Wednesday, May 24, 2017


So much has happened and is happening since my last post. I must have sat down to write this blog at least 15 times in the last couple of months but I can't get past the first sentence without losing myself. What to write first? Should I start with the most important or keep it chronological? Then I forget what exactly I wanted to write...Oh Yeah, so much stuff and so much brain fog. This is going to be a long blog post...

We finally sold our house in February! Thanks to Snohomish Counties runaway house prices our 780 square foot house sold for 250K and almost three months later our same tiny house is worth nearly 300K!!!! Heck, at that price, we couldn't afford to buy back our old house let alone buy a better one anywhere near Everett, Washington. If we wanted to stay in Snohomish county we would have to buy a complete dump or rent. No and no.

But, even before we put our house on the market Tacoma has been calling me. The years I lived there as a child had a huge impact on me. It inspired the Raina Kirkland series. It's this strange mixture of grunge and grime and history and elegance. It's as dangerous as it is intriguing, as fun as it is sad. The city is a living being, being both beautiful and good as it is disgusting and shameful.  James, however, would never agree to move there. He hated that idea. Tacoma doesn't have the best image. She's a lady whose been around the block a few hundred times but has a heart of gold...still, she's not the girl you marry.

But something changed. Everett's house prices are causing a huge income gap, as only rich people can afford to move there and poorer folk are priced out of their homes. Seattle's monstrous homeless problem is extending north to Everett. Twice in the past year, I've called the police because I've found a body on the side of the road, unresponsive and seemingly dead, only to discover upon police arrival that it is a homeless man 100% past out and laying in his own shit. The Taco Bell down the road has had at least two shootings last year. The high school had bomb threats and Chace Bank was robbed twice. Everett, Washington may seem desirable to home buyers for some reason, but its culture is suffering. Desperate people do desperate things.

Mid-March James finally agreed to 'look' at houses in Tacoma and that very day (which was after a night shift for me, meaning I had 0 sleep between working a 10 hour shift overnight and staying up past 8 o'clock at night!!!!) we drove down, but by the time we arrived only one house was still open for a  showing. It was a nice house, but the stairs were extremely narrow and steep.

After leaving that showing we actually found one more open house and drove to the far south Tacoma on the border with Spanaway...only to find out that the open house had been canceled and their website not updated. Oh poo...when we got back to the car I checked the website (redfin) once more and saw that a house just 4 miles down the road was actually open as well, but it was closing in 5 minutes! Without even looking at the pictures James, the kids and I drove down to see this home...and I was surprised to pass my dad's house on the way. In fact, he was only 2 blocks down the road from the house. As we pulled into the driveway, the agent selling the house was just closing up shop, but he let us take a look and we fell in LOVE hard. We made an offer on the spot! The agent left but we hung around the house with my Dad when some strange and mean people drove up. They said that they already bought the house and James got into a bit of a tiff with one of the men...

30x40 On Sale, Contact Me

After we left the house, all upset about the fight and the fact that we finally made a move on a house but we weren't fast enough, our agent called to let us know that the owner of that house did indeed agree to sell it to the mean folks, but that he HATED them! As soon as the paperwork was signed they were mean to him too. They wanted to sell it to us instead, so as soon as they could get out of the contract with the mean folks, we were free to buy the house!!!

New house's living room...

My husband was able to transfer his job with coca cola down from Everett to Tacoma, which is awesome and also brings me to some other news.  I was fully prepared to drive from Tacoma to Mukilteo ( a town near Everett) for work 3 nights a week for my 10-hour shifts, but just a few weeks before the move was to physically begin my General Manager hired my arch nemesis as her new Assistant Manager, AKA my new boss! Nooooooo! I put in my 3 weeks notice (3 because I'm awesome like that) But now I'm out of the job. OH NO! Every month I'm not working we're near $2000 short, so what's the plan?

Going Away Flowers from Boss Lady.

Well, as far as I've budgeted we can survive until the beginning of July without me working, but then I either need to get a job or find a way to not pay utilities or buy food.

The plan is to try and make a go of being an Artist, and hopefully not a starving one. I have 6 published books, 25 awesome drawings, and 2 massive paintings so far. I've written the first episode of Fatal Retribution and submitted it to Amazon for a new series pitch. For a month I paid Facebook to advertise my books and I think it helped a little at first, but now it seems useless. I posted both my paintings on OfferUp and Letgo. I had one bite on OfferUp for $150, but it fell through. I have a gig in July with Urban Unglued to sell my books and art under a 10x10 tent in Pacific Park, but I can't really afford it, so I created a GoFundMe thing.

