Let’s Keep This Going

I got my first Valentine’s Day present:

I say first, because Batman said he’s getting me several things, and if this where the bar has been set, then I’m ready to go. Let’s do this Valentine’s Day. (I should note, I have literally *nothing* planned to give to him because unlike him, I am not straying from the no-gifts-other-than-maybe-the-good-chocolate rule that we’ve been respecting for almost a decade now.) But he surprised me with these, and I have to say, I’m in love. (I should also note, I’ve already left them at a friend’s house after modeling them, so do with that information as you will.)

I came very close to missing this post because I kept putting it off, but I only did that because I’m busy rewriting like a MOFO, since once of my beta readers made a comment that caused an absolute epiphany on what I’m doing wrong with my story—and what I could be doing better. So, if you’re one of the few who’ve read my “first draft” of my *still untitled story* my apologies. You were not given the real story, and for that, I will banish my house elf.

The bones are still there, but I’m practically rewriting a majority of the story. But hey, that’s the process. Sometimes you need a little feedback to know you’re been looking at something all wrong. And no, this wasn’t just one comment and magically, I bent the knee to her suggestions. Writers (should) take all critiques with a grain of salt, but this was something echoing in my head that turned into a scream once she brought it up. Even though I don’t have a clear vision of exactly how everything will happen, that doesn’t stop a panster. I’ll figure it out. And I have been, because I’ve already written the first eight chapters, including new POVs.

Yeah, 2021. Let’s keep going, baby. I have my handerpants, a better angle on writing my untitled book, and a new job I’m starting on Monday. Ah, it shall be nice to receive a paycheck again whilst contributing to society, although I feel like I do that every time I walk into Walmart.

This is going to be a good year, guys. I can feel it. And in case you’re wondering (which I know you are) my first newsletter went out without a hitch, meaning—and I can’t stress this enough—I’m not completely stupid with technical things. Still stupid, but I’ll give myself a break since I only went through two or three glasses of wine trying to set up Mailerlite—and it worked!

If you want to sign up, there should be a pop-up at some point. But if that doesn’t happen, let me know and I’ll add you manually, because, I know how to do that.

*dusts off shoulder*

Well, I’m done being lame for today, so until we meet next Wednesday for the IWSG post, enjoy your weekend! I will be, as it shall be my last one before returning to the work force.

God help me.

~ Lady Caitlin Signing off

More Similarities Than Differences

Before we go any further, there’s something I have to say:

Happy eleventh birthday to my only but *favorite* nephew. You are weird as hell, and you annoy the crap out of my sister (like I use to) so please never-ever change. Even when people call you out for being animated and different, remind them that Robin Williams and Eddie Murphy and Jim Carey exist(ed), and then tell them to go fuck off (when you’re old enough).

I’m going to keep this post short because 1) Here comes Wednesday again, sneaking up like it always does, ninja-ing its way out of nowhere after Sunday, and as I’m writing this, it’s already Tuesday night, so there’s not a lot of brain functioning left and 2) I’m like 99% sure nobody cares about this post since it’s the inauguration, and most don’t come here for my political commentary. Which is good, because it’s not really my thing, especially since I believe George Orwell knew what the hell he was talking about. That should tell you everything you need to know on where I stand, and why I don’t post certain thoughts (you know, just in case they’re the wrong ones) because that is the terrifying society we live in today, folks.

Short post. No political thoughts contributed (sans the tiny one above). Only solid prayers that people breathe, and remember we share more similarities than differences.

We’re all human beings. Let’s try for love and peace and acceptance, huh? I promise, it’s worked in the past.

~ Lady Caitlin signing off

P.S. Your present’s in the mail, TJ. I just have to actually go send it first.

Launching My Newsletter

This is it—my official last post BEFORE launching my newsletter.

Any idea what I’m going to talk about?

That’s right—my newsletter! Gosh, you’re smart.

As a recap, I have been self-publishing since 2013, which is still long after the self-publishing pioneers who blazed the path before us. I only mention it because SEVEN years later I am finally doing something that I—know that I understand—should’ve been doing since pre-publication.

*Smacks forehead*

Take it as a lesson, padawan. Don’t do what I did. Or, don’t take as long to realize the power of cultivating a subscriber list since it’s one of the few things you own in any entrepreneur endeavor. In plain English: email newsletters are of the most beneficial marketing tools on the market, so, I figure—eh, I’d give it a try. Seven years in, can’t hurt.

