Review of my San Francisco Trip

SF Highlights

Golden Gate Bridge, Japanese Tea Garden, Chinatown, Academy of Science

My San Francisco trip was terrifying, liberating, exhausting and wonderful. Originally, I was scheduled to go to San Francisco for work. I booked airfare and hotel on my credit card and would be reimbursed after the trip. But, as you all know, I quit. So, with a non-refundable hotel and tickets already in hand, I decided to go. It felt like a forced vacation. I had vague ideas of what I wanted to do, but nothing concrete since I had no idea how all of this was going to work.

This was my first trip to a large city alone. I’ve been to other cities, but I’ve always had a car or plans to meet up with someone. Not only that, but I have next to no experience on public transportation. I figured out which train I needed to get on at the airport and rode it to the Financial District. Then, I had the pleasure of dragging my luggage uphill to my hotel using Google Maps. I changed my pace to match those of the city folk and had the leg cramps in the middle of the night to prove it.

I bought a two day pass on a hop on, hop off open bus tour, which was probably the best thing I did. The guides talked about the history of the city and took us through the city highlights including Haight and Ashbury Street, Golden Gate Park, Chinatown, Pier 39, Palace of Fine Arts and so much more. I rode over the Golden Gate Bridge, ate clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl at Pier 39, gaped at The Academy of Science and bought fantastic knick knacks in Chinatown.

I enjoyed myself and would definitely go back. San Francisco is a great, chilly city filled with a lot of history, friendly people, culture and energy. If you haven’t visited this city, you’re missing out!

Clarity

Sunset at LSD

First, I’d like to thank everyone for the words of encouragement I’ve received since my last post. It really helped during the grieving process and has pushed me to question what I really want in life. Due to a series of events I’ve decided to follow my heart and pursue my dream. As of September 1, I will be writing full-time again!

Deviating from a stable career and income scares the living daylights out of most people, but for me staying at a 9 – 5 isn’t an option. Doing something I don’t want to do has put me through the wringer – migraines, questioning myself and emotional outbursts. When I decided to leave my stable, cushy job the migraines disappeared and this blanket of calm settled over me. Leaving my corporate job and pursuing my writing career is the right thing for me to do. Doing something that is making you miserable is a waste of time and as Les Brown says, it’s “spiritual suicide.” When I told my coworkers I was going to leave for the THIRD time (those that know me) weren’t surprised. They know I wasn’t happy and the loss of my best friend gave me this sense of urgency to change my life. Right now.

I believe we all deserve to be happy. The outpouring of support from my fans who I’ve neglected for over a year really nailed home that there are people out there willing me to do what I love most. There’s no better feeling in the world. I’m giving in and letting life lead. Letting go is terrifying and liberating, but I’m willing to take the jump.

Wish me luck, folks! I’ll keep you all posted as I set out on this journey 😉

Losing my best friend

181415_10150900161840267_1107803658_n

Last night I found out that I lost my best friend, Shyanne. We’ve been friends since my freshmen year in high school. She’s my fantasy soul mate. You can see in the picture above that I’m drinking out of a Lord of the Rings cup. I believe Shy and I are at a movie theater to watch a Harry Potter movie. Oh, yes, for the 7th HP book I was in Borders at midnight to get my copy. And, yes, I was out of high school by then and didn’t care. We’re unapologetic geeks, which doesn’t bother me one bit. We both loved to read. Shyanne urged me to finish writing the Birthright Series, which I have yet to do. Shyanne and I didn’t talk often, but when we did, it seemed as if no time passed in between. She just got me. In my  insane moments I would send her jumbled phrases that made no sense like, “The sun licked the air.” Shyanne didn’t ask me if I was on drugs, she just tried to outdo my craziness by responding with someone equally as disturbing. It’s a game that we started and will never play again. I could call Shyanne without talking to her for a year and she’d answer. There were no explanations needed for the gap in between. We knew that if something was going on, we could call one another and be there for each other. She called me her therapist and I promised her another “session” that I never made time for. That kills me.

This is the first time I’ve lost someone so close to me. The pain has taken my breath away.  The fact that she just turned 28 and I have yet to cross that threshold has made a huge impact on me. Truly, life is too short to waste time doing things you don’t want to do. Shyanne recently got a German tattoo: fernweh, which loosely translates into wanderlust in English. But, more specifically, it means: a craving for travel; being homesick for a place you’ve never been. Shyanne was a dreamer and imagined traveling all over the world. She has struck out on a different journey, but it still crushes me to know that she wasn’t able to do it here.

