Specialist

This summer has been one of the most stressful in a while. With my mom’s spinal issues and one of the biggest projects of my IT career winding down, I’m finally coming up for air. In a week, I am finally taking some vacation (my last one was in Feb/early March – the writing workshop). My hands are still all kinds of messed up. This is the first day I’ve been back at the keyboard in about a month. Okay, looking at my last post, six weeks ago. I see a hand surgeon in a week or so. Still wearing braces on both hands. Still have pain in both and both my middle fingers have “trigger finger”. So adhesions on both tendon sheaths on my middle fingers as well as my thumbs. I dread seeing about this because they’re probably going to stick needles into my palms and shoot them with cortisone. Don’t want!!! Guess I’ve been flipping the bird too much. ūüôā

So, needless to say, there has been no writing for quite a while. But yesterday and today, I’ve started working on my SF trilogy, getting book one ready for a copyedit. Have to add a few things into book one so book two’s revision will work. Need the story arc of two other characters completed (they run alongside the other main characters). I’m three chapters in and God, it feels good to be into my fiction again. I’ve been so depressed all summer, feeling like an ex-writer. I can’t wait to retire and write full time. It’s the only thing keeping me going right now.

Typing is still tough and really hurts, but fuck it. If I can’t write, I don’t want be a part of this world. Now, that I’ve survived this huge work project, I want to get back to living/writing.

My favorite quote is from Ray Bradbury: “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” This is my mantra. Because reality is a bitch and I admit, I’m a pretty fragile writer. It’s something that I struggle with daily. I never feel good enough, smart enough, etc., etc. I always feel like the imposter with that horrible voice in my ear telling me how bad I suck at writing. Being drunk on writing for me means getting lost in the worlds, the characters, so deep that voice is drowned out by the wonder. So, trying to get my writer’s buzz back on, write through the pain, and just get back to it. If I didn’t have to work full time, I’d be so in the zone and writing my ass off on the books I want to write instead of trickling words onto the page a couple of hours a night, forced to stop because of work the next morning. God, will that time ever come?

 

Setbacks

Saw my doctor this week. Was diagnosed with de Quervain’s. A fancy word for bi-lateral thumb/wrist pain. Inflammation in the sheath that houses the thumb tendons and lets them move freely. Causing pain and numbness…me and millions of other people who use a computer all the time‚Ķblah, blah, blah pain when I type/can’t grip door handles‚ÄĒwear braces on both hands 24/7‚ÄĒrest‚ÄĒice‚ÄĒNSAIDs…you know the drill. We ALL know the drill. So, kids‚ÄĒtake care of your hands. I took the week off from writing, letting my hands rest.

Thanks to everyone who picked up the Moonscapes bundle! Ablegamers is a great charity! I’m so happy I got to help raise money for them. I’m so glad that such a group exists and I appreciate their efforts to help people with disabilities reconnect to gaming.

Today I’m at the computer, intending to work on book 2 (Enigma) of my True Purple series (my first series :>). Need to work through Dr. Kingston’s story arc and layer it against Peter’s and Diana’s POVs. As soon as I complete this arc, I can add the final hooks into book one (called Recombinant) and send it off to my favorite copyeditor. Then start working on book three (Cipher).

In other news, I’m putting the final edits to bed for my short story, A Pearl into Darkness, for the upcoming crime anthology, Justice (Fiction River – early 2018). This is an important story to me. A hard one to tell, but one I couldn’t turn away from.

My SF novel, Rediscovery is in its final prep stages and will be appearing at the end of July¬†from Elusive Blue Fiction. I have a handful of standalone novels that Elusive Blue Fiction will be publishing alongside my True Purple series (military SF with romantic elements) over the next few years. Also, I am working on another series (urban fantasy) set in the world of my Speechless in Seattle short story. And some other series I am considering. So many projects. Wish I could quit my day job and write full-time. Someday, I hope. For now, will just keep on keeping on‚Ķsome writing time is better than no writing time. I was hoping to do a novel dare this month, but I’ll have to shift it to August to let my hands heal a bit.

Back to work!

Novel Proof!

IMG_0302Look what arrived in today’s mail! The proof for my first novel, Isabel’s Tears! Holding a physical book in my hand for the first time…there just aren’t words. It will be out toward the end of July. I’m just thrilled…my first novel will finally see the light of day. At last! Did I also mention that I’m writing a sequel to Isabel’s Tears? Looks like the Sundial Inn has decided to give up more stories. Cassidy and Griff are going to have their hands full again.

Raising the dead

gravesI don’t even know where to start this post. I feel like a lifetime has passed since the gauntlet that’s been my life began. I remember how things were going to be different, I told myself when a cold, snowy January rang in the new year: 2014. I’d been writing my ass off, looking forward to a workshop far from the snow. But January 10th changed everything. The day my mom broke two-three¬†vertebrae in her back. I was able to attend my February workshop, but it was a struggle because my mom needed care. When I returned home, things were worse, so much worse. Two back surgeries later and still, she could barely move. Leaving me in a caretaker role. I remember how difficult taking care of my father had been when he suffered through a decade of Parkinson’s and heart trouble. As much as I love my mom, I just didn’t think I had it in me to be full-time caregiver, full-time employee, and working writer. Moving up the chain at work into a directorial role had left me over-worked and over-stressed over the past two years as it was. Combined with back/knee/chronic pain issues, I wasn’t in a very good personal state to embark on another¬†horrible boat-ride down the river Styx with no paddle and no coin for the ferryman. Especially when they buckled me in with a fucking shoulder harness.

