Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Shamed and Pained

Has it really been a year? Holy crap time escapes! I admit a degree of shame in seeing my badly neglected blog, though I will plead pain and suffering as part of why I've been so amiss.

A precious few of you know that 2014 was a year of change for me. BIG change, almost as big as my hair underwent from the big Texas do of 1986 to the super long, super straight do I currently sport today. For those of you in the dark I'll try to be brief.

1989 - broke my back
1989-March 7, 2014 - constant pain, hydrocodone addiction, cold turkey, debilitating pain, depression
March 7, 2014 - went primal. Think paleo but with dairy.
March 24, 2014 - no longer needed asthma meds, pain meds, acid reflux meds.

Apparently I had some sort of allergy to gluten or grain or whatever it was that I stopped eating, and when I quite eating whatever it was, the chronic inflammation around my back at last subsided. My asthma retreated, and so did the acid reflux. Cue the singing of angels please.

In May of 2014, 20 pounds lighter and able to move without pain for the first time in decades, I did something I'd always dreamed of doing. I signed up for MMA classes. Tae Kwon Do. Boxing. Ju Jitsu. Hapkido. Even some Krav Maga.

By July I was another 20 pounds lighter and sporting a yellow belt. Not bad for fat old dame. But a new problem had cropped up. The pain in my spine had been replaced by bursitis in my right hip, and if I thought the back had hurt boy was I in for a treat! I did everything they told me to, took time off from the gym, took pills, did special stretching, got shots in it, nothing. Finally I had an MRI done in December.

As it turns out I have bulging discs between every lumbar vertebrae. They bulge to the left, which probably explains why I tend to slouch to the right side when I sit at my desk. The slouching and sitting is what they think caused the bursitis, and baby it ain't going nowhere.

I'm still in MMA training, though I must rely more on fakes, treachery, and a sledgehammer left hook than on speed and fancy footwork. I learned how to do a flying side kick. I can knock your ass out while wearing pink gloves. And I've dropped a total of 65 pounds which, yay me. And I'm writing again, or typing as it were, but at a much slower pace thanks to balancing my laptop on my lap rather than at my desk with my beloved ergonomic keyboard.

I ordered a lap desk with cooling fans, and I'm writing again. 3500 words a day... except for today because I spent 4 hours refinishing two chapters and another hour playing Pepper Panic.

Here's to 2015.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Thanks guys

From an early age I was always drawing. If there was a pencil or crayon or bleeding thumb available, rest assured I'd put it to use sketching. The majority of my work consisted of horses in various poses, though I'd draw any animal if the fancy struck. As I got older I began entering my best pieces into local art competitions, mostly 4-H and state fair ones. Why I don't know, because I was always extremely protective of my art. I wasn't drawing for ribbons and I certainly wasn't doing it to hear criticism. Perhaps I wanted to hear serious approval; the best I ever got from mom was "cute" and that always set my teeth on edge. After all, I wasn't drawing fluffy fucking bunnies with rainbows and unicorns.

Over the years I wound up with boxloads of ribbons, lots of seconds and thirds, but never that damn blue. The blues and best of shows always went to full color pieces. Mine were always charcoal and chalk, or pencil. For some reason color eluded me, and back then (or at least where I was entering) the divisions weren't broken up that far. They simply lumped it all in by age group. So, I did what any arrogant, yet slightly insecure artist would do when faced with the realization that their best will never be good enough for others.

I quit competing.

Oh I didn't quit drawing. I just quit showing it to others. And eventually I learned how to handle color. Case in point. :)

My writing goes along the same lines. I do it because I have to, not for the ribbons. My best may never be good enough for others, but sometimes it's good enough for a handful. If it weren't for you precious few, the ones who leave lovely reviews and who buy my books, I'd quit competing once again. So thank you. You have no idea how much I appreciate you.

Sunday, February 23, 2014


Growing up I hated the color pink. Much of this was a result of having Flo "Kiss Mah Grits" Castleberry from Mel's Diner as my only source of pink-wearing-redhead inspiration. The "pink is for girls" mentality of the day also turned me hard against the shade. Determined to hang with my three older brothers, I denounced pink and all it's incarnations and declared blue to be my favorite color.

It wasn't until many, many years (ok a few decades) later that I began to embrace the hue. It started with a pair of pink stilettos that went oh so awesome with my faded, torn jeans. Then a set of pink rhinestone bangle bracelets came on board. A pink ankle bracelet. A pink ostrich purse. Pink sweaters for my dogs. I even have a pair of pink tinted glasses for those days I don't feel like dealing with my contacts. Even then, I limit the color to easily manageable accessories. Images of gum smacking, blue eyeshadow wearing waitresses kept me properly wary of otherwise adorable things like midriff baring pink cashmere sweaters or fluffy pink scarfs.

More than once someone has told me I'd look lovely in pink, but they've never seen me sweating it out in 112F Texas heat. My normally ivory skin turns an alarming shade of magenta in such circumstances, and adding a pink blouse to the mix would be criminal on the felony level.

I will, however, happily slap one of these on my Samsung Note 3 phone.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Confessions of an Unfit Blogger

Having a blog wasn't my idea.

Upon learning I'd had some books published, a friend of mine demanded I get a blog up and running at once. Never mind I have the attention span of a diabetic hummingbird, she insisted I needed a blog so I could keep people updated on my every move. Because you know, maybe some day my travels will extend further than the well worn path between my desk and the refrigerator. And gosh darn it, people will want to know!

Or so she claimed. I rarely check my stats but I'm fairly certain the number of people I've helped overcome insomnia barely requires the usual number of fingers and toes to keep track of.

I read other people's blogs and am quite impressed. Blog hops! Guest authors! Excerpts from their books! Free short stories! Competitions! Just looking at all the work they put into their blogs makes me swoon for the comfort of the couch and a glass of Disaronno on ice. I'd blame that on my corset being too tight... but I generally write in the buff so there goes that excuse.

I didn't start writing books so I could spend hours pimping them on social media. That isn't the adult way to look at it I know, but tweeting endlessly about my literary hack jobs just ain't for me. I write stories because if I don't, they'll conspire to pack one side of my skull with tannerite and blow themselves a hole to freedom. Sometimes the sheer number of stories and characters clamoring in my head for release keeps me from writing a single word, because the cacophony drowns out the single voice I'm looking for.

So I'll apologize in advance if my blog sends you straight to sleepytime. I have nothing else to blather about beyond my dogs, our occasional road trips, or some character that's in my head refusing to shut up. If I post at all, it's to share my personal bits with you, and though that's rarely entertaining at least it's real.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce Miss Abby Willis

Jesus I thought this day would never come!

Much like I was at her age, Abby proved to be exasperatingly difficult to deal with. One minute she was in my head, the next, who knows? Probably off stealing a car or flashing a fake ID in hopes of scoring some beer for the weekend.

Love the cheeky cover Stormy Night Publishing came up with!

In other news I have neglected this blog for over six months, partly because I've been lazy but also because I forgot how to get into it. I have too many passwords and email accounts to keep up with these days. With over six inches of snow on the ground (yes it does snow in Texas) I decided it was time to park butt in chair and do a little dusting around here. Thirteen passwords later, I'm in!

And now that I'm in, I realize I have nothing to say. How appropriate.