Yesterday morning, I was standing in the kitchen, looking at the coffee maker. There was no finished coffee in it. Hmm. Jake forgot to set the delay brew? No. Jake set the delay brew wrong? I check it - it's safely set for 6:00. Whyyyyyy is there no coffeeeeee? My brain can't comprehend this. I look at my watch. I look at the coffee pot clock. Why do they say 5?
Jake had set the clock on the alarm an hour early. Woops.
But hey, at least it was another hour of dozing (I didn't quite get back to sleep) that my brain desperately needed.
It's REALLY my last day of work today. I'm packing up the 65% submittals in their mailing envelopes, and then it's over. Really.
I realized last night what a different place I'm in this year than last. At this time last year, I was fighting tooth and nail to get copies of the anthology from Avalon (who'd promised them in June), coloring books from Comixpress (who'd promised them early July) and calendars (which had to be shipped through California). I was in weird limboland with ComiCon (and would be for another five months, which I'm glad I didn't know at the time!) My parents were moving away. We were having money problems, and I was facing 'going back to work' with the dismal stink of failure all over me. Nothing was working out the way it was supposed to, I was defeated and exhausted. I had commitments I wasn't sure I could meet, and promises to me were being disregarded entirely.
This year? A world of difference. I ditched that day job with unholy glee halfway through today, having made enough in the meantime to bolster our savings - and Jake got a retroactive raise, as well! - and am comfortably ensconced in a freelance gig that pays better and requires less hours and is more comfortable, flexible and fun. (I have TWO windows to myself. One of them has a pincher beetle doing death throes in it, but it's still better than no windows in the WHOLE office.) My workload is a relatively dull roar. For me. And the money that EMG makes can stay there to be reinvested, so I'm not feeling like it's bleeding money every time I make a purchase or product upgrade. My EMG work in general has been streamlined, and I've got great staff in place to help me out. I get art time.
I am anticipating the fair with excitement and enthusiasm. I'm not dreading seeing people, I'm looking forward to showing off the new goods! No, the anthology isn't done, but I've got the printer (beautiful professionals!) lined up and a quote in hand that will cut the cover price by 33% from last year, and I'm only waiting on high-res files at this point. I'm not in hellish printer limbo land, and that's a huge improvement. Coloring books are in. One calendar should be here by Wednesday, the other two... I'm honestly not sweating. I've got supply made of all kinds of groovy new products, I've been making extras diligently while filling wholesale orders and processing pre-orders. I've upgraded my packaging and display racks. I can't WAIT to show off the booth and dress up and put in my contacts and wear makeup and rock the saleslady gig.