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How am I doing?

January 17, 2017
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So last week derailed me somewhat. I didn’t do enough writing and every time I sat down on the chair, I suddenly had the need for lunch or for coffee. Also, I had this urge to walk the dog. I think that thought was being telepathically transmitted by Foxy. She loves her walks.

My goals for this week are in this order– run around Las Vegas and reach all of my appointments on time. Pick up a package and then spend a couple of days fixing errors in Dragon Boy.

Afterwards formatting and then publishing this book.

I am sure that I will have some time to write new words in between getting this book out.

In my other series, EJ Hunter, I have the second book written, but not edited. Also the third book in the series came to me in a meditation. So I know that I won’t be dropping that series. I won’t compare myself to another writer, but I realized yesterday that I am not writing enough.

When I am on a hot streak, I need to write until it is finished. When I am on a cold streak I need to write. I am a much happier person when I write.

I am a little behind in my goals. I’ve also been hit with things like jury duty– if I was in better health I wouldn’t be worried about it. But it is very strange that I have been called during flu season when my immune system is suppressed. I tried to talk to them about it, but I have to get a “doctor’s note.” They made me feel like an elementary child who lied all the time.

Thank you all for caring about the characters and caring about my health. Since the move, I have been healthier and I’ve been writing more.

So I had an interruption

January 14, 2017
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I won’t get into the details, but this last week was incredibly stressful. The only hint I am going to give is that it was about money. So yea, incredibly stressful– but I don’t want to talk about what caused the stress. It will only make my mind roll and loop until all I can think of is how to fix an unfixable problem.

What I want to discuss is what I do to snap myself out of such loops and stresses. It isn’t easy because when I see a problem or an injustice, I want to fix it. If I can’t fix it, then I want to discipline. When I see a problem, that is the point where I try the cooperation thing. You know–talk to the company or representative. When I find that the person or thing is not interested in cooperation or even in a little give and take, I go immediately into the Viking mode.

There are folks here who know what I mean. I come from a family who are mostly Nordic and can claim berserker blood in their genes. The scientific world is seeing this as the MAO gene. At one point they thought that predominantly criminals would have this gene, which turned out to be false. Folks who have this gene spend a lot of their time learning ways to keep these impulses under control. To others who don’t have to deal with this emotional turmoil, it looks like the person who is controlling themselves are control freaks.

So what do I do when I reach the boiling point?

I used to have a stuffed bear that would fall to pieces when I threw it against a wall. It would make a satisfying thunk and then I would come to my senses. I would put the bear back together for another time when I the stress levels got too high. However, I learned this last few years in therapy that using violence to relieve those feels i.e. throw the bear or thump the pillow reinforces the violence. So I am trying a few new ways, which take daily practice.

Meditation:

When I practice meditation daily, it takes a lot more stress to reach the mind loops. When I am in a mind loop, I found that if I light a candle and just watch the flame for fifteen minutes that my mind will go quiet. It is a very useful tool when my mind has become unruly.

QiGong (or Tai chi):

This is also a daily practice that will quiet my mind. Once again it needs to be practiced daily. It gives the mind other grooves besides the one– of hurt and betrayal. When I focus on how my body moves, the mind doesn’t have time to ruminate.

Walk:

I go outside with the dog and walk around the property. When I begin to see the birds and rabbits, then I know that my mind is quieting. The dog is so joyful when we walk that I can’t stay stressed. Her tail wags back and forth and she walks purposefully. We travel at speed.

Recently, I was told that many of these techniques are called “grounding” in the mental health fields. I think of it as keeping my mind busy with something else so it stops making ruts in my mind. I have worked had to overcome many childhood problems–and I don’t want to fall back into the patterns of victim and betrayal.

Still when I get this stressed it takes days to get back into my peace. This time though I went for help. Considering that I have been a very independent woman and solved most of my problems myself or tried, this is a real break-through. It didn’t take months or years before I asked for help. I asked within days.

So now I am ready to write Unlicensed Sorceress. I now have some experiences that will enrich Hilda’s frustration with agencies. I wonder if she will solve her problems with her mind, magic, or sword?

Love, loyalty, and grief

January 8, 2017
This is a poster for the DVD 'Hachi: A Dog's Tale'. The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, Stage 6 Films, the publisher of the film or the graphic artist.

