Tag Archives: Trigeminal Neuralgia

#ROW80 Round 3 Goals

Round 3 already! But the year just started! Time is FLYING.

I’m going to stick with my less goals, less stress idea for this round. I have a lot coming up — Fey Touched’s free promo the 21st through the 23rd, increased TN pain despite an increased dosage of my medication, and job stress. So, without further adieu, here are my goals:

~Continue with Fireborn rewrite.
~Finish secret project. It is currently almost half done.
~Continue participating in Camp Nano. I have two projects I am flip-flopping between, Oubliette and When She Sleeps. Should keep me busy!
~Start plotting Survivor into Scrivener (Survivor is my Nano project).
~One glass of water 5x a week.
~Continue with FYFB class
~Continue with chocolate consumption reports

And that’s it for me. I may add an exercise goal to this at some point.


#ROW80 Round 2 Final Check-in

Hi, and we are here for #ROW80 again! I’m wrapping this up early because next week my husband and I will be going camping, and I will be packing and prepping and busy.

So, let’s see how I did:

~Publish Ever Touched on May 1st (on track to complete as of right now) <–DONE! So excited about this even now, a month later! 
~Add 10k to Covenant <–NOT DONE. I wrote 1,069 words though, 9k short of the goal. Just never got any momentum going. 😦 
~Start formulating a plan for Fireborn (looks like a rewrite as of right now)<–DONE. It’s definitely a rewrite, and an expansion, and I’m 20 pages in (of 40 pages). Those were pure revising, though. Have started writing a new scene.
~Drink a glass of water 5x a week <–DONE!
~Start working on FYFB class once things settle down<–NOT DONE. This also did not get off the ground. Thought about it. Will try to make this a priority in the next round.

Other things of note:

~Been building up my editing business and have secured a few new clients.
~Have written 13k of a projected 30k on my secret project
~Have loosely outlined a new novel, When She Sleeps, and have decided to make this a trilogy. Will be one of my projects for Camp Nano.
~Have made the decision to put Fey Touched in KDP Select. Its free promo days are July 21st-23rd. Been booking lots and lots of promotions.
~Been fighting a major increase of TN pain and that has really messed with my productivity and motivation. I have an appt with my neurologist on the 27th to discuss upping my medication dosage. Cross fingers that this helps!

Chocolate consumption: GF Chocolate-chocolate chip cookies, Twix ice cream bars, chocolate cake, hot chocolate. Not a lot. Need to step it up, because we all know that chocolate makes everything better, am I right?



#ROW80 Check-in June 11th

Here we are again! I’ve been on vacation this week, and I started out being fairly productive, and then things took a nose dive in the latter part of the week due to TN pain. It’s been pretty bad, some of it topping at a level 10 (on the Pain scale) and it’s been miserable. 😦 I will be calling my neuro tomorrow to see if he can up my dosage of my medication before I see him in September.

So, here’s the rundown:

Fireborn – Up to page 20 of 40, wrote 250 new words.

Water – Every day except one.

Secret project – Up to 11k now.

Guild Wars – Lots and lots of this. Trying to distract myself from the pain. 😦

Covenant – Nada.

FYFB class – Nada.

Promotion for Fey Touched – Nothing new this week.

Chocolate consumption: Twix ice cream bars, hot chocolate, skinny cow dreamy clusters. Not a lot this week. Need to eat more!

#ROW80 Check-in June 4th

It’s #ROW80 time again!!

I’ve been busy working on my secret  project and promotional opportunities for Fey Touched’s free run in July. This week I am on vacation from work so I hope I can get some serious work done. But I have promised myself no stress!

The other thing is that I’ve had more TN pain, which screws with everything. I’m hoping this is temporary, but after three weeks of logging my pain, it’s looking like it might be permanent. 😦 I see my neuro in September, and he will probably up my dosage of the tegretol. Until then, I need to hang in there.

Here’s the rundown:

Fireborn – 8 pages in. Finished reading Holly Lisle’s Create a Plot Clinic and I plan on doing some of the exercises today. The first draft is 23k, and I want to expand it to around 60k. So I need more stuff!

Secret project – Up to 8,812 words now. Going well. I’ve already booked a cover artist and I have no title, no blurb, or any idea about a cover. I should probably get on that.

