A fan blog for the rest of us.
We finally got a diagnosis for the hubby and it is cancer. He starts chemo this week.
I have no words to express the ups and downs my hubby and I have been going through the last few weeks.
As for my writing. I am editing some short stories I had written about Perry Doyle, black marketeer and adventurer a few years back. I added things and changed things around. Plus I lengthened a few of the stories. I will get this published in August. It is called “Perry Doyle’s Traveling Black Market.”
It is space opera so for the sci-fi fans. More story and less hardware, I’m afraid. Also, I am starting the process of getting more of my books on Kindle Unlimited. On August 2nd, “I’m a Flasher & Too” an ebook full of micro-fiction will be free. Please note that on your calender.
Thanks for the support.
I was fortunate to have my disease diagnosed early. Many patients with this disease find that it takes years to be diagnosed and treated. It took me three months from the first symptom, red eyes, to my hospital stay with kidney failure to be diagnosed.
Since 2007 I have written about problems I have dealt with as a patient who has to take daily chemo and prednisone. The meds changed my body type. I wore a size fourteen for many years, which is a good size for a woman who is 5 foot 8 inches tall. With meds, I gained over sixty pounds. As you can see on the cover picture, I also sported the moon face, large stomach, and dowager’s hump from long-term prednisone use.
So this is my story, with the ups and downs, and the gallows humor that helped me survive. I have said before that without my husband I wouldn’t have survived the first two years of illness and medication side-effects. So if you want to know what happens when a person who has been in good health suddenly loses her health, this is the book for you.
In January 2003 I spent two weeks in a German hospital before I was diagnosed with Wegener’s Granulomatosis. This collection contains my journey through a chronic illness. This ebook was written as remembrance for Vasculitis month (May) and to all of those people who have lived with and died from a chronic illness.
Updated Second Edition in 2014.
Also, you can get In the Shadow of Death and A Flicker of Hope combined in a trade paperback:
Reflections on Hair Loss
I used to have long golden blonde hair. When I was young about eight years old, I fought my mother for my hair. She wanted to cut it into a bob. I wanted to grow it long. After a huge fight which included an intervention from my father, I had my hair.
As I grew older, every couple of years I would cut it to my chin and let it grow down my back. One year it grew to my waist. I had learned by then that my hair was extremely thick and full so I rather liked my hair a little shorter.
Also, my husband liked my hair. He would touch my hair touch the ends and caress it. He would roll it in his hands. It was fine and thick, and he liked the feel of it. I used to be amused by his enthusiasm for my hair.
But, as you know, life changes things. What changed my hair was Cytoxan. Cytoxan is the first chemo-drug found to treat cancer patients. For Wegener’s Granulomatosis patients, it stops the inflammation response by suppressing the immune system. Of course, there are side-effects.
I was in a hospital bed in a German hospital and one of the doctors came into my room.
“We have found your disease,” she said, as she set up the I.V. treatment that was going into my arm. “Are you ready?”
“What is it?” I asked.
“You weren’t prepared?” she asked. She proceeded to name the side effects, which included infertility and hair loss.
I panicked. She gave me about ten minutes to decide whether I wanted the treatment or not. I have to admit that I was more worried about the infertility. I didn’t realize how much my childhood training had affected me. I was not a woman if I could not have a child. I didn’t want a child, but there you go-
I realized that without the treatment I would not live. I wanted to live so I agreed. I cried, but I agreed.
Two days later as I brushed my hair, clumps of it fell into my hand. I tried to ignore it, but in a few days, my beautiful long blonde hair became thin and brittle. I cried. My hair had been my beauty and it was gone. I was brave. I tried to forget how the hair lightly covered my bald spot. I wore brightly covered hats that I knitted out of yarn. I hoped that I wouldn’t be on cytoxan forever.
Later, more like four years later, I am still on chemo-therapy (not cytoxan). My hair has grown back thick and curly instead of thick and straight. But, that beautiful gold color is gone. I am now a dark dirty blonde with few highlights.
I try to forget the beautiful mane that I lost. It is the price I pay to be alive.
I try not to cry about hair.
When I think of flashing I remember when a friend and I were in a small mall using pay phones. For those of you who don’t remember pay phones, there were usually four to six phones near the bathrooms. If you had enough quarters (the price had gone up from a dime to a quarter), you could call and talk to friends or family. The phones were always in use. We thought we were lucky when we found the phone area empty.
