Archive | Adulthood RSS feed for this section

Sometimes I have conquered mountains. Other times a mountain crumbles and I forget I ever climbed.

4 Jan

Before I talk about the crumbling—and there has been rubble—I’m going to talk about the conquering. Talking about conquering makes me feel like a medieval warrior striking out to claim my prize. Hey. I just tripped over my 2016 goals.

Oh words. Sometimes you fall from the sky in beautiful rain drops full of inspiration and hope. Us writers stand in the most beautiful of meadows and open our mouths to quench our artistic thirst. We giggle like school children. Maybe even prance.

There was not enough prancing in 2015. Understatement of the century. Add prancing to my goals for 2016.

I spent a lot of last year feeling like a failure.

I wish I could write a blog post about all the books I published in 2015, but I can’t because the answer is zero. I also wish I could write a blog post about ALL THE EXCITING THINGS THAT ARE COMING in 2016. But I can’t. Because there aren’t any. Yet.

We’ll just consider it:

Triumphs Still Pending…

But I recently realized I’ve already achieved a lot. Maybe not last year. But in the last five. Since 2011, I’ve published six manuscripts with three publishers. I was nominated for a cool award. RT wrote this about my first book:

“Baker is the newest voice to captivate paranormal romance readers with a heady dose of mouth-watering sensuality, enthralling characters and a plot so creative it screams “blockbuster!” The world the author creates is brilliantly calculated, intricately imaginative and downright sexy.” -The Romantic Times

I don’t say these things to brag. I say these to remember. While I spent the year feeling terrible about where I was in my professional life, it was so easy to feel like a loser. I’m forgetting I already won.

I was acquired by three editors who are fantastic. They work with bestsellers and amazing authors. They don’t just acquire people for no reason. Even though I lose my voice and my confidence wavers, I have to remember I’ve accomplished things.

My agent has been patient and wonderful. We’ve battled many drafts together, and I really appreciate her insights. I’ve had the privilege of reading many of her talented authors and you should, too.

In the rest of my life, in the last decade, I graduated college, I married my best friend, I’ve been at my corporate job for eight years, I’ve received two promotions, I’ve increased my income from the start by 36%, I brought a blessed son into the world, we bought a house, my son got to meet all four of his grandparents and three great-grandparents!

Look at all those things. How can I feel like a failure when there are people who would climb mountains to be able to say ONE of those things?

It kind of makes me a jerk. It’s just so easy to forget and dwell on the negative.

There was a lot of negative, too. Don’t get me wrong. There has been a lot of loss, tragedy, and sickness. I was finally diagnosed with a chronic illness after years of testing, but now we’re going to redo some of the tests because my doctor wants to be absolutely sure.

There were times I wasn’t sure I was strong enough to make it through. There were times I broke down and cried. A lot.

It’s not like the last decade has been a cake walk. But when I list out my accomplishments, there’s no way in hell I should be chastising myself for being a failure.

Sure, I’m not where I want to be with my writing. But dude. Appreciate. You’re doing just fine. You’re doing fabulous and you legit need to be thankful.

I am VERY THANKFUL. And fearful that I will lose one or all of these things. We’re currently trying to move to put ourselves in a better financial position, for instance, to make sure we don’t lose our house somewhere down the line.

There’s still a lot I haven’t done. There’s still a lot I want to do. Progress though—that sly sneaky fox.

It’s so easy to think of all the things we don’t have, instead of appreciating everything we do.

One thing I was good at this year was appreciating what I have in my personal life.

I was so lucky to find out I was pregnant in 2014! Even luckier to bring this beautiful smile into the world.

Cool Little Dude.

I haven’t quite figured out a good nickname for him yet. I think I’ll go with Dino—short for dinosaur. Dino is happy, smiley, and a little squirmy bundle of joy and love and energy.

I don’t know where he got those beautiful blue eyes or his social nature, but I do laugh a lot so I might take a slice of credit for his continuous smile.

