Gina Penn, unabridged.

The Etcetera

Right Through You

I opened this blog on a whim and saw that it’s been (almost to the very day) a year since I last wrote anything.

Blogging is difficult. It’s difficult to come up with something to say. As a person who really strives for the best, I tend to trash a million ideas because they aren’t good enough to devote time the time and energy to.

Another year is winding down again. Last year I wrote something similar. Another spring has come and gone, another summer, another fall. Snow has already fallen this season and the promise of some today. Right now, the sun is shining outside and the temperature is mild. Should reach the mid-40s today, so maybe we’ll only have a few flakes, just enough to crisp the edges of the lawns.

I try to blog about what I’ve done and what significant things have happened to me in the past year. Painful or pleasant, I try to get it all down. A recap, if you will.

This year has been a tornado. The best thing to happen to me this year? Europe. I did some traveling this year and flew to Europe for the very first time in my life. My first stop? Paris. Paris, the city of love and lights. My friend J went with me and she and I had a right and proper girls’ trip overseas where we traveled and shopped and saw all the touristy sites and ate all the good food, drank great wine, and had just an amazing time.

Paris is an incredible city and everyone should see it at least once. We arrived in the morning and had a whirlwind day of walking the city. Our first stop was a bakery to purchase breakfast. I wanted to go into a real French bakery and use my French (oui, je parle un peu le Francais) to order food. I did all right too but that might be because so many Europeans speak English. So, if you’ve always wanted to travel overseas but have been hesitant due to a language barrier, fear not; they probably speak English.

After breakfast, we walked the city. The public transport there is second to none. I’ve been to New York and even their subway system is a mess compared to Paris. In one single day, J and I were able to decipher and use the Metro to see the Louvre, the Moulin Rouge, the Eiffel Tower, and the Arc de Triomphe. We walked the Champs-Elysees and saw the stores that are far too expensive for us to shop in. We walked the Louvre and saw the infamous Mona Lisa (something I’ve always wanted to do). We only had a single day to tour Paris (a planning thing that I now regret-Paris deserves far more than a day) but we managed to fill it with so many gorgeous sites. The Parisians are fabulous, friendly, and helpful. We missed seeing Notre Dame and after it caught on fire, I definitely regretted skipping it. If I went back, I would spend a few more days there and see the magnificent church, as well as the Palace of Versailles. Paris, I promise I will return to you one day.

After Paris, we had a long layover in Munich. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to leave the airport and tour Germany, which I also regret. I wish we had slated at least a day there. I can attest that the airport in Munich is the cleanest and quietest airport I’ve ever been to.

We left Munich and flew to Rome. We spent several days in Rome and toured the city. We saw the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, St. Peter’s Basilica, Piazza Navona, the Spanish Steps, and the Sistine Chapel. It was incredible to stand under Michelangelo’s awe-inspiring Creation of Adam and see all the colors and intricate details of his work. And that was the first full day we were in Rome. We shopped, ate, and walked all over the city. The food is incredible and the people are simply amazing. We also took a train to Naples and saw Pompeii. We joined a tour and saw the ruins of this once great city that had been buried in volcanic rock and ash. We saw fountains that people once drew water from, we saw pots people once drank from, we saw the stone roads that people once walked and pulled carts on. We saw the majestic Mt Vesuvius looming over the city, an ominous reminder of what it’s capable of. Pompeii is too incredible to describe and the restoration of it has been nothing short of unbelievable. And it hasn’t been fully uncovered yet so who knows what else lies in wait to be discovered? I hope I’m around to find out. I’d love to go back.

After Pompeii we took the train back to Rome. The train system there is a little overwhelming to be honest and I’m glad J was there with me to help me navigate. The tickets are in Italian and not many people at the train station speak English to help you. The train station itself is large and stuffed with people milling around, a true assault to the senses, if you’re an introvert like me who doesn’t care for large, crowded places. But the experience was so wonderful, I’m so glad I didn’t skip it. Pompeii is not a place to be skipped over. It deserves a day for you to walk and marvel at and experience how they lived and what life was like for this once great resort city for the Romans.

