Last Updated on: July 15th, 2017
Last week, I told you my true story about how I nearly died last summer. I am now going to tell you how reuniting with my son, J, has impacted my life for the better.
Re-uniting with him has literally changed my life!
Once We Re-united
One phone call led to another and we began talking on a regular basis.
Not arguing, but talking.
It was wonderful! Slowly, J let me back into his life.
We talked, we laughed, we cried.
I had always tried to be a good mother to him, and I must have done something right, since J is a non-smoker (I smoke), a drug-free person (he experimented a few times, with a few things, and so did I), a health and fitness nut who watches what he eats and works out all the time (my idea of working out is typing, and I love eating, as noted in my guest post on Hunger for Happiness), and a rare drinker (this he got from me; I am not big on booze).
J also is a positive person who somehow motivates me to want better things for our future. He truly is amazing.
He’s also tall, dark and handsome, since he’s half Spanish (I am a white, Canadian girl with Czech roots… so basically I am a white, Canadian girl!) and he’s pretty muscular, too, from hitting the gym on a constant basis. He won’t let me post a picture of him; he is a private person (I’ve mentioned this before). Anyway, when December rolled around, I asked him what he wanted for Christmas. I’m his mom; I wanted to buy him a gift. (I like giving presents!)
He told me that he didn’t want anything. Huh? Nothing?
Nope. He told me to save my money.
What My Son Wanted for Me
When I pressed him, he told me that he didn’t need anything, but that it was nice that I wanted to get him something. Instead, he said, it would mean more to him if I bought myself something that I needed. That’s what he wanted for Christmas – for me to buy myself something! Wow! He’s unselfish? What a nice young man! (He was 22 at this time. He turned 23 six months ago.) Although I ended up getting him a few presents (of course I did, I’m his mom), his words made me think. What was it, exactly, that I wanted and/or needed? I thought for a few days about this.
Then it hit me.
I had always talked about pursuing a writing career.
Why not start now? I sort of gave up teaching when I quit my job and moved back to my hometown. After I was in an accident that nearly cost me my leg (this story will be related in a future posting), I pretty much decided that I was not going to go back to teaching (although I have paid my fees each year to remain a certified teacher).
How I Gave Him What He Wanted
Because I wanted to show J that I had changed – this was one of the issues for why he moved out in the first place (more about this in future posts) – and was serious about improving my life, I decided to purchase the 2013 Writer’s Market and do some research again on publishing the book that I wrote when I was in university, The Life and Love of Canadian Poetry: An Interpretative View.
This book had been sitting on my bookshelf for years, despite encouragement from my professor (almost 18 years ago) to pursue publishing it! (Luckily for me, the topic is timeless and so it is still relevant today.)
So I did.
I read it, too.
I also bought sticky flags, to affix to pages I wanted to “bookmark.”
I bought colored pens, to underline important things. I bought a new notebook, and a calendar pad to keep track of everything. I was excited, and I was motivated to begin a new journey! I had put off pursuing the dream of becoming a published author for so long, and was thrilled with myself for finally deciding to “give it a go” again.
I say “again” because I had bought a copy of the Writer’s Market years before (in 2002) and started doing some research into publishers who might be interested in publishing my book, but, for some reason or other, I didn’t get very far. (I was teaching at the time, and doing this full-time while raising a son as a single mom.)
That time, I got as far as making a list of potential publishers that might be interested in publishing my book.
This time, I was determined to take my research many steps further! While reading this book, I was gung-ho, until I read something about an author platform. Huh? An author platform…what’s that? Sigh. Then I read that publishers want their authors to have a website/blog, be on social media, and have a large following. Another sigh. I didn’t even have a computer of my own at this point. My previous computer was ancient and just quit working one day. No surprise there; it was older than a pterodactyl (I love that word much better than dinosaur).
Now, what was I to do?
The deepest, longest, loudest sigh. I knew. I had to buy a computer. There was just no getting around this. So I made the decision to buy one. Needless to say, this was turning out to be a very expensive would-be Christmas present! I shopped around for the best deal on the best quality computer that would fit my budget. I didn’t want a big, heavy, clunky, chunky, boxy thing, either.
I wanted a laptop. I had never had one. (I knew people that did; they seemed to like theirs.) So I bit the bullet and bought one!
I had my sister help me set it up (I’m not technical and she is), found a bunch of writing websites, and began reading. I wanted a site of my own, and initially started a free one with webs.com but didn’t like it. Since the Writer’s Market mentioned WordPress, I did a search, only to discover that I could have a free blog! (I love free things!) I read about setting one up, watched the tutorials, took notes, and felt like I was back in school! (I loved being in school, by the way.)
The Re-uniting Impact Starts
Four days later, I started this blog. Then I joined a bunch of social media sites – some which I am still figuring out! I have accounts of all types all over the place. My main ones are Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. I’m also on Goodreads, Pinterest, Quora, and probably a few others… I’ve lost track.
I know I have a few pages of all my accounts and their passwords (always different, and always complicated – according to the experts, you have to protect yourself online) and I know I don’t visit all of them anymore.
I kept reading, kept learning, and became overwhelmed at the plethora of information that is out there – including differing opinions – about blogging, creating an author platform, and publishing, which now includes another option, self-publishing.
