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Short getaway

It’s been years now since I had any sort of vacation at all. We had a trip planned for 2020, but that didn’t work out as planned in any way. We were very disappointed, but we didn’t want to take chances with any of our family members’ health.

Last Tuesday, my mom had purchased tickets to a concert in Austin, which isn’t far from here. But she reserved a hotel so we wouldn’t be driving back in the middle of the night. It was almost like a little mini-vacation.

The concert was a triple bill with Nile Rodgers & Chic, Bastille, and Duran Duran. It was so much fun with so much great music. I’m still thinking about it. We had a very pleasant trip. The hotel was comfortable. The drive was much less traffic-congested than normal, too.

This was sort of an early birthday present, but we really just wanted to go. I haven’t been able to see Duran Duran since 1993. We had tickets several years ago, but the show ended up being canceled. So this was great because it was like reliving some memories from my youth that were so fun, although I cried during “Ordinary World” because it reminded me of my late twin sister. My mom hadn’t seen them since 1988, so it had been even longer for her. I’m just so glad we got to see the show and that everything went so well.

So, my review for the mattress is coming up. I wanted to give it some time. But I’ll post it in a couple of days, maybe. Hope everyone is doing well.

Mattress in a box

Desperately needed a new mattress, but lacked the funds. I have family members who bought mattresses in a box and liked them, so I thought I would give it a try.

The mattress just arrived today. With the delivery service with Amazon, I added on setup service and take away. So, they took away my old mattress and set up the new one.

It came in a pretty small box with lots of shrink-wrapping. The gentleman unwrapped it and set it out on the box springs, then left. He was very nice and very efficient. So far, my full size mattress is mostly fluffed up. It was delivered this morning, so should be ready to sleep on by tonight.

I elected to purchase a hybrid mattress, which has springs under the foam topper to help it last longer. It also has cooling gel in the foam, as I know foam can get hot, and I get very hot while I sleep. We’ll see if this helps.

I’ll post an update once I’ve slept on it for a few nights in a row. Hopefully, it’s better than the worn-out old one. I’m sure it will be, though. Fingers crossed!

Post-apocalyptic electricity part II

So, I’ve still been told it’s possible to restore part of the grid after an apocalypse wiped out most of the population. I disagree because I did work for the power company here, and I have seen what it takes to keep the local grid on.

First, the coal. Who mines it? How do you transport it? Here, it’s brought in on trains with a special crane to dump each car (which runs on electricity). Then, you have to refine it. You have to maintain the plant, the way stations, the emergency management system, etc. There are massive specialized parts to maintain these, as parts degrade. Who will manufacture these? Who will transport them? Gasoline degrades very quickly, so it’s unlikely to be a solution, unless people are drilling for oil and refining it, etc., also requiring lots of materials and maintenance and…electricity.

Also, there are the power lines. Who maintains those? Linemen, with specialized equipment that would require fabrication and maintenance. They would not have the trucks without gasoline, either. It also requires training. And who would be running the cables, etc.? There are literally thousands of employees working for the power company here, all of whom are needed to keep it running. I just don’t see how a small population of people could manage this unless every single person contributed and did only that. No farming. No textiles. Nothing else.

So, that’s my sci-fi pet peeve. Obviously.

The corner of my eye…

Why can’t I go to that place out of the corner of my eye? I see you there, but you’re not here. And I dream of you, but I know it’s not real. I just want to go to that one place where you are. I miss you, and my heart is broken.

I’ve lost so many of my fur babies over the years. I’ve lost close family. They all hurt, and I always feel like I’ll never be whole again. And really, I won’t. I’ll get used to the pain. It will be there always, waiting for an unexpected moment to remind me of all I’ve lost. When I’m grieving, I grieve for all of them. Every time I hurt, I miss them all.

I can’t begin to describe how much this hurts. I’ve actually been told, “What’s the big deal? People die.” And yes, that’s true. But if you feel that way, be glad it’s not someone close to you, that you haven’t felt that kind of loss that you know you’ll be feeling forever and ever. Be glad it hasn’t happened to you. But if you have ever loved someone you can’t imagine life without, you know. It’s something you don’t get over. You feel it with every fiber of your being. The pain and emptiness are all-encompassing.

I know time will dull the edges, and I’ll be able to think again of other things. I’ll be able to love someone again. But not now. I’m burying myself in fictional worlds, because fictional pain hurts less than this. But I’ll survive. Because they would want me to.