Last night when I should have been preparing for bed, I turned on the TV for some mindless noise and on the CW movie channel (33-2), Hachi, a story of an Akita and the man who found him at a train station. The reason I left the movie on as I dressed for bed, tucked in the dog, and played a game on my tablet was because it was a sweet slow story.

A young boy was asked to make a report about a hero in his life so he told about his grandfather’s dog, Hachi. There were no men trying to steal the dog. There were no car chases. In fact it was not my normal movie fare.

However, as I watched the man and dog interact through play. As I watched the dog escort him to the train station and then meet the professor when he got off the train, I started to get invested in the two of them. Yes, I waited for something to happen, but it was so quiet that I didn’t get the dramatic affect until later in the movie.

At this point, I am warning you– I will be revealing plot points–so if you don’t want to know, do not read further–

The professor dies. Hachi waits for him to come home for several years.

How can I explain the affect this part of the movie had on my emotions. The movie went from being a sweet story about a love between a man and his dog to a emotionally charged movie about a dog that waited for a man who would never come home again.

Of course I made the connection between this dog and my own circumstances. I lost a husband from cancer. I know in my mind that I will never see him again in the physical world– only through a few pictures and recordings. However, my emotions even after two years had not reached my thoughts. Last night, I knew through my body that my husband would never come home again.

I am told that it gets easier. I know it gets easier. I don’t get faced with these thoughts every hour of every day like the first year. I actually laughed a few months ago.

How long did I cry? Enough that my sinuses were clogged and I couldn’t breath. Enough that I was numb. Is this a catharsis?

“The movie was based on the real Hachikō, who was born in Ōdate in 1923. After the death of his owner, Hidesaburō Ueno in 1925, Hachikō returned to the Shibuya train station the next day and every day after that for the next nine years until he died in March 1935. A bronze statue of Hachikō is in front of the Shibuya train station in his honor.” Wikipedia

 

I’m alive and kicking

January 5, 2017
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I belong to the over fifty post-menopausal group, so when I started having problems of a female nature, I was scheduled for surgery. Tuesday I was in the “Same Day Surgery” at the VA Medical Center in Las Vegas. The cast was the surgeon, the anesthesiologist and his assistant, and several nurses.

I was bagged, tagged, and readied while these various characters told jokes and one said they should have a stand-up comedy day at the surgery center. The jokes were just enough to keep me from being anxious.

After I was tagged with the label “uterus,” I was wheeled into surgery for the final countdown. I had told the anesthesiologist and each of his assistants that I was an early to go under and late to come back. I was given the option to take the Valium. I refused it. I was awake as they made sure I was laid out on the table, then a mask was put over my face and nose.

“Breathe,” I was told. So I took a couple of breaths. Then I was asked my favorite vacation spot. I talked about the beach and the waves. The last words I said were, “there are colored fishes swimming around my to—-”

The next thing I heard was “CYNTHIA” and felt air on my face. I woke up and was wheeled out of surgery. I did get some good news– the surgeon didn’t see cancer. They are sending samples to the lab to make sure.

As for post-recovery, I was pretty alert, but extremely tired. Yesterday I took several naps. It seems that the anesthesia lingered until today. Now I am feeling pain almost two days later. Not bad– although I finally took a half a Tylenol.

As for the rest– well, it has been the first day since I was wheeled into surgery that I even felt clear enough to write words. I knew that I would feel this way so I wrote my weekly word quota before the surgery.

So if you ever need some same day surgery help, and are a vet, go to the VA medical center. You go in laughing– and you are in good hands.

 

So it is that time of year

January 1, 2017
Image from Pixabay

I just drove a wooden stake in the heart of 2016. I hope this is not a pattern. 2014 was a very bad year for me. 2016 started out great in the writing arena and then I started to have problems around July. It wasn’t until last week that I was able to get the editing done on “Dragon Boy” and send it out.

I’m hoping that 2017 (odd year) will be my year for writing, editing, and publishing. So here are my plans for the next year:

Writing goals–

  1. 5,000 words a week minimum. I found out last year that I need at least one day a week to have a no writing day.
  2. Publish 2 novels minimum, but I really want to reach 4. I found last year that if there are significant problems i.e. a car accident or illness that four novels is not realistic for me.
  3. Write two-three posts here a week to show what I am doing and to keep me on track.

Health goals–

  1. I have something on the 3rd of January that will keep me out of the loop for at least two days.
  2. Take my pills on time. I will have to change my alarm again because it is so easy to ignore it. I have to take a certain amount of pills three times a day.
  3. Don’t short-change the dog on her walks or her me-time. I need the walks as much as she does.
  4. Plus I need to take a fitness class for once a week to keep me moving.