So, needless to say, I went kicking and whining and screaming on a year-long odyssey of self-destruction while I tried to get my mom help, keep my job, and keep my cats from eating me when they ran out of food. Thank God for Amazon Prime and Petflow. By December of 2014, I looked out the window at another cold, dreary winter, much colder than the last, and realized that ol’ Charon had kicked my boat away from shore and toward the falls. And miraculously, the boat had landed upright in little wooden splinters all over the frozen lake of Hell. Yes! Hell. Had. Frozen! So, I undid my shoulder harness (okay, it was already smashed into pieces), and got up from the icy ground. I can do this, I told myself, striding toward the crunchy white grass. And slipped and fell on my ass. Yep, with all the fun going on, I discovered that I had some bulging discs that doubled me over with…more fun! Yep, I was in the perfect position to take over for ol’ Sisyphus who needed to go on holiday and needed a sub to push his fucking rock up and down the hill for a few more months. So, naturally, I just couldn’t pass up such a wonderful opportunity. And since it was colder than a witch’s tit in a brass bra (yeah, that’s so old, but hey, I’m not gettin’ any younger these days, myself), I could ice my back and help out a bro with his rock-recreation at the same time. Multitasking!

So the unfun continued into some even more unfun until it brought to me to the year 2015. My mom’s back was better, enough that she could take care of things without me making them worse (like not putting the skillets in the right cabinet or making beds with the pillows on top of the comforter). BUT…then I found out I had a wee bit of internal bleeding. Just a wee bit. Not like a geyser or when you forget and leave the hose running in the backyard. Just a little bit that showed up in test I didn’t want to take. Thanks to a good doctor who nagged the hell out of me to go have the test that no one wants to take, I still put it off until April. After enduring the native ritual of ingesting only the most tasteless substances of the earth, including a shitload (pun intended) of only the worst tasting sports drinks’ flavors made (‘coz red and purple bad) and being denied my one pleasure in life (Diet Coke – hey, I live on the edge), I embarked on the day I said would never come: Colonoscopy Day. Holee fuck was this a bad day! There’s SO MANY THINGS they don’t tell you. See, your mind tries to protect you and so it deletes these little horrors so they won’t wake you up screaming at 3 AM when you realize that all that shit they make you take doesn’t stop working just because your procedure time arrives. No, this is energizer bunny shit that goes and goes and goes and it doesn’t matter that you’re so done with this relationship. It’s that bad ex-boyfriend who follows you to your favorite coffee house or that awesome sports bar you used to love. It comes with you to the hospital, comes with you to registration, sits with you in your hospital bed when they tell you the procedure’s been delayed an hour so just hang tight while your bowels blow up like beach balls and you feel like if you move¬†an inch, it will be a large Hadron collider,¬†black hole explosion of ¬†Gatorade and chicken broth and fucking peach popsicles you’ve been living on for 36 hours. And then finally, they take you in for the procedure and just when you think you just can’t deal with another moment, the blessed drugs kick in and you fade into a shamed and broken sleep while they…sigh…y’know. Take more pictures than a war correspondent of things you didn’t even want to know existed.

It took a while for the results (weeks, but hey, who’s counting, right? it’s just a little internal bleeding…just a little), but in the end, I dodged a bullet. Precancerous. Don’t know if those ninja polyp bastards were studying cancer blueprints to take over my colon or if they’d just been around long enough that they wanted to make a club for the whole gang. Either way, I dodged a serious bullet and I at least owe my doctor a fruit basket. It wasn’t until after they were gone that I realized how much pain I no longer had. It’s amazing how long you can live with something and how many ways you can explain something away to yourself.

So, that brings me to June and summer¬†and the moment when I realized that I had again been lying on the floor for a fucking year and a half. I’m sure that I owe a bazillion people emails, so if you emailed me without response…my apologies on going dark. There was just too much fun to be had and I admit, I was being selfish and not sharing it. I’ve given Charon back his boat, Sisyphus his rock, and I only twitch a little bit when I see a bottle of Gatorade. But I’m alive, dammit. And stuff needs to get written. It never writes itself unfortunately.

So, Silverthorne’s back from the dead. Again. God, I’m such a cliche! Predictable. Like a bad network connection. No matter what my bandwidth¬†test says, my upload’s always slow. But consistent. [Thanks to my buddy, Ron Collins¬†for the persistent necromancy]

New Short Story Sale!

I’m delighted to report that I’ve sold another story to Fiction River!¬† My story, Moonfall will appear in the Moonscapes volume that will be released in February 2014.¬† It’s science fiction, a genre I haven’t written much in lately, so I’m thrilled to have made this sale.¬† This marks my fourth sale to Fiction River.¬† Hope they’re not getting tired of me. ūüôā

In other news, I’ve heard that my novelette, Christmas Interrupted, will be featured as an audio book from WMG Publishing after it appears in the Christmas Ghosts volume of Fiction River (released in October 2013).¬† It’s been a great year for short fiction sales for me.

I’ve got some new stories in progress.¬† One is an SF novelette.¬† No title or anything yet.¬† It’s all very rough, but I hope it turns out well.

Until next time!

 

 

Site’s back up

Finally got around to setting everything back up.¬† Haven’t written much in the last two months.¬† Dealing with the usual allotment of rejections and such.¬† Working on a novel.¬† Same ol’, same ol’ around here.¬† lolz.¬† This is Bella.¬† She’s always around to brighten my day. : )