Category Archives: Dammit!

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.

Writerly Wednesday: The Broken World update

Hi, loyal readers! As you’ve (probably) seen me mention, I totally fucked up my right shoulder the weekend after Thanksgiving and that’s really had a huge impact on my workflow.

This is exactly how I feel right now

Things are progressing along, but I’m at a weird stage in my recovery. I am no longer in constant excruciating pain. Rather, I have near-constant low-grade pain (like a 2/3 on a scale of 1-10; I’ve done a lot of pain rating lately) and my shoulder tires easily. This means that I occasionally forget that it’s actually still pretty injured and then do stuff like “pour heavy laundry detergent” which had the dual benefit of rotating my fucked up rotator cuff and being heavier than my weak-ass arm can handle. That did not end well.

ANYWAY – I’ve finally started writing again this week (last week was a wash, meaning I really did lose NaNoWriMo this year…sad face) and am getting close to 1K words/day in the mornings before work. (After work, my arm is too tired, since I spend all day at work on the computer as well.)

I need a scribe. 

What does this mean for the release date? At this point, I’m not sure. I’m still hoping to finish it up this month so I can get it released in March 2018 as planned. I’m more than half way done, but it’s slow, slow going right now.

Current typing speed

I’m still planning on releasing four books in 2018. (If someone could send me a few sacks of money or a timeturner, which I would definitely sell for money, that’d be great.)

The Broken World (Eleanor #4) in March (fingers crossed) and then the first three books in my Oracle Bay series in October, November, and December.

PNW Coast? Check. Unionized psychics? Check. A little mystery and a lot of romance? Double check.

So really, what’s my point? This is going to happen and I will get through this, make all my deadlines, and make you all (hopefully) very, very happy.

Three Things Thursday: My baby’s in kindergarten

  1. After a one-day delay due to heat and terrible air quality, Alvie Bean started kindergarten yesterday. He was beyond ready, and so was I. Kind of. I mean, my eyes watered a bit off and on all day yesterday, but that was probably from the smoke. I got to FaceTime with him last night and I don’t think he even took a breath while telling me all about his first day. I’m sad that I won’t get to see him again until Monday (or, as he informed me, his fourth day of kindergarten), but I’m glad he had a wonderful time.

    First day of kindergarten!

    He was so ready for school that he didn’t even notice I wasn’t next to him as he took off.

  2. Speaking of air quality, it’s so bad here. My throat hurts, my eyes burn, and I have a constant headache. The whole western US is on fire, I think. Obviously the fires in the Columbia River Gorge are my main concern, both due to their proximity and the fact that I love that area so much (and it’s been destroyed because of teens with fireworks). All spring, Portland (and the PNW in general) was breaking precipitation records. Between our snowfall in January and the rain that lasted until June 13, it was wet. So wet. Since June 13, we’ve had 0.01″ of rain in Portland (8/13/17). Seriously: 0.01 inches in the last 88 days. So much precipitation early led to a lot of growth and then our record heat and extended dry spell made everything a tinderbox. There’s no real rain in the forecast for the next ten days, and between our fires, the hurricanes in the Atlantic, the earthquakes in SE Idaho, I’m beginning to wonder if this is the apocalpyse. (Eleanor is really sorry.)

    Ashfall on my car Tuesday morning

    Regional Wildfire map as of 9 am this morning

    This morning’s smoke-obscured red sun.

     

  3. I am so ready for rain and autumn and sweaters and leaves turning colors and cooler weather and Halloween. (True fact: I got married on Halloween so that even if I ended up divorced, there wouldn’t be a sad divorce day, just a “it’s still Halloween and Halloween is awesome” day.)

    Me, last night, pretending it’s autumn…and sweating like crazy.

    I’m just gonna leaf this here.

    Halloween is the best

    I’ve really grown as a person since my excessively DIY hippie days of a decade ago.

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Three Things Thursday: Uterus TMI