It was sad to leave Europe. If I had the money and resources, I would go more often, perhaps even live there. It’s an amazing place filled with great food, people, and sites. A person can breathe there, in the sense that it doesn’t have the same sense of political dread that America has. But that’s a post for another day.

So, what goes up must come down, right? Well, I experienced a tremendous loss in April, about a month after Europe. The loss of my beloved 14 year old dog, Carmody. Carmody had been my buddy since 2006, (she was not a puppy when I got her) when I found her from an animal shelter from the blue period of my life. She was such a wonderful, smart, happy girl and I miss her and think about her every day. I will never stop feeling terrible about the way she died and will always believe she deserved better. I tried to save her and she ended up dying anyway. I can’t talk about her right now, I’m not in a place in my mind and heart where I can do it without sobbing hysterically. I will never forget her.

The next piece of 2019 is I started school again to finish my IT degree. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for some time but hadn’t been in a place and time that would have made it feasible for me. I am now and am now entering my fourth class and getting straight A’s and feeling pretty good about my chances of graduating. For me, this is my third attempt at college and hopefully this one will be the charm. If I don’t stumble and get frustrated and quit, like I’ve done before, I’ll graduate and finally have that expensive piece of paper that makes me a little more marketable to the workforce. Thankfully, this time I have a much better support system to get me through the tough times. Along with studying IT, I’m also learning how to code and trying to learn and teach myself as much as I possibly can. I’m a girl alone in the world and I need a safety net, should something terrible happen to me. I love computers, I’ve always been good with them and had instincts and so this feels right to me. I hope I’ll be able to blog about the graduation experience sometime soon.

My second, and hopefully final tremendous loss for a while, was the loss of my 18 year old kitty, Beatrice. Beatrice is different from Carmody in that her death was natural and expected due to a few illnesses that happen to cats as they age. She had been receiving treatment for thyroid issues for several years, had heart issues, and this year, been diagnosed with advanced kidney disease. Once your kitty has kidney disease, there isn’t too much you can do. There are medications (which she was on) and foods you can give (which she was also eating) and remedies you can try but ultimately it has no cure and will eventually take them, whether you want it to or not. She died on a Thursday, in the morning, and I was with her to pet her and love her and between tears tell her I loved her and will miss her and treasure her always.

Losing Carmody and Beatrice marked the end of an era of my life, and losing two pets I’ve had for so long only five months apart was harder than you can realize. Those two, especially Bea, had been through things with me that no human was. They were with me through my marriage and divorce, through several moves, and finally the house I’m in now. They were with me during the darkest points of my depression, braving it in a way that no human would have been able to endure. I was so lucky to have them with me on this journey. I was so lucky to have two girls that were both endlessly sweet and loving and faithful. An animal’s love is deep and unchallenged and without strings and I believe that humans are undeserving of such a thing, being the flawed and potentially cruel creatures we are. But I was so lucky to have them in my life with me. Now I have two boys, a dog and a cat, and although they will never replace the girls I lost, they bring a love and laughter to my life that is different yet just as fulfilling.

Losing Beatrice was two months ago. Carmody was seven. So much loss in such a short span of time. And yet I’m still here. Every year, even with its loss, trends upward ever so slightly. It’s like watching a grid of the stock market, it has its peaks and valleys but a little at a time it tries to move upward. That’s kind of like life, in a way. You trudge this path, sometimes with people, sometimes alone. Some days you feel on top of the world, happiest of happy days. Other days, you are at the bottom of a crash, scraping beneath the bottom of the barrel. If you’re lucky, you’ve had people with you, family and friends, to help soften the blows and get you through the tough times. If you’re like me, you’ve endured most of your life alone, going through tough times completely alone and misunderstood, no family or friends to be there to talk you off the ledge. After doing the math, I’ve determined that I’ve lived just as much of my adult life alone as I have with someone. And honestly, even when I was married, I don’t consider that ten years to be completely not alone. Just because you’re in the same house as someone else, doesn’t mean that person is really with you and understands you. I spent much of my marriage alone too. I’ve come to the determination that I’ll probably always be alone, in one way or another, even if I manage to find someone who can tolerate being around me for more than a year. I’m not sure I was meant for a relationship, at least not one that’s long-term. My mind and soul can’t be tamed by one person alone. I grow bored when I’m with a good one and anxious when I’m with a bad one. I can’t find middle ground. I have yet to find someone who can both understand and challenge me in a way that will keep me intrigued and endeared. Unfortunately, my standards are incredibly high and I’d rather be alone than with someone who doesn’t get me. So, I’ll be alone. And I guess that’s okay. Being alone isn’t much different than being in a marriage. There are times when I really want someone around and times when I don’t.

