Thirteen things I might like for my birthday…

Thursday Thirteen

It’s my birthday month so I’m going to help my husband out with a list of things I might like for my birthday. See how helpful I can be?

1. A maid (hey, it never hurts to ask).

2. Something from here. Because I can never have too many cute socks.

3. A pedicure (because it’s not really sock weather yet). No, I don’t want you to give me a pedicure, but you can send me to the spa for one.

4. And a massage. I guess you could give me the massage though. But I hear the spa offers those services too.

5. Kisses. You give good kisses.

6. Rachael Ray to come to the house and cook for me.

7. Alternately (since that’s not likely to happen), dinner at the wine restaurant (you know the one I mean).

8. One of these. Because the floor is hard and laying on the lamb seems silly. And because they look really, really comfortable.

9. This book. But I don’t want to wait until November for it. Figure out how to make that happen, would you?

10. An iPhone. I know, I know. I have a better chance of getting #9.

11. A bottle of this and maybe the matching moisturizer. I tried Crissy’s in Dallas and it was nice.

12. A Nora Bobblehead! (but I’d still rather have #9. Even more than the pedicure and the massage. Not more than the kisses though).

13. You. Me. *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* What? I was thinking we could continue my pool playing lessons. All y’all have dirty minds. (You, babe, are the worst of all).

I wonder what I left off my list? Did I mention this book? Oh yeah. I guess so.

A history lesson…

I don’t think I talk often enough about how much I love my job. But seriously, I love my job. I know I’ll never be able to find another like it, and I think it was pretty much made for me. I like to believe that I’m good at it, but more than that, I’m passionate about it. I’ve been a lifelong reader. One of the things my aunt mentioned when we met for dinner was how good my language skills always were (she commented on it because she was noticing how good Brianna’s language skills are). I couldn’t stand the reading out loud parts of school, because I had to listen to people stumble through passages I could breeze through. I’m sure they hated having to stumble through them more than I hated listening, but I had a child’s typical lack of insight about things like that.

I breezed through Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, Sweet Valley High (I think I only read a few of those before I got tired of them) and all of the other “normal” kid books by the time I was in 3rd grade. By 4th grade, I’d moved on to category romances, Danielle Steele, Sydney Sheldon and Jean M. Aul. Heavy stuff for a 4th grader, right? But I went through it all. To this day, my favorite Sydney Sheldon book is If Tomorrow Comes, and I’ve re-read it several times.

Like every other avid reader, I toyed with the idea of “some day, I want to be an author…” and I did well at creative writing throughout school. I even worked for my local paper and wrote articles covering the “teen beat”, during high school. But I didn’t really feel driven to write and never pursued it with anything close to seriousness. In college, I made extra money polishing and revising other people’s papers. I was good at it. They got good grades 🙂 I think that should have been my first clue. But every day of my life, I read. A book a day, on average. Sometimes more. In fact, my passion for reading was actually a sore spot with my ex-fiance in college. He was my high school sweetheart and you’d think he’d have known it was part of who I am. But I think he felt resentful of it, and the time I spent on it. Notice how he’s my ex and we never even made it to the altar? Yeah, I booted that one to the curb, lol.

Fast forward a couple of years, I’m working as an occupational therapist, buying the Romantic Times magazine and making book lists from there. And I stumble across ebooks. Books I couldn’t buy in the store, or get from the library, but I wanted to read them because they sounded like nothing I’d ever read before. Some of my first ebook purchases? Linnea Sinclair, Lora Leigh, Lynne Connolly, and Cheyenne McCray. These were stories I couldn’t find anything like on the shelves. I’ve been a lifelong paranormal fan and would search out every vampire and shapeshifter book I could find. That led me to small presses like LTDBooks and authors like JC Wilder and Keri Arthur. I never would have guessed that years later, I’d be friends/acquaintances with some and edit others! I only knew at the time that they filled a wild need in me for good stories that were different than what NY was putting out.

Somehow I ended up on the Ellora’s Cave yahoo group and I started participating. Then on Jaci Burton’s Paradise and several others. I started making online friends and then the call came for proofers for EC. Like everyone else, I thought, hey! I like to read, I’m pretty good at finding typos, I could do that. So I took the test. I must have done at least moderately well because Briana St. James offered me a position (thanks, Bree!). Looking back, I shudder to think of how much I didn’t know. And I’m sure, five years from now I’ll look back and shudder at how much I didn’t know, lol!

So I worked as a proofer for awhile, started taking on some independent work for authors and learning even more. During that time, Bree encouraged me to apply for the position of editor. Oh man, I did but I was…hellishly nervous. I didn’t tell a lot of people I was doing it. Mostly because I didn’t want to be humiliated if I wasn’t hired. And I wasn’t, which was a huge blow because oh how I loved proofing for them, and I wanted to do more. But it wasn’t meant to be. During that same period of time I had Brianna and something strange happened–I stopped reading. For almost three months, I read nothing. I could barely read parenting books. Even magazines were a challenge.And fiction? Forget it. I think of that as the best and worst time of my life. Best because I gained something I love immensely and spent time discovering her. The worst because I temporarily lost something I love immensely and didn’t know how to get it back. I don’t remember now how I started again, I think I just decided enough was enough and I needed to discover myself again. And I did.

