Monday, September 1, 2014

I Hate Hard Decisions!!

Ones life path shouldn't be such a hard decision. By the time you're thirty-nine like me you hope to have it all figured out.

Yeah right!

Here's to wishful thinking. *takes a sip of ice cold Pepsi*

In all my years of life I've had multiple career paths in mind--and my old journals provide excellent proof.

Originally--a mother (which I have accomplished, and am still trying to perfect (or at least make a good go at it) that job).  More on that later!

Other wishful careers:
-Dolphin Trainer
-Marine Biologist (my first college major)
-Special Education (second college option)

Then life happened.

My real career--after college--started off as Catering Assistant/Wedding Planner at the Turtle Bay Hilton Hawaii. The job was awesome--except for my boss who was horrible *another story, another time*. After my hot hubby's graduation from Brigham Young University Hawaii we moved to Utah with our then three-month-old son, Darnel.

-After my third child I went back to work as a Collection's Account Manager for Discover Financial for nearly seven years. I know, I know, everyone's dream job. Who wouldn't want to leave their three children (age 3,2, 1) and hot Samoan husband every evening, break the news to people (during the Bush years) that they have to pay their bills  or else. Meanwhile, they swear every name in the book at me before they slam down the receiver. It was tons, and tons, of fun!! --No seriously, $1500+ monthly bonus on top of decent pay was too much too resist (all while working twenty-five hours a week).

-As if working twenty-five hours a week collecting debt wasn't fun enough, I decided to add Reservations Agent for Jetblue to my non-busy schedule. Working from home while helping others plan their vacation was a mega bonus and only stood as a daily reminder of how much I hated collections.

--Deciding to stop the torture, I quit Discover Card and moved on to Property Management with Community Solutions. This job was fabulous. My schedule was flexible, I took my kids with me, and worked mostly from home.  But 2005 was an awful year. I had a mini-stroke just after my 30th birthday, heart surgery to close my PFO, and discovered I have Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  Regrettably I had to part with this job.

Once I was able to get my health stable, I became a Phlebotomist--a.k.a vampire --at Alta View Hospital. I loved, loved, loved that career. My plan was nursing school, and IHC would pay for it. But as I started working there I realized I didn't want to be a nurse, I was more intrigued by the lab, which had blood, serum, body parts, fecal matter, etc... you get the point. But it led me to thoughts of a real dream job--If I had a do-over in career life I would have become a MEDICAL EXAMINER. 

I know--gross!

Eventually we moved back to Hawaii where I works for Morgan Stanley as an Assistant to the top Financial Advisor in the state(he was a real piece of work!!).

Because the LORD is merciful, I escaped the busy life of Wall Street and accepted a job close to my home on the North Shore of Oahu as an Assistant Store Director at the Polynesian Cultural Center. It was great, I managed sixty college student, and basically an away-from-home-mother for many of them (more on that another time).

Eventually due to health reasons, we ended up here in Utah. I'd just about tried it all! Now who could say that?

Alas, my writing career starts...

Long story short...

I wrote a Young Adult Contemporary Romance set in Hawaii. The main character was loosely based on me. A majority of things that happened in the story happened to me, but the actual story was fictional. I didn't plan on publishing it. Why would I? Bad grammer and all, knowing nothing about writing. But I did it for therapy. I missed Hawaii. I missed the younger, slimmer, funner me. It helped me move on. And move on I did.   I'd wrote one-hundred-seven-thousand-word novel in three weeks (apparently that's good).  After multiple beta readers, I was encouraged to pursue publishing. Started working with the best editor EVER--Angela Eschler. Completely learned all I needed to know about publishing, cut my story down to seventy-five-thousand (more appropriate for Young Adult), started to attend Writing Conferences, etc...

LDStorymakers Conference with
 my friend Jessie Humphries--author of
the best seller Killing Ruby Rose
Two years of blood, sweat, and lots, and lots of tears, I finished.

Politics happened. Religion happened (I already had that before!). Life happened. And then the industry changed. All of the sudden Self-Publishing was popping up everywhere. But nobody in their right mind would self-publish. You want an Agent! Editor! Advertising!

Angela encourage me to continue with the National publishing route. After all, I'd worked so
hard on it. I owed it to myself. So I started shopping it around. Plenty of rejections later, and heartfelt prayers for direction, I couldn't deny what the LORD was telling me--Self Publish.  Even with Harlequin Heartwarming interested, I couldn't bring myself to do anything but self publish my baby.

Off the Edge is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance. Angela Eschler and her amazing company, Eschler Editing, have been amazing to work with. They have made this process easy and fun. Off the Edge is on Amazon on paperback or Kindle.

Stay tuned for my upcoming blog tour!

Click here to buy Off the Edge


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Goodby to 2013 and Fifty Pounds!

As 2013 came to an end, I, like so many others, spent time reflecting on the year now gone forever.
Obviously goals were set with few accomplished. The best thing about New Years, is a new chance. I was blessed with so many wonderful things, I couldn't possibly mention them all today. Let me share a few highlights.

After thirteen long years of trying, I FINALLY lost 50 pounds. 50 POUNDS!!! For once people were asking me for weight loss advice. I stopped drinking gallons of Pepsi and living on a diet that consisted of chocolate. I had to mentally convince myself that I would feel better than anything tasted. The weight came off quickly, but few people noticed. I was quite perplexed that 35 pounds shred from my figure before anyone ever said anything. In my mind I must have been gigantic.  This year I hope to lose another 40 pounds, but realistically would be satisfied with 25.

In February my eldest son, Darnel, turned 15 and got his learners permit. How my parents ever so patiently let me drive, I will never know. Don't get me wrong, Darnel is a fantastic driver. I, however, am a self-admitted control freak! Sitting back and allowing my 15 yr old control of our van was enough to make my blonde streaks grey.

Twice this year we were blessed with sweet Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies. Lila Rose is an incredible mother. After having puppies in the spring, I decided to change her breeding cycle, and rebred her in the fall. I am highly against overbreeding dogs, and this decision came with much prayer and thought. Now Lila Rose will rest her year and be bred only in the fall, always providing Christmas puppies instead of spring puppies.  We are anxiously waiting to see if Bella is pregnant with her first litter. I won't know for another 2 weeks.

Our family made our way back to the beautiful islands of Hawaii for the Polynesian Cultural Centers 50th Anniversary celebration. I was a fantastic 10 days of celebrating with family and friends not seen in over a decade.

This year  I was the proud mother of two of Taylorsville High School Warrior football players finest. Not only did I get to spend time watching my boys play for my alma mater, I was privileged to be the team mother. The blessing of being with so many wonderful teenagers and hopefully influencing their life was more than I had hoped. I look forward to three more years.

Now as I sit typing, country music playing from my laptop, dogs snoozing on the couch without a care in the world, I must end my thoughts and pick up my daughter from school. No matter the goals set and accomplished, as long as I have spent more time with the people I love, found someone to serve, and learned something, I'm complete