It’s been awhile since I posted, and I thought I’d post an update.
Four months ago, I started having excruciating pain in my left eye. I thought, oh, I must have hurt it somehow (which I have done before), so I went to my eye doc who proclaimed my eye totally healthy but sent me to a specialist just in case. The specialist proclaimed it fine, but wanted to run some tests. All came back normal.
At this point, I’d stopped writing because of the pain. I had the Grave Touched revision due on April 1st, and on March 3rd, two days into my preliminary read-through, I determined that I wasn’t going to be able to finish in time. Without pain, revision is tough. With pain? Impossible. So I had to tell my TDP people that I wasn’t able to make my deadline and I would be giving up my August 1st release slot.
So, Grave Touched has been tentatively slotted in for 2014. That damn near broke my heart, but there comes a time when I have to think of the greater good — and my future as a writer. Plus, I wouldn’t have been able to turn in my best work. I knew that. So I opted to let it go. It created a hole in the publishing schedule which we are trying to fill, and although they have been super supportive, I still feel like I screwed everything up. But! Health first. I tend to forget these things.
So I started wondering if I had one of those ongoing migraines, as I suffer from migraines and have had week-long migraines before. I decided to see my neurologist about it. He ordered an MRI of my brain but ruled out a migraine. When the MRI came back with something on it, he ordered a second one to check it out. Turns out it was a glitch
in the Matrix and nothing to be concerned about.
I’m still in pain, and we’re working on getting a diagnosis. Meanwhile, I’ve finally got some medication to help with the pain. Nothing would work before. But this stuff I’ve got is very helpful.
In the second half of May, I decided that if I didn’t write, I’d go insane, so I decided to set a super-low goal and try to meet it, but no pressure. That worked so well that I wish I would have thought of it sooner. I’ve been working on Darklight, the book I set aside to write Fey Touched. I also took a free class on flash fiction and have been working on a little flash anthology to offer for free. Turns out, I really like it because it’s so short and easy — nothing huge like a novel, you know? And it’s so much fun! So stay tuned for that!
Now I’m looking at working on the Grave Touched revision. I started reading over my notes and have been slowly re-introducing myself to the world and the book itself. It’s not going to be easy, but I want this book finished and out there so I have to put in the work. I believe I’m capable of that, just a bit slower than I used to be. In some ways, it feels as if I’m starting over from scratch.
It’s been rough, especially since I have a day job and no painkillers would touch this. I have a very high-stress, complicated job. Luckily, my bosses and co-workers have been very supportive. The meds I have now make me loopy and dizzy so I’ll just have to suck it up during the day. But hey, it’s not like I don’t know how that feels. I’ve learned quite a bit about strength and perseverance. I have an extremely high threshold for pain, and this is about at my limit of what I can handle. I hope my neurologist comes up with an answer soon. And maybe even a solution.
I am no stranger to this process. Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia after looking for an answer for a year. I saw a ton of specialists and had test after test after test. It wasn’t pleasant, but it lead to an answer, so it was worth it. This, too, will be. I just need to believe that it’s going to happen. (If you feel inclined, check out my chapbook, Life as a Moving Target, for the whole story).
So things are moving along, albeit slowly. I’m happy to be writing again and producing and living my life the only way I can. More to come. This story is not over yet!
Also, just a friendly reminder: Turtleduck Press is seeking new members! You must have a polished sci-fi/fantasy manuscript ready. It’s fun, it’s unique, and you’d get to join a bunch of cool people who want to shake things up in the world of publishing.
Stay tuned for updates.