We all think we have so much time. We procrastinate instead of making a choice. We tread cautiously instead of charging forward. Responsibilities bog us down as adults. Instead of striving forward we decide to play it safe because we’re afraid of taking risks and failing. What’s the alternative? Living an “okay” life? I don’t want that for myself. I want to have an extraordinary life. I want to make a mark on this world and leave a legacy behind. I want people to read my books long after I’m gone and know that I was here.

I’ve established my home life and have a stable job, but it’s not what I really want to do. If you’re reading this blog you know what my true passion is. So, why am I not doing what I really want? Because of the reasons above. I’m afraid of jumping in and not being able to live off of writing but when you get a wake up call like this, it’s hard to be worried about taking a risk when you realize that Shyanne’s story here has been brought to a close. I know what she would tell me. I know what I’m supposed to do. I just have to do it.

Come October, brace yourself. I’m going in full throttle. I have to finish my books for myself, for Shyanne, for my fans who are waiting on me. You build the life that you want. I better get started.

I love you, Shyanne.

Living Alone

Waimea Living

Waimea Living

In my early twenties I lived alone in Las Vegas and Austin before I moved back to Hawaii and experienced the joy of living with siblings, in-laws and parents (yes, I’m being sarcastic). It’s been three years, long enough to forget what it was like to have my own space and worry only about myself. I’ve been living by myself again for a little over a month and you know what? I forgot how much I like living alone!

Since I live in an apartment, I have to walk my dogs several times a day, rain or shine. Although the dogs track mud through the house and it isn’t fun to walk at 10pm without street lights and a headlamp strapped to my head, I find that I enjoy the walks almost as much as they do. I get fresh air, clear my head and exercise. I walk to work, drive when I’m lazy and come home to a quiet haven where I can chill and watch Friends or Psych after a long, stressful day of numbers, office politics and multi-tasking madness. The solitude soothes my introvert’s soul and helps me recharge.

But, several things have changed since the last time I lived on my own. The biggest is that I’m not living in a complex but renting from an uncle (not blood, but a good family friend) and after three years of living with family, I’ve become accustomed to their drama/presence and am… missing it? Before, I would housesit to get away from them. Now, I make time to have dinner to catch up and vent. Living apart from them but being within a ten minute drive is the best of both worlds. My mom has dropped off numerous care packages (I love my mom!) and my dad has come by to lovingly spray bug repellent around my home (a necessity in Hawaii). My parents are the best! It’s weird to open the fridge or cabinets and see that I like everything in there. Seriously, I think I’ve gained weight since moving! What the hell!

I live in a converted garage apartment furnished by previous occupants, which means that I have a mishmash of items that don’t match or fit together. Fine with me since I moved in with my clothes, dogs, computers and not much else. I had to buy the basics— trash can, food and toilet paper. I know, I lucked out! I see/talk to my aunt and uncle almost daily. They catch me up on the town gossip (including stuff on my own extended family that I haven’t heard) since they meet at McDonalds for breakfast (the pulse of the town, I’m told). It’s a small town with a growing population where people ride horses on the side of the road or occasionally through a drive thru.😃 I live next to my old elementary school and have walked the dogs through the now seemingly small and narrow pathways and am happy to see beds of vegetables and flowers in the courtyards. I walk home for lunch and take the dog’s on a quick potty break before going back to the grind. It’s cooler in town than where my parents live so I’ve been sleeping soundly through the night. Since it rains quite a bit, I carry a miniature umbrella in my purse, which does nothing (I’ve discovered) to keep me dry.

It’s taken me over a month to settle in, but now I have everything I need and can focus on other things… like WRITING! I’ve been back at my corporate job for almost two months. Now that I’m more comfortable in my position as Accounts Payable, I can get back to business. Woo hoo! I am carving out time in my schedule to get back on the writing train. There’s never going to be a time where you can dedicate exclusively to your craft —you have to make time so that’s what I’m doing. It’s going to be slow going, but on my days off I’m going to spend time getting back to my love.

I hope you’re happy with where you are in life and enjoying the moment. Don’t be in such a rush to figure everything out. Take the time to chat with friends and family, do what you love and get a breath of fresh air.

 

Life is Crazy

path-to-greatness

You can’t make this shit up.

My intention was to dedicate 2016 to writing my ass off. I left my corporate job on January 4 and planned to write and travel. I budgeted and had everything in place before my home life began to tilt sideways. Someone told me recently that life happens while you’re busy making other plans. They were right.

