This is isn’t one of my regular posts, it’s more personal, so bear with me…I promised a blog on turning 50, so it’s finally here.
Saturday, October 5th, I’ll be 51. Where did the time go? Like super-fast, gone. My nieces and nephews are all driving, graduating high school, and a few of them are out of college with jobs. I remember them in diapers. Songs that came out in 1980 are going to be forty years old next year in 2020. WTF? How did that happen, lol?
Okay, so beyond that shock, how do I FEEL about being 50? Well, pretty good. And I’m glad I waited to write this until now, because this past year was a game changer in so many ways.
First of all, I’m just grateful to be alive. Six years ago I almost died due to a herniated umbilical that went south really quick. I was fortunate to be healthy in almost every other aspect (except weight, which I’ll get to in a bit). And oddly enough, after the initial panic of discovering I could’ve been dead in two weeks, I was good (that blog about that adventure which is NSFW, is here https://mysteampunkproject.wordpress.com/tag/herniated-umbilical/). My professional life was hell, and I just ended a relationship, but I was on my way to where I am now.
Plus, at that point, I’d been battle tested after my mom died in 2005 after a long struggle with MS. I was already in professional hell at that job then too. My biggest supporter was gone. Within a few weeks of her passing, I fell and sprained my arm in a freak bowling accident. A few months later, I had a car accident. And within a few days of the accident, my first bunny died. I missed my mom like hell. A couple months later, I fell down some stairs and sprained an ankle. It was probably the worst 6 months of my life. I figured, if I could make it through all of that, shit, I was golden. Again, part of the journey.
By June 2006, I finally had some elective surgery that took care of problems I’d had since my teens: a tonsillectomy, removal of my uvula, and fixing of my deviated septums. No more CPAP for obstructive sleep apnea and getting sick every couple months with upper respiratory problems. Still on my way.
And I remember to be grateful to have made it this far. Over two years ago, my old sister passed, just like my mom, from MS. And again, a few months later I lost another bunny. OK God, I see the pattern here. Time to break it.
The awareness is there. LIVE, LIVE, LIVE, in hyper reality. A steampunk friend wasn’t feeling well at a steampunk convention over Labor Day last year, 2018. She got super sick. Just after the holidays she had terminal cancer. And on that same day, I found out another artist/musician friend had terminal cancer too. Friend one died by summertime. Friend two is still in the fight, but has embraced hospice care. Both only in their very early 50’s. I only wish I could be that brave to face the end with the dignity they have demonstrated. My assistant (at one of the horrible jobs) was well on her way to acting/modeling success, preparing for a move to Atlanta, when she died suddenly in a car accident at 28. LIVE, LIVE, LIVE.
I have been uncoupled from a steady relationship for over five years. I was grateful for it but I’ve stumbled around like an awkward teen in the dating pool since then. Plus, no less than five of my friends have gone through divorces. One of my besties had cancer AND a divorce. The 40’s were not kind to us with romantic hearts. But I know who I am and what I want, and I absolutely will not settle. I don’t need a white knight; I need a true hero of my heart. One that supports my art, because art and writing are my children. They’re needy, demanding, sad, fun, and exhilarating. And I won’t give them up. I want to create until I die. I may be a romantic fool, but I’m too old to fall for bullshit.
I’m on a trajectory that I’ve busted my ass for over the last five years. When I said goodbye to corporate America, I meant it. Do I miss benefits and a good sized paycheck? Yes. Do I miss the trauma of competitive backstabbing assholes? Oh, hell no.
Letting go has, ironically, helped me get a grip. Not that I still don’t worry about money. I had PSTD-like anxiety after working in one of those places that went to hell in a handbasket and wasn’t paying me on time anyway. That’s almost gone. Again, I lived through that. Done. Move on. I promised myself that within five years of getting outside of that insidious bubble to get some measurement of success. I got on St. Louis Magazine’s A-List in the reader’s choice for author this year. That was enough of a sign and encouragement to spur me onto the next successes. I’ve done some awesome public art projects since 2010 too.
I have two part-time dream “day jobs” that aren’t just for money. I get fed culturally every day. And both are Victorian era institutions, so my imagination is in overdrive mode with new steampunk storylines entering my head continuously. Living on the grounds of one of these lovely spaces is pure bliss. The move from my former apartment was pretty much hell, and there’s been a few bumps on the learning curve, but I don’t miss 9 to 5 at all.
