This has been a hard year.
Not just for me; I think for a large number of people, 2014 sort of set fire to our backsides and roasted marshmallows while we shrieked.
This is a hard post to write.
Many of you probably have noticed that I haven’t been blogging as much as I used to. That’s not a coincidence, nor is it that I had nothing to say. I’ve said before that I’ve tried to start posts here and stopped. I’ve had a lot of things to say, and many of them weren’t great. I didn’t want this place to be a place of doom and cobwebby gloom, so I kind of left it at the door and ding-dong ditched the blog in general.
It’s a tough thing when you live even a little in the public eye, to know how much to share.
In April, I separated from my husband. We’ve had, as far as one of these things can possibly be, an amicable split. But for anyone who has gone through such a thing, you’ll know that divorce is neither quick nor simple. In the state of Maryland, especially not the quick part. This year has also seen some other tremendous setbacks, most of which I can’t discuss publicly. This fall especially has worn me down to a place where even tears have eluded me because of their futility.
I made it through 2014 with no skin left on my teeth. Last year at this time, I was making twice what I am now at the same job. That’s the fickle thing about waiting tables — depending on the generosity of strangers is both contingent upon generosity and an abundance of strangers. Without the latter, the former can be made a bit obsolete. I can get a 50% tip from two tables, but if they’re my only two tables, I still might walk out of a shift with only 20-30 bucks. That’s kind of been what’s happened over the past eight months. Where business used to pick up in September, it didn’t. And as a result my income has been halved. Literally halved, which I think for anyone would cause some…hardship.
I’m happy to say — overjoyed, actually — that I have just accepted a job offer at a local university. I start this week, which has me incredibly excited not just for the steady paycheck but also because it’s doing something that utilizes both my experience and my skills in a way I haven’t had the opportunity to do in a long time. So things are looking up.
The problem is that with my situation over the last eight months, I’ve fallen farther and farther behind. As it stands, my car loan’s maturity date is in January and I have $1300 remaining on it. So far I’ve managed to talk Honda out of repossessing the vehicle because there are so few payments left and I’m answering their (very frequent) phone calls. Now I’m looking at at least two weeks without income while I transition to my new job, and transit to and from plus frivolities like food for me and the kitties is looking like it will be virtually nonexistent. While after the car is paid off and my new paychecks start I will be in excellent shape, getting to February with my rent paid, my car still in my possession, and food on the table has become the priority.
I’m afraid to write this. I’m looking over what I have written so far and feeling a lot of things. Anxiety. Shame. Fear. Christmas for me as a kid was always that time of year that reminded me how poor we were. I still remember getting baskets marked “Girl” from local charities, and while I was thankful to get something, going back to school to see everyone else showing off their new gadgets and name brand clothes always made the quiet reality that home was a place where paying the electric bill was a luxury we couldn’t always afford just that much more evident. To be writing this now, at age 30, is…humiliating. But at this point I don’t know what else to do. Credit is no longer an option.
I need help.
For the past four years, I’ve been waiting tables full time and writing full time so that I could get my writing career started. Since 2011, I have written eight books, landed a publishing deal, and made some truly incomparable friends in the process. This year has been full of trials, and though I know the light will return, it seems almost annoyingly appropriate that the darkest hour is coming right before the sun makes its return to signal the coming of spring.
I’ve added a donation button* to this page that will link to my PayPal account. Because I am pretty much incapable of asking for help without offering something in return, anyone who donates $10 or more before January 1 will get the very first crack at my next urban fantasy novel, STORM IN A TEACUP. The book is going to be released February 3, but I will send copies to donors two weeks early on January 20 (.epub or .mobi files). You’ll also get the cover 24-48 hours before the cover reveal, and your name will be listed in the book’s acknowledgements (unless you wish to remain anonymous).
For transparency’s sake, I’ll update this post with relevant payment confirmations when any donations have been used to pay a bill or buy food. After the 15th of January, I’ll also update this post with a breakdown of donations and how they were used, because doing this at all makes me supremely nervous and frankly, I would like you all to see just what any bit of your generosity has truly meant to me in real terms.
If you’ve gotten this far, thank you. If you can donate, thank you, and know that I appreciate it more than I can say. If you can’t, thank you for reading. This time of year can be so tough in so many ways. To anyone reading this for any reason, I sincerely wish you joy and peace during this holiday season. That you are able to take comfort and find laughter with loved ones who are here and remember those who are not with the warmth and memories they left behind them.
*You might notice that the email address associated with my PayPal account is emilka.powell and not emmiemears — this is because Mears is my grandmother’s maiden name. Adding this for transparency.
Get every new post delivered to your Inbox
Join other followers