So much support…

One of the hardest parts for me about finishing my novel was sharing it with others. I realize now that was all about my own self-doubt than anything else and luckily for me, the people I have shared it with have liked it.  That’s been good for my self-esteem for sure.

And while I have known all along that I have the support of the people around me I wasn’t expecting them to show that support in so many incredible ways. It has been such a great reminder that I am not alone on this crazy journey.

The day after I finished my book my mum showed up at my door with this:

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The card read: “Published yet or not, this is a huge accomplishment. Didn’t think I could be more proud of you. Congratulations! Love, Mum”

After that, there were texts and phone calls. Emails and voicemails. All with words of encouragement and support. Many with offers to read and give feedback.

Then there was this:

Then this:

When I finished my first novel – just in time for my 40th birthday – I did it for me. I set a goal for myself and was so proud to achieve it. And I have been overwhelmed by the support of my family & friends. First my husband had everyone sign a canvas with words of praise and encouragement for my birthday. And now my mum gave me this mock cover art for my office. I love it so much. Writing is so solitary so I'm loving the fact that the people I love the most are behind me on this crazy ride. ❤️📚 • • • • • #amwriting #amediting #womensfiction #debutnovel #fictionwriter #AfterTheBreak #writersofinstagram #writerscorner #womenwhowrite #writerslife #femalewriters #booklover #reading #books #writinginspiration

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How lucky am I? Now I just need to win the lottery so I can write full time. Always good to have a realistic plan right?

The first feedback…

A few days ago I hit send on an email that had been sitting in my drafts folder for about a week. It was a very exciting email. One that was 10 years in the making and was going out to some of my closest family and friends. To 8 people I love and know love me.

And it was the most terrifying email I have ever drafted.

The thought of sending it filled me with so much dread and doubt and uncertainty I nearly threw up.

These were the people I was asking to read my book. The first people that would read the novel I had worked on for 10 years. And I was terrified they were going to hate it.

It’s a crazy thing to share part of your soul…part of your complete being…with others. My book is my baby in a way that my actual babies couldn’t be.

This book is what makes me a writer. And I want to be a writer. I want to call myself a writer. But I want to have earned the right to do so.

And if these 8 people said my book was no good – in the kind and loving way I knew they would – it would mean this goal I had been working on for so long – for my entire life – was unattainable.

Somehow – when I was ready as I was ever going to be – I sent it. Then I printed off 8 copies and delivered them.

And then I waited – a part of me vibrating with nerves and self-doubt – until the first “review” came in a few days later.

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I could breathe again.

I heard my aunt laugh out loud while reading it and thought “I did that.”

I saw tears in my mother’s eyes as she read it and thought “Words I wrote did that.”

Another friend posted a picture on Facebook of her reading my book and people liked it.

And then I got this text:

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So while I still can’t believe anyone other than me has read the 89,000 words I have been working on for so many years, I can’t deny the obvious truth.

I have readers.

And that – by definition – officially makes me a writer.

 

I wrote a book!

In my heart of hearts I have always been a writer. Ask me to describe my perfect day and instead of a job I would spend my days writing novels.

Sadly I don’t actually live in this dream world and that means I have a job. And kids. And a husband. And a house. And responsibilities.

What I’m saying is that on my list of everyday priorities setting aside time to write isn’t high up on the list. About 10 years ago, after my first my first daughter was born, I was desperate for a creative outlet. And for time out of the house.

So I signed up for a fiction writing class at the community college. It was there that the idea for “After the Break” took root in my brain. I wrote the prologue and the first 4 chapters of the book in that class.

I was inspired by my classmates, I loved sharing my work. I was a writer again. It felt good.

And then, the class ended and so did my writing. I tried to keep with it. I really did but I didn’t have the weekly excuse to write.  “After the Break” went into a drawer for 7 long years.

Two years ago I found it while cleaning out my files. I read through it and realized that while it was rough – really rough in some parts! – the framework for a women’s fiction novel was there.

I signed up for my first NaNoWriMo and dove headfirst into the world of Abigail Lane.

And last night – at 11:08pm on June 22 – I wrote the final line of “After the Break.”

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It was an amazing feeling to write that final line. The culmination of so much time and effort and hard work.

My heart was pounding with adrenaline. I couldn’t stop smiling. And there was no one to share it with!

My kids were in bed, my husband was out with friends and it was far too late to call anyone.

So I recorded my joy and giddiness for posterity.  I figured I’d just keep the video to myself..but where’s the fun in that?

I wrote a book! from Kelly Duran on Vimeo.

So I wrote a book. That’s the easy part. Now I have to finish editing it. And then (gulp!) I need to let people read it before I start pitching it to agents or publishers.

I hope it’s good.

I really do think it is…but I’m prepared for the fact it isn’t and I will never get it published.

And even if that happens. Even if only my friends and family read it. There is one thing that will never change no matter what.

I wrote a book.

88,654 words of my own creation.

And damn that feels good…

We got a trampoline. Why did we wait so long?

On a very rainy Saturday in late April my girls waited expectantly at our front window watching for one specific vehicle to arrive.

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And when that Springfree Trampoline van finally turned the corner they both whooped with joy and excitement and ran down to greet them.

For nearly a year – since we attended a blogger party at the Springfree Trampoline store last June – they have been asking to get a trampoline. Begging really. Offering to forego allowances and birthday presents. Making lists of the games they would play on it and how it would be fun and healthy exercise at the same time.

