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So Long 2017!

This year has been a huge mixed bag for me.

January had a trip to Breckenridge with The Beer Guy, then rats (!), then moving in with aforementioned Beer Guy.

You’re welcome for posting this picture and not a different January memory.

February, I turned 40 and published my first book (The Cardinal Gate is currently on sale for $0.99 – get yours today!)

Look at this magnificent cake that my friend Melissa made for me? How could it get any better than this?

Buy Me! Review Me!

In March, we celebrated the Beer Guy’s birthday, and I spent a lot of time with friends.

Please enjoy this dramatic reenactment of the Beer Guy’s birthday karaoke, in which I failed to actually get him in the picture.

In April, Alvie Bean turned five. I can’t even with that information, and that was months ago. I also started a new job!

In May, the Beer Guy and I went to the coast, where I started the outline for what will be the Oracle Bay series (due out Fall 2018).

RIP, that necklace whose pendant is lost.

June was amazing. I got to see NKOTB (and I TOUCHED JOEY JOE MCINTYRE!) and then, at the end of the month, The Waning Moon came out!

That is Joey McIntyre and my hand. TOUCHING!

July…existed? I was hard at work on Ruby Blade, got to know a lot of new, cool author friends better, and my mom came to visit and took the kiddo to the coast.

I love this kid like whoa.

August was busy AF. I did my first (and only!) book reading/signing at a local bookstore, and then, courtesy the Beer Guy, had champagne after with an assortment of my favorite local people!

There was also an eclipse and a kittening.

This is my “what? another motherfucking swear word?” face

Alvie with Rupurrt Giles

In September, my boy started school and had his first ER visit in 4 years!

First day of kindergarten!

In October, Alvie started a new kindergarten (he’d been on the waitlist for the Spanish Immersion kindergarten and we got a place at the last possible moment) and the Beer Guy & I went to Puerto Vallarta with his family. I have zero pictures of us together in Mexico, but I swear we were there! Last, but not least, I released my third (3rd!) book, The Ruby Blade (on the best of all holidays, Halloween.)

First day of kindergarten, take 2

This is the only picture I have of us together. I am in it only by virtue of having taken the photo.

Tiny Captain Picard!

November…was kind of a shit show.  Presumably good things happened. There was Thanksgiving? And a triumphant return to karaoke after a couple months off. And no one got expelled, and I had my first ER visit in 4 years!

I need a scribe. And a chauffeur. And a butler. And a pool boy.

And now – this year is nearly done. The last 2.5 months have been some of the hardest months I’ve endured in ages. The last 2.5 years have been hard. I’m so, so lucky to have so many bright spots.

I have three books published, and plans to publish 4 next year. I have an up-and-coming freelance business and my calendar is almost full for the first half of 2018. I have a dayjob that pays me in money, a healthy kid who is hopefully losing his first tooth right now, and a patient, wonderful partner who has put up with a lot of shit this year and swears he’s sticking around.

GAH! This guy! (Also, are we or are we not cute AF?)

I’m really looking forward to 2018. I’ve got some big goals for next year, and I’m looking forward to sharing them with you!

I hope your holiday season has been filled with light, happiness, and the family of your choosing. See you next year!

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2016 – The Wrap-Up

I’m just going to pretend that this year is over. I really can’t take any  more 2016. The next couple of days are interstitial days – they belong to no year and nothing that you do on those days matters. This is a new rule I just made up, but I’m keeping it.

Fuck you, 2016!

This year was tough. My marriage ended. I moved into my own place. I got officially divorced. My job ended. I have been – as yet – unable to find a new job. A lot of celebrities I especially liked died. A celebrity  I don’t particularly like not only lived, but was elected president. Money is tight and anxiety and depression are high. My kidlet is stressed out. I’ve had persistent shoulder issues that have prevented me from doing as much as I’d like.

Lots of shit.

Lots.

(Sometimes, literally.  Motherhood is rewarding AF.)

Seriously. Fuck you.

But you know what? It wasn’t all bad, was it?

I’m in a fantastic relationship. I have a great kidlet (even if he is not only a four-and-a-half-year-old, but also the source of that literal shit I have to deal with from time to time). I really got some quality time with a lot of wonderful friends – and made some new wonderful friends, to boot!

Being four is serious business

There was a lot of good travel this year – I was in Vegas in April for the RT conference where I got to meet IRL my friend Elizabeth Hunter as well as make new writerly friends! In May, I went to Bend for the weekend with the Beer Guy. I was in Seattle a couple of times (July and November). In August, I was able to take the Bean to South Dakota to meet my grandmother (his great) for the first time (and not incidentally got to sing karaoke with my three bestest besties from the good ol’ college days!).

Me & my marshmallow goo proving that being 39 is also very serious business.

AND – I was able to go to Iceland. ALL BY MYSELF. Sometimes I remind myself that if I could do that (which required a lot of overcoming of my anxiety issues), I can do almost anything.

I waited patiently in Bifrost for a divine visit, but unfortunately, the gods overlooked me this year.