But why sign up? What’s in it for you? Excellent questions, although I did answer these in a previous post…but, what the hell, we’ll go over it again:

  1. An opportunity for you to be lazy while STILL enjoying awesome content. As in, in addition to visiting this *amazing* blog, you won’t have to come to me—I will come to you in an email on the 15th of every month! All that’s required from you is the ability open an email. But I have faith.
  2. MORE CONTENT. Blogs are awesome, and I will continue to keep mine up, but even MORE content? What? Is she for real? (Yes, I am). I’ll also include things I don’t normally on my site, like snippets from current projects, and more writing-related updates (join me in my querying journey!)
  3. Learn about other creators and entrepreneurs. It turns out I have a lot of really talented friends who do all sorts of neat stuff! And y’all should know about them, so, I’ll be highlighting one each month. (If this is you, totally contact me. I’ll probably contact you though. Wait for it.)

Okay, by now—and per my understanding—you should have received a pop-up asking to join the newsletter. Were you like me and just closed it because you feel pop-ups are slightly accosting sometimes? That’s okay. If you missed your chance to sign up, I *believe* you can come back tomorrow and it will ask again. I think. I’m not really sure I understand any of what I did so I’m feeling 70% confident here.

First newsletter goes out this Friday, 1/15.

GUYS. I’m finally doing it. Seven years in, baby.

It’s never too late.

~ Lady Caitlin

Not Too Shabby #IWSG

Yep. I did it. I forgot to post on the first Wednesday of the year. Good job, me! I’d say that’s going to set the tone for the rest of the year, but it’s all good. It happens. Sometimes we wake up thinking it’s Tuesday when it’s really Humpday because unemployment, much like the insanity caused by it, messes with our heads. Also, sometimes I put on my shirt inside out and don’t realize until I’ve gone into stores. Nobody’s perfect.

I’d actually been planning on writing a belated honeymoon post when I realized the month that we’re in, and, like, the whole new year thing. It’s not only the first post of the year, but the first IWSG post, which makes me feel like a total loser butt-face since I missed it. (I try not to miss those posts). BUT I’m here, a day late, with my belated honeymoon post pending somewhere in the background for later reveal. It’s all good. My shirt is on correctly and I’ve got an interview on Monday. Not too shabby.

IWSG optional question:

Being a writer, when you’re reading someone else’s work, what stops you from finishing a book/throw you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people’s books?

Here’s the list:

POOR grammar. If you miss a couple of commas, psshh—whatever. I don’t care. But, if I’m tripping over every few sentences, it plucks me right out of the story and nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.

ANNOYING protagonists who don’t improve or learn. I don’t love everything about every protagonist. I shouldn’t. But if that MC makes stupid mistake over and over/is annoying me beyond all living hell—I just, I can’t. And I won’t. So, I don’t.

BORING stories. Look, they’re not all action packed. I get it. But if I’d rather empty the dishwasher or fold a stack of clothes or file for unemployment, then, I’m sorry. It’s not my cup of tea and I just ain’t gonna happen. (And it doesn’t).

I believe these are my top reasons for putting down a book. I try not to, but, if it falls in one of these three categories—I’m sorry. We just weren’t meant to be.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

(Writing this post-attack on the Capitol, let’s bring that positivity we talked about in 2021. Remember, we’re stronger together.)

~ Lady Caitlin Signing Off

It Pays Sometimes To Be Unemployed

So…I started playing with my blog because I’m trying to make it look more professional, and I meant to tweak the background and colors a little, and somehow my font got updated? I’m not sure how that happened, which means I’m not sure how to fix it, which makes me hesitant to touch anything else on this blog I’ve barley learned how to use over the past six years. Hope you like the new look.

But why the updates, right? The leaves were functioning…okayish. Well, I’m actually trying to be more professional here, and this website still seems super novice-y and I’m sure that’s a deterrent for some potential readers. So, not a good thing for me. But at this point, with my lack of know-how and incredible talent for being anti-techy, maybe I should enlist help? Go to Fiverr or update to Squarespace? I don’t know. I’ve had the mentality of at least having a blog for my writing was good enough, but after six years, it should look a little better—right? I don’t know. You tell me.

