Monday, September 15, 2014

Back Again Ten

Ten Things I Did While on Hiatus

Attended: An art show at a vineyard. We don't drink so no bottles came home with us, but it was interesting to people watch and see all the wine-making stuff along with the art.

Changed: My daily writing schedule, which over time had shifted more to afternoon and evening sessions; I've have gone back to getting up very early and writing in the mornings until mid-afternoon. It's slow going at the moment as I'm just now getting back into a regular routine, but the change seems to be helping.

Discovered: BBC's Call the Midwife series on DVD. Funny, dramatic, entirely lovely show; highly recommend it.

Dyed: My hair and went back to being a redhead. Had some strawberry blondish highlights put in, too. Nobody has fainted, laughed or thrown up after seeing me, so I think it works.

Observed: Lots of things I haven't noticed in a while. Like my dogs, who totally have me wrapped around their little paws.

Learned: How to make a cluster of grapes pendant out of twenty-one beads and 15" of wire (in under five minutes, no less.) Here's a pic of how my first one came out, and if you want to make one, here's the video tutorial.

Penned: A couple of poems, three short stories, many letters, tons of whiny personal journal stuff plus a synopsis and the first three chapters for a new project.

Read: Due to the last item on this list, not a whole lot. At present I'm working on the reissue of Barrett's Hill by Anne Stuart, after which I'll start Downfall by Rob Thurman.

Resolved: To do NaNoWriMo 2014 and write a new novel in a month. So I'm in; more details as I work out exactly what I'm going to write.

Survived: Not one but two eye surgeries. Yep, that's why I shut down the blog and was gone for so long.

Some of you know that I've been having eye issues for a couple of years now, but this past Spring my vision began rapidly deteriorating. I started having trouble with strange things, like recognizing colors, and driving at night. I went to the doctor thinking it was a post-menopause thing (or hoping it was, I should say.) That's when I found out I needed the surgeries.

As for why I didn't say anything until now, well, you can imagine how scary something like this is. Until I saw the specialist I wasn't sure what would happen or what outcome I could expect, either. I didn't want those of you who care to worry, and I also knew I'd be sporadically/temporarily blind while I recovered, so it would be tough to keep everyone updated.

The excellent news is that I'm not blind or going blind anymore. Thanks to my amazing surgeon both procedures went off without a problem, and there have been zero post-op complications. I'm expected to make a complete recovery, for which I will be grateful every single day for the rest of my life.

So what's been happening with you all since I've been offline? Let us know in comments.

38 comments:

  1. Went to atlanta for the 8th time, for dragoncon. Had my books on the table. Had a flyer for the new e-book novella, and got complimented on how professional our self pub thing looks ( "It's self pub! I had no idea!") met with the lovely horror writer's association folks. "we've heard of you!" they said. Sold stuff. Dressed up the small boy. Trip home was a 2 flight that should have taken 6 hours wound up taking almost 16 with delays and dumping us unceremoniously at a third, different airport altogether and a bus ride home. Novella2 is in print in a matter of days, and my ebook freebie closes at midnight and I have a book event on sunday and I'm hoping it's not going to rain. And working on the 4th book, with a lovely editor friend, and mulling ideas for 5 and 6.

    And the baby had a wretched virus for a week so that monkey-wrenched plans but he's back to good now.

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    1. I have only one question: What do you eat for breakfast, and where can I buy some? Ha. Congrats on the success at DragonCon -- I've heard that's one of the nicer southern cons.

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    2. I'm on first name basis with two starbucks. No, not kidding. There's one literally on either side of my apt building. I sell my metalworking at Dragoncon, but my booth, my rules, so I make room for the books at one end. We didn't take lots, but a few people picked em up to take a chance. Met with some editors, some publishers, some writers. Nearly got squished by a fire truck that slid down the hilly street sideways ( thought: welp, this has been interesting.) . Was a good weekend.

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    3. Thank you for not getting squished by the fire truck. :)

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  2. Glad you're back! I've missed you over breakfast these past weeks... ;D

    Doubly glad your eye issues have been taken care of and thankfully, no more worries. Too scary to think of losing sight.

    Can't wait to hear about the three-chapter new project...and what you're going to write for NaNo. I'm still on the fence about doing it this year--I've got so many good books to read I don't know if I can give it up for a month...and no, I can't do both!

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    1. Thanks -- and I've missed you all terribly, too. You can't blog for ten years straight without it becoming a big part of your life. :)

      NaNoWriMo has always helped me get back to what's important with writing, and after the long hiatus and all the scary/worry stuff I definitely need a dose of that.

