Hard work always pays off, even if hard work means a long haul. When my husband and I married back in 1997, we walked down the isle $70,000 in debt (65% school loans.) Boyd made $30,000 a year while I made slightly more than minimum wage. That's when we got smart, got on a budget, and learned to sacrifice. In our many years of marriage since, we have worked hard to pay off both the debt and various medical bills. I can't say we haven't done stupid (as Dave Ramsey would say.) I can't even say I haven't done it more than once... Okay, I can't even say we haven't experienced a year or two of stupid, but my husband and I have definitely learned and accomplished a lot. This year marks the end of every debt but the house and the house debt will be paid off in the next few. With this blog I hope to share some great tips for living a full life on an empty pocket book.
Besides my experience as a frugalist,I have been a nationally published magazine writer since high school, though my dream has always been to write novels. I also dreamed of motherhood, and that dream came first.
For several years, I wrote occasional articles and published short scripts through Lillenas Publishing House, one of which still emits royalties. I also spoke and acted at various events and conferences. When I thought my family might be ready, I ventured to publishing waters with just one toe: a small Midwestern, but traditional publisher. In October of 2006, my childrens' book Christmas Turtles debuted to five star reviews from the Midwest Book Review as well as newspapers across the country. For several months, I traveled around the Midwest visiting schools and speaking at conferences. That spring, my oldest son was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome so another book did not follow.
Since that time, I have once again focused on motherhood where I mastered the gluten free/dairy free diet and tried out neurofeedback. As a result, my son now excels in both school and social circles. Last year, he landed the role of Pig Pen in the local high school production of Charlie Brown Christmas even though he was only in the fifth grade. He also received two solos in the spring concert.
During the last several years, I have clung to my writers critique group for both mommy moral support and a lifeline to the publishing world. I wrote with abandon and a hope that one day the portfolio would be enjoyed by a greater audience when my kiddos were ready. Without the worry of a writing paycheck hanging over my head, I let my imagination soar and decided to write as I've always wanted to write: fun, action packed sci-fi/fantasy/steampunk novels. I also reviewed for Popsyndicate.com under the name E.M. Effingham where (among other projects) I got to review three seasons of LOST including the finale. I'm also thrilled to work as a librarian for my sons' K-8 school. This combines two passions: my kids and books. I hope to once again go forward with publishing in the near future, but for now I hope that you enjoy my blog.
S.A. Denson is a freelance writer, scriptwriter, reviewer, author, and novelist. She also writes under Sara Ann Denson and E.M. Effingham. Long ago she wrote under Sara Clayton, but that really was a long, long time ago.
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