Month of Adjustment
The end of April began a period of major adjustment, not just with the new laptop but also with my cellphone and in the household itself. I have just managed to upload a cover photo to go with the excerpt from Separated Soul I posted at the end of April, but my old dinosaur of a cellphone was almost forcibly replaced by Telus as it could no longer be supported being far too old. The new one's so high tech, while still being a flip-phone, that I'm scared of touching the stupid thing. I hope no one's tried to text me on it as I've never figured out how to open them, even on my old phone, I haven't got a prayer of figuring it out with this new one. My land line phone is modeled upon a design made by Alexander Graham Bell. It's more my style. The major adjustment, however, was the entrance into my home of a six month old kitten whose colouring makes one think of a New Zealand rugby team: she's all black. She is also a mischievous ball of hyper energy with pure gold eyes and a trilling meow, not to mention an adventurous spirit. I've spent more time chasing after her than I've spent on my writing so far. Still I have a weakness for pure black cats, I don't know why but I think they are the most beautiful of all. Phoebe (the kitten) is also a decided cuddle-cat, which makes it very hard to stay angry at her when she misbehaves. I did, however, have to put all my crystal balls and wands behind glass, as they fascinate her. Pity, as I have more faith in crystallomancy than either my laptop or new cellphone.
The old order changes, or at least the old laptop
It finally happened, my eleven year old laptop gave up the ghost. Well, it went squirrely while I was transcribing scribbled text onto a computer file, luckily on a thumb drive, and locked me out of the book I was writing. Worse, all the text I'd just typed was lost. Fortunately I always work with pen and ink on paper in either a clipboard or notebook first, then type it all out. I can't create while looking at a blinking curser but I can scribble for hours. I have a sealed computer that I've been avoiding of late as it is in a room my late mother used all the time until her heart gave out in November. I've been having some emotional issues about using that room ever since. I re-typed all that lost text on the sealed computer and even added a few extra paragraphs that weren't in the scribbles and introduced a character I didn't originally plan on using in that book. I was going to introduce him in book four, not book two of Sapphire's series. The result of all this was an all day attempt to get a new laptop up and running yesterday, hence this update being a day late. I have no use for a laptop I can't write on, especially as I am socially non-conscious media-wise. I can just barely manage the updates on this website and facebook, that's why my other computer is not hooked up to the internet. It is strictly a writing PC, therefore it possesses neither a cable hook-up or an antenna. I feel very secure with that computer. I just hope I can get the hang of using this new laptop, especially as the old one gave out before I was able to post last month's chapter excerpt. I should hopefully have the published books uploaded to the new unit, as well as a word program on which to save an excerpt, by the middle of this month. Considering my lack of computer skills I can't give any firm promise on that, just a bit of hope. Well, fingers crossed, this should start to go well soon. I hope everyone enjoyed last month. Stay safe and Stay healthy everyone.
Spring is on the way...maybe.
Obviously our groundhog saw its shadow as spring weather is not really here yet. March came in roaring like an angry lion and morning frosts still cling to everything when sleet isn't falling. As for the writing front, it is not going too well. Still dealing with the loss of a family member to whom I was very close. Unfortunately, my sealed computer on which I type and edit all of my writing is in the room where said family member spent a great deal of time, especially during the short period of healing after initial heart surgery before complications set in. Too many memories in that room. It makes it very hard to work. As for further book publications, that can take some time. Editors must evaluate everything that comes in using a first come first served system that can keep a book waiting in their pile for several months before they can even look at it, it is especially time consuming if a writing is seeking a new publisher as I am doing. My current publisher is okay with a good distributor, and the books look great but they don't have the clout to get that many books on store shelves. I am currently distracting myself by re-arranging the house to bring a furry companion into my life, and as I am a decided cat person that means a kitten...eventually. I am still kitten proofing the house. It could be another few weeks before I feel it is ready for the adoption of a meowing companion. To make matters worse, my eleven year old laptop has decided to slowly die, while I am using it to type book two of Sapphire's novel series. I have not updated my facebook page very often because of the dying laptop and it is also why this update is a little late. I guess I'll have to get a new one one of these days. I just got used to it too. Yes, I am more than a little old-fashioned, not to mention reclusive. Getting a new laptop would mean going out and talking to people, not my strong suit. It was hard enough getting a new writing computer a little while ago. Oh well, as long as I can get Sapphire's second book typed out, or at least as much as I've currently written, on the old laptop things will be fine. Listening to music and watching DVDs of "Last of the Summer Wine" has been keeping me sane these past couple of months after losing my mother to complications from heart surgery. This has been a long and depressing winter.
