Seven (7) in (in) Five (5)


Seven in five.

September, 2016 to February, 2017.

That’s my timeline.

“For what?” you’re wondering.

I have seven books in the works and my plan is to have them all written and published by February, 2017.

“Seven books in five months? Are you nuts?” you might be asking.

Yes, it does seem daunting. A novel length book is a minimum of 50,000 words. Multiply that by 7 and you get 350,000 words. That’s a decent amount of words.

Unless you’re a writer. On average I write 5,000-15,000 words a week, not including Facebook posts, emails, blog posts or messages. That’s 20-60k words a month, mainly about stuff I really don’t care about. In five months, that’s 100k to 300k words.

But the good news is that I don’t have to actually write that many words. Three of the books are at various stages of completion (two over 50 percent completed). Two of the books are going to be more novella length (less than 50k but more than 25k). I guesstimate having to write around 235k words between now and late January, early February. Which is more than doable.

Well, don’t overwork yourself. Don’t burn out. Pace yourself. This has been the advice from many. I appreciate the words, I know they are meant to be helpful.

But hush already. LOL This is how I want to make my living. I don’t want to write for mills and impossible clients anymore. I don’t want to spend my days writing about stuff I don’t much care about. I can deal with doing it for a few hours a week, but not all day, every day. Not anymore. I’m starting to view my work with the same disdain reserved for “traditional” work gigs. And I can’t allow that to happen.

So, I’m diving in and getting these books written. This is what I want to do with my life, it’s how I want to make a living. Are the next few months going to be easy? Nope. Have I bitten off more than I can chew? Perhaps. I can always change my schedule if I need to, but I’m going to try like hell not to do that. I’ve been saying “I’ll do it later” to my career for more years than I even want to think about. I’m staring at 50. If not now, when? If not me, who?

So, wish me luck. Ask me how things are going. Say prayers, light candles, think good thoughts as I dive into my career, the career I’ve always wanted, for what feels like the first time. I’m excited. Let’s do this!

 

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Hi There!


I know, it’s been a while, I’m sorry. If I had to describe the last six months of my life, I’d have to say it looked something like this:

tangled ball of yarn2

Between health issues, work issues and an overall displeasure with my life’s path, I knew changes had to be made. But look at all that tangle and mess! Where does one begin?

Well, I started with the obvious. I started taking some meds and I started changing up my diet. I’m still getting around to exercising more, but since the meds seem to be working, I’m dealing with less pain so now I can seriously look at the exercise options.

I also made some professional decisions. I went back to a regular, 9-5 day job like normal folks.

Yeah, stop laughing. It was worth a shot. It didn’t last long but I did learn some valuable lessons. No, I’m not sharing them here, and I’ll explain why in a moment.

There’s something I’ve always known about myself that I tend to ignore for a myriad of reasons. I don’t “do” normal. I don’t think normal, I don’t react to things the way normal people do, my brain has some different wiring. And I’m okay with that, until I start to believe when people say I shouldn’t be okay with it. When people (who for the most part only want me to be happy) tell me that if I just “play along,” or “play the game,” or “think of it as a role and I’m going for the Academy Award,” I’m tempted to buy into it because quite frankly, being me is exhausting. So, I try it. Then I quickly remember why I stopped playing along in the first place.

Because you see, as exhausted as I am being me, at least I don’t feel defeated. As tired as my own brain makes me, at least at the end of the day I can look in the mirror and stare down my own reflection. And as weary as being me can make me, at the end of the day, I’m proud that I am who I am and when I get up the next day, I’m ready to do it all again.

If that’s not enough for some people, if the real me isn’t good enough, I really don’t give a damn.

Okay, got a bit off topic, but apparently I needed to say that, so there you go. 🙂 Now to the real reason for this post: I’m switching this blog to writing only. That’s kinda what it was supposed to be from the beginning but me being me, (see I get in my own way!) I kinda let it become a catch-all. Well not anymore. This blog is about writing. My books, articles, rants about clients, all that will be here. My personal thoughts have a new home: Unapologetically Mocha. Follow me over there for my thoughts, feeling and rants about the world.

This is just my attempt to unravel the tangles and make my life more doable. If I had to wager, I’d guess my life currently looks like this:

not so tangled balls of yarn

Progress! 🙂

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A “Typical” Work Day…


I’ve been asked more than once what a typical workday for me is like.
Well, short of taking you on a Periscope trip (which I might do when it gets warmer and I’m on the road more), the best way to describe it is to show you a picture of my desk at any given moment of the day:

20160222_115345[1]This is what three businesses on one desk looks like. At least when I dump it all out like this to take a picture so you all can see what three businesses on one desk looks like. 🙂

I took this pic this morning while I was determining what all I had going on today. The receipts represent the mystery shop reports I have to complete. The jewelry supplies are for jewelry orders that I need to complete this week, and the notebook (far right corner) has a list of my writing assignments for the week.

