My Novels

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Summer's End

The days are growing shorter, the nights cooler. The grass is not growing as fast, taking on a yellowish tint, and a few trees have dried leaves or hints of color. Though the days are still hot and humid here in the South, the slant of the sunlight has changed, falling differently each day.

This time of year always reminds me of when my late husband and I bought our small farm, spending the entire fall and winter remodeling the old farmhouse. We had said when we bought the house and acreage it would either be the best thing we ever did, or the worst. Since he died two years later I've always felt it was the worst. Though in all honesty, it wasn't the place at fault; just random life and death. Death happens -- sooner or later. I wish we'd had more time to live there, enjoying the horses and his eventual retirement. But as it happened, I sold the farm because it was his wish that I do so when he learned his illness was terminal.

At any rate, this time of year always makes me a bit sad. Not as bad as February, the month he died almost ten years ago, but melancholy nevertheless. Yet I'm looking forward the fall days, hoping we have a couple months of mild weather before winter.

What's new with me? I'm still struggling with a collar-bone dislocation from pulling a fallen tree limb to the curb. It gets better, then I make the mistake of doing something -- lifting or reaching -- and back to square one. It's near impossible to NOT use the right arm, especially since I'm right-handed.

This past week I'd spent several days taking it easy, but then just couldn't resist taking the dogs for a walk. I hold the leash with my left hand, which works fine...unless something happens. When we went out to get into the car, one of the stray cats I feed was underneath the car! And I have to say, that male cat was brave: he stood his ground, hissing and growling as Rambo tried to lunge beneath the car. Of course, Rambo is too large to get under there, but his lunging resulted in my having to use my right arm for more strength. Yeah, I still went on the walk in the wooded park, but my shoulder started hurting again.

What else? I have leaky faucets, a back porch in need of painting, other handyman tasks I've been putting off. I dread maintenance work, but it will be necessary soon. Sigh.

I've been dabbling in writing, but mostly not getting much done other than outlining/daydreaming. Really need to buckle down and get started on another novel, but find motivation lacking.

That's about it....

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Spring is here!

We have had a glorious storm-free spring thus far in the South. So glad the tornadoes have not visited us, and we've only had beautiful sunshine between rain showers. Days are pleasant and nights cool enough to sleep with a window open. How I do love springtime!

What has been happening in my life? Not a lot, although I did publish a fantasy/sci-fi novel back in January. I wrote the bulk of it during nanowrimo in November. Here's a link for those interested:

Wildscapes -- A Dark Fantasy

Otherwise, my life is calm and content. I've toyed with the idea of a trip to Florida by bus -- a possible adventure! Though I've made no plans yet, I've tentatively looked at scheduling, etc. It would bring some interesting people into my life, as well generate potential story ideas. And of course, I could blog about it from the road! Stay tuned.

I've been taking my two dogs, Rambo & Muffin, to the park almost daily. Sometimes we go to a small wooded park nearby; and other times to a lakeside park on the north end of town. That one has a longer walking path, and a dog park. Yesterday I let them off-leash in the dog park and they had fun running. We were the only ones there, so it was a good time to teach them "come!" Muffin never wants me out of her sight though; she is spoiled rotten.

What else? I got a Fire HD tablet at Christmas, and have been enjoying reading novels as well as surfing the internet without being chained to a desk chair. Very nice!

I have an outline finished for "Where Whippoorwills Call"...but haven't started the rough draft yet. In the meantime, I'm updating/editing more of my past short stories to include in a book. And one of these days I must get all my poetry into a book too.

I don't plan too far in advance, the lasting legacy of losing my husband unexpectedly. I guess that gave me a healthy respect for not making concrete plans too far in the future, since we never know what can happen.

All in all, I'm doing well and enjoying life.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Remembering Oscar Meyer Wiener (my little doxie)

It's been three weeks since I lost Oscar. It was one of the most difficult times in my entire life. He had been diagnosed with Cushings Disease, and unfortunately, fairly advanced. At 13, I'd thought he was simply aging -- slowing down, some hair loss, etc -- but when he began to drink water continuously, I thought his kidneys were failing. At the vet, tests were done and the diagnosis made.

I did a lot of research, and learned extensively about the disease in dogs. It's truly a cruel disease, in that it gradually takes away their ability to walk, increases thirst and hunger and continues muscle wasting. There's treatment, but it's very expensive and does not reverse the disease. In fact, from my research, I learned the main benefit of medication alleviates the thirst and hunger -- but usually does nothing for hair loss, body changes. And after long consideration, I just decided to make his life as happy as possible for the time he had left. If he'd been younger, or not as advanced when it was discovered, I would have opted for treatment.

