FREE BOOK!

Seriously!

You can enter to win a chance to win the first book in Darynda Jones’s Charley Davidson series, that I loved unreservedly until the end of book 9. Now I am only loving it reservedly. For reasons.

However, if you’d like to obtain your very own copy of the first book in the series, you can enter to win here by agreeing to follow me on Amazon! (I just picked up the 12th book in the 13-book series last night. Because I love Charley and I have hope!)

Other freebies, you request?

If you want to win a Kindle Fire, I’ve got the giveaway for you. It involves signing up for a few author newsletters, but they’re probably all awesome authors…I know this, because I’m one of them.

I know I’m way, way behind in book reviewing. I have a number to do. Last autumn –between the kid, my shoulder, and my broken brain–kicked my ass.

My kid is so much better that I can’t even describe it. It was almost like he was possessed by a demon for two months. (And then, the demon leapt into my phone? Hmmm….plausible.) BUT, the old priest and the young priest and the best kindergarten teacher who’s ever lived exorcised that bullshit and things are so, so good now. I’ve gone from cautiously optimistic to status quo.

My shoulder is immensely better. I have five more PT sessions left, but my pain levels are almost always less than two, and even when it flares, it relaxes quickly. My strength is still lacking, but my range of motion and flexibility is getting better.

And finally – ahhh, the broken brain. This was the real problem. The reason my writing productivity was the lowest it’s been in four (seriously – FOUR!years. The other issues definitely compounded it, but I guess there’s only so long you can hold the crazy at bay before it comes back for you.

I’m not the best at medication compliance. Except for antibiotics. I always finish my antibiotics. Everything else? Nope. I feel better, or get bored, or decide that the professionals don’t necessarily know what they’re talking about. So I quit. And then, rather than tell anyone I’ve quit, I also quit seeing the prescribing doc. This was less of a problem in the previous years, because it was always easy for me to find someone new when needed. Now that I no longer work at a medical center, it’s suddenly more challenging.

I haven’t completely solved everything, but I made it through the darkest quarter of the year (Sept-December are always, always, always the worst for me), I have a temporary solution, and I’m feeling productive and hopeful.

My General, my Space Mom…and even now, I can’t believe she’s gone.

It’s a long journey and there’s still so much stigma. But you know what? If Carrie Fisher can talk about it, then so can I. Just a little. I’m a work in process, but I’m getting there.

Bonus: I’ve written 8/9 days this month and will finish The Broken World this week. (My cover is underway! AHHHH!)

76 days until you can find out what happens when Eleanor opens the final gate!

Thank you for all your support during the end of last year. It means a lot to me. I got a lot of nice messages from readers (and friends) (and friends who are readers and readers who’ve become friends) and they meant a lot to me.

Pretty sure this is going to be an awesome year…

Demon Possessed Phone

You guys – I think my phone is possessed by demons. Remember last Thursday when I tragically lost my phone for almost an hour at physical therapy?

Today, I plugged it in to my work computer to charge it, and iTunes asked if I wanted to do the latest update. I did not, because work! And reasons…but I don’t know what happened. It started updating. And then, THEN! I got an error, saying the update failed and that I’d need to do some other update thing from my last backup.

But that didn’t work, either! And my phone said I needed to restore to factory settings. And lo! I was sad, because I have a lot of stuff on this phone. Like 2400 pictures, not all of which are backed up to my home computer (most are, but some that I took Saturday on my book research trip with Alvie Bean haven’t yet been backed up).

I whinged to the Beer Guy and my PSM, took a deep breath, and hit “restore.”

Halfway through the process, my work computer started to import photos from my phone. 253 for some reason. It was an odd assortment, but at least included every single selfie I have of me and the aforementioned Beer Guy, as well all the pics I took over the weekend.

And then, it was done. And I was afraid to see what was going on with my phone.

But you know what? There was nothing different. All 2400 pics were still there. Every single app–still there.

Nothing was changed, except that the software was updated to the newest version.

And I’m pretty sure I heard it laughing at me.

Three Things Thursday: PT Edition

  1. I had physical therapy this morning. I had to do exercisey things, including an arm bicycle and throwing a ball at a trampoline. It turns out that I am really good at throwing balls at the trampoline target and catching them again. All those years of softball paid off with muscle memory, I guess.
  2. My physical therapist says that since starting, my mobility has already increased exponentially, as well as my strength, and he’s confident that five more sessions will have me almost 100% back to normal. It also helps that I’ve been doing all my exercises at home. I’m also noticing a huuuuuuge pain reduction. So huge, that most days, on a scale of 1-10, I’m at a 3 or less. I still need to be careful lifting things, and I am banned from lifting my kid, but since starting PT, the change has been immediate and amazing.
  3. I lost my phone today. At PT. When I’d get out to my car, my watch would show that it wasn’t paired. When I’d go back to the building, my watch would pair up again and I’d get alerts. I spent 45 minutes with the best facilities worker in the world (shout out to Daniel!) looking for my damn phone. I learned how to ping my phone from my watch and met a whole lot of really nice people in the building. There is a happy ending to this story, though. My phone has been found. The sad thing is I didn’t find it in time to get Daniel’s phone number so we can hang out and be bff’s.

