- What’s going on in my lifeby Kim Golden
This year was supposed to be about getting back on track with my fiction writing and marketing my books. It started off well in January. I had a new release called Marry Me which was available exclusively from the Happily Ever After Collective on Patreon. I was managing to write every day and feeling really good. I was working on a new book for the next season of HEA Collective and writing a standalone for the Maybe… series.
I’d asked 2023 to be kinder than the previous years and it seemed like it was delivering.
Of course, it was too good to be true
Within a few weeks, I was in the midst of restructuring limbo at my day job, switched to a new project and finding that I had to do extra work since we were no longer allowed to use freelancers as backup. Whatever work-life balance I had that gave me space to write disappeared. I had a couple of meltdowns while trying to figure out how to write copy for this new project – especially when the early collaboration I was used to as a senior-level copywriter seemed to be downgraded as irrelevant.
I was told, “All we need from you are snappy headings.”
Not what you want to hear when you are a copywriter whose specialty is emotional storytelling and who was hired on the strength of that type of storytelling.
Of course, it turned out that more was needed but not being able to contribute to the concept in a meaningful way left me feeling disconnected from the project. I did what was needed. I didn’t really feel fulfilled or satisfied. And I was frustrated that the extra projects I’d had to take on were overwhelming and left me too exhausted to even put in the bare minimum necessary to work on my fiction writing.
I was not happy. For nearly three years, I loved my job. Now I dreaded even having to be in meetings. I couldn’t figure out what to prioritize and everyone was telling me to prioritize their project but no one seemed to get that I was struggling – even when I was very frank about it.
I guess the honeymoon was over.
We decided to move to Malmö
Then we decided to move to a new city. As much as I loved Älmhult, I missed the options available in a larger city. We’d been spending a lot of time in Malmö doing housesitting/pet-sitting gigs on the side and we’d come to love the city. We found a great apartment and could move in the first week of July… and then we had to start packing.
Not the news we were hoping for
Then I found out that my mom’s cancer was back. This time it wasn’t in her lungs. It had metastasised as lesions on her brain.
All my focus (what was left of it anyway) disappeared. I had to drop out of season 2 of the Happily Ever After Collective because I was too frazzled with everything going on at work + moving + my mom to write. The standalone? I hadn’t touched it in months because my focus and motivation were shot to shit, for lack of better phrasing.
So what’s going on now?
My mom had been planning to come to Sweden at the end of August. That’s no longer possible now. She’d booked tickets so that I could fly back to the US with her. We’re trying to get those tickets transferred to my name so that I can use them to fly over. I’ve asked my manager and project lead to take me off a project for Q4 since I don’t know how long I will need to be in the US, and they’ve been very supportive.
I’m hoping I can head to Philadelphia to see my mom and help out within the next week or so. I won’t feel like I can completely relax until I can see my mom again. I haven’t been in the US since last April-May, when she was first diagnosed with lung cancer and going through targeted radiation treatments. I’d hoped to have been there last autumn but work got in the way.
I don’t know when a new book will come. I hope soon but I can’t guarantee anything. If you’ve been following me, then you know that the last few years have not been good. I’ve lost too many friends and loved ones to stroke, cancer, etc.
I’m doing the best I can. But sometimes it feels like I’m treading water and just trying to keep my head above the surface.
So, please, bear with me. Please be patient.
And keep my mom in your thoughts. And if you or someone you love is affected by lung cancer, please consider giving to your local cancer or lung cancer charity.
Canada: Lung Cancer Canada
South Africa: Cancer Association of South Africa
- What Kim’s watching: The Perfect Find on Netflixby Kim Golden
Yesterday was Midsummer’s Eve (or Midsommarafton as we call it in Swedish) and, instead of doing all those traditional things we’re supposed to do on that day like pretend to be frogs while dancing around a maypole (yes, that really is a thing here) or picking flowers to put under our pillows in hopes of finding our true loves (well, we already have each other), or canoodling in the woods after drinking too much brännvin and beer, we decided to kick back and watch a movie.
A fun movie and a great summer read
I was very happy to find out that The Perfect Find was now a movie directed by Numa Perrier and starring the always awesome Gabrielle Union, Gina Torres, Keith Powers, La La Anthony, Aisha Hinds and D.B. Woodside.