I was so nervous my whole pregnancy that I didn’t blog. I was so nervous for the rest of the year that I didn’t blog.

But I want to have a record of his life. I want to blog and talk about what’s occurring. I want to appreciate every second. I have to stop worrying about everything that could go wrong.

Even though that’s my specialty.

This year, I spent a lot of time with family. I love my small group of people in the world. There aren’t many of them, but I wouldn’t trade any of them.

Sometimes being socially awkward is lonely. That’s for another post. One of my 2016 goals is to reach out to more people, attend more events, create a new friendship.

I revised a lot in 2015. I wrote a few books. It’s not like I haven’t been working.

Plus, I began a new endeavor that I hope will teach me a lot and lead to super exciting things. I now have three jobs, but only one that pays.

2015 was the year of building. If I’m being honest, so was 2014. I have to admit, I’m tired of placing block after block on top of each other. My patience wears thin.

2015 was the year of floundering. And flailing. I have been hard on myself most my life. Never before 2015 was I so judgmental of me.

I also realized I’ve been waiting for the big MOMENT. I’m not sure what I intended this moment to accomplish. I mean, I’ve already had the this is it moments where I thought everything would change. They changed for a while and then the dreams floated away.

I already know there’s no MOMENT in publishing where everything is suddenly clear, the birds sing, and: Hey look! I can fly now. Easy-peasy.

Maybe I was waiting to blog until I had a MOMENT to disclose, so I could pretend I never went through all the struggle. Pretending we’re not struggling on the internet. What a change! Not.

While I write of many triumphs there were also things that felt like failure squared.

Five of my titles reverted this year, and suddenly I find myself without anything published under the Kinley Baker name. Suddenly I’m standing at the base of an all too familiar mountain and staring at the ashes of words, blood, sweat, and tears, wondering how the hell I’m going to climb again.

At first, I was excited for a fresh start. The reality is much more daunting. I’m starting over.

If I’m going to find the ever urgent need to be read now that haunted me throughout my early twenties, but led to many successes nonetheless, I’m going to have to make some changes.

Innocent and naïve Kinley aka 2011 Kinley—she was adorable—would have done anything to be published traditionally. She probably would have streaked through the quad to the gymnasium Old School style, and she is very shy. She would have had to be just as drunk as Frank. But she might have done it.

Haha. Now I just want to see 2011 Kinley’s face when I go back in time and ask her if she’ll go streaking.

I’ve had a lot more rejection. One would think one would have less rejection after they publish with three publishers, but that’s not the truth. Now, I know what I want more than ever.

I think people make the mistake that I’m passive in all things because I’m passive in some things.

Tough life experiences have made me especially non-passive in some ways and through all the rocky times of 2015 and beyond—because there were many!—I’ve officially become the thing from Kresley Cole’s books that I’ve always wanted since I started reading her in 2008.

I am a creature with which one does not fuck.

Huh. How did that happen?

I listed many great, wonderful, amazing things that have happened in this post in an effort to enter the New Year with positivity. There’s also been the hardest days of my life.

I’m determined for 2016 to be the year I get healthy, the year I read, the year I write, the year I treasure every single second with my most adorable son, almost as adorable husband, and super adorable dog.

Look at this kid genius.

Toe Ring

We haven’t mastered the ring tower, but we’re making progress.

Also, I’m a little embarrassed to show my foot for some reason. Lol. So much for the streaking thing.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading! I don’t usually write posts so long, but when you’re returning to blogging after so long, there are a lot of things to say.

I hope your 2016 is better than 2015. I hope we see positive changes in the world. I hope you feel safer. If you’re looking to build community, reach out! I’m here. I’m listening.

Kinley Baker, Romance Author, Thumbs Up, Socially Constructed, Hands

Thumbs up for 2016!

XOXO
Kinley

Advertisements

Maintaining ridiculousness during traumatic experiences like a champ

6 Aug

It occurred to me that I rarely share online what I’m going through in real life and this makes it a little awkward. So I’m going to share a bit more about myself.

