Moving Forward Monday – Finally!

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A few weeks back, I mentioned that I’d be announcing where I was moving to as part of the Moving Forward Monday section of this journal. As people may have noticed, that kind of . . . didn’t happen.

Not for a lack of not wanting to say something but, on the actual moving day, things weren’t going as I’d hoped. I’d wanted a rental car to be able to bring with me everything I wanted to upon my departure from Tulsa. The rental car was a no-go, at least through Enterpise, and I didn’t have time or access to the internet to find another. Much to my chagrin, I had to leave quite a bit behind (but will be getting it before the year is over) and take the bus. I was not thrilled by this, but I made due.

So where did I cast myself to? It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise to my facebook friends. I’ve moved to Louisiana, specifically the New Orleans area. I’m currently residing in Gretna and making plans to move closer to the French Quarter in the future.

It’s been a very fun (and sometimes nerve-wracking) experience. The French Quarter is AMAZING. Being there is like being in Philadelphia. For me, I can see the history and feel it coming up from the bones of the Earth. I’ve had gumbo and po-boys and a couple of Hurricanes to boot. I feel right at home here. I felt an excitement upon arriving in Louisiana that I didn’t feel in either Washington or Pennsylvania, despite loving my time in Philadelphia. I have two awesome roommates and I’m slowly getting myself situated, but there’s no denying the New Orleans area is where I’m meant to be.

Hooray for me! Louisiana is another place I’d never been to before until getting on that bus and taking off. I left some very wonderful people in Tulsa behind physically, but they’re always in my heart, their numbers in my phone, and in my friends’ list.

I will eventually set up a post office box for people to write to me. I have a few other things to take care of first before I do that, but it’s on my to-do list.

Thanks everyone for your patience. I’m working on doing better on all aspects of my life, including this writerly thing I’ve chosen for myself.

In some other news, Sigyn’s Flowers is complete . . . ish. I wasn’t terribly happy with the ending but have let it rest for about a week. This morning, some inspiration struck and now to get those ideas onto the pages so the story has a better ending and won’t feel so much like a chapter section. I also was aiming for a May/June publication date for the story but am finding myself reconsidering pushing it back awhile. We’ll see what the critiquers have to say about it.

Up tomorrow: What I’m Currently Reading

The constant change in plans/Personal Meet-and-Greet/Updates

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Actually, this is nothing serious. I just won’t be able to attend the two conventions I had planned on this fall, which is okay. Those were just tentative and as finances allowed. Given I’ve just started working as a server at a local IHOP (training to be a server at an IHOP they’re getting ready to open sometime next month) as well as starting sometime in the next week or so at Whataburger, the time just wouldn’t be possible. I won’t be able to get Halloween off for IHOP anyway. (One of the days they actually don’t allow for people to ask for off.) The change in locale hasn’t helped, either, as I’m not close enough to attend either Ramencon or Youmacon at this point.

However, I’m not going to stick strictly to facebook, google plus, and twitter to promote my stories. I am living in a larger city than I was before, and I have better access to places that I didn’t while living in Michigan. That’s a bonus for me at this point. I’m still trying to get myself to think outside the box on what I can do to spread the word about the ebooks. (And, believe me, with me working two jobs, buying ISBNs and getting everything in print and audio is on my list of things to do!)

A potential convention circuit is being planned for 2016. Once I figure out how long of a jaunt I’m going to take to Europe. Right now, I’m in this wonderful yet not so wonderful sweet spot where I only have to worry about my student loans and paying partial rent and utilities to my mom, stepdad, and brother (everything is in their names) while at the same time I truly need an entire living space to call my own. I have no kids (yet), no boyfriend or spouse, and no pets (everyone else has enough for me to cuddle with when I need it). And I’m trying to weigh the benefits of everything at this point while trying to live a life with no regrets with the question being what am I most likely to regret the most.

In the meantime, some informal meet and greets are on the agenda. 🙂 I may even ask my sister to join me at a few so people can meet the cover artist. (We’ll see with her. She does have her own agenda and work schedule to follow.)

The next stories underway for me are Ravensrealm – Book 3 in the Arc of Fantasy series, Snow in Olympus – Book 1 in The Twilight of the Gods series, The End of Ragnarök – Book 1 in The Cold Lands series, The Fall to Midgard, Frost Giants, and Dragon’s Rain. I am not announcing any publication dates yet. I will when it’s closer to time for me to do so, and right now is just not the time.

Finally, Portal to Gaming has made its way to Smashwords. You can find it at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/575707 and The Sons of Thor at Smashwords as well, https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/575757. I’ll be updating with a new entry for this.

That’s where things in my life currently stand right now. I’m not 100% happy, but then I’m not 100% depressed and down in the dumps, either. I’m definitely getting myself into a better state of mind.

The Homeless Experience, Part 1

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So the other day I posted to facebook that I am homeless and staying in a shelter. It was something I figured would happen upon moving out to Washington. I didn’t have much money, an expired driver’s license, and nothing lined up for work or a place to live. I also have no family in Washington – I have two very casual acquaintances in the entire state and really not a lot of support from either one for a variety of reasons. It was a very risky venture on my part, and I admit that I was very naive about a lot of things.

It’s one that’s also been paying off. While I will not say which shelter I’m staying at – this is out of respect for the people who run the shelter and for the safety of the women who are also staying there – I will say this. My life hasn’t nearly been as difficult or as fraught with hardships as I used to believe. There are so many women, so many people who have never had a safe haven their entire lives. I’m very fortunate that, until I moved out here, I had a place to sleep, food on the table, and clothes on my back. I’d been surrounded by the love of family my entire life. And that isn’t a bad thing because some of the women who are in the shelters haven’t had that. They’ve never had that kind of stability, that kind of home environment, and, while mine wasn’t always the greatest (told my counselor when I was 16 I thought my dad was manic-depressive because of his up-and-down mood swings), I now know my life could have been a lot worse than what it was.

I am still seeking work in Bremerton, where I’m currently staying, where I’ve been for the last month. The goal now is to something that will pay halfway decent, be it seasonal or something a little more long term and will give a lot of hours. I need to save up what I can to move to Philadelphia, be it after the holidays, when my 90 bed nights are up, or even six months from now. This hasn’t been a wasted trip. I wouldn’t change a thing about my life and where my path has taken me. I feel much closer to my Gods now because I listened to them on what they wanted me to do, where they wanted me to go, and I’ll keep doing what I can to hear them, to listen to them, and to do what they need me, what I need to do.

There’s a lot that I can’t do right now – be out after a certain time of night, can’t work any midnight/overnight shifts, drink, be wild (not that I would, anyway) – but the pay offs on a lot are still there. I’m homeless but not out of hope or happiness. I have a deeper respect for what others go through. I’ve been blessed with a lot of kindness from others in situations like me. I feel like I’m growing stronger every day I’m out here, and I look forward to the next adventure each day brings. It usually means finding a computer to seek work and a place to rent either as a month-to-month contract or a six month contract, but there’s always something new.

I only have one thing I’d ask of anyone who reads this journal. If you see a homeless person, offer that soul something, be it a meal, a blanket, a ride, a place to stay for the night, or just a friendly ear, and fight for change for them. You truly don’t know what a single act of kindness can do for someone. It creates an ever lasting beauty, and it will be remembered.