Author Archives: Tina

A year ago today I was biting my nails and waiting for my first self-published book to show up on Amazon’s sales page. Today I have six novels in The Outlier Prophecies series published with number seven sitting on my hard drive with a mere couple thousand words left until I can call it done.

I’d started self publishing as a distraction from the longer waits and heartbreaks from my longer, more involved novels moving through the traditional publishing process. I have an agent, I really like her, and I’d love to some day sell a book to a bigger publisher. It will happen! I’ll keep trying. In the meantime, I write a heck of a lot faster than that. So I decided to start Outliers as something to pour some of my energy into.

I’d fallen in love with the characters from a short story I’d written. That short story became the beginning of the third book in the series, The Werewolf Coefficient. I kept wondering how they got to the point they were in the short story, what happened to them after? And the more I thought about it, the more I knew I could make it a really fun series. Fun for me at least. I hoped some readers would come along on the ride. And they did!

One year ago I’d made some pie in the sky goals and dreams. Here’s how it went:

I wanted to make back the money I put into each book. That might sound funny to some people, but the truth is that most self-published books do not accomplish this. Averages were against me on this goal. Here’s how I did…

Romancing the Null and Conditional Probability of Attraction “earned” out after three months.

The Werewolf Coefficient took slightly over two months to earn back the money I invested in it.

Standard Deviation of Death and Big Bad Becker earned out in their first month.

Shifter Variance did it in a few weeks.

So beyond those months the books have been earning a positive income, which is great. I’m so excited to have reached that goal. Also the marketing money I’ve put in: A) worked, and B) also earned that marketing money back too. So my venture into self publishing was not an expensive hobby, it’s something that I can morph into a career with more effort and better targeting. I’d like to make a respectable yearly salary and so this year I’ll be looking at ways to work toward that goal as I write more books to either be self-published or try putting them on submission through my agent.

The next goal was to grow a readership. I hoped for at least 500 organic newsletter sign ups in a year. By organic I mean that they didn’t come from friends and family, but from genuine strangers who read the books and liked them enough to want to know when the next one would come out. Currently, I have nearly double that number in newsletter sign ups a year later.

I’d also hoped I could get fifty reviews in a year. This is a bit harder. The only way to get reviews is to have a lot of sales. I sent a marketing package to a lot of bloggers and advanced readers and did get some response. A few read and reviewed the book, which helped potential readers decide if it would be a book they’d like. Reviews give a more detailed and honest reaction to a book than a description does. Reviewers are able to explain the style and type, what a book might be similar to and really help readers hone in on their decision to download or buy. But that accounted for less than ten of my overall reviews in the first year on Romancing the Null. After Romancing the Null earned out the money I’d invested in the cover and editing, I set it to free. Then I did a promotion on that book as free at least once a month for a few months in a row. This was to hopefully get more reviews and also more downloads. If people liked the first book they would buy the rest. I saw Romancing the Null as a really long sample into the first installment of the storyline. I continued to send the book off to bloggers as I’d find sites that might be interested in the book. I didn’t relax until I got to that goal. If I heard of a friend (or friend of friend) who read the book, I’d beg for a review. That helped a lot and I got more reviews and pushed me into the over-fifty club.

Securing both legitimate blogger reviews, endorsements from bestselling/award winning authors, and having over fifty verified purchase reviews helped me get bigger promotions and so on. Today, Romancing the Null is at eighty-four reviews.

The last goal was one I told only close friends and other writers. I wanted to publish six books in a year. When I published Shifter Variance in December I reached that goal. Big Bad Becker (book 1.5 in the series), though I call it a novella, is actually the length of a novel. It’s just a short novel. I didn’t want to leave readers feeling I’d cut them short, so I claim it’s a novella and let them be pleasantly surprised that it’s actually much longer than most novellas out there.

What’s next?

Book six, Correlation of Fate should be ready to publish in April. So that’s what’s next!

Also Ali Hale gets a book (Half Cup Magic) some time this year. Ali is Kate’s quirky baking-obsessed witch cousin from The Outlier Prophecies Series. I think she gets more fan mail mentions than Kate, or even Becker!! Which is saying something because readers are crazy about Ian Becker.

Also I have a contemporary romance that I plan to publish between now and May. I kept saying May, but now, it’s ready to go. I might get impatient and just publish it. I don’t know. But I’ll show you the beautiful cover and description below:



Good Girl’s Guide to Talking Dirty

Talking dirty as a phone sex operator isn’t what straight laced school psychologist East Winters had in mind as a portable counseling job. But after being budget-cut out of employment, she needs the cash to get out of town fast and hitchhike to Maine for her dream job working at a school with a bigger pocketbook and no knowledge of her family’s nasty history.

