Life. It just loves to kick you in the tender bits when you least expect it.

I spent Christmas in the hospital overnight for observation.  I woke up with a whole host of symptoms that looked like something serious, but turned out to be unrelated.  Not something to mess with, and if they’d not been unrelated, the hospital would have been a necessity.  It did turn up a couple of issues that need to be dealt with: stress, high blood pressure, and GERD.

The stress surprised me.  I honestly hadn’t been paying attention.  I usually don’t, not to my body (which is in a semi-constant state of rebellion) or my state of mind.  Not until something happens to force me to pay attention.  And, in hindsight, the stress and high blood pressure…after the last six months, it shouldn’t have been as much of a surprise as it was.  Last year…it kicked my ass.  Just as I was starting to tread water, my father in law passed away, kicking off a cascade of stress-induced heath attacks for me.  I’m still trying to get a handle on it, but I am fully aware of it now, and have a good idea of what I need to do.

Part of that is taking time out of the day for myself: I’d been working so hard on trying to take care of the family–spouse, kids, mother in law, and my mom’s family’s requests–that I forgot me.  I need time to write, both fiction, and in my journal.  The journal, especially, is a massive stress-buster: it’s where I work through stuff bothering me, and where I rough out plans (writing, and otherwise).  I need time to read, both out loud to my kids, and quietly in bed (with a timer to say “put the book down and go to sleep, idiot”).  I need to pick my knitting back up and do that, while I’m reading on the computer, and finish a couple of projects.

Anyways.  On to the writing news.

On Gods and Monsters…I have found the way to actually deal with the cover art size, but I’m going to need an extra pair of hands to help with what I need to do.  So, in the meantime, I’m running through a last read-through and edit.

On Having a Pint…I’ve got a general outline, and I am planning on getting stuck back into that next week, after the kids go back to school.  I know what’s going on, and what’s going to happen, and I think I know how to get there.  It’s just going to take sitting down and writing.  And that…is something I just can’t do while the kids are out on break while I’m trying to get a handle on everything else.

The project after that will be, I think, a longer work of science fiction: The Shrodinger Paradox.  I think that one will be…interesting.  It’s a three-part piece with an epilogue.  I think the way I’m going to do it will be to get each piece written (I’m 2/3 of the way done), polished, and released as an individual work, then put them together in one volume with that epilogue.

Honestly, I’ve been journaling for a couple of days, now, and working on editing Gods and Monsters one last time since last night.  Stress levels…I can already tell they’re dropping.  It’s amazing how much simply taking the time and energy for myself to sit down and write affects my state of mind.