Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ten Little-Known (and Not Perfect) Facts

Photo Courtesy of Lee Netherton
I often think of social media as “reality as seen through a lens,” because we are able to twist around our lives to project whatever public image suits us best. Not only is this misleading, but it can also be quite dangerous. It is impossible to compare your life to the lives of others if you are only seeing their highlight reels.

Therefore, inspired by the bravery of my cousin and my mother's recent Facebook posts, I am ready to share ten little-known (and not perfect) facts about myself:

1. In the past thirteen years, I have lived in sixteen different houses in ten different cities in five different states in two different countries in two different hemispheres.

2. I have accidentally surfed with great white sharks in Australia, and I have been stranded on a cliff in Death Valley and marooned in northern British Columbia after my truck hit a patch of black ice and flipped six times. Despite this, my three biggest fears continue to be alligators, snakes and Ferris wheels.

3. While I wouldn’t change a thing about my years as a nomad, my vagabonding days are definitely over.  At some point, the goodbyes began to outweigh the hellos, and I am heartsick over all the amazing souls I have had to say goodbye to through the years.

4. I often worry that an uncertain future is my payment for my years of adventures. I haven’t reached many of the “American dream” milestones my friends and family members have, and I sometimes worry I never will.

5. I appear self-assured and confident, and in some ways I am. However, I am extremely self-critical, and I often worry I am not going to live up to some imaginary ideal I have created for myself.

6. I am constantly afraid I am going to fail myself or others, and I have recently become prone to panic attacks. I see this as a sign of weakness, so I am very uncomfortable admitting it.

7. It is almost impossible for me to accept a compliment. Instead of simply saying “thank you,” I will generally try to convince you why you are wrong.

8. I often view my book deal as one of the best and worst things that has ever happened to me. I am overjoyed at having reached one of my life’s dreams, but I am also worried I will never be able to live up to my expectations.

9. I have only recently begun to develop a backbone. I grew up thinking my role in life was to solve the problems of others, so it’s very hard for me to stand up for myself without feeling like I’m being selfish or demanding.

10. I am terrified I am never going to reach my happily-ever-after, but I’m also beginning to realize true happiness only exists for those who are brave enough to never stop striving for it.

How about you??

Friday, November 8, 2013

The CriTiki Lounge: Now Open for Business!!

Photo Courtesy of Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Kristina Perez
Two super talented writers, Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Kristina Perez, have come up with an awesome idea called the "CriTiki Lounge," and they have generously invited me to become one of their Lounge Lizards. Check out their concept:

"Two of the things we like best about writing contests are helping other writers and making new writer-friends. After all, we met each other during contests in 2012.

"There aren’t very many opportunities for pre-agented writers to get constructive feedback from agented writers, pub’d writers, and even the occasional agent. THIS is the kind of input that can be worth its weight in gold, or coconut shrimp (hey, it’s the CriTiki Lounge).

"To make things even more fun, we’ll have a new submission theme each week AND a Lounge Lizard who knows it better than he/she knows the bartender.

"In keeping with the relaxed and sociable atmosphere, other writers will also be able to offer their thoughts on the writer’s 'performance.' Don’t worry about hecklers––our bouncer will take care of them. His name is Kohala, yeah, like the volcano."

The CriTiki Lounge just launched in November, and I am so excited to meet new writer friends and offer query feedback. Click here to visit the CriTiki Lounge,  and get ready for some fun!