New Year's Resolutions
It’s New Year’s resolutions time… again…
I’ve made a few over the years, but only 2 greatly impacted my life.
My first New Year’s resolution was for 1991. A twelve-year-old miniature woman made a vital mistake. I’ve always been quiet- not shy. I like to sit and watch- observe- those around me. I also hold my emotions close to the vest. If you’ve read my books, a few of my characters have a similar affliction. I feel as if emotions are highly personal, and you earn the right to know mine. I also feel that who would want to know mine, like I’m pushing myself on unsuspecting victims. (So if I’ve spoken personal stuff with you, you know that I feel a connection to you) I’m also highly in-tuned with the emotions around me, and it makes me feel crazed most of the time. So… quiet I am.
& today I feel like sharing some of my thoughts, feelings, and emotions with my readers.
It took me 4 months to admit to a crush to my best friend. She wasn’t a passing best friend that happens to 6th graders. She was my cousin and we’d known each other from birth. I felt like admitting my crush as VERY personal, but admit I did. It was over winter break and she forced me to make a New Year’s Resolution, and only a BFF can make you do something of this nature…
I was given a week for my resolution- mission? Yeah, mission is more like it. I had a week to ask my crush out. She maneuvered me by picking, taunting, teasing, and just downright pushing me towards my goal. It was embarrassing and I spent a lot of time with bright red cheeks and shining eyes. I should mention my BFF was a bit diabolical- we weren’t your average 12 & 11 yr olds. She got others to help. Did I mention I found my crush to be private… why, yes, yes I did. She told a few of my friends- we had a few friends that we shared but maintained separate friendships. One girl who is a few years old than us was relentless because she wanted me to be happy (RIP Jesse, I miss you & I always will).
January 7th, 1991 (yes, I remember the date and you’ll understand why later). After a hard hour of basketball and rough-housing, I wandered down the hall to my locker- nearly blind from the sun shining on the snow during recess. We were idiots and deliberately trying to burn our retinas. We didn’t know that’s what we were doing as we stared at the sun and then the snow. So… anyway, I’m blindly wandering to my locker, and my relentless friend shoved me into my crush and a gaggle of girl surrounded us yelling, “DO IT!” Fuck it, I did it! I’m a quiet badass like that. I asked the kid to be my boyfriend… & he said yes… Long story short, I completed my mission on my very first New Year’s resolution. *YAY* Go Me!
Btw, I’ve always been the aggressor. I’ve always asked all the boyfriends out. Not shock there after reading my female characters.
Why was this first resolution so important to my future that it made it as number one on my top two resolutions? Why was this considered to my detriment… Cut 20 years later- said crush turned into high school sweetheart, husband, and now soon-to-be-ex-husband. I’ve often wondered at what point in my life I could have circumvented my future pain and torment. At the same time I don’t regret my decisions. I wonder who I would have become if I hadn’t told my BFF about my crush. I highly doubt I’d be a writer today. I think I would be in an analytical profession of some sort- my logic, quietness, and ethics would have pushed me in that direction.
But the anguish that 20 years of strife brought about was excellent fodder for my writing. It drove me to find an outlet for these emotions that I don’t speak of or share. It began with the first few heartbreaks at the boy’s hands. My first attempt at a novel was a YA book title Philadelphia after he’d just disappointed me by his behavior. My dark poetry of my teenage years was written with crying eyes as I dealt with his abandonment. The books I’ve written as an adult were coping mechanisms for a life that was wasted. Why I don’t regret is that I would never have become the writer… I would have never learned that it is better to be alone than in an unhealthy relationship. I would have never found my inner-strength or the real Erica.
Twenty years later… Resolutions #2 was a huge turning point in my life. I was lost and feeling as if I had no place in this world. I’d written a book called Chrysalis (will see the light of day in 2013). My 2012 resolution was to publish one book. I never do anything halfway. My first resolution I trumped up from asking a kid out to spending 20 years as his victim. Instead of 1 book, I published 8, and wrote 3 others and a partial manuscript.
My resolution began with Wicked Reads. On January 7th (again. lol) I sat in my bedroom, alone and hopeful. In the early hours of the morning of January 8th I created Wicked Reads- a review site. I created a blog, Facebook page, Goodreads account, and a twitter account. I grew a fan base in hopes that when I finally published a book I’d have a medium for promotions- less than a year later we are 1,200 strong and thriving.
I began Restraint in March of 2012 and created Erica Chilson the blog that same month. April 23rd I published Restraint and I was addicted. Unleashed was published on May 30th. I then created Erica Chilson’s Facebook fan page. Dexter & Dalton, on my 34th birthday, July 11th. Queen & Cort were written, but Queen was an undertaking. She took me on a journey that included creating the Playroom series, Good Girl, and completely revising the entire M&M of Restraint series. Jaded & Queened were released in November, and Checkmate and Queen Omnibus in December.
I also started a few groups with some great ladies that I met along this wild ride of a journey- Author Central Facebook Group and Wicked Reads Goodreads Group.
2012 resolution brought me great, long lasting friendships with a lot of Authors and I’ve made some friendships that will last a lifetime. (Ladies, you know who you are) I love these ladies and they have kept me sane and motivated. 2012 brought me a network of connections and a budding career as a novelist that one day may be my source of independence- an independence that I need to push the ‘lost’ from my soul.
2012 also taught me valuable lessons that I learned the hard way. I learned to slow down and and let nature take its course when it comes to writing. It also taught me how I’d completely closed myself off to the world at large. While I made connections with great people, I have no one in my personal life that has left me… lonely.
2013 has a new set of resolutions, equally vital to my existence. Slow down and enjoy my life. Don’t let the muse completely dominate me. Finally get the ultimate resolution by closing out that 20 yr relationship by making that crush an ex-husband. Finding ways to feel the independence that I so desperately seek, and in turn, finding real connections with people that are in the same room with me, not online across the country. I need real, living, breathing friends. I need to be a 34 yr old woman, and not the hermit that the first resolution turned me into.
What does 2013 have in store for you?
As always, I’d love to hear from you all. firstname.lastname@example.org
~Happy Wicked Reading~