Looking at that title, I want to emphasize that this is NOT a post on Colorado which, in this fine morning, seems to be warm (yesterday we got to 70 though that might be urban isle effect, since it was not supposed to get that hot) and rather rosy. Or at least the sky is rosy.
At six am I got up too late to see the city lights outside my sunroom as I had breakfast. Or at least they were rather pale and wan. It’s the beginning of summer, and in a way the beginning of a new phase in my life, though, as such things go, the change will be gradual and with turn backs for about two years.
As some of you know — at least those who offered him material support should I kick him out when he did a facebook post pretending my writing novels was a delusion and that I was a mental patient (it ended with “She really thinks she makes a living from her novels. As if anyone did that.”) — younger son moved out at the end of November. I wasn’t ready for it, but to ask a young man to go to school in the Springs from Denver is cruel and unusual. Not unheard of, mind, some do it regularly. But Marshall has “highway curse”TM and three out of four times he gets on the highway, he ends up behind a massive traffic jam. Beyond that, in addition to an overloaded and often eccentric schedule (the penalty of doing multiple engineer degrees at once) he runs a fencing club, is a member of a very active young engineers’ society and has a gaggle of friends, all of which meant mostly he made it home to sleep — maybe.
Anyway, I’m mostly accustomed to his not living here. If by accustomed you include “not at all.” He thinks I’m sappy and strange for going all the way to the springs for a hug. Eh. He’ll learn.
His older brother has been occupying our basement, in starving student fashion, but if everything goes well he starts doing clinical rotations in a couple of months, which mean that at least for portions of it (for other portions they’ll ship him across the state) he’ll need a pied a terre minutes from the school (which we aren’t, particularly not in city traffic.)
So it’s rather likely that in a couple of months older son will only be coming back for infrequent visits. And then next year he’ll again be living here more or less full time, with periodic trips to the airport for — hopefully — interviews for internship.
All of which should leave me more time to write. Maybe. I rather enjoyed my month or so of empty nestdom (totally a word), before boys relocated here last summer. However I suspect there will be a period of adjustment.
Among other things, I MUST get back to driving, an activity interrupted by “vision going awry” about five years ago. Not quite sure how to get back on the road, as instruction — and being told I’m fine, except at parking, which frankly I knew — hasn’t helped conquer the subconscious fear shading to panic. It’s not rational. I’m hoping now it’s lighter I can hit the roads at six or before that and conquer the fear by sheer habit. We’ll see. The reason I must do it is that right now I count on tyrannizing one or the other of the sons (one of them is susceptible to ambushing on FB pm and I know his afternoon off) and getting them to drive me to a museum or a lecture or wherever I want to go. But in two years, everything going well, they probably won’t even be in-state, and it’s not fair to Dan for me to demand he take time off for my whims (even when he works from home.) So in two years I either must be driving without fear (because otherwise I make excuses not to drive) OR we must have a lot of money for Uber.
Re: pursuit of the later: I had intended to put out a book a month starting last September. Life intervened, as it has a tendency to. The most disruptive intervention was collapsing in the shower early December, though the flu in January was a doozy in that for the first time in years it left me severely compromised enough to catch serial secondary infections, including the last one that gave me a week and a half severe headaches (only two days without them since, yesterday and the day before) and which attacks only severely immune-compromised patients.
So, yesterday being the first time I COULD clean in about a month, I’ve changed sheets, towels and wiped down every surface that COULD be wiped with bleach. I also cleaned those that couldn’t, including deploying the dreaded carpet cleaner. Hopefully this will keep us well enough to recover and resist the next infection.
All of this has affected my work, of course. I delivered Darkship Revenge in late January (Now available in e-arc, come and get it while it’s e-arcky) and should have been done with the next book on my schedule — a collaboration with Kevin J. Anderson, taking place in a shared world and called Uncharted: Lewis and Clark in the Arcane Territories — a week or two later. I had, as I thought, done all the research and was prepared.
The problem is that it’s a shared world and one that splits off earlier, and in which the American Revolution never happened. This means many tiny things could not be the same, besides the main premiss (that magic returned.) I keep running into things I need to check like “When was north America circumnavigated, and were they sure it went all the way to the pacific?” (Kind of.) And other such issues. And they’re not the type of issues where I can insert “research later here” because it affects major parts of the motivation.
