it gets positive feedback, I worry that my readers won’t like my next book as much. I worry that a new man in my life won’t be as good to me as the one before. I worry that I won’t be able to figure out how to use my new laptop to do the things it took me ages to figure out on the old one.

The good news is that despite my stubborn fear and avoidance of change, I somehow always manage to assimilate, usually quickly. I often sell myself short in terms of what I can/cannot accomplish and I don’t always give others the credit they deserve for knowing when change is actually a good thing.

It was recently brought to my attention that a change had taken place with respect to my publisher— a shift in my team that will affect my individual writing/marketing/publishing process from what it has been for almost a year. Funny, because I had just been thanking my lucky stars that my team was so in sync and I predicted how smoothly the production of my fourth novel would be. Perhaps I should have knocked wood or something. I was upset about the change but before I had barely 24 hours to wallow, my publisher got in touch with me and made it clear that they want me to be happy and will be working with me to ensure that all of my needs are met. I was grateful for the swift reassurance and personal attention, and I am going to trust that they know what they are doing. I will also keep the faith that I can embrace these changes like the professional I am. Change can be scary and admittedly,  I still don’t like it very much when I’m happy with the status quo. But “change” doesn’t have to mean better or worse—it could just mean “different.”

Just between us, I’m hoping for better :).

 

Finishing

I’ve always had a bittersweet reaction to finishing something. On the one hand, I am proud of completing a project I started, but on the flip side, I am often sad at the prospect of moving on to something new.

I own a Roku device for my television set and with it, I am able to watch old television shows that are no longer on the air. Most recently, I started watching Lost. Within one episode, I was completely hooked. I would spend rainy Saturdays on my couch viewing back-to-back episodes. When first-run shows were airing repeats, I would watch an episode of Lost instead. Before I knew it, I was beginning the sixth (and final) season. When it hit me that I only had five episodes remaining, I was beside myself and made it a point to spread out my viewing over as long a period of time as possible. I refused to watch more than one episode in a single viewing, if another show I had even the tiniest desire to watch was airing, I would postpone watching another episode of Lost to watch that show instead. But, at last, I couldn’t put it off any longer and I watched the final episode of the series on Saturday—not before watching the pilot episode of the series one more time. Saying goodbye to Jack, Sawyer(especially Sawyer), Kate, Hugo, Sayed, Jin, Sun and even John Locke, was very emotional as was reuniting with some of the original characters like Boone and Shannon.

My mixed emotions towards finishing things do not only apply to television, but to completing my novels. Saturday was a big day for me, not only because I watched the last-ever episode of Lost, but because I wrote the final chapter of my fourth novel (title to be disclosed at a later date). Although I have to go back and fill in some holes in the manuscript before I can truly say that I am finished with the first draft, writing the final scene—the final sentence—had a tremendous physiological effect on my mood and I almost cried. In fact, I wanted to cry. I was choked up not only out of pride, but out of sadness that my character’s journey was over and I am nowhere near ready to say goodbye to her or her friends, family, and romantic attachments yet. I suppose it’s a good thing that I have several rounds of edits to do before I even hand the manuscript over to my beta readers for their thoughts, make additional changes, submit to my publisher, and make more modifications based on my editor’s comments. Still, the book itself has been written and I’m sad. There are authors who write and publish three-four books a year but even if I was a full-time writer, I honestly do not think I would want to write more than one or two books a year because I get so incredibly vested in my characters and I enjoy getting to know them over a longer period of time. In fact, it takes me at least a month of writing a new book before I am “over” my previous novel and one hundred percent motivated to start over again. Interestingly, I am often like this with my love life as well—I do not move on quickly. Unless I am mistreated or disrespected and then all bets are off. I don’t expect my novels to mistreat me, although I can’t say the same for some readers/reviewers :)

Once I begin the editing stage of one book, I start thinking about what I will write next and that, too, can be very stressful. This time around, I am almost positive that I will be writing a sequel to Blogger Girl and so, while I will have to bid adieu to Maggie and her friends, I am very excited to say hello (again) to Kimmie, Nicholas, Bridget and the rest of the Blogger Girl family.

Throwback Thursday Blog – I Choose Happiness!

I’ve been crazy busy and unfortunately, did not have time to write a blog post this week. (In all honesty, I am so inspired by my fourth novel right now that I didn’t make the time to write a blog post this week.) So, I decided to re-post a blog I wrote several years ago […]

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St. Patrick’s Day Post and Excerpt

Yes, I was a blonde once. Don't ask!!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Almost every year since my freshmen year in college, I have adopted an “Irish for One Day” existence. I have celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with gusto—from “Kegs and Eggs” parties with the boys from Tau Kappa Epsilon in college, to post-college and way post-college afternoons spent drinking pints of Guinness and doing […]

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my trip to Seattle Part Two

nobody does vanilla latte like Seattle does Vanilla latte.

Welcome to part two of my trip to Seattle. In part one, I blogged about the professional aspect of my trip—attending the AWP Writers Conference and Bookfair, and meeting other members of my publishing family. Today, I am blogging about the pleasure portion of my trip. Two of my favorite people reside in Seattle and […]

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My trip to Seattle Part One

photo (1)

Happy March! The feet-numbing cold has made it clear that I’ve left Seattle and returned to my hometown of New York City. My weekend in Seattle might be over, but the memories remain. I had a fabulous time! I almost didn’t get there as I was flying standby with a buddy pass thanks to the […]

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writing, colds, and Seattle Oh My

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted a more personal blog, so today is your lucky day! I’m writing this from a writer’s group I connected with through Meetup. I’m in a few of them. It’s nice to interact with other writers and it’s also a great motivator to get out there and put […]

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Valentine’s Day ebook Super Sale!

We’re spreading the love this Valentine’s day. Ten fabulous (and mostly chick-lit) authors have teamed up to offer you an amazing ebook promo. See below to download FREE or hugely discounted bestselling books. Valentine’s Day only. It’s Got to Be Perfect- FREE – today only! #1 Amazon Bestseller (Humour) #1 Amazon Hot New Releases ‘A […]

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Valentine’s Day Celebration – fun, flirty facts about Nicholas Strong

beatlestat

The Valentine’s Day Celebration continues with my interview of Nicholas Strong, leading man of Blogger Girl.                 Meredith: Who is the celebrity you’ve been told you look like?                 Nicholas: *laughs* Most recently, I am being told I resemble Peeta from The Hunger Games but it’s only because no one would call either of us […]

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Valentine’s Day celebration (ChicklitLove) continues with flirty excerpt from Blogger Girl

A few minutes later, we sat side by side, each with a glass of Montepulciano in front of us. I angled my body toward his. “So besides writing diddies like ‘Kimmie Long was in my pants’, tell me more about your love of music.” His face turning red, Nicholas started laughing. “What’s so funny?” Still […]

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