It’s Metallica time.

It’s one of those days.  Those days where you feel the desperate need to write, but…the kids are watching really annoying TV, bickering, running up to your elbow to ask how to spell something/what they can do/if they can have this, that, the other (candy–and the answer’s absolutely not on that–they’re already annoying enough without the sugar).

And it’s not like I haven’t been fighting a feeling of futility.  The constant interruptions every time I get into the flow are not helping.

I’m currently sitting at about 40K words in Gods and Monsters.  Just a little over 26K words written since…oh, since the week before the kids’ school turned them out for the summer.  Over their time out of school, I ran across a few things: the KU book stuffing thing; reading samples of some of the “popular and selling” stuff, indie and not, on Amazon (no, not depressed because it’s better than mine–depressed because it’s not); looking for where to start learning about self-marketing and finding a lot of advertising advertising services that I can’t afford; knowing that my covers need work, but not able to pay for that, either…yeah, lots of stuff.  I need to write, but the black dog is breathing down my neck, asking me why I’m bothering.

I…I just need some time to write.  Transfer words from my notebook to my hard drive, and edit and expand as I go.

Time to put on headphones and blast my eardrums with Metallica.  Can’t hear the kids through it unless they’re screaming at each other (which is the point at which I will be sending them to their own rooms by themselves from now until dinner).


Still working…

I’m also working on taking care of the things the kids need to do over the summer: finding a new doctor (theirs retired, but we succeeded), doing dental stuff (about half done), doing fun classes for learning to use school resources (done and over with), and swim lessons.  Which are scheduled for next month, but not yet paid for.

All of this takes time.  And energy.  And tends to yank me out of the writing groove.

I’m not done.  I’ve gotten a bit under half written.  I’m hoping to get this sucker out by the end of August, at this point.

I am having a lot of fun–I’m learning things about my characters that I didn’t know.  Things keep happening that I didn’t plan for.  And this…this is the fun part of writing.


So, last week was busy, too.  Stupidly busy.  I had blood drawn Monday for a doctor’s visit on Tuesday.  Oddly enough,* I’ve managed to not have a CFS flare up despite being stupid busy and really stressed for the past two weeks.  I even re-started my yoga last week.  I feel closer to normal than I have since before I was pregnant.

I think I may have figured out why: my TSH was pretty low.**  Low enough to concern the doctor.

When I was in college, I had a resting heart rate of 120 bpm, and energy.  When I was pregnant with Daniel, my resting heart rate dropped precipitously, and my energy vanished.  Despite what everyone told me would happen (you’ll get your energy back about six weeks after the baby was born) it never returned.  When I fell pregnant with Kathryn, the first appointment where they do all sorts of blood tests showed very high TSH.  As in, my thyroid gland was making next to no hormone.

I think, perhaps, I was mildly hyperthyroid throughout my whole life.  I think, perhaps, the CFS was triggered by fighting through ten years of not nearly what my body was used to regarding amounts of thyroid hormone.

And I have absolutely no chance of talking the doc into leaving me at the dose I am.  Because they’re convinced it’ll kill me early.

I’ve got another six weeks of the  current dose before the doc’s next ordered blood test.  I’ve got that long to get real life organized a bit better.  I’ll keep writing, but it’s going to be taking a back seat while I try to get other things done.




*I have never managed to not have a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome flareup while I was busy and stressed, not in the three years I’ve been afflicted with this mess.

**TSH=Thyroid Stimulating Hormone.  High TSH means you have too little actual thyroid hormone in your system: hypothyroidism.  Low TSH means you have too much T4 (thyroid hormone), and that your body should back off making it.  Given that I don’t HAVE a thyroid because mine had gone from working to choking me slowly over the last ten years.

Well, damn. Hijacked again.

I intended to start writing about Iris’s and Luke’s back yard that they worked so hard on getting torn up by the creatures that keep appearing (the mutant subplot that took over my book) or one about Freya (who also wants in).

That…isn’t what’s coming out.  Hades jumped in line, and the plot of the chapter has little to do with the rest of the story, at this point.  I don’t know if or how that’s going to change.  No, Hel’s having issues with post-partum depression.  Yeah, Hel.  The one who didn’t have to leave her infant in the care of others.  And Persephone hasn’t had problems with ppd.