Anyway, the headaches didn’t help either. Turns out writing through a headache is extremely difficult. So February is done and I’m maybe halfway done with this. It shall be done. Should be today, but I’m shooting for this week.
Part of the reason it’s taking so long is that I’m very impatient to get to Guardian. As a fan who writes fanfic in the MHI world, I’m having trouble staying out of it to fulfill my other obligations. I’m really hoping to start sending a chapter a day to Larry starting next week. Which means this thing has to be put to bed.
I’ll also confess I’m having flashbacks to writing the Magical British Empire (Heart of light, etc) which are Magical travelogues, but I’m no longer that writer, so it’s a bit of a struggle to get back in that mind set. Which of course is why I’ve not edited or released those two books yet, under my own imprimatur. That and because they were so tampered with it’s an intensive editing job. Hopefully they’ll be up before summer.
Also up, the second one probably this next week, will be the Furniture Refinishing Mysteries. Dipped, Stripped and Dead is already out, and A French Polished Murder is actually ready to go. It’s just that I’d like to pace it, so that when I bring out the third it will only be a couple of weeks till I bring out A Well-Inlaid Death, the fourth, at present only half written. (But these are short books.)
And then, once the collaborations are in, (or Guardian in the process of going in) I hope to start going through the many drawer-books (those that for some reason didn’t sell to traditional publishing, which for the space operas often included “space opera doesn’t sell.” Ah.) and finishing/editing releasing them at as great a pace as I can manage, since the indie game is a game of volume.
I still intend to write a couple more books for Baen this year, maybe three, if it looks like they’ll be amenable to the Magical Legion (the foreign legion but extending through time and with magic.) The couple of books, not under contract but continuation of a series, are Hacking the Storm, third book in the Earth Revolution subseries and Bowl of Red the fourth in the Shifter’s series. Also for Baen and penciled in for late August this year is a book in the Black Tide universe but that will be a collaboration, so actually bringing it out depends on a lot of things.
All of this should be facilitated by its being just two of us int he house. And the income should help with paying the final expenses for the boys’ schooling before they fly solo and (hopefully) laying in enough money we can fly to visit them when they move out of state. We’ve agreed there’s absolutely no point us trying to move near them for ten years or so, when they’ll be of necessity somewhat mobile. In ten years we’ll evaluate where they are and hopefully figure out how to be near them (which could be hard if they go to extreme ends of the country, but what’s life without a little challenge?)
Until then, the order of the day is to work as hard as I can, while the sun shines, or rather while health allows.
On the health it would really help if we didn’t catch stupid cr*p. Oh, sure, it’s not as bad as it was before we moved here, but it’s still pretty idiotic to lose two months because of flu. Of course, the fact older son wishes to decamp during his clinical rotations should help my health also, since he’s a good, sharing son and brings home the most interesting parts of his work, even now when his clinical work is only a day a week. Without Victor the Vector here, it should be easier.
I will be doing a follow up on both the tumor in the brain, to determine whether mass effect requires rapid removal, and the demelination (sp) event, aka “the thingy int he brainy” which is the more worrisome of the two, but not unduly so given that I was hypothyroidal and untreated for 20 years give or take, resulting in the onset of hypothyroidal dementia (which is weirdly actually what stopped me almost completely for about 4 to 5 years. Though the moving didn’t help.) It is likely the demilianated areas are the result of that, and judging from improved memory and verbal facility, that they are also reversible. We shall see. I should have an MRI this month.
Among the welter of projects started, planned and waiting revision (seriously, this covers around 35 projects that will be done AT SOME TIME, some more pressing than others) should I write a fantasy version of the American revolution, you guys should remember it’s all Amanda Green’s fault, who insinuated the idea into my brain in a conversation yesterday, a feat in which she was aided by my stupid brain having been chain-reading the lives of the founders.
And now I’m going to stop wasting time and go work.
The state of the writer is guardedly optimistic but buried in a mountain of work, and with the sort of major life-changes ahead that are always a bit rocky to navigate. Prayers, well wishes and crossed fingers appreciated. I really don’t like having lost four to five years to my body not cooperating, and would like to get things done now.
Oh, suggestions for topics, both here and at Mad Genius Club (i.e. topics of a writerly and often instructional nature) much appreciated.