I HATE IT WHEN I STOP WRITING mid-sentence/mid-thought…I guess, at the time, I thought I’d easily be able to pick up where I left off. I began a blog entry a month ago, laid it aside in the ‘draft’ pile and figured I’d use it at an appropriate time, but without changing tenses, timing…well, it was very time sensitive. And now, one month later, after scanning through my previous blogs, I realized I actually did finish it and posted it. It seems WordPress has been having issues saving thing…and letting go of old (published) drafts, too. I was relieved that I hadn’t made a huge mistake. But, it made me think—I had done nothing more on this entry (or so I thought), I’ve done very little on my edit for book three—my editor has probably forgotten all about me since I haven’t communicated with him, I haven’t been communicating with my publisher and I have done nothing on book four (other than think about it), which is my NaNoWriMo project this year.

I’ve been hibernating…It’s not that I’m “burnt out” from all of this, it’s just that I’m dealing with some health issues—with my dog and my own health. I think I’ve mentioned some of it in a previous blogs. I’m not looking for sympathy (just statin’ the facts, ma’am….) So, now that Kaeli is better (finally!) I’m trying to recuperate from my own issues. Trying to get some energy back so I can plow ahead with all that needs doing.

The lack of editing on The Scymarian has been a huge negative. Not only does that mean the completion and publishing of book three has been pushed back to the beginning the new year, which has me feeling like I’ve disappointed my readers—big time (I am so sorry), but I seem to be in a time warp with the Holiday season nearly upon me.

There is so much to do and so little time to accomplish it. In a little over a week, Thanksgiving Day will be here with my merry little family over for the day. I do have a turkey and menu planned (whew!), but my house looks like a tornado blew through it—no counter space for cooking, no room for guests to sit…oh, my! In less than a week (aah…by the time this is posted, it will be imminent), I have a two-day book signing, which will take two precious days away from cleaning up my disaster. Then, a month later, Christmas—with all the decorating and preparations. Yikes. Don’t get me wrong…I absolutely adore both holidays. They are very special, close to my heart…but I want to enter into each with my head and heart in the right place.

And, life seems to be getting in the way of writing, which makes me sad too. I love writing. Beyond my weekly blogs, I’m not doing much. Let’s just say this year is one fraught with frustrations. I know, with God’s help, I’ll get through it all. But, I’m going to have to make decisions–which is more important. Prioritize. You, my dear readers, may not be happy with me, but family trumps my books and writing, so there will be delays in the release of book three and perhaps a few missed blogs. I’ll be less stressed and the final products will be much better. Please be patient. It’ll be worth the wait.

There will be no blog entry the day after Thanksgiving—unless I’m unusually productive, so I will wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving Day now. Take time to be present with your family and friends. May you find many things to be thankful for on this special day.

Have a blessed week.

Ho-Ho-Ho! Holidays…

Oh, my…the Holiday season is nearly upon us and already I have two craft shows I’ll be at to showcase and autograph my books (along with at least two other authors). The crafters will be hawking their Christmas wares, holiday music will be playing and scents of yummy food and pine will be wafting in the air.

Here’s that time sensitive plug for both events:

LOCAL AUTHORS Meet and Greet/Book Signings

14-15 November from 10am-5pm (both days) Holiday Craft Show at the Watsonville Elks Lodge at 121 Martinelli Street, Watsonville

22-23 November from 10am-4pm (both days) Aromas Hills Artisans Holiday Festival at the Aromas Grange at Rose Avenue and Bardue Street in Aromas. 

Yours truly, along with several other authors (Joyce Oroz—murder mystery writer, Giselle Roche—a 17-year old fantasy writer), and possibly Pat Hanson—author of Invisible Grandparenting will be signing purchased copies of their books and answering questions you might have at both events. If you are a local, perhaps I’ll see you there!