Ex history teacher, Ansel Andersson, resents his boss tacking on a team driver at the last minute for his first cross-country delivery. Sure, she’s a sexy redhead that gets him hot and bothered, but he had other plans. Historical sites. Greasy food. Avoiding his PTSD issues from surviving a shooting. Oh that—he’d rather not think about it.

You know what? Maybe this clean, proper psychologist is exactly the perfect distraction. If he could only get her to stop running off blushing into her phone, he’d teach her all kinds of filthy things.

I love comments! Every time you comment East Winters gets a ring-ring on her phone…

Lock Up Your Batmans: Interview with Beth Cato

Hey all! Tina here. Tomorrow I’m headed out to Kansas City, MO for WorldCon. BUT before I go I wanted to share a little something. Recently, I had the extreme pleasure of interviewing Beth Cato who will have a book release on August 23rd, Breath of Earth. WHICH YOU SHOULD ALL TOTALLY BUY.

I first learned about what an awesome storyteller Beth is after I read her book Clockwork Dagger. It’s a fabulous Steampunk that also echoes a lot of second world fantasy–the world building is that rich. It also has some really fun characters that will have you reaching for the second book (Clockwork Crown) as soon as you finish the first. And as of today, August 15th, 2016–It looks like there is some kind of special on the books, so they’re at a really low price!

After releasing her first series, Beth grabbed the attention of a lot of readers and also was recognized for a Locus Award and Nebula nomination. I would love to be her when I grow up! Also, I see her as a big sister of sorts as we share the same agent. So, we’re ‘agent siblings.’

Anyway, I’m such a huge fan of Beth and so I emailed her to ask if she would answer a few questions and she said YES!!

*throws confetti*

WARNING this is not your mother’s interview questions. We had a lot of fun with it.

Interview with the Fabulous and Hip Beth Cato

1. I’m sure you’ve played this game before. You must choose to link each of these choices to each of the following (Ex. Who on the list would you kiss, who on the list would you marry, who on the list would you kill/vaporize with a laser beam, or send to another dimension):

Kiss, Marry, Kill

Adult Harry Potter, Mr. Darcy, Batman

Kiss: Batman
Marry: Adult Harry Potter
Kill/Zap to Alternate Dimension: Mr. Darcy (but I might steal his period clothes first)

2. Tell me about a book you wish could be never ending.

Seanan McGuire’s Every Heart a Doorway. It’s a novella that came out earlier this year about a boarding school for kids who dropped through portals into other worlds and then returned to Earth. Some of these worlds were in Narnia-like kingdoms while others were darker or more scifi, and some of these kids lived out whole adult lifetimes on the other side. The psychological repercussions of that are deep. The whole concept of the book is brilliant, but the execution of it is profound, and for me, personally relevant. I waited years for my own portal to open.

3. Tell me about your Zombie Apocalypse weapon of choice.

Long bow. Distance is a good thing when it comes to zombies with brain cravings.

4. Another game. This one is called “I would never.” Your job is to come with with five items/events/things you would *never* do, but one of them has to be true (as in you actually did it).

I would never:
– jaywalk and be hit by a car as a teenager
– dance in public, ever
– talk to a major rock band on the phone
– bake cookies for my congressman
– sing in front of a thousand people

5. Poof! One of the characters you’ve created in your fiction has just come to life and like Pygmalion is a *real* live human/creature. Who is it and why.

Leaf the gremlin from my Clockwork Dagger books. He’s like a naked green cat with bat wings, adorably hideous. I’d love to give him a big hug! Gremlins are incredibly intelligent but are abused and maligned in my books. They deserve lots more cuddles.


Check out Breath of Earth on Sale August 23rd


Book description and details:

Breath of Earth
After the Earth’s power is suddenly left unprotected, a young geomancer must rely on her unique magical powers to survive in this fresh fantasy standalone from the author of acclaimed The Clockwork Dagger.

In an alternate 1906, the United States and Japan have forged a powerful confederation—the Unified Pacific—in an attempt to dominate the world. Their first target is a vulnerable China. In San Francisco, headstrong Ingrid Carmichael is assisting a group of powerful geomancer wardens who have no idea of the depth of her power—or that she is the only woman to possess such skills.