With all this inspiration, it’s time to broaden the horizons. My books will be on Kobo by late November and other platforms including Google Books and iBooks shortly after. The folks at Kobo have really thrown their support behind me, and I look forward to what this expansion will bring.
I’m leaner. Before I’d had that emergency hernia surgery, I was already down about thirty pounds after being morbidly obese. I’ve shown people pics of that time over ten years ago; they don’t believe it was me. And once I had that life-saving procedure, I’ve been on that good downward spiral of weight loss, nearing the hundred pound mark. That’s like, an older kid. Shit, there are still times I’m in shock. I’m back to regular workouts and mowing the lawn no longer kicks my ass. Recently I pulled clothes out of storage from almost twenty years ago. Normally, I’m in Frozen “Let It Go” mode, but I bought all kinds of dress clothes from those “slave to the day job” days. Now they fit and I’m still ecstatic. So I keep going. I look forward to when these pieces become too big for me to wear. Slow and steady wins the race.
I’m a survivor. Not a big fan of that show, but I like the idea of simply outlasting everyone. When we had to run in gym as kids, or when I played soccer in my teens, I never had speed, but I always had endurance. And so I endure. I exist. I create. I do it for me, but I’m happy that you’re here with me, along for the ride. So get in, we’ve got places to go, people to see. Fifty is just a mile marker.
As always, thank you for reading,
- Book/story releases to be announced including, Will the vampire returns in “The Body Farm” and “Sundown”.
- Coloring books and Lafayette to London are coming in 2020
- Two new Steampunk series and more historical fiction coming in 2020.
More Information: -If you would like to be on my newsletter list, please message me your email. The newsletter goes out 10-12 times a year. That’s it. No daily spam.
BOOKS – all my books are on Amazon However, I am going to have my whole catalog on Kobo soon. Migration will begin in late November! If you have any of my FREE books on Amazon, you’ll want to read them NOW before they are gone. amazon.com/author/victorial.szulc Steampunk!!!
My First Young Adult Book “A Dream of Emerald Skies” is here!!! A Dream of Emerald Skies: The Young Society Series, v.1 https://www.amazon.com/dp/168878019X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_tiYBDbAT93VTC Emerald is in the Amazon UK Storytellers Competition and up for review on Amazon Originals, if you read it, I would love it if you would review it and share it.
The Kicho is here! The Kicho: The Dolls of Society Series, v.1 https://www.amazon.com/dp/173159075X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_V2wlCbQR04GN6
The first Society Series continues on Amazon/Kindle! -“Strax and the Widow”-And so the Discussion began…Strax is a weird west steampunk adventure. The Lady has arrived at her destination. See where that place is. -“Revenge and Machinery”-the Strax sequel is full of intrigue, action, romance, mystery. and the spinoff of “Strax and the Widow”. -“A Long Reign”-A Society Series spin off, Amazon UK Storytellers competition semi finalist and bestseller. A darker side of Steampunk.
Vampires!! -A vampire collection “The First Ten Bites” is on Amazon/kindle: The First Ten Bites, Black and White Edition: The Vampire’s Little Black Book Series, v. 1-10 https://www.amazon.com/dp/1978093241/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_kzm4zb0KAZABG ALL my written works are here, my amazon author page: amazon.com/author/victorial.szulc
Dogs!-A Book of Sleepy Dogs is also available on Amazon. Great for the pooch lovers!
Social and Media Links! -Like on Facebook-The Countess, Official Fanpage of Victoria L. Szulc -Follow on Twitter-@TheCountessSP https://mobile.twitter.com/thecountesssp -YouTube-The SP Countess, link to one of my videos here: https://youtu.be/jEz9QSInhWg -On Pinterest-Victoria Szulc (nee Schultz) -Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/steampunkcountess/ -Tumblr-thesteampunkcountess -goodreads-Victoria Szulc -Amazon-amazon.com/author/victorial.szulc
SHOPS!-note if you see ANY item on social media, please don’t hesitate to contact me about purchasing. DM me please through whatever media you are using.
I have most of my steampunk and gothic items in the Boo-Tique at Haunted STL Tours. NOTE: I am having a HUGE sale there in October 2019. This is a physical brick and mortar shop you can walk into. Hours and information at HauntedSTLTours.com-My squareup store is open! Here is the link: https://squareup.com/store/haute-hen-countess-Etsy: NOTE if you see something you like, get it ASAP, I do not have an exact date of when I’ll be closing the Etsy store. http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheHauteHen -DPOP: thesteampunkcountess
-Fine Art America-store coming soon