It’s hard to keep the Christmas spirit at bay until after Thanksgiving when getting involved with these events. I’ve found myself humming Christmas carols already—also watching (off and on) the Hallmark channel’s Christmas Countdown, which started on Halloween Eve. I’m dying to grab a truckload of persimmons (I will need to resort to purchasing them this year as my tree wimped out this year) and begin baking—I seldom, if ever bake…except during the Holidays. I love, love, love persimmon pudding. There’s also my mom’s sour cream mashed potatoes (with a whole cube of butter and carton of sour cream…well, I have lightened it up somewhat, but it’s still decadent).

I think I’m more excited than usual, which is a good thing! But I need to reign myself in until after Thanksgiving—at least while in public, so I don’t irritate my friends (insert huge grin and a chuckle here)…

As far as I’m concerned, I could celebrate Christmas all year ’round. He is the ‘reason for the season’ and since He is with us all year long, why not.

May your holidays hold the blessings of the season…joy, peace and love.

A Roller Coaster Ride

I’M ON A ROLLER COASTER RIDE called Hashimoto’s.

I’ve been on it for most of my life, I think. It’s mostly been a smooth ride but now that my body has broken through the outer walls of defense, there can be some pretty steep ups and downs when my autoimmune system decides it’s time to attack my thyroid. When that happens, thyroid hormones first floods the system the body and as a result (one of many), I get hot…not the hot-flash sweltering-hot, but I do feel like I’ve got my own personal summer going on. And moody (oh, watch out…I’ve recently discovered I can get very moody—especially in the last couple of weeks).

Once it’s depleted, the thyroid crashes the system (not feeding the body with the appropriate hormones) and I am cold and tired. I don’t mean put-on-coat-to-warm-up cold. I mean dive-for-the-car (which is sitting in the sun and stifling hot inside), jump-in-and-close-the-door-to-soak-up-the-heat kind of cold…and stay in there for up to a half-hour or longer with windows closed. Not healthy, I know, but it’s the only way to warm up. I am glad it isn’t Lupus (a more aggressive autoimmune disease that viciously attacks many more of the body’s systems over the course of time).

Yesterday, I had the darkest of dark clouds hanging over my head and no one was safe. It is so uncharacteristic of my personality. I find myself I a place that even keeps me from asking God for help. It is a very very disturbing feeling. Thankfully, I pretty much hunkered down at the house, so everyone was safe—except for my dog (the cat was smart enough to keep in the shadows, out of sight).

Poor Kaeli. She has been healing from some surgery and is ‘house-bound’ which is driving both of us bonkers. She has to be walked on a leash (hard to believe I have ¾ acres that she cannot play in—I think even she is getting depressed at being stuck to my side)—at least she no longer has to wear the Cone of Shame.

So for a little separation-time, I decided to try to run an errand, leaving her in the house all by her lonesome. In my absence, she managed to figure out how to get into the baby-gated kitchen and trashed quite a few items I thought were safe. Remains of plastic/foil-lined bags and their contents were scattered on the floor. Finding the disaster on the floor, with Kaeli standing in the midst of it all wagging her tail made me blow a gasket. I decided I was done “babysitting” her and let her out to romp. She loved it.

But, when it came time for her to come back in, she wouldn’t listen to me. No way was she going to be shut in again…she ignored me for about thirty minutes. I fumed. I called with anger dripping from my words for her to ‘come!’ No treat (a normal “bedtime” routine) for her when she came in. I grumbled. I snapped at her. Poor baby.

Payback occurred at about 5:30 the next morning, when I heard her hurling. Apparently the reason she didn’t want to come back in was because she was chowing down on (gross…) deer pellets…and they did not agree with her tummy. Thankfully, after a good night’s sleep, I was in a more sympathetic mood. I soothed her, cleaned up the multiple accidents, and moved into the day without any further hiccups or clouds hanging over my head.

That was this morning. It’s evening now as I write this…trying to get this blog done in time for tomorrow.

Thank God, I’m back to ‘normal’—whatever that is. The thyroid is finished dumping the chemicals in my body. My body is finished overreacting to the ‘overdose’. I don’t know when the “cold” phase will kick in, but it’s coming—even with the thyroid meds I’m on.

