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A Writer in the House

May 26, 2016

From Sarah A Hoyt’s Blog– What it is like to have multiple writers in the house.

Confession time

May 25, 2016

So the last two months I have not been writing. Even though my doctors have said that my main disease, Wegener’s Granulomatosis, is under control. I have had other issues. My kidneys’ creatinine level spiked, which meant that the kidney function was degrading. My blood pressure started to rise and my sleep was disturbed.

The consequences of these symptoms was that I felt a general malaise, crankiness except for a few occasions, and foggy brain. So when I sat down in my chair to write, I couldn’t keep track of the story. My characters were uninteresting. I even had a hard time walking the dog– although I did it anyway. When I would walk around the block, I would start wheezing about half-way home. (It is a long block, but just a year ago I could walk it without feeling I had smoked a pack– and no, I don’t smoke.)

So this gradual slide culminated into a night, where I just couldn’t breathe. I called two of my doctors and was told that if it got worse to go to the ER. With my lowered immune system, I don’t go to the ER unless I am dying or feel like I am dying. So I propped my head up, doubled up on allergy pills, spritzed my nose with spray, and slept with a humidifier. It got me through a few nights until I could see a doctor.

Only a few years ago, if I had a problem of this nature, the doctor would see me the next day. Now it takes a week with the same doctors. Does this mean that healthcare is better under this new system? I would have to say, no.

So I am now diagnosed with asthma. Since I started using inhalers with allergy pills, a humidifier, and a new pillow, I am finally sleeping through most of the night. I can finally put two thoughts together without writing it down. I might even be able to keep my grocery list in my head. Though that would be pushing it since I still take mycophenolate daily. Plus my blood pressure is stabilizing. I’ll see what the kidneys are doing in the next labs.

It has only been a week. During that time, I have gone through my apartment to give it a good dusting, gave the dog a spa day, and bought new mattress covers and pillows. Hey, I will recommend “My Pillow” if you have neck problems or in my case asthma. It can be washed and has a ten year guarantee.

What makes this entire situation unreal is that I don’t look like I have asthma. I look very healthy. The only real symptom until the non-breathing nights was that I was becoming slightly more vague and I couldn’t remember words. Even my brothers couldn’t tell by just talking to me except some of the words would slip away.

Enough of my complaining. One of my best friends who has helped me through this disease for over ten years is in the hospital. The doctors have kept her there for two weeks because they had gone to a conference about how to deal with trachea problems and came back with a solution that would ruin her voice for life, when she could have been transferred to another hospital that dealt with tracheal stenosis. I won’t go into the procedure– except that it is painful and does work.

Please send thoughts to her that she can get herself transferred to a better situation and so that she will still speak when this is all over.

As for me, when I get this new condition under control, I expect to live many more years. Plus I am starting to write again.

Friends, family, and fans– I salute you.

As we go into the Memorial Weekend, please honor the ultimate sacrifice of our military. Miss you Otto–

So I haven’t had the energy

March 31, 2016

intheshadownewI see a rheumatologist every six months for my disease– Wegener’s Granulomatosis. I was first diagnosed with the disease in 2003 after a real fight, where I ended in the hospital for almost five weeks. The next year, while I was on IV Cytoxan and high dosages of prednisone was even worse. Some of my experiences are in this book that I wrote several years ago for other WG patients.

The good news is that C-ANCA is not showing up in my blood, meaning that the disease is quiet. As my rheumatologist said, “It is a very sneaky disease.” One of the things this disease did was damage both of my kidneys.

Recently, I started to have headaches and low energy. It was a gradual slide after the flu I had in February. Yesterday, I saw my nephrologist, who watches my kidney function. The creatinine levels spiked. I know that most of you do not know what that means. The kidneys have two functions: make water (or urine) and clean the blood. The high creatinine levels in my blood show that the kidneys are not filtering my blood well. But, you can survive on one kidney. I am surviving on less than that. When the creatinine levels spike, it can mean that my kidneys are going towards an inevitable decline.

So my inability to concentrate on my writing and the need to cuddle my dog, probably has been caused by the spike in creatinine levels.

The good news is that my levels did slide down in the last two weeks. The bad news is that I am taking more medication than ever as well as I have to be more conscious of my health.

So apologies again. I am one-third through the second draft of Dragon Boy. I hate excuses, but please forgive me.

So where is Surely?

March 20, 2016

dragonboy2016

“Slowly, but surely” was something my grandmother would say when we asked her when she was going to complete one of her projects. She liked to crochet and would make an afghan for each of her grandchildren when they graduated from high school.

One year she had three of us graduating in the same year. Later she said that she had cramps from all that crocheting. It was a relief that the next grandchild wouldn’t graduate in two years.

When she used that phrase, she usually meant that it would be between days and months before she had finished a project.

