Happy Labor Day Weekend!!! I know everyone is out enjoying the waning days of summer, but I wanted to put this post out there sooner than later. It’s a long one, but hopefully entertaining as well as informative.
I’ve been MIA for a loooooonnnnnggggg time. The last I gave a public update was May 2015. I cringe when I look at that date. It sucks, I know. I get messages, emails, and posts EVERY DAY. I haven’t forgotten about my calling to entertain your imaginations.
I’ve been dreading this post. DREADING. And before you jump to conclusions, Living with the Dead WILL BE PUBLISHED. It’s written. I know what happens, and yes, I know you want to know what happens, too. The whole trilogy was pretty much written within the span of six months (Nov 09-April ’10 to be exact). Taking on the Dead will be four-years-old Sept. 19th. Getting words on paper is not my problem (it’s my revision process). But the reason I’ve been dreading this post and why it’s taken me so long to make it… well, for one, some very personal things have gone on. Some I will explain, some I won’t. It’s hard making personal things public. And for two, I felt like this would be full of fucking excuses.
I LOATHE excuses.
I really am hard on myself. That’s a good thing and a bad thing. But now that I’m on the up and up, I KNOW they’re not excuses but reasons. And they were all piled on top of me at once. I’ve realized I’m a writer and a darn good one (I can’t believe I just typed that). It’s my JOB to SLIT MY WRISTS and BLEED on paper. Anything less is unacceptable.
- My editor. My editor is a good friend, pretty much a best friend. We DID chat every day. But then she went through some things herself. Her story is NOT my story to tell and definitely NOT her fault. I love her. I will always love her. I miss her. I miss her. I miss her. And I wish her the very best, and I know she’s gotta do what she’s gotta do. One day I will meet her, and it’ll be one of the best days of my life. *Bleed, bleed, bleed* There aren’t words to describe… just there aren’t words. Anyway, that left me without my main squeeze. When I posted in May 2015, I was ‘shopping’ around, but this is a third book in a series and it’s hard finding someone who wants to become invested in your story late in the game. Yes, I had a TON of recommendations from fellow writers and book bloggers. I looked into them all. There wasn’t an editor unturned, I didn’t check out, email, or read something they edited.
- I wrote a romance novel. A fucking kick-ass romance novel. I happen to know another writer, who edits on the side, and I got her to beta read it and nitpick it. Turns out, my romance probably isn’t a romance that romance readers will want to read. So since Aug 2014, it’s been going through revisions here and there, same as Living with the Dead. I finished those and… still no editor. At one point, I was just going to run it through Grammarly and pub it because I was ready to move on, but I can’t bring myself to do that. And here goes some more wrist bleeding, more than a little part of me felt like a sell out for changing some things just to make it a more marketable novel. Not to mention, I stepped WAY out of my comfort zone with this one. And from what I hear, you’ll want another AM Jones story. Anyhoo, I never published IS and I let the website expire, but I’ll get back to the topic a bit down the post.
- During all of this, (*bleed, bleed, bleed*) I was dealing with chronic pelvic pain (yes, years). At first, I thought it was just something I did to my hip because I’m a scatter-brained clutz. I rarely live outside of my own head, so I wouldn’t have been surprised if I unknowingly injured myself. It never healed and time passed by. I’d get into my self-medication tactics, but I won’t. Just know my liver is paying for it now and I’m seeing a functional medicine doctor to put me back together. One night this past January, I finally had enough. I was in so much acute pain unlike what I’d been dealing with (because it’d come and go whenever it wanted, mainly while I was sitting, lying down, or bending over), I drove myself to the ER in the middle of the night. This started my string of relentless doctor visits, but I’m used to those (some of you already know I suffer from a neurological disorder that affects my sight and that I could go blind at any time). Anyhoo, long story short and a NEW GYN later, all the scans and ultrasounds came up with nothing but a few cysts. I won’t tell you about the old GYN, the one I’d been going to for YEARS and she treated me as if everything was all in my head because the pain wasn’t connected to my cycle…okay maybe I will tell you. DON’T LET ANY DOCTOR TELL YOU WHAT YOU ARE FEELING. If they don’t help you or listen to you, find another one. That’s what I did, and I was in complete tears while I was doing it. Seriously, I could hardly talk to the new GYN’s receptionist because I was bawling like a fucking baby. *Bleed, Bleed, Bleed* FINALLY, this past April, the new GYN performed a diagnostic laparoscopic surgery, if anything to remove the cyst causing that much pain. It wasn’t a cyst, but a heavy tumor on an ovary, tangled and twisted with a fallopian tube. I don’t have that fallopian tube anymore. Nor do I have an ounce of pelvic pain. Night and day. I sent that Rockstar GYN flowers. Shit, I’d rub her feet every day if she wanted me to.
