A Few Items of Interest

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Photo of reporter’s notebook by grafixtek on Flickr and used here with Creative Commons license.

There are a few things I’ve been thinking about. Some relate directly to this blog and others are about my writing and books in general. Let’s start with the blog-related stuff.

Schedule

I have been aiming for two posts a week. There have been some weeks I’ve had three and some I’ve had one. I don’t think there have been any weeks that I’ve had none since I started this. (I could be wrong.)

My upload days have been Tuesday and Thursday.

That is going to be changing somewhat. I will still upload on Tuesday, but the second day will be Friday from here on out. Bonus posts will go up whenever they go up. That’s why they’re bonuses.

Books

Many of you know the majority of my books have been indie-published. I’ve used CreateSpace for this. However, Amazon appears to be merging CreateSpace and KDP, so in the very near future,

I will be migrating everything over to KDP. When I do that, I will have re-release dates/events for all the titles. I will announce those here and on my Facebook author page (not my profile, though they will be shared there too).

RealmWalker: New Beginnings

I finished the passive voice editing pass tonight. Tomorrow, I will start using Word’s “find” feature to look for some specific things. I think it’s close to being ready to send back to my editor, though.

RealmWalker: Anchor

I can’t mention New Beginnings without talking about Anchor, can I? Well, I guess I could, but I won’t.

Progress on Anchor has been slow because of editing New Beginnings. However, with this round of edits nearing completion, I will soon be back to work on writing this second book. On the plus side? In one pivotal scene in New Beginnings, I put a hint of what is to come in book two. That was fun.

Personally

There are a couple other reasons why progress has been slow on Anchor. I thought about not sharing them, but I decided to. Not because I feel like I owe anyone an explanation, but because we’re all human. We all have problems that keep us from what we want to do sometimes and I want you to know you’re not alone in whatever you have going on.

I have had problems requiring visits to Wound Care. Because of that, I have to keep my foot elevated more than not. It’s not easy to do computer work like that. So I’ve limited myself to an hour to an hour and a half in the evenings. Today’s visit was good, though. One area is completely resolved and the other is close. Maybe I’ll be done with Wound Care (again) very soon. (Don’t get me wrong. There are wonderful people there and I’ve made some good friends through the times I’ve had to be there.)

I have been having problems with my left wrist, too. At first I thought it was just arthritis. Then I noticed that there is an area that stays swollen. I mentioned it to my doctor a few months ago. He pressed down on my thumb and I just about came up out of the chair, the pain from that surprised me so much. We both laughed about it. He said it was a “positive Finklestein’s test” and I have tenosynovitis, or tendonitis of the tendon that goes from my wrist up into my thumb. He gave me a prescription steroid ointment and told me to wear a brace for a month. I did. It didn’t help. I started sleeping in the brace. I mentioned it again this week when I saw him. He prescribed an anti-inflammatory medication and said to wear the brace during the day but don’t sleep in it. That’s where I’m at now.

I can type with the brace, but not at my usual speed. I’m seriously thinking about using voice-to-text when I start back to work on Anchor.

At any rate, those are the relevant updates I’ve been thinking about here. Have a great weekend.

Getting Personal for a Minute

There are some things I don’t talk about on my blog or social media. It’s not that I’m embarrassed or ashamed, but they don’t fit in with my brand. Some of that will be changing, but there’s some that still won’t be talked about much.

One of the things I don’t talk about is my health. On one hand, it doesn’t fit with what I want to be known for and what I do. On the other hand, it definitely does because our health directly impacts everything.

I am diabetic. I have been for 14 1/2 years. I am a mosquito magnet. I always have been. About four years ago, I got a mosquito bite in the middle of my left shin. Instead of welting up like most mosquito bites do, this one turned into a blister.

I had what is known as skeeter syndrome.

As blisters do, it popped. Then it turned into a sore. I put Neosporin on it and took care of it myself. But it kept getting worse. I kept hiding it. I wouldn’t even think about wearing shorts, capris, or skirts. Keep in mind this is probably in the middle of summer and I’m only wearing jeans or long pants.

This went on for about six months. Maybe longer. My mom caught a peek of the bottom edge (which was, at that point, near my ankle) and made me go the emergency room. I was angry. I shouldn’t have been, but I was.

From there, they referred me to Wound Care. I went to Wound Care twice a week for almost three years. It would get smaller, ultimately to the point where it closed, but it would open back up. I was on strong antibiotics on multiple occasions. They talked about out-patient IV antibiotic treatment and even admitting me to the hospital for IV antibiotics.

Finally, with all of the medications, compression wraps, staying off my foot, getting my blood sugar under (much) better control, and keeping my foot elevated as much as possible, it closed. At this point, it has been closed since the first of February.

To summarize what all happened and what I learned while I was going through Wound Care:

  • The doctor who first saw me called me after lab results came in and asked if I was still on the hospital grounds. (I wasn’t. I was at another doctor’s appointment.) If I had been, he would have had me admitted because my blood sugar was so high.
  • You can develop an allergy to Neosporin. It causes skin breakdown, which can make sores and wounds grow and get worse instead of heal. This is what was happening to me during the time I thought I was taking care of it myself.
  • You can also develop an allergy to Bacitracin. Yes, I can no longer use Neosporin or Bacitracin. I have no idea what I will use if/when I need it.
  • I had MRSA three times in my left leg. That’s why I had so many strong antibiotics.

Some takeaways:

  • Some absolutely wonderful people work in Wound Care. I have made some very good friends.
  • I am so very glad my mom made me go to the ER. (For the record, I’m also legally blind so I don’t drive. She literally took me herself.)
  • I feel fortunate to be alive.
  • I feel fortunate to still have both legs.
  • Never assume ANYthing as a diabetic.

While I was going through this, I had some very low times. I had times where the only creative thing I did was crochet because I could do that with my foot propped up. That’s also why I learned to knit. (There’s a knitting/crochet/weaving/all-around fiber-y group that I go to once a month that was definitely a sanity saver.) I didn’t do much writing. I did some, but it was difficult to sit at the computer with my foot up.

Why am I telling all of this now?

I’ve been going to Wound Care for the past three months as a kind of maintenance strategy. Everything has been good in those three months.

Yesterday, I had my last appointment. This has been an emotional journey. I am grateful for the people who helped me on it.

(Phileen, Misti, Stephanie, Sparky, Vicki, Barb, Dr. Boren, Falisha — yes, I mean you.)

I hope nothing like this ever happens again, but I know if it does, I will not let it get bad before I get help.

Don’t take your health for granted. It literally impacts everything. Even your creativity.

Oops, I did it again

*insert Homer-esque D’oh! here*

Remember when I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I had been having problems with my leg but it was almost healed? Well…. It healed. It looked good. Everything was closed.

And then it reopened. There are a variety of reasons for this. I won’t bore you with them. Let’s just say that I went to Wound Care on Monday. My final appointment was supposed to be on Wednesday. You guessed it. No “final appointment” for me. At least not yet.

However, things will be different this time. While I do have to have my foot up, I don’t have to go into hibernation again. And I won’t. I have some posts planned coming up, so I will do those. You won’t have to wonder where I’ve gone, because I’ll still be here. Living the creative life.

Onward!