New Year’s Resolutions—2018

Happy New Year’s Eve! It’s been a couple years since I’ve made official New Year’s Resolutions, but I’m inspired to make some goals for the next 365 days. These are goals I hope to accomplish and principles I’ll aspire to abide by, but no pressure and no punishment for failure will be administered.

I hope to complete one novel and make significant progress on another (at minimum). I also want to continue to hone my craft so that each book is better than the last.

I plan to experiment more with cooking. Stomach issues have basically changed my life and made it really frustrating for me to go out to eat—one of my favorite pastimes. I aim to continue to learn more about what ingredients and combinations of food will/won’t trigger discomfort so that eating in restaurants will be fun again. I’d also like to broaden my menu at home. I’ve never enjoyed cooking—eating is much more my style—but I’m proud of how far I’ve come already. Maybe I’ll even host a dinner party in 2018 (but probably not…)

I will attend as many “writerly” events as possible, whether it be book signings, author panels, writers’ conferences, happy hours, etc. I enjoy spending time with other writers so much, so why not do it as often as possible? First up, my annual trip to California with my writing tribe is in less than two weeks!

I vow to nurture my friendships with those people who make me happy, accept me for who I am, and truly add joy to my life. I want the most important people in my life to know how much I love them and am there for them, and I am grateful to have friends and family who are there for me as well.

I do not want to waste time on relationships that require me to work too hard, walk on eggshells, or second-guess my own value/worth.

I will try to let go of the past, meaning I will hold hard to the good memories and try to learn from my mistakes, but also realize that change is inevitable and often meant to be.

I aim to truly open myself up to the possibility of meeting someone to share/spend my life with.

I plan to appreciate the quality time I spend with my family, my parents in particular.

I hope to stress the small stuff a lot less. I am definitely getting better at this one. I think it might be related to my entrance into middle age. Some things do get better with age, and letting go of needless worrying is one of them!

And there you have them. Wish me luck!

Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions? If so, feel free to share some of them in the comments.

 

farewell to 2014

This time last year, I was really looking forward to putting 2013 behind me. In 2013, I broke up with my boyfriend, my sister’s beautiful dog Gypsy passed away, and my boss of seventeen years and best friend was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of Leukemia. So, despite the fact that my third novel and fan favorite Blogger Girl was released to outstanding reviews, and my debut Just Friends with Benefits was re-released by my current publisher, Booktrope, to surprisingly best-seller status, the year was pretty sucky all in all.

2014 started out much better. I began the year with a trip to California with several other authors where we talked, laughed, and drank lots of wine with the beach right outside our door. I met up with a guy I had dated several years ago and had such a wonderful time, I was certain we’d get a second chance. Best of all, my boss found a 100% match for a bone marrow transplant. Things were looking up. Unfortunately, the trip to California only lasted a few days and I returned to New York City and the Polar Vortex with a cold that lasted about four months. Despite the connection I was certain was mutual while out with the guy from my past, he kept putting off a second date until I had to assume he didn’t share my feelings. Worst of all, by far, my boss/best friend lost his battle with cancer, passed away in July, and broke my heart into a million pieces.

2014 wasn’t all bad. My publisher released an ebook collection with my three first novels on Valentine’s Day that made the Kindle Top 100; Blogger Girl and A State of Jane were re-released by Amazon Encore pursuant to an exciting licensing agreement with Booktrope; my fourth novel, How Do You Know?, was published in December, Just Friends with Benefits was released as part of a romance anthology called Blended for Love; and I am already halfway through the first draft of my fifth book, Novel Girl.

More important than “book” stuff, my friends and family really stepped up after my boss died and showed me how much they loved me. Their patience, understanding, and unwillingness to let me feel alone showed me how truly blessed I am and I will be forever grateful even while I’m still dealing with my grief on a daily basis.

I’m no mathematician, but I know that with each passing year, I will get a year older which, as those who know me are well aware, doesn’t thrill me. That being said, I am truly ready to put 2014 behind me. Although I have goals for 2015—publication of Novel Girl, possible solo trip out of the country, potential running of New York City marathon, refurnishing of my apartment—I am not making any formal resolutions. All I really want is to be happy.

