Shame on me. I haven’t posted a blog in a long time. SO much going on with us lately.
Dealing with sudden health issues happening all at once, burned out, exhausted, feeling ill all the time, I was certainly not inspired to write. So I decided to take a 6-month sabbatical. It turned into 8 months when I found out in the middle of it I needed major surgery.
So, I had to face my #2 biggest fear, (surgery) and I’ve been recovering from a full abdominal hysterectomy, and after almost 8 weeks, I’m still having some issues, which I understand is normal. Mostly nerve pains from the incision. I still spend a majority of my time in bed, except when eating dinner, sitting at my desk for a few hours, or going for a walk. I’m wearing an abdominal maternity brace for support, and that helps a lot. The extra weight seems to be causing the most trouble, but soon, I hope that will be a thing of the past.
Last week, Melissa also wrenched her neck and has been in a neck brace. It’s sort of comical to see us trying to function domestically when I can’t bend over and she can’t either, nor can we lift anything. Our floor was littered with things, for a while, that we just didn’t have the desire to attempt to retrieve. Though sometimes, I use my grabber-thingy I’ve affectionately named Jack Reacher, and she manages to do some kind of gymnastic maneuver to get things off the floor when my Jack Reacher won’t do. Her neck is better, now, so at least one of us can get some things done around the house.
I’ve lost 20 pounds of that weight I gained from the menopause and the demon-babies in my womb (AKA fibroids) screwing everything up. I will continue to make weight loss a primary goal, but in a healthy way. We buy and eat organic 80 to 90% of the time, and 100% if we can manage it. Organic food tastes so much better, and it makes a huge difference in how we feel; we also both want to support the organic foods industry.
It’s time we all got back to basics in that regard.
The other night, we had roasted duck for dinner–my first time having duck. It was delicious. Yes, it tasted like chicken, but it was richer. While we paid around $20 for it, we did the math and it only cost us about $4 or $5 per meal.
We also had a lambburger, quail, and a ribeye (all organic). Not all last night, though. Hehe.
I found crumpets at the local grocery, and so that’s my guilty pleasure–crumpets with jam. Natural jam, with no added sugar.
Anyway, this was the longest I’d gone in 27 years, not writing a book. I generally crank a book out every 2 to 4 months.
So, after surgery, I tried to finish the current work in progress (Frequent Crier Miles) I was caught in a relentless quagmire. As I lay in bed, using the flatscreen TV for a monitor, typing with my keyboard on a lap desk, I knew the book wasn’t working. I had a beta reader give it the once over and it was just as bad as I suspected. I’m not used to writing bad books, so with clear corroboration from the beta reader, I knew it was time to re-vision the project. I plucked out the last third of the book and made big changes, keeping the general storyline there.
My wife, Melissa, has always been a great brainstorming partner. She helped a great deal with New Harbor Witches: Ravens, and Pooly Fall, especially. She started helping me with this one, and when I saw some of the things she had written, I realized it was just what the book needed. So we decided to co-author it.
I was so pleased with how well she took that on, and through the process of brainstorming, composition, and editing, gained a whole new respect for her natural talent. I’d known she could write and have encouraged her in her own projects (Like Lesbian Zombies from Hell. That was a title used fictitiously by one of my writer-characters, Izzy, in the AKA Investigations series. I always thought it would be a fun project but never got around to it, so Melissa took that ball and ran with it and what she’s come up with is fantastic. She’s finishing up the novella for that). But co-authoring a novel was another level for her. I was sure it would be great experience for her when she continued her own projects. And she says it has been, already.
I swore I could never co-author a book. I didn’t think my methodology would ever blend with some else’s. But lo and behold, Melissa was awesome. The title Frequent Crier Miles no longer worked, so we renamed it Go.Leave.Stay. and birthed our first literary baby together, and I couldn’t be more proud of her for the work she did on this novel. We will be working together again on some other books.
So now, we have our first co-authored book, and last glance, it was at #5 in two categories, #7 in another. Right now, I’m waiting on the proof for the print version to arrive and we’ll put that out in a few weeks; and I’m also finishing the formatting for LARGE PRINT edition as well.
With the royalties from Go. Leave. Stay., we hope to finally buy our travel trailer, so we can get the hell out of here and on the road for our adventure. We’re planning to visit all 48 states and then settle on our land and make a homestead. All along the way, I will be posting our photos to our new stock photo site, 2 Dollar Shots. And we will be writing a memoir about our travels called Life Everywhere. So watch for that.
We have a lot of writing on the docket in the next year, when we will begin our travels around the U.S. toting our travel trailer. Good times ahead and lots of new books!
Right now, the plan for me is to finish the 4th in Rain Falls series, then decide what’s next– the 2nd in Shamrock Cove (Run the Risk), or AKA Investigations book 7, or the third in Northwoods Trilogy (Throwing Caution, Building Character), the 3rd in New Harbor Witches, and also maybe another Cross -Pollination installment. If you’re a fan of my series fiction (and/or Pitfall, the standalone novel), you should read Pooly Fall (Cross-Pollination series #1). It continues them, using my most popular characters in one storyline. My next books in these series will springboard off Pooly Fall, so you might want some of that backstory.
My wife, Melissa Walker-Baeli, will also be writing her own stuff, including the Lesbian Zombies from Hell novella, and several other projects, and we also have a few books we have planned to co-write. I will be using the Frequent Crier Miles title for another book we have in mind–a comedic story about (conveniently) someone traveling around in a travel trailer, and all the myriad issues that can produce.
So here’s hoping that Go.Leave.Stay continues to do well enough to get us on the road and launched into the new chapter of our lives. Thank you, to all my readers who have been so supportive of my re-emergence. I cherish you all.