Not sure how this happened, but I am ‘accredited press.’

Although part of my master plan for next year is to say ‘Yes’ to some of the random events I am invited to (5-6 invites a week, mainly based in Dubai).  In this instance, I registered and was approved (!) for the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature.  Even better?  According to an e-mail I received yesterday, I can request to interview any of the authors.

One of my all time favorite authors, Chris Cleave is one of those who will be in attendance.  Should I sign up?  What would I ask him?

Pretty much how I envision my discussion with Mr. Cleave.

Never Going Back Again.

I did the thing today.

Although it’s been in the aether for awhile (and the letter has been drafted for over a week), today was the day I submitted my resignation letter to my current employer, with effect January 28, 2016.

As I drove into work this morning, I had a big smile on my face and even turned down the radio to simply sing aloud.

I don’t know exactly what the future holds, but I’m excited for it.  I’ve had a few moments this week where I’ve wanted to open up one of my manuscripts and do something, but I know that’s not fair to myself (or my books).  If I’m going to do this author/freelance/stay at home wife/hiatus thing for real, I need to not be distracted by the 40,000 other things that are going in my life. I need to be in the right space to create, edit and write.  I’m not trying to excuse my other novels (as they did not have this luxury), I simply look forward to only concentrating on one or two projects and leaving a toxic environment far behind.

Funnily enough, I’m not scared or nervous (maybe those feelings will come as we get closer to January, or later in 2016 when I don’t have a solid paycheck), but optimistic.  No, I’ve not had a lot of book sales recently.  No,  I haven’t received a large number of positive reviews.  Yes, I still need to move cities, find a new home and all the other things that go with relocating before I can even get started with my projects.  However, I can already picture my first day in my new office, steaming cup of tea nearby, opening my files on my big desktop computer and getting straight to work.  No distractions.  No hazards.  Just me and my creativity.

The Year of Saying Yes

Ever since my decision to quit the real world, I’ve been kicking around a few ideas of what exactly next year will look like.  Other than publishing The Queen of England: Coronation and completing Book #2, at the top of the list is a concept I’m calling ‘The Year of Saying Yes.’  It’s mostly because, for unknown reasons, I find myself on the distribution list for a number of local events and invitations within the UAE.  Given I (currently) have a full time job, it’s practically impossible to RSVP ‘yes’ to pretty much anything.

Next year, I want to change that.

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It could happen.

No matter how random the event, if it is within my ability to attend, I’m going to try and say ‘yes.’

And in the spirit of ‘yes,’ I tested the waters last night.  There was an offer to attend a (free) film master class with Italian film director Alina Marazzi (yes, working on a campus like NYUAD can sometimes be a good thing). Although it’s not something I would usually attend, I decided it was time to make a change.  So, I sent my RSVP and showed up at the appointed time.

Did the session change my life or creative direction?  It did not.

Did I have some insight into two of my WIPs?  I did.

Was it interesting to listen to another creative type discuss their work and process?  It was.

Will I always sit next to the person making the most noise and creating the most distractions?  I will.  

Would I attend something similar if it was offered before I leave?  Yes, I would.

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This is my ‘yes’ face.