What’s the moral of this story? I don’t know. Just keep on, keeping on. I believe I’ve reached a plateau in my life and I’ve crossed only a small portion of it. I’ve climbed some hills and tripped over some rocks but for the most part, the vast expanses of my mind, for the moment, are flat and endless with only a wide horizon to be seen from a far-off distance. I don’t believe my journey to be unique in any way. Many have tread this path and many more will after me. And until that day, should it come, when I encounter a person who gets me and can see right through all the rough edges and tough exterior, right through to me, then I’ll try to keep walking until I can’t anymore. If that doesn’t happen before I can no longer be here? Well, I’ll be in good company after I’m gone.

RIP my sweet girls. I’ll love you both forever and ever.

G

 


le coeur de la mer

Another year has come and gone. Another spring, with its new blooms and promise of new life. Another summer, both hot and exhilarating. Another fall, with leaves of fire and crisp evening breezes. Winter is now coming and even though it’s only November, it already promises frigid temperatures and the white stuff a little too early.

The year has been a docile one for me. A lot of quiet evenings due to too much time on my hands. Now that my life is more in order than it ever has been, at least in the physical sense, time is the result.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Alone time is great for unpacking your thoughts and putting them in order. It can help one reprioritize and figure out what the next steps are. Usually people who have a lot of thought unpacking to do are those who have had a metric ton to store away. We tend to store away extra furniture we don’t know what to do with. The trick is remembering it’s there and doing something with it before the bugs find it and start destroying it, one nibble at a time.

I’ve been unpacking the same room for six years.

Mental unpacking can also be slow torture. This may be why so many people avoid it. Unpacking means confronting unpleasant things. The things that happen to us, things that are done to us, things we do to others, and things that change our lives forever. As a student and lover of psychology, I always come back to the why. One thing that’s taken me six years to realize is that we don’t always get the why, no matter how hard we search for it. That’s when we have to try to move on. It can be hard moving on when there’s no explanation to a why, like trying to walk with a broken pinkie toe. You can still walk but that toe will constantly nag you.

Six years ago I went through a divorce and the beginning of a long hibernation. The divorce was sad, the end of something always is, but it wasn’t the reason I went into long hibernation mode. My hibernation mode for the last six years was due to someone else. A man I was with during my separation that I fell very much in love with. If I’m to be honest, and where else can I be honest but here, I’ll admit that me falling for this man was very much like sinking into the Mariana Trench. The deeper I sank, the darker it got. And it’s taken me six years to get to a point to where I might see some light at the end of the tunnel.

Six years. But I am not out of the woods yet.

That’s how hard I fell.

Love can be a great thing. When it’s happening to you, the world is softer, brighter, happier. When you’re with that person, and you think the feeling is reciprocated, there is nothing quite like it. Those sweet conversations until the wee hours of the morning. Those little gestures, like making a meal or tiny kisses for no reason, are both treasured and cherished all day. Learning new things about that person and trying to use that information to make them happy becomes a goal. I cherished every single moment I was with him and really believed it would go somewhere if I worked at it. I had known him for years, and never did he display the type of behavior that would indicate what would befall my future. I truly believed that I had found a good man with a kind heart and warm soul.

Boy was I wrong.

The feelings were not reciprocated. Turns out that for most of a year this man put on a very good charade, Oscar-worthy, in fact, and once he found a new girl (and by girl I mean just that; a young girl of 21 and already with a kid when he was in his thirties), he had no problem ghosting me out of his life. Ghosting is a new term for simply disappearing from someone’s life without any explanation, warning, or goodbye. And that’s exactly what he did. After ten months of seeing him almost every single day, going on dates, cooking and eating meals, gifts, holding hands, grocery shopping together, truck rides, parties with other couples, long conversations about nothing and everything, he simply disappeared. Gone. As though we never existed. I got one text that said he had a new girlfriend who was now living with him and that was it. He never even bothered to give me my stuff back.

