Confession: Twenty-One-Three Was the Year That Kicked Ass and Then Kicked MY Ass

I wasn’t sure I was going to do a year-in-review type post this year. Not because I didn’t have anything to say. The problem is quite the opposite, 2013 being a year of highs, the only lows being the bookends of it all.

2013

January opened up with my divorce. I actually passed my one year divorcaversary without even realizing it. It was a shitty split with a nasty, drawn-out ending, but once it was over, the birds started chirping again and whatnot. I am so much happier of a person these days and have been able to really focus on getting myself there without the stress of a negative personality in my face all day every day. So yeah, I’m fucking over it. lol That shitty month is where the bad juju stops (until eleven months later).

I got to do and see so much this year I don’t even know where to begin. A lot of this shit is going to be out of chronological order but it doesn’t really matter.

 

Girls Only Getaway
I went on an incredible vacation to Vegas in March with my mom and my sister in which we saw and did everything we could possibly have squeeze in to our one week stay.

One lesson we took away from our trip…..If left to her own devices, my mother would easily become addicted to slot machines. We collectively gambled far too much of her money away on slot machines simply because she wanted to keep playing. The last night we were there, we were supposed to get tattoos and instead ended up at the slot machines again. I had driven about 900 miles in two days so I wasn’t so much playing as I was falling asleep on the front of the machine (more about the driving in a minute).

The first full day we were there, we went to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. It was a pretty neat (and slightly fucking unnerving) experience. I was happy because I had my picture taken with Johnny Depp, Chuck Liddell, Tupac, and DeNiro – all wax, but it was still fucking cool. Oh! And Jordan! I had my pic taken with Michael Jordan too.

We went through the Titanic exhibit at the Luxor where I stood mere FEET away from a GIGANTIC panel pulled up from the Titanic wreckage. This thing is around fifteen feet high by twenty-five feet long. Huge. It’s fucking huge. Then they show you a diagram. It’s a scale drawing of the Titanic with the “Big Piece” outlined in red……and it looks itty bitty compared to the rest of the ship. I still can’t wrap my head around what it must have been like to stand next to that behemoth the day it set sail on its voyage.

We made an afternoon trip of popping over to the Mirage to see SiegfrIed & Roy’s Secret Garden. Given the nature of their relationship, that sounds far dirtier than it is. The Secret Garden is a dolphin habitat and big cat sanctuary. I stood just on the other side of a chain link fence from a handful of white tigers and realized that no picture on this planet will EVER prepare you for how breathtaking and majestic those animals are in person. I also learned they seem to have a never-ending supply of pee and have no hesitation in showing a crowd of spectators just what kind of whizzing skills they’re rockin’. The dolphins were cool too. It was my first time being around any and they were a cool introduction. Super duper friendly animals.

We spent one morning walking among peacocks. Just an FYI – they’re shady little buggers, but I like ‘em. That was at the Las Vegas Zoo. Ok, let me prepare you for something. The Las Vegas Zoo….yeah, it’s one city block. Like, a small neighborhood section. When we arrived, we assumed the GPS was fucked because we thought sure we were at an old abandoned circus-type attraction. Outside, it looks rundown and, well, closed. But it’s not. If you’re ever there, go inside. Just stay away from the vultures. They’re fucking creepy and I am pretty sure one of them was plotting my death.

I had a drink at the Margaritaville bar that could have passed for a fruit bowl anywhere else. Seriously. A giant glass and fruit (some I couldn’t identify) sticking out in every which direction. And that shit was soooooooo good.

We walked through an indoor shopping mall at the Venetian that looks like you’re walking through the city streets of Venice Italy.

Let’s not forget the Thunder From Down Under. Winky winky.

The helicopter ride around the city with all of us and my frikkin fantabulous friend Ron was spectacular. It was a short ride, but it was an experience I will NEVER forget. Vegas is all sparkly and dazzling, but there’s nothing like floating above it after the sun has gone down.

Toward the end of our week, us three ladies took a four hour drive to the Grand Canyon together, another four hours south to Buckeye to visit Julie and Merlin, and then another five hour drive back to Vegas. During the drive back to Vegas, we met a lizard just chillin’ on the side of the road and then went to the Hoover Dam. All in all, a pretty damn fantastic trip.

 

Writing, My First Book Signing, and Meeting Authors Much Bigger Than Me
I took me a long hard road of editing and a book cover makeover, but I released The Devil You Know (Demon Legacy #1) on July 30th, 2013. In the end, the book did far better than I ever could have anticipated, spending nine weeks on the bestseller list for its genre. I also got to experience my first multi-author book signing event – The Stamford Author Event in Stamford CT. I got to meet a bunch of awesome authors, book bloggers, and fans. Also, I started organizing genre anthologies via my PR company and on December 26th, 2013 we published our first one, The Stroke of Midnight, and it features a short story that takes place between The Devil You Know (Demon Legacy #1) and Speak of the Devil (Demon Legacy #2).

I am currently working my ass off on Speak of the Devil (Demon Legacy #2). It’s coming along great but it is still a work in progress and I have a long road ahead of me to finish it.

