happy birthday to me!

I’m taking a break from the Celebration of Chick Lit Tour to wish myself a happy birthday. Yes, today is my birthday—the anniversary of another revolution around the sun. I took the day off from work today and am going to spend the afternoon being lazy which, in my case, means going for a run (unfortunately on the treadmill since it’s raining outside) and editing my current novel! And then I will spend the evening being festive with some of my favorite people. It will be a good day. I try to be consistently aware of how much good I have in my life and how fortunate I am even though I know yearning for more is human nature and something I will always do.

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My family held a dual birthday celebration for my niece and me this weekend and as we collectively blew out the candles on our cake, I couldn’t think of anything to wish for. Although I am slowly replacing the furniture in my apartment, I had no desire to wish for a new kitchen table and chair set. And while I hope the novel I’m releasing early next year will be successful, I didn’t feel like wishing for it to be bestseller either. I was not going to waste a wish asking for something impossible, like my best friend Alan miraculously coming back to life, and I didn’t feel like wishing to fall in love because there are too many conditions associated with that one and the candles would melt before I could finish. So, what I wished for was simply to be a better me and to achieve some of the personal goals I set for myself.  It’s convenient that my birthday falls right before the New Year as what I hope to work on during my next revolution around the sun can double as New Year’s resolutions.

 

I think my biggest accomplishment this past year was learning to better balance my job as a paralegal with my career as a writer and my personal life. I’m extremely proud of how far I’ve come in this regard. I stress far less about my day job than I used to. My old boss used to say: The work will be there tomorrow. Do the best you can. Give yourself a break. It’s trademarks, not brain surgery. I finally get it. Not only do I physically leave the office on time, but I mentally leave my job at the office. The work will be there when I return at 9:30 the next morning. The quality of my work has not suffered, but my writing productivity has increased significantly, and I’m no longer always the last of my friends to arrive at the bar for happy hour.

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This year, while continuing to work on the job/writing/play balance, I want to be more consciously aware of what does and does not make me happy and where possible, flush anything that doesn’t. And quickly.

I don’t want to feel like my happiness rests upon one particular item on my wish list coming true because it doesn’t. Whether my books hit the bestseller lists or I meet the man of my dreams, my life is really good. Both of the above things coming to life can only take a life that’s good and make it better. And that’s only if I’m true to myself about what really makes me happy—truly, authentically happy and by my standards, no one else’s.

I want to hold less tightly to both of the above items and be mindful of my wellbeing at all times. I have spent sleepless nights worrying about how to market my books and why one book doesn’t sell better no matter how many accolades it gets. Or whether I was right to move on from a possible relationship that didn’t feel right no matter how much the guy liked me. Any time the things that are supposed to make my life better (writing, romance) are wreaking havoc on my wellbeing, something is wrong. I know myself—probably too well—if something didn’t feel right, it’s probably because it was wrong and I need to move on and cease wondering if I did the right thing, if I will regret a decision, or if I blew the last opportunity that will come my way. Since I can’t know the answers, I need to trust myself at the time and move on. And tossing and turning watching the clock tick toward morning doesn’t serve to improve my book sales, it just creates dark circles under my eyes. The important thing to remember is how much I love the writing process. A LOT.

I want to have more confidence in myself, raise myself up, and believe the hype.

I want to live any disappointment that comes my way in the moment and then let it go. Any let down is a temporary setback that has no permanent bearing on my future and I do not want to get caught up in long-term negativity. As Annie sang, “The sun will come out tomorrow.

I think that’s enough for now with respect to long-term goals for the coming year. I’ll conclude this post with one short-term goal:

HAVE A HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

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Happy Anniversary A State of Jane and guest blogger!

With all of the fuss over the release of my third novel Blogger Girl and the re-release of my debut novel, Just Friends with Benefits, I almost forgot all about my “middle child” A State of Jane. (I’m surprised I haven’t heard the voice of Jan Brady whining “Blogger Girl, Blogger Girl, Blogger Girl!”)  But Jane Frank need not fret as I could never forget the anniversary of the day her story was released to the world. Happy Anniversary to A State of Jane! In honor of this momentous milestone, I have a special guest blogging about the first year anniversary. Welcome Beth Bacon to my blog! I am very lucky in that my publisher, Booktrope, provides marketing support to all of its authors in the form of a Marketing Manager. Beth Bacon is my Marketing Manager and she’s fantastic. I truly think I hit the jackpot of Marketing Managers. And, really, how many other Marketing Managers would agree to guest post on their author’s blogs? So, without further ado, I will hand this over to Beth:

Cheers!

Cheers!

The 1-Year Anniversary… What does it mean?

Happy birthday, Jane.  It’s the one-year anniversary of the publication of A State Of Jane. The first copies started rolling out of Amazon warehouses in mid-September 2012. The chick-lit world has never been the same.

One year. What does a year mean? The marker can trigger a celebration or act as a kick in the pants—Crap! A year has gone by already?

That’s the way Jane feels at the opening of A State of Jane. She’s been single for one year. The anniversary is like a wake up call. BRING! Time to get a life.

Granted Jane is the one who wanted the break up. But in the twelve long, dry months after that, Jane hasn’t dated a single Tom, Dick, or Harry. Crossing the one-year threshold jolts her into action. She needs to find a guy. The guy. The one. And fast. Especially because her ex is now happily engaged—to someone… nice.

What is it about the one-year milestone that spurs Jane to get off her butt and start dating like a her pants are on fire? What is it about the calendar circling around onto itself that makes one day different from the day before? Why do we mark anniversaries at all? And why, why do we feel so excited to celebrate the date that the book A State of Jane was launched into the world?

Okay, hold on, wait. This is not a philosophy blog. This is a chick lit blog. Forget I went there.

Instead—LET’S PARTY! A STATE OF JANE IS ONE YEAR OLD TODAY!

WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR?

How do I decide?

•  Skinny blue jeans and white t-shirt like Kim on the cover of Blogger Girl?

•  An A-line dress cinched at waist with pumps like Stephanie in Just Friends With Benefits?

•  A V-neck cashmere sweater, black jeans and boots like Jane in A State of Jane?

WHAT AM I GOING TO DRINK?

So many tasty cocktails.

•  A skinny flute of Prosecco like Kim in Blogger Girl?

•  A dirty Martini like Hannah in Blogger Girl?

•  Wheat beer like Stephanie in Just Friends with Benefits?

•  A nice glass of white wine like Jane in A State of Jane?

WHERE SHOULD WE GO TO CELEBRATE?

Lots of places to check out.

•  Vero Wine Bar, Banc Cafe, The Hurricane Club, or Ryan’s Daughter like in Blogger Girl?

•  The Round Robin Bar, the Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar, or the Rhino Bar & Pumphouse like in Just Friends with Benefits?

•  Whisky River, Hillstone, or the Lex Bar like in A State of Jane?

HOW LATE AM I GOING TO STAY OUT?

Not too late. I’m gonna’ get home early, curl up in bed, and re-read A State of Jane.

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