Vaccine #2

Got my second dose of the vaccine almost two weeks ago. However, I also had a bad sinus infection at the same time, so I was feeling pretty ragged. I had bad swelling, a headache, dizziness, etc. that have still not gone away. I had four doctor appointments and went on two rounds of antibiotics, which didn’t help a lot. The second antibiotic gave me bad side effects, and I have an appointment with a specialist on Thursday. Hopefully, I will be back to normal soon.

As for the vaccine itself, I only had some swelling and pain in my arm, but that’s mild for me. As a child, I always got a fever and felt extremely ill for a couple of days after every vaccine. I suppose I just have a weak immune system which makes it difficult to fight off infections, so I always get very ill and it takes me a while to get over every illness. It’s frustrating and unpleasant, but that’s just what I have to deal with. My arm was swollen pretty badly, but cold compresses offered some relief, and I was better the next day. I’m definitely looking forward to some family gatherings in the near future, as everyone has had both of their vaccines.

In other news, I lost my day job. I’m pretty upset, as I feel I was treated unfairly, but hopefully I will find a better opportunity somewhere else. I can only hope so. No news yet on the novella, but I will obviously post as soon as I hear anything.

Release date!!

According to my publisher, Descent of the Vile is currently slated for release on December 20, 2022! Pick up a copy for the sci-fi lovers in your life in time for the holidays!

If I get a Booksprout link, I will post it. Booksprout allows you to get a free ebook in exchange for a review. More to come!

Round 2

The next round of editing is complete. I reviewed the suggestions and only made 2 changes. My publisher asked for my preferences on a release date, and I gave her 2 dates in December. She said it should be fine, but I don’t know which date just yet. I’ll let you know, but you should be able to preorder the book before the release date, should you be so inclined.

Thank you so much for your patience. It’s been a long road with this book, but I hope it’s worth the wait.

Neil Maurer

I was writing the acknowledgments to my novel, and I couldn’t have written the amount of detail I wanted for the story without the view camera class I took in college taught by Neil Maurer.

Mr. Maurer was a kind person who held a genuine enthusiasm for photography that was infectious. He had a way of encouraging you without putting you down, while also drawing attention to your strengths. He had a strong desire to keep learning as the field rapidly changed, and I will never forget the love of photography that he instilled in me.

One memory I have of him that encapsulates who he was was when he took out class to a gallery for a photography show. We wandered the gallery, and my sister got the giggles. Mr. Maurer came over to see what the problem was, and my sister described what had prompted her giggles. Suddenly, Mr. Maurer burst into laughter, and we all got the giggles and had to leave the gallery to keep from disturbing everyone.

So, while he loved photography, he wasn’t above enjoying life or living in the moment. I’m sad to learn he passed away last year, but I hope his legacy will live on forever. 💔

Editing

I just sent back my changes, but I received the first round of edits from my publisher for Descent of the Vile!!! Hopefully, this means we’re close to having the actual date!! I can’t wait for you to read it. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it!!

My one and only panic attack…so far

The university I attended was out in the country at the time, and my twin and I were both photography majors. Sometimes it meant landscape photography and sometimes other subjects, but during our landscape class, a few times we wandered the grounds instead of driving to a park.

One such time, I remember hearing a loud noise past a clearing we were exploring, and I couldn’t determine the source of it. I thought it might be a stray cat or something. So, I went looking for it, and I had better than 20/20 vision at the time. I didn’t see a cat. I kept looking, wandering through the underbrush until I saw a wasp nibbling on a cactus leaf. The noises were exactly in time with the bites the wasp was taking, and the wasp was about 20 feet away from me.

Realizing that it was unusual to hear a noise like that so loudly, I suddenly became hyper-aware of everything around me. Every sound was amplified and I could hear and sense every living thing in the vicinity. An overwhelming sense of dread then settled on me, and I only knew I had to get out of there. I was in danger if I stayed. The worst part was that I had to walk back to campus through the wooded grounds, and I was nearly immobilized from fear. Eventually, I just fled. My feet began to work and I ran.