- During all that going on… My hubs and I had purchased some land a few years back and now we’re in the process of building our forever home on it. (I post pics on Instagram. We broke ground last week!). We were planning on putting our house up for sale in late April, but in Feb, our realtor mentioned our house to an out-of-town couple even though it wasn’t ready for the market and they wanted to view it. We sold the house to that couple and had to move out 10 years of accumulation a month later. Packing up a house we’ve been in for 10 years while in pain? It was hell. We’re living in an apartment and I work from what I call my “Office in a Box.” All my books are in storage, my most prized possessions. I miss looking at them every day. My son is heavily into basketball and trains at a special facility three days a week. He had his own Bball goal at our old house and doesn’t have easy access to one right now. He’s definitely feeling the loss. My dog doesn’t have freedom to roam and we have to pick up her shit with little shit bags. Big dog=big shit. The bitch needs to learn to use the toilet. Our upstairs neighbors? They apparently don’t sleep. They love to vacuum in the middle of the night, but um, only in the bedroom area which makes me think she’s doing some kind of French maid role-playing. And really, who can be mad about that? So I let it roll off my back every time they flush the toilet and freak me out because it sounds like they’re dumping the Atlantic Ocean on the floor. It’s not bad, just an adjustment. I’m sure they think we’re CRAZY MOFO’s with the way we’re always cackling and carrying on because if my house is one thing, it’s full of laughter.
- By the time summer rolled around, I still felt pretty sucky. It was a struggle getting out of bed and doing things. It was hard to focus for an extended period of time. The apartment felt (and stills feels) like a cave. A depressing one. From a recommendation of a friend, I decided to see a functional medicine doctor and have extensive blood work done. My liver was having a hard time doing its job from the damage I put it through with my cocktails of OTC medication. My hormones were in worse condition, so needless to say I’m STILL fixing those problems because they take time to straighten themselves out.
- Speaking of functional medicine, lol. I believe you can heal yourself from the inside out, instead of just covering up the symptoms. Yes, it takes a long time because it takes a long time for a body to come into a certain condition. BUT MAN, the things I had to do for this woman. I take a pharmacy of supplements EVERY DAY. Some in the morning, some in the afternoon, some at night, and some before bed. No joke. It’s not forever, but it can be a pain at times. I also had a silver filling replaced because of the mercury in my blood. And of course, my tonsils.
- Tonsils are filters for your body. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve gotten really sick with an infection in my life. I’ve had a GROSS, DISGUSTING problem with my tonsils since I had a bad case of strep 7-8 years ago. I never got “sick” after that per say, but they were always red, sometimes sore, and a slew of other problems I’ll leave to your imagination. The functional medicine thing wasn’t helping with this particular problem. I felt a lot better, but I still didn’t feel “right.” With how I was taking care of my body (I still am, of course), I should’ve been at 150%, but I wasn’t. So I went to an ENT and had them surgically removed (tonsillectomy). This was three weeks ago. I had my post-op yesterday, and the distractingly attractive (to my embarrassment) doctor, told me he’ll never forget my tonsils and he can’t believe I wasn’t sick all the time. You guys know I’m a gore whore, so I can’t resist passing on his description of my “gnarly” tonsils “squirting” pus on him as he cut them out. (Yeah, you know I’m gonna find a place to use that for a zombie). Recovery was horrible. I thought people were exaggerating about their experience with adult tonsillectomy… no. They weren’t. I’m not a baby. I can take pain. I’ve been shot in the barefoot close range with a paintball gun. I’ve had countless-fetal position-lumbar punctures. I dealt with a growing, twisted tumor for who knows how long, but the tonsillectomy isn’t a joke. It’s pain you can’t really do anything about. You have to put yourself through pain to get better (drink, drink, drink). As bad as it was, I’m glad I did it. As soon as I could go without pain medication, I realized how good I felt as though a fog had been removed. I still have a few issues. When I’m practicing yoga, asanas that stretch the throat are tough and there’s the worst thing, taste. I CAN’T TASTE FOOD!!!!! Those who know me, know I LOVE me some food. Total foodie here, so it’s depressing that food is gross. Right now I have to swallow solid food like a pill with liquid. Because there’s isn’t a taste and I have no desire to swallow it. It’s not enjoyable. At all. Weirdest experience of my life. This will probably last around 4-6 weeks according to my ENT and I’ll start feeling even better than I already do! WOOHOOO!!!!!!!
- Unplugged is good for the soul, you guys. For real. With all the shit going around on FB, all the hate, all the ignorance, all the keyboard warriors. It sucks. I used to laugh, but it’s no longer entertaining. Now it’s just sad people can’t get along. It’s sad to watch the sense of entitlement happening, it’s INSANE! I’m starting to notice that this age of uninhibited internet interaction is starting to trickle beyond the computer. Manners, kindness, and positivity are becoming more and more rare. It’s okay to be yourself. Geez… I’m sarcastic, defensive, antisocial, cynical, and downright pessimistic at times, but at least I’m not a fucking asshole!!! For some reason, being an asshole is becoming an acceptable way to be. No, no it isn’t. And the media? What a joke the media has become and they’re more influential than ever! People need to get a life away from electronics, for real. So for the sake of my sanity, I decided to cut back on social media a while ago. I’ve watched author after author post on their blogs about giving up Facebook completely, and I TOTALLY understood where they were coming from. I’m not going to do that, however. Social media plays a very important part of interacting with you guys, and I love it, don’t get me wrong. But I feel that if I can’t give social platforms a certain amount of attention, then it’s wise for me not to publish anything until I can.
