Welcome to my e-living room couch. Today is Day #1 of my participation in a Blog Challenge to write everyday for a month. After years of writing about serious and (sometimes) emotionally draining matters such as race, politics and business marketing, I am so excited to be able to “let my hair down” and just write about whatever pops into my brain. Though I will try my best to edit and spellcheck, please take any errors as a sign of how comfortable I feel chatting with you. In fact, the more errors you see, the more intimate this virtual space should feel. It’s almost like we are imaginary best friends and I’ve had one too many glasses of wine to drink. But as best friends, you can’t judge me. You just have to roll with it, okay? Also, with two adorable little
gremlins boys, you should also assume that I am writing with little sleep, that I am partially dehydrated from too much physical activity and/or that I have at least one little human being hanging off of my neck as I sit at the computer.
See the quote above? “There isn’t a person you wouldn’t love if you knew their story?” Well, I believe that quote to be at least 99% true. I believe it so much, that it led me to want to become a writer. (But more about that in the coming days and months…)
Since we are getting to know each other, I guess this is a great time to give you the cliffs notes on MY story.
So here we go…
In the early 1980s: I was born.
Between 1980s – 2004: I lived. I ate. I drank. I conquered.
Between 2005 -2009: I decided to bypass law school because I didn’t know anyone with a law degree who still practiced law. I attend the University of Chicago School of Public Policy and my life is filled with happiness and glee. I loved graduate school and loved my boyfriend. I loved Starbucks and French Martinis. Somewhere in the midst of all of this, I begin working in the field and realize that I
disliked hated would live a painful and soulless existence if I worked in public policy for the rest of my life.
In 2009: I got married to Mr.Bae. Soon thereafter, I left a great paying job for a poor-paying job because I thought it would help me sleep better at night. Turns out, being poorly paid and working near gunshots suck. This year would be the official beginning of my “early mid-life crisis”. I would eventually begin to write my first book entitled, “The Rules of Engagement”. After ten chapters, I would stop.
In 2010: I looked at my husband for approximately 10.5 seconds and got pregnant with Boy #1. He was big (10 pounds, 9 ounces) and glorious. The world’s most inappropriate pregnancy blog can be found here.
Late 2011: I left my poor paying job and accidentally left the career that I hated. Despite having a job since I was 16 years old, I would also become an accidental stay-at-home mom. This was the beginning of the two most stressful, intense, challenging and redefining years of my life. I would begin to ask myself, “What is my worth if I’m not working woman? Does my husband feel like he got jipped? How in the hell am I going to afford Starbucks? How long before my husband makes me trade in my Audi?” I eventually start a mommy blog to find myself and I begin to steal 50 cents a day from the house account to maintain my caffeine addiction.
In 2012: After months of trying to return to a field that I hated, I decide to give writing another shot. I write one chapter of “The Third Trimester” while looking at the mountains in Arizona and show it to friends. My husband didn’t have the heart to tell me it sucked. One friend said she loved it. One friend said she hated it because I used too much profanity. (Love you Kim! Best advice ever.) My fragile confidence is shot. I stopped writing the book. Instead, I beginning blogging on ChicagoNow about race and politics to see if I have any real writing chops and to maintain an active work history on my resume. I also start writing copy for small businesses and not-for-profits to maintain my Starbucks habit.
Late 2012-2013: Boy #1 is vibrant and smart and a little bit
weird quirky. He needs to go to school part-time to be with other kids because he likes to look at church sermons everyday. During the four hours he is out of the house, three days a week, I began to write “The Third Trimester” again. I am inspired by Shonda Rhimes’ show, Scandal and the soundtrack of “Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 2”. Draft #1 (of 2,002,093,000) of the book is completed on my birthday.
December 27, 2013: I complete draft #2 (of 2,002,093,000) the day before I enter the hospital to have Boy #2. He is precious and oddly handsome in an adult type of way. I am confident that this book will change the world.
January 2014: I query agents and learn that I need to add a minimum of 15,000 words to my book for anyone to read the first sentence of my pitch letter. I scream, PHUCK.
February 2014 – December 2014: Boy #2 doesn’t sleep at all. Like ever. I believe that he is a vampire. I consider becoming a drunk, but I don’t have the time because he never sleeps. I don’t look at my manuscript for eleven months.
December 2014: On the day Boy #2 turns 1, he finally sleeps through the night. I take this as an omen. The Gods have tested me and I have prevailed. Now is the time to finish THE BOOK.
April 2015: After adding 18,000 words to “The Third Trimester” and having it professionally edited two times, my husband tells me that the title sucks. My friends and family agree. “The Third Trimester” turns into “Lotus” because the idea for the book and main character came to me when I decided to get a tattoo of a lotus flower. It is also the name that I unconsciously have been referring to the book as for the past two years.
July 2015: After months of formatting, cover designs and more edits, God said, “IT IS FINISHED!” I receive my first literary review from Indiereader and got four stars! I check the website to make sure that they don’t give everyone four stars. When I see a book review with two stars, I’m finally a believer. My book doesn’t suck balls. I receive the final print copy from the publisher the following week. Despite an irritating formatting mistake in the section breaks, I agree that it is finished. Lotus enters Global distribution.
So that’s my story, or at least part of it. Even after all of that, I can’t tell you definitively how to be a great mother or wife, how to plan a menu, find a good daycare or how to write a book. I’m just winging it – trying to raise good kids, trying to stay married, trying to enjoy a piece of happiness everyday and share it with somebody else. I don’t know where this writing journey will take me, but I’m excited about the ride.
Kay’s debut novel, Lotus, will be available August 17 on Amazon.com, iBooks, GooglePlay, and BarnesandNoble.com.