When assassins kill the wardens, Ingrid and her mentor are protected by her incredible magic. But the pair is far from safe. Without its full force of guardian geomancers, the city is on the brink of a cataclysmic earthquake that will expose Earth’s powers to masterminds determined to control the energy for their own dark ends. The danger escalates when Chinese refugees, preparing to fight the encroaching American and Japanese, fracture the uneasy alliance between the Pacific allies, transforming the city into a veritable powder keg. And the slightest tremor will set it off. . . .

Forced on the run, Ingrid makes some shocking discoveries about herself. Her powerful magic has grown even more fearsome . . . and she may be the fulcrum on which the balance of world power rests.


The Outlier Prophecies Frequently Asked Questions

Hey all!

It’s been a while since I updated this blog. *takes it out, dusts it off* Pull up a chair and I’ll tell you what I’ve been up to.

First of all, I’ve been working on The Outlier Prophecies series. Kate and Becker keep me pretty busy. And if I’m not writing about Kate and Becker, I’m answering questions about them. So, I thought I’d put some of those frequently asked questions below for pure entertainment and so readers who might not wish to contact me can have a place to obsess over these fabulous characters and get the inside scoop.

So here are some frequently asked questions in no particular order:

Q: When does book four come out?

As I type this I got an email asking this exact question…then a Facebook message. Yes, this is my most popular question. It comes out early August. I turned it over to my copy editor and it should be back later this month. I then format it and hopefully if Amazon cooperates it will be available sometime in the first two weeks of August. I’m so excited to get it out and see what readers think. I know I left people hanging on the last one. I figured I get these books out quick enough that it wouldn’t be too bad, right?

Q: Speaking of, you write pretty fast. How many books are in the series?

I’m writing these books fast. I think I’m writing them fast because they are so incredibly fun. And readers love them and that’s highly motivating. I’ve planned six books in the main storyline. There is also a few novellas in the works as add ons. After I finish this story arc, I’ll assess if I want to do another set (which basically correlates to how interested readers seem to be and if the books become more popular), but from beginning to end of the current storyline, I’m planning on six.

The other half of that answer is that I’m planning on writing/publishing them all in a year. I have four done. Book five is being written. I have until March 2017 to reach that goal. So two more books in nine months. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can…

Q: What do Kate Hale and Ian Becker look like  (And while you’re at it, Lipski and Ali too)?

I have a pinterest board on that. And the second most asked question is if the model on the cover is a fair representation of Kate–that answer would be not really. Kate (as described in the books) is Filipino, Native American, and Scottish/Irish/Welsh. I see her looking more like Liza Soberano (as you can see on my Pinterest board). My cover designer who is from the Philippines couldn’t find any stock photo models that fit the description and were wearing business attire. Or he found photos of models who were wearing business attire but with a huge smile on their face, like they were selling us something–it didn’t fit the mood for the series or was the wrong pose for what he needed for the cover. It also had to be selling for a reasonable price and available for my cover artist to buy. Stock photos of Native Americans were usually in head dresses or leather jackets. Filipino’s were in traditional garb as well. My hope is that someday we can redo the cover to represent Kate better. Someone who has both her Asian and Native American roots with professional attire.

Q: I love your covers! Who does them?

That would be the talented Christian Bentulan from Covers by Christian.

Q: Who does your editing?

That would be the fabulous award-winning and bestselling writer/editor Alicia Street. And yes, I love her, she is a genius.

Q: The supernatural people in your books are fantastic. Where did you come up with the ideas?

I can’t take credit for any of them. They’re all researched supernatural creatures from cultures around the world. I wanted the supernatural cultures in OUTLIER to mirror our contemporary diversity. I embellish the creatures and details, or take liberties to have them be more human. After all, it’s been years of supernatural interbreeding with each other and humans. So, it does dilute their original form.

Q: There are gay people in your books

Also asked as: There is a typo in your book where character G who is a female has a wife. Or character B has dads and not just one dad, if his mother and father divorced you should explain that.

Er, uh, yes? I guess I missed something here (and those are not typos). There are gay people in my life, so I figured to make the book more realistic there would be gay people. Look, it’s an advanced pagan society and in Kate’s world it’s not as big of a deal there. Sure, there is prejudice (some pagans believe power can only be passed between man to woman, woman to man or whatever), I couldn’t find a way around that for some things.

Q: Do negative reviews bother you?

No. Everyone has a right to state their true opinion. And we all don’t have the same likes/dislikes. I know there are people who like my writing and I focus on them, that’s who I’m writing for. Sometimes the constructive feedback of reviews is helpful. If a lot of people complain about a certain thing (like, say I don’t ground the reader in a scene) I know I need to work on that in that case. So that’s helpful.

