Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Stay in Touch

What a traumatic, exasperating, nerve-racking, exciting, and wonderful year-and-a-half this has been.
First a divorce, forcing me to move into a new, space depriving, privacy invading, apartment. Testing to the limits, the patience, tolerance, and love, my two teenage daughters and I have for each other. I needed, and had, surgery on both knees, to rectify two torn meniscuses, the result of standing for eight hours a day, for countless years, at  my Las Vegas gaming table, and two surgeries to fix a perforated ear drum.
Then came the purchase of a new home, finally! Room to swing a cat, or mouthy teenager. At last! Along with it, came the trauma of walk-throughs, down payments, packing, moving, address changes, and ensuring that everything that needed fixing, got fixed.
            Finally, wonderful news! Billie Johnson, the big Kahuna at Oak Tree Press, had agreed to read my book, The Support Group! How cool was that? I eagerly sent her an online submission. One little light, shining through the darkness of endless bills, work schedules, and physical therapy appointments. This was the chance I had prayed for.
            The next few months trudged by. Working late in the casino, getting up early with kids. The house was beginning to feel like a home. I was finally starting to feel more relaxed. Where was Billie? I had heard nothing from her. She didn’t like the book, I surmised. Well, it was to be expected. I was an unknown author after all. I did not even know if it was any good. Sure, my family and friends liked it, but wasn’t that their job? Weren’t they supposed to be excited, and supportive of me? Perhaps, even lie to me? I started to doubt my ability, and began telling myself that I was probably better off concentrating on the kids, house, and work. They were what were really important right now.
            House in order, kids somewhat under control, knees healed, hearing improved greatly, I started relaxing into the role of a single working mom. Life wasn’t perfect, but it was definitely do-able! I had a little more free time. I managed the occasional night out with colleagues, and even managed to secure some computer time alone, while the kids were at school. I became quite proficient at numerous Pogo games, and contacted many old time friends on Facebook. The hard copy of my manuscript sat beside my computer, a daily reminder of my former aspirations to be a writer. I’d resubmit it someday.
            People need to stop knocking Facebook! Seriously! It was while I was perusing my countless requests to send energy, chickens, bubbles, a lamb chop, that I discovered a new message in my personal mail.
            “Are you the author of The Support Group?” it asked.
            Who the heck was Sunny Frazier?, I asked myself. I had posted nothing on Facebook about my novel. I admitted I was, and enquired as to how she knew me. She informed me that Billie Johnson really liked my book, but had been unable to respond to me as my email address was no longer in service. She had set Sunny the mission of tracking me down.
            What an idiot I was! In an effort to conserve money, I had opted to change my internet carrier for a cheaper one after moving into my new home. I had given my new email address to the bank, work, the gym, Macy’s, everyone but my future publisher! I wanted to hit myself upside the head with something heavy!
            All’s well that ends well, so they say. I’m still a single mom, living with teenage daughters, still a Las Vegas dealer, still a frustrated interior decorator at heart, but I’m something else now too. I’m a published author. A published author, who very nearly wasn’t. I cannot stress enough, the importance of keeping your contact information up to date. Make sure the people you want to find you, can! Keep yourself available!
            And stop knocking Facebook!


Save the date: October 13, 2012

Author signing
Barnes & Noble
Rainbow Promenade
2191 N Rainbow Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89108


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Wow, that's some story. You've been through a lot! All the best with your new book.

William Doonan said...

Shirley, great perseverance! That's 90% of the game.

Shirley Oldridge said...

Thank you Marilyn!
Life has a way of turning out well. Even if you do have to get hit with a few rotten eggs along the way. Just hop in the shower!

Shirley Oldridge said...

Thanks William!
Hoping to write as a career one day! Less stress on the knees!

Lorna Collins - said...

All the best with your book!

Monti said...

Congratulations! Wonderful story. I look forward to meeting you at some point.

Mary Montague Sikes

Sunny Frazier said...

Billie and I are nothing if not persistent when it comes to finding good books and elusive authors! Look for your name in tomorrow's Friday Round-Up.

We ARE your support group!

Beryl Reichenberg said...

Yes Sunny, thanks for reminding us that we all must stick together and support one another on this demanding, sometimes frustrating and other times wonderful road we follow. Beryl

Beryl Reichenberg said...

Yes Sunny, thanks for reminding us that we all must stick together and support one another on this demanding, sometimes frustrating and other times wonderful road we follow. Beryl

Holli said...

I read your book and did a blurb, and thought it was a great read. I don't know if the blurb was used on the book or not-- if it was not, I could put it on Amazon as a review. Let me know.

Shirley Oldridge said...

Hi Holli,
So glad you enjoyed the book!
I would live you to put a review on Amazon.
Thank you!

Shirley Oldridge said...

Thank you Lorna.