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The highlights:

I'm now divorced.
I'm 46 years old tomorrow.
I'm moving out of the house.
I've been working part-time as an assistant since July last year! (Woo hoo!)
My savings are about to be nuked off the map with moving out costs.
I'm stumping again for "Send me money and be immortalized in a Lea Hernandez book."

Again with the long gaps in postings, not just because my Twitter feed takes the energy, but also because I was on the last leg of getting my divorce. The soon-to-be ex is now the ex. There are still papers to be typed, but as of about 2:30 Central on March 1st, my 24 year, 6 month and 22 day starter marriage was over, almost to the hour it started. Two years minus a week since the day I found out my long-time friend Dave Stevens had died and I realized I didn't want to spend any more time being married to the now-ex and that I could see it through this time.

Just in time for my 46th birthay, which is tomorrow, March 11th!

Yes, this is absolutely a cause for celebration! For various reasons, I have been wanting a divorce since the marriage was about two years old. For various reasons, I  stayed. No one can say I'm a quitter. Well, they can, but they're wrong, so fuck 'em.

Did I get the Barbie Dream House I rebuilt from the ground up after it burned down? Yes and no. I still own roughly half a house, but I won't be living in it. I could if I wanted to, but I don't. I've been physically separated from the ex for almost two years. I'm rather a bit done with living with him.
Why not have the ex turfed and stay in the house? Because I can't afford to stay in it on my own and he can. I could've forced the issue in court, and likely ended up with a house that had to be sold. And selling it is about the last thing I want to do. Why?
Because my son Fox, who is autistic, needs to stay in the house. Full stop. Fox needs the continuity. He needs a place, that if it gets a bit wrecked from his Hagrid-sized body (he's now a 6" tall 14-year old),that's okay. He needs a yard. In short, Fox needs a place where he can be his wonderful self, and an apartment is not it. (Except for the swimming pool!)

Am I upset? Not really, and I'm surprised. The thought of leaving the Barbie Dream House a year ago was awful. This year, it's the right thing to do and I'm calm. I'm still the owner of half a house. I don't feel ripped off. I did what I had to do to keep from going to court and turning mine and the kid's lives into an ugly circus.
For example: my parents, to whom I'd stopped speaking in August 2007, showed up at the temporary hearing on May 1st last year...to testify on my ex's behalf. I have experienced some truly fucked-up shit, and that took the fucked-up shit cake and put a poo garnish on top. I really didn't want it to get any more messed up than that.

So what I am now is a 46-year-old (as of tomorrow) woman comicker starting from scratch with my daughter. I have my studio furniture, computer and supplies, I have my modest bedroom furniture, custody of Summer, decision-making power for Fox, and that's it. I've never lived on my own, owned my own car (do now), signed a lease alone (very soon). I never thought I'd be rebuilding again, let alone so soon after doing it the last time. But, as I've said many times, I built a kitchen alone from about 300 cubic feet of IKEA flatpack and enough swears to cover the floor of the Dubai Mall (it's 5.9 million square feet), so I can do anything!

Most of the kitchen stuff, save for my breadmaker and some bowls are staying, so that Fox has use of them and comfort from them, part of that continuity I'm trying to keep for him. I'm rebuilding the kitchen from the ground up (I mean, like starting from a soup ladle and colanders up), and I have to, since my budget means cooking at home is le must. A coffee and a burger is now the price of six or seven meals if I cook a chicken and Summer and I eat it for five days.

Yes, I am totally giving a link to my Amazon wishlist for the kitchen and bath. Yes, I am ALSO totally saying a gift (via payPal to divalea @ gmail .com) $15. will get you (or animal or friend or houseplant) drawn into Rumble Girls: RLO or The Garlicks as a character, and $50. will get you drawn in as a speaking character, and $75. will get you that AND a copy of whichever book comes out first (could be a while, but you'll get it).

Honestly, I am of extremely modest means (right now), and I'm getting extremely modest support. This move is costing me an arm and a leg in deposits, re-stocking the pantry with food, gas and paying for my own food until (and after) I move out. I've had regular (top-secret) work as an assistant since July,  and work things are only getting better but I have been wiped out by medical costs, paying down debts, covering household costs, and caring for Summer and Fox.

So, I hope some of you want to have people or places in my books that look like you or are named after you, or are dying to buy a melon baller. Pass along this entry, by all means.  


( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 10th, 2010 08:08 pm (UTC)
You're always an inspiration to me. I'm glad to say I've been a fan of you for as long as I've been reading comics. I wish you the best, and look forward to contributing to your success.
Mar. 14th, 2010 02:36 am (UTC)
Thank you so much.
Mar. 10th, 2010 08:18 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to see you post! I am terrible at checking my Twitter.

I'm also glad to see that so many tribulations are behind you.
Mar. 14th, 2010 02:37 am (UTC)
Me too!
Mar. 10th, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
congratulations on the divorce -- it's nice to see you have such equanimity about it, despite the difficulties of the last year or two.

I'm really looking forward to more Rumble Girls and the Garlicks -- and I think I may commission an appearance for certain members of my household...
Mar. 14th, 2010 02:40 am (UTC)
Maybe because it took two years I have that equanimity. I certainly didn't have the luxury to rush.