I finished editing the first book in L'Enfant de La Lune's off-shoot series on the last couple of days of last month. It's a little different from Moon Child's as La Lune is in the recent past, 1999 to be precise, as opposed to the medieval age in which Moon Child's series is set. The second book in La Lune's series is actually set in Sapphire's galaxy and is more science-fiction in feel than fantasy with Rabbit taking a more forceful role in events, even going so far as to become the mystical protector of an alien Parapsychologist. I'll start editing that novel in a few days, after I've rested a bit from editing the first book, especially as I still have the third book in the series to edit as well. As you can guess by this, all three books are written, or at least scribbled out on paper in my tiny scrawl. I have at least 15 unpublished manuscripts scribbled in notebooks and on lined loose leaf paper in binders lying around the house that I have to transcribe onto the computer. One of these days I will have to find homes for them in a publishing house somewhere. I've already sent out a copy of the first book in La Lune's series. Just one copy, with everything that's been happening on a personal level of late I'm in no rush for publication right now, besides finding a publishing home for a new series can take some time. I'll just concentrate on editing the remaining two books in La Lune's series. I hope everyone is safe and well in this Lunar New Year.
OUt with the horrible and in with the good?
Happy New Year to every one who celebrates in the month of Janus, the twin-faced God of classical mythology. The Romans celebrated the new year on the last day of December (10th month classical calendar) and on first of January (1st month of same.) Janus possessed one face that looked ahead to the future and another on the back of his head looking toward the past. An appropriate deity for the changing of the year. Unfortunately, there is not that much in 2021 that anyone would want to look back at; between COVID-19 and natural disasters 2021 was not a good year, especially for those like me who lost close relatives in that year.
I wish I could say that my loss was not due to incompetence and pride on the part of a regional hospital, but I can't. If my mother had been transferred to a larger hospital within a day of her collapse she would still be here, especially as she required immediate heart surgery and the regional hospital did not possess a surgeon. By the time they recognized that they were not up to the job and transferred her, the infection and heart damage were too advanced for a truly successful operation. She tried to hold on, but the complications were too many and even a Viking like my mother could not conquer as much damage as she bore.
It was not a happy or merry Christmas for my family this year without my mother's vitality and presence in the house. I know COVID and natural disasters have done to many what heart disease and staph infection did to my mother. My heart is with all of you who lost loved ones in 2021. Perhaps this year will be a time of healing, for all of us, and a turning of the tide.
Not so Merry this year
Sorry it has taken so long for me to do this monthly update, I do apologize, but I had a very bad month. November began with someone close to me developing complications after an October open heart surgery. Unfortunately an infection set in and the hospital where the patient was taken was busy with a COVID-19 outbreak that sidelined her care, as such it was five to six days after she was admitted that they realized she was in critical condition and needed to be sent to a Cardiac hospital for an emergency operation to counter the damage done by the infection. Sadly it was too little too late. The Cardiac Hospital said that if she had been transferred just two days earlier they could have saved her, as it was my mother died on November 19th, just eleven days shy of her 70th birthday, of heart failure. She was admitted to the first hospital on November 5th, transferred to the second at the end of the following week and died a week later. As you can guess I have not been thinking about blogs or writing during this time. I will post a chapter excerpt some time this month, but I am not currently able to concentrate on which piece to post. I was very close to my mother; we thought alike, we talked alike, and even spoke in unison on occasion, which tended to amuse some people and freak out others. One family friend used to laugh about the fact that we "spoke in stereo," while someone else we knew would always make a cross with his fingers and say that two people saying the same thing at exactly the same time was unlucky. We also finished each other's sentences. One of my cousins said that she envied my close relationship with my mother, as we seemed to be more like twins than mother and daughter. I hope everyone else's holiday season will be a much happier one than mine will be this year. Happy Holidays everyone.
