Welcome to the Best Day of My Life

Unkept by Ericka Clay

Seventeen years.

It’s been seventeen years since the day I knew I would be a published author.

It wasn’t a dream. It wasn’t a maybe. It was a fact.

I would make it happen, I just didn’t know how.

Fast forward to today. THE DAY.

Alongside my amazing publisher, I’m beyond thrilled/excited/alittlebitvomity to announce that you can now PREORDER the Kindle version of my novel, Unkept.

And very soon (March 2nd), the PRINT version will be available for purchase!

I’ve been working with an amazing group of women to polish this bad boy right up and make it something worth reading.

And together, I know we have something that will wow the pants right off of you.

Hopefully, you’re wearing underwear.

ABOUT UNKEPT

OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE: March 2, 2015 from Bannerwing Books

AMAZON KINDLE PRE-ORDERhttp://bit.ly/UnkepteBook

GOODREADS LINKhttp://bit.ly/UnkeptOnGoodreads

THE PREMISE: As the live-in manager at her father’s funeral home in Burling Gates, Missouri, Vienna Oaks has succumbed to the mediocrity and abject loneliness of her life. Her days are suspended between the mundane and the misery of her clients’ throttling grief, of changing light bulbs, and encountering strangers as bereft as she. But after orchestrating the funeral for a little boy named Parker prompts a severe panic attack, she finds herself at a personal crossroads in which she is forced to confront the pregnancy she’s been hiding, her childhood nemesis, the boy she never stopped loving, and the deep-seated secret surrounding her mother’s death more than a decade before.

In another part of town, Heather Turnbull has just learned from her estranged father that her mother, a lifelong recluse, has died. When making arrangements for her funeral, Heather chooses Oaks Family Funeral home, where she comes face to face with Vienna – the woman she tortured throughout grade school, the woman who has recently had an affair with her husband.

Together, Vienna and Heather navigate through a makeshift friendship born of
circumstance and devised to assuage their ambivalence towards motherhood and their
tenuous relationship with reality, discovering, in tandem, the art of forgiveness and the
will to go on.

With humor and poignancy, Ericka Clay’s debut novel, Unkept, explores the thorny
landscape of childhood trauma and the ferocious politics between little girls — and the
adults they become.

A GINORMOUS thank you in advance to everyone who reads Unkept and hopefully reviews it. You are my lifeblood, folks. Without you, there would be no words worth writing, so please know this: you are amazing, you are wonderful and you are appreciated more than you know.

Love, glitter and felines,

Ericka Clay

 

What a Writer Is

No coasters, bitches!!!

No coasters, bitches!!!

If you go on Twitter, you already know what a writer is: a fierce, stalking animal that eats words and breathes beautifully wrought sentences.

There are no bathroom breaks, snack breaks, blow your nose into your hanky breaks. There is only you and your computer in a dimly lit room, burning cigarette jammed in your mouth and tumbler full of vodka on your desk, no coaster.

You don’t have time for fucking coasters.

And for a long, long, long time, I too, believed this is what a writer is. In fact, I lamented the fact that I didn’t smoke, and even toyed with the idea of taking it up. Me. Yogi Ericka, enjoying herself a cancer stick.

The absurdity!

It’s part of the reason why I’ve been dialing back my relationship with social media. There is always the picture of what you should be doing and how you should be doing it.

And I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being told what the fuck to do.

So I decided to rethink my life, and in rethinking my life, I’ve started to rethink my writing career. And here are the nuts and bolts of it:

  • I don’t always write, but I’m still a writer. Your brain needs breaks sometimes. Your body needs sleep. Your soul needs friends and good food and time to recalculate. Don’t sacrifice your body for your work because your work will suffer, too.
  • Sometimes a novel needs a little breathing room. I like to think of writing as an art. And I’ve never known an artist to rush their masterpiece. I don’t necessarily link being prolific to being good. And I make it a habit to always choose good over anything else.
  • Guilt can shove a pointed spoon up its arse. You didn’t write today? No worries, my friend. Sucking on that guilt lozenge won’t force the words to come any faster. Trust me.

Listen: do you. Be you. If sucking on cancer sticks, drinking your vodka and banging out words is your thing, then high five my friend and put a bird on it.

But if you exist somewhere outside of the “writer’s box” like little ‘ol me, no sweat. There’s room for you and your beautiful face.

At least I still don’t use coasters, right?

Ericka Gets Real

Here’s the REAL reason I’m changing things up for 2015.