Last week I went in for a liver biopsy. It sounds kind of scary and I’d describe how they do it but it’s graphic and makes me shiver, but really, it’s not that big of a deal. It’s pretty basic. In… Out… Done.

Except apparently rarely you can get severe nerve pain? I was heavily drugged for most of the medical explanation but I reacted badly to the biopsy and all I remember is lots of doctors and an emergency x-ray and an emergency ultrasound and etc. until they decided I was okay and sent me home with pain meds.

My first lucid thought was… I’m totally giving a character nerve pain because I know what it’s like!

(There’s a purpose to the story, I swear.)

Also.

Even when all of this was happening I told the doctor, “Sorry for being high-maintenance,” which is a really ridiculous thing to say. *pumps arms in the air like a champ*

Then I felt really insecure about the drama because I turned out to be okay and my husband was sitting in the corner of the hospital room watching all of this.

Anyway, it took me a lot longer to heal than they first told me it would take. And my husband made the comment that Kinley Recovery Time always seems to be twice as long as everyone else.

My first instinct was to say “YOU LIE!” But then he said when I go to the dentist and have completely healthy teeth I can’t eat for the rest of the day and I realized it was true.

I take longer to heal. It’s the same when I get sick.

Guess that goes to show everyone is different and unique and sometimes we have qualities that are inconvenient but life is all about patching over the inconveniences and finding ways to deal.

So that’s my story about the hospital. I want it on record that I maintained my ridiculousness even during trying times.

Kinley Baker (@KinleyBaker)
Kinley Cade (@KinleyCade)

Five ways my dog copies me and one way I should probably copy him

21 May

My dog’s name is Joker and he is a terrier.

Lately, I’ve noticed that some of my dog’s more unfortunate habits look… familiar.

Habit 1: World weary sighing

My dog sighs like the apocalypse is coming and he’s the only who knows but no one will listen to him spout his wisdom no matter how many times he barks. He sits comfortably… and sighs… for no reason.

This used to annoy me until I realized why he does it. It’s because I sit and randomly sigh at my computer all the time!

I sigh at my manuscripts. I sigh at the ridiculousness I read online. I sigh in frustration.

I sigh and often look at my dog who makes immediate eye contact and I say things like, “I know Joker.” And he sighs with me.

His sighing? My fault.

Habit 2: Whining

Oh the whining! Sometimes he just sits and looks at us and whines. He’s been fed, he has water, we played for an hour, we went for a walk, we bought him a doggie bone castle (that last one is exaggerated), but he still whines.

Let’s just keep it simple and say… my fault, my influence.

Habit 3: Treat dance

You can’t say the word “treat” without Joker going bananas. He can’t handle the word and he barks and leaps. I’m not saying I bark, but… If you say the word “cheesecake” or “pasta” or anything to do with ice cream… you might witness a similar show.

Not often… but often enough for the dog to copy me.

Habit 4: The stare

My dog stares. He sits. He positions himself so his head fits perfectly over say, a leg, or a pillow, an arm rest, and he stares at you. It’s super annoying.

Until I realized I do the same thing to my husband. Sometimes I just stare at him until he asks me why I’m staring. And it’s usually for the same goal as Joker: attention.

Then when Joker and I are asked what we want we both do a casual shrug. “Nothing. Just wanted you to ask.”

Habit 5: The throne of fleece blankets

Joker feels entitled to fleece blankets because my obsession with fleece blankets leads to ridiculousness like this:

blankets, fleece, fleece throne, dog, puppy, terrier

I’m not saying I sit on a similar fleece throne and write my books, but well…

And finally, I noticed a habit Joker has that I don’t.

Joker’s habit: General friendliness

Joker always wants to play with everyone! He barks and jumps and he wants to be the life of the party.

And I… do the opposite. I try to be polite but I don’t tug at the leash to be friendly.

After all the bad habits I gave Joker, I wouldn’t mind taking that one from him. I wish I could express my enthusiasm with such zest.