I learned something very important this year. I need face-to-face time with people other than myself. I need friends. Funny that I would admit that– I have lived in a very isolated bubble for years. Part of it was my temperament– I really do live in my head. Part of it was my disease. When the health professionals give you guidelines about what you can do and where you can go because you get sick easily, it does curtail activities.

It is similar to when I learned that even though I am in a salt-restricted diet, I need a certain amount of sodium or my muscles will cramp and stay locked.

So I have people I see during the week and they all know that if they are sick, I cannot help them. It is too big a risk. It doesn’t mean I am an inconsiderate jerk. It means I have a chronic illness.

Something else I learned is that asking for help does not mean you are weak. It was a painful lesson that I get to learn over and over.

On the other hand, my health has been stable. Foxy is still healthy even though she is prone to pancreatitis attacks.

With all my goals, I do wish for a healthy and happy year ahead for all of us.

The dog is sleeping

December 29, 2016

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So as much as I think my words are exciting and my stories are fun, the dog has other plans. Foxy sleeps as I struggle with words, scenes, and characters. I am tempted to get off this chair and walk into the other room. She will sigh heavily as if I am interrupting her sleep time, and then she will follow me out of the room.

I am fortunate that I can have a writing room. When I am finished using the computer, I shut the door. This room is only for my projects, which include my novels. Unlike the other apartment, I don’t have a mirror staring at me. It made me very conscious as if someone was staring at me as I wrote my thousand words.

I am learning to appreciate that I can walk and talk. I have met others who are so bound in their minds and bodies that I look healthy beside them. I still have Stage 4 kidney disease. I will always have a Vasculitis disease and I will be in pain for the rest of my days. I am still able to smile and appreciate a little doggy who sits on my lap when I watch movies or who wakes me in the morning when I sleep too long.

So the main purpose of this blog is to tell you that I have finished writing and editing “Dragon Boy.” Once it is back from the Beta readers, I will do the final publishing– ebook and digital. I learned several years ago that some of you do want to have an actual book instead of just ones and zeros.

I started the third book in this series called “Unlicensed Sorceress,” which will be Hilda’s introduction to city politics and regulation. I assure you that she will not be happy.

Since I am only on Chapter two, I can’t give you more details. Let us say that the story hasn’t completely unfolded to me either.

May you have a great holiday season and a Happy New Year.

May you get all the rest you need to succeed.

May you receive success and joy throughout 2017.

Tomorrow is another day

December 19, 2016

dragonboy2016 Yesterday, I finally had some brain space and energy to get back to the book I have been writing for the last year. I made a goal to write at least four books this year. I completed the first draft on two and am finally finishing the editing on one. It’s been a busy year.

So with no further ado or complaints I am leaving an excerpt of Dragon Boy here. As for the rest, well the proof is in the pudding as my grandfather used to say. I hope to get this out to Beta readers by the beginning of next year.

Dragon Boy:

Chapter Twenty-One (part 2)

Dragon Cave
Michael Ordson

In all the drama, Michael had been forgotten by the participants. He didn’t mind. This was a good time to explore the hallways, the kitchens, the rooms, libraries, and even the dungeons if there was one. He whistled a little as he walked down the passageways, rubbing his right hand against the wall. Someone had taken the time to smooth the walls. Little rocks embedded in the walls had that smooth polished feeling.

If the lights were off and he held a lantern to them, the rocks would sparkle. He looked at the lights at the ends of the hall. They were nothing like what he saw in the real world. In the world they used candles, fires, and torches for lights. Some of the candles were made with pork fat and other animal fat, which made dark scorch marks on the walls. Here the lanterns were enclosed, they didn’t smell like pork or even sulfur. He had no idea what magic made the lighting possible. He had heard of people using whale fat and even that noxious gas that game out of the ground for light. But here under the mountain in the land of the dwarfs, they had some magic that wasn’t in the human world.

Off the passageway he found personal rooms and suites. When he walked into one found a young dwarf busy cleaning and polishing. He apologized for opening the door, but she just glanced down and continued her duties.

He turned left at one of the many forks. When he reached the end of the passageway, he found a wall. Something had been walled up here recently. Michael could feel the undine in small form holding on to his hair, her cold feet on his neck. He put his ear against the wall and listened. He didn’t understand why he wanted to explore further past the wall. There were no cries, just a heavy silence.