Covenant – Nada, although I did expand those 100 words to 443 words.

Water – Almost every day. I may have missed one.

FYFB class – Nada.

Promotion for Fey Touched – I set up three more free promos.

Guild Wars – I haven’t had a lot of time this week for it. I spent maybe an hour total. This week I’d like to do more.

Chocolate consumption report – Rolos, Sno Caps, ice cream Twix bars, chocolate cookies. Not a lot. Need to eat more!

#ROW80 Check-in May 17th

EvT cover3 3-30-17 copyI am here, just busy. I’ve been working on getting reviews for Ever Touched, promoting, and trying to figure out what I want to do next.

I’ve been having severe eye pain again this week, and it has effected my productivity for sure.

I have a short story due to my editor on 6/1 that i still need to start.

Here’s the rundown:

Ever Touched – Released on 5/1 as planned! Yay! The print edition is also live as well.

Covenant – Will be on the back burner for now.

Fireborn – My next project. Probably a rewrite. I need to go through the entire manuscript and make notes and figure out what can stay and what can go. I am also going to run it through the “plotting through the middle” method and Holly Lisle’s Create Your Plot Clinic to see if I can come up with anything else that could help expand it. I’m looking at around 50k-60k (it is currently 23k now).

Water – Missed a few days this week, but the previous weeks right on!

FYFB class – Will try to get something done this week.

When She Sleeps – Going to plot this formally (I have a lot of it in my head right now!)

Secret Project – Remember this? I’ve resurrected this idea. I have a loose plot, and I will be working on it soon. Shooting for about 30k.

Chocolate consumption report – Chocolate ice cream sandwiches, chocolate fudge-covered cake, chocolate chip cookies, GF chocolate bars…wow. Not a lot. Must change that!

Would anyone be willing to review Ever Touched? :puppy eyes: Free copy + my eternal gratitude.







#AprilLove Day 14: Dear Courage

Just chugging along. I’m still really behind, but I’m managing. 🙂

Dear Courage,

I did not know your depth until I was forced to find you. Until I was forced to reach for you, and use you to vanquish my fears, or get through something very scary. And there’s the little things, too — a tough situation at work, going to the doctor to investigate this or that, having to have 3 MRIs in a row when I am severely claustrophobic. Facing illness in others. When a co-worker died and I was grieving. Every time I put words on the page (or computer screen). These are all acts of courage, and without you, I couldn’t have done them.

Every book I’ve ever written has been an act of courage. Every poem. When I decided to self-publish Fey Touched in 2012, that was you helping me to reach for my dream of being published. It didn’t matter that I had no idea what I was doing or how the world would react to my book…I’d decided to put it out there, whether I got glowing reviews or bad ones, because I needed to. For myself. You stood by me every step of the way.

Rewriting Grave Touched was also an act of courage. You were there when I rewrote it and revised it, telling me to keep on it, that it will be good. And that was important because at the time, I couldn’t imagine this book being good. It just wasn’t in me, after the TN and low esteem and insecurity got a hold of me. But you were right. Grave Touched is great book, and I’m damn proud of it.

I remember a line from Rod Stewart’s song “Forever Young”: Be courageous and be brave/in my heart you’ll always stay/forever young. And when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and intractable vertigo in 2003, never have I needed you more. I was scared. I was faced with people not believing me. I was faced with daily pain and fatigue, and a zillion other things going wrong health-wise. I was faced with weekly doctor visits, and medications, and people’s ideas being pushed on me because they thought they knew better. I learned how to stand up for myself and advocate for my own health. My life had changed irrevocably that year, and not everything survived the change. But, most of all, I learned that I could find you when I most needed you — in those dark moments when I believed it a death sentence, those times when I had to make tough decisions about what to do or not, based on my pain level. When I was teaching, and I was so tired, but wanted to do it so badly I put myself through it anyway (and a full-time day job). It did a bit of damage, but it was what I needed to do for myself and my students.

When I had to have three surgeries on my jaw due to infections and rejection from a previous surgery, when I thought I would die, when my fear of needles was so overwhelming that I didn’t think I could go through with it — you were there, whispering in my ear, saying that everything will be okay and it will only hurt for a bit. I remember my last surgery, in August of 2011, the song “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin was playing on the radio, and somehow I drew strength from that (because music and my mind have been intertwined since I was a kid).