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  3. Hiya Lynn it's good to have you back. Congratulations on the successful surgery and excellent recovery. Off your list, I loved Call the Midwife, still can't get into Rob Thurman (don't know why just can't) and I think I've been reading for you as I've been through tons of books lately. To share a few, Stone Cold Love by Christine Warren, Dangerous Curves Ahead & Thrown for a Curve by Sugar Jamison, DArk Blood by Christine Feehan, Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips, The Best Kind of Trouble by Lauren Dane & Deeper than Need by Shiloh Walker. As for what I've been doing, sewing! I'm at the quilting stage of another quilt which is for my son and I've called it "England", so lots of red, white & blue and some great novelty fabric. I'm really pleased with it and can't wait to see the final result. Apart from a short holiday in North East England, it's been work, work & work. Did I say, it's good to have you back?

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    1. Wow, Fran, you have been book-busy! :) Rob isn't for everyone, I admit; at this point I'm just so invested in the characters I don't think I can give it up. I'm really happy to be back, too -- missed you all so much.

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  4. clairecherven12:00 PM

    Lynn, so happy you are back! I came by every day to see if there was news and surprise, surprise, good news regarding your sight. I often imagine what it would be like to loose one of my senses. I close my eyes while sitting on the rocker and listen hard for life happening around me, but it's not the same. Hope everything continues at this blessed pace. Regarding my last month, just hot weather, weeds and family visiting....nothing new!

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    1. Thanks, Claire -- and I can't recommend going blind if you can avoid it; you don't realize how much depends on sight. During my worst times I did learn that I can quilt, fold laundry, put away dishes and even make a sandwich by touch alone. Walking the dogs, on the other hand, not so much. :(

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  5. Yea! So glad you had success with the eye surgeries! That must be a relief. Not much here - back to school and work and trying to get into a routine. It's made shorter times for reading and blogging, but still having fun!

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    1. Nice to see you here, Jen. Being housebound I totally missed cruising all the cool back-to-school supply sales, so I was a bit bummed by that. Fortunately my daughter is in college, so I was able to get a secondary fix from what she brought home -- and found her a new/hip lunchbox all on my own. :)

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  6. Welcome Back! I am so glad that your eye surgeries went well. The thought of not being able to read is terrifying.
    Hugs,
    Valerie

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    1. You never realize how big a part of your life books are until you can't read, Valerie. I think it also makes you twice as grateful for books when you regain that ability, too. I did listen to some audiobooks when my eyes were offline, though, and they make a fairly good substitute.

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  7. Holy Cow, Lynn! So glad you're back and that the surgeries were successful. That is fantastic news. You must be so relived and rejuvenated.
    For some reason I had imagined you were off line doing a super secret ghost writing project with such a tight deadline that the blog had to go on hiatus until it was finished. . . frankly, I kinda like my explanation better than reality--unfortunately that's often the case with me. Still, very glad you're okay. And do keep us updated on the new project.
    Warm regards,
    Faith

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    1. I appreciate the kind words, Faith. It was tough, deciding to keep it all a secret until after the fact, but I really wasn't sure if/when I'd see well enough to use the computer and get back to writing. I hate to make my online friends worry, too. Frankly I would have rather been ghost-writing! Lol.

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  8. Lynn,
    Well, since my last posting to your blog, I have added an addition to my life. June 12, 2014 my husband and I welcomed our son into the world. His name is Jeffrey Dennis or J.D. for short. Then I had all kinds of post-birth complications and 10 weeks of my life was lost with sickness. I took many pictures of my son in those ten weeks, but honestly only remember half of them. When I did get off all the meds and rejoined the land of the living, I got on the internet to see you were on hiatus! My husband also went through eye surgery here in Jacksonville and we were both extremely nervous. His vision has vastly improved since his surgery last year, but I remember all of the nervousness before hand. Glad everything went well with your surgery and you are back to work now. Take care!
    Tami
    Jacksonville

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    1. Tami, you had your baby! Congratulations, that is such wonderful news. What a great name, too -- I have a wonderful nephew named Jeffrey, so I love your little guy's name. :) I'm sorry you had so much to contend with after the birth, though I'm glad you made it through. I hope your baby son brings you much joy and all the love you can stand.

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  9. Keita Haruka4:35 PM

    Ah! What a sight for sore eyes! Wonderful to have you back. That surgery sounds scary. I'm so glad it turned out okay. Also glad that you had a great time at the vineyard, dyed your hair and learned something new. There's actually been quite a bit going on over here. A friend and I started a collaboration on a new story that we just might publish (hope I didn't just jinx it). I've also written a couple of journalistic style articles, and a couple of science-education articles that seemed to be well-received. We also had arbor week celebrations happening during the first week of September. We planted a total of 1650 trees, which included an orchard at a local food garden, greening at low-income schools, and at two local communities, and street-planting at a new township. Biggest news is that the date for my biannual trip to the USA to visit my partner and adopted family have been set. I'm in count-down mode. Just 176 days to go...That's pretty much it on my end. Going like a Boeing. :P

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    1. You really are going past the speed of sound, Keita -- I'm in complete awe of you. :) Not to add anything to the possibility of a jinx, but if/when you publish your collab story, I'd love a heads-up.