Monthly Goals – January 2018

I have some decent goals set for the year (see yesterday’s post). In order to meet those goals, as well as the other things that I want to achieve in the next 3 months/1 year/3 years/5 years, I need to be on task and accountable.

I spent a great deal of time with my #passionplanner yesterday, doing brainstorming and determining which of each of my 3 month/1 year/3 year/5 year goals is the most important for each of those time periods and then figuring out how to be successful at that one goalTheoretically, that success will help inform my success at everything else.

I have a number of things I’d like to accomplish over the next three months, but the very most important bit is getting to a place of health. I know myself, although apparently I’m more frenemies with me than I ought to be, and I know that the healthiest I’ve ever been – both physically and mentally – was when I was averaging a minimum of one hour of exercise a day. This was also a period of time when I was only working part time (and only one job), wasn’t writing regularly, and didn’t have a kid. I was going to grad school, but that wasn’t nearly as time consuming as parenting/writing/free-lancing/and actually wanting to spend time with my partner.

I’ve decided to pick a different word each month of the year to encompass what I need from the month to achieve my top priority goal. So, for January, that word is:

MOVEMENT

This doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to be running 20-30 miles/week starting today. (Mostly because I’m trying to be sensible and I have a book deadline.) It’s a reminder to myself to keep going forward. Whether that’s physically (and it needs to be), or with the other actions that inform my health and well-being, I need to keep going.

 

I’ve changed my computer and phone wallpaper to a rotation of inspirational quotes, because I am awesome like that. And if you see me or hear me being self-destructive, I give you permission to chastise me severely.

Happy January, readers! I hope you reach all your goals this month and beyond.

Do you have a word/words that you try to live up to for a year? 

2018: Me First

I’ve done a lot in the last 2.5 years. I’ve published three books, gotten my freelance business off the ground, started an LLC with my partner-in-all-things, moved twice, divorced (once), started a new relationship, and seen my kid through some thoroughly hellish ups and downs. I’ve traveled to Iceland and Mexico (as well as some domestic trips). I’ve lost a job and started a new one.

There is, however, one very important thing that I didn’t do.

I didn’t take care of myself.

For some reason, everyone and everything else came first. I just couldn’t find the time to take care of me, and later I couldn’t find a reason.

I’ve been doing a lot of patchwork to try to keep myself afloat and trying really hard to fake it ’til I make it.

Everything’s Fine!

I told myself that as long as I was meeting all my work deadlines (for all 3 jobs), I was doing okay. The fact that I wasn’t eating or sleeping or exercising or feeling good about anything ever would correct itself in time.

NARRATOR VOICE: “It did not, in fact, correct itself.”

I found myself, by the end of the year, in a situation where I couldn’t take one more thing. So, of course, that’s when at least one more thing happened. Things were rough with my kid, and then I fucked up my shoulder, and those two things together made me just. stop. functioning.

It got to the point where my situation was untenable, but I was so far off-course, I didn’t know how to self-correct. So, after months of innumerable calls to millions (possible slight exaggeration) of therapists, and after spending most of a day crying, I got three phone calls in two days for people who finally had room for me!

If only it were that easy. And that cheap.

I had my first appointment Thursday, and it was hard. He said a lot of things that were absolutely true and that I absolutely did not want to hear.

I’m not quite to the sharing place yet, so I’m gonna be pretty vague about what those things were, but although it was hard AF, it was important. The bottom line is that I have a lot of work to do. This work is going to have to be first and foremost in everything I do for the next year. And don’t worry! You can come along for the ride!

I have several goals for this year, some big and some small. But first and foremost, is one (not-so-) simple goal.

Me First

18 Goals for 2018

  1. Adhere to all therapeutic interventions. This means do my physical therapy exercises as instructed and as often as instructed. This means that if medication is prescribed, I will take said medication, as instructed, for as long as instructed, and I will not stop taking said medication without the go-ahead from the prescribing physician.
  2. Write four books. (Tiny goal!)
  3. Make a profit in my writing/freelancing business
  4. Moisturize a lot more often
  5. Walk/run the four quarter marathons I signed up for.
  6. Go to Ireland and Spain and have a really good time.
  7. Find a better after school care for Alvie when he starts 1st grade
  8. Belgium, hopefully
  9. Take care of my body by eating regular, healthy meals, drinking plenty of water, sleeping an adequate amount each night, and moving it about on the regular
  10. Take more pictures with me and other people.
  11. Learn to read for pleasure again
  12. Really work hard at meditation
  13. VITAMINS
  14. Work on my language learning
  15. Hug the Bean more. Pick him up, way, way less.
  16. Buy clothes that fit and get rid of things (clothes, etc.) in my life that don’t make me feel good.
  17. Get my black boots repaired.
  18. Take time, every day, to appreciate the good things in my life.

Happy 2018, blog readers! 

Remember: