My shaky start to 2018

It’s a new year.

It’s time for my annual goals blog post where I list out my professional and personal goals for the year, and eagerly and methodically tick them off one by one as the months go by. However, I’m finding myself stuck this time. That’s a first for me, the person who has a spreadsheet of my monthly budgets going back to 2011 and a closet organized in ROYGBIV color order. I am incredibly organized, put together, and always on top of things.

Until now.

I know my current predicament isn’t the end of the world, but it certainly feels like the end of happiness for a while. Two weeks ago, on Christmas eve eve, I was carrying an armload of wrapped presents down the stairs and I tripped and broke 2 bones in my ankle. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the horror I felt when I looked down and saw my ankle bent around the wrong way. My husband called 911, and I was taken to the ER and told I needed surgery. Pins and metal plates — the works. My doctor said I’ll be in a cast for at least 8 weeks and then several weeks of a walking cast and then several weeks of physical therapy after that.

Thanks to insurance being useless, my surgery was denied and cancelled the day before I was supposed to get it. We called dozens of surgeons and couldn’t find a single one in the Houston area who takes my marketplace insurance. Now, after 17 days of being stuck in a recliner in the living room, I’ll finally get the surgery I need to begin healing. Only I have to pay it all in cash.

And when I say “cash”, I mean “debt.” This has been painful, frustrating, infuriating, and depressing. I’ll be paying this off for years to come. As a full time writer, I don’t get the luxury of living off my book income alone. Book advances are few and small, and I spend most of that money on promoting my books. I have yet to receive any royalties on my traditionally published books because they haven’t earned out. I rely on money from my self published books and freelance writing to pay most of my bills.  I also substitute teach a few days a week, run an Etsy store, babysit, and live frugally.

When I checked my planner and saw that I’m due for a “2018 Goals Blog Post”, I felt completely empty. It’s January 7th. I should be finishing up writing chapter 7 of my new WIP that I should have outlined in the last week of December. I filled out my Passion Planner weeks ago and I should be checking off items on it every day. But I’m not. I haven’t done any of that. I haven’t written or outlined or even brainstormed because the pain meds make me too woozy to function. I had to put my Etsy shop on vacation for two weeks because I didn’t have the strength to make orders, and I lost 30% of my monthly income from losing my ability to substitute teach. By the time I can teach again, it’ll be time for summer break.

I feel totally lost. I have no idea how long I’ll be unable to work to the capacity that I normally do. I’m feeling my plans for the year slipping through my fingers, and I can’t seem to nail down any actual goals this time. My first hardback book releases in the fall, and by then I hope I’ll have my stuff together, but for now, I am just taking it one day at a time. One of my biggest fears is being realized, and that’s that I’ll have to find full time employment to pull myself out of bankruptcy, which will mean my writing career gets put on the back burner.

I do not feel that I’m in a place to ask for donations, but many people on Twitter have asked how they can help me during this unplanned downtime and financial crisis. The best way to help is to buy my books. That way you can help me keep my bills paid and also get something in return.

My favorite self-published novel is Motocross Me, a YA series about Hana Fisher, a 17 year old who moves to live with her dad on his famous dirt bike track. She quickly learns that the extreme sport is filled with hot guys, and soon not one, but two of them are racing for her attention. Click the link below to get Motocross Me in eBook, paperback, or audio:





My Etsy shop will be closed from Jan 8-9th while I recover from surgery, but if you’d like to place an order later, you can use the coupon code NOVA15 to get 15% off. I sell bookish decals and items and can custom make any decal you’d like. You can find my shop here:

So that’s my New Year. Broken and laid up in a recliner for who knows how long. I am so grateful for everyone’s kind messages and words of encouragement. This is the first time I’ve ever broken a bone, and now I have two broken bones to contend with, but having bookish friends to chat with while I’m stuck here has been a total lifesaver. The book community is the best community and I’m so proud to be a part of it.

My 2018 has started off on a bad note, but I’m hopeful that it’ll turn around soon. Let me know your bookish or writerly goals in the comments. I need some inspiration!



2 thoughts on “My shaky start to 2018”

  1. That really blows about the insurance. I had some outpatient procedures and those were expensive, so I can only imagine how bad yours will be. When it comes to the meds and PT make sure to mention it to them and ask if there is any programs they know of to help people pay the costs.

    I did a quick search because I remember a bill I had that I struggled to pay and there was assistance I found that helped me reduce the cost by 50% This is what I found. Maybe that will give you ideas or places you can go to help you.

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