2010: Nowhere but Up

2010 started a bit dismally. I rented a basement unit in the ghetto of Bremerton, which was not ideal. We’d pulled out the moldy carpets so I was living on cement floors. Because it was a basement, the ceilings were low. Though the square footage was ample, it was still a basement. My new sheltie puppy, Riley, was happy regardless of his location, and ran and barked whenever the mood struck him.

Riley 01-03-10

In December of 2009, I had been rear-ended, and the accident totaled my Honda Civic. So I was without a car for the new year. The good thing about living in a basement in the ghetto, without a car, and wondering where my next check was coming from (can you hear the violin music?), was the sense of direction: there was nowhere to go but up. And that’s exactly what happened.

As luck and divine intervention would have it, I found a great little car, my affordable dream car, a 1994 Honda Civic del Sol. Though it needed some mechanical TLC and still needs some body work, I knew it was the car for me. With two seats, a targa top, and plenty of attitude, the car exuded fun. I’ve christened her Caprica.

1994 Honda Civic del Sol

Shortly after acquiring my new sports car, I also landed a job. It wasn’t the best job in the world, but it fulfilled its purpose. I worked as a caretaker for an elderly woman about 32 hours a week, mostly graveyard shifts. The job helped supplement income and allowed me to still work as a freelance graphic designer. It also gave me enough money to move me out of Bremerton and back into the quaint town of Poulsbo. At the end of March, Riley and I moved into a one bedroom, top floor apartment.

In May, the gig with the elderly woman came to an end, and I decided to leave the care-taking agency. Though the prospect of relying solely on True Northe as a source of income was frightening, it was also adventurous. I would be totally on my own, making it work, and dealing with excessive neck strain due to enormous stress. Ah freedom.

God is good. Sometime in May I was contacted by a marketing agency in the area who was interested in teaming up. Curious, I met with Brett, and we had a mind meld. In addition to marketing, the agency also published books… Meeting Brett gave me feeling that this could be that darned light at the end of the tunnel so many people go on and on about.
But the biggest event of 2010 happened at the end of June.

Since 2004 I’ve had an idea for a novel. It had started very small, just a “what if” sort of thing. It took six years for the story to evolve into completion. The biggest struggle I had with the book was figuring out how to begin the story. This year I had a breakthrough. Excited, I spent over two months sitting at my computer writing the story that lived in my head for so many years. Even though summer is the best season in Washington, I didn’t care. I had to finish my book.

In the middle of August, I did just that. The story of Jaden Baker was told, and the muse, who had berated me constantly, was finally sated.

I edited the manuscript twice before sending it to four people for review. Waiting for feedback was nerve-wracking and terrifying. Thankfully–mercifully, I received enthusiastic praise and grins rather than awkward half-smiles. Relieved, proud, and encouraged, I took the book to the next step.

While I had been penning Jaden, I was offered a partnership with Creative Fuel Studios and asked to be a graphic designer and branding specialist for the start-up company. After working out a few details, I decided to jump in. Yes, this was the same company who published books. Nothing is a coincidence, people.

So when I finished editing Jaden and received happy feedback, I decided to go for it. Though still in the initial editing process, Jaden Baker will be published sometime in spring of 2011, when my life’s dream will come true.

October, November and December have been busy months. I’ve been working with Creative Fuel Studios on exciting graphic design and marketing projects, helping organizations with their branding needs. I still get to work from home, often wearing really comfy pants and slippers (jealous yet?) while talking with clients and creating logos. It’s not a bad gig.

I’ll end 2010 going through Jaden for the third time, editing it after Creative Fuel’s official editor, Kiran, has taken one pass at it. Polishing my novel and prepping it for publication is a slightly tedious yet rewarding experience. We still have a ways to go, but that splendid tunnel light is beckoning me closer.

2010. A dramatic year. 2011? Oh yeah, baby.