After that, life didn’t get any easier. I lost my home and my car died. I had just moved into a house I was renting only to be asked to move out (due to the landlord’s own divorce, seems the fever was contagious) less than a year later.  Then, several of my family members died all within a year. My aunt in early 2013, my uncle a few months later, another aunt about a month later, another uncle a month after her, my own mother in October of 2013, then my cousin a few months after her in early 2014. 2013 and early 2014 was the time of death for certain. At the time, I was living in a tiny, 500 sq ft apartment with my dog and my cat and trying to survive day to day. I was broke and terribly unhappy. I look back on it now and still wonder how I made it through. At the time I did not have any friends or family I was close enough with to talk to and was literally down to my last few dollars and shreds of sanity. I contemplated suicide every day.

I went on like this for months. I turned into a zombie. I even attempted to date someone and it lasted almost a year but I never really scratched the surface there. To be fair, neither did he. I think we both needed each other for the same reasons and once the well had run dry, we were both more than happy to find the exit. We’re still friends to this day and I have no ill feelings toward him. I have only had one other relationship in the last six years and it ended two years ago. I have dated no one else since then. Nor do I have the energy to, right now.

During the last quarter of 2012, all of 2013, and most of 2014, I basically existed. I was an empty shell, left to rot on a filthy beach. I was alone a lot. I couldn’t write anymore. That passion had left me the way he had. I tried to write but the words wouldn’t come. It was like calling an old lover who answers the phone but won’t speak a word, only the sound of their breath on the other end of the line. I contemplated constantly about what I did wrong and how I deserved to be tossed aside like a piece of garbage without one single word from him to offer closure. Fits of tears were not a daily occurrence but an hourly one, making work difficult. Long, ragged, hysterical bouts of sobbing were had a couple of times a day, usually at the beginning and end of the day when I was not at work. These hate-filled sob sessions always left me feeling more angry, bitter, cynical, and empty than ever before. Sometimes a good cry will clean you out the way you toss food gone bad from the refrigerator. I never felt cleaner or better after those cries. I only felt myself sinking deeper into a dark depression, with terrible thoughts I’d never had before. Dark, angry, murderous black thoughts that would leave me feeling both terrified and ominous. It took every drop of energy to get through each day, from sun up to sun down. Dragging myself to work, failing my desire to not think about it anymore, to just get over it the way so many people seemingly have. Nothing to come home to, no one to talk to, no plans after work, no people in my life to help soften the blow. When a person has no outlet for these thoughts, they become filled with bitterness and despair. The fire simply burns until there’s nothing left but ashes and the faint smell of smoke.

The only saving grace I had didn’t come until around mid 2014 when my friend came into my life and we started making plans and doing things together. What began as a casual friendship turned into the life vest that kept me from drowning in a turbulent sea. I finally had something to look forward to and a reason to not simply give up. She was the open window where the fresh spring breeze comes in, turning a stale, moldy house into one that’s bright and airy.

I began to surface from these depressions more and more often. At first, it was only occasional. After a long season in the dark, the light is not only hurtful but scary. How can I trust this person? Do I really want to risk going through another loss? Why should I even try to have a friend when it’s just going to crash and burn, the way everything else does? And as I held my breath in anticipation of the other shoe dropping, I found the other shoe simply wasn’t dropping. During those early outings of meals and museums, I kept thinking, today’s the day she’s going to decide I’m not worth the trouble. She’s going to stop returning my texts and move on. Find somewhere else to dig that’s a little less rocky. But she didn’t. And still hasn’t as of this writing. She’s my best friend and the best human I’ve ever known.

