Happy Anniversary

This weekend, Jeff and I celebrated our first anniversary. It was a weekend filled with ghosts, getaways, and more melted cheese than you can shake a stick at. In other words, it was a great weekend.

On Saturday morning, Jeff told me that he found a cool bed and breakfast in downtown Denver called Castle Marne. He was excited that the room had a private hot tub. I was excited that it was likely haunted. We booked a last-minute trip, and honestly, it was worth it.

Castle Marne was gorgeous. The bed was probably the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in, and the breakfast this morning was absolutely delicious. Also, it was within walking distance of Tattered Cover, Twist & Shout Records, and Voodoo Donuts, all places we popped into last night.

As we checked in, I wondered whether the castle was haunted, but I didn’t go out of my way to look up any stories. If it was, I didn’t want to influence any experiences I might have. Not long after I fell asleep, I had a dream that something cold brushed against me, but I knew it wasn’t the air conditioning, because it came from the opposite side of the room. I slapped away whatever it was. Of course, in reality, I was slapping Jeff.

Was it a ghost? Probably not, but we did learn that the hotel does have a young girl haunting it.

Wrapping up our weekend, Jeff and I decided to try out The Melting Pot for the first time. Of course, we chose it because it, too, was haunted. I am so full of cheese and meat and chocolate. It was amazing.

It’s funny. As Jeff and I do things, I will often think of the main characters of my novels, wondering how they would react in the same situations. As Jeff and I were eating our first course, I thought of Kath and Smith at The Melting Pot. As the waiter warned us not to eat directly from our fondue forks, I thought of Smith giving Kath the following warning:

“Katharine Elizabeth Smith, if you eat directly from the fondue fork, so help me, I will divorce you.”

Because she would definitely try it.

What’s Going On…

Y’all, I would just like to start by saying that I’m exhausted. Like seriously exhausted. Like I could sleep for a month and probably still wake up tired. But such is life.

So, it’s been a while since my last post, and quite a bit has happened.

On the school front, as of today, I am officially a doctoral candidate. Three more steps, and then I will have officially finished the hardest thing I’ve done so far. Just have to do research, write my dissertation, and then defend it. The goal is to have all research done by the time the fall semester ends, write the dissertation over Christmas break, and then defend sometime in March. You know, nothing big.

In my personal life, I’ve had some ups and downs. Starting with the downs, as I’ve said, I’m exhausted. Of course, I know the cause. I’ve been on a rollercoaster ride with depression over the past year or so, and I know now that it has firmly taken hold. I’m on an antidepressant, but I think it’s time to call in the big guns and see someone professionally. Just until things stop seeming so difficult. Because right now, pretty much everything seems difficult.

Luckily, that’s the worst of it. In the past month and a half, I’ve had some really good things happen to me. First and foremost, I finished the first draft of The New Year’s Eve Murders. It took me just over eight months, but I can say that I have now written two novels. And if I’m lucky, someone will want to publish them.

I’m currently working on my second draft of the novel, but it feels weird not to be writing constantly. Fortunately, I’ve started fleshing out the third book in the series. My hope is to start writing in November. While I won’t be participating in NaNoWriMo, I’m going to hold myself to the practice of writing every day.

In other book news, I’m still shopping Last Breath to agents. I’ve got a full request out with someone, and I’ve sent a few other queries. But even if those don’t pan out, I have plenty more agents to reach out to. Send some good thoughts my way, though.

The only other news is that I’ve officially said goodbye to my thirties. And while my birthday was a little bittersweet, I have to be proud of all that I managed to accomplish over the past decade. I finished my master’s, started my doctorate, wrote two novels, met a swell guy, got married, moved to the mountains. Not too shabby of a time, if I say so myself.

As I start this new decade, I’m going to keep working my butt off. I’m going to continue writing and trying to publish. I’ll wrap up this doctorate. Who knows what else I’ll manage to pull off in the next ten years. I’m sure I’ll post about it here, though.