I know, this is hella late but I was in Reno for a wedding. The only other person I’ve known longer than Lover Mine was a buddy of mine who I’ve known since 2nd Grade. Last year during our bullshit power outage here at the apartment, he’d IM’d me on Facebook and asked if I’d be his best man. Naturally, I’m THE best man, so hellz yeah I accepted.
Before I left, I finished the first novel I’ve written from scratch since Lover Mine passed away. I’m pretty happy with the progress; it tops out at just over 91,000 words. It’s fairly complicated but the edits will make it better. From a technical standpoint, I love how it came together and the plot worked out so it’s a more complex story than you’re used to getting from me. I feel like the characters are deeper, the plot more clever, and the story is my most solid to date.
I can’t remember when but I did start a project for the Harlequin Desire line. A friend of mine I had mentioned in this video talked about me writing for HQN and that’s been a dream of mine since my early days as an erotica author. I’ve taken stabs in the past but something always derailed me.
No more. In personal news, we’re moving soon, probably to Charlotte or Asheville NC. More on the personal why later, but the apartment complex I live in is a shit hole. Like Detroit. Or Portland. And the investor who bought the property with good intentions of turning it into luxury living either has shithead people working for him, he made a bad investment and can’t find financing, bought the COVID nonsense for too long, hell. No one knows. But they are not currently renewing leases and it feels like they’re trying to empty the complex out.
I love Atlanta but have very little in the way of ties here. I have wonderful memories, my first apartment alone, lot of experiences I wouldn’t trade for the world. Even the negative ones. But in the last few months, a few things have been made clear to me.
I said I was going to go back into IT so I could generate all this cash for ads, self-publishing, a better life. Honestly, I put $10 into a course I would recommend for those going after their Cisco CCNA, and too many wasted hours. I put more wasted hours on Professor Messor’s site trying to get down shit I learned when I was 19 years old while spending another $50 plus shipping on a CompTIA book for that certification.
It’s been almost six months and as my beautiful and perspicacious Crone said to me on a recent phone call, “You wanted it that bad, you’d have done it by now.” She knows I sink my teeth into things I want to do. I’ve been feeling like, man. Fuck, I need to get back to those things but I really need to finish the HQN novel by end of year, and I needed to finish Addicted to You (Remix) as well. I NEEDED that. Badly. No, the death of #OwnHerHeart didn’t stop my writing, but it didn’t help. I spent time going over old shit, rewriting old shit, editing old shit, looking at old shit with fresh (read: drunk or hungover sometimes) eyes, wasting time, wishing, wanting. In short, being fucking USELESS as a writer. Sure, I worked at the cigar shop, but I can’t remember if I was writing while at Bhojanic or not. The only thing I know of is that I did an interview for Elle Greco that can be found on Spotify here. Elle, sorry I didn’t push this more once you sent me the link. But before my heart surgery, I had started Addicted to You, wrote the first 20k, and thought, fuck this shit. The heroine isn’t going to work for me. But I was writing like I used to. Then, surgery, cigar events, recovery, some hard lessons, and back to the grind with a new heroine. Anastasia works for me in ways that Lisa couldn’t but I’ll detail that later.
Between doctor visits, life shit, more doctor visits for both younger lover and me; the novel dragged on but I made progress. Daily when I could, but as frequent as possible when I couldn’t. Then, I’d finished it in mid-October.
Before I finished that novel, I’d had a chance to work for the folks at ATL Cigar Co. They did an event launching the Magic, a wonderful, medium to full-bodied, full-flavored cigar that blew my mind when I was given a sample. The message I was hearing after talking to many people I knew was becoming clear with each cigar event I did.
You see, I kept asking to stay in Cigars and Alcohol – things I’m passionate about. Things I know like the back of my hand. I told Peter of ATL Cigar Co., “Dude if you can find a way to help me stay in this industry, I’d be in your debt.” Actually, I think I said, “Keep me here, don’t let me go into fucking IT!”
My baby Crone is right. A move to NC has different opportunities and it is a cigar/alcohol friendly state.
By the way, for comparison: Know how much I spent on my writing career so far? Honest investments.
- $420 for Amazon Ad School
- $700 for Romance Author Mastermind (this weekend, yaassss girl!)
- $450 for e-book covers and print covers for The Bodyguard and Saint in Sinner’s Eyes, along with FB banner/ad stuff/cover art for Riding Tempest.
- $600 (I’m guessing, I know it was a lot) for Skye Warren’s FB Ads for Romance authors.
- $200 on FB ads during the month-long Skye Warren class
- $400 (maybe? rounding up) for Amazon Ads over a year and a half.
- $100 on Scrivener for two laptops, my iPhone and iPad
This doesn’t account for money spent on books for research or craft. Or tech. Like the $1,000 upgraded iPad Pro 4th Gen because my 1st Gen was dying. Or the $200 Logitech keyboard/case so I wouldn’t have to lug my HP around if I wanted to edit/write.
And I plan for more. IT was a quick fix because it is my background. But can you see what I’ve done? For once, having the capital, I put it where my fucking heart is. I have personal reasons for going back into IT as well, but my Crone said “that’s all bullshit.” And she’s right. You can see my priorities based on where my money is spent.
Oh, and let’s not forget that I submitted a bunch of short stories to Decadent Publishing. We’re working on cover art for Paula’s Craving under MY name. Edits are complete already.
I’ve put a few feelers out in Asheville and Charlotte for bar gigs and cigar lounges to hang out and work at. There are some possibilities. No promises, but I’m putting in the work now and even working part time would give me time and capital to work with toward my publishing career. Don’t worry, I’m still trading. Steady capital will help that too. I made money in 2020 and only fucking Blackberry blew most of my account out. I was greedy a week later, probably sure I mentioned this in another post.
I have to catch some lectures from Romance Author Mastermind this weekend. With my career, one truth prevails.
I’m all in.