- I had someone post on my FB page who really got under my skin, not because what she said was true, but because it wasn’t. FAR FROM IT. I did not like that she just pulled all these assumptions about me and my life out of her fucking ass. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.(I already provide enough of my own negativity, so will someone please throw some damn sunshine and glitter around?) What is wrong with people? A simple Google search and she could’ve gotten some facts straight. There are authors I love, that I’m still waiting on books from them… after YEARS. Bands that I love, that I’m waiting on new albums…. after YEARS! Not just one or two, but several. Not once, NEVER, have I thought about harassing them. *cough* entitlement *cough* I know I’m privileged, even with being raised in poverty, but I don’t expect anything from anyone. My hubs and I are self-made and work for what we have and are grateful for anything else that comes along, such as an awesome band or book. New friends. So I just can’t fathom the whys of people. Marijuana needs to be legalized everywhere so people can smoke a bowl and chill the fuck out! Damn.
- I’ve had to make sacrifices, I REALLY, REALLY didn’t want to make. All of my events were canceled this year, none of which were easy to let go. Mostly, I have friends all over and I don’t get to see any of them. I don’t get to meet readers. I don’t get to hang with all my like-minded peeps. *bleed, bleed, bleed*
These things are super hard for me to post. And honestly, it’s not everything I’ve been through. Some things should remain private, you guys certainly should get the gist of it. I’m not one to want pity or sympathy. I don’t like being the center of attention. I hate it. Public speaking is terrifying. My own wedding consisted less than 25 guests and I loved it that way. I’m much better putting everything in written words.
As you know now, it’s been a crazy year, but I feel better. That means everything besides putting one foot in front of the other is a priority. Just bare with me a little while longer. Remember, I do ALL THE THINGS myself and I have a LONG list of to-dos. While floating on my raft to wellness and positive thinking, I decided to reconnect with a friend whom I missed dearly and happened to find my PERFECT editor in the process. Someone who knows my stories and is familiar with my writing, so I’m happy to report she’s already working on my stuff I need to publish.
Just the other day, I was given some damn good advice about my romance novel, it was more like a pep talk, but I’m proceeding with Ink Slapped’s publication. I’ll get the website back up and running soon.
Here’s what I’m publishing and the order of…
Bailing Out into the Dead – This will be published as a full novel (roughly 50,000 words) and no longer a part of The Famished Anthology. I recently made this decision. Right now, it’s in capable hands and will be fine-tuned to have a better story arch. A reason I had a hard time doing anything with it is because the story I pubbed on my site was a rough draft, short with a flat line story arch. I never had anyone beta read it or edit it. I give it away for free all time. But I think Rudy deserves a full book to tell his story. He’s an interesting dude and certainly has a lot to say or rather do, we all know he’s much better with actions than words. 😉 I’ll post the link to Amazon when it’s published. I suck at deadlines. Bad author. Don’t spank me. I’ll probably like it. Feb 2017.
Ink Slapped – I’m saying fuck it to a marketable book. I set out to write a romance I’d want to read and I accomplished that and beyond. The latest and newest version will really show the early readers why I like taking my time to write books. I’m hoping to have this one out April 2017.
Living with the Dead – What everyone is waiting for! I know, I’ve been back inside Kan’s head here lately, and I have to say I missed her. I’m very happy with her growth as well as all the other characters. ARCs will be distributed Sept/Oct to all early readers and bloggers. About the same time, you’ll start seeing promos (book trailer, first three chapters, giveaways) and such. One thing I’m not going to do is set a Kindle pre-order on Amazon. I’ll set a date for publication within a week, that way you’ll know to be looking out for it. But I’ll post a link when it shows up and send out newsletters and such. May 2017
***I will set a pre-order for paperbacks and the series hardbacks here on my website. These will be signed with goodies as I always do. The sooner you order your signed copies, the more freebies you’ll get because I’ll know how much to order! Usually after the large batch I ship out, the swag is low so it’s really first come first serve.
The Famished Anthology – This book needs a cover! But it’s at the bottom of the list. This includes all Famished stories in the link with the exception of Rudy’s.
Untitled, Empathic Disturbances Book One- I’m VERY excited about this book, but a cover, blurb, and title is on hold until I get the Famished completed.
Empathic Disturbances Book Two and beyond – I honestly can’t wait to get back into this world.
I believe that’s all I got for now. I do post on Instagram a lot, so if you really want to know what’s going on, that’d be the place to look. 😉
Have a great weekend!