Well, it has been one extremely stressful month. I spent the last week at Heart House in Victoria B.C. while a family member underwent open-heart surgery. Not a restful time. No matter how you look at it, heart surgeries are just plain scary even if you're not the patient, just family. The staff at Heart House were very friendly, helpful and supportive but it couldn't alleviate the worry about possible complications. Fortunately, it was an excellent surgeon in charge and the rest of the Medical Staff at Royal Jubilee Hospital were extremely good and efficient at their professions. I must say it is good to be home, and I know the patient feels exactly the same. More to the point, the patient is happiest with "real food" instead of institutional hospital meals. A pity I don't know Victoria, as my meals were generally provided by Heart house, which is a B &B so they only make breakfast, what supplies I brought with me, and the Subway attached to the hospital itself. If I never see a sub sandwich again in my life it will be too soon. Due to the COVID 19 situation and the communal nature of B & B's I spent most of my time in my room.
One benefit of the situation is the completion of chapters 3 and 4 of the second book in Surraell's series and the start of chapter 5. When I wasn't writing I was generally reading Agatha Christie and Andre Norton books I'd brought with me or visiting the patient. Fortunately it was just a Valve Replacement, as the family member in question has a very healthy lifestyle, but it is still a long recovery ( 3 months minimum) and I am the primary care-giver in the family for the person in question. It may take a while for anything new I write to make the transition from pen and ink scribbles in a paper notebook onto a computer for proper editing. It may also impede my ability to keep my electronic media sites updated, such as my Facebook page, as I am mostly concentrating my limited computer time on keeping various members of my family informed of the patient's progress.
I know I'm not saying who the family member happens to be, but that is because I intend to honour the person's views concerning privacy. This is not a person who uses social media, or even believes in it. You can see from where I inherited my reclusive tendencies. That said, I will maintain the privacy of the hermit I'm related to. Aside from that, nothing new has occurred in October on the publishing front and due to my current family medical situation it is unlikely to for the foreseeable future.
A Month of Stress
Yes, I know that is usually December, however the end of September and all of October are a massive area of stress for me, at least this year. Not many people know that I am my mother's general care-giver, helping her manage her diabetes. This year I have the added disadvantage of dealing with her upcoming heart surgery fears and after-care. Come to think of it, I've always been stressed out at around this time of year since 1986, when I turned eleven and became the school pariah. Being small in stature and hormonally dead was the kiss of death with my peers back then. Come to think of it, I'm still both. It took several years to realize that I actually have the unique gift of being the only person in the middle of a room and still remain unseen by anyone who looks in. I discovered that I am also a monumental bore when I discovered I have the talent to put my own parents to sleep by uttering a single syllable. As you can guess none of this is very good for a person's self-esteem, which is probably why I became a writer. The creation of imaginary worlds and people erased most of the pain I felt from the abrupt ending of former friendships in '86 and the decision to use my strange gift of being unseen even if someone is looking straight at me helps with my resolve to live a reclusive life. I know, this sounds like a mass of depression, maybe it is, but reality can be depressing hence my continual journeys to fantasy. Speaking of which I am still writing two books as we speak, but the current health problems in my family circle have slowed things down a mite. I am still working on them.