As I previously stated, I’m still not out of the woods yet. I don’t think I’ve unpacked all my furniture. There’s still some big pieces with sheets slung over them in the dark recesses of my mind. I’m not sure I ever will. As I also stated earlier, I am obsessed with the why and to this day, I still haven’t received one. I doubt he’s given me a second thought in six years. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him though, in one way or another, and whenever I do, I still feel that sharp pinch of hurt in a place that hasn’t yet healed. A bruise on my soul that’s turned from bright purple and blue to a faded yellow but still very much there. I’m a slow healer and the fact that when he disappeared he not only obliterated my sense of self but also my one passion-writing-makes it even worse. I had one thing going for me, one thing that made me different and unique and he took it from me, the way a rapist will tear away not only a girl’s virginity but also the naive belief that people are basically good inside. If any good is to be learned from the last six years it’s that I can be painfully alone without other humans for very long periods of time which will come in handy if there’s ever a zombie apocalypse. I won’t deny it’s stripped my sanity just a little bit but I haven’t murdered anyone so there’s something to be said for that.

If you’ve read all this to the end, thank you. Thank you for hearing the journey I’ve endured the last six years and thank you for being patient. I’m not sure if there’s any wisdom here, probably not, but I hope at least one person reads this and can at least relate. We are all floating alone in our own sea, but occasionally an island appears and offers at least a temporary escape from the isolation. All I can say is don’t stop swimming.


Another Year Gone Bye

We’ve said goodbye to 2017.

It’s been a busy year for me personally and a scary year politically. The latter is for another post.

For the personal part, I bought a house last year! It was time. My credit finally reached a point where it was good enough to pursue. And after a lot of searching, both external and internal, I finally found one that I liked enough to write a check for. It’s not the end of my rainbow, my rainbow ends somewhere in the country with some land and a little farm, but for now, it’s exactly what I need.

My new place was built in 1900 and is in a shotgun style. It’s a rare double decker and was completely rehabbed the year before I bought it. Tall ceilings, transom windows, and plenty of character of old.

There are big plans coming down the pipe for this cute little place of mine, namely a wine cellar, a walk-in closet, and some redecorating the half bath, but it’s on its way to getting there. I’m looking forward to blogging about it in the future.

Also on the financial front, I’ve started investing for my future and my nest egg is getting bigger every month. It’s a thrill watching money go in, knowing where it’s going to be in a couple of decades. The only person watching out for me is me and I don’t plan on working until I die.

I lost my cousin Nathan not long ago. This was particularly difficult for me because we were very close growing up. Unfortunately, our paths went in very different directions as we grew up and his wasn’t in a very good way. He’s now one of the many who have been lost due to overdoses, something that’s a real problem in this country. I think about him often and miss him. I hope, wherever he is, he found the peace he so desperately needed in his life.

This girl has made a promise to herself to start doing yoga on the regular again. I was pretty active in it for a while, before the place I went to decided to drive their prices up so I quit going. My friend Mander went with me and also quit going because of the price hike. They have since started a new monthly price structure and I’ve re-upped my membership. This is something I need to do for myself so I can finally do that dancer pose I keep telling myself I’m going to do. By year’s end, this will happen. And not the easy dancer pose either. I’m going full-bendy.

Also, this blog needs some attention. As do my books. They’ve been neglected long enough, due to the instability my life has had these past few years. Now that things have settled down a bit, this is going to change as well. At least, I hope.

Let’s hope this isn’t the first and last post I write this year.

Happy New Year! Cheers.

 


2016 Winding Down

Well, the year is almost over. 2016 has been a year for a lot of change and learning.

I last blogged in April and I know that’s terrible. It’s been over six months since you’ve seen a blog from me. I feel awful. It’s been a busy year. That’s not a good excuse but it’s the one I have.

The book writing continues! The first draft of my untitled trilogy is almost complete. It started in 2011 so it’s been very slow going but I’ve run into a few road blocks as far as this novel goes. I’ve had to rename some characters and change the plot around a bit. Of course, there was also the gap between 2013 and 2014 but we don’t need to talk about those years.

Also, I can’t believe Trump was elected. WTF.

We’ll let this one go for now and I will communicate more as the book matures.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and a wonderful Christmas as well.

Cheers.

G


Proof

So it’s been two weeks since my last post. I’m getting better!

While my own stories have kept me busy, I’m finding I still have some time to fill. So, I have decided to begin offering proofreading services to authors.