Or perhaps the resolution is to figure out what it is that makes me happy and go after it.

Thanks to all of you for keeping up with my blog this past year. I hope I have entertained you with my life and book updates. Happy New Year to you all and see you next year!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone!

I can’t believe another year is ending. On a professional note, 2013 was a banner year for me. I published my third novel, Blogger Girl, in late August and, so far, readers have embraced it. My debut novel, Just Friends with Benefits, was re-released by Booktrope and, much to my surprise, is my best seller. Since it was re-released in September, I’ve sold several thousand copies compared to the several hundred I sold in the entire three years before that. Blows my mind—in a good way! My sophomore novel, A State of Jane, continues to do well and, finally, I am making very good progress on my fourth novel and hope to have it ready for publication in late 2014 or early 2015. Together with Francine LaSala and Samantha Stroh Bailey, I co-founded BookBuzz, a meet and greet for authors and readers, and we’ve already held two events—one in New York City and one in Toronto— and I met so many amazing authors, bloggers and, of course, readers. I can’t wait until the next event.

 On a personal level, it was a tough year for me. I split with my boyfriend of 1.5 years in February; my sister’s dog, Gypsy, passed away in the spring; one of my best friends (someone I think of as the younger sister I never had) moved across the country and while I supported her reasons for going, I miss her dearly;  and finally, one of my best friends in the entire world—my rock, my “work husband”, my comic relief, my sometimes therapist and really, the best man I know— was diagnosed with Leukemia in July and continues to undergo treatments to save his life— treatments that will continue through much of 2014. I know in my heart he will be okay, but I hate that he has to go through this, and I constantly find myself asking “Why him?”

But it’s not all bad! I thank God for all of the blessings in my life— my family, my friends (you know who you are), my day job, my health, my writing and my good looks (haha just making sure you’re still listening) to get me through the darker times and maintain a positive outlook.

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions but I think I am going to take a page (or several hundred) out of my books. My characters make mistakes; they sometimes have poor judgment. Let’s just say, they fuck up. A lot. And so have I. But my characters always learn from their mistakes and come out on the other side a little bit wiser and a lot happier. That’s all I really want. If I am going to look back at my mistakes, I want it to be because I am learning from them; not because I am kicking my ass over making them in the first place. Like my characters, I want to take risks— even those that put my ego on the line or scare me. Especially those that scare me. Some will pan out and others won’t but a wise man once told me that it is the things we don’t do that we regret the most.  Not even trying is worse than giving it your all and failing.

To paraphrase a line from one of my books: It might take me several rounds of edits, but I’m a writer and I’m going to write my own happy ending.

Happy New Year and God bless you all 🙂

my favorite books of 2013

At this time of year, when people are putting away their Christmas trees and finalizing plans for New Year’s Eve, many bloggers write posts announcing their favorite books of the year. I was one of these bloggers last year and the year before (and possibly the year before that). 2013 was a record breaking year for me in terms of how many books I read. I was seriously addicted to reading, so much so that it often got in the way of writing. I read every chance I had: whether it was while waiting for the elevator to reach my floor, blow drying my hair, or in line for the ATM machine. If I had two minutes to spare, I spent the time with my head in my Kindle. So far, I’ve read 82 books this year. I say “so far” because we still have almost a full week remaining in 2013, and I am confident that I will complete the book I am currently reading and possibly one more before the ball drops in the Big Apple on New Year’s Eve.