3 weeks

I wanted to apologize for the lack of posts. I’ve been ill for about 3 weeks, and I haven’t felt well enough to write anything. This happens to me periodically, although not always for that long. I have frequent episodes of extreme fatigue, which makes it nearly impossible to hold down a job. No one wants to hire someone when they don’t know that employee will be there. I also can’t write anything when I’m like this.

The good news is that I do still have a manuscript with my publisher that’s been signed. I’m just waiting on it to go into editing. It’s a sci-fi novella, which should be a quick, fun read. I’ll let you know when I’ve heard more, but don’t worry. Just because I haven’t been writing doesn’t mean there isn’t a book coming. I’m also waiting on word from someone on another manuscript, but it’s been a while. I hope to hear soon, but it might be several more months. It might even be a rejection, but really, it might not. So, keep on being patient. I appreciate it while things get sorted.

I’m also still dealing with intense grief. This year has been very difficult on many levels, which I will not get into here. But I miss my little girl. She was the sweetest girl I could have hoped to have, and I’m so lucky I got to know her and love her for 7 years. It wasn’t long enough, but that was all the time I had. I’m so grateful for that short time, and I feel like a better person because of it. It was a privilege to raise her from a rambunctious, crazy little puppy into the loving, happy girl she was at the end, tail always wagging. What a great loss, as you can imagine. My heart will forever miss her.

While I’m still trying to recover, if you haven’t left a review for Descent of the Vile or The Blood Hotel, please consider doing so. My books will sell better with positive reviews, and I only have very few. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the books as much as I enjoyed writing them. Thank you so much!

My favorite non-SFF books (at the moment)

In line with my previous post, here are my favorite books (at the moment), which are not science fiction or fantasy related. Again, this list changes constantly, so don’t think of it as all-inclusive. Here we go:

Lindsey Davis – Flavia Albia (series)

Carol Goodman – The Drowning Tree

Jo Graham – The Black Ships

William Shakespeare – Hamlet

Andy McDermott – Wilde and Chase (series)

Ruth Downie – Medicus (series)

I’m sure I’m forgetting a few. I included Hamlet even though it isn’t a novel because I have it in book form and it is a work of fiction, hence my wording of “books” and not “novels.” I hope there are some titles there you might enjoy (or have enjoyed). They’re not very similar in style, but I do read lots of different genres, which you should, too. As much as SFF is my favorite, I do think there are lots of great authors to be read, and not all of them write SFF. Also, there are great indie authors out there, which my local library doesn’t stock a lot of. Therefore, I haven’t been able to read as many of them as I like, but if you can afford to do so, support indie authors when you can, even if it is just leaving a good review or spreading word of mouth about a book you liked.

Thanks so much, everyone!

My favorite SFF books (at the moment)

The following is a list of my favorite science fiction and fantasy books (and series). This list is ever-changing, but this is the list as of today:

Andy Weir – Project Hail Mary

Connie Willis – Bellwether

Martha Wells – The Murderbot Diaries (series)

John Scalzi – The Collapsing Empire (series)

Christopher Paolini – Inheritance (series)

Nick Sagan – Idlewild (series)

Perhaps I’ll make another list as I add to this. Feel free to check out these authors, in addition to indie authors. These are just the ones I usually name, but there are many others.

I also read other genres, but that’s another post!

ARCs are here!!!

I received my ARCs from my publisher today! They look amazing! I’m so happy with the way this book turned out. But don’t take my word for it. Preorder and get your copy by May 1!

ARC copies of The Blood Hotel

Also, early feedback on the book is making me very happy. Here is an example:

Feedback on The Blood Hotel

But again, don’t take my word for it! This is a sequel to the previous novel, Descent of the Vile. Events take place about five years after the ones in Book 1, but you should still be able to follow the story.

Thank you to everyone who has already purchased a copy! I hope you enjoy the book! If you do, I would very much appreciate a good review left at your point of purchase and/or Goodreads. Until later, everyone!

Cool people at The Twig

I met lots of interesting, fun people today. Somehow, I only snapped one photo. So, this one is for Cathryn. Congrats to you, and thank you. Hope you enjoy the book! To everyone else, thank you for stopping by my table. I enjoyed meeting all of you. I’m thinking of planning some more events later in the year to promote my next two books. So, keep an eye on this space for news!

Returning to the Twig

Tomorrow I have my next book signing for Descent of the Vile at The Twig Bookshop! Details are on my Upcoming Appearances page, but if you’re in town, come by my table! I’ll be there from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm.

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