Thru-Hiking in 2021 and also… NaNo!

Appalachian Trail Map!

Hello everyone! How are you making out these past couple of months? I am doing well. Is anyone doing NaNoWriMo this year? I am going to give it another shot this year. It’s a lot of fun trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days! My NaNo is https://nanowrimo.org/participants/damsteelman

Also, I am officially doing a northbound (NOBO) thru-hike in 2021! My YouTube Channel is https://youtube.com/channel/UCdep36F5tj95Ro-J7e6TTYA – – I will be blogging and vlogging my sober adventure through the wilderness of the mountains! I will be incorporating some sobriety into some of my videos but I’m not going to be an overbearing, hostage holding, drama llama… promise!

I have been purchasing hiking gear and equipment over the last few months so I don’t have too buy so much while I am getting ready next year. Also, doing some gear comparisons (tents, sleeping bags) in an Excel spreadsheet and watching a lot of hiking videos and reading hiker blogs. I am so excited!

I was on the fence about northbound (NOBO) or southbound (SOBO) but after discussing with my hubby, I decided NOBO is what I want to do. It seems to be the most common choice and it just feels right.

What are you up to this month?

How I’m Handling the ‘Lock Down’

Image: KTSM.com

First of all, I’m not. I went out to WalMart today expecting something from a Stephen King book and it was pretty average. All the poultry was sold out from the meat department which intrigued me. I bought a pack of hamburgers and moved on with my life.

I have stuff already in the house and truth be told, I am not the kind of person that panics, ever. I did walk around a couple of stores not really sure what I was looking for but putting things in my cart when I found them. Like a first aid kit, Advil, and peanut butter. Sugar and coffee, too. I know what’s important!

It was strange to me the types of things that were still on shelves but then I remembered how many kids these days are allergic to peanuts and board games so it all kind of made sense.

As a die hard introvert, this whole ‘stay in your house ‘ thing is exciting for me. I mean, I don’t have to make up excuses why I don’t want to come outside.

“Um, Corona Virus, y’all… see ya in two weeks.”

I firmly believe that the media is a bastard when it comes to blowing stuff out of proportion. Telling us that Tom Hanks and his wife tested positive, people buying all the hand sanitizer just to resell it at black market value in other places. Yes, I get that it is a dangerous thing that can infect and hurt a lot of people. But I think freaking out over it and buying up all the supplies is a bit much.

I will say, though, that my living in an RV idea is looking more and more doable!

How are you handling the Coronavirus Outbreak?

Reflection of the Day: Life is Supposed to be Fun

Life is supposed to be fun, right? I mean, if we’re not enjoying ourselves, what’s the point, really… I quit a toxic job back in November of 2019 and life has been quite the adventure since.

My husband and I went on our Sunday Drive today (it’s kind of a ritual for us from March through November) and snapped a few hundred photos with my new camera… Here are some of my favorites! I am happy with more sunlight to enjoy because that means our adventures are longer. We started at a Perkins Restaurant in Bethlehem, PA and wound up near Hawk Mountain today. The center was closed, but it was nice to be up that way.

We did a lot of zig zag driving between the two spots… we left the house at 10:30 this morning (which is late for us!) and got home about 8:00 pm! If we can’t pull off the RV life right now (hubs has a business) then it is for sure something we are going to do after we retire.

We also stopped at Sheetz and got some amazing smoothies! Life is supposed to be fun and I hope you are finding some fun things to do despite all the Corona Virus insanity. I’ve definitely been washing my hands a lot more and have been more aware of touching my face and putting my fingers in my mouth.

How are you holding up during these trying times?

Reflection of the Day – Consistency (or lack thereof)

©2020 DAMGarrity. All rights reserved.

Consistency is great depending all on how you look at it. I have a real problem with directional consistency and I am trying to change that. One ‘keep my ass in the seat and write’ moment at a time.

It has been brought to my attention that I am kind of all over the place with ‘what I want to do with my life.’ Is it possible I am going through a pre-mid-life crisis? Maybe. I am being consistent about my indecision, however. I really just do not know and there is no sense in asking people. All I get from people are standard ‘this is what I would do because my life is rooted in fear’ answers.

  • Get a real job.
  • Continue with administrative work.
  • Find a 9-5er.