Now, when I’m *actually* working, my desk looks more like this:

Writing

20160222_120950

Jewelry making

20160222_121404

Working on reports…

20160222_120804

There ya have it…a peek at my desk and a glimpse into my work day. So, what does YOUR desk look like?

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Nailed it!


One of my birthday gifts was a nail appointment. So Tuesday the Diva and I headed to the salon to get our nails done.

Now, I like getting my nails done. I like how they look when they’re done. But considering I spend hours pounding keys, working with wire and metal and tools, to say I’m rough on a set of acrylics would be an understatement. But again, I like how they look so get them done once in a while.

I was at a loss as to what to get on them. I knew my desired length and shape and I knew the color.But what to get on them…

Then it hit me. They should serve as a reminder of what I do. So..

 

So, I havea question mark on my thumb, an exclamation point on my index finger, a semi-colon on my middle finger, a colon on my ring finger and a comma on my pinky. Yes, I picked each one for each finger for a reason. No, I won’t tell you, but feel free to post your guesses in the comments. 🙂

 

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Kim’s Excellent Auditing Adventure (aka The time the crazy rode shotgun)


Okay, so today this happened:

The day started normally enough. I got up, got some coffee and waited for Diva to get ready for work. I dropped her off and proceeded to start my work day. Many of you know that along with my freelance writing and jewelry design gigs I’m also a mystery shopper. Well I’m also a quality auditor for gas stations, and today I had a route I needed to complete. Seven stations in one town.

I get to the first station and I’m doing the spiel. Let the station know I’m there. Give them my letter of authorization (LoA…remember this, it will be important later), then I take pictures and complete the inspection. I’m walking back to my car and a woman approaches me.

Woman: pretty gutsy casing the joint during the day.

Me: Yeah, I’m not planning a robbery, I’m doing a site inspection.

Woman: Oh, of course (wink wink nudge nudge)

Me: Yeah…okay bye.

I get in my car and drive to the next location, all of two blocks away. Do my thing again, alert the station, hand over the LoA, take the photos, do the inspection (from now on, I’m referring to this as ‘Do my thing.’ As I’m walking to my car, guess who approaches me again? Yep. Lady from station #1.

Woman: What the hell kinda heist are you planning?

Me: No heist. Site inspections.

Woman: Good. Glad you’ve got your story down. Makes it way more believable if the cops find out.

Me: Yeah…sure. Bye.

As I got in my car, I thought, “Great, crazy lady is following me thinking I’m going on a crime spree. My luck she’ll say she wants in on it.” I start the car and headed for station #3, which is five or six blocks down the street.

You know, you’d think that I would have learned by now that speaking things aloud to the universe is inviting the universe to act. Apparently I haven’t learned that lesson because, sure enough, after I did my thing…

Woman: Look, if I can anticipate your next move, the cops will. You need a partner, I volunteer me!

Me: Thanks for the offer, but I work alone.

Woman: That’s never a good idea. There should always be two in a heist.

Me: Sorry. Loner.

Station #4:

Woman: I’m an excellent driver.

Me: Me too, plus my insurance won’t cover you.

Station #5:

Woman: I have an excellent eye for detail.

Me: Without looking, how many lights are on under the canopy?

Woman: Uh…

Me: buuzzz! Too late, we’re in jail and it’s your fault. Thanks for playing.

I get to station #6…no sign of her. Did she give up? Did I lose her? Did she find something more amusing to do? After the nanosecond I took to ponder all that, I finished the gig and jumped in the car in the hopes that I could get the last site done..just in case she decided I was interesting again.

I get to the last station. There she is. With the station attendant.

Me: Seriously?

Woman: Told you I knew what you were doing.

Me: Lady you don’t know what you’re  doing, let alone what I’m doing.

Woman: Well you won’t be casing this joint!

Me:  (To the attendant)  I’m here to do your site inspection.

Attendant: Do you have a LoA?

Me: Yep. (hand over the letter)

Woman: That doesn’t mean anything. Any witless moron could make one of those.

Me: And yet here you stand without one.

And with that, I finished the inspection and left.

Now I’m at home thinking about all the ways that could have went wrong. But you know what? It didn’t and therefore it lands in the “must blog this because this only happens to me” box.

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Why I Detest “All Lives Matter”


When the #BlackLivesMatter movement first gained momentum, it was quickly followed by the response, “All Lives Matter.” For the longest time, that response bugged me, but I couldn’t figure out why.

Then it dawned on me.

It was like telling someone who had just lost their home to a fire, “Yeah, well so-and-so lost their house last month and such-and-such lost their house two days ago. Why are you special?”

Well you’re special because right there…at that very moment, it was happening to YOU. You wanted someone to reach out and help YOU in your moment of pain. You wanted someone to put an arm around you and say, “It will be okay. We’ll figure it out.”