In The Perfect Find, we follow Jenna Jones, former It-girl fashion editor as she tries to regain her professional footing and stage a comeback after a very high-profile firing. In order to do this, she has to ask her nemesis Darcy for a job. She gets the job, but also gets in some hot water because of Eric…her very cute and sexy colleague who’s eleven years her junior…and Darcy’s son. What could go wrong? 😉
In case you didn’t know, The Perfect Find is based on Tia Williams’ novel of the same name. It was one of my favorite reads of 2021. If you haven’t read it yet, then get yourself a copy now. It’s the perfect summer read.
So now I am thinking about other books I’ve loved that would make great movies. Of course, I’d love to see one or two of my own books on the big screen (I think Maybe Baby, Maybe Tomorrow or Near Enough to Hold would make excellent movies).
I would also love to see these titles on the big screen:
- In Every Mirror She’s Black by Lola Akinmade Åkerström
- In Black & White by Nia Forrester
- Killing the Sun by K. Larsen and Mara White
- The Never List by DL White
- Stockholm Diaries – Nordic Nights 1 by Rebecca Hunter
- Frozen Music by Marika Cobbold
- Love Is by Tia Kelly
My list could go on. Which books would you love to see on the big screen (or Netflix, etc)? Let’s compare notes!
- Trying to stay sane when everything is hurly-burlyby Kim Golden
I know it’s been a while. I apologise for the silence. I’ve been busy with preparing to move + being knee-deep in a new project at my 9-to-5. It’s been a pretty hectic time and I am looking forward to summer vacation, even though it’s still many weeks away.
So what have I been doing?
Besides working, I’ve been trying to stay focused on finishing some fiction writing projects. It hasn’t been easy. After a long day of meetings, I am not always motivated to sit at my computer and write. I’ve been trying to use Google docs on my phone, which sometimes helps. But there have been many, many days when I simply don’t have the energy. I end up watching a series on Netflix or Disney+ instead.
Late to the game but I’m loving Only Murders in the Building and Abbott Elementary
I was pretty adverse to subscribing to yet another streaming service since I already have Netflix, SkyShowtime and HBOMax. But ever since I heard about Only Murders in the Building and Abbott Elementary (which is set in my hometown of Philly) I finally gave in and subscribed to Disney+. The bonus is that the Swede gets to watch all the Star Wars stuff that he loves.
Hooked on Queen Charlotte: a Bridgerton Story
I’ve also been obsessed with Queen Charlotte: a Bridgerton Story. In my opinion, it has outclassed both seasons 1 and 2 of Bridgerton. Why? Well, the chemistry between India Amarteifio and Corey Mylchreest is electrifying. Plus, I am convinced that the writing and the conflicts are so much more interesting. Add to it the dynamic of Arsema Thomas as young Lady Danbury and you have a combo who makes you want so much more.
Plus, I loved Brimsley and Reynolds’ love story, and I really need to know what happened to Reynolds since we never saw him in the the “present” scenes.
And what have I been reading?
I’m re-reading The House of Eve by Sadeqa Johnson. So what’s the story?
“1950s Philadelphia: fifteen-year-old Ruby Pearsall is on track to becoming the first in her family to attend college, in spite of having a mother more interested in keeping a man than raising a daughter. But a taboo love affair threatens to pull her back down into the poverty and desperation that has been passed on to her like a birthright.
Eleanor Quarles arrives in Washington, DC, with ambition and secrets. When she meets the handsome William Pride at Howard University, they fall madly in love. But William hails from one of DC’s elite wealthy Black families, and his parents don’t let just anyone into their fold. Eleanor hopes that a baby will make her finally feel at home in William’s family and grant her the life she’s been searching for. But having a baby—and fitting in—is easier said than done.
With their stories colliding in the most unexpected of ways, Ruby and Eleanor will both make decisions that shape the trajectory of their lives.”
I’m telling you – read it. Do NOT ask questions, just read it.
That’s it for today. Must get back to writing so I can have something new for you soon.
- What Kim’s reading: A Lakeside Reunion by C. Chiloveby Kim Golden
A Lakeside Reunion by C. Chilove
I always love book mail. So, just imagine how nice it was to receive an ARC of A Lakeside Reunion by C. Chilove.
So, what’s it about? Here’s the blurb:
This summer, escape to the Shores–a Southern lake town full of elegance and glamour in a story about family traditions, friendship, and a love that can’t be denied.
