Wednesday, October 22, 2014

GRL 2014 - A full 180

So, I attended GRL this year and found that compared to last year it was a 180 degree difference. Last year I knew 5 people … well, maybe ten… but in a crowd of 400 those ten disappear. I was reluctant and held back and withdrew enough that I might have seemed shy or introverted, I rarely approached people. I was intimidated by some from a glance, and I was overwhelmed when about 20 people approached me with books to get signed. ME…. you want me to sign your book? Why?

One year later… I was still overwhelmed.

But this time it was due to the fact that I knew so many people on sight. Overwhelmed by personal shock maybe. I could not believe how many people I knew by face or name, but I left knowing even more! I am also NOT an introverted person. Actually, I describe myself as an extroverted introvert. I DO keep much of ME close to the vest (as they say). I have opened up and trusted the wrong people and it has come back to bite me in the ass. (Kind of going on now with the one woman I should not have trusted with my heart.) But at GRL, I am not and was not SHY. No way! I'm the person that walks up and says, "Hello, person I don't know. I'm Wade Kelly." And then I attempt a conversation. Why not? I am more whole than I have ever been. I spent YEARS feeling like all the puzzle pieces of ME were scattered about in confusion. I am mostly put back together and I am trying to be myself and not apologize for it. So, this year I DID introduce myself to people I didn't know. Like Travis. "Hi Travis. You don't know me, but….." He was there last year AND this year, and probably next year. (comes with Mary and Randy) I can certainly say HI, right? So I did! I also danced with people I'd never met before and danced with people I had just met. And it was fun!


I also got a bit overwhelmed by the amount of people who wanted me to sign a book. (more than 20 this time.) I attend as a "supporting author" and for the two hour signing GRL scheduled, I had a LINE the entire time. WHAT?!?!?!?!? Yes, I LINE of people waited for me to sign something. I find that incredibly incredible to the Nth degree of incredibleness. Did not expect such dedicated and adoring fans. But you know what? I adore you right back! You validate the reasons I write. YOU motivate me to KEEP writing. I was told Names Can Never Hurt Me was brilliant. And not by ONE person but by many. Brilliant? BRILLIANT!!! Right there you show me that taking 14 months to write it was worth it. I composed a story worthy of the time. In all seriousness, I felt like a rock star. You know I love the song by All Time Low "Weightless". In it the lyrics say, "Maybe it's not my weekend, but it's gonna be my year…" Well, that felt like my weekend. And THIS is going to be my year! I have said that before, I know, but 2014 was the most balanced I have ever been in family life and writer life. I am hoping to improve my time management and be more consistent in writing because I can see now how many adoring fans I have whom I OWE great stories to. You wait patiently. You encourage and hang on until I publish the next one. I need to up my personal "bar" and write even more incredible stories and in less time. (Less than 14 months anyway!) I NEED to write the angst because it is how I express my pain and it is therapeutic to release it, but I also need to write comedy because it helps lighten the mood after getting raked through hell. hahhaa. I need breaks from emotional roller coasters just like you do.

I have MANY projects in my head. MANY. Some funny, some not so much. The ones that get written are the ones where the characters scream at me the loudest. I just finished the story of Misplaced Affection, but it is still in edits and needs to get polished. Details are missing here and there and I want a perfect story. It is very angsty, so I plan to write a lighthearted one next.

Highlights from GRL…. ONE HUGE ONE was hearing how NAMES was so brilliant it is used in a teaching capacity and handed out to people. I am being purposely vague because I don't know what I am allowed to disclose, but the woman who talks dot me at GRL made me cry. NAMES means that much to her! She saw into my meaning and depth to the point of using it to help other people and I was blown away by that!

Second, Karrie made me FAN ART! I have posted it before but I have to again. I am deeply touched that she counted JOCK among such lovely fan art and with so many amazing authors. Thank you so very much!

Third…. Someone (and I do know her name) told me she was "too star-struck to come up to me and say hi." ALL WEEKEND! Too Star-struck? Over ME? WHAT????? No way! I take that as a HUGE compliment and I tried to encourage her via FB chat that she should say HI next time. I talk enough for 10 people so there is no need to think you might say something dumb. I do all the time. I am surprised I can even write because my brain often gets confused int he middle of a sentence. I AM A HUGGY PERSON, so if you want a hug I am all for it!

And the person (couple of people) who told me they have followed my story and are praying for me and staring behind me in my struggles, THANK YOU! Your support means a lot to me!

Again I have to say that hearing the word "Brilliant" attached to MY WRITING was very very flattering and humbling and heartwarming. I work so hard to tell a meaningful story and I am glad some of you get the depth of meaning I shoot for. THANK YOU!