Yes, it will go into the book.  I feel it’s important, and it is distracting Hades et. al. from helping to contain the beasts.  I’m just…floored.  My project has been hijacked a second time, and there’s nothing I can do but write through it.

Adventures in family life

So, the kids have been getting up between 6:00 and 6:30 (absolutely no change from school).  They have a routine on a checklist they’re supposed to follow, which includes taking care of the pets’ morning needs.  On Sunday, this happened…however, the gate to the back yard was standing open.  And the dog…did what dogs do, and took off.  She was almost immediately picked up by animal control to the east of us, but we didn’t find this out until Monday.  We spent Sunday looking for her, then Monday, the neighbor told us.  And I found her picture on the local humane society’s lost pets FB page.

I sent Andrew to go get her, but…they were closed.  One would have thought that they’d have done a big adoption push on Memorial Day, but…

Anyway, I went to get her yesterday, and she proved (and simultaneously disproved) her intelligence: the humane society volunteers/workers pulled the collar off over her head without unfastening it; they put it back on her the same way.  Taught the dog how to get her collar off…which she promptly did when I was trying to walk her back to the car and give her a chance to go piddle on the way.

I picked her fuzzy butt up, carried her over to the car, got the imp into his seat first, then the dog, then the pixie.  And the dog spent the six miles between the humane society and home alternating between which child’s lap she smashed (20 lb dog, 51 and 55 lb kids) and whose face she kissed.

Andrew suggested that perhaps the dog went on walkabout because we’d planned to bathe and shear the dog on Sunday.  If that was her plan, then she only put it off for a couple days: Andrew and I washed her last night, and I took scissors to her felted hair (did you know that Scotty hair mats like a felted wool sweater?).  Hopefully, she’s a bit cooler today.  And now that she’s thoroughly dry, we’ll be taking the clippers with the short guard to the rest of the dog fur, likely after supper tonight.

Assuming I can get past the fragile feeling I woke up with this morning.

But without her winter coat, the dog looks a lot more like a Scotty and less like a hairy little miniature black sheep dog from Bugs Bunny.

And that was after I’d gotten over to the old house, met the plumber, and got the leaking pipe under the house fixed.  Spent an hour and a half over there, with no furniture, and no internet, but got a chapter of Gods and Monsters written.

Which reminds me:  I’m going to have to refill my pen, soon.


Last week wasn’t an easy week for writing.  I got one chapter written all week.  I could only get a few words out at a time through the brain fog.

It sucked.

Yesterday was the worst.  Today’s better, but the kids are home.  Attention’s divided between writing and listening for disaster (they’re outside, but…).

But still.  I’m not going to get this sucker done before they’re out of school.  I’m gonna be lucky to get it half done by the end of the month.  Up to this point, I’d managed to stick to my self-imposed schedule of a new release every other month.  I don’t think I’m going to manage something in July and something else in September.  I really don’t.

I’m 21K words into Gods and Monsters.  I’m still working on it, even if it’s coming slow.  I’m actually just about to pick it back up and continue, right now–I’ve found that longhand works best when I’m half-crippled with brain fog, so I’ve got the lap desk, notebook and pen all within reach.  I’ve just gotta go get some water and turn on the lights.

Huh. Weird combo.

I listened to Shaman’s Harvest, Rolling Stones, and blues while writing DetritusIt was initially inspired by “Low Man’s Lyric” from Metallica’s Reload album.  Blues fit.

Normalcy Bias was written over a great deal of time, in bits here and there, long hand, while I was stuck on other projects.  I don’t remember what I was listening to–or at least, I don’t, until I start reading the stories, then snatches of songs play while I re-read the work.

I listened to In This Moment’s Ritual when I was writing part of Bite Sized, and Avenged Sevenfold (both their self-titled album and Hail to the King) for part.

I’ve been looking for the music that works for Gods and Monsters (Modern Gods 4).  I think I may have found what works best for the mood: Fall Out Boy.  I haven’t struggled with it, per se, but the mood’s been a little heavier than the earlier books.

I’m not entirely certain that this will lighten it up, but it will add the snark.  And it’ll brighten it up until you look deeper.

Because FOB is like a sucking chest wound: all bubbly and dark.