On February 12, I had a seizure and a stroke. It effected my sense of balance, coordination, and memory. On the 14th, I had another seizure. I woke up on Wednesday, the 15th after the last thing I remember was going to bed on Sunday night.
I didn’t know where I was or my full name. I didn’t know the year. I couldn’t touch my own nose.
I was a week in the hospital. I refused a skilled nursing facility, so they sent me home with some visiting nurses, PT and OT to regain my sense of balance. I have a walker, which I use temporarily because my right side is weakened. (The stroke was in the left cerebellum area.) I can still walk with aid, climb stairs with assistance, and type.
I haven’t done any writing yet, though I plotted out two stories.
Too much fluid. I almost was in the hospital after getting sick and not being able to breathe. Come to find out, I had fluid in my lungs that dialysis took care of on Tuesday.
I almost passed out on the way to dialysis, I did pass out at dialysis for three hours. I had to go to a funeral after that, and barely stayed awake through that. When I got home, I went right to bed and slept from 12 p.m. to 3 a.m., waking up every two hours. I felt a lot better. I’m still feeling weak. I’m not hungry but I just forced myself to eat half of an Eggo waffle. That’s all I could stomach.
The hospital doesn’t like giving people oxygen or pain meds. I got tons of tests done (CT scan, XRay of the lungs where they found the fluid, blood tests ad nauseum–even a urinalysis). Nothing. Everything normal.
The only thing I felt “wrong” was after eating dinner on Saturday–I felt overfull. Even the next day. But it was Christmas, and what do you do for that holiday? EAT. And throw up.
That’s what happened. Now I’m being careful. When I feel full, I absolutely STOP. I made a whole waffle, but couldn’t eat more than a half.
Maybe this is the catalyst to help me lose weight.
In October, my son dared me to not buy any more books. Ha. Hahahaha! I failed, as could be expected. So I compromised.
I bought Kindle books.
Here is my list of books to read this year before buying any new ones (yeah, right).
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Rex, Colonel Roosevelt – Edmund Morris American Lion – Jon Meacham SPQR – Mary Beard (this one might take a while) Byzantium – Judith Herpin MLP (oops, that’s not mine) Mastering Magick – Mat Aurin Piranesi – Susanna Clarke The Secrets of Story – Matt Bird Bad Gays – (can’t read the authors, too small) The Atlas Six – Olivia Blake Writing Historical Fiction – (can’t read the author) The Gray Raiders, Vol 1 and 2 A Primer for Poets and Readers of Poetry – Gregory Orr The Secrets of Character – Matt Bird The Gray Ghost – (author too small) What Would Johnny Dent Do? – (author unreadable) Hunter and Magus – Morgan Chalut The Cruel Prince – Holly Black Crescent City – Sarah J. Maas Crafting Magick – (author too small) The Life and Legacy of John Mosby – Charles River Editors (in progress)
What is a market that is almost a guarantee for sales?
Second is cozies.
The reading public is getting older, is mostly female. YA is read by middle-aged women as well as the YA audience it’s meant for. Gay romance is read by women (and now written by women, too).
My publisher, next year, is aiming for short works, because that’s where the money is. I don’t often write short works, and I can’t see myself doing novellas. My goal this year was to get a 75,000 word novel out. Fail.
I want to write a sellable story. Something that will make me money, for God’s sake. I’ve written what I liked, now I’m looking to the market.
And that market is romance.
The only romance I have in mind is Iron Buitterfly that’s been kicking around in my head for the last couple of years. I plotted it out the first third of the book, and lost interest. It got stupid. That’s what I find with romances: they get stupid.
I like to write paranormal romance, romantic suspense/mystery, cozy mysteries (thanks, mom), and gay romance without extra spice. Yeah, I’m getting old. (“Get off my lawn!”) The problem? There’s nothing in the well.
The only stimulus is Longmire and Walker that I’ve been watching while in dialysis. Reading is mostly non-fiction because I don’t want to make the effort to stick with fiction. Should I write fan-fiction, just to get things started? Actually, they’re putting their characters through the wringer enough.
I’m afraid I’ve lost my imagination. Maybe I’m trying too hard. Maybe I’m tying up the muse and she’s being stubborn. I show up every day and look at the empty notebooks I’ve stocked up on, waiting for Calliope to tell me stories.
Maybe the idea of writing for money is what’s stopping me. Or her. Writing used to be fun. Now it’ll be a job.
