Living Truthfully Within

starlight1

Active member
Oh and if you want to follow my writing you can join my FB group for poly authors (if that's something you do as well) pm me for that info and i'll send it your way. We're a pretty tight nit group of women identifying only, (trans/ nonbinary are welcome too).

And I forgot to post some of my book covers! All these are available as premades. Yes I'm shamelessly plugging myself, but hell after everything that's happened in my life the least that could happen a slap on the wrist for trying to be positive about myself and future lol.

Link to private Facebook group for people to follow my book covers: Book Covers by Nicole Lane Studio
 

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starlight1

Active member
For the first time in a long time I might actually have some potential poly news?

Early days. Gabriel (A man I dated brief in 2017) contacted me about writing. Although at this point we are platonic, I can't deny there's interest floating around. Odd since I haven't been interested in men in a long time. Or anyone for that matter. Not since Ariel. He's interested in being a writing assistance having seen my call out here. I'd completely forgotten I'd shared my blog with him. :) It was nice to touch base again. He's doing really well with a healthy long term relationship and stable career. We both seem like healthier happier people now than when we met back then. We both interesting have written books- and he's very good at editing so I'm excited to bounce idea around with him and be friends/critique partners.

I can't do the whole "Not mattering to people" thing again. And I said that upfront. So I'm going to just sit with it. We'll see where it goes.

As for me, I now have 3- count that- 3 jobs.

1) my freelance art and writing
2)a job on a website hiring me as a book cover artist
3)my writing job with radish

Between the passive income on the first and last two with writing, and the money I make for commissions I'm in a place to be financially independent and completely off assistance within a year or two. The book is getting a lot of traction, considering I've done it out of nowhere. And I'm putting my fingers into a lot of pies in the mean time.

I also have an actual support network again.
1) my therapist
2) my best online friend and critique partner (she doesn't have a name yet)
3) tentatively Gabriel as another critique partner
4) and my larger group of authors for RH/Poly/Whychoose I run. Which is fabulous. It's about 30 women from all over the world, from well known names to indie brilliants.
5) reconnected some with IrishCoffee too, she is doing well (trans m to f).
6) close relationship with my oldest child now (non binary now) ShootingStar, working on younger Rosebud.
7)things are good and clam with N mum, and stepdad, brother, and grandma. brother is coming in from out of town to visit and we have plans to spend the holidays with him. Fur babies are good too and also a constant loving presence.

I'm feeling good about the people I have built up around me from the ashes of my life.
 

starlight1

Active member
I'm so happy. My sales on my book are going well, I'm editing book 2. Book three is rumbling around in the outlining phase (not coming out till probably sometime mid/late 2022). And my artwork is taking off!
I had a great time with my brother out here, and I've managed to get 2 more commissions since my last post on here. Plus I am diversifying to quite a few markets. :) Patreon. NSFW on a pen name (art), and selling abstract wall art bundles. And also looking into NFTS so my art isn't stolen.

I am excited about 2022!
 

starlight1

Active member
I've been dating again for the first time in ages, not with Gabriel who I mentioned before but we are loosely friends still...and I think my lack of liking men was a lot of trauma based stuff. I've been working with a therapist for a little over 6 months now, and we've dug deep and I am feeling better about myself than I ever have. The new guy I will give the name of....Arbor. Since he works as a landscaper and arborist.

I'm so freaking happy.

So Arbor is the man I've been dating for a little while now and we just became socially official (facebook, meeting each others families) AND who is fine with me dating women!

I also have a potential woman LDR, that is someone I really jive with. Her nickname will be Leona. She's definitely interested in poly and women too, and I confessed my feelings to her and she said she had feelings for me too. And now we are kind of flirting together. She is a really successful romantic fantasy author who is married. I actually have her as a core member of my group I run. We only just confessed feels after knowing each other almost a year online and being basically best friends first. We talk almost every day, and a few times a week on video/voice.

Who knew that writing would be the way to meet women? But holy cow is it a good way to meet the Sapphic ladies! Just letting you all know if you wanna meet women join writing/reading groups in romance. Yup! Lots of bi, pan, lesbian ladies there.

So a little about each person. My boyfriend is tall, a little younger than me by about 6 years, and such a gentle giant. He has the highest emotional IQ I've seen in a man since Rocky. With out all the commitaphobe issues. I still miss Rocky, but it's more like, the memory of him rather than himself. He was a good guy for the most part. And I learnt a LOT from him.

So many more things gel for me with this new dude, 1) he doesn't want kids at all, but likes kids. He just doesn't want kids because it's a personal life choice and the economy etc. He comes from a poor county in the USA and that caused some issues around wanting to raise kids in an environment with meth etc. We talked a lot about all this because we're both teetotal on drugs because he had a druggy mother. He's done and doing the work on himself like me, I found out he's an INFP, and I'm ENFP) Sooo, we actually work out really well that way! He's very "effeminate" in many of his features, expressions, thoughts, mannerisms etc. (Gender is such a strange thing.- a topic for another time.)
I'm totally chill with his "one penis policy" because 1) its normal with a person who's never been with someone poly, and 2) I am quite happy to be with just one penis. It was an easy compromise seeing as I wasn't sure I wanted *any* penises ever again. He says he's monagamous so that might have its own issues later, but right now it's ok. We're fine with the mono-poly life. Especially since my health stops me from having more than 2 lovers anyway, and besides anymore than that and I can't get my writing and art careers done. So really he is a very patient and understanding dude about a lot of my down time needs, and his introverted ways make it really easy to write or do art with him in the same room and he's happy as a clam. I met him on an online game, and we kept conversing for a few months before we started talking on voice then progressed to dating, then meeting up etc, so it's not felt scary. And the one time it did, when I hadn't really told him about Leona yet, he knew something was up (that high intuition) and we then hashed it out, with the encouragement of my therapist.

Though hash it out sounds like there was an argument, it was more like, a blubbering mess on my side, he thought about it for a bit, then came back to me and said "There's nothing about you Star that you have told me that makes me love you any less." And well, that just made my heart melt.

Leona - is a strong willed business woman with a witty sense of humor, highly intelligent, pagan, and absolutely stunningly gorgeous. She is 2 years younger than me, and we literally never run out of things to talk about. She is a proud person and doesn't like to ask for help a lot, I take a little bit of an assertive role with her letting her let down her hair and make sure she's taking care of herself since she tends to put herself last. She takes care of a few people and fur babies in her life. We have a lot of laughs together about stuff, and often work on our books together. We hash out ways to promote, improve the group, improve our respective lives etc. She like myself struggled with self confidence and weight in the past and so is totally into me regardless my weight; while at the same time supporting each other in healthy goals. Her family is from the same part of the world as my bf's ironcally. It's like I finally found my tribe.

So I'm finally, for the first time getting 1) committed serious relationship prospects[Arbor seeming to be on a sort of escalator track, minus possible marriage and kids and maybe living next to each other or possibly with each other/ and Leon being a LDR. I don't know if we'll ever be more I'd probably have to move near her to make it work if I did down the road and I don't know if I'd do that. We still haven't met in person yet so this one is a lot more uncertain practically outside of our community.], and 2) a balanced healthy approach to polyamory: 1 man and and 1 woman, both approached through friendship first.

I think this is it for me for now; not looking for anymore. :) Not like when I was a kid in a candy store back in England lol.

Ok, back to work stuff: Book two is with Beta readers right now and will be ready soon. I thought I'd have it finished sooner but my author artwork and personal commissions took off and I had to alternate between both careers the last two months while I decided which one I wanted to focus on full time. (That just blew my mind!) But; I think I've settled on writing full time vs. art full time since the writing has the better potential to make a better life later on.

Also; I'm out and proud of social medias etc. as "open relationship/polyamorous." I'm in a really good place right now and I'm so grateful for this forums over the years to watch all your journey's even when I'm not around. And to have a safe space to return to. The world sure has changed from when I started out here in 2009! I can't believe I've been around here over 10 years and only *JUST NOW* feeling safe and good enough in myself to create healthy poly relationships and commitments openly and honestly. Jeez what a journey its been.
I have been so discouraged and confused about my sexuality because of trauma for the last few years. And my heart being utterly crushed by Rocky. However, I am really proud to say that I'm finally almost completely over him, and I even have greater geniune self-worth I was lacking and seeking form outside sources back when I knew him.

Bring on the second half of 2022! Another update will probably happen closer to book release day, and if anything progresses with Leona. :)Audiobookfile500x500jpg.jpg
And my most recent cover I did. Check out the full cover here: https://yourbookcover.art
 
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starlight1

Active member
Just a quick edit that I can't go back to do, back in 2020/2021, I was in a queue to get a local psychologist but that was delayed because of pandemic. So I had a psychiatrist. (For meds) and a support worker, but hadn't yet started talky therapy (although I saw, and still see the psychiatrist every three months and she stepped in, in a quasi fashion for a little while.)