The short story is that I barely had two months of writing before I realized I had to move and luckily, things started to line up for me. A friend offered a cute place in the “city” and with one interview, I landed a job. I wasn’t happy to put my writing plans to the side, but this is real life and when fate throws a curve ball, you hold up your glove to catch it or get hit in the face. I was on the verge of attending orientation for my new job when the corporate job I left three months ago came calling. I had lunch with my former boss who knew about my plans to move and asked if I wouldn’t mind coming back a third time. This threw me for a loop. I laid out my reservations. My boss negotiated the terms of my new position (with a hefty raise) and I agreed to go back for another six month contract. To make matters even sweeter, my aunt offered me a place to rent that’s right across the street from work so I’m able to walk.

I’ve been back at my corporate job for a little over a month and my new place for three weeks. Due to the craziness my life has become, I haven’t written for two months. Now things are settling down and I hope I can fall into some kind of routine that allows me to write. Recently I saw my last blog post about my intentions for 2016 and I shook my head. You can plan all you want, but life has other ideas. I’m not mad about my derailed plans. Everything happens for a reason. Watching God line everything up with such precision has blown my mind and I realize I’m not in control of anything. I’ve learned to step back and let things happen. Obviously, He knows what’s supposed to happen so I’m just following His lead.

I have no idea what books I’m going to release this year and I wanted to apologize in advance. I have every intention of finishing each series, but the release dates may be few and far between. I will let everyone know about preorders and release dates as soon as I know. Hopefully, it’ll only be a matter of time before I find my rhythm again. Wish me luck.

 

 

2016 Intentions

75568_930272580354555_1772992381902075026_n

2015 was a rough year for me personally and financially. I felt like I was scrambling around and being tested around each turn. I wasn’t sure which path was the right one. I was in limbo. This reflected in the fact that I didn’t write much in 2015. Unfinished projects litter my hard drive and binders filled with notes on half-baked plots taunt me. I was so busy worrying about life that I did nothing. I was paralyzed.

I forgot something in 2015. You can’t control life and if you find the strength to stop worrying and let go, it will resolve itself. I shouldn’t have worried about money. When I need it, an opportunity always shows up in the nick of time. How could I have forgotten to just trust that I’ll be taken care of? When I was younger I leapt without the net and now that I’m older, i see the net and still don’t jump. What the hell? Is it wisdom or fear? I guess only time will tell. 

Onto the topic—I say intentions instead of resolutions because shit happens. 

So, my intentions are pretty simple for this year. I’ve decided to do what makes me happy. I’m fucking tired of worrying, of trying to figure things out, of trying to pivot before shit happens. There’s a higher power than myself and He knows where I’m supposed to go, what I’m supposed to do. I’ll let Him worry about it. I’m going to do what I want and if he veers me onto another path, so be it. 

In 2015 I went back to my corporate job. It was the highlight of the year for me. I couldn’t be more grateful that I accepted the challenge. This job did so much more than fill my savings account and provide health insurance. This job has always pushed me to the brink and when I think I can’t handle anymore, they say I can… and I do. Every time I go back to this job I learn so much. This time the stakes were higher and the sky was the limit for how high I could go. I know this job would change me. Judging by my soon to be predecessor, the chances of turning into a chain-smoking, cursing ball buster is where I’m headed. Aspects of that path appeal to me. Traveling to exotic locations, job security, a structured life and healthy retirement are what most people dream of. But, the truthful answer to the next question will determine the rest of your life.

What do you want?

Although I respect the company and love my coworkers, becoming a corporate beast is not my dream. A life filled with meetings, countless emails and constant pressure is not what I want for the next thirty years. I want to write, travel and have the freedom to explore. So, I resigned. My boss wasn’t mad. She said, “I’ve witnessed how you work. Maybe in a couple of years, when you think you’re ready, you can come back.” Never say never.  

My intentions for 2016 are simple— write and enjoy myself. Thanks to my time back at my corporate job, I am very comfortable and plan to focus exclusively on writing this year. I want to get out the next books for the Birthright, White Mist and Unmemorable Series. If I have time I’ll add to Cursed Ancients and Cormac’s Pack. I also have some standalones I’m thinking of and who knows what else will crop up? I have to follow my curiosity as the quote says. 

I would like to go on a trip this year, but we’ll see what happens. I’m going to let things unfold and if everything comes together, it’s meant to be. You have no idea how excited I am for this year to play out. I have everything I need to be a success— my computer, internet, coffee and a mind full of ideas ready to be spilled across the page. All I need is time, which, thanks to my family and my former job, I have in spades. 

Wish me luck!