By the way, please press HERE to donate a dollar to my dream. LOVE YOU!

I don't know if being an artist will ever support my family. Probably not. There is a plan B. Around the end of June my adult sister will be moving in with us. She needs to put her life together and we need a live-in nanny so I can go back to work. It fits. We help get her her driver's license, a car and support her while she attends college and she watches the kids so I can work again.

But I have until July to try...I just feel like something Awesome is going to happen soon!

Oh, and I got a new cat. We found this starving half dead thing under our new house a month after we bought it. Her name is Lizza and she is doing GREAT!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Baby Book Blogger

I know the #1 way to sell books is to have hundreds of reviews...and the #1 way to have hundreds of reviews is to contact hundreds of book bloggers and ask them to review your books. That's one of the reasons Fatal Retribution has so many more reviews than the other 5 books I've published. I just kept sending out request after request after request....eventually someone would bite, and if they liked it, I'd ask them to review the next book if possible...

I need to do that again, but it's scary. It's a bit like walking out the front door without any clothes on and asking random men if you're fuckable...Will they respond at all? Will they just walk away? Or will they say something? If they say something, what will they say? Will they notice all my imperfections and focus on them or will the see the overall package and shrug? Will they smile and nod politely? Or will they get super excited!...Books are like that for authors. They are like little bits of your naked self just sitting out there for all the world to see. Asking someone to openly judge my naked self is hard. It was easier when I was younger, but now it feels harder for some reason...Rejection hits harder.

I've thought about becoming a Indie Author Book Blogger for many years. Whenever I meet an Indie A, like myself, I buy their books and write a review, because I know the struggle and I'm hoping they would do the same for me. They usually don't, but I still try. 

When I receive a great review from a reader, and I mean a great review; insightful and well articulated, I encourage them with all my heart to review more authors, start a blog, share your gift. There have been only a few readers who saw in my books things I didn't even realize myself. Like how Raina relies so heavily on her brothers, Nick in particular, for emotional support; probably for lack of a father figure in her life. Nick mirrors this, probably for lack of a mother figure...I don't know if I have that gift as a reviewer. Normally, once I realize I have to write a review, it feels more like I'm in high school again and this is a book report project...It's no fun anymore.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Out With The Old Problems, In With The New

Everything seems to be falling into place, but I'm scared...

James and I sold our old little house in Everett, WA and bought a bigger house in Tacoma, WA...James got a transfer and Morrighan will be starting school there soon. So what am I scared about? 

Well, for one my mom is moving to Indiana and I'm afraid I'll never see or hear from her again. I am the worst at long distance relationships...If you don't live near me, you don't see me usually. And I don't call people no matter how much I love and miss them. I have this strange phone anxiety...I'll call for business or to make an appointment, but not for social reasons. Never. No matter how many times someone tells me to call them any time, I have an unsettling fear of bothering people by calling them, so I never do. I try not to think about my mom leaving because I start to cry. My kids love her so much and my baby boy is young enough that he won't even remember the grandma he adores right now...

The other thing weighing heavy on my mind is that I quit my job. I quit for a lot of reasons. I could write a list for you but if my boss saw them I would 100% not get a good recommendation from her. What I can tell you is that 1. Everett and Tacoma are not close, and while I was actually looking forward to the train ride up to Everett 3 nights a week, reason number 2 came along, and it suddenly didn't seem worth the effort. In fact, because of reason number 2, I likely would have quit even if James and I bought a house in Everett... Reason number 2 being that my boss just hired a woman I dislike very much as her assistant manager, meaning as my new boss...This will not stand!

But, without a job James and I are short nearly $2,000 a month. Where am I going to get that kind of money on a monthly bases? My books...they are selling but certainly not that well. Should I get another job...First I need to work the opposite of my husband, so there's always someone home with the kids. As long as his schedule is fixed, I can do that, but that brings me to my third problem.

My third worry is that my Give A Shit meter is fucking broken all to shit. I don't know what happened but lately I just can not do customer service, and that's 90% of the jobs out there... Every day that I'm catering to the needs and wants of people I'm coming a little more undone. Pretty soon I'm going to start saying what's really on my mind. I'm getting more and more mouthy. I don't think I can handle it. I feel like I'm a ticking time bomb. 


Out with the old problems, In with the new