Finding the New Normal, A New Path

Those of you who know me personally are familiar with my store, Beabe’s Toys and Gifts, which has been around since 2004 online, then as a brick and mortar.  This was a perfect illustration of a Baby Boomer listening to “Do What You Love, And the Money Will Follow”, which is crap.  If you go into business, especially retail in this economy, be armed with all the research you can gather up, then do more.  After having an online business for years, I let myself get talked into a store by customers who wanted the in person retail experience.
Mistake number one.
Speed forward from 2009, the first year I was a “Brick and Mortar” to now.  I’m out a really nice 401K, but much more educated about my own personality, the economy, and retail in 2013.  Guess what?  I’m a Rock Star on Amazon, but suck at owning a Brick and Mortar.  Who’d have thought?
So here’s where the caterpillar becomes a butterfly.  Somewhere along the way, retail changed my personality for the better.  I’m better with stress, crazy people, have a better positive outlook, and a new clear perspective on Small Business.  What I’m looking forward to now is spending the last few years of my youngest son’s stay at home with him.  I’m looking forward to getting reacquainted with my dear, sweet husband.  Real date nights and holding hands!  I’ also looking forward to driving up to Austin just to annoy my eldest son, patronize food trucks, and generally get weird with Austin.
I’m still discovering what I want the New Normal to be, what my new path is, besides writing my fantasy best selling novel and buying a beach house on the Florida Panhandle.  Oh, and drinking lots of lovely wine, and cooking beautiful meals.  What finally dawned on me, while staring at a Champagne display at Spec’s, is that my former dream job was making me crazy and sick, and it was time to stop.  Kind of like an alcohol version of Paul’s conversion on the way to Damascus, but with out the blinding.  So wish me well, and I’ll see you next time.  Bye, y’all!


I have had a big problem in my life.  There’s always been the drive to create, to write, tell tales, listen to old stories by my grandfather or other older people in my life.  Some kind of latent oral tradition kept bubbling up in me.  The big problem was that none of my own writing or creating seemed “good enough”.  I’d pour myself out in a school writing project, or a book I was trying to write as a kid, and it all seemed to suck dishwater.

Rereading what I’d written was painful, and showing it to anyone was a risk.  I remember showing a screenplay/novel to a childhood friend, only to have her tell my band director about it.  The last person on Planet Earth that I would’ve even considered showing it to be read.  And then there were those stupid writing competitions or contests.  Mine were never picked, so they must have been awful, right?
Although I did win a poetry contest at Louisiana Tech, which my mother refused to take me to, and they had to mail the certificate to me.  I think you can read the picture here.
At one time I even set fire to everything I’d written, including a large short story collection written at a time when I actually liked what I wrote.  I can still smell the burning paper.  Hmmm.
Something has happened though.  I don’t know if it’s been the experience of running my own business, which  has been both exciting and terrifying, or just reaching a mature enough time in my life.  Self publishing is another new thing; I’m reading things on Nook that would make a third grader blush in the bad syntax, grammar, etc., that these big dollar earners are getting.  Hey, I can put a sentence together.  Why not me?
But another thing happened.  I started reading Deborah Harkness’ “All Soul’s Trilogy”, beginning with “A Discovery of Witches”, then fortuitously “Shadow of Night”.  It wasn’t that I wanted to copy her, it was just that she seemed to be having fun writing, and enjoyed her readers.  She’s a very generous, talented, bright, and imaginative woman.  Who would not be inspired by her?
This is a link to Deborah Harkness’ Facebook page:
So with all the things brewing in my head, I’ve been writing like a woman possessed, and hopefully something will come of it.
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