(Obviously, the song had nothing to do with the surgery, but a connection was made that somehow let me find you quicker and easier.)

And, the doozie was when I was in so much pain daily from the trigeminal neuralgia that I wasn’t sure I wanted to go on, and you told me to never give up, and to keep on, as much as I can, because things WILL get better. (An they did, thanks to you!). But man, I was so scared and freaked out and couldn’t imagine living that way. And when I had my little meltdown after watching “The Fault in Our Stars” and my mom and husband were looking at me funny because I’d been crying for an hour, you were there with comforting words and the strength I needed.You gave me the strength to say, “I have never mourned the loss of my normal life due to this. I have never LET myself feel it so intensely. I was too busy trying to be brave.” But, as the movie has shown me, pain demands to be felt. And right then, I needed it, despite what others may or think.

My general philosophy in life actually comes right from you. I don’t believe in conformity, or being someone I’m not, or not standing up for myself. That, too, is very courageous. It takes courage to be your true self and live without apology or a care. I NEVER worry about other people and how they may react or think. I worry about what’s right for me, and what I’m doing or not doing. Because this life is mine, and I have one chance to live it. Living for someone else or censoring myself or pretending to be someone else is just pointless. Unfortunately, a lot of people do that and I just shake my head.

I’m cool as I am. I have hopes, and dreams, and things I want to accomplish. You’re there for me every step of the way, supporting me, encouraging me, and not letting me fall. You are truly my partner in this, and I look forward to many more courageous things in the future.

#ROW80 Check-in #9

Check-in #9!

~Ever Touched – I’m just rolling along on this. I’m about to hit 40k. I’ve done so well so far that I’m just ecstatic! I remember years ago when I had a quota of 1k a day, and then my wrists got bad, so I backed off of it. But then I did Nano last year with the same quota (to get my goal of 30k) and it went fine, so I figured I’d try again. It is working beautifully. Story-wise, I’m almost through with the setup and will be heading into the middle. Things are interesting, that’s for sure.

~Covenant/8 minutes a day – I missed a few days this week due to being absolutely stuck on something, but I believe I’m over that hump now. Up to 16k. Also, I wrote a blog post going into greater detail about 8-minute writing on the Turtleduck Press blog here. Check it out if you’re curious.

~Physical activity – twice this week, both food preparation. That’s been what this weekend has been — food prep! But it counts!

~Darkroom – I had lofty plans of working on it last night, but Real Life intruded. Important stuff, but still. I hope to get something done before the round is over!

~Planner – I sat down on Monday and filled everything in for the week.That seems to be working better, so I think I will continue to do it that way.

~Water – Every day except one.

Overall, I’ve been very tired and things have been a struggle. It didn’t help that my eye was hurting for two days straight due to a storm front. That’s kind of rare now, which is good, but I ended up taking a loopy pill because the pain was making me crazy. (And I couldn’t take it at work). But I am happy that I managed to keep up on the writing at least. I’m sort of amazed that I’ve written so much in such a short span of time. I started out at 25k from Nano (I had restarted 10 days in so I had to trash some of it) so that’s about 15k. This is fast for me, and it’s awesome. 🙂 I’m hoping, if all goes well, to have the first draft done in the next few months, and then I can revise, revise, revise. And then it won’t be such a race to the finish line like last time.

Annnd that’s it for me!



2015 Year-in-Review and 2016 Goals

Happy New Year!

I’ve been doing this for at least 5 years now, maybe more, because it helps to take stock of what I’ve accomplished (and what I haven’t) and it also helps me to set concrete goals for the new year. So, here we go!