Now, what was I supposed to do?
Information overload, plus too many emails started to take its toll.
I also signed up for a contest (from which I was disqualified – they claimed I cheated – because I was winning!) and ended up getting mad and deleting some of my posts (that promoted them) and suffered some consequences as a result, which I mentioned in this post, if you recall. I also found many sites that offered great advice on writing query letters (I had never written one before), and even received a free ebook on writing them!
Then I discovered that you have to write a query letter for a self-published book! Ugh. TMI (too much information), and, yet, not enough…
The Re-uniting Impact Continues
I then decided to reach out to other authors in my attempts to learn about self-publishing. Some of you may remember the one I did with Melissa Bowersock, who revealed her experiences with both types of publishing.
I also received advice from a couple of great gals about publishing ebooks.
In between reading LinkedIn discussion threads, getting advice, and learning that authors now have more options than ever, I got sidetracked with trying to improve my blog (my early readers who are still around have been here to see this blog morph over time) and learn blogging secrets and techniques.
I also spent some time guest posting for others. So far, no one has turned me down! (I have asked six people so far; four have been published already, one has been approved – although I have not yet been given a publication date – and one request is still pending. I’m obviously hoping for the best!)
The Re-uniting Impact Has Google Loving Me
I have also tried writing content articles as a way of ranking higher in search engines. I did not accomplish what I set out to do.
I think my post about making a good impression shows up on the eighth page of results (I know, I looked!) but that was before I learned that you have to provide a description for the search engines when you are inserting a picture into your post. I think I learned this after reading Ashley’s guest post, How to Make Your Blog Images Awesome – Even If You Aren’t Picasso. (I clicked on links, and read this somewhere!)
Oddly, the fourth post I ever wrote (about my experience with a toolbar that I believed was malware) hit the first page and earned me many hits on that post.
Then, when I received the Liebster Award, my first blogging award ever, I wrote a comprehensive post and used the words “official rules” in it, which also earned me the privilege of appearing on the first page of search engine results.
Currently, I hold the ninth position if you search “Liebster Award”, but it you do a search for “Liebster Award Rules”, you will find that my post is number one!!! This is huge!
The Re-uniting Impact Makes Me Confess
I’m no closer to my initial goal, which was to publish my book.
When I purchased my laptop, it didn’t come with the Microsoft Office Package, which includes Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Instead, I downloaded the free, one-month trial version. Then, when that expired, I found a free word-processor, Open Office.
Of course, I also have my drive on gmail, Google docs.
But I didn’t have Word, which is supposedly the best and a must-have for authors. (Everyone says so!)
Last week, I purchased it. I bought Office – Home and Student 2013, which includes One Note in addition to Word, PowerPoint and Excel. To my surprise, I was able to install it all by myself! I also hooked up my printer/copier/scanner all by myself, too! I’m so excited to own this piece of technology! I’m impressed that it prints in color when I want it to AND works off a wireless signal. Oh, the technology these days! It never ceases to amaze me!
Oh, the technology these days! It never ceases to amaze me!
It feels like I am starting from scratch again, albeit in a good way. But, I am finally,
But, I am finally, finally, getting serious about my writing. These purchases prove it! I have also written a draft of a query letter! Now, I just have to type it up, edit it, and send it off… which I plan on doing soon, now that I can! …And none of this would have happened if J wasn’t there to inspire me, to encourage me, to allow me to think of “me” instead of “him”, last Christmas!
His selflessness has definitely impacted my life, for the better! I honestly don’t know where I’d be today if it wasn’t for his complete and utter selflessness. (Thanks, J. I love you for what you’ve done for me. I’m so grateful for the nudge I so desperately needed!) Now that he’s set me on the right track, and now that I have the proper tools,
I have also written a draft of a query letter! Now, I just have to type it up, edit it, and send it off… which I plan on doing soon, now that I can! …And none of this would have happened if J wasn’t there to inspire me, to encourage me, to allow me to think of “me” instead of “him”, last Christmas! His selflessness has definitely impacted my life, for the better! I honestly don’t know where I’d be today if it wasn’t for his complete and utter selflessness. (Thanks, J. I love you for what you’ve done for me. I’m so grateful for the nudge I so desperately needed!) Now that he’s set me on the right track, and now that I have the proper tools,
Now that he’s set me on the right track, and now that I have the proper tools, hardware and software, I can truly get serious about publishing and selling my words, my stories, my knowledge, and my experiences.
Re-uniting with My Son Led Me To You!
I have to thank all of you, my beloved readers and commenters, for supporting me and encouraging me each week. You honestly have no idea how grateful I am for all of you. My favorite emails to get are the notifications that so-and-so liked my post, that so-and-so is now following my blog, and that I need to “please moderate” a comment!
Thank you all, for showing up to read my posts, for sharing my posts, and for taking the time to express your thoughts, ideas, and opinions in the comment section. You are like my family, and I love you all. (You didn’t even send me any hate mail for my last posting…that’s how awesome you are!) I think you should thank J, too.
Do I even need to ask for comments? Maybe I should ask you to follow my blog via email? Share this post? All of the above? (This is the best option!) Maybe you could do all three, then brag about it in the comment section! I’d love to hear your impressions on this post. Did anything in particular touch you, shock you, or surprise you?