I got to meet some other personal goals as well. I’ve really reconnected with my domestic badassery – my garden wasn’t much to talk about this year, but I made jam, and just canned festive simple syrups, and made some pies, and started baking bread again. Also – cheese. I made a cheese. Soon, we will know if that cheese is delicious. CROSS YOUR FINGERS!

Parmesan!!!

I finished writing two books and a novella, completed edits on one book that’s currently in the last look-through by my editor on its path to publication.

I found out that I really, really enjoy being a writer, and if someone would actually pay me, I’d be okay doing this for a living. (What I need is some freelance editing/proofreading work to supplement my as-yet non-existent writing income. Apparently there’s no six-figure advance for self-publishing.)

SAY MY NAME, BITCHES!

I’ve worked through a lot of things this year and I hope that I’m coming out on the other side stronger than I went in. I lived on my own. I single-mommed. I’ve been unemployed. I’ve stopped procrastinating and started achieving my dreams. I’ve traveled internationally alone.

All of the things I thought would be the hardest have been the easiest. The only thing that makes this year still shite is that pesky lack of funding issue. (I am open to paid companion positions, all eligible sugar daddies reading my blog…I’m sure there are a ton of you out there. Call me.)

(Seriously. Call me.)

The emotional stuff has been hard, but I feel like I’ve been tempered this year.

A year ago, I declared that 2016 would be the year of me. When I wrote that, I had two very specific goals in mind. I wanted to end the year not married and not in the job in which I started the year. Both of those things have come to pass, albeit not exactly as I’d planned. (Maybe I should be a little more careful with what I put out in the universe.)

I don’t know everything that 2017 will bring. There are a few things of which I’m certain:

  1. I’ll (again) move houses, but this time into a more permanent situation (less than a month now!)
  2. I’ll start a new job
  3. I will publish two books
  4. I will turn 40 and there will be a unicorn piñata (the party is the day after my birthday – Saturday, 2/25 – you’re totally invited)
  5. I will do some travel, even if only a little bit
  6. My Bean will turn 5 (FIVE YEARS OLD!)
  7. I’ll have a great garden and do more canning (I’m out of salsa and it is a travesty)
  8. I’ll keep writing
  9. That crazy Bean will start kindergarten
  10. I’ll keep moving…yoga and walking are where it’s at right now, but I’d like to – just maybe – start running again
  11. I will drink delightful gin cocktails on the back patio in the summer with the people I love best
  12. I will laugh and love and live just a little bit more

 

40 Before 40 – Update the Seventh

I’m not really sure where I’ll end up with this list in five months. I don’t so much care. I’m not giving up – certainly not! But I am learning to let go of arbitrary goals if they don’t make me happy.

That being said, let’s see where I’m at.

Things that are done!

  1. Attend the ballet – May (I attended a concert…)
  2. Go to the opera – June
  3. Sing a new song at karaoke – May
  4. Take a barre class – September
  5. Take a cooking class – August
  6. TEMPORARY funky hair color- June
  7. Try hot yoga – April
  8. Volunteer – I volunteered at a cider event in June & will volunteer with SOLVE in September
  9. Do a fun thing with Bean every day of his summer vacation- August
  10. Host a wine tasting – July
  11. Make a cheese that needs to age 10 months and eat it on my 40th birthday – May
  12. Develop a habit of meditation – September (I’ve meditated almost every day for the last couple of weeks)
  13. Drink a bottle of expensive champagne – March & June
  14. Get a stamp in my passport – August

For being halfway done with the year, that’s not looking so good, is it?

Let’s see what I know I’ll get done…

  1. Go to the local nude beach – TOMORROW!
  2. Whale watching – just working out the dates
  3. [Redacted] – I just need more practice
  4. Get back into my DIY habits –
  5. Take a good photo and pay to have it framed – the photo is picked out; I just need to pull the trigger
  6. Try a new (to me) cheese each month – yeah, not worried about this one
  7. Give a $100 tip on an inexpensive meal – once I’m re-employed!
  8. Meet three ‘in the computer friends’ in real life. – I’m one for three right now. I’m still counting on my PSM and then need one more person to wander through Portland!
  9. Publish my first book – the wheels are in motion!

The things I can get done…if I work at it 

  1. Go ice skating
  2. Go to a book signing
  3. Do a boudoir photo session
  4. Become passable in Swedish
  5. Perfect the homemade pie crust. (Find volunteers to eat and critique all the pies.)
  6. Read one prize-winning (any major prize) book each month
  7. Feel good about my fitness level and appearance
  8. Get better at self care. That means eating regularly; exercising regularly; sleeping regularly.

