Happy New Year all!
I want to take a moment to reflect on 2014. It was a life-changing year for me. It started with the death of my Dad four day into the new year. It came out of the blue and I learned of this from a call from the police asking me to come down and identify him. I had no idea he was as sick as he was and it was a shame too as we hadn't spoken much in the year and I was a little angry with him as holiday messages weren't returned. They weren't returned, as I later found out, because he was in and out of the hospital and didn't want to worry us. Then we had problems with the house as our heating system refused to keep up with the polar vortex that engulfed the US. Down here in the Deep South things aren't quite built for the cold. It got too cold for our heat to work. We had burst pipes and it was a real mess. Our Akita, Numi thought it would be a great time to become super playful and as result tore her ACL in her knee. It was big pile of suck until spring. (Stick with me here)
Then my world began to shift. We had put off the Memorial service for my Dad until May where we could get the family together. We all met back home in Connecticut and it was incredible. Our family is very wide-spread and we all came together with family friends and old friends I hadn't seen since high school and we had the most amazing time. By that time, the hurt from my Dad's passing had dwindled and we truly were able to enjoy being with one another. It was nice to come home. By the time we'd come back to Georgia, the shift was in full force.
I'd been promoted to Operations Manager in the previous year, but I'd really got a handle on my job and we started to win over new customers. Our relationships with our standing customers continued to grow and the personal successes I had was tremendous. I mean serious growth. I have a team that I love working with, I dais goodbye to some workmates that moved on and found themselves in great positions and happy. I miss working with them, but it's so amazing to hear of their successes.
Then September 12th came around. That was the day I sent my manuscript into a small publisher that I'd never heard of called TWBPress and I met my editor Terry. I pitched him my story, not well, and he read my manuscript and a couple of weeks later he sent me a contract. Just like that a book 'd thrown in the electronic equivalent of a drawer was to rule my life even through this blog post. The book needed work, I was a first time author and no idea what the hell I was doing. I'd written a good story, but it was the equivalent of trying to fit a sasquatch into a dress and high heels. First thing was to trim the hell out of it, then get it in shape, perform some surgery, add make-up and while she may not be the prettiest belle at the ball, she's damn interesting and quite a looker. Just the kind you want to take home and snuggle up with. I'm so good with that.
2014 ended with my book being published on Christmas eve and right now, I'm figuring the ins and outs of marketing while trying to work on book 2. Not a bad year.
Let it go - No sense in worrying yourself sick over things you can't control. Take care of the one thing you can, you. Do your best and let the rest go. Most things will take care of themselves.
Know what's important - This is different for everyone, so figure out what's important to you and set your goal on it. It's important to have direction. Pick one and drive.
Know your friends - Some stick with you through the hard shit. Those are your friends. They may not be who you expect, be open to all possibilities. Don't be afraid to let your bad relationships go.
Success doesn't mean money - At least for me, YMMV. My measures for success have shifted. I see how happy I can make someone by giving them a good experience. That really jazzes me. Whether it's a reader, or one of my workmates, my customers, the checkout person at the grocery, if I leave that person and they've smiled, I'm a success.
Patients - I've finally learned this and it feels fantastic. In traffic, waiting in line, letting the person before me have their moment before it's time for mine is gratifying. My favorite expression has become, "take your time." Everything happens in it's own time, you can spend that time stressing about it, or you can enjoy the moment. That choice is all yours.
Don't take yourself seriously - No one else does, why should you?
Gratitude - Alright this one was done to death on The Secret, but it doesn't hold it any less true. Everything is a gift and if you're grateful for the little things, they matter. Sometimes it's the little things that have the most impact and those tiny everyday kindnesses you give and receive really make a difference. A little thing like holding a door open for someone, or letting someone go at a light, just makes everything better.
Breathe - just breathe.
I've started a new Facebook page for Dex Territory. Please like it. It's: https://www.facebook.com/DexTerritoryBook?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
I can move the book stuff off my feed and go back to the normal weirdnesses that make up my day. My friends don't need a constant feed of my shilling my book. I will continue to put important announcements on my regular feed, so follow me in both places.
I'd like to thank JoAnn Sauer, Fiona Barnes and Kory Strum for helping me spread the word. Thank you to all my readers. I love you guys and thanks for all the great feedback. Leave me a review on Amazon, Goodreads, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, or wherever you can. You have no idea how much that helps.
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