Hello everyone. It’s been a long time. Too long, and I apologize for that. So much has happened over the past year.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had two big dreams: live in a warm place by the ocean, and write full time.
After many, many years of failed plans, false starts, and searching the world for the “perfect” place, I finally achieved both. Last November, I sold or donated almost everything I still owned and moved to Mexico to give this writing dream of mine a real shot.
Couldn’t you have done that back in Canada? is a question I’m often asked. Why move?
The answer is: yes and no. I certainly made a good effort in Canada. I wrote 22 publishable books (plenty of false starts there too), and managed to get 17 of them published, along with quite a few short stories. My writing paved the way to appearing in five true crime documentary series, which is how some of you discovered me.
In spite of my best efforts, I never truly went “all in.” I was terrified of not being able to pay the mortgage, regardless of how much of a risk that was or wasn’t. I took on way too much work, seizing almost everything that came my way, until I was juggling a ridiculous amount of teaching classes, marking student assignments, helping consulting clients, editing novels for other clients, being interviewed for the TV shows, and the list goes on and on. When something had to fall off the to-do list, it was either the writing or exercise. Self-care? What self-care?
Costs kept rising. Every month, there was a notice that higher prices for my electricity and natural gas had been approved (I’m sure a lot of you can relate). It was impossible to go to the grocery store to get just a few things and spend less than $50. Crime was increasing too. While my city was never the safest, I was shocked when one of my dearest friends was violently attacked on a Sunday morning while heading to my home. The threat of another long, brutal winter loomed.
And there was my lifelong dream of living by the ocean with the sun on my face. Just me, my laptop, and three cats. If not now, then when? As a long-time freelancer and independent contractor, I had no pension on the horizon, and no real reason to stick around, aside from the people I love.
Leap and the net will appear? I certainly hope so. Selling many of my belongings, including my home, and moving to a place where the cost of living is mostly lower has given me the gift of time. Time to focus on my writing, to truly see what’s possible when the pressure is off. But as they say, wherever you go, there you are. Only time will tell if I continue to be my own worst enemy. I hope not, as I’ve put everything on the line to make this dream come true. If you’d like to help or support me, buying one (or more) of my books helps A LOT! (Or reading the one you’ve bought if you purchased it through Kindle Unlimited–I don’t get paid until you read it.) If you’ve read everything I have out already, THANK YOU! In that case, leaving a nice post on Amazon that says you liked it or recommending my books to friends really helps.
As for the future of this blog, I’d love to hear from you. What would you like to see here? More spooky stories? More true crime? Writing updates? Snippets of works in progress? I get so many questions about how I managed to change my entire life in a year, and I’d love to do a short series about that here, if it interests you. Maybe the stuff I learned and still am learning could help some of you too.
For now, I’ll just say: if you have a dream, chase it. Even if people say it’s crazy. Even if they say it won’t work. Chase it anyway. What’s your big dream? I’d love to hear it. Please drop it in the comments, or send me an email.
Happy New Year. Thanks for still being here.