I'm glad to have it behind me so I can make comics!
Mar. 10th, 2010 08:35 pm (UTC)
I can still get you shoes. The boys, not so much.
Mar. 18th, 2010 09:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you! How does the Sprout like his Prickle art?
Mar. 10th, 2010 09:52 pm (UTC)
I've been following you here via LJ for the past couple of years, and what a couple of years they've been for you. You've been through some incredible highs and lows, and you're certainly strong to keep on going.

I've been where you are, with the moving and the costs of damage deposits, buying food, furniture, and whatnot. It sucks having to move all the bloody time, and I've done it many times myself, three times in just as many months.

My bit of good news is that I finally did get a job, and when that first paycheck comes in, I'll be happy to donate some cash and get a minor speaking role in your comic. I bought your How to Draw book, which I eventually gave to my niece so she could continue to learn, and I loved Killer Princesses. Hilarious stuff.

I wish you good luck on working to get your life in order, especially after a massive upheaval like that. You rock.
Mar. 18th, 2010 09:54 pm (UTC)
Moving does blow, but this is for a great reason, so it'll suck a little less.
Thanks for buying my book and KP. Gail really knocked the funny on KP out of the park! I would laugh myself into coughing fits when I read the scripts.
Mar. 10th, 2010 10:26 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday -- you get a Brand New Life! I know you and Summer will do well, and I hope the same for Fox. The schools sold him short, I think life did too, a little, but everything you write about him shows what a determined and brilliant kid he is, in his own way and in his own time. Even with a low budget, starting a kitchen is, in its way, kind of fun, and also starting out in a new place. I can tell you, it is good to be living on your own. And with a breadmaker (always wanted one of those...) you'll have the wonderful treat of fresh baked goodness. Can't give enough to get into the comic I can't afford to subscribe to, but, hey, my small amount will build with others. Here's to your wonderful new life!

Mar. 18th, 2010 09:56 pm (UTC)
I've been taking trials runs at cooking for multiple meals at the same tie (roast a chicken, chicken breast one night, chicken tacos the next). Aside from quantity issues, it's been all success so far.
And cooking raises one's spirits!
Mar. 19th, 2010 05:15 am (UTC)
Guess you guys like chicken... But it is really satisfying to prepare something good and enjoy eating it. I whomp up lots of sauce for pastas and the occasional giant pot of delicious beans, which we have with rice or roll up into burritos. They're cheap, last quite a while, and still taste good a few days later.
Mar. 10th, 2010 11:17 pm (UTC)
Happy birthday! Change is always hard, and scary, but good on you for biting the bullet and doing what needed to be done for the good of everyone. Wishing you much luck and happiness in the year ahead.
Mar. 18th, 2010 09:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 18th, 2010 09:57 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've been surprising myself, even! I started branching out with COMIC BOOK TATTOO, and haven't looked back. Reinvention is key!
Mar. 11th, 2010 12:39 am (UTC)
I've been right where you are, minus the kids, which made my case a whole lot easier, but it was still rough. You are very deserving of a Brand New Life, and your friends are going to make sure that happens.

May the transition go more smoothly than you ever imagined. Birthday hugs to ya, kiddo!
Mar. 18th, 2010 09:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Alice. You rock.
Mar. 11th, 2010 12:55 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday Lea! I'll do what I can when I find out how long I get to keep my job. Next time I come though town, it's DQ and Sundaes on me. My best to you and all of yours.
Mar. 18th, 2010 09:58 pm (UTC)
MMMMM. I'm going to have a Blizzard!
Mar. 11th, 2010 03:20 am (UTC)
Best of luck with everything, Lea.
Mar. 18th, 2010 10:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Mar. 11th, 2010 03:48 am (UTC)
Here's wishing you all the best, and an early happy birthday too!
Mar. 18th, 2010 10:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you, sir! Got your gift today!
Mar. 18th, 2010 10:23 pm (UTC)
It was a small gift, but I hope it comes in handy!
Mar. 11th, 2010 05:10 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday Lea!
Reading your post reminds me a lot of my life and is inspirational to me.
It's like I was telling a friend, all you need is ambition and stubbornness.
Mar. 18th, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC)
I'm glad it's helping. It's good to not feel like you're the only person with your kind of problems.

Me = Pure cussedness.
Mar. 11th, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC)
Happy birthday!
Mar. 18th, 2010 09:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Stan! <3 Tell Sharon and the kids I say "HI!"
Mar. 13th, 2010 04:41 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday! I picked up a small thing for you on your Amazon wish list yesterday. It's as much as I can do for now. We'll keep praying for you.
Mar. 18th, 2010 09:59 pm (UTC)
I got it today! Cutest measuring spoons ever!
Mar. 27th, 2010 12:35 am (UTC)
Happy Belated Birthday, and congrats on finalizing the divorce... I know starting over can be hard but I have a feeling you'll not only do okay, but you will *shine*...
I got you some stuff on your list, including a "Fox Run" item because the name made me smile. Much Love! ~m.
May. 15th, 2010 05:12 pm (UTC)
OMG - I'm so in on this - pay day my dear, pay day... You're running out of stuff to pick from though - you should add a few things!
May. 16th, 2010 06:32 am (UTC)
I added stuff. Cast iron skillets! Books! Podcast mike!

( 34 comments — Leave a comment )


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