Yes, all consistent ways of living… consistently BORING because I have done them all and I hate it. Hate it. Why are we telling people to live in ways in which they wish not to live? Because that is how we (if you are over 35) were raised to live and quite frankly, I disagree with it.

If you want to have an office job where you’re treated right and doing what you love, that is awesome. I am not job shaming anyone. It was something I aspired to a long time ago and it fit me well. But that part of me is gone now and I aspire to do other things.

How consistent are you when it comes to staying on task?

Multiple Sources of Income

Hello, how are you? I hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving and are getting ready for the upcoming end of year holidays. Today I wanted to talk about writing and the different avenues we can take to turn it into multiple sources of income. Also, how to stay steadfast in your commitment to yourself and not be ‘short changed’ by clients that don’t value your worth.

A short story

I acquired a freelance client via LinkedIn about a year ago. In retrospect, I landed him because I am a good editor/writer but also because I was first starting out and so I was cheap – dirt cheap. He would send me copyediting/copywriting projects and at first he had unrealistic expectations of how long it should take me (I was working a fulltime job as well then). I’d start, send him the project and my bill, and he would tell me he ‘sent it to someone else’ because I didn’t get back to him in time.

After a discussion about that, he said he liked my work and told me he was only going to work with me directly. I obliged – still charging my measly fee. After six months, he told me he needed more from me and even offered to pay more.

I thought about it. Why wouldn’t I accept more? If someone feels I am worthy of more money, then I certainly am (some writers and artists inherently undervalue their skills – I was one of them). So, he sent me two other projects that took two hours and I sent him my bill, at my new rate… and I told him how long it took. He emailed me back saying, “Two hours? Really?” I wasn’t sure if that was good or bad. I always put my hours and fee on the bill. Maybe he never looks at it… I have been cc’d on a couple emails when he tells someone else to send me a check.

Did I mess up? Did I blow it, so to speak?

No. It is important for people to know how long a job takes… they don’t have to know all the details, but if someone thinks it should only take twenty minutes to copyedit a five-page document, it is really up to me to let them know it takes a lot longer – especially if I am copyediting and copywriting the same document – these two copy jobs are not the same thing.

I got my check in the mail, but I haven’t heard anything else from that client.

Other ways to earn

I recently quit a well paying full-time job to pursue a few of my dreams. True I miscalculated my funds (and severance pay I was promised but never received) but over the last three weeks my stress has been at an all-time low and I am sleeping better.

I digress.

It is important to have more than one way to earn money. Besides a part-time day job and selling jewelry on Etsy, I write to earn my money. I pitched an idea to Roadtrippers Magazine and they accepted it on the first shot! Roadtrippers Magazine (online) is a great source for people who love to drive on the open road and visit wonderful, peculiar places rich in culture and history. That’s a big part of who I am, so I can see me having multiple articles on there once I get this first one finished. I have a deadline in a little less than two weeks and I am excited to submit my final, polished article. I just need to get back to the area I am writing about, snap a few pictures and get a short interview with a local. Stay tuned for the article link.

Protip about Roadtrippers: make sure there isn’t already an article about the place you want to write about. They have a ton of places that are open for a pitch if you search the website.

More avenues

There are always many places to find freelance work. If you are trying to build a portfolio, look into a local newspaper or even friends and relatives that might need something written on a blog or website. In my opinion, I try to stay away from sites like Fiverr and Upwork. LinkedIn and BloggingPro are better for legitimate freelance jobs. I’m not saying the former two are horrible, but if you’re starting out, gigs on there are a lot of work for a few pennies and it can be tempting to get sucked into thankless work like that just to make a few bucks. I made the mistake of accepting a job once and the person was not 100% forthcoming. She wanted me to write thirty-three greeting card verses for what came out to eleven cents each. Um… no thanks.

So, if you are looking for ways to make money between writing novels look into various forms of freelance writing. LinkedIn is one of the best places to find jobs. But there are many others.

Where do you find your writing gigs?

June 2019 – It Will Be Here

That’s right! Finally, after much anticipation, procrastination and wonder… Consequences is set to be released via Amazon on June 13, 2019! This book is so near and dear to my heart. I love every character in it (even the meanies) and was sad it had to end.

