We are approaching year’s end! It came a lot faster, and it almost seems I’m just now taking a breath. Before I start my recap, I want to remind you that there are only a couple of weeks left to enter the 30k giveaway. We are well above 30,000 likes on Facebook…but I still want to say thank you. The winner will receive Bleeding Stars and Paper Hearts-Adrianna is Mine, a signed print and a signed shirt. I will ship worldwide, so do not miss this opportunity.
I have had a very interesting year that is ending in greatness. I was told before the year even started…great things were about to take place…
At the beginning of the year, I took a huge leap of faith. I had been running ads in America that always resulted in little or no fan-likes at all. In fact, when I did receive likes…that was it. A few would like the page…and no one would comment or share anything.
I couldn’t wrap my mind around it—but that didn’t stop me.
Now, I had asked no one about running ads overseas, but I knew my race and the color of my skin didn’t matter as much. So I tried India, The Arab Emirates, The UK, Australia, Egypt, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil and France…and the reception was far greater than I imagined. For ten days, I received a few THOUSAND likes everyday. And ended with well over 12,000. Not only that, these people responded to posts, pictures and so on. They shared, liked and commented without being prompted. And I realized because I took such a huge leap…I landed on my feet.
My household couldn’t believe it either. How was this possible? Someone at the Denver Comic Con who managed to get a booth when I didn’t was even shocked. Here he was, selling his books at one of the biggest events in my city, and he had a measly 1,200 fans following him on Facebook. The look on his face was enough to let me know it is a big deal.
After hearing from several different indie authors on Facebook that they refused to pay for ads…and having so many likes in such a short amount of time…I could say that I’d finally made it. It took me four years by the end of February to have written a book, published it, promoted it…and to be ignored. Four years.
But remember, I didn’t give up.
After that, I was able to figure out a way for people to notice my book. Then it faded…softly. Surely. But I didn’t think at that time that it was over. However, if it had been…I was okay with that. This meant I needed to find a new way, and to not stop working.
Excited and still feeling semi famous, I decided to throw a party. My birthday is April 17th, and I had been in contact with people I believed cared about what I was doing. My husband had helped me with purchasing tickets to the Denver Comic Con and we were arranging things so the trip there would be fantastic. I had books, shirts, flyers with prints. I was ready. Everyone kept congratulating me and I kept soaking it in.
But the closer my birthday came, the more I began to realize that all the congratulations weren’t genuine. Most were saying it because they couldn’t say how they really felt to my face. Spineless, sneaky. Making promises they couldn’t keep.
I pardoned a friend who lost her father. Who was I in comparison to her dad? She continued insisting on helping with my party and let me down . Another friend knew I was a stickler about starting early on projects and finishing them, and instead of doing the right thing…she assumed I’d be okay with her coming over at 7pm to work on costumes…when she knew at the time I had three kids and a schedule to keep.
I was furious and disappointed, and I was literally waiting for something else to go wrong. When someone else I hired couldn’t afford their tickets…after promising to mail a check to pay for them…I sold the remaining adult and children’s tickets on Craig’s List, and pretending nothing happened.
My birthday party didn’t turn out how I wanted, but I had a very good time. No one kept their word, but I had done enough to where I wasn’t entirely reliant upon them. And June was quickly approaching, so I had no time to dwell on it.
My husband and I packed up our kids, packed lunches and took a deep breath as we began our way downtown for the Denver Comic Con. I made his wings for a character he was portraying, and I dressed up as well. We took pictures before leaving, and even though nothing had gone as planned…we still tried.
By the end of June, I was satisfied that despite all the bullshit…I tried. Then the unthinkable happened.
My husband had always been very close to his mother. She was his favorite person to talk about…and I could see how much he loved her. He had come back to Denver because she was being released from prison and he wanted to insure she had everything she needed. Upon being released, she was successful with being independent. My husband and my mother in law even ran into each other at a temp job he had during late spring. I would text her once or twice a week as we’d go on about waiting to finally meet and so on. I had even taken the time to invite her to my birthday party. We were very excited for the possibilities.
On June 28th, 2016…I received a disturbing message from a friend of my mother in law. She said she’d been missing for a day and no one could get a hold of her. Before contacting my husband, I had to file a missing persons report. Me…the woman who had yet to meet her. I knew at that moment that things would change for us.
Then I called my husbands gym…and soon he was in his way home. We waited to hear word, thinking the worst and hoping for the best. The detective we spoke with explained how complicated the situation was, but we just wanted to find her.
July 3rd, 2016…my husband received a call that his mother had been found, clinging onto life after being shot through the liver and kidney. And…the person we knew as her ex husband was found dead at the scene of the crime.
We had nothing else to go by. Neither did her ex husbands family…who took time out of their sorry lives to harass us…and even threaten our lives. Others were picking and prodding, and a few people who knew my mother in law were being helpful. There was nothing anyone could do. Not until she woke up and told her story.
But her health failed each day, until my husband was given that dreadful ultimatum. So on August 13th she was taken off of life support. And August 14th, 2:36pm…she passed. We had already experienced a bad summer…this all seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
However, I had been thanked many times by my husband for helping him. I didn’t see how I couldn’t.
Usually, when one parent dies…another follows. We kept an eye on my mother. She’s frail for 55 and she’s depressed. When most of September went by and she seemed well…we finally took a breath.
But on September 23rd…I learned my father had passed. You don’t think about it until it happens. You forget people can get sick, as he had. I tried to wrap my mind around it, because I also had to deal with his family. I was not invited to the funeral, no did anyone share details about the ceremony. He was cremated without permission. And all we knew is that my brother and I were beneficiaries.
I had mixed emotions about it. We hadn’t seen my dad in years. I was abused growing up. Was this an apology? A cruel joke?
No, it wasn’t.
Usually, we struggle near the end of the month, like anyone. October we didn’t. By the middle of month, I was four months pregnant and feeling the strain physically. But we had everything we needed and we were happy. I hadn’t received my inheritance yet, and things were drama free…despite my family excluding his own daughter from the funeral.
This month, my mother decided to show her ass. My husband, of course, stepped in. But I wanted everyone to be quiet. I still needed to think. To breathe.
So tensions were high, and with being pregnant…that is a lot. I had to take several breaks from my page and website to deal with everything. Plus, everything I anticipated to happen…did. My family is still clawing at money they’re not getting (let alone entitled to.)
Where we are now? Things have slowed down with the drama…or I’ve just chosen to ignore it. I have 43,000+ fans and have recently returned a book to Amazon’s kindle program. I was able to purchase my pseudo name J.C.S. And my company…Byond Epic Entertainment. The rights and all.
I’ve had to cut off more people . It’s the price you pay for success. Either you’re with me or against me.
Out of all of this, I’ve had to learn how to grow up again. It is a never ending journey.