Q: What else are you working on?

The Outlier Prophecies book five, of course!

I have an Outlier Prophecy novella from Becker’s POV (takes place between book one and two) that is done and I’m editing it right now.

I’m also working on a diesel punk novel (Diesel Punk: A SF or Fantasy that takes place between WWI and 1950–the time when diesel became a popular fuel). It’s a science fiction that takes place during the Great Depression in a shantytown. The Outlier Prophecies is something I consider a comedy, this book isn’t a comedy.

I’ve also got a few short stories outlined. I also have a contemporary romance novel (definitely a comedy. If you like your romance funny, this will be the book for you) that I will be publishing soonish.

Q: Will Ali get her own book?

Yes! But let me get through the current plans I have now, then I can focus on the mess Ali’s been brewing behind Kate’s back.

Q. Which character are you? Do you base characters on real people?

Short answer is that I don’t base any characters on real live people that I know. I make these characters up! It’s the fun of writing 🙂 None of them are like me, but since I wrote them all I guess they are me in some twisted little way.

You can ask any questions you’d like to know below.

Romancing the Null — Sneak Peek

Tina here. Last night I finished formatting and converting Romancing the Null into all the platforms. I’m really close to having it go live and to celebrate I’m going to post the first five pages (which also happens to be the first chapter. HA!! I’m so smart–it’s like I did that on purpose). 

I’m so excited for this book and I really think people are going to love it as much as I do and the people who’ve beta read for me also assure me it’s fantastic. All these things make me really nervous, but a good nervous, not the creepy-guy-in-bar-trying-to-buy-you-a-drink-and-you’re-only-there-to-pick-up-a-drunk-friend kind of nervous. 




Chapter One

The oracle walks into my office ten minutes before I’m set to go home and I know by the not-so-casual glance at the name on my door that he isn’t here for me. He couldn’t be. It’s not my name on my office door.

He fiddles outside my door, waiting to catch my attention. I slouch lower into my chair, wishing I had something to hide behind, but my new office is still barren. Just me, my cheap ergonomic chair that is set to someone else’s height and weight, my laptop computer, and a desk. There’s a pile of broken office supplies, hinting that my office had been used as the junk room before I’d inherited it. I do have a dusty twig that may once have been alive, reaching like a skeleton hand from a chipped pot, but nothing that indicates a homey work space. No glass-blown paperweights, no books aside from the outdated actuary procedurals, not even a scatter of papers and files neatly grouped on my desk. I don’t have enough assigned cases for that yet. I type up the last of the reports from this afternoon, emailing the proper department copies. If I play dumb maybe the oracle will go away.

Week one of working in the Accidental Death Predictions Department was as uneventful as promised.

“It’s not even homicide,” my cousin-next-door, Ali, moaned when I had told her the news a few weeks ago. “So they transferred you from traffic predictions to accidental death?”

“As an actuary for predictions, the more experience I have in multiple departments, the better for my career.” I picked up her scarves and gloves she’d littered around my apartment living room and hung them on the rack. “This transfer is a step in the right direction.”

“It’s not in any direction. It’s a side step, it’s a getting-out-of-the-way step.”

I didn’t understand her lack of enthusiasm until now. Anything would be better than traffic. Considering my two-year stint in traffic was the result of a major mistake, one I’ll never repeat.

Now, at this moment while I’m bored as hell going over the latest oracle recordings and sending out the percentage forecasts that I think could save lives, I see what my cousin must have meant.

Nobody ever thanks their actuary. Everyone glorifies the oracle.

Excuse me, that’s wrong. Some people do love the actuary. Some actuaries. One actuary. Michelle Kitman—rose through the ranks of our profession and became a world-renowned celebrity. She went on several talk shows and spoke with the clients she saved by delivering accurate assessments and statistics of their death predictions. Colleges still use her techniques to teach young mathematicians, called the Kitman Method.

The oracle brushes his hand over her name above my door. Kitman retired a few years ago and her office sat empty. Nobody wanted to take her place or pretend to fill her shoes. I don’t. But due to a severe shortage of office space I was assigned to her old room. The chilly office atmosphere let me know that if I tacked up a “Kate Hale” sign and claimed this office as my own, it would not be a welcomed move.

I should have been honored, except it was a lot like knowing you were a number away from winning the lottery, being born a minute too shy of claiming the “New Year’s baby” title, coming in fourth place at the Olympics. Nobody notices the people who were almost amazing. My history of fuck-ups confirms this theory. And judging by the glares I’ve gotten from my colleagues, I’m not going to rise to Kitman levels of fame anytime soon.