Also, with this whole trying to be professional thing, I’d like to come clean about something I’m working on. Ready for this? And I am NOT teasing this time (I don’t think). But yes, after seven self-published books, I am finally going to be smart and have an actual newsletter (and not immediately cancel it) to provide updates on me, what I’m working on, and to promote other entrepreneurs. I didn’t understand the importance of having one of these for the past few years, and I guess, it sort of came together in the world’s longest click over the last few months, when I recently realized that, oh shit, yep, I do need one of those.

*drums fingertips dramatically*

And here we are.

But deciding to have one alone isn’t enough. I need to know when y’all want this—for those who do—and the question is all about timing. I don’t want to come at you like a missile with something every three days because frankly, I can’t come up with that much content. Only the coke-writers can, and I am years away from that kind of depression. But I also don’t want to fade into nothing, so when an email does pop up, you aren’t like Who? Her? Meh. Nope. Please don’t Who? Her? Meh. Nope. me. It’s a difficult line to gauge the frequency newsletter emails should be sent. I’m thinking monthly. Just enough to remember me, but not too much to make you hate me. The perfect amount to subtlety capture and brainwash you.

Also, why sign up for it, right? What makes it any different than this awesome blog? Two great questions. The first because, who doesn’t love more awesome content?  And second, because I’ll include snippets from current projects I’m working on, and highlight a different entrepreneur each time so you can learn about other people and not just me. Win-win-win. PLUS, this is sent to your email, so you won’t have to go digging or searching for it, which is always good in my book. (Also, yes, I am still updating my Patreon, but it’s about the same frequency – once a month. And if you want to get on that track, which you totally should, please be patient because I’m in the midst of updating all that too. Wow, it pays sometimes to be unemployed).

This whole thing is sounding really cool in my head, so let’s see if I can pull it off. Look for…something soon. Like, really soon. I’m thinking this newsletter will go out around mid-month because that is a date I can likely remember, so let’s aim for a release every 15th.

Be on the lookout for…something. Some sign-up. We’ll see what I can figure out here in the next two weeks. Depends on how well my brain works. And how much wine I still have to get me through it.

Please everyone have a safe, smart, fun, and healthy New Years. 2020 wasn’t great in many ways, but it was in others (Batman and I got married, friends had babies and got great new jobs!) Remember the blessings we all take for granted and lets bring this positivity in 2021. Please for fucks sake.

~ Lady Caitlin signing off

Calling All BETAS – Assistance Needed

Guys. I still don’t have a working title. Still. This has never happened.

I have titles for books I haven’t written yet, and I’ve been working on this monster since May so…where the heck is it? Why hasn’t it come to me? GUYS.

This is all very strange. Like my blog, the title usually comes from a sentence in the post, and it’s usually the same with my books. I’ll literally write it out and be like, aha! There it is! Title achieved, bitches. But I’ve gone through like 4 drafts of this thing, and it still hasn’t hit me. Like, at all. Which wouldn’t be disconcerting to me except IT’S ACTUALLY REALLY DISCONCERTING TO ME.

Titles typically correspond to the central character or plot or place, and I’ve gone over their names and the conflict and setting a bunch of times and nothing fits. Nothing even comes close to sounding right. They all sound dopey and forced and I don’t even have working titles to throw together a poll and get some feedback. I literally have nothing.


What does this mean? Do I not truly know what my book is about? That can’t be it. I’m calling on the Gods of writing to assist in this weird new obstacle. How do I overcome it? Do I let Betas make suggestions? Do I keep it (kind of) boring to just the lead character names? What?

That’s the other thing. Although I have—and let me re-emphasize—no working title, I’m nearly ready for other people to look at it. This, by the way, is the scariest part, so just know I’m inwardly hyperventilating as I throw this request into the void-o-sphere. I am now accepting any readers interested who want to take a look at what I’ve got and let me know how to make it better. Help me find plot holes and anything I might’ve missed. Maybe I overuse a term? I do that. Just looking for some feedback, so if you’re not in the market to steal my work, and this sounds like something you want to read, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. Also, maybe you can tell me what my title is? That would be great.

No Working Title includes: alpha male, enemies to lovers, mobsters & vigilantes

Quick blurb: Desperate to leave her crime-ridden hometown, Lilah ends up contacting a local vigilante organization after a friend’s mom is put in the hospital. But when Nik, one of its members, continues to recruit Lilah for assignments, her interest in leaving sways.