I’ve been around the writer world for several years now and feel I have a lot of experience and wisdom to offer. I was once in your shoes. My path has taken me down a more modern, self-publishing avenue, however, a manuscript, regardless of where it’s going, still deserves to be proofread. If you’re neck-deep in the large and often intimidating world of online writing, publishing, and conferences, almost ready to drown in everything the publishing world has to offer, feel free to send me an email at ginapennfiction@gmail.com and ask me about my proofreading services. I’ll do my best to make the process quick, easy, simple, and fun.

Why should you choose me?

I really can’t answer that question. Only you can. I can, however, promise you that I’ll read your manuscript more than once and give it all the attention and love I give my own. I can promise you I’ll catch tiny nuances, write them down, and tell you about them. I’ll look for spelling, grammar, typos, continuity, and tell you about anything that doesn’t make sense to me. I have a quick turnaround time (depending on length, of course) and my pricing is competitive. I’ll take a sample chapter and proof it for you and you can decide whether or not you want to work with me. If not, we part friends. If so, then you’ll get all my hard work, dedication, and experience for a lot less than most proofreaders out there. I’m relatively new to the world of proofreading so I don’t have a huge clientele, which is an advantage to you. I’m not too busy for you.

If you’re interested, feel free to hit me up. I don’t have a preference as far as genre, however, I’m most in touch with thrillers, mysteries, horror, and fantasy.

Thanks for your consideration.

 

 


Three Months

So, it’s been three months since the last time I blogged. That’s not as bad as a year. But it’s not great either. I deserve a bit of credit.

Not much new to post. Work on the current wip is slow and not steady. I feel sporadic bursts of energy to work on it. Unfortunately, the story is so much like another book that’s been published, I’m tempted to just trash the whole thing and begin anew. I absolutely hate this idea, however, it will feel cleaner to me and also be the path least likely to bring the comments “Oh, this book is fanfic from that other book.”

No, it’s not. The book my book is similar to was published in 2013 (and I’ve never read this other book). I began writing my book in April 2011 (lots of written proof here on this blog).

I don’t want to have to defend my writing. It’s also a little disappointing that my work is so unoriginal that it’s almost identical to this other book.

I no longer criticize George RR Martin and how long he’s taking to publish his next much anticipated Game of Thrones book. He’s been quoted as saying that he’s suffering from a bit of writer’s block as well as the desire to make it perfect. I can completely understand this now.

Writing is difficult and life gets in the way. My life has gotten in my way plenty of times in the past four years. I am my own worst enemy here.

Also, on a more personal note, I have some changes in my life coming up soon which will probably keep me from blogging or writing. Not that anyone would notice. Change can be both good and bad simultaneously, and I do hope this one is good.

Take care, all. xoxo

G

 


Year

It’s been a year since I’ve written a blog post.

I logged in to WordPress (half-fearing I wouldn’t remember the password) and saw the site had completely changed. New buttons, features moved around, layout completely new. Where am I?

I feel a little bit of shame and regret because of my laziness and lack of blogging. There was a time I was somewhat diligent about it. Then I thought; what have I been doing other than writing? And the shame I felt at that answer was even darker than the shame I felt at my absence.

New Year’s resolutions are ridiculous. They don’t work. I heard a statistic the other day that said only 8% of “resolutions” are actually kept. That says something about humanity.

So, I’m not making a resolution. I’m not calling it that. But I would like to promise myself to blog (and maybe write) more and social media less. I don’t know if I can accomplish this feat, however, I would like to try.

G


The Storm Hits at the end of September

My upcoming book The Storm is slated for release at the end of September. What day? I don’t know. Probably the very last day (precisely when Halloween season is in full swing). At the rate I’m editing it, likely at the stroke of midnight on September 30th I’ll still be working on it. 

This book has been a challenge for me since it was completed in 2009. As soon as I finished The Storm, I began work on The Dark Layer. The Dark Layer has been available since 2011.

I don’t know why The Storm has been much more of a struggle. It’s no secret that the editing process is difficult for me. Always has been. For me, the fun quotient is in the negative region during the editing process. Writing is fun. Editing feels like work. Which is also precisely why being independent works better for me. 🙂

However, editing is a necessary process, otherwise my books would be two thousand pages long. I realize this is probably a bad thing.