So, yeah, big HIGHLIGHTS for me included meeting fans (and some fans who are authors too) who I have met online and now got to hug! YAY!! Karrie, Paul, Katie, Tracy (She is so pretty!), Anya, Sandra, Bonnie, Danny (she gave me Gummy Bears!), Laura, Shirley (my dance partner), Elaine, Tame Anna, Hans, Tams (hopefully Lucien one year!), KAZY, Dani Maas, and I know there were many more! And scrapbooking with people in that event was lovely, I have to say. I do not remember all your names because a couple of you who visited me were very quiet. but I remember the faces. I loved the more intimate setting. I am all for scrapbooking next year!

Meeting JASON was a huge highlight. He is so fun. He and his husband David were lovely people to meet and hug (David did hug me!), but also meeting Crissy was wonderful too.

Talking with Erica Pike… I really really like her!! So sweet. So kind. I am glad this year we talked a title bit and maybe next year will be even better!

Formally meeting William Cooper. Now I know why JP adores him. William is a wonderful person! Really really liked hugging, meeting, and talking to him for a couple days! I look forward to seeing him again!

Smelling Jared Rackler. OMGosh, he has the best cologne, whatever it is. Last year I saw him from afar but didn't approach because I was being all shy. He looked shy or standoffish and I didn't know what to say. Okay, this year I was a different person and just walked up and said "HI, can I have a hug?" He is a huggy kind of guy and did not mind at all. Plus, bonus, every time I hugged him I got a lungful of delicious Jaredness. Jared is not standoffish at all. He is very friendly and smiley and sweet. I look forward to getting to see him again at future events!

I SPOKE to Daniel Kaine. Last year, I think I scared him when I said hello. This year I tried at a conversation again and he was very sweet and soft spoken. I was thrilled to meet him! Plus, he has some pretty awesome T-shirts!

Seeing Alex again was fun! So freakin adorable she is ;)

TJ KLUNE said HI to me! I don't know that it was the BEST of the weekend, but I was moved to tears. (I know--shocker.) But it thrilled me to no end when we passed in the hall, he said hello, and then did a double-take, stepped back and waited for me to put my bag down to hug me. Last year I had dinner at his table and he did talk to me, but it was more in that formal setting of what you do at the "dinner with the author" setting. He was with 6 other people and you make conversation. It was informal and I wasn't doing backflips over it, I was just talking. YES, I was thrilled I sat with TJ and Eric, but talking to TJ last year did not feel the same to me. THIS YEAR, his eyes said he recognized me and that made me feel very special. I spoke with him a few times, but I didn't crowd as I don't feel overwhelming a person with "hurricane Wade" is a good idea. (Venona called me a whirlwind, lol!) So, THANK YOU TJ for making me feel special. I think about you, and pray for you, all the time.

And seeing and hugging and talking to Elisa Rolle again this year was wonderful. She is a very classy lady!

I KISSED Zathyn Priest! Oh wow! That is more like star-struck! :) All the way across the world, and he comes to GRL and I get to meet him! I felt honored. He and Sam are really great people. :) I hope to get to meet them again sometimes, although Australia is VERY far away!

Oh, Australia… I met Toni Griffin! Whoot! Whoot! VERY lovely woman. I only wish we had more time to spend together!

Of course, no small thing indeed was seeing people whom I count as friends and miss all year and then got to hug again. Some of those people will make me emotional simply thinking about. Jeff posted a picture of himself and Will at the airport and I cried just thinking about seeing them the next day! Michael and Anthony live positively too far away (5 hours) and I NEVER see them enough! (SO VERY PROUD of Michael for the success of his new book!) I LOVE my sweet Heather who lets me pet her hair and chats with me. I miss her and I was glad to spend time with her on Casino night fake-gambling. We had fun! Sara York is always on my list of must-have hugs! She is special to me. And JP Barnaby was wonderful to get to know a little bit more. At RT in new Orleans we sort of "met" for the first time, although I had met her in Atlanta. We met in RT and this time actually talked. She makes me cry and fusses about me tearing up. (lol, I can't help it and she knows it!) She is one of the most warm, loving people I've met. (*flying monkey tackle hugs* right back at ya!)

I know I missed people in my accolades. I don't want to hurt feelings or anything by NOT mentioning someone. Sorry if that applies to you. I am thinking off the top of my head! And if I see you more than twice a year I may have skipped those "mentions", so no offense is intended.

Next year is on San Diego. I am looking forward to that. I'll get to meet BETH!!! YAY.

For those who want to know, you can join the Wade Brigade on Facebook for current updates or subscribe to my blog.

I took zero pictures as my camera didn't work. I am relying on others and when they upload the ones with me in them, I'll post some. (Like this one below)

I love and adore you all. Thank you so much for making me feel special and loved.



PS: People I still WANT to meet (besides Beth) are Kage Alan, and MATT BOSTON! (Brad, Sam and Rick included!!!)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hit The Ground Running

For those who wonder (And I even include myself in that) why I do not and can not write consistently enough to come up with more than a book a year, it is because I have "life obligations."