For those who may want to know how I deal with stress, that is simple. I have a love of music from Beethoven and Bach to the Beatles, from Strauss to Queen, Mozart to the Monkees, James Galway and Celtic Thunder to Elton John and Abba etc. The list is almost endless, except for Country and Heavy Metal. With the exception of Queen I cannot deal too well with any music that is primarily loud as I have sensitive hearing, and the same goes for any music form that hints at whining. I also have a love of old movies and television shows with MGM musicals and British shows such as The Two Ronnies, Last of the Summer Wine, and Space: 1999 heading the list. Between the two I can shrug off stress easily and I am not actually depressed. To be honest, I'm actually proud of my ability to take any insult with grace and I revel in the lack of visibility I seem to possess. The one thing that bugs me is the minor little fact that I haven't the first idea of how to take a compliment. Thankfully, that's never come up.
Busy lAte Summer days
It's been one of those months. Sorry this post is a few days late, but the end of August, beginning of September has been extremely busy with various family members falling ill. Mostly due to age. Between injured legs, strokes, heart problems and other symptoms of age I've been kept running around trying to help out where I can, mostly with my mother. I've been attempting to keep her stress levels down to take the strain off her damaged heart valve, but it has not been easy. Aside from her diabetes she's never been truly ill in her life. She does not delegate well. Add in other members of her family developing health issues that stress her and you can probably see my problem. All in all, concentration has not been optimal, however I have done a bit more work on one of the two novels I'm currently writing. Where this stress issue has stalled one another has re-begun. The start of chapter four from Surraell's series began while waiting for my mother's hospital tests to be completed in Victoria. One of the only good things to come out of that visit to B.C.'s capital this time around. Normally I only go there for Celtic Thunder concerts. It's a good thing I have always been a fairly feminine female, it's given me a stress outlet through sewing and crochet; it also means 99% of people ignore my existence these days. It is not cool or acceptable to be a pink loving, feminine dressing, long haired woman in this day and age and I enjoy the solitude it gives me. It helps that I'm also too short for most people to see, although the Cinderella feet are something I could live without. Have you ever tried finding ladies heels in children's size one? Not easy.
Too Darn Hot!
I think Cole Porter pegged that one right. Actually that was just the film version's title for the song, the original title was a little ruder, and more precise.
The Island where I live off the British Columbia mainland is in the midst of the longest drought the north-western rainforest region has ever seen. It has already been a full month without rain and it's working on a second. Being born and raised here I am not able to handle this dry heat very well. It tends to muddle my mind until I get my mords wixed, as Ronnie Barker might say. Yes, I grew up watching the Two Ronnies on CBC, and loved every minute of it. I love their show almost as much as Canada's Wayne and Shuster, a love I incorporated into my writing by having and entire alien race re-taught to speak via one of Wayne and Shuster's many skits performed on the Ed Sullivan Show back in the fifties. (No, I was not alive back in the fifties. Frank Shuster hosted a series on CBC called Wayne and Shuster in Black & White after Johnny WAyne died in the nineties. Frank Shuster would mention which sketches were performed on both their own show and Ed Sullivan's during his introductions.)
The race in my stories became so addicted to hand held texting machines that they forgot how to speak. That is part of a series connected to Sapphire as it occurs in his galaxy, not ours. Speaking of Sapphire, I have been dusting off some of the short stories about a female Para from the aforementioned race as well as some about Sapphire's daughter who becomes a Para-hunter. Since I can't concentrate enough through this heat to write anything I consider usable, I've been polishing up these stories for possible submission to fantasy magazines. Yes, Marigold, Feline and even La Lune find their into the Para-hunting stories. I'll let you know if any of them find their way into a magazine, and I'll let you know which one as soon as I can. Stay Safe everyone.
Hello, I am a writer of High Fantasy utilizing ancient myths mixed with modern anthropological discoveries to create the worlds in which my characters live. Please join me in my journey to uncover those mystical worlds of myth and pre-history.