At any rate, he lived nearly another month and it's safe to say, he had his every heart's desire. I even took him to the park a couple times, though we had to walk very slowly since he stumbled easily. He got all his favorite treats, and I put no limit on how much he ate. I'd always watched his weight, since doxie's can have spinal issues if too heavy.

But alas, the day came when I realized his quality of life was slipping away. He was the sweetest dog I've ever known: never met a stranger, loved everyone, especially children. He was never a biter, and most of all, he loved his long walks in the park or neighborhood.  Unfortunately, I'd not been able to take him as often in the past year due to my own knee and back issues. However, for most of the years I had him (9), we went on two mile walks through the neighborhood and he looked forward to that every day. When walking on pavement became troublesome for me, I switched to a nearby wooded park and we went at least three times a week.

My other two dogs do miss him. Rambo walked through the house whining for a week, and even now, if I mention Oscar's name, the other two will start searching for him. It's been an adjustment after his loss, but things are settling down now. I don't plan on getting another dog; two seems easier for me to manage than three. The only reason I had three was that Muffin was not being taken care of by the neighbors. She was, like all my pets, a rescue.

I guess I'd always thought dachshunds were snippy and mean, but Oscar changed all that. He, without a doubt, was one-of-a-kind and I know my step-dad would be happy that I took Oscar after he died. And that Oscar had a happy, loving home with me and my other dogs.

R.I.P Oscar Meyer Wiener, February 2015

Monday, December 29, 2014

Year End Reflections

This blog has been lacking in posts for some time. Is there a particular reason? Not really. I have been preoccupied/busy with the Wildscape Trilogy, which is now complete. I will release the first book in January, but I'm still trying to decide if I'll use a different pen name. So that is one excuse. However, truly there is no excuse for not writing even a few paragraphs occasionally.

Maybe I'll do better in 2015, but then again, maybe I won't. Sigh.

I do spend time on Facebook and Twitter, but don't post on either of those social media sites frequently either. What I need to do is focus more on my fiction, and start a new project soon. In fact, I'm thinking of writing another serial and/or short the range of 20,000 words. I have more difficulty with extreme lengthy work these days (60,000+ words) since it takes undivided attention and virtually no interruptions. Having three dogs, there are going to be interruptions!

Not that I'm complaining; I'd hate to live alone without at least one dog or cat. Such great companions, and always happy to see you return when away. On the other hand, over the past years I've grown accustomed to living alone and the more time passes, the more I realize I would have great difficulty living with another person.

In February it will be nine years since my late husband died. And truly, it does feel like it's been that long. For most of those years, each February seemed to bring back all the loss and heartache, but now...not so much. I think that time eventually allows one to adjust to loss; otherwise, life would indeed be impossible when loved ones die.

And I've noticed one thing those who live into their 90s share: they are survivors and do not dwell on the past and their loss. So in that regard, maybe I'm making progress.

It's been a good year overall. Kicked some bad habits to the curb, moved on and got back into positive habits: reading, writing, etc. I need more exercise, but other than an occasional long walk in a wooded park with my dogs, don't get nearly enough. Of course, the weather has been dismal lately -- lots of rain or too cold and windy.

My health seems good, at least right now. I had serious back problems back in November, but a steroid shot not only helped that, it also relieved some arthritis symptoms. I'm hoping for good health the next two years, until I'm eligible for medicare. I do have insurance, but with high deductibles now.

One of my dogs, Oscar, is really showing his age. He's about 12 or 13 now -- not sure since my step-dad had him a few years before I got him. At any rate, Oscar is showing signs of arthritis, sleeps a lot, and in general, just not his usual perky self. He had some benign tumors removed back in the Fall, as well as teeth cleaning with three extractions. However, he still eats regularly, enjoys his treats and gets to go on a dog walk to the park occasionally. My other two dogs, Rambo & Muffin, are doing well.

Goals for 2015? I hate to set goals because it only makes me feel guilty when I can't accomplish those. I do intend to try  and write more fiction, but at my age, I'm not forcing myself to unless I feel compelled by an especially great idea. We'll see. As the old saying goes: "Whatever will be, will be..."

Forgot to mention that I released a story mid-December: Don't Say Goodbye It's not too long, but concerns an abused woman.