This is a high-heat, romantic suspense clocking in at 122K words. Yeah. It’s huge. (That’s what she said.)

Anyway, if this sounds like something you’re interested in, send me an email (Cgcoppolawrites@gmail.com) and we’ll go from there. Yay!

Well, that’s all I’ve got this week. I’m still working on that honeymoon post and will have it up probably sometime in the future. Until then – enjoy your week however you are celebrating it! Happy holidays!

~ Lady Caitlin signing off

The Wedding Post: F*cking Finally

So, here’s the thing: I don’t have my pictures back yet from my wedding, and I’m kind of waiting for some nicer ones to post, but at this point, the wedding is fading like a lovely distant memory, and I need to write this before I fondly remember unicorns and doves and llamas being a part of it (though I still might do that) because that sounds magical and in my future brain, totally possible. If you didn’t get a chance to read my I’m getting married during a pandemic post, go check it out! It’s a real hoot and a downer, but it ends on a happy note: marriage to my best friend which I am *proud* to say we are making it last already. I’m only directing you there so you can have a history on me and Batman before I walk you through the magical day (that sadly did not include unicorns and doves and llamas) but was still the picture-perfect fantasy event that child-Caitlin always imagined.

First, let me start off by saying it was supposed to thunderstorm. I know, because the second the 10-day forecast became available, it became my new heroin. But around five days out, I relinquished that stress and worry to my poor Maid of Honor who took on the role like a champ, smiling and saying not to worry about it every time I asked for an update. The amazing thing? It was a beautiful day.

And I mean beautiful. It was cool, which, in Florida, is a Godsend, and although we did the rehearsal the day before under the nearby pole barn (second option for the ceremony site) because it was torrentially down pouring, we were still able to revert to the original plan for the actual day—in front of the tree.

I shouldn’t take all the credit, but I will. People loved the flowers. We received so many compliments on just how gorgeous the displays and bouquets were, and even though I didn’t technically do anything to arrange them, I gave the original inspiration and color scheme, and therefore, all the credit goes to me. (This is what I’m telling myself. All the REAL credit goes to A Fantasy in Flowers who did an amazing job. Seriously, if you’re in the Jacksonville area and finally subdued your life-partner, I’d hands down recommend this company for all your floral needs.)

Besides the flowers, the food was on point. This is what I’ve been told and if I recall correctly, everything was yummy. I was solidly distracted by everything—everyone and making sure they were having a good time—but I tried a brie-apple tart thing with strawberry sauce and I remember thinking, yeah, we picked the right caterer. I heard (remember in the contract?) there was a carving station for our prime rib, but I never saw it because I was at our sweetheart table, admiring the charger and plate combination I’d selected and wondering if everyone noticed how well the gold trimming complimented the hanging votives.

Everything—like I was told, like I knew would happen—flashed by. It was the beginning of the day with mimosas and struggling to pop the champagne bottle, and somehow, I was in this beautiful dress that kept falling because I’d lost too much weight, which, in my chubby-existence, I never thought could be a real thing. And then I was taking pictures with Batman around the venue, like I’d researched a thousand times before. Then my guests were arriving and I saw my stepdad (who made the journey just for the ceremony, and then had to drive three hours home for work in the morning), and then my dad was coming to get me, and the music started playing…

After everything, all the work and planning and crying—so, so much crying—it was worth it. It came together beautifully. Batman looked snazzy and sexy and like James Bond (his inspiration besides Batman) and I’d like to think it was one of my better fashion days. Although, knowing what I know now, for my second marriage, I will not be wearing a lace dress. Lace and pavement, as I’ve discovered, do not mix well, especially when elements like twigs and leaves and acorns want to jump in the mix. I do recall part of the day helping my photographers pick nature out of my veil, which kept me from displaying the full train of my dress. Which sucked, because it was gorgeous.

Other than a few tiny screwups, I’d say it was a success. There were going to be screwups regardless (I’ve hands-down attended a thousand weddings and nothing ever goes perfectly. It’s called reality.) but having a wedding during a pandemic is such a feat by itself, that the issues were like gnats; I just didn’t give a shit about them.

There are, of course, a billion details that even I don’t remember, and I could go way more in depth, but I’ve already used up some of your time based on your reading speed/skippage, so I’ll end it here. Again, I wish I had some truly flattering photos of us/the event from our photographer, and not to say these aren’t, but they’re not professional (borrowed from family and friends) since I only picked up my phone to check the weather and make sure the universe wasn’t fucking with me. It wasn’t.