And Calliope probably doesn’t like that. So I don’t know what to do. Force the money-making story at gunpoint or wait for the inspiration? Man, this is tough.
An elder protagonist. An ancient dragon. Similar to Seeker last year, I’m getting into people my age being protagonists. We’re wise and experienced We see the young people doing stupid things and we scream at them not to. Maybe I’ve outgrown Urban Fantasy, YA, New Adult. I entirely skipped middle age; I’m into the Crone phase.
This book started me on the six-month Medieval phase. I read two more books by Dan Jones (The Crusaders and Summer of Blood). This guy is really good.
I bought Plottr, which is a really excellent plotting device, with assorted templates. This was one of them, and when I picked up the book, I realized that it was more than just how to write a romance. It’s how to write a story in general. Definitely worth the Kindle price.
Although this came out a while ago, I read it in advance of an interview I did with her at the beginning of the year. This was surprisingly good. (Surprise because I was also reading slush.) Vanessa takes the alien point of view and changes it a little, but still makes it applicable to our time. She also wrote “The Smugglers” and another favorite of mine, “Coke Machine.” Go here for more.
What a fun book, but what a stupid character. The author follows the formula for a cozy–more or less–and the culture reminds me of what I was brought up in. Food is what we gather around. Aunties (Tia’s) would say “Eat more of this.” Then in the next breath, “You should lose some weight.” The end was sudden and a right hook.
“Danelaw.” The Vikings ruled northern England and much of Scotland in the 400’s and on. They were pagan early on, but got Christian by the 800’s. These lost 600 years are wrapped in a pretty bow–but there’s so much missing. I’m not even going to bother with the Normans. See the Netflix series, The Last Kingdom for more information.
This is what I want Heaven to be. To let my soul live with different choices. To explore a life fully. A really fun book.
I’ll do three today, three tomorrow, and three Monday.
This is an excellent primer on more than just dealing with mammillary glands. The culture of how females act and react to fighting, what happens before, during and after a fight. How a girl can go from zero to sixty in 2.5 seconds. This book, combined with SCA fighter training, helps.
I read this after Four Lost Cities and found this one more interesting. I was planning on writing a novel taking place in the Levant, among the Chaldeans. As usual, I got two lines of dialogue and then nothing. But the research was fun. I got the hardcover because I plan on using this for a lot more research.
I read this over six months, attempting to do the solitary practitioner route. Once I got to “ambulating” and reading way too much of Israel Regardie’s stuff, I got oversaturated with ritual magic and finally put it away. Technically I didn’t finish it.
In March 1989, I wrote a poem called “revenge”. Basically, it was a fantasy of blowing someone’s head off.
I also wrote another poem called “Abandonment,” and a chapter from a novel “Blood And Roses” during my senior year of college. I presented these poems and stories to my English 300 class.
If you read this in 1989, you’d just think I’m a Stephen King fan or like horror. Reading it now, I don’t know now anyone can miss that I was just barely on the edge of sanity. They’d bring me to the Dean’s office lickety-split and I’d end up in the psych ward at the local hospital.
Instead, someone (I think the professor) scrawled across the bottom of the “revenge” poem, “BURN THIS.”
Obviously, I didn’t, as I carried that fury on with me to Hunter’s Realm/The Taurin epic fantasy I wrote. It’s chock full of hate and anger, and a Mary Sue character that makes me wince whenever she pronounces from on high. I kept the fury in the background in everything I wrote. Nothing I wrote was happy.
At the risk of turning off everyone from this blog or my writing, I’m going to be honest here. When I heard about Columbine, I will never forget my feelings while they gathered all the information on the two kids.
What a great idea.
By then, I was out of college and doing medical billing for a psych hospital (how ironic). I didn’t realize I had a “hit list”, a “plan”, and plenty of “opportunity.” As the years went by, I realize now that my obsession with mass shootings was because “Why didn’t I think of that?”
It wasn’t until 2019 when I got good therapy and the right meds. So after the last mass shooting, the one one at WalMart in Virginia, I felt sad. Not for the shooter, but for everyone else. I read his “manifesto” and my heart broke. Dude. I know what you were going through.
How can I reach these potential killers and tell them, “Hey, you’re not alone. I was like you. Then I got better. Here’s how.”
I still have to go through this box. This box that will uncover my dark side that no one understood. The dark side that I can look at now and realize what I was.
And after that comes the diaries in my hope chest. How far back did this go?