So in memory of my grandmother who died over a decade ago, I am using that phrase again. I am slowly, but surely editing and revamping Dragon Boy. The main structure story is strong, I just had a few problems with description and viewpoint. I had started with Hilda as the main character. She does have a major role, but the main character is actually Davi.

If you remember him, he was the dragon in human form who helped Michael reach Delhaven. Davi in this book finds his powers as a magical being. He finds the instability inherent in magical beings and he grows up.

Hilda does have a major role in his growth.

When I am finished with the edits, then it will be time for beta readers.

Yesterday while I was working on the edits, I finally saw the direction of the next book. The main character will be Hilda. Oh yes, and I have a title “Unlicensed Sorceress.”

For those of you who enjoyed “Hilda’s Inn,” I am planning on having “Dragon Boy” ready for beta readers at the end of the month. As soon as it gets out, I will be starting the next sequel.

Thank you all for the push to keep me writing.

Spring is early here

March 3, 2016

8a5d8-chickadee-2The birds sure think it is spring. I was sitting on my little porch, watching the birds, when I saw two Doves doing the dance and then one hopped on top of another. It was so raw and real that I had to go into the house to give them a little privacy.

Even the trees and bushes are sending out spores already. I walked down the sidewalk and crunch yellow phallic looking spores. So yes, I have some allergies this early spring. Don’t you?

The change from cold with fever to “hay fever” happened almost instantaneously. My voice still growled with both. I still coughed up sputum. But Monday, my doctor gave me a clean bill of health. There is no infection in my throat and ears, plus even better my lungs are clear.

I know that the rest of you are still dealing with the cold and snow. Come south west and play in the Las Vegas casinos. You’re welcome. I am sitting here in a short sleeves and watching the mercury rising to 67 at 8 a.m. If you wait until the weekend the temperature will drop to the 60s.

If we have an early spring, does this mean we’ll have a really hot summer? Probably. But let’s enjoy what we have right now. I can take the dog for a walk and not freeze my fingers and toes.

Oh yes, and don’t look into the trees. The birds are getting busy early this year.

Life and the usual foibles

February 23, 2016

IMG_0055 It was a rough day yesterday, Foxy was at the vet for her yearly exam. Normally I don’t worry about her except to remember that she has had pancreatitis. That was not fun.

But this time the vet wanted more of her teeth even though she is not in pain. I decided no, because I just can’t afford it now. For that matter, I haven’t been able to take care of my teeth for awhile. So we muddle along with what we have.

The other problem is that her liver is enlarged. I was assured that she she wasn’t in pain and that her liver proteins were in range. He wanted me to go get a sonogram for her. It would cost another 5-6 hundred dollars and my “plan” would not cover it. So instead I am feeding her some pills. She is too smart to gobble the peanut butter so I have to crush them. Plus I am keeping her on a liver diet. Oh yea, she needs to lose weight. I saw a really fat chihuahua yesterday and Foxy actually looks slender compared to the other dog. I think the liver diet has caused her to gain weight. So that is the pain involved in dog-keeping. Still I will do what I can with the resources I have.

On the other hand, while she was at the vet, I missed her badly. I felt her in all the rooms. Plus she is a stabilizing influence on me. She is the adult in this family.

I also have some health problems that my insurance doesn’t want to cover and to add to the grief yesterday, my internet service raised their rates.

So where is this economic recovery that we are in? Seriously when I hear that come out of certain Senators’ mouths, I wonder if they are living in the real world or an imaginary world just for them.

Now for the good news-– I am on my third WIP this year–Diamond Butterfly. This has been the best writing year …EVER.

I will be starting the second draft– for Dragon Boy — this afternoon. I am hoping to have it ready for Beta readers in March sometime. Then it will be publishing preparation time.

Thanks for listening to me… and thanks for all the fish. (Douglas Adams)

The Quickening

February 18, 2016

At this time I am in the last quarter of Dark Moon Rising, the second EJ Hunter book. There were a lot of stops and starts for a couple of years on this book, however, all of a sudden this morning, while I was writing a thousand words, I started to see what was coming next.

The first draft will be done by next week. I have a third story in this series, but before I write it, I want to finish a small novella from the EJ Hunter world called Diamond Butterfly.

dragonboy2016 As for Dragon Boy, I have not started the second draft, which will pull the story together, discover the plot holes, and add descriptions.

I was lucky to find the image last week for the cover art. So here is the cover for Dragon Boy. The image was created “by Mel” and I am so fortunate that I can use it for my cover.

So this is the State of the Writer. Even with a cold and now I think it is extended because of allergies, I have continued writing. I want to have this story out this year.

My sincere gratitude to the excellent digital artists on the ‘net. Without them my covers would be a lot worse.

 

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