Of the 82 + books I read this year, I enjoyed almost all of them. Seriously, it was a banner year for reading and I only started a handful of books that I was not drawn in enough to complete. (With the multitude of books on my Kindle, I do not force myself to read a book that hasn’t sparked my interest after reading 10% and so if I’ve read and completed your book, you can assume I enjoyed it 🙂 ). Unfortunately, the multitude of books I enjoyed this year made it impossible for me to narrow my choices down to three or even ten favorites. Below are 13 of my favorites, in no particular order, along with the link to my Goodreads review, where applicable:

Zoey and the Moment of Zen – Cat Lavoie https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/712192307

You Knew Me When – Emily Liepert https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/743281068

Fame – Tilly Bagshawe https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/638831487

Saving Saffron Sweeting – Pauline Wiles https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/597095356

Three Girls and a Baby – Rachel Shurig https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/645936282

What the Dog Ate – Jackie Bouchard https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15748889-what-the-dog-ate?from_search=true

Arranged – Catherine McKenzie https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/522978604

The Fifth Wave – Rick Yancey https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/633471316

Beautiful Creatures series – Kami Garcia- https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/661857614

That Time of the Month – Emily Shaffer https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/435359917

 On the Island – Tracey Garvis-Graves

 Cocktail Hour – Tara McTiernan https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/638828350

The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/340004209

In addition to these books, I devoured and gave four and a half and five star reviews to many other novels that were equally as deserving and you can read my reviews on my Goodreads page https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/4303919?shelf=read. I chose the above because I truly lost myself in these novels to the point where I was thinking about the stories and the characters even when I was not reading; because I chose reading over sleeping and sometimes even eating in order to finish these books; and because I became so invested in the characters that, for a period of time, their fates were as important to me as my own. What’s especially cool about this particular list, in my opinion, is that some of them were New York Times best sellers which will be (or have been) made into movies and  some were traditionally published books I read with my book club which were written by well-known authors, but many of them were published by small independent publishers or self-published by the author herself. It just goes to show that how a book is published and by whom does not necessarily dictate how high it ranks on a reader’s enjoyability/well-written meter- at least not for this reader :).

I will probably write another post or two before the culmination of 2014; perhaps my New Year’s Resolutions (if I can think of any) or maybe a list of the books I am most excited to read in 2014. If, for some reason, I do not post again in 2013 (too busy at work, too drunk, trapped under a dresser in my apartment, held captive by a sexy romantic hero – the possibilities are endless), I will leave you with my best wishes to you all for a happy, healthy, well-read and well-fed New Year!

New Year’s Resolutions – 2013

As part of my upcoming blog tour for A State of Jane, I wrote a post on Jane Frank’s New Year’s Resolutions.  (It has yet to be posted since my tour does not begin until Wednesday, the 2nd.  Can you spell N.E.R.V.O.U.S.?) Anyway, I mentioned in my post that rather than bore readers with my own resolutions, I thought it would be more fun to share some of Jane’s.  Well, despite the fact that Jane’s resolutions are way more humorous (especially if you have read the book), I have decided to bore you with my own resolutions anyway.  Be forewarned that some of them are quite deep.  No apologies, that’s just the way I roll 🙂    

1.  Try to follow my heart even if the direction scares me.  

2.  Try to live in the moment and not worry about what it “means.”  

3.  Publish 3rd novel.  

4.  Make good dent in 4th novel (first step, start writing it). 

5.  Start appreciating being young, because compared to many people, I am still quite young, instead of fretting so much about getting old and stop paying so much attention to the media about how I’m supposed to act, look and feel at my age. I am my own person, not a number, age group or generation.  

6.   Continue to push myself physically to stay in shape but step back every so often and appreciate the shape I am in.  I probably won’t look as good in ten years and would hate to waste more of my life worrying about getting flabby later instead of appreciating being unflabby now!   

7.  Stop trying to please everyone with both my writing and in general. It’s not possible. Some people won’t like my books. Some people won’t like me. It doesn’t mean I’m not a talented writer and a wonderful person.  

8.  Don’t let anyone, either intentionally or not, make me feel not good enough or “less than.”  

9.  Appreciate what I have but don’t lose sight of what I need.  

10. Stop getting upset when people don’t behave the way I would under the same circumstances. I cannot control the behavior of other people but I can feel good knowing I might be kinder, wiser, more sensitive and stronger than them.  Other times the roles will be reversed.  

11.  Try not to feel guilty for having thoughts and feelings that I wish I didn’t have. It is what it is, I’m human. Live with it.  

12.  Read these resolutions often enough so I don’t forget!

Happy New Year one and all!