Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Rainy Thoughts: 2020 Year in Review

 Hey everyone! It's already going to be 2021 and that is pretty crazy to me. I like to write these year in reviews like I'm writing in a diary, so I'm going to stick to that format, but try to have a format, you know? Maybe not. Anyways, let's start at the beginning...

The Beginning

The beginning of this year started off pretty amazing. I spent New Years with my family and was able to see one of my cousins, who has been in Japan the past few years, while we watched illegal fireworks pop all around us in frenzy for the new year.

Then, I was able to be in a Mardi Gras parade, that was pretty fun. I was on top of my sales at work and I was rocking it. And my husband and I did a tour of Italy in February where we spent 9 days traveling through Rome, Florence, Milan and Venice and lived out my dream of partaking in Carnival in Venice and Fashion week. (You can read my post about Italy here). 

But I was pretty happy at the beginning of the year and felt like I was on top of the world. And then I got home from Italy and it was like, for lack of better analogy, shit hit the fan.

The Middle

In San Antonio, our biggest event that draws people from all over the world, is our famous Fiesta. If you
don't know what Fiesta is, it's a 2 week non-stop party all around the city. There is always something to do in those two weeks. Crowds and all. I think it middle of March when they announced that Fiesta would be moved (and later cancelled). And since my job is heavily event and tourist based, we panicked, a little but not quit. 

I was fortunate in the stance that my husband and I still had our full-time jobs and we were both still getting paid the same while plenty of other's were in that first wave of layoffs. During our lockdown time, we missed out on Easter celebrations and celebrating my 25th birthday with friends and family. I missed going to my yoga class and Lyra class and even the gym! But I was able to learn some new things, as well as pivot for my job's sake. I was helping my community in anyway I could in my job and through volunteering. I also never ordered as much HelloFresh before, as it was hard to get anything at the store. 

With the world coming to an end and the George Floyd marches came through, it seemed like life was changing. Life would never be normal again, and maybe it is time for a change. A little change never hurt nobody. and to cope with this change, I turned to writing. I wrote a poem that was put into the SA Public Library Zine and I continued writing my book. 

I was able to celebrate my one year anniversary with my company at the end of June and I really had hope that things would be good.

 And then I was furloughed. When I was told I was furloughed, I cried on my car while eating pizza. While on furlough, I felt like I was in a complicated relationship. I absolutely loved my job. I loved my company, I loved my role and I wanted to stay in my role for a long time. At least the next 5 years. And when I was told I was furloughed and that my comeback relied on an event happening, the future didn't look bright. So I job searched and got on unemployment for the first time. It was hard. I was job searching, but I was holding on to this hope that I would be able to go back to my job and everything would be fine.

And then I was let go. The majority of my team was let go. And that was hard. It was really hard for me because I felt like I was doing exactly what I wanted to do in life and I was right where I was meant to be and I was planning on staying their for a long time. And then I wasn't. I was pushed into now finding something else, something that will full-fill that void and I haven't. Like most people who have lost their jobs, I felt, or still feel, a sense of identity crisis. I felt/feel like I have lost a part of me that made me, me. 

I was actually on this interview not long ago where they asked me what my 5 year plan was and I didn't know how to respond and also felt like that was an inappropriate question. Do you still have your 5 year plan figured out?

 The End 

And now we are at the end of 2020. I have been on the job search since and, after 5 months of  interviews

and job searches, I landed a part-time job. Needless to say, still on the job search for something full-time and more in my field of expertise, but at least I have something for now. 

I also recently watched Soul and it reminded me that my purpose in life is not one thing. The purpose of life is the simplicity of living. 

During the end of 2020, besides job hunting and having an identity crisis, I did other things. I participated in NaNoWriMo and am now looking forward to hopefully having a second book come out next year. I also was able to travel to Big Bend and Marfa, TX with my husband for a weekend getaway in the West Texas desert. That was probably my second favorite part of 2020 to be honest. The book my dog and I are took photos for (picture to the right) came out and we were happy. And I started helping my cousin run a Korean enthusiast group that you can be part of too. Just click here. 


Overall, 2020had it's ups and downs. I was able to travel to Italy, Krause Springs and West Texas. I had time to write, learn Japanese, take my dog for morning walks, start a YouTube Channel and just get back with my creative side again. I drank a lot, danced a lot, cried a lot and pivoted a lot this year. So yeah, 2020 was definitely different than any other year that I have lived, but you can't dwell on the bad forever. As my old yoga teacher would say, grab it, acknowledge it, and let it go. Continue living my friends and please remember to wear a mask.

Happy New Year!



Thursday, December 17, 2020

Book Blitz: River, Sing Out

Categories: Contemporary / Literary Fiction
Rural Fiction / Crime Fiction / Coming-of-Age
Date of Publication: June 8, 2021
Number of Pages: 315 pages 

“And through these ages untold, the river did act as the lifeblood of all those things alongside it.”

Jonah Hargrove is celebrating his thirteenth birthday by avoiding his abusive father, when a girl named River stumbles into his yard, injured and alone. The teenager has stolen thousands of dollars’ worth of meth from her murderous, drug-dealing boyfriend, but lost it somewhere in the Neches River bottoms during her escape. Jonah agrees to help her find and sell the drugs so she can flee East Texas.

Chasing after them is John Curtis, a local drug kingpin and dog fighter, as well as River’s boyfriend, the dangerous Dakota Cade.

Each person is keeping secrets from the others—deadly secrets that will be exposed in violent fashion as all are forced to come to terms with their choices, their circumstances, and their own definition of God.

With a colorful cast of supporting characters and an unflinching violence juxtaposed against lyrical prose, River, Sing Out dives deep into the sinister world of the East Texas river bottoms, where oppressive poverty is pitted against the need to believe in something greater than the self.


James Wade lives and writes in Austin, Texas, with his wife, Jordan. He has had twenty short stories published in various literary magazines and journals. He is the winner of the Writers’ League of Texas Manuscript Contest and a finalist of the Tethered by Letters Short Fiction Contest. All Things Left Wild is his debut novel.
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