THAT is why “All lives matter” is the LAST thing you should say in response to “____ Lives Matter.” Doesn’t matter which lives we’re talking about. It’s dismissive to any and all of them. So quit saying it.

So, what can you say instead? Let me help you out:

#Black Lives Matter

Response: You’re right, they should but to some they don’t. We’re going to figure out a way to make it so they do.

#Women’s Lives Matter

Response: You’re right, they should but to some they don’t. We’re going to figure out a way to make it so they do.

#LGBT Lives Matter

Response: You’re right, they should but to some they don’t. We’re going to figure out a way to make it so they do.

Get it? From now on, every time someone trots out All Lives Matter, I’m linking them to this post. Because I’m like my father, I don’t like to repeat myself, and I’ve been beating this drum for far too long.

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Gonna make a prediction…


Someone is going to win a football game tonight. 🙂

Ha! You were expecting me to pick a team, weren’t you? Quite frankly, I don’t much care who wins, since a win for either side would be nice. For Denver, it would mean Manning would go out on top, and that’s always a nice thing to see. For Carolina, watching a guy like Cam Newton, who pretty much goes out of his way to help people whenever possible achieve a dream would be neat too. Of course, if Manning does win and retire, there’s a good chance he’ll be in Tennessee calling shots for my beloved Titans. Not sure how I feel about that…

Anyway, past that, I don’t have a dog in the race. I’m just going to kick back, consume junk food and tasty beverages, watch the game, critique the commercials…

And wonder why Coldplay is part of the halftime show.

Yeah, I went there. LOL

I might make a snarky post/tweet or two during the game, especially once the tasty beverages start flowing. We shall see. 🙂

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Apparently…


I need to declare my worthlessness to the universe more often. I had one of my most productive days in a very long time today. It’s as if the universe looked down on me and said, “Well, you know that the first step is admitting you have a problem.”

Well, as great as it was to get stuff done, I’m so far behind from such a long dry spell, I’m still not out of the woods. So, Universe, if you could see fit to keep things rolling tomorrow that’d be great. I had forgotten what it was like to actually get stuff done. It was awesome. I want to feel that again.

Don’t really have much to say otherwise. I’m living a pretty boring life right now. But that’s what happens when you’ve been sick. It throws everything off. But this is the week leading up to my Birthday week, so I’m determined to get as much done this week as possible so I can enjoy my birthday week. I’m getting excited for that. It’ll be fun! I’ll fill y’all in on the possible activities tomorrow.

Okay, I’m off to do a bit more work before calling it a night. Namaste all!

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I’m a total waste of space!


I have a million lot of things I need to get done, but my motivation is in the negative numbers. After being sick for a month, getting the oomph  to get anything accomplished has been really really tough. Though I’m no longer coughing, wheezing or hacking up a lung, I’m still so freaking tired all. the. time. It makes me rather sad.

But, I will power through. I will prevail. I will accomplish all the things I have to do this month. This week. Today.

Okay, so maybe today is shot since it’s 2 am, but if I power through for just a little longer, I can say a got a good great head start for tomorrow. And that’s something to be proud about, right?

Okay, I am off to write some words that must be written. Well, more words anyway, since this blog post needed to be written too. Like yesterday’s post, since I’m still up, it counts as being on time for the day. Go me.

I swear, one of these days I’m going to write a post about something, instead of several posts that are basically a lot about nothing. We don’t need a blogging Seinfeld. Sitcom Seinfeld was plenty.

Okay, off to work for a few before I hit the hay. Namaste my friends. 🙂

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I’m still up….


and therefore the day isn’t over for me and this post is not late. 🙂

I’ve got a lot of irons in the fire right now, from working on the new book and trying to get my book signing set up, to regular client work and helping someone get their business idea off the ground.  And in the middle of all that, I’m working on my taxes.

I was looking at my bank statement and I noticed a direct deposit that I could not identify. It wasn’t a huge deposit, but it was enough to make me wonder where it came from. I looked through my client list, my mystery shopping clients and my one-off work list…no match. I had no idea where the money came from.

I let it go, figuring the mystery would solve itself. I was taking notes on an essay I’m writing for the book, and it hit me; I hadn’t checked my book sales recently. So, I hopped over to Create Space to look. As I was looking at the sales, I saw the “earnings earned” field. Lo and behold, the amount in the box was the same as the direct deposit.

I earned royalties on my book?

Holy crap, I EARNED ROYALTIES ON MY BOOK!

I wish I would have realized it sooner, I would have spent the money on something more fun. To be honest I think it became grocery money. However I spent it, my book created income for me. And that’s totally cool!

One of my goals is to write books that people enjoy and that will pay my bills. I feel like I just placed the cornerstone. I’ve got something to build on. And that is awesome!

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