This year’s goals:

~Publish Grave Touched, pending approval, in May (tentative) – DONE! Grave Touched was published May 1st, after a 2-year hiatus. It was my biggest accomplishment in 2015, hands down!
~Write Fireborn, Reaper Girl novella – MOSTLY DONE. I started Fireborn in January, but got tied up with GT’s release and lost momentum. Started it back up after, and ran into some problems, and had to rewrite a portion of it. It’s at 19k currently, with maybe 5-10k left to go. I am hoping to finish it and release it this year.
~Figure out a plot for Ever Touched – DONE
Start writing Ever Touched – DONE for NanowriMo, and it’s at 32k currently.
Poke at Survivor (my book, not the TV show) on Sundays – DONE. Poking has happened, as well as a revised outline. Have not started the rewrite, but plan to this year.
~Start rewrite of Flamebound – NOT DONE, but planned for this year.
Write 1 poem per week minimum – NOT DONE, but wrote 10 poems over the course of the year.
~Do something with darkroom – DONE. Began cleaning and replenishing chemicals.  Shot a test roll of b&w film that I will be developing soon. Also got my 35mm automatic camera working again so I can continue shooting more b&w. Also planning on shooting b&w infrared.

So, all in all, I didn’t do too badly. Other notable accomplishments:

~Started a new novel, Covenant, which is up to 13k currently
~Wrote and posted the second and third installments of my fantasy serial, Changeling, at Turtleduck Press
~Got Reaper Girl ready for publication
~Wrote around 100k for the year
~Made concrete plans for more novellas
~Began the revision of Pirouette for a publisher. Pirouette has been languishing for 4 years because I didn’t know what to do with it

Non-writing accomplishments:

~Diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia + meds which is improving my quality of life greatly
~Obtained a digital-converted-DSLR and began experimenting with digital infrared
~Began reviving my darkroom and have plans to start working in it this year.
~Revived my editing business and have landed several jobs

So what are my goals for 2016?

~Release one novel
~Finish and release Fireborn
~Finish Pirouette revision and submit to publisher. If rejected, make a ruling as to what to do with it (trad or indie)
~Begin Flamebound rewrite
~Begin Survivor rewrite
~Make progress on Awaken Me
~Finish Ever Touched
~Get back into darkroom
~Try not to stress so much
~Experiment with plotting techniques
~Finish up Changeling serial
~Get back on diet/eat healthy/exercise
~My word for this year is NURTURE: nurture myself, nurture my creativity, nurture my dreams.

Annnd I believe that’s enough.  I have a good feeling about this year, and I hope to get lots done and take care of myself better. 🙂

What are your goals for this year?



Ready, Set, WRITE Final Progress Report

This is it, the end of RSW! I can’t even believe that it’s over!

I’m understanding that this year they are doing a “Manuscripts and Manicures” thing where you get a manicure in colors related to your WIP and post pictures? Sounds awesome, but I’ve been SWAMPED and have not been able to get it done. However, I

A hand of flames.
A hand of flames.

do have a stock photo I purchased a few years back for a project that does in fact remind me of one of my WIPs, Fireborn. —>

Okay, so onward with the reporting!

I did okay this go around. I took a few camping trips with hubby and that did not result in any big wordcount numbers, but did result in pictures! Also, I took on a few freelance editing jobs that made it tough to get any sort of groove going, and that’s totally okay. But that’s what happened. In some instances, I was just too busy to do something.

I also was adjusting to new medication for trigeminal neuralgia, and that impacted my ability to be productive.

So, enough with the whining! Here’s the final rundown:

How I did last week:

~Get to halfway point on editing job (page 175 or better!) DONE! Hit page 180 last night!
~Write something, anything, even small! DONE! Wrote a scene in Covenant last night. Don’t have a wordcount yet. It’s still on my iPad.

How I did overall:

~Finish Fireborn, my fantasy novella, episode #2 in my Reaper Girl Chronicles. NOT DONE. I haven’t finished the draft, but I’m within 10k or less of finishing, and I have A Plan for the rest!  fireborn_banner
~Outline Ever Touched (Fey Touched book #3) in Hivemind. (I do not do much outlining at all, so this will be light. But I’d like something laid out to follow) DONE to the extent it could be done. It kind of fell by the wayside as other goals took priority, but it’s started and as I’ve mentioned, I don’t do total scene-by-scene outlines b/c I like a bit of mystery.
~10k or more on Covenant, my dark fantasy project (stealthily writing now) DONE! It’s around 11k or so.
~Continue to work on Survivor on Sundays (Survivor is a psychological horror novel I started waaaay back in 2004 and wrote it only on Sundays. Over the years, I got out of the habit — although I had finished the book — and wanted to try it again with the rewrite.) NOT DONE. This also fell a bit by the wayside between camping trips and editing jobs. I have been thinking about it a lot and I did begin a comprehensive re-outline for the rewrite. Soon, I’ll restart Survivor Sundays again. However, I did manage a couple of Sundays, just not a whole lot!
~Participate in Camp Nano July session/pick a project DONE! Covenant and Fireborn combined for a total of 10k which made my goal!