A dwarf touched his shoulder and Michael jumped. Michael expected a scolding or scowl for walking away from the others. When he had been left alone, it had been too good a chance to explore.

But the dwarf wasn’t scowling. He smiled, the smile on a dwarf is a terrible thing. There mouths are made for sternness. Still Michael felt a little better that the dwarf had made an effort.

“You are Michael, beloved of dragons,” said the dwarf.

“Beloved?” Michael’s voice rose a little. He did not expect this from the dwarf.

“For the service you did Davi a few months ago.”

That time was hazy for Michael, but he didn’t want to press the issue. The dwarf was inclined to help him. He could tell by the smile and how the dwarf’s eyes sparkled.

Michael changed the subject, “So what is behind this wall.”

“That is where the dragonlings are kept. The ones changed by the grimoire and the black mage.”

Michael shuddered at the memory of the small inn with misshapen children that had been eating their parents for sustenance. It had been a gruesome scene and one he didn’t want to remember.

“Why is it walled up?” asked Michael.

“They are feral,” said the dwarf. “They have to be tamed and civilized. When they are not in the training pits, they are fed and then put in the cells. It will take years, maybe hundreds of years to help them. They are tainted.”

“Show me,” said Michael.

The dwarf took him back to the fork in the tunnel, then another turn then a right, right, left. They were in front of a big door that was made of metal. No one could take that door down. Michael admired the work that had gone into making such a monstrosity.

The dwarf pulled out a key and opened the door. Michael followed behind him until they reached the cells. The dragonlings were already in their cells, they were in half-dragon half-human form and were taking big chunks out of their food.

“Do they speak?” asked Michael. He looked at each one. They were branded on his heart, the shapes, the grunts, and how they tore into the raw meat. They were animals without souls.

“No,” said the dwarf. “The change affected their minds. We still don’t know if they will be more than just feral beings.” The dwarf sighed. “The dragons have so few children that they cannot destroy these little ones. It would hurt too much.”

None of these dragonlings were little to Michael. Most of them towered above him in their cells. One of them noticed Michael. It roared and shook it bars. It had enjoyed the taste of human flesh and wanted more.

“And this one?” Michael pointed to the dragonling who had noticed him.

“That one will die soon,” the dwarf said sorrowfully. “It will not learn any of the commands and has tried to kill most of its trainers. He just sits in this cell. We have to force him back with fire sticks so that we can leave him food. It is only a matter of days.”

Michael felt pity well up in him. It was not this little one’s fault that he had been changed and tainted. “Is there a way to cleanse them?” The dwarf looked surprised, but when he tried to answer, Michael said, “No, the undine.”

“Undine,” the dwarf repeated Michael’s words. He looked confused.

The undine crawled out of her hiding place and looked into Michael’s eyes. She  tapped into his deepest emotions and he let her in as far as she wanted. He had felt pity for these children, but with the emotions amplified by the undine’s touch, tears streamed down his cheeks.

Michael walked closer to the dragonling whose long arms forced through the bars of the cell was trying to grab and rip him to pieces.

The tears continued, fell on the ground, and became a living stream that flowed towards the dragonling. The tears touched his toes. The dragonling stomped in the water and screamed. Michael could hear the scream of human and dragon mixed.

The tears flowed upward from its toes to its head. The screams became more terrified and the dragonling fell on the ground of the cell. Michael’s sorrow increased. He could see that the taint was so buried into the dragonling that the tears might kill him.
Behind him the dwarf chanted, When the tears reached the dragonlings heart, it stopped.

“Is it dead?” Michael could see the tears clean the taint from his head.

There was silence as the dragonlings in other cells quit eating and watched the spectacle. There was a huge gasp from the downed being and it began to breath. The dwarf pulled out a key and rushed into the cell. He wrapped the dragonling in a blanket, held and crooned to him. Michael backed away and left them alone.
The undine pulled out a small glass bottle and captured a few of the tears. Then she leaped into Michael’s hair again. “What just happened?” he asked the undine.

“You cleansed me,” she said, “with the help of the clear stream. I thought that you could help the boy.”

“But isn’t it woman’s magic?” He sounded surprised. The undine laughed, clear bright and joyful.

“No, it is your magic,” she said. Soon they were in the passageways where most of the dwarfs were walking. He could smell cooking food so went in that direction. His stomach grumbled.