Somehow, I knew this was irrational and not based in reality, but my emotions were so strong and so vivid that I remember this now, about 25 years later. Thankfully, I haven’t had another incident like that since, although I do suffer from anxiety. Most of the time, I might have an anxiety attack, but not on the same level as a panic attack, where I feel my life is at risk. By now, I’m on medication, and it seems to be working, at least.

I guess the point is just that I was afraid to seek help, afraid of how my family would treat me and how others might shame me. But it was necessary and helped me through some tough times. My family, luckily, were supportive. But I know others aren’t as lucky. But getting help is the only way you will survive. Getting help means feeling less fear, less anger, less sadness. You’re better able to cope with stress when it comes. There may even be resources for support. It’s worth it. I feel like I got my life back. I’m me again.

Backlog

My publisher is working through the backlog of manuscripts, but the editor has not yet returned. I am told she has been released from the hospital and is in physical therapy. Hopefully, she will make a full recovery. In the meantime, they are reviewing the manuscripts and editing them. I don’t know where mine is in the queue, so I still don’t know when it might be released, although I’ve mentioned my deadlines. I’m just not the only author with the same deadline. I’ll try to let you know when I hear anything, but it might still be a while. Thank you for your patience.

Coffee

As a writer, I probably rely on coffee to stay energized, motivated, and awake far too much. But I like to think there are worse things I could be addicted to, so coffee it is.

My favorite coffee of the moment is the chestnut praline latte at Starbucks, although I do t get them every day. I couldn’t afford that. But I get them whenever I can as they are seasonal. At home, although I like the Starbucks coffee, it’s a bit pricey for me. So I usually buy the Gevalia coffee, whichever blend happens to be on sale at Sam’s Club. My preference is for a darker roast, however.

When the holiday season is over, I usually get a chocolate cream cold brew (in hot weather) or a white chocolate mocha (either hot or iced, depending). In the past, I remember getting the mocha coconut Frappuccino, which I was addicted to while working as a wedding photographer. We’d stop on the way to the venue and bring them for the DJs as well. But that drink was discontinued years and years ago sadly. I think about it from time to time, however. <sigh>

Of course, I have to admit that I haven’t been writing while having back spasms, and my back is finally healing. Hopefully, I can get back to my manuscript. I wrote one scene last night, and I hope that will help get my momentum back. Fingers crossed!

So, back to my coffee. Who knows what I will be able to accomplish today? Perhaps I’ll write another chapter.

Books!

Finally made a trip to the bookstore. It’s been a while. I usually can’t afford to buy them, so I get them from the library. But last Wednesday, I found these that aren’t currently at my local branch. Was very happy as I’d read the other AM books that were at the library and didn’t know there had been any others. They were fun reads. Was glad to pick those up. Also, I’d heard good things about GP’s book, and I can’t wait to read it either.

Currently, I don’t have any updates on my own books. The editor has not returned, and the publisher is doing their best to work through the manuscript backlog. I don’t know if my books will be out in time to make the deadlines I had for events, so that makes me a little sad. But it can’t be helped, and I hope the editor makes a complete recovery. As soon as I know more, I will post here or on my social media.

Sophie is doing relatively well. She’s having a few coughing fits, but not every day. As the weather cooled today, she seems happy. Her grooming appointment is Monday so she’ll be a little cooler after that, at least.

I had back spasms on Thursday, so there is still some pain that’s lingered on. I hope I’ll be better by Monday to take Sophie. I also wanted to get some writing done, as I haven’t been able to sit at my laptop in days now. I’m icing my back and trying to work in some light stretches to loosen the muscles, but they really hurt. Fingers crossed. It’s better than on Thursday, so that’s something anyway.

Take care everyone!

Posters!

I posted this on my social media, but I got posters made of my next 2 book covers, framed them, and hung them on the wall. Makes it feel more real, actually. Pretty amazing to me that I’ll soon have more than one book out, although I still don’t have a date for book 2.

Also, a quick note that my podcast interview with The Writer’s Parachute will be on January 21, 2023 and not January 28, as was originally scheduled. I’ve updated it on my Upcoming Appearances page, but the text keeps turning dark and hard to read. Perhaps that’s just on my end. Hope you will tune in to the Writer’s Parachute at the appointed time. I’m looking forward to it!