Non-writing goals:

~Create a name for Etsy shop (still noodling) DONE, although it’s nowhere near the one I want. Supposedly it can be changed.
~Find manual 35mm camera and see if it still works. If it does, shoot test roll. DONE on finding the camera, NOT DONE on test roll. Needed to buy a new camera body. Waiting for things to calm down so I can do the test roll.
~Read (2) books for review and post reviews by August 31 or sooner DONE #1, but not #2. It’s been read but not reviewed yet.
~Organize office NOT DONE but started!

For the excerpt, here’s part of what I wrote last on Fireborn:

“May I come in? It’s kinda cold out there.”

“Of course,” I said as I opened the door wider. Love watched the girl’s every moment. “Please have a seat on the couch. Can I get you anything to drink?”

Her eyes glistened with tears. “Water?”

“On its way,” Rick said. He left to get it.

I gestured for her to sit down, and once she was seated, she released a shuddering sigh, the kind you get when you’ve been crying for hours and you’re not sure you have anything left inside you. I was worried. I didn’t know her, but she’d been through something unpleasant.

I could relate.

“So…what’s going on?”

She squirmed. Clasped her hands together, then released them. Played with her long black hair. “It’s…it’s about the murders.”

“What do you mean?” Rick asked as he entered the room. He handed the water to the girl, who thanked him and drank it almost in one gulp.

“I know what’s been going on. Because I’ve been a part of it.”

“What?” I couldn’t even believe what I’d heard. I exchanged an incredulous look with Rick. “Are you saying…”

“I was part of the group that killed Samantha. I’m scared that I’ll be next.”

“How did you find us?” Rick asked, reaching for my hand.

“I had a vision,” the girl replied matter-of-factly. “I saw you and your husband. And your cat.” She glanced at Love, whose hackles went up. “She doesn’t like me, does she?”

“She’s a…very special kind of cat.” I went to Love and picked her up, holding her close to me. She was purring, but not out of content. She was afraid of this girl. “Let’s start from the beginning. Who are you and how did you come to have a vision about us?”

The girl swallowed hard, eyeing Love warily. “Cats don’t like me, for some odd reason. I’m a witch. I practice black magic, and I know you’re not entirely human.” She looked at Love. “And she’s not from this world.”

“Name. Please?” Rick prompted. He’d paled. No one had ever discovered who we were. Or were so blunt as to tell us so.

“I don’t know what to say.”

She smiled, looking all innocent. A black witch? Hellfire. “My name is Mercy.”

“How appropriate,” Rick muttered. “So…you saw us in a vision. Why?”

Mercy shrugged. “Because you are connected to the murders.”

“And what murders are you referring to?” I asked. Just in case this wasn’t about our case. Hey, it was possible.

“The ones that appear to be suicides.” Mercy stood, set her glass of water down, and wandered to the wall where we’d hung our wedding pictures and pictures of Love. She glanced at us over her shoulder. “As I said, I was part of the group. And Samantha wants revenge on us all. The first two were in the group, too. And there’s a fourth, but I’m not as interested in helping him. He’s a douche.” She lifted her hand and traced a path down the frame of one picture. “You two will be very happy. You’re truly matched.” She turned back to us, and her eyes seemed…deeper. More piercing. “You will have a child together and she will be very powerful.”

My stomach twisted. I’d never even considered getting pregnant. “Oh?”

“Leliel…pregnant?” Apparently, Rick thought the same. Or so I hoped.

Mercy nodded. “A female born in this world but with Reaper blood.” She went back to the couch, but didn’t sit. “I’m here to stop my own murder. And…I guess Tom’s.” She shrugged. “It would be the right thing to do.”

I felt nauseous with the knowledge that we were talking to one of the people who’d committed this horrific crime. “But why, Mercy? Why kill someone?”