The combination of psychiatrist (meds) plus a therapist (talky talking) I truly can trust, (Julia), has been just incredible. Up until a month ago we were meeting every single week and it's finally calmed down to every other week. And will be going forward until I've dealt with my shame / guilt patterns.

Honestly, finding a good therapist that I can get along with, almost compares to my dating record. I had some truly horrid therapists in the past looking back on it, and this one is so supportive of everything about me. :)
 

starlight1

Active member
Arbor is coming out to visit at the end of this month.

Also, I now have standing girly night with Leona now, and

my Author/ writing tribe is solidifying and growing.

I'm really happy. :)
 

JaneQSmythe

Well-known member

starlight1

Active member
Yay!!! HAPPYYY!!!
So glad to here that things are coming together for you so well!
JaneQ
Thanks JaneQ :) Yeah, it really helps to have the right meds/therapist and to really work on ones self. I hope things are going well for you too?
 

starlight1

Active member
Update:

I am becoming a virtual leader. All those skills I learned in gaming I'm turning into the work world, its transitioning really well! I now only game with my BF Arbor on a really casual basis on our date nights. We do virtual board games mostly. Or talk. Sometimes he even helps me with work.

Tonight he met my "book boyfriends." lol.

As far as how my group is led, its mostly run through discord and facebook.


- I have 3 moderators,
- 1 Nanowrimo event organizer,
- 2 USA sprint organizers (tuesday nights),
- and 2 UK/EU sprint organizers on Monday (mornings usa and evening GMT).

The different people alternate weeks so no one is overwhelmed. the sprints to clarify are sessions ranging from 10mins - 1hr where people write together and either talk or type in the discord. Some really prefer the Pomodoro method, (25min writing, 10 mins breaks) and others prefer longer more structured sprints.

In fact, the hardest part of doing all this was getting the ball rolling. It took about 6 months for it to be more than just me and Leona lol.

But now that it is, I mostly just oversee what everyone else does in a casual way. I could probably step away completely and the whole group would run it's self both on FB and Discord.

I'm now expanding further.

I have 250 newsletter people, I am testing out three different editors to see which one jives with me. I have a team for 10 beta / arc readers (people who help with developmental and plot based edits, then help me with promoting, cheering on, reviewing etc. my books.)

The two most exciting things I'm running right now is a once a month book club, and a Poly/RH/Whychoose monster anthology; ranging from sweet to spicy. The Monster Anthology will be out in Valentine's 2023. Promo for event I created:

Monster Anthology Facebook Post small.png


The further delegation of offloading the FB posts, and sprints sessions each week, has helped me clear up time to focus on these events. I work most days for 4 hours at time, with some variation. I keep track of this on a google spread sheet that helps me track my words per hour, but also my energy and focus levels for my M.E.

A really fantastic day is 6 hours of work. A bad day is 1-2. Or sleeping the day to catch up on rest. I take wednesdays and sundays off completely.
I alternate with my mother on elder care, I generally oversee the night time elder care and she takes over in day time till 7pm. That's working for us so far. She has been doing dinners, brigning them over, and I do dishes so she can have a relatively clean kitch most the time now, since she is horrid at cleaning up after herself and I avoid going over there to eat, because I cant physically stand going into a messy house. Ick. At least not (this type of messy)- its not a few piles or laundry and forgotten books, no its pee stained floors where they havent taken their old dogs outside.

But I digress.

As far as my art career is going. I also have some exciting developments!

I got a like and follow from *julia freaking garner* for my speed painting of her I did a few months ago. That made my post go viral; which is why I've started transitioning my art skills to pushing my books. A viral video will probably net 0 book over clients, I still have to source book cover clients like I have any other visual art: word of mouth. I won't be sharing my tiktok because each tiktok requires me to market towards specific markets- so I've learnt that trick in 20booksto50k group. :)

But, having said that, it does mean I can take what I have learnt on tiktok from art, and transpose it to my books. A viral booktok post can net me a lot of money, enough that I can start seeing the end of dependency on the horizon. Between book two coming out soon, and the anthology, I'm super excited about the prospect of generating leads to KU/ Zon, etc.