Chareese “Reese” Devlin spent every summer of her childhood in the lake town of Mount Dora, Florida, where her days were filled with fun in the sun. Reese never realized that the idyllic haven hid a deep divide between the town’s haves and have-nots. Not until the summer she turned seventeen and fell for Duncan McNeal, a boy who lacked the pedigree so valued by her parents and their equally well-connected friends.
After her family squashed the budding romance, Reese refused to return to the place she lost her heart. Now, ten years later, she’s back to attend her sister’s debutante ball and must come to terms with all she’s missed. But the biggest surprise of all is that Duncan is now a successful real estate developer in Mount Dora—and time hasn’t weakened the connection between them.
Behind the multimillion-dollar homes of the Shores lay old grudges and secrets capable of collapsing any family legacy. As the summer progresses, Reese must fix the sins of the past by facing the lines between truth and deception, tradition and breaking free, and family expectations and self-discovery.
What happens when a couple on the verge are separated by her family who think he’s not top drawer enough for them… and then circumstances bring them together again? Well, that’s exactly what you get with A Lakeside Reunion by C. Chilove.
Think of it as an updated version of Persuasion
Especially since this story focuses on issues like classism and racism, among other things. How C. Chilove dealt with these issues resonated with me most, especially since they played a huge role in the relationships between Reese and Duncan. But for readers who are dealing with issues with how family members deal with homosexuality, there’s a lot to chew here as well.
A Lakeside Reunion doesn’t shy away from these issues and, if you have a problem with them, then it’s not the book for you.
But if you’re like me and you spent your summers in the South and you want a book that will challenge how you look at the world we live in, then you should absolutely read A Lakeside Reunion.
I’ve already decided that it will be the book my mom and I discuss when she’s visiting me here in Sweden this summer. And I think you should put it high on your TBR list.
Don’t hem and haw over it.
Read it now.
I received an advance copy of this book and voluntarily left this review.
- Happy ninth #BookBirthday, Maybe Baby!by Kim Golden
Can it really be true? I was pretty shocked to realize that Maybe Baby turned nine yesterday. It truly does NOT feel like it’s been nine years since I pressed publish on Laney & Mads’ love story. But this book…which is truly my book baby… is now nine years old. Maybe it’s time for me to give it a new cover?
How it started
If you’ve been following me from the very beginning, you remember how I got the idea for Maybe Baby. It started while I was in Copenhagen one summer, germinated while talking to friends in Sweden and the US about everything from infertility, long-term relationships, IVF and how it affected relationships, and other options for having babies.
All of this was the impetus for Maybe Baby. Add to it imagining Kerry Washington and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as the leads (c’mon, Simpson Street Productions, Ill Kippers or Hello Sunshine, this would be great project for Kerry and Nikolaj to star in!) and you’ve got the story that I focused on to help get me through the start of a very crazy and stressful time in my life.
So what’s it about?
Well, you have Laney, an African-American woman living in a sprawling turn of the century apartment in Stockholm, Sweden with her well-to-do Swedish partner, Niklas. Laney wants to have a baby; Niklas isn’t really interested since he has teenage children from his first marriage. Besides, he’s had a vasectomy – something he swears he’s told Laney about, but it news for her.
Instead of simply accepting the situation, Laney finds out about an alternative fertility clinic/sperm bank in Copenhagen where you can meet your sperm donor before you commit. While she’s in Copenhagen for a work-related project, she decides to visit the clinic – which just happens to be having one of its mingles where prospective clients can meet the sperm donors. That’s when Laney and Mads meet.
And what was supposed to be a simple meet-and-greet ends up leading to an affair and then Laney being forced to make a choice.
One book became four
I never intended for Maybe Baby to lead to a series… But Laney, Mads and some of the other characters in their lives kept speaking to me.
Maybe Baby (told solely from Laney’s point of view) led to Maybe Tonight, a companion novella told from Mads’ perspective. Which then lead to Maybe Forever (which skips a few years into the future of Laney and Mads’ relationship) and Maybe Tomorrow (which focuses on Laney’s cousin, Eddy, and Mads’ cousin, Henrik).
Haven’t read them yet? You can get the three books about Laney and Mads in one collection.
For a few years, I’ve been promising more stories in the series, but life got in the way. I’ve told you before: I left a toxic work environment; my brother and several other people close to died quite suddenly; grief left me feeling like I had no writing mojo… but there are at least two other Maybe… books coming in the future. I promise, I will finish them.
In the meantime, let’s celebrate Maybe Baby. If you’ve read it, what’s your favorite scene in the book? Drop me a line and let me know!