And as parents we waffled back and forth. For good reason…

Before our visit to Springfree I would never have even thought about getting one. I remembered all too well the injuries my friends and me had suffered on the old style trampolines. From gashes on our legs when we fell through the springs to bumps and bruises when we fell off the thing completely to burns from the blisteringly hot jumping surface in the sun.

But when I saw a Springfree Trampoline first hand and asked a ton of questions I realized that I had nothing to worry about. That with all the improvements the company had made to the design and engineering – none of those old-school injuries was going to happen on a Springfree. Pretty cool right?

So safety issues dealt with, our other concern was the fact that we rent so we needed to not only get our landlords approval – but also feel confident that we were going to stay put in this house with a yard for a good amount of time.

The landlord thankfully said yes and because we realized that second part is a pure fairy tale that we could never rely on…we decided to go for it it.

And all we have been thinking since the day it arrived was why didn’t we do this sooner?!?

First of all, there was the girls reaction when we told them. M burst into tears and little T couldn’t stop beaming. It was a total mom fail that I didn’t record the reveal. But I do have this awesome little snippet from delivery day:

😂😂😂

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The girls have been on it nearly every day since we got it and the only reason I say “nearly” is because I said no to jumping when it was a monsoon outside. That didn’t go over well.

They spend hours on it at a time. Jumping, making up games, using their imagination. And I’ve lost track at the number of neighbourhood kids who have come to play.

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When we have company over the kids always immediately head to the trampoline. Even the littlest ones have loved it.

This little guy played countless rounds of Ring Around the Rosy on it and also kindly safety tested the netting all around the trampoline by running directly at it and bouncing off. He didn’t miss an inch.

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And even when they are too tired to bounce anymore they still find a way to use it…

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I honestly can’t recommend it enough. If you have kids you need a trampoline. And Springfree has two events coming up that will give you a chance to win one!

Springfree 2nd Birthday Bash & Win a Trampoline & a Backyard BBQ with Rosie McLennan

So obviously you should enter the contests because winning a Springfree Trampoline would be amazing. But take my word for it…if you aren’t the big winner…don’t rule one out. Go to the store and check one out yourself. You won’t regret it.

Special note: If you have kids and work from home you REALLY need one. Our is going to keep the kids occupied all summer long and I can see them from my desk. Win-win!

 

 

Run for Women 2017 – Running solo in the woods

Yesterday I found myself unexpectedly solo at the starting line of the Run for Women.

My friend had to pull out last minute for very understandable reasons and I seriously considered giving it a pass myself.  I was feeling too tired and stressed and we had a lot to do that day. Quitting would have been the easy thing to do.

And as soon as I realized that I made the decision to go through with it and just walk most of the way. It’s such a beautiful course – most of it winding through an old growth forest – and it was for a cause that I think is so vitally important – mental health.

We set off and I found myself unexpectedly caught up with a group of runners that matched my usual pace well. So I went with it….

And despite tripping on an exposed root and nearly face-planting into a tree – I bet I looked so hilarious! – I kept moving and finished with a pretty respectable time.

Post race I picked up my incredible swag bag – seriously this thing was worth hundreds! – and got in the line for a free pancake breakfast where I ran into a good friend I hadn’t seen in ages. We chatted and caught up over pancakes – love those unexpected moments – and then it was time to head back to reality.

Was it a great run? Nope. Was it more than worth my time and energy? Hells ya!

See you again next year Run for Women.

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Eleven…and all that comes with it

Eleven years ago I became a mama. It was a crazy time – a total whirlwind that felt like a blur at the time and even more of one looking back on it now.

I had always wanted kids – dreamed of being a mother – and in all of those dreams I had a little girl. So when my first little girl arrived in her dramatic and unexpected way – I was so relieved. This was my literal dream come true.

And having one little girl (and then two!) has been a joy. It has lived up in so many ways to my lofty ideals. It hasn’t been all sunshine and roses of course…but for the goods have far, FAR outweighed the bad.

Now that little girl of mine – the one that first made me a mother – is officially a tween and well on her way to full teenager-hood. And I find myself unprepared.

Not so much for the fact that puberty is on the horizon but for the fact that she is no longer a child. It feels like it happened in an instant.

She gets things now that she didn’t use to. She understands nuances and subtleties in conversation that oh so recently went right over her lovely little blonde head.

Our conversations are much more profound and complex. Her friendships are evolving and changing and emotions are running high.

Boys factor in.

She feels things so deeply and wounds so easily. Her ego is growing faster than I am able to try to temper it.

She is making decisions now that could affect the rest of her life. She is making choices that have much longer reaching implications.

I remember turning eleven. I can remember my school and my house and my friends and my interests. What I don’t remember is feeling any more mature or grown up. I don’t think I even realized that it was a time of great change and evolution for me.

But it was of course. Just like it is for my girl.

And while I am loving the woman that I can see her becoming and feel great pride in the fact that I have helped to mold and shape her…I can’t help but feel like stopping time.

To go back to when she was just a little girl, climbing into my lap with a book, snuggling into me with her lamby and blankie in hand and saying “read to me mummy.”

For now I will just enjoy the fact that she still holds my hand out in public and says “I Love You” in front of her friends at school.

My Life According to Instagram – April 2017 Edition

Another month down…how can it be that we only have a two more months before summer vacation?!

April is always a crazy month – hello double birthdays! – and this one was no different. Thank god for Instagram:

8th birthdays are tough.

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This birthday girl is in chocolate heaven! Toasting marshmallows at the table….what?!?!!

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Never again! Because that is the worst thing EVER… 🙄#ihatemakinglunches

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Good morning Whistler!

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Why yes…yes it finally is. #friday #wineoclock #mamafinallyhaswine

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