Tuesday, November 29, 2016

donations for displaced animals during the fire

updated, Ripley's Aquarium animals reported safe:

donations for displaced animals in the area for the Sevier County Humane Society

The Chimneys and Gatlinburg

I posted this in 2014--a hike I took with my kids to the top of the Chimneys. It had/has meaning for me. The Smoky Mtns have been a backdrop to my life. I've visited there so many times. I think of these mountains when I think of Mal and Zach.

and tonight it looks like this:

I am heartsick. We've had almost no rain for a month. The air's bad. Wind kicked up today. Gatlinburg's burning, and Ripley's Aquarium was surrounded by fire hours ago. Over 10,000 animals there, my God. I'm fixated on it, and horrified.

And my daughter's girlfriend may have lost her home there tonight, though thankfully, oh so thankfully, her family and her animals are safe.

Tonight it finally began to rain, but not enough.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

it's alive (maybe. sorta)

The myriad drugs for my health (or lack thereof, she said ironically), depression and the MS itself are giving me a true run for the money, and causing frustration for me in terms of writing.

No, let me be straight. It's mild cognitive decline. I'm more easily upset, less inspired, less interested in doing and more convinced that I can't. I forget things. My head hurts. But as you can see, I haven't been robbed of words. I still move quite well, but inside my head, things are changing. I'm not me, and I hate it.

Okay, I'm still me, but I feel the changes. And they threaten me.

Probably going to start posting the first book chapters of Rising Wolf at my website. Hope that will somehow help me to finish. It's become a THING, to finish. It's a symbol. I failed deadlines, failed to deliver, failed readers, but if I can finish then ultimately I might continue on trying to do more of the same. Actually produce something. Let Mal and Zach out to play instead of just living inside my head.

I've written things, but fan fiction. Shorter Id fic.  It's helped remind me I'm still capable, but right now I'm in a bad place. And a novel at this juncture was a mistake. It's a different animal, and I'm floundering a bit. The radio silence from my end hasn't helped, either, so I have decided to break it.

I'll post here more often, I hope. Just to speak, say SOMETHING.

Well, this was a happy post. The next one will be better. I hope everyone is doing well.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

such a simple thing

Susanna's Pacemaker

Rising Wolf has taken me so very long to publish. Like a lot of you, I've been through seemingly unending upheavals in terms of my personal life, finances, health. It's been overwhelming. Along with other health issues, then the MS diagnosis and trying to find a course of treatment that slows the progress, next came depression - something I've got a bit of familiarity with.


I'm on Rebif, three shots a week, and methotrexate once a week. I can't say they make me feel well but I've noticed, finally, an uptick in energy and the ability to complete some tasks, along with less brain fog. So now is the time to get my book done, right?

Susanna's Pacemaker is a very simple app - you plug in the words you think the project needs (okay so I'm terrible at estimating, but I plugged in that Book II needs the same number of words as Book I), the date you'd like to be finished, if you'd like weekends off, if you'd like a steady flow of words, and it spits out a chart. So I did that. And I've been following it, because it lets me see what I need to do to get this book out, plain and simple. And it's more difficult than I ever would have thought, but still, I'm hanging in.

RW is a bonafide novel, and I'm looking at a 160,000 word estimate (I did say I'm terrible at estimating word count, but seems reasonable). I have 107,000 words as of now. If I do get finished in August per my plan, I could FINALLY have a release in the fall. Oh my god, am I hoping for that.

Maybe, quite possibly there's nobody out there to read it after my extended off-time with no new releases. I really hope that's not true, but this thing has become bigger than that, even. For me it's a symbol: never say die, never give up. And, oh yes, these characters deserve to have their story told.

So yeah, a biggie for me.

I hope everyone is doing well. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

nature - let's rethink it

So much for embracing nature, even from my wide, breezy porch. I sit down to write and a spider crawls up my side. DO NOT WANT.
Try again. Sit on the porch itself, turn around and see my cat after a lizard without a tail. Oh, wait, without a tail NOW - there's the tail, wiggling on the porch. I'm guarding the lizard while two dogs and a cat try to get to it.
The dog picks the wriggling tail up in its mouth, takes it off the porch. She's back in less than a minute, and ugh, we know where THAT went. She noses interestedly around me. Cat still trying to get past me. I build a barricade because I cannot bring myself to pick up the tailless lizard (it might, oh, WRIGGLE. Or wiggle, like a tailless thing. Or a severed tail).
Yeah, maybe I'll try this another day.

Friday, December 5, 2014

mystery solved

So, what's been wrong with me for so long: apparently I have multiple sclerosis.

It's quite an adjustment, trying to understand that my damn brain is being attacked (by my own screwy self) when hey, all I've wanted is to be able to think clearly. After all, I have adventures to write. I am writing them, dammit.

I am the tortoise. Slow and steady (except when I'm not) and all that shit ... explains why I feel so damn foggy at least.

I know it's not funny, not at all, but even a tentative diagnosis of a lousy thing like MS gives me knowledge of what's happening to me, and that's power.

Dropping the Methotrexate and starting on Avonex next week. Wish me luck.

There are 24 chapters to Book I of Mal and Zach's Most Excellent Adventure(s), aka Rising Wolf.