I got home from GRL and the first thing I did was clean up the dead, bloated body of my lizard. It was very sad (and gross), but I had a feeling when I left he was going to die. He hasn't been looking good. He had a very seizer-type episodes and hasn't been eating. It is very sad, but at least he is not suffering. 

I got home at 1pm, cleans up the lizard, unpacked some, but I had to run back out. My son's "senior night" for soccer had been postponed last week due to rain and moved to last night. I therefore had to make sure aI got there in time to decorate the field with balloons and hang up the posters that each senior on the team had made. There was also a dinner I help set up for and serve. All these things take time and I live 20 minutes from the school. So I left, bought balloons, zip ties for the posters, and made it to the school. Did what I had to do and then rushed home to pick up my other 2 children who arrive home on the bus at 4 & 4:15. Then, at 5:30 we went BACK to the school to watch soccer! Drive, drive, drive, that is all I seem to do.

This is, sort of, a typical day. There always seems to be things that involve lots of driving, which prohibit me from reading OR writing.

Case in point, I have to leave here at 12pm to pick up my son for a Dr. Appointment. The Doctor's Office is 45 minutes away. I wanted to read over my MS today because Misplaced Affection is done, but in the editing stage. I want it to be the best it can be for you readers! But I will run out of time to read because I have to be driving. I am also out of bread, ham, cheese, milk etc because I wasn't here over the weekend and no one thinks to go get food except me.

This year however, has been the most balanced so far. There have been times in the past when I have been on a pendulum and it swung all the way to one side--the "family" side, or the "writer" side. On the writer side, although good for banging out 265000 words in 8 months, my family was completely neglected. And then on the other extreme I was completely dedicated to my family and forgetting how much fulfillment I get out of writing. I forgot to take care of myself and let the writer "out" and became tense and irritated. I NEED to write. It is therapy. But one side or the other doesn't help me. I need to find a happy medium where I can take care of my family, but also satisfy the writer in me. 

This year has been the best so far.

True, I have still only written ONE book. Misplaced Affection was started in late November for English class last year and I completed the story right before GRL in early October. (NAMES took 14 months to write.) But I DO THINK that when readers get it in their hands they will find it was worth the wait. Misplaced Affection, or "MA", might be my best writing yet. I am waiting on the verdict from my betas. I am striving to raise my own bar and push to write better, cleaner, and more concise. You know I ramble! I want to do less of that.

But writing and blogging and family and dinner and laundry and conferences and _____ (fill in the blank) take time. I am looking for the happy medium. This year seems to have balanced out nicely so I hope that 2015 will also go well. I have several conferences planned out, so all I need to do is make sure my family is taken care of while I am away.

I am also trying to hop back in to blogging. 

I took a break. Do you notice? I have been paranoid and worried about saying things online for fear of who is "watching" and waiting for me to say things that they disagree with. I don't like the idea of being "watched." From you my readers it is different. You are here to see what is going on in my life because you wait for the next book, you want to get to know me better, or maybe you like to hear me ramble about my daily thoughts. IDK. Whatever the reason you are here, it is different that OTHER people reading my posts as a way to "catch" me doing something wrong. This is what I am paranoid about. I have lived in fear a very long time. Well, it seems long but really only 4 years. In 4 years, I have been trying to let go of fear. This is not an easy task.

Many of you even walked up to me in GRL to ask how things are going with me and told me you are praying for me in this new "church" situation. That is so encouraging to me. THANK YOU! To know, hear about, and feel your support is a wonderful thing. I need you. And as I told a few people it is a DAY TO DAY thing. Depends on the day how I feel, but I am moving slowly not wanting to make waves. This situation also effects my family. I am not in anything ALONE. And I have also found, this time around, that I am not alone in my struggle. YOU ALL are there with me. Again, THANK YOU! This is an emotional trial of sorts because I am a religious person. (of sorts) I don't want to leave my congregation and therefore I want to take it slowly. If they ask me to leave, fine, but I am not going to jump ship because I am uncomfortable. I feel I need to be there. 

Anyway…. I hope to be editing this week. I also need to out line my up coming projects and see what is most feasible to get out quick. MA is very angsty so I want to write something funny next.  I also have two projects that were previously published and are no longer available. I received the rights back and with some "Wade Kelly" tweaking, I'd like to get them back out there too. One was a paranormal novel about a faerie, and the other a paranormal short about a vampire. The vampire one I would dlike to extend into a full length horror. Well, maybe not full blown horror. I am not THAT dark. More of a comedy that has "horror" moments. It IS a vampire and mine are not sparkly. I also need to write Corey's story, and work on getting Rob and Russell a story. Don't ya think?

So LOTS going on in the near future!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will be back again this week with highlights of GRL, so stay tuned.

Love and kisses,