“She was being a bitch.” Mercy sat. “She…had been cheating on Freddie for like, ever – “

“But that’s no reason to murder someone, burn them to death!” Rick cried.

“There’s more. You’re aware we’re into the occult, right?”

Rick and I nodded together. Horror filled me, filled every cell. I was afraid at what came next. No, make that terrified.

“Well, she cast a spell on him,” Mercy said, tucking an errant strand of hair behind her ear. “She called it the ‘failure spell.’” Air quotes. “Meaning, everything he’d ever do he would fail at – tests, winning girls over, his goals…everything. Forever.”

“Surely not literally forever, right?” Rick asked. He was sweating.

Mercy nodded. “Yes. Forever. That’s the other thing. It was supposed to give him a form of immortality. But not the good kind. The worst kind imaginable.”

I did not want to know. I did not want to know.


“Rick,” I hissed. “Really?”

“Curiosity,” Rick whispered.


“Let’s just say that he’d age normally but with no youth. That can be…really bad.”

I’d heard of punishments handed out by His Highness like this. The person would literally turn to dust in time, and the question was always if that dust was still conscious…bile came up my throat, and I made a beeline for the bathroom.

“Is she pregnant?” I heard Mercy ask. “Because that is one of the symptoms.”

Is Leliel pregnant? And is Mercy telling the truth? Stay tuned!

Well, this has been so much fun, and thank you all for the encouragement and cheering and the kind words! Good luck with your future endeavors.

RSW Progress Report 7/27/15

Annnd here we are again with a Ready, Set, Write! progress report!

How did I do?

How I did on last week’s goals

~500 words minimum on Fireborn/rework current scene – Partially DONE. 1,376 new words written, but did not rework scene. Have determined that I need to rework most of the second half, so that’s a thing.
~500 words minimum on Covenant – DONE. Wrote 2,044 new words.
~Finish book #2 for review – DONE, and will be posting review tomorrow.
~Start Survivor Rewrite…again. Not DONE. I have been working (and reworking) the outline and trying to figure out what the best first scene would be. Have not reached any conclusions, but it is simmering.

This week’s goals:

~Begin reworking Fireborn’s second half/1,000 words min
~1,000 words min on Covenant
~Make ruling on Survivor’s first scene
~Finish Camp Nano (10k, both projects combined)

A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised: From Covenant, a bit more than one line…oops!

The door squeaked open. A servant with an irritated look glared at him. Reproach. Of course, he wasn’t worthy to even be in this section of the [compound]. Okay, fine. “Um…I’m looking for Annah?” Damn it, he sounded like a moron. She’d never let him see her. He had to project the idea that he belonged here. He cleared his throat as the servant arched a questioning eyebrow. “I was sent here by…” Who? “a Watcher. To check on her progress.”

The servant frowned. “But by checking on her, you will essentially destroy her trance and cause her to lose focus. Why would a Watcher want that?”

Busted. He put his hands up, swore when they shook. Decided to go for honesty. “Look, I can’t sleep because I’m worried about Annah. She’s my best friend, and if I can just see her, say hi, I’ll feel better. And I know she will, too.”

The servant gave him an assessing gaze. “You’re not going to give up if I say no, are you?”

“No.” Osri smiled.

“Very well, then. Make it brief,” the servant said, stepping aside so he could enter and then shutting the door. The room was lit by candlelight only, golden and shimmering. It was not what he’d expected. “Annah is this way.” The servant led him past fancy couches and end tables to a small alcove set into a window.

A huddled form sat inside, her head down and her face covered.

The biggest challenge I faced this week (ie finding time to write, getting sick, having writer’s block, etc): Still adjusting to the new medication and it has been tough to stay focused. Yesterday, I spent most of the afternoon staring at my screen just unable to make myself do anything because I was so tired. I took a nap, and I perked up a bit afterwards. And being stuck on all three WIPs was a bit rough, too. Starting to work my way through that now.

Something I love about my WIP: With Covenant…there are so many layers that are revealing themselves to me as I go. I was stuck on something, and was mindlessly surfing online and bam! something came to me and another layer appeared. It’s like magic, I swear. And I’m just shy of 10k in the draft so there’s so much more room for more!