Milestones and Millstones

Yes, I’m back! No, I was not away on a fabulous journey or meditating at a mountainside monastery. I just got tired of life for a while, and the endless grind of worries that I seem ever capable of procuring. That does not a good blog make.

However, a few milestones passed that I wish I had shared with you in the moment:

#1 – First Royalty Check!
I was in the middle of de-cluttering my house for sale, when my partner brought me the mail. And there it was, my first book money!! I had earned out my advance and then some. That was a special moment – evidence that I could earn money by doing something I truly love!!

#2 – First Book Award Gala!
I was nominated for the Ann Connor Brimer award for children’s literature for The Stowaways, an honour I got to share with friend Jill MacLean (Nix Minus One) and Jan Coates (The Power of Harmony) at the Atlantic Book Awards in May. I wore a corsage and learned how to lose with a smile 🙂 (Jan won!)

#3 – First Full-page Advertisement!
(Canadian Children’s Book News) This might be a weird milestone to mention, but it gave me extreme joy to think my publisher likes my book enough to promote it so much! She also put a full-pager in School Library Journal, an even larger mag.

#4 – First Celebrity Endorsement!
Actor Jonathan Torrens (Trailer Park Boys, Mr.D) chose my book as one of his summertime reads in his Atlantic Books Today interview – there’s nothing like a handsome, hilarious blonde with brains on your side! (Thanks, Jonathan!!)

So what were the millstones? Well, you know how I mentioned selling my house… that has been the millstone — the grinding, heavy worry in my life for the past few months. In a way it’s a milestone and a millstone, because I decided to sell my home so that I could release myself from mortgage monotony to follow my dreams. I’ve finally made the choice to make writing my priority, and all else, I mean ALL else, has to come second, at least for a few years. You know where I got the strength to make this choice? Donna Morrisey (Kit’s Law). She did the same thing, years ago…

Well, you know what they say — with every millstone comes a milestone and every milestone, a millstone.

(If that wasn’t already a saying, then I just made it up. :))

I’m back into writing again, and loving the choice I’ve made, but it’s hard to leave my garden, my neighbours, my community. It’s always a risk to follow your dreams, but if you don’t, what you’ve held onto in fear will always be marred by the wonder inside you.

What might have happened if I’d let it all go?…

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Me (left) at the Atlantic Book Awards Gala reception with writers Janet Cameron, Jan Coates and Jill MacLean

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