I've been getting a lot of questions lately like:
"Why haven't there been any new episodes of Let's Eat Fiction?"
"Where have you been?"
"When are you coming back?"
So I thought I'd take the time to answer them, beginning with where I've been...
The last episode I filmed and posted was in October 2016, during that time my youngest son had been battling some health issues. He'd been suffering from stomach pains for quite a while and they became progressively worse by the end of the year. After numerous visits to the ER, doctor's office, and GI center, still, we had no solutions. And none of the prescriptions seemed to help.
The days became endless because within an hour of him waking he was in (level 8-9) pain and remained that way for the next 5, 6, 7+ hours. All I could do was sit by his side, pray, and research the internet for any and all methods that might ease his pain.
This is why it seems like I fell off the planet—because I kind of did. I stopped blogging, posting pics, tweeting, FB—everything. When your kid is sick (no matter how old they are), everything is secondary—even eating.
But now he is better—about 80% better (thank God). We have him on a daily regimen of natural/herbal supplements and he is currently undergoing tests to see if there is an issue with his gallbladder (no stones, just an improperly functioning GB). We're hoping this is the case.
Another thing that happened during that time was my decision to not renew my contract with the people that were supposed to be representing me (I won't mention their name). In August of 2014, I was told big things were going to happen with my channel/cooking show. (That is why I had to change the name; their legal team highly recommended it.) I was told I'd have product sponsors, branding, major opportunities, etc. I believed the person that told me these things because I researched the company (I don't do anything without researching it first) and discovered that they represented many of the most popular and successful YouTubers.
Well, none of that ever happened. That person left the company shortly after I signed the contract and the person that took over the "food division" only e-mailed me twice over the next two years. Meanwhile, the company was collecting the first 30% of my earnings (although I never made all that much). My pay was about equal to what I'd make outside the home but with the convenience of doing it from my kitchen. But then, that, too, dwindled. I don't know if it was because of the new YT commercial-free option, or just because there are already so many cooking channels, or what, but I watched my monthly income from ads decrease from $2000 to $200, then $20, then $2. (I'm not even joking.)
It was at that point, I decided not to renew my contract. It was also when I reevaluated the time and effort I was putting into the show. The sad truth is that it was no longer providing for my family. I began putting extra effort into my Etsy shop The Word Rebel, creating new fan-centric designs and products like this one:
|Beauty and the Beast "Belle Enchanted Rose" Mug|
(I can't wait for this movie to come out!)
If it wasn't for the success of The Word Rebel, I don't know what we would have done (with all the med bills rolling in by Xmas). Not only that—I love running this shop! I love coming up with new ideas and creating new designs for the products. It's just plain fun!
Besides my Etsy shop, I also started a blog for writers/aspiring writers at wordrebels.com. I know what it's like to be a new (and overwhelmed) writer. There's a ton of info out there and I hope to make it as simple as possible to go from story concept to published. It's just my way of giving back.
So, as I conclude this (very long) blog post, I hate to break it to you but as much as I enjoy cooking—it is not my passion. Writing is my passion. I have so many books I want to write (and yes, I'm still working on Book 3 of The Topaz Road Trilogy)!
As 2017 rolled in, I decided to pursue that passion—full-time. So, unfortunately, I do not see any more episodes of Let's Eat Fiction/The Disney Diner in the near future. I will leave both websites up so you can continue to access ALL the recipes as well as the videos on YouTube. (And don't forget, you can always download the cookbooks!) I hope you continue to make and share the recipes with your family and friends.
I want to thank every single one of you for following me all these years (since 2011!), watching our show, and being faithful and loyal fans. I will miss you greatly.
I hope that you will continue to follow my author page at redreyna.com. And if you're interested in becoming a writer yourself, join the rebellion at wordrebels.com for FREE writing tips and resources. And be sure to check out my Etsy shop, we have some great gift ideas for fans of Disney, Broadway, Stranger Things, and more!
With all my love,