This story is about a young girl who has been relegated to a youth house. Despite her mother’s pleas to stick it out with a promise that ‘things will get better,’ Rose decides one day that she’s had enough and runs away. Trouble seems to follow her to a little Pennsylvania coal town despite her rationale that life is sure to be better now that she is somewhere new. I’d love to tell you more but you’ll have to read the book. ❤

Here is the preorder link: Consequences – Kindle Version

So, what’s next? The Ashes We Bury! Yes. This story is a little more creepy than what I normally write out loud. 😉 It involves clowns, carnivals, mine fires, a small town diner (of course!), and murder.

Also, I am now freelancing. I plan on making this a regular gig, but as with any new business venture, I am looking for clients. I mostly do copy editing and article writing. I also proofread and look over existing websites to see if your prose and message is clear and interesting. If not, I can show you how to use keywords and short bursts of vital info to keep people interested.

That’s all for now. Take care and have an amazing Tuesday!

Blessed Be. ❤

Mailing List for Upcoming Works

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Good afternoon everyone. Things are going pretty well for the most part. I got another review for one of my books and that makes me super happy. Sales aren’t going very well, but since no one knows I exist, I think I’m still doing alright.

Shout out to anyone who voted for me for best author. Results will be available in a couple weeks!

There is a signup form on this website for inclusion on the mailing list for updates. I only send out about four to six newsletters a year. Mostly updates on upcoming releases or maybe Amazon specials I have going on.

 

Also, when you sign up for the mailing list, you’ll get an email for a free goody! 🙂 Just my way of saying thank you for all your support.

Currently, Consequences is being BETA READ. *Squee!* I am so excited about this… everything is on track to bring you this novel by Summer 2019 and I hope you will love it as much as I do.

empty railways
Photo by Michael Morse on Pexels.com

In the meantime, I have started a new book project that is going to be marvelous. It is about a murder (of course) that takes place in the 1930s in small-town PA. There are all kinds of factors, like sweet meek mannered people, a carnival, bad people and of course my favorite locations: Small Pennsylvania Towns. I officially chose Dushore as the central part of the story. It was going to be Centralia, but that is only a small part of the story. This is my first historical fiction novel and the research part of it has been a ton of fun.

The Ashes We Bury (1)

Have a great week lovelies. Also, I am up to doing any interviews if anyone needs one for their blog. Take care and talk to you soon! ❤

New Ideas

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I am still bummed they stopped doing the daily post and that has dulled my motivation to blog. Edits for the novel are almost complete, along with some new entries for Poetry Through Recovery which still does not have an official release date.

Despite the delays, I came up with another great idea for myself since I have so much to offer the world.

I am starting a YouTube Channel. Yes! How exciting, right? It’s going to be a trial and error thing at first because I have some issues with talking (it’s why I am a writer) but I want to do this because I feel a deep calling in me. (I guess it helps that I am taking a public speaking class in the fall!)

My YouTube Channel is going to be about getting through the bullshit of feelings, to put it bluntly, so people can live their best life. There will be an edge about living sober because one of the biggest reasons why people abuse drugs is because they don’t know how to deal. In light of this sick, sad opiate epidemic, I feel like it is something I need to do since opiates almost killed me and I am here to tell the tale of survival. I am attending a viewing tonight of a young woman who died last week as a result of opiate abuse. 😦

There has to be a way to stop all of this insanity, and I believe the first major step is self-awareness.

The username is irrelevant to the cause right now (it is Ninja500Chic – I used to ride a motorcycle!), but that link name will be changing to something more appropriate to what I want to do… which is help people with the truth about living sober. And not just sober, really. Living life free from the bullshit of regret and the past.

I am still figuring all of this out. Meditation has been a cornerstone in my life recently and let me tell you, it helps. A lot. It really makes sense to me now how life situations come in piles instead of droplets.

I am so excited about this! ❤ Stay tuned my friends… this is going to be beautiful.

Please, go to YouTube and follow my channel for upcoming videos about how to live your best life whether you are sober, want to be sober or are struggling to stay sober. Maybe you have a family member who struggles with addiction… this channel will help you to see inside the mind of an addict from both sides.

Right now, the channel is: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfmkKfG9HbB0SmKKg-rgg0w

The username is:

https://www.youtube.com/user/Ninja500Chic

Image: matthewmister.com