I can’t believe I’ve been retired from Law Enforcement for one year as of this month. When I planned my retirement life, I wanted to be able to care for my mother, to be present at home more and WRITE. Oh how time flies when you’re having fun. If I may request, Mr. Father Time, can we please slow it down just a little. These past twelve months have been filled with all kinds of memorable adventures. The biggest being an addition to our family, our little Sheepadoodle ‘Nettie’. Her name comes from our favorite movie, The Color Purple. Our last dog who passed away in 2014 was named Miss Celie. The two were sisters in the movie, and Nettie was the younger pretty one.
Nettie came into our lives in July 2015 at around 11 pounds, and now weighs in just under sixty pounds. I really didn’t think I was going to make it through the puppy training stage, but oh what a dog-year makes. I’m not afraid to admit that I don’t have the patience of her other daddy. Now a complete joy, most days she spends her mornings with Little B out with the horses, and her afternoons sleeping next to my desk as I write. But it’s clear to both of us that Grandma is her special confidant. As grandmothers do, every time I even think of correcting Nettie, Grandma is there telling me to “let that poor baby alone.”
Another adventure was the remodel of our kitchen, which started out as just a new stovetop that Little B wanted. Next thing I know we’re picking out counter tops, windows and appliances. When we finished, he had the nerve to turn to me and ask, “What do you think about new couches?” Well if you know little B, you know the rest of the story.
We have taken many trips, some day trips, some multiple days. Yosemite, Disneyland, Monterey, Cambria, Los Angeles, Paso Robles, Arizona, and Louisiana. We also welcomed family from Minnesota into our home. Mind you, they showed up a few weeks early thanks to a mix up on Little B’s part. It all worked out and FYI Heather, you and the kids can come anytime.
This past year, Brian and I have toured several California Wine Trails up through Plymouth, Lodi, and Paso Robles. There’s so much more to California wines then just the Napa Valley. My favorite two wineries we visited this year were Villa Saint Juliette, and the Stolo Family Vineyards & Winery. Both serve up amazing wines with breath taking views. Little B loves his Reds, and I like a nice crisp white, but not sweet.
I am of course most excited about my writing adventure this year. I’ve published my second book, Before Sunrise. USA Today contacted me and wanted to review it. I was a nervous wreck waiting for that review. Thus far, the book has been well received, USA Today called me a ‘Masterful Storyteller’. Me? Really? Maybe one day I’ll believe in myself as much as others do. Most days I feel like the little fish in a pond with nothing but big fish. Truth be told, a big shout out needs to go out to all those big fish that have so welcomed me into their pond. I can’t believe how much I’ve learned just in the last twelve months about writing, publishing, and marketing from those that have been doing it for years. For anyone who has the desire to write, you have to plug yourself into the writing community. They will happily welcome you and teach you more than you will ever read in a lot of the ‘Do-it-yourself’ books.
The best place to find these people are social media sites. FB plays host to hundreds of these sites for new writers. I even found a local writers group in my own city that meets once a month. Some meetings we have a guest speaker who is well known in the business. They usually come with a boat load of experience and information you will never read anywhere else.
In the beginning of 2016, I started what I thought was going to be the first round of edits on my next novel ‘Color Blind’. The truth is that it has turned out to be a complete re-write of the story. This is the first manuscript I completed back in 2013, but I strategically held it back. I can’t go into in detail just yet, but I am excited to get it out to you sometime around March 2017.
It’s funny, with being retired, one would think I would have all the time in the world to write, but it doesn’t seem to work out that way most days. Some say to treat writing just like a job, and I laugh, no I really really laugh. As an Investigator, I set my own hours, came in and out of the office as l pleased, and nobody actually knew what I was doing at any given point. But at the end of the day, week or month, my work was done. Yeah, that system isn’t really working for me as a writer.
What I’ve been trying to do lately is marketing, bookkeeping, and research in the early mornings, and then switching over to working on an actual manuscript around ten am. I still have to figure this routine thing out a little better. Combing over my schedule for today I see that it’s a gym day, lunch with a longtime friend, shoot video, and mom has a doctor’s appointment. Okay, I guess it’s not so bad, maybe I should stop whining and be grateful my ass is retired. Truth be told, I love my life.
Until next month, peace out,