Well, shit.

Bite Sized has been pirated.  And, being the churchmouse I am, there’s nothing I can do about it, that I know of and can afford.  I really don’t want to link the bastards doing it, either–I don’t want to drive up their page views.

If anyone has any advice…

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.

Status update

Gah.  Life.

I cannot find the camera.  Seems that taking a digital photo of the cover art painting I got from my artist friend will be the best option I have, given the physical size of the art.  And I cannot.  Find. the damn camera.  Every time I do find it, I have too much other stuff to do, and I am terrible at taking photos, so getting a usable one is going to take a while.

And it’s November.  And I’d planned on having the book out a lot sooner.  And I’m sorry.

In the meantime…I am going to go through the manuscript one more time.

I’ve also been working on writing.  I’m about a quarter of the way through the second of the Liquid Diet Chronicles books, Having a Pint.  I know what’s going on, and where it’s going, and I have a vague idea of how things are going to get there.  I’m going to try to finish the first draft this month (it is NaNoWriMo, after all).

The next project after that I’ve actually got two-thirds of the way written, in first draft.  I’m gonna have to rewrite it significantly, and I’m thinking about whether I need to release it in parts (part 1, part 2, part 3) in Kindle only, then a compilation in both Kindle and paperback, or if I need to let it go all at once.  I’m leaning toward the first.

Charlie Foxtrot, all the way up

Okay.  Last week was hell.  I’d have been forced to call in sick, were I still working.  I had one of the worst migraines I’d ever had in my life hit me on Wednesday.  And that was on the heels of a nasty sinus headache playing hell with being able to see straight.

It’s done, now.  Migraine started fading Saturday, and was gone Sunday when I woke up.  And I’ve managed to catch back up on housework (had to drop almost everything last week).

And then yesterday, I got an email.  See, my son wants to play soccer in the school’s peewee league.  So, I signed him up.  They’re just starting their peewee league, and I signed him up with his class.  His practices were set for the evenings on Tuesday and Thursday, after supper.  I figured it could be some father/son time.

I got an email yesterday.  There was a mess-up–the school’s kids’ soccer director hadn’t read the rules clearly.  The kids are sorted by date of birth, not grade.  So, Daniel’s going to be with the next grade up, not his.  Okay.  Fair enough.

We’d planned to get his soccer equipment yesterday for his Tuesday practice.

Problem: new practice was from 3:00 to 4:30 yesterday.


Not even remotely according to my plans.  Andrew managed to get a bit of time off work and scramble for the equipment.  The cleats fit, but the shin guards were too short–Daniel’s all leg, and in the height range that includes MY height, according to the back of the packages.  It didn’t matter anyway–little guy was still recovering from a cold.

We’ve got the soccer thing handled, now, but I wish the school had been a little more on-the-ball from the get-go.

Which left me with the time to test out my idea that I had week before last on how to get my cover art ready to go and get my damn book published.

I think…I think it’ll work.

The canvas is too big for the scanner.  And we don’t even remotely have the right software to scan it a bit at a time and stitch it together–we tried.  And failed.

My idea was that I’d take the camera and take a picture.  I think it’ll work, but I think it’s going to take some work.  And several shots.  I’ll spend a good bit of time on it this afternoon.

I’m praying, crossing fingers as best I can, and hoping that I’m right, that it’ll work.

Well, that was frustrating.

Office Depot’s scanners aren’t big enough.  Neither are Walgreen’s.  There are print shops in town, but I’m really not sure of their scanners, and there are a couple of things making them kind of out of the question for a maybe.*

I am not giving up.  I am not giving up.  I have one more idea.  And even then, I won’t give up.  I’ll figure something out.

Right now, though…right now, I have the house to myself.  I dropped the kids off at 7:30 on the dot (their insistence–they wanted to play in the gym before school started), and I won’t be leaving to pick them up before about 2:30 (they’re out at 2:50) this afternoon.

So, right now…right now, I’m going to write.

Still trying…

I’m going to have to take the artwork to somewhere with a bigger scanner.  Because the canvas won’t fit on my flat-bed scanner.  Nope.  Not even sort of.  Even the main part of it doesn’t really fit well.  I think Office Depot may have something of the sort.  Other than that?  I kinda don’t even know where to start looking.

I…hmm…I may have another idea, but I don’t know if it’ll work…

In any case, that’s not all that’s on the table, right now.  I’ve got a good bit of the second Liquid Diet Chronicles (title, right now, is Having a Pint) plotted out.  First 12,400 words (out of around 60K planned) written; and I know where it’s going.  The problem is having both the time and the energy to write.

This week’s the first full week since June that the kids haven’t had swim lessons; their last week plus a day or so saw their lessons moved from 10:00 to 8:30 am.  That…was draining.  I did get some writing done, but not a whole lot, and only during the swim lessons.  I haven’t done much this week, other than just getting stuff transcribed.  No time–the kids were in need of having a referee constantly at hand.  No energy, either–the constant bickering is draining.

Next week, though…next week, the kids start back to school.  That means from 7:30 to about 2:30 every day they don’t have scheduled off, I’ll have most of the day to myself.  And then…then, the writing will commence.  Because Meg’s damned impatient, and wants to get this shit done, you know?

Back in business

Okay, the last chapter of G&M is in the hands of one of my beta readers.  The rest of it’s all done and formatted, and author’s note and afterwords are added.  It’s mostly done, so I’m turning to another project.

We had our fifteenth wedding anniversary the week after we buried my father-in-law.  Neither of us were in the mood for more than visiting the site where we were married, and showing the kids (it’s a public, outdoor area–Missouri Southern State University’s Biology Pond*).  A few days later, I showed Andrew a pen: a Moonman 600S.  It’s a Chinese reproduction of a Parker Duofold.**  He told me to order it, and happy anniversary.

I’ve wanted a Parker Duofold fountain pen for a while, now.  I still do, but not a new one.  I want a vintage (but not the Big Red) self-filler with one of the older gold nibs.  I think they’re prettier.

This one, though…I got it about a week ago, and it’s gorgeous.  I got the sort of teal-green one (may go back at some point for the blue one–which they didn’t have when I made my order).  It writes with a broader line than I prefer, but it’s really comfortable to write with for decently long periods–I spent the kids’ entire swim lesson (35 minutes for one, 50 minutes for the other, and I wrote nearly the whole time) working.  Got several pages of the second Liquid Diet Chronicles book written–yes, by hand, but it won’t take me long to get that transcribed.  It’s only 5 1/2 pages in an A5 notebook.

One last note: I’ll be keeping my FB profile, for the most part, for keeping in contact with distant family and friends, but I’ll also be a lot more active on my MeWe account–FB is currently in the process of becoming useless for author stuff.


*Missouri Southern originally was a mansion and extensive grounds owned by a mining baron…who wrote in his will that his property was to become Joplin’s first institute of higher education: a junior college.  Which became a 4-year college, then a state college, then a university.  The biology pond was the mansion’s spring-fed, natural-style swimming pool.  And they’d built a Japanese style bridge over the end that drains out into a creek.  It’s a beautiful spot.

**I call these a reproduction rather than a knock-off because there were Parker factories in China.  They were closed and sold, but they weren’t cleared out.