 I’ll try to have a honeymoon post up soon. But, it is the holidays, and I’m the only one holding myself accountable, so we’ll see.

~ Lady Caitlin signing off

P.S. Also, my bouquet weighed eight pounds. Just remembered.

#IWSG The End of the Beginning

Well, that was a bunch of time not posting.  To be honest, I almost missed this week too, and only because I’m still not ready to write about the wedding and honeymoon (although both were awesome!) but, if I didn’t post today, I’d lose my place in the Insecure Writers Support Group, and I’ve spent over five years getting to my place on the list. I’m not starting over. So, here I am, fresh under self-pressure for your entertainment.

How’s it been going? Me? I’m an old married woman with thirteen years of dating and less than a month of marriage under my belt. So, I’m doing great. Currently taking a break from writing N & L, and searching for my next career adventure since I still can’t simply apply to be an indie author and make buttloads of money right away. Lame.

That’s right—you saw N & L. No longer “Untitled” or “Guardians” (have I mentioned I started calling it Guardians for a bit?) as I’ve had the story titled across several draft documents. N and L stand for the MC names, and no, not ready to share those yet. Might be a jinx or something, but who knows? I think—THINK—I’m nearly to the end—the REAL end—of this story. So far, it’s had about three different endings, and then I found one I liked (and the characters liked, and felt real) and then it’s stretched into a few scenes now. So, again, I stress that I think this is it…the end of the beginning. Which feels awesome, man!

Since this isn’t a wedding/honeymoon post (check back at some point most likely in the future) and because I don’t want to lose my standing with IWSG, let’s just jump right into their optional question—and the last one of 2020:

Are there months or times of the year that you are more productive with your writing than other months, and why?


Wait, I take that back. I tend to get more writing done on days when I’m off work/on the weekends. So…not really months per say, just whenever I’m suddenly gifted with loads of free-time. Because as awesome as all the binge-worthy shows and books are, I’d rather spend my time with my own characters, because that’s a drama I never see coming—and one I’m actively (safely) apart of.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

Enjoy your week!

P.S. – Any guesses to their names? N & L? Just curious if they’re a bit obvious…

# IWSG Writing Helps

I’m going to keep this one short because it’s a very special week for me—no, nothing to do with the election—but I’m getting all dressed up in white on Saturday. Kinda where my focus is at.

So (and since I missed last month’s post) let’s get right into the optional question for the Insecure Writers Support Group:

Albert Camus once said, “the purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” Flannery O’Conner said, “I write to discover what I know.” Authors across time and distance have had many reasons to write. Why do you write what you write?

Ah yes, the age-old question: why do we write?

While I agree more with Flannery, I find writing is a way to keep myself from imploding. I’m not sure how most people don’t become serial killers, but I assume it’s because they found their thing. Their release. The thing they do that makes everything makes sense, or at least, takes off the edge. For me, it’s writing. I’m the master of my universe, and while I’m a slave to my characters, it’s better than being in the real world and slowly dying of inner turmoil. So, I write. Musicians make music and artists—they make art. It’s the same reason people love to bake or sing or play a sport or hobby or whatever they find happiness in. It’s what helps get them through life. Writing helps me, so that’s why I do it. What about you? What’s your thing that keeps the inner serial-killer at bay?

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

P.S. I will post pictures as soon as I can. Just know, I’m more eager about them than you are. So we both need to calm down. 🙂

~ Lady Caitlin signing off for the last time as a single lady

I’m Finally Getting Married – During Covid

I wasn’t sure how I should write this, or if I should write it at all, but after the hundredth time thinking it was better to keep everything bottled up, I figured I might as well confess now. It’s better than carrying around a lifetime of bitterness that will no doubt be flung in Batman’s face. Not his fault, but I can’t blame the dog. That would be unfair.

(For those who don’t know, Batman is my fiancé. No, I’m not marrying a man who thinks he’s Batman or secretly dresses in black latex with a rodent compulsion. None of that. I’m marrying a man who very much wishes he was Batman, and to some people, may be on the wrong side between obsession and fandom. Whatever. He’s not foaming over the Joker or the Penguin or even Hannibal Lector, so I’m not worried.)

Now, when I say confess, I mean honestly confess.

