After a long wait of trying to reformat the softcover version of my memoir: The Upbringing that Encircles Me, finally I succeeded!
I had originally published the softcover version in late December of 2018 on Amazon using KDP, but as it turned out upon arrival, the proof copy, it had NOT formatted properly. I had to unpublish the softcover version. What looked good online did not look good as a hard copy!
With the recovery from my concussion and frozen left shoulder, doing so got put to the side for a few months as computer time, reading, and writing were all limited.
NOW after spending the last few weeks as I was able to, I reformatted the softcover version and I finally succeeded! What a sense of accomplishment! I spoke with other published authors who were all self-published and they all provided advice and told me about various programs they used from Microsoft Word, to Apace Open office along with advice to use KDP’s template. When I tried to do so; KDP brought me to another screen and the Doxillon program stating I had to pay to download the template! Either $19.99 or $24.99 USD.
I knew there had to be a free way and I finally found it and highly recommend the Reedsy program. You create a profile and begin writing your book or copying and pasting which I did from Apache Open Office. I can choose to download a pdf, epub or mobi version of my manuscript, along with the ability to save a docx version that is editable.
Pretty easy to use and I recommend it!
So, I uploaded the pdf version of my manuscript in the size I wanted without having to worry about adjusting margins, gutters or headers. All of these recommended margin, gutter and header sizes were causing me nothing but issues, hence my manuscript not formatting correctly. I choose a 5.5″ by 8.5″ Reedsy manuscript size to go into a 6″ by 9″ KDP book size-problems solved!
I await the proof copy of my softcover which will arrive to me in Montreal in about 2 weeks. If all is good; the soft cover version will go live and I can begin promoting it!
At $12 USD it is a reasonable price for a memoir.
So, what is my memoir about?
Life deals us ‘a bad deck of cards’ sometimes and I have had more than my share of ‘bad decks’ over the years, but I always bounce back, put all into perspective, and move forward. I provide examples of how I moved on. Sometimes bad things happen to good people much like the ‘bad deck of cards’ analogy.
Just as things start getting better another negative card was thrown my way, so again-roll with it or succumb? I chose roll with it and see all as a learning opportunity. Topics of: moving to Canada, marriage, changing religions, children, miscarriages, death, divorce, co-parenting, dating, second marriage, blended family, and launching a business are discussed.
The book is inspirational and shows how one can choose to fail or succeed. Life is about choices and sometimes things are outside of our control. Roll with it and stay positive and you will succeed!
Being on your own after being with a spouse for 13 years and together as a couple for four years before that is not easy. Seventeen years off the market. You have to learn and adjust to being alone. When you have the kids every other week-you spend a week alone and have to fill the time. In the beginning, I was busy with furnishing the apartment and adjusting. I was also working 3 days a week and busy writing a book with a co-author. Thank you for that book as it filled my time and kept me busy! When I had nothing else to do, I wrote, edited, and searched for professionals to contribute chapters to the book.
I joined a few online dating sites as I just wanted to meet someone to go to the movies with, for coffee, to talk to. I just wanted companionship. I avoided the typical Jewish dating sites in Montreal since I work in the Jewish community and chose another.
When you separate, you learn very quickly who your real friends are. Most of ‘our’ friends disappeared from my life. I had a few sets and individuals that remained in contact with both of us because our kids were friends and they are still in my life today. Most dropped me from their life very quickly. In reality they were his friends. I chose not to ask why. Why bother?
I made new friends, I found new activities, and hobbies. I learned to like myself again, I grew as a person both personally and professionally. I learned all sorts of things as I was living on my own with my family being 4-6 hours away from me in the states, I had no choice.
Yes, I was in debt and struggling, but I got through it. I started to work 4 days a week at my job while continuing to write the book. I got a few side jobs making not much, but enough to get by.