I clear my throat.

The oracle’s hand flutters from the door to his comb-over. He smooths an errant grey hair among a few light browns into place. The hair springs out again as soon as his fingers leave his head. “I’ve never been to the actuary offices. Forgive me for my indulgence.”

I can’t help but smile. I sort of geeked out at her nameplate too the first time I opened that door.

“This isn’t where the magic happens.” I tip my head to the third-eye pin on his lapel designating him as an oracle. “You know that.”

He holds out his hand. “Jack Robert.”

I don’t take it. Don’t touch the oracles is hammered into us from the moment we sign up for a career in predictions. Experts claim it can interfere with their visions. “Can I help you?”

“I have a case, a unique death prediction that only someone of your caliber can decipher.”

Doubtful. I glance at Kitman’s name plaque. I would have removed it to keep these kinds of misunderstandings from happening, if it weren’t for the fact this office is treated like a national monument.

But an oracle, even as flighty and absentminded as they’re known to be, would remember Kitman’s huge retirement party. Maybe he was sent to me for another reason. Maybe this was one last practical joke from Traffic.

“Why me?” I lean back in my chair, analyzing him.

“Why you?” he asks, but in a way that tells me he’s stalling for an answer. Jack presses his hand over his comb-over again and then pulls on the lapels of his coat. He rocks on his feet. His gaze searches the Berber carpet for whatever lie he’s about to feed me. “Ah, you don’t know yet.”

“What don’t I know?”

His lips flutter into a hesitant but knowing grin. I hate it when people hold back information; I want to know everything they know. And so naturally I don’t like oracles.

He inches forward and cups the side of his mouth like it’s a secret just for me. “You’ll soon be the best investigative predictions actuary in Angel’s Peak.”

I cross my arms, trying my hardest not to sound combative. “Says who?”

His mouth gapes open. “I’m an oracle.” It’s the indignation I’ve been waiting for. Jack has finally lined up with my expectations. Oracles are nothing if not self-important drama queens. They’re rarely questioned and so when they are they don’t know how to react.

“Is this an actual vision or a hunch?”

His eyes go wide. “Uh…”

“I’ll save you the trouble, Jack.” I keep my voice low, not wanting the whole office to know my private problems. “I’m a blank. An unpredictable. Fateless. You can’t know I’m any good at water polo let alone my own job. I’m that big blank spot in the oracles’ net and you don’t know I’m going to be anything in any future. I don’t have one that can be predicted.”

He backtracks, fumbling in his pocket. “I didn’t mean…I wasn’t predicting…are you sure?” He sits, a slow lowering into my extra office chair, waiting for my answer like an anxious pet after a toy slipped under the furniture.

“I’ve never once received a prediction. Once I tried to force it.” I clear my throat and look away. I don’t want to get too personal. My parents’ death, although an accident, wasn’t my fault. Not after all these years. When I didn’t get the death prediction like they did, we all assumed it would mean I wasn’t going to be in the car. They thought they were safe as long as I was with them. That turned out to be far from true. I shove the memory away. It has no place here. “Well, let’s just say they couldn’t get a reading on me.”

“A shame.” His worried expression turns to pity. “But it doesn’t mean you’re fateless. That’s rare, and pardon me for inserting, perhaps a bit unusual given your profession. I’m sure that you’d not want that information to get out into the wrong ears.”

My neck shifts three inches back into my collar. He’s right. I can’t afford for that rumor to go around, especially in the Death Department.

I shrug, pretending it doesn’t matter. “Who knows, then?”

He shakes his head in pity. “A terrible handicap.”

I never thought so, until I realized how much I’d felt left out, but I could never admit it out loud and definitely not to an oracle. There were too many hate groups and anti-prediction groups to share those thoughts in mixed company. I shouldn’t have even told him I was a blank. If the higher-ups got wind of it, accidental death would be the farthest up I could ever hope to climb. “It is what it is.”

Jack rolls his fingers on my desk in a staccato rhythm, crosses and uncrosses his legs. He makes a show of tapping his fingers against his pursed mouth. I lace my hands together and hook them over my knee, waiting.

“I’ll hire you anyway.”

“You do realize that the name on the door is not me.”

He waves his hand in front of his face, his eyes closed like he’s fighting off some invisible fly. I’m not exactly sure he’s listened to a word I’ve said. “That’s fine. I don’t care. I want you to work the case. You’re hired.”