About…six months after I didn’t get the job with EC, after much encouragement from some friends (Mel, Jaci, Shan, Mandy and Bree), I decided to open my own editing services. I was just getting going when two job opportunities came along. One from EC (in a non-editorial capacity) and one for a brand new publisher opening up. Jen Martin and Jaci Burton both knew Christina Brashear was looking for editors, and they both suggested I email her. I think they both also emailed her about me. She sent me a submission to read and edit and…the rest is history. Raelene and I agreed that it wouldn’t be feasible for me to work for both companies, even in different capacities, and shortly after I also realized it wasn’t going to work to also try to run my own business (which, incidentally, was getting business!) so I ended up working for Samhain full time.

Anyway, you’re probably wondering what caused this outpouring of history. It’s to talk about how much I love this job.Love being able to work in an industry I’ve loved almost as long as I can remember. An industry that provided me with hours of pleasure. But it’s also because, while I’ve always talked about the catch-22 of working in publishing, it really hit me Wednesday night when I was preparing my Thursday Thirteen of books on my To Be Read pile. I’m doing something I love, in an industry I love, but it means I get less chance to do it for pleasure. I still collect books that I want to read, but I read (for pleasure) much more slowly now. Most certainly not one book a day. Closer to one book a week. But I collect books at a much faster rate than that. Every week there are new books releasing that appeal to me. I like a variety of genres but I find myself reading less in certain genres, for multiple reasons. I won’t even tell you how many ebooks and print books I own, that I hope to have the chance to read some day (thousands, really). I got a little depressed, wondering if I’ll ever be at a point where I can spend more time reading.

But regardless, I wouldn’t want to give this job up. Someone will have to force me out of it (I think the only people who could do that are Josh and Crissy and I don’t see Josh doing that! Maybe Crissy if I cause her enough frustration 😉 )

And I think that’s why most agents and editors do it. The hours are long, you invariably work 7 days a week (even if it’s “just” reading submissions on the weekend), the frustrations are many, the compensation doesn’t always add up for the long hours you put in but still…you dedicate more of yourself to it than you would any other job or profession. But you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, doing anything else. Because it’s not a job. It’s a passion.

Catching up

Josh and I had a really great Fourth of July. Brianna went to my mother-in-law’s Monday night to spend time with her after my MIL had been away for several weeks. Brianna’s cousins were also there. Jordan is about 4 years older than Brianna but they play well together. So Josh and I had three, count ’em, three kid-less nights and days. We took full advantage of them 😉

So I had this awesome Thursday Thirteen planned with pictures from my camera phone that I took on the Fourth, because we had a full day. But yesterday, I woke up with a hangover, for God’s sake. And before you all think I went out and got rip-roaring drunk, I’m going to disappoint you and clue you in to what a freaking lightweight I apparently am. I had a small mojito with our appetizers around 6:30. Then, I nursed the equivalent of about 12 oz of draft beer from about 7:30 until 1 in the morning. Between two bars. Yeah, big lush, that’s me. Apparently, draft beer causes horrible headaches and the need to sleep all day. So I got up in the morning and my head hurt holy hell bad, so I went back to bed until about 11am. That, some aspirin and some Gatorade did the trick and I was actually incredibly productive in the afternoon. But didn’t have the energy for TT. So no cool post with pictures 🙁

Brianna came home last night and this morning, as I was getting her ready for daycare, I noticed her ankle was swollen. Now, she’d been moving around fine all morning and the night before, and she wasn’t complaining about it–except when we tried to put shoes on. She had a ton of bug bites around her ankle, though. I got her to daycare and they freaked out about it. That should have been my first clue. From there, I went tanning and got home around 9:30am. Started answering emails and at 10:15 they called to tell me how concerned they were about it. I’d already made her a doc appointment for afternoon, so I let them know that. *snort* 10:45 they call and tell me the teachers are worried about the color, that Brianna is favoring it and that I need to come and pick her up. Okay then.

So I call the doctor and no, they don’t have an earlier appointment. The orthopedist doesn’t have any openings at all. So they suggest taking her to the walk in clinic. Fine. I go and get her and she’s being carried around on the hip of one of the teachers. And when they took the kids for a walk, Brianna got to ride in the wagon the whole time (usually they have to take turns) Clue number one. I look at her foot and it actually looks less swollen then when I took her in this morning. Huh. Clue number two. I get her to the clinic and…they don’t see kids under 6. By this time, it’s 11:45 and her pediatrician will see her at 1:15. I decide to grab her lunch, take her home and just get to that appointment. At home, the child is running all over. No limping, no complaints of pain, and the swelling is noticeable, but not any worse. Clue number three. My 2 year old has suckered the entire staff at daycare. They expressed concern, she played into it. They thought it should hurt, she told them it did. They thought she shouldn’t walk, she didn’t. Yes, my child is a player.

Eventually we did get to the pediatrician and she had Brianna run down the hall. Diagnosis? Reaction to the bug bites. Suggestion: Give her Bendadryl. Yay me for paying twenty-five dollars for that.

She’s conked out upstairs and I’m trying to go through my inbox. I’m down to only 70-some emails flagged for response. Only. *sob* And I really need to think about getting ready for RWA.

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