It gets old. I’m thinking it’s time to have a chat with my doc, to see if there is anything different I can do to smooth out some of these ups and downs. It’s hard to adjust medication when this happens. It was easier when the attacks were causing minimal damage. Now, it’s just plain ol’ hard.

In the meantime, God is back at the center (well, near the center) of my crazy life and all is good. He was always there. I just shoved Him into the corner. Not a good thing to do. Ever.

Have a blessed day, everyone!

Gratitudes and Attitudes

AN AUTHOR FRIEND OF MINE, Leland Dirks (an amazing author), has put together a wonderful book entitled 100 Days of Gratitude. The seed for his project began with his Facebook friends nudging him to join in on the ‘Thankful’ thing that’s been floating around for a bit: list three things you are thankful or grateful for—or blessed by, do it for seven days, and tag x-number of people to join in.

So, he did. And because he enjoyed it so much, he is still doing it (and I love seeing both his prose and photography posts)—as are many of my friends. It is, for a lack of a better word, addictive. Leland has taken his love of photography and paired it with his thankful thoughts to create this awesome book, blessing his readers with a work of art!

At first, I resisted jumping on the bandwagon because I give voice to my blessings daily to God, so I felt it would make my them less valuable by announcing them on Facebook. I kept getting a nagging feeling, like it was something I needed to do, even though nobody had specifically tagged me. I laughed when, on the day I finally decided to do it, I was officially tagged—by my daughter.

I started mine the day after she began hers and faithfully posted my gratitudes daily for seven days. It turned out to be very freeing, this public announcement of my blessings. And, like I said before, it is something that I want to continue, though not as frequently. Besides, who wants to hear from me every single day? I’ve cut back my postings on Facebook (sometimes it still seems like I’m on there more than I should be)—I get so little done when I try to keep track of everything on that social media site. That and my blogging once a week is probably all (probably more than) I should be doing (giggle—and I won’t mention all the other stuff that ends up getting put off because of it…)

Recently I attended a photo exhibition at Open Ground Studios (of course—wink), celebrating the sunrises from many locations over the course of a week from January, 2014. Many of the pictures were stunning. All captured a moment in time as the new day dawned. I liked the concept. Short time period, making it more doable than the 365-day challenge—which I failed at miserably after about two weeks: take a picture (any picture) daily and post it at a specific web address—I decided to post on my own photo website. Like I said. I failed. So, this sounded much better.

The new sunrise challenge began on 6 October and ran through 11 October. I managed to be up for the first sunrise, failed the second day, but was determined to make it for the remainder—made it, but the sunrises were somewhat boring (ordinary)…apparently I needed to be up almost an hour before sunrise to catch anything memorable. I just couldn’t manage—lazy me!

Then, I had a idea: combine two things I love. My photography and my blessings. I figured I would combine my sunrise photography with my gratitudes (blessings). I don’t mean to step on Leland’s toes…he did originate the idea using the views from around his home and the mountains at all times of the day, but I’m putting my own personal twist on it. I decided to expand the Sunrise Challenge idea a wee bit to include sunsets—and wait till I had some awesome sunrises and sunsets. I’ll be accumulating them and posting here and on my Flickr page sometime in the near future. No book for me—that’s Leland’s arena…just the photos and blessings.

But for now, I’m focusing on my two books…the one I’m supposed to be editing in preparation for a December release (may have to push that to January, 2015) and book four. It is now November and I’m up to my eyeballs in NaNoWriMo fun: 30 days of writers’ abandon…trying to accumulate 50,000 words to create a novel…

This year, they are allowing writers to participate with works in progress (WIP). I am 20,000 words into it. Officially, I only need 30,000 more words but would like to add 50,000 more. Hmm..we’ll see if I managed it—on December 1st.

Until next week (hopefully on schedule this time!), check out the links and have a blessed week.