I forgot to mention that in 2020-2021 I took a digital course (self taught) very casually for the entire year learning how to digitally do art. And I'm still doing repeat client work for those who seek me out, mostly. I have one book cover to complete by June, and a few smaller NSFW pieces from people who follow me on my art discord. Oh yeah, managing all these socials is kind of annoying. One day i hope to not just hire and editor but a social media manager. Jeez I'd be so much more productive if I didn't have to do the socials stuff. Honestly, to get any work done, I unplug myself entirely from online stuff.

I've even had to train Arbor to only have a date night three times a week so I could get work done. (He's taking it well, I'd do less but we're in honeymoon phase still, so it's alright. Plus most the dates actually include some brainstorming and problem solving on my books, win win.- he's pretty creative and if I can get him onboard with my writing and we duo the crap out of this, it'd speed up the process of future income by quite a bit.

Let's see in terms of pandemic stuff, my grandma and I both had covid a few months back (despite shots and boosters), and now she's been fighting and on and off cold/flu like stuff ever since. I recovered, but her energy levels decreased and so I am doing more elder care than before.
I look forward to the near future when Arbor is local, I really could use the extra set of hands once in awhile. We're aiming for him moving here in approx. 8 months, his next trip out is actually to do job hunting, now that he's saved up stuff for moving etc.

And as for me, I'm grey rocking the shit out of any drama with my mother, and anyone else in my groups who are even remotely like her.
I'm also enjoying my relationship with Arbor a lot.

One person at a time, instead of multiple dating is a lot more sensible, but I always seem to meet people in packs? Or realize I have feels around the same time. However, this time it seems to be ok. I get wonderful girly time with Leona in a loving healthy way, and then I also get the reliability of a solid committed planning-goal orientated relationship.

Ah, life is good.

One of our future trips together, Arbor and I, we're planning on going to Thailand. I think a few weeks on a beach will do me wonders. He may not stay the entire time, but I would. And I am hoping that I can plan it so that I spend some time with Arbor there, then invite Leona out to do some writing together and really spend one on one time away from all her crazy work stuff, in a comet capacity I think we could really work long term.
 
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starlight1

Active member
Only a few short days and I have a whole week with Arbor. So freaking excited. I need a break so bad I can't stand it. Life has been caring, work, caring, work, caring, work, sleep, and rinse wash repeat. It will be amazing to do some fun things together and spend time away from normal day to day life.

Anthology is ramping up, I'm doing a 40k story set in the same universe I'm currently writing in, and its going to be a little different. From the perspective of three bi men in a triad who meet a mysterious woman/snake shifter. So it's still following some RH tropes, but also subverting them some too. I'm also writing a FFF romance, and a silly PNR comedy humor romance for Radish.

What else...
I'm seeing a way past and through this housing situation too. I'm thinking I just save up and 1) buy out my mother and flip the house; or 2) give over my name and move in with Arbor and save up for my own and let them do whatever.

Either way I need to detangle myself from the N-mom and stop thinking this place and her is my ONLY salvation. It isn't. Maybe it was a few years ago, but I have a PARTNER now, AND a CAREER.

And I really don't want the fight she'd put up with me for it. Even if she's horrible at money, and horrible at finances, and has no credit to even own a place, and whatever, its not my problem once I move. And at least I won't be tied down here or her anymore. 3 years until d-day with that. Doing everything I can to make as many books as possible before then.

In light of economic situations world wide Arbor and I have been having serious talks about no kids, he's even willing to get snipped. Pretty happy about this because then I can finally stop using a copper coil. Maybe my ME is even related to it? Got it put in 2011, got diagnosed with ME 2012....seems suspicious timing.

These are all small mercies. I grieve for the mothers and formula; and I cannot produce enough milk for any kids, I had big issues with this when I was younger. My first child threw up traditional milk / breast milk and had to be on soy. And my second my breast milk dried up too soon.

It happens sometimes, even with lactation specialists.

Anyways, I wish I could help those women more. :(

While at the same time being grateful I think I'm hitting peri menopause, and have a completely supportive partner. No period for 6 months now. 6 more and I can call it menopause for real. I'm seeing a doctor at the end of the month about it because I'm worried about my bone density and having the possible BARCA gene in family- should I even go on hormones? who knows.

This came out super depressing at the end but it really isn't. I'm happy. I'm healthy-ish. I have great people in my life now, and I'm rebuilding in a healthy way. Most importantly I am mentally stable and on the right meds and taking care of all my physical/mental needs FIRST then dealing with the rest. AND I'm letting go of the deep buried guilt and shame.
 
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