Oh, ffs!

I have managed–barely–to top 30K words on Having a Pint.  I’d planned to be much further along, by now.  Last week, however, was…less than conducive to writing.

We’ve needed a new riding mower for a while.  The one we have works, for the most part, but it was second hand and beat to hell when we got it.  And last weekend, Andrew went to shop for one.  As he was leaning over (way over) to look underneath it, he lost his balance and fell on his shoulder…just exactly in the right way to dislocate it.

I was not there–my mother-in-law was with him.  She called me from the urgent care parking lot and told me that they were there because Andrew had hurt himself.  No details, not her fault–they didn’t know exactly what had gone bad until the urgent care had a chance to look him over.  Not long after that, she calls again to tell me that she’s driven him from urgent care to the emergency room because urgent care wasn’t equipped to handle whatever.  She wasn’t sure at that point.  Mostly because she’d done the transport, and Andrew was in too much pain to answer questions.

About 4:00 or so, I finally got a call from Andrew.  With an explanation of exactly what had gone wrong–dislocated shoulder–and that they’d knocked him out briefly to put it back.

Yeah…about three and a half hours of suppressed panic to not scare the kids.

I’m thankful it wasn’t worse, but this…really did me in for being able to think for most of the week.


Stress induced ME/CFS flares suck.  Bad.  I’m still dragging, energy wise.  But I think I’ve got the next chapter or two plotted out.  It took most of the week because the flares always hit brain fog first, then exhaustion, then fever and pain if I don’t pay attention to the first two symptoms.  Or if my body thinks I didn’t pay enough attention.

Combine that with cold fronts that gave us snow flurries that didn’t stick on Tuesday morning, and a cold front this morning.  Yeah, this week has sucked for writing.

Like I said, though, I do have the next couple of chapters plotted out.  And I’m roughing that in as quick as I can.  I just…hadn’t been able to write.  Until today.  And today, I’ve added 500 words almost as fast as I could type before I had to stop.  I’m not done, and I’m not giving up.  I’ll do as much more as my hands can handle today, and will update again next week.

Updates on things

So, not a bad first week, all told.  Pretty much all of the Modern Gods books (and short story) have seen interest, and copies of everything have sold.  Considering I know jack all about advertising, that’s not bad.  It’s not a lot of copies, all told, but not bad.  For me.  Hopefully my stuff keeps doing well.  It’s encouraging.

I’ve been working on the second book in the Liquid Diet Chronicles (tentatively titled Having a Pint).  I’m enjoying myself.  First draft is about 26K words, and I’m still working on it.  Granted, I was hoping to have something closing in on 30K words by the end of the day, but things…do get in the way of writing.

Writing is not my full-time job, right now.  It can’t be really more than part time at most (and hobby’s more like reality) because of the time I have to commit words to paper.  Missouri decided, this week, that the school year of 2019-2020 is done.  The entire last quarter is…just not going to happen.  The kids’ private school is semi-going-along: yes, there’s some distance learning stuff going on, but the reality is…it’s not going to count.  The third quarter grades are the second semester’s final grades.  I’m keeping them at the work so that they’re not behind when they start next year, but I’m only barely keeping up with the grading.  Sort of.  Because what’s the point?

That said, doing the homeschool thing…I don’t have a routine worked up, yet.  I’d been in a holding pattern in the hopes that sanity would prevail, and I’d have the end of April and most of May with the kids in school so I could focus on writing.  That’s just not going to happen, so I’m having to do what I can, as I can do it.  Really, though, the homeschooling the kids thing has me questioning school in general.  The kids have four subjects each, and they’re done inside of three hours, including watching the video lessons (which takes the most of their school time).  Three hours of school work.  Per day.  And they’re in school for six hours.  I know–there’s art once a week, Spanish twice, PE twice, recess twice a day (yes, even for the fourth grader), lunch, music once a week, and chapel.  But damn.

Still.  I am writing, just not as many words per week as I was hoping.  I’m also doing less rough drafting and transcribing, because I’m not going to pick them up daily, and spending five to fifteen minutes in the car, depending on how early I get there and how quickly their classes get together and out (and whether one or both kids have forgotten something and have to run back to the classroom before we leave).  Meg is…less demanding, and less irritating, now that I’m working on her story.  And I am damn near halfway done with the first draft.

What’s Goin’ Down

I have quit paying attention to the news, again.  We are in the middle of one of the biggest power grabs I’ve ever seen government attempt on any level (outstripping the Patriot Act by a lot), and we are facing economic death for a lot of different sectors, all in the name of attempting to control a wildfire of a virus.*  Yes, the virus going around is hellaciously bad.  I’m not disputing that.     All I’m saying is we ain’t seen nothin’ yet in terms of “bad”–and that it won’t be viral.

I got absolutely no work done in February at all, between taking care of Daniel (who brought it home), then Andrew (who caught it next), then being bedridden and sleeping a lot for a week.  And then spending the rest of the month and first part of March recovering (still not totally there, where my lung capacity is concerned).  Although, in March, I was able to at least focus my attention well enough to edit.

And then…March hit.  And Spring Break.  When I get no work done.  And then the kids…didn’t go back to school.  They’re still not back, yet.  They’re doing distance education through their school, but that takes a lot of effort and focus on my part to keep them on track and help them where they need it.

I did manage to get Gods and Monsters done for y’all, though.  And got Andrew, who’s far better with the camera than I am, to get the cover art dealt with.

I’m getting the kids into a routine, now, though.  I think I have things settled down.  Mostly.  I know I need to write…and am.  Meg’s getting frustrated, and insisting that it’s her turn, dammit, no matter what else is going on.

I’ve done nearly 4K words in 2 days, putting me at just over a third of the book finished.  And I’m about to dig back in, just as soon as I finish this post.

Here’s hoping it comes easily without having to draft it long-hand, first.  Typing hurts my hands less, and Missouri weather’s doing it’s normal spring thing, where one day’s late-spring/early summer weather, and the next two days are dead of winter, and the few days following are late spring, then early spring.  Which is hell on all the joints.



*I am pretty sure we had it in February–and it was really, really nasty.  I wasn’t sure but what I was going to need to go to the hospital with as hard as it hit me, and I think a lot of why I didn’t is because I KNEW it was viral, and there’s not a lot that can be done for a viral infection.  It was horrific, painful, and I haven’t run a fever that high since I was really little.  It didn’t get that high even when I had bacterial pneumonia five years ago.

On the back cover:

Here there be dragons…again, damn it.

Deshayna has her sanity back, and forces older than the gods have granted her a new purpose.  Chronos, his freedom restored, fights for his sanity, and with it, a purpose in helping Deshayna—now called Shay—with hers.  The gods are starting to pull together more…and it’s about time.

Millennia after the last dragons to threaten human existence have been hunted down, they’ve started to reappear, hinting to the surviving gods that something more sinister appeared first: Tiamat.

Instead of a confrontation, though, the gods—major, minor, and genus loci—are drawn into a frustrating hunt for a predator that flees rather than attempting to strike.

About time, I know.

I’ve figured out the whole mess with the too-big painted cover art for Gods and Monsters: we took a photo of it.  I say “we,” but I’m lousy with the camera–my husband did the work.

I’ve also finished the absolute last edit.  I’m not going to do another one because I don’t want to murder my book by a thousand tiny changes.  I’ll run a search to make sure I didn’t mess up the spelling of names, but that’s it.

Now, it’s down to the back cover.  I hate that part.  But I have the house to myself, today, for the first time since this overblown mess started (I mean, really: they close the schools, but leave day-cares open?  What part of “separate the cuddly, friendly petri dishes” does this actually do?).

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.