What I’m up to.

Wow, it’s been a minute.

I’m going to try and change this to a different site, with my nameauthor instead. I was very proud of Grim, but I think I’ve outgrown him. Plus the site itself is broken and my poor web designer is bogged down with other, more important things.

I am working as a social media coordinator for my publishers, Paper Angel Press and Water Dragon Publishing. I am also an acquisitions editor for them. Lastly, I do copyediting for them as well. I’ve written a book of poetry about how I hate my BFF (but I got over that). I’m trying to write a romance, but since I plotted it, it’s written.

I am still on dialysis, but I’ve allowed it to be part of my life. I also joined the celebrities who take Ozempic (though I have a legitimate reason!). Ozempic is a horror show and makes me sick. I chose Mounjaro because that’s not as severe. I was on that for a couple of months until no one could get it. Now GSK has solved the problem and it’s available again. I had a stroke last year that has affected my balance, so I’m using a rollator or a walker. I can still get around, but I stumble sometimes. Other health issues: pain in my thumb on my access arm, so I can’t do anything about it. Neuropathy in hands and feet, so I can’t touch-type anymore.

Still reading cards. Still playing CoX, but on the Indominable server. It has double xp, but it’s a very slow server. Sometimes I miss the roleplaying, but I’ve been using my creativity for the social media and other things for The Publisher.

My son is my caretaker and he’s doing a great job–sometimes too much. He wakes me in the middle of the night when my sugar is below 100 and makes me eat enough sugar to make it jump to 120. Then when I get up, it’s 160 or even higher.

So that’s what I’m up to.

I’m Back!

My website was down for a while because the theme I was using caused a critical error. Grimaulkin.com is still a hairball, and will probably get a new upgrade this year. Even so, I’m not really using this site for much except personal blogs.

Wow, what a year. I’m considered handicapped, and on “Long Term Care”. I still use a walker outside, and went to PT for about 3 months to get my gait/balance back. Most of the time, I can keep my balance. But when I’m really tired, or first wake up in the morning, I have a hard time walking or going down my stairs.

I was selling my husband’s tools, bit by bit. I got screwed a few times, but that was expected when you’re a clueless girl selling Snap-On and Craftsman tools. Well, one guy showed up, who was a property manager and handyman. Since I had a few things that needed to be done around the house, we exchanged tools for work. He put in railings on my stairs, bought me a new casement window to replace the one on my porch blown out by a hurricane a few years back (installation, Spring 24), and fixed my storm doors.

We cleaned up the boxes in my house and disturbed a mouse nest. Yes, we have mice this year. Our cats killed eight of them, and two brave ones are still running around. Called an exterminator, who said the best exterminator is our “mousers”.

In between, we were trying to get approved for my son to be my caretaker. He gets paid by “Seniorlink” who gets paid by Medicaid. I had to get approved by Mediaid, and they did at first in August (I started this process in April). Unfortunately, the person who approved me did it sight-unseen, and it was “approved in error”. I had go through it all over again, but expedited, which meant instead of taking six months, it took three. October, a social worker came out and took her sweet time to approve me in November–for the wrong Medicaid program.

Had to call and wait another month, and on December 15 we were all approved. Now we’re waiting for the check, cut on the 24th–which was a Sunday? And the 25th is Xmas. So it won’t get cut until the 26th. My mail is unreliable, so I have to keep an eye out on it all the time. Ring to the rescue.

Meanwhile, I lose other benefits, but gain more. Lost some SNAP (food stamps), but gained medical. Son now has a job that he’s happy with while I’m still independent. If, heaven forfend, I end up bedridden, he won’t like that too much.

So that’s where I am this year. Still around. Still dialysis. I’m doing a bit of copyediting and social media for my publisher to take some of the burden off him. I might try freelance copyediting, but my vision is going in my right eye, and my left thumb is all messed up so that I have no gripping strength.

I’ve given up on CoX since August. I still have the game when I want to use it, but this publisher work takes up most of my time, both organizing social media for the week/month, developing social media content, and copyediting novels and stories. It’s fun, I love it. This is my new job and it’s great. (Even if the boss micromanages–kidding.)

I’ll be back more often now that we’re functioning again.

When it can’t get worse

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.

TBR pile leftovers from 2022

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)

50: Blueforce

Dual Pistols/Super Reflexes

An ex-cop who bought his own armor and decided to become a vigilante.

This is a really good build. Damage is mediocre against 54’s, but he stays alive.

To Write to Market or not

What is a market that is almost a guarantee for sales?


Any kind.

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.

Top Ten of 2022, end of 4

Number One!


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.

Maybe next is “Murder She Wrote” cozies.

Top Ten of 2022, part 3 of 4

Number 4:


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.

Number 3:


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.

Number 2:


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.

Top Ten of 2022, Part 2 of 4

Number 7:


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.

Number 6:


“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.

Number 5:


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.