Category Archives: Friends & Family

Happy New Year! The Year of the Unicorn (Cissell II)

Last August, I typed my New Year’s goals for you after declaring my own year (still working on the calendar system, but I can tell you right now, February is gonna get more days. Possibly at the expense of September. I hate that month).

I haven’t been very present on this blog. Or anywhere, actually. Although things aren’t as bleak as they were last summer, it’s still been an intense year.

I published two books last fall, the first two in a new series.

I started January with shingles, which resulted in constant pain (mostly gone now) and some hearing loss. I went through an entire season of all-to-frequent contact with my lawyer, but after almost 9 months, was able to finish that labor in a great place to protect my child for the next 11 years.

I also published A Wing and a Prayer and hit the USA Today Bestseller list!

I went to Belgium and Czechia.

I got married.

I published another book – like three days later.

A book cover. Green background with standing stones. A woman with long, dark, curly hair and white skin is on the cover. The title is "The Lost Child, An Eleanor Morgan Novel by Amy Cissell."

We celebrated my kiddo’s 1st Liana-versary with hiking and presents and cake and decorations. (I didn’t quite get the layer colors quite right, but she assured me I can keep practicing every year until I do.)

And here I am, almost through August. Ready to send my kid off to 2nd Grade. And even though all the big stressors of the last 12 months are mostly gone (I’m married, my kid is doing pretty well, the legal stuff is over for now, I got four books out in the last 12 months), something still isn’t right.

But you know what? It’s fucking New Years. Last year was the Year of the Phoenix. I had 12 goals.

  1. Feel comfortable in new job by my birthday (2/24 in case you need time to plan your celebratory activities) – done
  2. Publish five books & 1 novella by the end of the Year (8/14/19) – not quite; 3 books & 1 novella
  3. Find three new clients for the editing business I share with the Beer Guy – We have worked with 3 new clients (and then some!)
  4. Get married – Done
  5. Have the most awesome honeymoon ever – Super done
  6. Find a physical activity I super enjoy and do it regularly for fun (preferably trail running) – still in progress – more on that in a minute
  7. Develop a regular at-home yoga practice – hahaha. no.
  8. Stay meds compliant. I’ve never managed to be compliant for more than 6-8 months. I’m currently, as of New Year’s Day, five months in on my current medication. There will be the added challenge of switching providers and insurance. – passed with flying colors. I’m 17 months in, managing the dickish new providers, and making things happen.
  9. Find two really good pairs of jeans. – eh. Yes. Kinda. I’m happy with my new affinity to leggings.
  10. Learn to appreciate massages. – done. I get monthly massages and they are wonderful.
  11. Become more comfortable with self promotion. Still working on it, but if you want to check me out on Amazon, I welcome your participation!
  12. Develop an elaborate framework for the Cissell calendar and Cissell astrology. – well, I created a graphic for Cissell II. So that happened.

I found out this week that I have pretty sever sleep apnea, which has almost definitely been contributing to my depression and exhaustion. During my sleep study, I stopped breathing about 25 times each hour, meaning I’m waking up every 2 minutes or so.

I’m also upping the dosage on my crazy pills. This was the dosage that was recommended by my old psychiatrist a year ago, but when I switched to Kaiser, the new shrink didn’t believe I was bipolar (despite an almost 20 year history of getting independently diagnosed by several psychiatrists) and didn’t want to increase my dosage. So I’ve been coasting along at this ‘not quite therapeutic enough’ level for just over a year while doing my best to avoid the crummy shrink. (Did you know at Kaiser, you can’t just switch therapists or psychiatrists. It is a process of 3-4 months. Fortunately, crummy shrink was on vacation this week and I got to talk to her substitute. He was fantastic and is going to be my temporary guy until I get a permanent placement again.)

So – time for my New Year’s resolutions for this, the second year of Cissell.

  1. Find a fairly inexpensive place to vacation abroad. (Don’t want to break my streak of getting a passport stamp every year since 2016).
  2. Finish the Eleanor Morgan series and add at least one Oracle Bay book to my list.
  3. Work on marketing skills.
  4. Use CPAP machine religiously and find out what it’s like to be rested again.
  5. Learn to be more vulnerable. Strength /= lack of emotion. Ask for and accept help.
  6. Make time, 3-4x/week, for exercise. Even if it’s just 20 minutes.
  7. Rediscover my love of the trails, whether it’s hiking with my daughter or running by myself.
  8. Biweekly swim dates with the child.
  9. Monthly blog posts
  10. Quarterly fancy dates with my husband
  11. Stop frequently and watch in awe as my daughter grows up and completes second grade. Be there when she needs me, but staying a few steps back when she doesn’t. (Also, force her to ride her damn bike already, I mean I was riding before kindergarten C’MON!) Let go of the things that don’t really matter (biking) and work on the things that do (swimming) and find a way to enjoy soccer momming.
  12. Court balance and self care.
Rocks balancing on rocks - five total - in front of the ocean.
Bonus: spend more time in the water, whether it’s ocean, lake, river, or swimming pool. Water is my happy place.

What are your goals as you move into the Year of the Unicorn?

New Year’s Resolutions – The Year of the Phoenix (Cissell I)

What’s that? It’s not the new year?