  1. You may or may not have blocked out the fact that I am in a war with my uterus, and so far, it’s winning. In the last six years, I have tried the following methods to wrangle it into submission:
    1. Pregnancy (worked for a while, but then I was no longer pregnant [and thank fuck for that] and all the bad came back).
    2. IUD. I had one of these inserted a few months after Bean was born. Actually, it took two tries (and literally three people to move my abdomen around and tilt my cervix up so someone could get it in because everything is wonky in there). Finally, I had an IUD and I hated it. I was in extreme discomfort all the time in the lower left quadrant, i.e. the  fallopian tube region. After eight months of stupid pain and major discomfort, I requested it get evicted. I knew I was done procreating, so we went to step 3.
    3. Essure. Little springs are inserted into the fallopian tubes and in about 3 months, scar tissue grows over them blocking the passages so sperm can’t get in and eggs can’t get out. (Sidenote: Bean loves anatomy books and we were looking at the reproductive system. “Mom, what are testicles even for? They’re weird.” Me: “They make the sperm that is needed to make babies.” Horrified look. “I don’t want any sperm.” “No worries, my love. You’re too young to be making sperm.” Bean: “Well, when I’m old enough, how do I make it? Do I eat some eggs and flour and sugar?” Me: “I can’t stop laughing long enough to admit I don’t know the exact mechanics of sperm production.”)
      Anyway, when the Essure procedure was happening, the docs found that my IUD wasn’t hanging out all happy like the below image, but instead was trying to make friends with my left ovary via the fallopian tube. That is not ideal and explains the discomfort.
    4. Essure sterilized me, but did nothing for the dysmenorrhea or anemia-inducing flow, so I was put on a progesterone-only pill, which stopped working effectively about a year ago. (I can’t have estrogen birth control because I get ocular migraines, and apparently having a stroke is bad.)
    5. After a few months of having menstrual cycles averaging 9-15 days, I’d had enough. We scheduled an ablation to destroy the lining of my uterus, eliminating menstruation and hopefully the majority of the dysmenorrhea. That didn’t take. My uterus, rather than looking like a nice little triangle, is roughly diamond-shaped (which might also explain the IUD issues, and btw – fuck you to the person who accused me of lying about my IUD issues; you are a twat of the first order). Several attempts to deploy the uterus blaster failed, leaving me sore and really fucking sad that once again, my uterus was winning.

      After staring at uterus pictures for a long time, I am now convinced those are arms and hands and they want to strangle me.
      I’m not sure exactly what my abnormal shaped uterus looks like (it’s definitely not a fully bicornated one), but it’s not fucking normal, because of course it’s not.

    6. The last few months since the failed ablation have been awful. Cramps lasting upwards of two weeks, including 24-36 hours of full-body cramps, vicious headaches, and pain in my legs rendering me unable to walk. There is a lot of crying and nausea involved and it is no good.Now that you’re all caught up, let’s go to Tuesday!
  2. Last Friday, while on day 7 of cramps, I gave up and contacted my doctor. “Please do something to help with pain management!” I begged. “It is sucking the life out of me and I can’t do this every 3 weeks for the rest of my life.” So yesterday I went in and got a Nexplanon implant in my arm. I read a few pubmed studies on using the implant to treat severe dysmenorrhea, and for the 80% who kept the implant past 3 months (20% dropped out because of an increase in irregularity and volume of bleeding), they almost across the board saw a huge reduction in pain. Like pain levels previously at an 8 or 9 dropped down to below 5 in six months and below 2 in nine months. (And 20% of women saw an almost complete cessation in menstruation.) My uterus has not been giving me the best outcomes so far, but I am hopeful that this one fucking time, I can get the pain reduction and have no more bleeding. Ever. So, I’d appreciate all the well-wishes, prayers, positive energy, and candles lit for my uterus. (My NP said she was going to go home and light a candle for my uterus and I just love her so much.)

There is a surprising dearth of uterus candles on the internet. Someone needs to get on that.

  1. Ten days of cramps plus the other stuff that comes with it (bodily fluids = ewwww…) mean my mental acuity is not top-notch. Chronic pain plus borderline anemia really fucks with your brain. Yesterday was a hard, hard day. I went to get my implant and couldn’t remember what floor my doctor was on in the hospital, even though this was my sixth visit in three months. I asked the reception desk if it was on the 3rd or 5th floor. Turns out it was on the 4th.Next, I had to do a pregnancy test, because those are the rules even when you’ve been spayed. I took my labeled cup into the bathroom, peed, flushed, washed my hands, and then looked at the cup I’d set on the shelf and not used at all.And then last night, I attempted to make dinner. Nothing fancy. It was taco Tuesday, but Bean requested burritos (he then refused to eat those burritos because he wants to see how fast mama can lose her mind). First, I set the plastic salsa container on the stove while I heated up the back burned to warm tortillas. (You know where this is going, right?) Yeah. I didn’t turn on the back burner. You know what smells great? Melted plastic mixed with salsa. Then, when adding avocado to the beer guy’s burrito, I threw it on myself and the floor. And then, my tortilla flipping, which I usually excel at, was terrible. And to wrap it all up, when flipping the beer guy’s burrito, it didn’t flip and everything ended in sadness and tears for everyone. (Mostly me.)

    (For Marcy)

    I am really, really looking forward to feeling better and hope this implant will be the key to getting me there sooner. I’m pretty tired of always being tired. I’d like to have the energy back and not be alternately a giant ball of intense cramps or sore from being a giant ball of intense cramps.


    In conclusion, you know more about my reproductive system’s fuckery than you probably wanted to, but if you send me a case of red wine, I promise to not talk about it any more.

 

 

 

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