But I suppose he’s meant to do the barking. And I’ll just stand awkwardly next to him and thank you when you tell me he’s cute (even though I had nothing to do with his cuteness).

Do you share habits with your dog/cat/animal houseguest? I feel like I can’t be the only one.

Kinley Baker
@Kinley Baker

I see what you did there, life

9 May

Next week a lot of you are going to RT and I’m jealous. For those who don’t know, it’s a huge conference for those who love the romance genre. Which I support! Completely (in case you haven’t figured out by now that I love romance).

Anyway, I was really seriously thinking about going this year but things didn’t work out.

Now, it turns out that events have come up which means I wouldn’t get to go anyway. I won’t tell you the what because it’s not my what to tell. But I’ll be needed at home.

It always surprises me when things seem to work out this way. If I would have made all the plans like I’d originally wanted, I’d be canceling now. Since things didn’t work out initially, I’m not in the position where I have to do that.

I’m grateful but I also just want to say… I see what you did there, life.

Life seems to have that coyness about it. Obstacles get in the way. Nothing goes as scheduled.

A lot of the time I think one way is the only way things can work out. When it doesn’t, I’m crushed.

Later on, once I have some perspective, I can look back. In those moments I start to see the why. I see why it didn’t work out and I even start to see the better path that might be out in front of me.

In those moments I realize I just need to have faith. It’s the hardest thing of all to have, especially when things aren’t going according to the plan. But the plan rarely works out.

Since the beginning of my publishing journey I’ve always had a plan. The plan has changed many times, but I’ve always had a plan.

The challenge was convincing other people to join the plan train. I wanted to tell people, no, seriously, I have a plan! I just need you to hop on at this stop and we’ll make the rest of the journey together.

It’s really hard to convince a stranger to get on a train with you when they don’t know the destination. They really have to believe in whatever reason they get on the train in the first place. Because who knows where it will end up?

I think I’ve learned the plan has to be flexible. A person needs the willingness to change and alter and step outside the comfort zone of the train cart. Or in other words, they need to get up on the roof.

*climbs up without looking down at the landscape speeding by*

I am borrowing the Titanic trend and standing on the roof with my hands held out wide. Probably because I’ve always wanted to fly.

But I’m also closing my eyes because I’m terrified like WOAH.

I’m getting really tired of letting fear stop me. There’s no Jack holding me, so I suppose I’ll just have to fly by myself and hope for some wings.

Have a great weekend. On Monday I’ll have a post that has to do with Mean Girls and writing. And a picture of a fish. What?! All three… I know, don’t miss it.

Kinley
@KinleyBaker
@KinleyCade

Wait, my husband likes what?

7 May

This post includes one title that could be construed as inappropriate (totally your call), one picture of a t-shirt that involves both otters and wizards (yes, you read that right), and a lesson on relationships that takes some people (in this case me) eight years to learn.

I want to start with the most important of the three (obviously the t-shirt) but I’ll save that until the end as a teaser.

This all started with my husband not feeling 100% well on his birthday. Health has not been something easily achieved in our household this year (part of the reason for my absence), but since the blog isn’t about that, I’ll skim over that part.

Basically, I couldn’t do my original plan for his birthday. So I asked him what he wanted to do. And he said he wanted to go the Aquarium.

I believe my response was something like, why?

He said… he likes the Aquarium.

Wait, what?

I didn’t know this. You’d think you’d know something like this about someone you’ve spent eight years with, but no. Never came up.

If I was a more observant person, I suppose I could have noticed the fish tank that showed up in our house one day after I specifically said, you can get a fish tank but I’m not touching it (too many fish memorials in my youth).

Having a fish tank in your home might symbolize that you might also enjoy the Aquarium but this did not compute in my brain.

Which just goes to show, it doesn’t really matter how long you love someone. They can always surprise you. 😀

Has a partner in a relationship ever surprised you?

And guess what people like us buy at Aquariums?

Did you guess a Harry Potter otter shirt?

Because you are correct!

Hairy Otter Shirt

Normal people go to the Aquarium and still manage to share their HP love. Or… I hear it’s normal.

Happy hump day! (Love those camel commercials… Lol.)

And shout out to all the #WANA1012. Great party last night!

Also RUINED (click here) and DENIED (click here) are still on sale for $2.99 each. 🙂

Kinley
@KinleyBaker

Irony, my name is Kinley

28 Apr

Over the weekend I promised to return to blogging on Monday. Of course, I had several posts ready so I was very confident. But as usual, those posts didn’t seem right for today when I went back and looked at them.

This is ironic, because for those of you who visit, you know that last year I ended the year feeling silenced. It wasn’t a silence forced on me by anyone but myself. Every time I wrote something I would doubt if it was too controversial or if it would be taken the wrong way.

It doesn’t help that every day the internet shows us an example of words taken out of context or something stated that’s still so shocking, even the internet is outraged.

I’m guilty of feeling safer being quiet rather than putting myself out there. But when someone is so safe, I think they lose a bit of themselves.

So, in an effort to not allow myself the comfort of not posting, I’m posting today.

It’s nothing brilliant or remarkable or any of the things I think writers hope to be.

It’s simply that I told you I would return and I have. Maybe at some point I’ll even manage to be funny. It feels like a long while since I’ve been funny.

Last year I ended at the blog promising to speak more and I disappeared for almost five months. There were reasons, and I’ll post on them, but for today, I think it’s important to remember not to lose ourselves because we’re afraid of how we’ll be perceived. I know a lot of you don’t struggle with this as much because I watch you online and I’m jealous that you’re rock stars and confident in your identities. 🙂

But I struggle with it, as you might have figured out. Maybe this is just my way of saying I don’t want to be afraid anymore. Being a writer, you have to take chances and live with the fallout. It’s always been the fallout that worries me.

I might have feared I didn’t have the strength. But strength doesn’t come from nowhere, does it? It’s hard earned.

These are a few of the lessons I learned while writing the Shadowed Love trilogy. Sometimes my characters teach me more about myself than I’d like.

The heroines in the Shadowed Love books taught me that there isn’t only one kind of strength, fear is relative, and some things are so important it’s worth the sacrifice to fight.

With the release of Book Three, Endured, on May 15th, this is really hitting home lately.

If you haven’t had a chance to read Ruined (Book One) and Denied (Book Two), I’m happy to announce they are on sale for a limited time at Amazon for $2.99 in eBooks.

RUINED ~ A king falls for his forbidden Healer, but is the forbidden exactly what the kingdom needs to survive?
BUY LINK

DENIED ~ When two warriors fight for supremacy in a battle of the heart, will they both thrive in victory?
BUY LINK

For blurbs and excerpts, visit HERE.

I’m glad to be back.
Kinley Baker

Greetings from Space

19 Mar

Well, okay, I haven’t been in space. That would be way too interesting. But I have been missing.

Unfortunately I have some not great news. It appears someone has taken over my old blog domain and continued to post as Kinley Baker. This is my only blog (and thank you for reading, kind sirs and ladies), so if you get a weird post about global warming or political in nature stuff, you probably are signed up on my old blog. I didn’t realize subscribers would carry over if someone took my domain name again or I wouldn’t have deleted the blog.

*sigh*

Just make sure this is the only blog you’re getting notifications on and unsubscribe from anything else. I apologize for this inconvenience!

I haven’t been political since I wanted to be the president when I was in college. I was still delusional about my strengths and weaknesses at that point in my young life.

Also, I have been writing on several projects. I can’t share anything yet, but know I am not sitting around twiddling my thumbs. It’s driving me up the walls that I can’t share more about two new adventures.

I have missed you. So I will be bothering you again soon with another post.

Thank you to everyone who read Kissing Her Scrooge. 🙂

Kinley Baker/Kinley Cade