Well it is for me. So there, motherfuckers! Don’t be a hater!

That was probably a little harsh, but I’m ready for a blank slate (no slate can be perfectly blank, I realize that) and I have some goals for the next 12 months.

Henceforth, 8/15 will be known as the beginning of the Cissell Year, a new reckoning of time that will, no doubt, become a reliable astrological something or other.

So, in The Year of the Phoenix (Cissell I), I am going to work on the following 12 things – 1 thing for every month in the year. The theme, based on the fact that it’s The Year of the Phoenix (Cissell I) is rebirth and growth.

I am going to need some help to achieve all the goals, but I am feeling so freaking positive right now, it’s ridiculous.

  1. Feel comfortable in new job by my birthday (2/24 in case you need time to plan your celebratory activities)
  2. Publish five books & 1 novella by the end of the Year (8/14/19)
  3. Find three new clients for the editing business I share with the Beer Guy
  4. Get married
  5. Have the most awesome honeymoon ever
  6. Find a physical activity I super enjoy and do it regularly for fun (preferably trail running)
  7. Develop a regular at-home yoga practice
  8. Stay meds compliant. I’ve never managed to be compliant for more than 6-8 months. I’m currently, as of New Year’s Day, five months in on my current medication. There will be the added challenge of switching providers and insurance.
  9. Find two really good pairs of jeans.
  10. Learn to appreciate massages.
  11. Become more comfortable with self promotion (preorder Oracle Bay #1! Buy sale copies of Eleanor Morgan paperbacks!)
  12. Develop an elaborate framework for the Cissell calendar and Cissell astrology.

 

Do you have any

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Five Things Friday

Oh hey! It’s been a bit! Since it’s Friday, and I missed 3 Things Thursday, I’m going to give you TWO BONUS THINGS! I know, I know. You’re welcome.

  1. I am leaving for Ireland/Spain in just over a month. 32 days or something like that. I don’t even have a packing list yet, and I’m a bit worried. (I’m also worried that the Beer Guy says he’ll be cutting back the amount of stuff I’m bringing, because apparently, for a 16 day trip, you don’t pack 16 complete outfits + a couple extra “just in case” and then just some random shit because…reasons.

  2. I started new meds this week. The shrink lady said “take this in the morning, but if you find it makes you drowsy, you can switch to evenings.” So, I took my first dose Wednesday morning. I was yawning so hard all day I thought my jaw would split, and I kept dozing off at work. Including in a meeting. Which was super awesome. I switched to evening and took my second dose last night. I slept like a baby. But one of those good babies who sleeps all night. Not the baby who wakes up hungry every two hours. (I have been sleeping like a champ this week due to other new med, and it’s making me happy.)

  3. I finished The Broken World last week and sent it off to my first readers. Reader #1 – aka my PSM – gave me the best compliment any author could want. (Reader #2 – aka the Beer Guy – has given me zero feedback so far, but he hasn’t broken up with me yet, so I’m hoping that’s a good sign.)

    Narrator Voice: Amy did not feel terrible.

  4. My freelance editing business is busy AF the first half of the year. We  (because we are a we now) do have a few slots open. If you need proofreading, there’s definitely room. If you want a full edit, you’ll have to hit me up with your details so we can decide if we can fit you in. Either way, I suggest booking sooner rather than later if you want to guarantee a spot. Hit me up at amyrcissell at gmail!

  5. I get my kid back tonight! The current custody schedule of one week on/one week off has the advantage of cutting down the number of times Bean has to go back and forth during a week, which is easier on him, but seven days without my kid is hard AF. I’m always so excited by Friday. (That excitement is mostly gone by 7 am on Saturday morning when he wakes me up, even though he’s not supposed to wake me up until his clock says it’s ‘morning,’ but there’s always an emergency – like he needs help on a lego build. that help usually consists of me doing exactly what he tells me to do while I try to wake up.) We’ll be doing a fun lego build this weekend, though, because the tooth fairy (who he absolutely knows is me) gave him enough money to supplement his allowance so he could buy the Sydney Australia skyline lego architecture set. My baby lost his first tooth!

    I did not take this photo, which is why it’s so terrible, probably. Sadly, he lost his tooth about 2 hours after I dropped him off at school last Friday.

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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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Three Things Thursday

Hi from Puerto Vallarta! It’s been a lovely, very hot vacation. Except for yesterday. Yesterday was no bueno. Yesterday, my Fitbit said I walked less than 500 steps. All those steps were the 18 steps round trip from my bed to the bathroom. Yeah. It was that kind of day. Today is moderately better. I have already gone more than 5 times as far! Gooooo me!

Anyway – your three things are three (times two) pictures from Mexico. None of the pictures are from yesterday. You’re welcome.

View from the room

BANANA tree outside our rooms

Beachside beers in Puerto Vallarta

Lovecraftian sculpture (one of many)

Another of several gorgeous boardwalk sculptures. So many plot bunnies hopping around in my brain now…

 

(BTW – if you’re going to be sick in a foreign country, I absolutely recommend having the Beer Guy along. He took such great care of me yesterday.)

(I mean, you can’t have the beer guy every time any of you are traveling. I need him from time to time. Someone has to reach the stuff on the top shelf.)

Beach feet!