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  10. Lynn, I'm very relieved to hear the eye surgeries went well and that your sight has been restored. What a huge relief for you and your family. I imagined you were off either doing a super secret writing project or doing something different for a change of pace--you'd been on vacation a little back, so I figured something else. Just not this something else.

    Me, I managed to suffer a severe ankle sprain on Maui at the end of June about halfway through our vacation in Hawaii. A very painful episode, but my wife and I still had a great time. Soft tissue injuries can take quite a while to recover from, I'm 85-90% recovered, but it's that last 10-15% that's proving a challenge. I'm outlining my next novel, and my writer's group (a brainstorming/"master mind" group rather than a critique one) will be "fishbowling" my outline soon. I was aiming for October rather than Nanowrimo but might change that.Also have a couple of short stories in the hopper, as well as coordinating the writers' workhop at our fall science fiction convention here in Portland, OR.

    Been reading a lot of First World War history with the centenary upon us, "The July Crisis," was especially good, as well as a friend's novel, and a great fiction anthology from the Writing Excuses authors called "Shadows Beneath."

    Again, very glad you are well!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words, Dale, and so sorry to hear about your injury. Ankle problems can be the devil, I know -- I've got one that I wrenched badly many years ago and it still gives me grief now and then.

      I'm really intrigued by the sound of your writer's group -- I love the idea of brainstorming versus critiquing; I used to run a weekly online chat for writers with the same general theme, and we always had a blast.

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  11. So glad to have you back!

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    1. Thank you, ma'am. Very glad and grateful to be back. :)

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  12. I'm so glad you're back, that everything went well and that you're writing again! You were quilting? I had a friend who was blind who used to do the most beautiful macrame. I'm not sure I'd want to work with needles if I am having trouble seeing where it's going though. Anyway, you're back, I'm happy you are, I've missed you.

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    1. I've been quilting for so long I think it's automatic, Theo. :) I've also built up a set of lovely calluses on my fingers from years of needle jabs that now work almost as well as thimbles.

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  13. I'm very glad your surgery went so well, and that you're back here with us. We all missed you!

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    1. Thanks, Deb -- I was wondering if anyone would even notice, honestly. It's been a sweet surprise to get all these comments and e-mails.

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  14. It seems that getting edits is not the only way we occasionally synchronize, lol.
    Welcome back, you were sorely missed! :)

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    1. I saw on your blog that you did the hospital thing, too, Raine -- hope you're doing well and on the mend. (Hugs)

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  15. Anonymous11:59 PM

    I'm glad to see you back, and glad the surgeries went well! I have been dealing with deteriorating eyesight for a few years now, and night vision is something that is getting worse. I suspect I will have to change my habits, maybe sooner than I hope, but I can still get around well. I'm hoping science will work out some therapies so I can see my vision go into reverse mode someday.

    Enjoy. We will enjoy your posts when you are ready. :)

    JulieB

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    1. Night driving was one of the first things to go for me, Julie, and it was so frustrating. I prefer to go to the market after dinner because it's less crowded, and for months now I've had to wait until someone could take me. But then they're making huge strides with corrective eye surgery, so I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years they can come up with solutions to all of our vision challenges.

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  16. So glad you're back and that your eyes healed without a hitch.

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    1. Me, too, lxz -- I was so nervous! Thanks for stopping in to say Hi.

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  17. Shiloh9:56 AM

    Glad you're back. :)

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    1. Thank you, ma'am. And I see you changed the blog again, Ms. Walker -- like the new look, btw.

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  18. I'm so glad to hear your surgeries went well. Going blind and losing color is one of my personal nightmares--you handled that with grace and strength. (No surprise, but I continue to be impressed at how you just knuckle down and get through.)

    Things with me aren't as good as I'd hoped. The Library system I work at is closing my university library branch; they took our paper books and replaced them with e-books. Our in-person services will become online chat and email (staffed by students instead of trained librarians). I'm so worried for our students--they rely on our help, Lynn, and we won't be able to help them any more. My employees, who are so good, are being replaced by minimum wage overworked students. I just hate it. (I've tried fighting, but it hasn't worked.)

    The one (tiny) bright spot is that they have reassigned me to the big university archive. It is a long commute, which is hard, but the archive itself is very cool. They have cuiniform tablets, ancient manuscripts, and handwritten medieval books and records. So that's what I'll get to play with all day.

    Still--you know me. No matter how awesome the ancient cool books, I'd still rather be helping our non-traditional students get their degrees so they can get work to feed their families. (I know, it's silly, but--I guess I'm a sap.)

    Folks, if you have a library nearby that you use--tell them you value them. It means the world to us.

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  19. Is this the fountain from the cover of "Nightborn"? It's really beautiful.

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