Saturday, November 23, 2019

11/23/19 Where have I been? Am I even alive?

To all my wonderful readers: I am here and I am writing. My writing is inconsistent but it's getting better. No excuses, but I will speak a little bit about the "why."

In March, I had an unexpected health scare. I had multiple pulmonary emboli, in every lobe of my lungs, so many that they didn't even attempt to count. After a four day hospitalization, I began a long recovery. The emoboli are gone and I'm fine in that respect, but the "near death" experience changed a lot about me.

I became kind of depressed and more withdrawn. If you know me at all, you know that it isn't me. I hid it fairly well, but didn't have the energy to write.

The good news is that I'm not depressed and am writing again. Where's My Passport? is about half done, and I'm actually enjoying working on it. No book has ever taken me so long. Besides being ill, part of the book takes place in Ireland, so I have to do some research, which I haven't had to do with other books taking place in Quincy.

So I'm back to my old self, and want to make sure that you, my patient readers, are rewarded with another book at the end of this.

Thanks so much for waiting. I appreciate your kind comments when you see me. It never gets old hearing how much you enjoy my books. Never gets old at all. Thanks again.

More later.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

8/16 Procrastinator no more! least temporarily. My manuscript has been turned in, sent to the formatter, returned for my viewing (and my publisher's viewing), and sent back to the formatter for a few small changes. He returned everything, but without my picture on the back. So that's been attended to, and book #8 (Is This the End?) should be out any day. As usual it will be out in both ebook and paperback.

To say I am happy is to totally understate my HUGE emotions. For some reason, this book took a little while longer than the others. Still 8 books in five and a half years isn't too bad.

I'm working on Where's My Passport? and I certainly hope it will be done more quickly than ITTE? but we'l see. To hurry it along, I am adding to my usual writing retreat by going to a new one. In October I'll be going to the Isle of Palm off of Charleston, SC with some new writer friends. The funny fact is that I've not met any of them IRL. However, one of them has been my FB friend for a few years, and I'm sure the other ones will soon be friends. I believe there will be six of us there, and I believe all of them are published authors. More about them after I meet them. Then I can recommend some books to you. I do think they are romance writers, at least I know a few of them are. I wonder if I'm the only mystery writer there. Hmmmm, that will be interesting, and perhaps fodder for another book.

What do you think?

Thursday, March 29, 2018

3/29 The Great Procrastinator

Everyone has to be good at something, right? It seems I'm good at procrastinating. But I'm writing today, and that's a good feeling.

I really like this book and I know how it ends now, so I don't know why I'm so slow at finishing it. Many people have let me know that it seems like forever since my last book came out and they are right. It's been almost a year. Normally I put out two a year, so I'm vowing to get back on track.

This morning I'm sitting in a coffee shop and I'm the only person here. So there's no excuse, although I do like a little noise of people talking in the background. It motivates me somehow.

I had a marvelous writers' retreat in Vermont in February, and I will be going to my annual writing retreat at Snowmass at the end of April. I'd like to get the first draft of this book finished before I go. I usually start a new book when I'm at the hermitage at Snowmass. It's so inspiring there, plus there's no WiFi or cellphone service, so not too many distractions. Well, except for the marvelous view and the animals that come right up to the door.

So as I look forward to that trip, I also know I need to be mindful of the NOW and to live in the present, so I can complete the task at hand.

Wish me luck! Sam and George are on another excellent adventure.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

3/11 Plugging along

The good news is that I got my hearing aid and things seem to be working well. Still takes some getting used to, but I’m very pleased overall.

Regarding writing, it’s going slowly but it’s going. :) I am editing a book for a friend, grading assignments for my QU teaching job, and counseling Au pairs online. However, I’m still making time for writing.

My Work in Progress includes: The heroes climb to great heights. Poor Clancy gets trapped. A priest helps Sam and George escape from a dangerous position. Those are all the hints I’m giving. Still don’t know how to get them out of all the situations. Plus I haven’t figures out who the villain is yet. Well, I know one for sure, but not the other.

Okay, done talking about what is involved in Is This the End? As I write, I’m thinking about the next one.

What do you think about a murder taking place in a dementia unit, and how difficult that would be for the investigators to get information? I think the concept is intriguing.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

2/24/18 Life is interesting....

I should be writing, and I will.

I should be editing a friend's manuscript, and I will.

But for now, I'm sitting in a coffee shop willing the tinnitus to stop.

But it won't.

Willing my right ear to start hearing again.

But it won't.

Went to bed on 12/27 hearing out of both ears. Woke up 12/28 with almost all hearing gone in my right ear. Tests show I do have a brain and it works okay. (A little MRI humor there.) Explanations are unsatisfactory. "Sometimes this just happens. Something goes wrong with the cochlea in the inner ear. We don't really know how it happens. It just does." Of course the doctor didn't really say it in those exact words, but it's what I heard.

I'm not complaining, truly I'm not. I'm grateful to have one ear that works perfectly. This is just such a big change. And I know that soon I'll get used to hearing in monaural instead of stereo. And hopefully I'll get used to the noises that my ear insists on making. Oh, and walking into walls.

In the meantime I'll get back to my writing and editing, and trying to remember to hold my phone to my left ear. Laughing, because so far that's been one of the hardest things about this situation.

I do feel incredibly lucky that my livelihood doesn't depend on my hearing. Another appointment with the audiologist next week will determine if a hearing aid will help. Here's hoping...

Now, back to the main event: Writing. Happy Saturday, everyone. I am one lucky bug.

Monday, February 12, 2018

2/12/18 Last full day here

I was supposed to leave yesterday, but am leaving tomorrow instead. Luckily I have a flexible schedule and was able to extend my journey by two days. A few others have as well.

I think my favorite part of this whole journey has been sitting around the fire every evening and listening to other people's writing from the day, then discussing it, hashing it out. And also the fear and joy of reading my own stuff aloud and hearing helpful critiques as well. This has been invaluable.

The setting is certainly gorgeous. The food is some of the best I've had.

So pardon me if I don't write much here, because I'm working on my manuscript.

Friday, February 09, 2018

2/9/18 Hey, I am a writer!

Yesterday was an amazing patchwork of laughter, wine, and primarily writing. I wrote a few thousand words and could have written more, but tiredness overtook me. After a perfect dinner (which followed a perfect lunch), all the writers gathered in the Gertrude Stein salon. It's expected that every evening we gather for a "hash session" where we read part of our work in progress and critique each other's work.

It's kind of scary to put your work out there and to hear what people honestly think of it. Of course, when my work is published people read it and judge it all the time. But I don't hear them. And I'm not sitting there taking it in person.

So I was nervous.

However, it was a super experience—enlightening, encouraging, and energizing. Not only did I get valuable feedback on Is This the End?, I also was able to give feedback to others. There are some talented folks here. Right now there are five female writers staying here. Everyone writes so differently, yet all have a gift. Really enjoyed hearing others read their prose. We'll do that every night while here.

I'm getting a lot done, and eating like a queen. The food is unbelievable. Two of the women are wives and mothers and are sure enjoying not cooking. I just say Yum a lot.

I was supposed to go home Sunday but have extended until Tuesday morning. It's because I'm getting so much work done here with no distractions, plus getting helpful feedback.

Supposed to snow again soon. This is a beautiful postcard of a place.