THINGS GET PINTERESTING

Here are the Pinterest boards I mention in the video:

What has fueled you to change?

 

Girl reading a book

Change, Stumble, and Fall

Ericka Unplugged #resolutions

I’m as surprised as you are that I haven’t shaved my head yet.

Change is one of those things that comes easy for me. Too easy.

So I never understood the concept of resolutions because I didn’t need them. I was too spontaneous, too “fly by the seat of my yoga pants,” too “let’s get bangs sober” to even think about planning out my next life step.

And really, I kind of am now.

But that doesn’t mean that this year isn’t big for me.

I turn thirty soon, and there’s a crazy excitement that comes with that number.

I feel like thirty is adulthood on steroids which Type A/super responsible me is majorly thrilled about. I’m also excited because I’ve been feeling this change coming on, a sense of self that is blinding any doubt/regret/guilt that used to overpower me.

I’m Catholic and a mother. Doubt/regret/guilt pretty much courses through my blood stream.

But I’ve decided to put the kabosh on that. Here’s how:

  • Give up Facebook. I’ve officially DELETED (yup, not just deactivated), my account. It was funny how I thought doing this would be the end of the world, but frankly, it’s just the beginning. I no longer have everyone’s lives cluttered in my head, and I don’t have to deal with Facebook’s absurdity, like refusing to take down a graphic dog fighting page I reported because it somehow didn’t violate their Terms of Service. That place is toxic. Ditch it and breathe, my friends.
  • Listen to classical music. I’ve only been listening to classical music here lately, and it’s weird, but I actually feel smarter. It’s probably because Pitbull is nowhere near that station.
  • Infuse yoga into my daily schedule. Seriously, y’all, this shit is addictive. I’ve tried it before, but my relationship never lasted with yoga because I have the attention span of a yorkie. But I found Adriene, and she’s become my new best friend. She doesn’t know it yet, but that’s fine. She’ll be excited about the matching outfits I bought us.
  • Clean eats. We were vegan for about a year and a half around these parts, and I think, for me, that’s the very reason I ditched the whole healthy living thing in the first place. I felt too restricted giving up a major part of my diet, and it brought out my “naughty” side. So this go round, things are different. I’m choosing to infuse more healthy things into my life instead of focusing on taking things out. That being said, I’m lessening my dairy, gluten and alcohol intake, but that’s because these things wreck my body, and I can actually feel that damage. As my new bestie Adriene puts it, find what feels good, and for me, those things don’t.
  • Reading and writing – oh my! I’m cooling the whole “market my writing like a badass” thing to focus more on my ACTUAL writing plus taking the time to read more. It feels wonderful. I’ve also found I have more time for my amazing family now that social media is an occasional thing for me and not the reason I exist. I told you. That shit’s toxic.

So those are the things that I have “resolved” to do to grab my life by the balls and make it fit like a comfy sweater.

My friend, Cristina, calls it “shifting,” and I love that. A shift in perspective.

I know there will be a lot of stumbling and falling along this journey, but I’ll be documenting it here to clear my head and chat with you folks about it. Feel free to talk me down off the ledge, my friends.

Also? Thanks for ingesting my crazy in advance.

So tell me, how will you be shifting your perspective this year?

Turmeric and Coconut Tea

Turmeric and Coconut Tea

I turn thirty this year, which is difficult to digest considering I still don’t know what a 401K is, and I have the face of a fetus:

girl with dog

Told you.

But I started this year with resolutions to change my life for the better for a few reasons:

  1. I have a feeling this is what Oprah would want, and I make it a habit to please Oprah.
  2. I have family and friends I love, and I want to be the best version of me possible for them.
  3. I find that parenting is often best served by example. 

And finally: I love me, so why not prove it?

I’ll be blogging my journey along the way, hopefully giving you inspiration to love yourself as much as possible, too.

Turmeric and Coconut Tea

If you want to do something kind for yourself, I highly suggest detoxing. I’ve been getting my detox on via yoga here lately, and as one of my yogi inspirations, Adriene, puts it, “you’ve got to find what feels good.”

And a tea that cleanses plus is pleasantly sweet? That feels good to me.

Turmeric and Coconut Tea

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp. organic ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. cinammon
  • 1 tsp. raw honey
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • Coconut milk
  • Boiling water

DIRECTIONS

Put all of the ingredients in a mug (except for the coconut milk) and pour boiling water until the cup is filled halfway. Steep for three minutes then add coconut milk until the cup is full.

Stir and drink!

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I’ll even glitter them.