But single parenthood was not easy especially when I had no family of my own in town for back-up. Fortunately, I had a few good friends that I could call upon if needed. And I had to on occasion-like when I had moved out and been on my own maybe a week and I got very sick with what I think was food poisoning. The girls were with me and I was so sick I could not take them to school. Also, I had to go downtown as part of the child custody process and attend this parenting class. I brought the girls to a friend of mine who took them out for dinner and then back to her place to hang out. At ages 12 and 8, I could not leave them alone at night for 5 hours.
I consider myself blessed to have some good friends who stepped in and helped me as they could. Sometimes friends become family.
So, back to the dating…I dated and that was interesting, especially as I had been out of the dating scene for seventeen years! I have to say I was pretty lucky to meet nice men through online dating. I have heard horror stories. My friends were all married or in long term relationships. The few who were single had horrible experiences with online dating. I do not do the bar scene and I did not want to just put myself out there and join a gym hoping to meet someone or do speed dating. I am a walk, cycle, hike kind of gal. Throw in some snowshoeing and skating in the winter and it covers all the seasons here in Canada.
I took matters into my own hands and put a profile up and the rest is history. But I made my profile real and honest. My kids came first and whomever I dated would know that and had to accept that. I had great conversations, coffee, and ice cream out.
I chatted online with a few different men for some time and surprisingly they were all nice! We talked about family, kids, work, our lives, and interests. In the beginning I was chatting with 3-4 men and again it was seeking friendship. Only after quite some time online chatting and when I felt comfortable enough did I give out my phone number so we could speak by phone.
One man whom I very much would have liked to meet felt I was too newly separated from my husband. I was shocked! He suggested we just chat online for a bit. He seemed to only be seeking friendship. He was a teacher, French his first language, but he knew and wrote English fairly well. He was quite handsome too!
How to explain while I separated from my husband only a few months ago, in reality I left him emotionally months before.
I moved on and chatted with a few more men; one an Italian who was helping to raise his nephew. I was impressed. We spoke for hours, but never got around to meeting as our schedules did not click.
Next, my first date at Dairy Queen. I was so nervous and this man had shared custody of his kids like me, owned a house, and worked as a massage therapist. I felt out of my league! I rented a small apartment, had a car, worked part-time, but definitely was not in his league financially. He was nice, handsome, but I realized by going out with him on that date I was not quite ready to date yet. I felt awkward and out of the loop. He wanted to see me again and I had to apologize and say I was not ready to date yet. In reality I did not click with him. He was French Canadian and too different from me.
Start chatting with another man, closer in age to me, never married and no kids. But he had a few cats and a dog, so he loved animals. That was a plus. Again, someone I spoke for hours to about all sorts of things. He worked two jobs, the second involving animal rescue- what was not to like! We met and dated a few weeks, but he was not totally honest with me. He should not have been dating a woman with kids.
And then by fluke I came across this profile photo of my now husband sitting in front of a billiards table. He was good looking, wore glasses, and according to his profile was a bit younger than me! Hmmm… He had a son and he worked in renovation work. Hmmm… an intelligent looking man who worked with his hands for a living. He was Jewish; Israeli actually. Okay, the other men I chatted with and met were all non-Jewish. I sent the interested request!
He responded back and we began chatting online! He was quick in wanting to exchange phone numbers, but I was not since I was recently burnt by the man who said he likes kids and understood I put them first, but in reality wanted a woman with no attachments.
His photo drew me in as he was sitting in front of a billiards table. My brother had a pool table in the house when we were growing up and it was a great way to pass the time with friends. I have fond memories of going to bars and billiards halls with friends drinking an ice cold beer.
Turns out that pool table my now husband was posed in front of was at an art studio that he spent quite a bit of time at visiting with his friend who is an artist and a rabbi.
He told me he took that photo on a whim one day when he was there and set it as his profile photo. I see it as bashert as the Jewish expression goes. It was meant to be as it led us to each other.
We connected right away. We went on our first date after chatting with each other for a bit on the dating site-I insisted. I would not give out my number until I felt comfortable. He agreed. Eventually we spoke by phone daily and for hours and I saw him only when I did not have the kids with me. We spoke every evening. We texted regularly…