 

And lastly, the things I don’t care so much about at all…

  1. Climb a tree
  2. Take a dancing class
  3. Throw pottery (on a wheel)- I’m having trouble finding a way to do this that isn’t committing to a few hundred dollars and several classes…I just want to try it one time. 
  4. Try a pole dancing class at the studio down the street.
  5. Take the Bean fishing
  6. Become a proficient knife thrower (i.e. hit the target more often than not)
  7. Learn 100 ASL signs
  8. Run a 5K, a 10K and a half marathon.  – I’ll definitely get the 5K done, but I don’t need longer…
  9. Write 150 blog posts – Unless I start posting multiple posts/day, this will be impossible…

 

This has been such a huge year for me, and even if I don’t finish all the items on my list, I’ve done the ones that meant the most to me. I got that passport stamp and I will publish my first novel. Probably no one will buy it, and it will be a business loss, but that’s really okay. I got to drink my celebratory champagne and I’m not longer being bothered by a job I don’t like. I’m working on my health and fitness. I’ve gotten to spend a lot of good, quality time with my Alvie Bean, the Beer Guy, and with my very good friends. I’ve got five months left to hit a lot of the remaining items on my list, but no matter what, I have already won at being 39.

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Happy Blogiversary to Gazelles on Crack!

Just over ten years ago (ten years and a couple weeks), I published my very first post on this blog.

Gazelles on Crack is turning 10!

Gazelles on Crack is turning 10!

I’d been blogging for a while – first on Xanga (gosh, it’s really too bad that I am unable to locate those posts…too bad indeed) and then later on LiveJournal. That apparently does still exist. I even appear to still have ten friends left on LJ.

I don’t remember why I decided to switch over to my own blogging platform. Probably because so many cool people blogged and I thought I’d give it a shot. I’m certainly not as prolific now as I was ten years ago. I don’t even get the readership that I got ten years ago. But we’re still at it, even now.

In the past ten years, I’ve written 1,676 posts and received 7,123 comments.

I’ve written 480 posts about running and 173 about gin and cheese. That’s even more than the 166 posts I’ve written about my kid. (Gotta have priorities!)

Running and Bubbles!

Running and Bubbles!

I’ve written 100 posts about books, including book reviews and 158 about shoes.

book it

My posts are fairly evenly balanced (according to my tag cloud) among

  • Alvie Bean
  • Book Reviews
  • Exercise
  • Goals
  • Running
  • Shoes
It was my friend Margaret's Prada pumps that really got me hooked on beautiful shoes. Damn you, Margaret!

It was my friend Margaret’s Prada pumps that really got me hooked on beautiful shoes. Damn you, Margaret!

You’ve been here for my move from Los Angeles to Portland, for my wedding, for my adventures in domestic bad-assery and gardening, for the death of my father and the birth of my son, and for my next big adventure of moving out on my own sans architect.

Toasting the new house with an extravagant bottle of bubbly. #40before40

Toasting the new house with an extravagant bottle of bubbly. #40before40

Maybe you’re one of the readers who got here via a random internet search? Although the most popular search term on the day I’m writing this is “toe prosthetic”(?), the top ten overall search terms (that are not my actual blog name) are:

  1. Anthropophobia (still relevant – I’ll catch you up on Day 2 of Vegas: The Hiding soon)
  2. Spiders (legit)
  3. No Sleeping (It’s like you know me, google search engine!)
  4. Early Pr0n (Early in the morning? Pre-modern? Are we hoping for medieval pr0n? I NEED MORE INFORMATION!)
  5. Christina Ricci
  6. Dirty Hippie
  7. Beach Wedding Shoes
  8. Unicorn Bicycle
  9. I Suck
  10. The toaster is very loyal (This is my favorite)

IMG_0314

Most of the rest of the top are variations on pr0ns and shoes (or combinations thereof. Like Salvadorian Shoe Pr0n.)

Must insert own pr0n

Must insert own pr0n

This may be less relevant, but the top three search terms for the last quarter are:

  1. Unicorn cut a bitch
  2. Accidental cleavage
  3. Cat maid outift
I actually thought this image search was going to be mainly cats. HAHAHAHA! No.

I actually thought this image search was going to be mainly cats. HAHAHAHA! No.

I approve of Google sending all of you my way. Welcome. Pull up a chair and pour yourself a gin.

2015-12-11 20.24.12

 

The top five posts ever are pretty much what you’d expect after seeing the popular search terms.

  1. Arach Attack!
  2. Anthropophobia
  3. Faux-lebrity Encounter
  4. (Spring Trends in) PR0N!!!; and oddly
  5. Product Review – Moji Knee Ice Pack

Disappointingly, none of my book reviews are more compelling than fear, fake Jennifer Grey, shoes, or (???) ice packs, although my 2015 wrap-up is pretty far up the list…

The best, really, are the friends I’ve made via blogging. There is no way to name them all, of course, but a few that I’ll mention are Eliza, Claire, Meri, Steph, Kristine, Jessica, Erika, Amy, the PBRs, and certainly not least, my PSM Cat. Through Cat I’ve met a lot of other people, and the network keeps expanding and expanding.

This is my bff, Thor the Thunder thug. And also my psm, Cat. She is not, as far as I know, the thunder anything.

This is my bff, Thor the Thunder thug. And also my psm, Cat. She is not, as far as I know, the thunder anything.

So thanks, readers.  Thanks for ten years of reading, commenting, sending me pictures of shoes, helping me discover new books and authors and websites that will help me waste time, and most of all for sharing my life.

Thanks for a great 10 years!

Thanks for a great 10 years!