Also, it’s again no secret that the past two years have presented some pretty rough personal trials. I got divorced, then became involved in a very unhealthy romantic relationship, moved, went through another gut-wrenching breakup, got involved in another bad relationship, moved again, another breakup, and again, and now here I am, still trying to recover. But I’m slowly finding my way back to myself again. And when I say slowly, I do mean slowly. Very slowly. I’m still angry, bitter, hurt, humiliated, and overall feeling debased. I still have a lot of unanswered questions about so many things. But, for the first time in a very, very long time I’m recognizing bad habits and patterns and trying to find my way back to my peace of mind. It isn’t very encouraging to focus mostly on your flaws but it’s been a very eye-opening self-discovery indeed.

Anyway, I’m not trying to boo-hoo over my spilled milk, only to offer an explanation as to why The Storm has taken such a long time to finish. Another reason could be that as I’m editing The Storm, I’m also writing book one of my first trilogy, which I’m very excited about. This trilogy is a change in direction for my writing and has a huge cast of characters (instead of just a main character and a few supporters) so it has taken up a lot of the free space in my brain. Now, whenever I read The Stand or any of the Game of Thrones books (or basically any book that contains a huge cast of characters), I’m in total awe of the writer. It isn’t easy keeping all those people and their stories/issues/personalities inside your head. Those writers are truly in a prestigious class all their own. 

I will do my best to continue to update this blog when I can so whoever reads and appreciates my little stories will be in the know for the upcoming book’s release. 

Whoever has stuck by me throughout my recent trials will find themselves richly rewarded in the end. 

Thanks again. 

Keep reading,

Gina

 


The Little Con That Could

So I went to Marcon this weekend. This con took place in Columbus, Ohio at the convention center. I was asked by the one and only Griffin Barber to attend this con because he told me he would be making an appearance there (along with the magnificent Alistair Kimble) and since it had been several years since I’ve seen these two, and the con is only a short drive, I decided to attend.

I almost didn’t. Unfortunately, this con fell on a busy weekend and I almost blew it off due to other plans. It’s a con that’s somewhere between small and medium and it isn’t really a con that falls into my genre. Also, and this is the most unfortunate reason, because I’ve fallen so far out of the writing world that I didn’t really feel as though I belonged there. I’ve fallen out of touch with my writing and wasn’t really sure I was up for a couple of days surrounded by writers and their questions about how my work is going. Work on The Storm and The Other Sky is just under steady, I’m sad to admit, and talking about it exhausts me. I didn’t want to be the downer of the group.

I’m glad I chose to go. Turns out, it was exactly what I needed. Being surrounded by my people again (writers), hearing about their projects, and hearing a few words of praise from Griffin about a story I wrote really did wonders for how I feel about my writing. The drive home that night after saying goodbye to my friends was the first time in a long time that I started thinking about writing again on a regular basis. After a few years of believing that the bulb had burned out permanently, it turns out all I needed was for someone to flip the switch.

As a writer, you never really know if your work is affecting anyone unless they tell you. It’s a very lonely job. Usually, you only hear the complaints. Your work is too violent, too wordy, too long, too this or too that. You don’t often hear the praise. For some reason, when people love something, they keep it to themselves. But people love to spread around what they hate. So, you’re sitting in your office, slaving over every last word you’ve written, wondering if you are the only one who really gives a crap about any of this.

I’d forgotten how great it feels to chum around with writers and talk about the craft. Now that I’ve been reminded, I won’t forget that again.

Thanks Griffin and Alistair, for throwing me the life jacket.


I’m A Big Fat Liar

I know, I know…The Storm isn’t out yet.

2012 was a super crappy year for me but 2013 has been worse. I won’t bore you all with the details but take my word for it; this year has been magnificently terrible.

I’m working on it. I hope it’ll be out soon but at this point I’m not making promises. My excuses are lame ones. I’m aware of this. I wish I could elaborate but I don’t dare make it public. I don’t want pity. I just want my life back.

I appreciate your patience. I hope I still have a few readers left when the book finally does make it out. If not, well, I guess I deserve it. Perhaps one day I’ll share my troubles, however, today is not that day.

G