I’m heartbroken.

I won’t say this. Not to your face, and not in a text or an email or even on the phone. I won’t say it because I can’t say it, because if I do, you’ll see the part of me I’m trying to hide. The busted-up, gory, pummeled-to-shreds mass currently sitting in my chest that keeps beating through every disappointment. And I get it. Life is full of them. I’ve had plenty, like watching all our friends get married over the last decade and wondering when I’d get my turn. If I’d get my turn. Don’t get me wrong—I’m truly blessed to have had the time with Batman that I have, regardless of our title, but when you want something that doesn’t happen in the first two years, five years, ten years…disappointment inevitably hits. Batman and I have worked through this, and we’re fine now, but to understand how heartbroken I am, you need to know the history:

Batman and I met in the spring of 2007, when we were finishing our junior year at Florida State University. We attended a mutual friend’s birthday party and sat across from each other which ended up being the best thing to happen to him. There was a lot of movie-bashing which turned into flirting, and even after we stood up to leave, and he discovered I’m closer in height to a hobbit, he still asked for my number. (Which he later confessed was almost a deal-breaker. Batman is close to 6’0 and I’m 5’1.)

After proving his affection by attempting to steal a chair (long story), the relationship was established, and only strengthened in the coming months by both of us participating in a heist over a condom shaped piece of art (another long story). Even after being separated by my six-week study abroad program in Amsterdam, we were still completely into each other.

Then we broke up.

Actually, he broke up with me. Batman will say it never happened, but it did, and I know because I moved back in with my mother over it, and no one ever forgets moving back in with their mother. The break up didn’t last long—a couple months—because someone realized he couldn’t live without someone else, and that someone decided it was worth giving the first someone a second chance. (Also, I needed to get out of my mother’s house.)

So, we moved in together. It was a tiny apartment with one bathroom and no laundry machines in the unit. That didn’t matter because it was ours and we could do whatever we wanted. Then we realized having only one bathroom is terrible for me, because he has longer legs, and beats me to the latrine when we both need to use it. Lesson learned. Also, our tiny apartment was on the second floor, which we didn’t take into consideration after learning there’d be communal laundry facilities. Second lesson learned. Batman and I spent five years in our first apartment racing each other to the bathroom and hauling our clothes up and down the stairs every two weeks. But we were happy.

When we outgrew our first place in 2014, we moved into our second—a slightly bigger unit with two bathrooms and laundry machines. We were in heaven. But after a year, an opportunity to move to Jacksonville became available, and with nothing tying us down, we left. Batman and I have been renting the same house since 2015, and the same year, we added the newest addition to our family—our German Shorthair Pointer named Appa (before it was popular to like Avatar. In fact, our vet asked if the name was Latin, to which I replied no, he’s named after a cartoon flying bison, to which I then received a very odd look.)

Fast forward to 2018. This is when I get really honest.

2018 was crappy. Not in every-way, but in the me and Batman way because I’d given a marriage proposal deadline (I actually did it a few times during our relationship, but never held him to it) and this deadline passed as well. I was heartbroken. I was beyond heartbroken, and still not to a point—after 10 years—that I could articulate this without losing him. And I didn’t want to lose Batman. Marriage or not, we were going to be together because he’s the love of my life.

After spending around a decade going to nearly a wedding a year—sometimes two—and celebrating all our friends and family on both sides, 2018 came to the end of pretty much everyone we knew getting married. It was literally only us left. And at that point, I’d convinced myself it wouldn’t happen. Marriage just wasn’t in the cards for me, which hurt because every wedding I went to, I told myself my turn was coming. It was coming. But I still didn’t have a proposal.

2018 had me believing it would not happen. It would not happen. I wouldn’t get the wedding I’d been waiting for, wanting, and…kind of deserving. But I had Batman, and it was fine. Until I couldn’t keep it in any longer. Innocuous comments from friends would have me bursting into tears when a year or two earlier I’d shrug it off, although I’d be hurting secretly on the inside. I couldn’t keep my feelings on what was happening—or what wasn’t happening—in anymore, and finally, I broke down to Batman.

I told him everything. How I felt, how I’d been feeling, and how I knew we were never getting married—but I still loved him. This all came as semi-news to him, because again, I never articulated these feelings. He suspected, but didn’t know the depth of my pain. We talked and talked and our relationship, after ten years, grew even stronger. We decided to look at rings together.