My friend and I were calling. (no, cell phones hadn’t been invented yet,) when a man in a taupe coat, flashed us. Yes, he was standing there showing all of his private parts.
I was mortified. We got mall security, (yes, in the 80s there was mall security), but the flasher had left. The security guy walked us to our car. So yes, I am flashing my fiction today, but I won’t be flashing on street corners or by the bathrooms. That would be ewwwwwww.
So with no further fanfare, here is one of my flasher ebooks:
I’m a Flasher:
A collection of ten very very short shorts of the supernatural. The stories in this collection include “The Aliens are Here,” “Haunts at the Edge of Town,” “The Hunter,” “How to become a wizard,” “The Confession,” “A Choice,” “Under His Spell,” and “Road Trip.”
Under His Spell
When Anne needed time alone, she would get into her car and drive. Sometimes she would drive to the store and assuage her yearnings with retail therapy. Other times she would drive to Tahoe, park on the side of the road, roll down the window, and watch the animals, birds, people, and lake. Once the yearnings subsided, she would start the car and drive back to the house.
At two thirty her children would rush through the door, excited about school. She would pull out some milk and cookies, and then set them up for homework. Mark would come home around dinner time. Anne would get ready for work. Mark would give her a quick kiss and she was gone.
If Anne had time to explain what she yearned for, she would probably say that she needed alone time. Or maybe she would say that life had her by the throat. She didn’t know what she wanted. It was some nebulous thing that didn’t include husband, children, or survival.
As she stood behind the counter, helping folks check-in, Anne didn’t have time to feel that empty hole. Not until she saw a black-haired young man with a diamond earring, his arm around a girl with spiked hair. They didn’t seem to notice anyone around them as he kissed her.
It was three a.m. when Anne walked back to her car to go home. To her surprise the black-haired young man was sitting on the hood. He smiled at her. His canines looked slightly longer than normal, but it was hard to tell in the darkness.
She ignored him until he grabbed her wrist when she tried to turn the lock in the door. Anne looked into his eyes. “What do you want?”
“I couldn’t help but notice you today,” he answered. He pulled her closer to him. She pulled back.
“Here’s your chance,” he said. “To dance with the devil.”
This time she let him pull her close. In seconds his canines snapped out and he was drinking from her neck. It was the most sexual thing she had felt in a long time. Her yearnings died as she let him drink.
A few hours later her body was found drained of blood and decapitated. All that was left was the mourning
So it is promotion Thursday once again. I am surprised that it has come by so quickly. For the state of the writer, I am finishing the last chapter and then letting it sit for a month before doing a full read-through. Then I will be asking for Beta readers. In April I am planning on trying Camp Nano with a few friends. I will be writing shorts to add to my sci-fi collection of “The Green Knight Terraforming” world. The main character will find out what happens when a client can’t continue paying for the terraforming product.
As for the rest of WIP, I will be working on In the Valley of Shadow (working title). I think I will be looking for a new name for that book. Plus I need to add my Tales from the Bed to my medical biography about being diagnosed with a rare and possibly fatal Vasculitis disease.
So here is Living in the Desert and an excerpt:
“Living in the Desert” is a collection of ten short stories about the high desert. The collection contains the following stories: “A Desert Rescue,” “Firestorm,” “That Day,” “It’s All About Survival,” “The Grotto,” “Road Rage,” “In the Time of Water,” “The Scorpion’s Voice,” “An Alien Encounter,” and “Whispers in the Wind.”
The author grew up in the high desert of Utah, where T.V.’s were uncommon and every one had a favorite story.
Excerpt from Firestorm:
If you had ever met Jude, you would know immediately from his tanned leather boots to his tanned wrinkled face that he was a “desert rat” and had spent most of his adult life under the harsh sun. His jeans molded over his hips and down to his boots. His plaid shirt was tucked into his pants, which was secured by a leather belt. His ball cap brim shaded his blue eyes that seemed to look into the distance.
Jude was standing in the parking lot by his spotted white and gray Dodge truck and was sucking on a cancer stick. As the ashes fell to the pavement, he ground the red glowing ones with his foot. You couldn’t be too careful when the winter had been this dry. One spark and the entire State would go up in flames.
Once he finished his cigarette, he ground it out in his ashtray and put the stub into his pocket. He walked through the sliding glass doors of the Wal-Mart superstore.