It’s a new year. And…so many changes have happened to me in the space of 6 months, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. I retired from full time teaching, had a great first month of holidays, did lots of personal growth work, went to my family reunion, had a wonderful time (until I broke both bones in my left forearm playing basketball at 2:00 a.m. after imbibing a wee bit of whiskey! – see previous post: “MIller Family Reunion”), then flew home to recover. Over the next month I did more personal growth work and vacationed in one of my favourite places on Earth – Hornby Island, while my arm healed – no swimming, guitar playing or bike riding for me! 😦 ) I started teaching on call in the fall, (love it!) and all the while, worked VERY hard to publish my first children’s book, “Please Don’t Go In the Dryer!” By staying focused on my goals and taking steps every day, using lots of support, I actually got it done in 3 months! (after having tried 3 times before over the last 2 years) See my youtube reading here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vo-LounipzM
To help with everything, I decided, especially after I broke my arm, that I really needed a personal assistant. I’ve been saying, jokingly, for years, that I needed one, and, as a result of changing some of the self-limiting beliefs in my head, actually found and hired a really wonderful woman to help me with all the stuff I need/want to do in my life! I never thought I deserved one before; after all, I’m not some rich and famous person (not yet, anyway 🙂 ) and… I decided I could afford to hire someone to come in one or two days a week for 4 hours to help me with my projects. I really can’t say enough about her! She’s smart and funny and friendly and helpful and has all kinds of skills I don’t have and some that just compliment mine. (She’s also a musician and does educational, musical presentations for high school students). Plus, after I broke my arm, I had trouble even folding my clothes and doing all kinds of every day things one takes for granted when one has 2 fully functioning arms. My assistant has been a little miracle in my life. Thanks, Sydney Thorne!
I then found an amazing illustrator by advertising on the Emily Carr job site. She was one of the first people to respond and I was so impressed with her work! Anita Ho and I worked together to get the illustrations just right to match the text and the visions I had in my head for each page. In combination with Anita’s visions, I think we came up with a winning combination and I have been absolutely thrilled with the result. We’ve had SO many compliments on the illustrations! Plus she has been really wonderful to work with. She took all of my suggestions without complaint and came up with ideas I would never have thought of that I just LOVED! I could not have asked for a better illustrator. How lucky am I?!
To see more of Anita’s work, go here: https://www.whollyimagination.com/illustrations.html
Sydney and I launched a fundraiser (after reading a book called CrowdStart) and managed to raise about 35% of the costs for the book by basically pre-selling copies before it was published. I also hired a wonderful design editor, Elaine Littmann, who helped us get all the text and page editing done so that it looked fabulous. I got 200 copies printed through a great local printer, (Marine Printers) and delivered copies to those who supported us through the Fundrazr campaign. I’ve sold a bunch more to people I’ve seen in the last few weeks. They’re almost gone already! (I gave away a few for presents and promo too). Hard covers are coming this month and the book is now available through Amazon and Indigo, etc. How cool is that?!
Then Christmas and New Years! Phew! These last few weeks have been such a whirlwind and now that all the work is (mostly) done, I’ve been totally blobbing out, eating too many Christmas goodies (it’s pretty much gone now, thankfully!) and watching way too many episodes of Lucifer in a row, all in between family dinners, shopping, squeezing in a few walks, and playing music with friends. Back to my new regular schedule next week, teaching on call 3 – 4 days a week, teaching private music lessons, organizing my life with my assistant, Sydney, getting back to yoga and walks/working out and continuing to promote my book AND playing music again! (Yeay!)
People are already asking me when I’m going to make the next book! Yikes! My response? “Uh… not today!” 🙂
So… what’s next? Hmmm… a return to balance is in order, I think. Getting back to the things that help me stay calm, patient, resourceful, kind and wise: meditation, yoga, walks in the forest, gratitude, good sleep, good food, good friends, you know… the good life!