In January 2019, we selected a ring I liked and could afford and bought it same day. I wasn’t sure how the proposal would go since I knew about it, but I was still happy we had a ring. I think once Batman realized how close I was to just not wanting to get married anymore—because I reached that point too, several times—it became his mission to make it happen. He called my dad the same week to ask for permission to propose, and then told me he was going to do it the next day. The next day at work was terrible, and I came home crying even though I knew what was going to happen.

It was nothing like I’d hoped for, or expected. There was no movie moment wonderment because I think we were beyond that point. Maybe our proposal to each other occurred in all our happy moments over the years, when we didn’t realize at the time that we were choosing each other. Maybe a few words and a quick drop to the knee in our bedroom on a Friday night wasn’t our true proposal, but the solidification of the accumulation of years spent loving one another.

It wasn’t the picture-perfect proposal I’d envisioned, and definitely not the story to tell people like several of my friends had (poor Batman had the bar set really high for some of those proposals) but it happened. I’d convinced myself it wouldn’t; I convinced myself Batman and I would be partners and lovers through life, and that’s all. But it happened.

We made our announcement in early 2019, when we were closing in on almost twelve years. Since this was such a long time coming and we wanted to have the best wedding ever, we decided on a long engagement, giving ourselves plenty of time to save the money and plan everything. We decided on a November 2020 wedding. Too excited, and probably because I’d been secretly planning my possibly-never-happening-wedding all along, we sent our save the dates out a year ahead of time. We wanted people to have plenty of notice and plenty of time to plan, because we were throwing one hell of a party, and wanted everyone we loved and who supported us over the years to come.

Then Covid happened.

Like many of us, I was in complete shock. Of course, safety concerns were high, but my heart broke for all the brides who had to cancel or postpone. How could they deal with that? How completely, completely horrible. I told myself how lucky I was to be getting married in November and not March, April, May, or even the summer months. Thank God Batman and I chose a later date in the year, because that meant Covid wouldn’t really affect us. It’d be gone way before then, and we’d still have the wedding we’d been dreaming of/waiting for, and been planning for nearly a year and half.

Around June we realized that wasn’t going to happen. We spent a very shitty day crying and wondering if we should cancel the whole thing. Cancel it. Cancel the thing I thought I’d never get, the thing I’d wanted for years, and that was finally gifted. We couldn’t cancel. Besides all the money we would lose, I couldn’t give up on the idea that after believing for so long that I wouldn’t have my moment, and then believing I would, that it wasn’t going to happen. Again. My mind and my heart just couldn’t take another brutal stab. We were going through with the wedding, Covid or not.

Batman and I made this decision fully aware of the possibility that many people wouldn’t come. We were right. While we did receive some positive responses, we also received more “no’s” then I expected, and from people I didn’t expect them from. People I knew would be there…except they won’t. I understand the gravity of the situation. I do. There is definitely a danger factor, but you could walk outside and get hit by a car. It’s just life. No one knows what’s coming, and you just have to do the best with what you’ve got. That’s what Batman and I are doing.

The last six months have been bittersweet. Expecting it to be the most exciting time, I was faced with heavy conversations from many friends who wouldn’t make it, friends who were there at the beginning of our relationship, and some who joined in the middle, all who watched our love grow. Then, some family reached out to say the same, that they wouldn’t make it either, all due to Covid. Like previous years, my heart was silently breaking. My dream wedding wouldn’t happen, because everyone I love wouldn’t be there. But, I put on a brave face and just kept going. What can you do? You keep moving forward while focusing on the positives. And there are always positives.

This isn’t a sad story; it’s just an honest one. Yes, I’m still heartbroken that of all the years to celebrate our thirteen-year relationship, we picked 2020. Yes, I’m heartbroken that some of my family and several of my closest friends who have been there since the beginning won’t be with me on my special day to celebrate.

But I’m having my day. For so long I believed it wouldn’t; I knew I wouldn’t – but it’s happening. It’s finally happening.

Trent and I are getting married a week from Saturday. We met at twenty-one years old, and now we’re creaky and in our mid-thirties. But we’re here. We’ve made it. Despite everything we’ve been through and all of the heartache over the years, especially the brutal disappointment in the last six months, we finally made it.

To the boy who sat across from me all those years ago –

I love you, baby, and I can’t wait to be your wife.

We’re here. We made it.