“I work for the government and so do you. You can’t exactly hire me for work that is technically my job.”

His eyes dart to my boss’s door—still closed for her lunch. She’s in heated debate with her wife over holiday plans.

“This isn’t connected to the Oracle’s Department, is it?” I guess.

He shakes his head, confirming this case would require me to go off the books. Off radar. And far off from my goal of attempting to not fuck up my first week in a new department.

“This is something separate.”

He doesn’t nod this time, but his eyes don’t leave mine, confirming my assessment.

Jack pulls out a small square paper from his coat and carefully unfolds it. His hands tremble. “The death I asked you to investigate. It’s—” His voice breaks. He swallows. “It’s my own. Someone’s targeting oracles and I’m first on the list.”


Romancing the Null–Out February 2016

By Tina Gower

There are three kinds of lies. Lies the fates spin as half truths. Lies of destined love. And statistics.

As a fateless, Kate Hale is immune to the first two, but the third kind of lie is her profession. After spending years as an actuary for the Traffic Department, Kate is promoted to Accidental Death Predictions. It’s all she’s worked toward, and her career is finally on track. But when an oracle delivers an impossible death prediction and insists on her help to solve the case, she might lose any chance of impressing the brass.

Her only hope comes in the form of the police liaison assigned to her department, latent werewolf Ian Becker. Becker can grant her the clearance to find answers, but he’s a wild card with a shady past who doesn’t play well with others.

Every prediction has a loophole, but if Kate can’t solve the case before the crime is fated to occur she won’t just lose her job–she’ll have the blood of an oracle on her hands.



The Anxiety of Poor Timing

Getting a book series ready to self-publish has brought out a lot of anxiety for me. Am I doing the right thing? Am I making the right choices on how to launch it? What if this decision or that decision ruins an opportunity later on down the road?

I feel like I’ve suffered from bad timing with most of my career and financial moves (career and financial are tied in some way, right?). When I started college, job prospects looked promising. I had no reason to assume that things would drastically change by the time it was my turn to job hunt.

Except they did. During my senior year of college, 9-11 happened and then following that horrible event a recession. The next three years I attended graduate school and watched as each year became more and more grim. Graduates from my program had more and more difficulty finding full time work locally. Prospects were not only slim, the market turned hostile. Also, cue No Child Left Behind, which brought some much needed standardization across states, but had a lot of flaws that left Special Ed services in flux.

It wasn’t the best time to enter the field. Yet, I managed it anyway. Despite my professors telling me I’d have done better in another decade, I managed to cut out a career for myself, but it was not without struggles. I was budget cut from two jobs, and although they did what they could to keep me in some capacity it was still hard. Ultimately, and unrealistically I blame myself. Like I could have controlled the economy?? Part of me wondered if it was just an excuse (the government and union employment standard of first-hired, first-to-go or be lowered to part-time) and if I’d been more stellar in some way they would have kept me.

And always hearing the mantra of “If this was a different time you would be that employee we’d have been excited to have hired and looked forward to years of working with you, but alas, this is not that decade.”

My husband and I bought our house at the peak of the housing market, right before the crash. So we paid an inflated price for it. Everyone loves to talk about their amazing deal on their zillion square foot home and we have a very modest and lovely house that I’m happy to own, but we definitely over paid. Except it was what houses were going for in the market at that time. We had no idea of the impending housing crash or we would have waited a few years.

(Although we did get a fixed mortgage, so we didn’t have to deal with the lending fiasco that so many of our friends did who had other types of loans).

I worry that this will be the case with my writing career. That is was not a good time for *me* to become a writer. Maybe perfect for someone else with different qualifications, but not me. 

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions, but if I were it would be to be a little braver and not worry so much about timing. Just do. I can’t control economics, or the stock market. I can’t control buyer’s preferences. But I can control me and my decisions. If they were poorly timed, then at least I tried and one day that risk will pay out. I’m one of those people who believes luck is hard work meets opportunity.

I can’t help but to be superstitious about it though and it’s the Year of the Monkey, and I’m a Monkey. Not in real life mind you. I was talking about the Chinese Zodiac. Not in a “nobody knows you’re a monkey on the internet kind of way.” Anyway, year of monkey for a monkey–I thought it might mean something good and when I looked it up, it does! This is supposed to be my year for a major career risk that works in my favor. My horoscope says the same thing. Heck, I even asked the Magic 8 Ball online and it says “It is decidedly so.”

So, maybe for once my career timing is finally in tune.