I had the pleasure of meeting some great authors in 2013 as well. In the Spring (I don’t remember exactly when), I went with a friend and fellow book-blogger to meet Tiffany Reisz. At the time, I hadn’t read anything by her and now I am HOOKED on her Original Sinners series. I also got to meet Christopher Golden, an author I have been a fan of for MANY years. The cherry on top was meeting Joe Hill, Stephen King’s son. Joe is a case where the apple certainly didn’t fall far from the tree. He’s an extremely talented writer and he’s got a thing for the creepier side of life. He was very charming and funny. My super awesome friend and soul mate Jessilyn went with me to that signing and we had such a fantastic time.

 

Lots and Lots of Sand
Next up on my 2013 agenda was my trip back to Vegas and Arizona in August. Following a SNAFU with my airline ticket that almost cancelled my trip, I ended up going out to Vegas to stay at Ron’s two days earlier than planned. I spent a few days hanging out in Vegas first. While there, I did a lot of relaxing and reading, and even went to the Vamp’d Rock Bar, only to discover it was where hair bands go to die, but we still had a blast.

With the next morning came our trip to the desert! Three days in the middle of nowhere (a.k.a. Meadview Arizona) with good tequila, even better music, the Grand Wash Cliffs in the backyard, and a telescope for some nighttime stargazing. It was incredible. I didn’t know it was possible to see so many stars without the help of a telescope, you’d be amazed at what you can see out there WITH one. The day before we headed back to Vegas, we went and spent the day at the western rim of the Grand Canyon. Back to Vegas we went for one more day of relaxation before my trip home. One of the best parts of that vacation is I went home armed with the plot line that would fix what I was stuck on in Speak of the Devil (Demon Legacy #2).

Those are the really big highlights of 2013 but there was LOTS that happened throughout the whole year that was just epic. One of the things I enjoyed most was being able to reconnect with all of my friends I had been kept from for the previous six years. One of the downfalls to being in a mentally abusive relationship is the abuser will do everything in his or her power to isolate you from friends and family. I sure got my fill of that and once I was free of that burden, I reached out again to a lot of people who matter a great deal to me.

The year wrapped up with me being sick for just shy of two months straight. Seven weeks. SEVEN WEEKS!!! I actually can’t remember EVER being sick that long in my entire life. And I spent most of it SLEEPING. That little disease would be the other craptastic bookend to my year. However, I am back in the ranks of the relatively healthy and feeling MUCH better. Still not 100%, but at least I am not spending all my time fighting with everything I have to keep my eyes open. What a miserable fucking experience THAT was….

 

My Resolutions
One of the reasons I wasn’t planning to do a year-end post is because of the inevitable and almost expected conclusion – New Year’s Resolutions. I spent a good portion of 2013 doing some real soul searching for myself, trying to figure out what makes me happy. Obviously, writing is a big one, but I do that anyway in the form of fiction where I get to kill people without going to jail. Out of all the writing I do, one thing I miss greatly is keeping a journal. From the time I was about 13 years old on, I kept a journal. It was my way of just getting thoughts out of my head and I was a pretty level-headed kid as a result (I think I was anyway). Somewhere along the way, I stopped writing in my journals and I really do miss it. My journals weren’t a place for me to bitch. My journals were just a place for me to dump some of the thoughts rattling around in my head. I wrote stories, story ideas (they were movie ideas then because once upon a time, I wanted to be a screen writer), pulled a full-on nerd over the shit I loved but couldn’t talk about, wrote down my dreams, wrote what-if scenarios, etc. I had stacks of these things and I threw them all away when I got married. The more and more I thought about writing in my journals, the more and more I realized what I want my resolution to be. We’re already into March but ‘better late than never,’ right?

My first 2014 New Year’s Resolution is to use Roulette Wheel Confessions as a journal of sorts. A place to dump my thoughts. It’s always been that to me but I have been horrible about posting regularly. It’s also the one site I have that actually comes with a warning label stating it will not be censored so I don’t have to watch what I say….ever. That doesn’t mean it will be used as a place to tear others apart and spend all my time bitching. I just won’t have to worry about things like swearing and inappropriate images. lol

To avoid setting myself up for failure, my Confession posting goal is once per week, minimum. I’m not a fucking idiot. lol I am way too busy right now to commit to posting every day, but I know I can post at least once a week. And maybe it will get me the fuck off of Facebook a bit. Lol

My second 2014 New Year’s Resolution is to see some shows!!! I couldn’t imagine a world without music and there’s nothing better than a live show. It dawned on me that I didn’t go see one single live show in all of 2013!!!!! WHAT THE DUECE?!?!?!?!? That really hurts my soul. I am rectifying that in 2014 and I started the year off with one of the best- Stone Sour live at the House of Blues in Boston. It was absolutely incredible and I got to share the experience with two of my soul mates, Mel and Dubo. That was a perfect start to my 2014.

I am also not limiting my show-seeing quest to music. I am a sucker for stand-up comedy and I have never been to see any comics live. Ever. In my whole life. I DON’T KNOW HOW I LET THAT HAPPEN. Well, I have a wish list of comics I would love to see live, I just have to wait for them to come around this area.

Then there’s the obvious resolutions, but I try to do this stuff daily anyway: Be a happy/positive person, be a good friend, be a good mom, work hard but play harder, etc. I think the only thing I will be adding to this list is I am going to try to live a little healthier and eat a LOT cleaner.

So that’s it. 2013 kicked ass but it also kicked my ass. 2014 is already shaping up to be a stellar year!  

Over the next few weeks, I will be adding my fandoms and a music page and a movie page to RWC, so if you find a half-finished page somewhere here, pipe down!  I’m working on it!  😉 

jena-new-2

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