2017 is a wrap!
I’m not sure how I made it through, but I did. To be honest, this was actually the best year I’ve had in such a long time and it consisted of tons of firsts. Here’s my “listacle” of things that happened this year that meant a lot to me, some of which just so happened to also be a first.
In January, I came up with the idea for Bingo Love and embarked on a quest to hire an artist, Jenn St-Onge, and colorist, Joy San.
February is always an important month for me, as it was the month I was brought into this world, but this year it had a significant meaning to me. I announced Bingo Love to the Twitterverse, and the response was extremely overwhelming!
Thirty days later on March 15th, I started my first Kickstarter for Bingo Love. I asked for $19,999 to bring this graphic novel to life and on March 20th, 5 days later, the goal was reached! The Kickstarter ended with a total of $57,148.
I took my first vacation to Orlando, Florida, with my youngest daughter in April. We had a blast at Disney and soaked up all the sun. This trip also signified the first time I got on a plane, since my horrible car accident three years ago which left me permanently disabled.
I attended my first comic con as a guest in artist alley in May. It was so weird being on the opposite side of the table. For years I’ve been a guest or press and now I was being interviewed, because of the amazing reaction to Bingo Love. May also took me on an adventure to sign at Escape Pod Comics for Free Comic Book Day, which ended up with me talking with Donny Cates about Bingo Love, and Donny introduced me to Eric Stephenson at Image Comics.
My youngest daughter graduated in June from middle school. My last baby was entering high school and it was such a surreal moment. She looked so beautiful and I’m pretty sure I was the loudest parent in the auditorium shouting and screaming with pride for my little munchkin. Also, the talks with Image began in June.
My oldest daughter turned 17 in July and she wanted to go to Disney, so we went and had the best time ever. This was her first trip to Florida, plus her first time on a plane. She was super nervous. I totally embarrassed her by telling the stewardess that it was her birthday, so everyone on board sang Happy Birthday to her. HA! She friggin hated me soooo bad, I loved it 😀
August was a rough month for me. It was the 13th anniversary of my son’s passing. I sunk into such a horrible depression, I was thinking about what he would be like as a thirteen year old. I started to imagine our lives together and it was really bad. Like. Bad. Almost admitted myself into a mental institution as I was longing to be with him. I made it through though and attended Flame Con, which was an intense experience. The attendees of this show had me selling out not once, but TWICE! I had to drive back to NJ and pack up more books to sell the next day. I sold out of everything AGAIN the next day. It was friggin surreal. I love this show, I’ll definitely will be back if they have me.
The deal was done in September for Bingo Love to end up at Image Comics and that was such a tearful time. I’ve never experienced anything like this before, something that I created was going to end up at Image Comics for all to read. How is this possible? On top of that, I also signed the papers and received keys for my new home! Goodness, September was such a blissful and overwhelming month.
New York Comic Con is in October and I was in attendance, this time in artist alley! Me. In NYCC, selling my books. What is my life right now? At NYCC, it was finally announced that Image Comics picked up Bingo Love, I even ended up on an Image Comics panel. Whaaaaa????? October also saw me speaking at my first conference. I spoke at the 15th Annual LGBTQA+ College Leadership Conference this year held at William Paterson University. So many young Queer babies in attendance that shared stories, poems, and even sang their hearts out. It was such a beautiful event and I couldn’t believe I was invited to take part and speak to these young minds.
November. The move. The big move. Goodness, it felt weird moving all of my family’s stuff into our new home. For the past xamount of decades, I’ve lived in North Jersey – my children were born in North Jersey and now, we packed up everything to move to South Jersey. Two hours away from everyone – friends, family, medical professionals. It was such a hard move, but so worth it, we love our home and a fresh start was just what my family needed.
I received the biggest delivery in my life to my home – over five thousand books was delivered in December and placed in my garage. BINGO LOVE BOOKS ARRIVED!!!!!! MY BOOK!!! My first book was finally in my hands. I cried so hard. I cried like you wouldn’t believe. It was a dream come true. My books were finally in my home and I started the process of shipping books to 1,950 Kickstarter backers. I can’t even tell you how it felt shipping out the first batch of books to backers, and then seeing the pictures they took of them holding Bingo Love in their hands. Pride. So much pride, honor, and happiness.
I honestly can’t thank everyone enough for their roles in turning 2017 into the best year ever for me. I hope I can bring you more amazing books in 2018! Thanks for believing in me and supporting me.
Happy New Year everyone!!!!