My Novels

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Current state of my life

What's new?

I finished my latest novel and it's now at Amazon. Here's a link: Lonesome Moon Road I am planning a promo Dec. 26-29, and will reduce the current price, $2.99, to .99 during that period. Thought readers who get new Kindles for Christmas might be looking for novels at that time.

I'm now researching for another ghost story, but not sure if that is the only theme. I have been fascinated by cryonics for some time, and what better place to set a ghost story than in a building where bodies/heads of the deceased are contained in liquid nitrogen, frozen for preservation? It's just creepy in some indefinable way, but as usual, I am sure my protagonist WILL define the eerie atmosphere.

My working title is "Nowhere." Protagonist is a security guard at this facility, and though the setting/company has some aspects of the real places, I've created an entirely fictional company in a location (mountains of Colorado) where no such place exists. Or at least that is where I'm at now in background/setting info. There is so MUCH that goes into writing even a novella and/or novel before the author ever begins the actual story. Not that I'm complaining; I love research, but have to restrain myself at some point or I would never tell the story!

In other news, life goes along smoothly. I've been battling the fallen leaves, but just about finished for this year. The battery-blower I have has helped, but I still raked leaves too. I am feeling well, physically; but one never knows. People my age are dropping like flies, so it's best to be prepared.

On that note, between writing projects, I spent a couple weeks sorting/shredding old photos that I hadn't looked at in ages. I did keep some, but whittled those down to a small box. If I should move to a condo, that would be one less mess to cart with me. I try to live light, keeping possessions to those needed/used. After spending months clearing out my late husband's many, many possessions, I vowed never to leave behind unfinished business. Therefore, I remain vigilant.

My dogs are doing well. I have started taking them to a nearby small park, which isn't too hard on my knees/bunion. Still haven't decided on bunion surgery, though my foot hurts when I do a lot of walking and/or standing. And my spinal issues are always an ongoing problem -- but as with arthritis, some of this is just aging. Not sure surgery and/or medical intervention can fix that!

And that is it for now.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Medicare -- not what you think it is!

So, resuming where I left off in the last post: I had an appointment with my orthopedic doctor. No x-rays, no MRI; he just told me I needed a soft cushion. Could buy a nice gel cushion on Amazon.

Seriously? 

Thank goodness I have Medicare with a good private insurance medigap policy (176.00 a month), so the visit didn't cost me anything. He did look at my toes, and agreed with the podiatrist -- surgery needed for the bunion and big toe correction. Still no firm plans on that, even though my bunion/toe continue to hurt, which prevents long walks, or any prolonged standing. No wonder people gain weight in their 60s; body starts failing, can't exercise! Jeez.

Speaking of Medicare, the Part D drug policies are truly perplexing. There's about ten pages of legalese that has to be deciphered, and at the end of it all, the fact is that there's so many "Tiers" for each drug it's mind-boggling. Also, different status regarding which "phase" you are in with the Part D government/insurance partnership. It's totally ridiculous. I paid $69.00 a month this year, and never met the deductible of $333.00 the entire year (so far). I'm definitely changing insurers for next year, and since it's open enrollment, I'm up to my eyeballs in trying to figure out which is better for me. Frankly, might as well get a crappy, CHEAP policy since the deductibles won't be met unless you have catastrophic issues. And even then, after about $4,000.00 you hit the doughnut hole, which means NO drug coverage at all for the next $5,000.00 even if  you have a great policy.

Let me simplify: the middle men of insurance take their cut off the top, which hikes up rates and coverage for individuals. Yes, even on Medicare (at least for Part D and medigap). Now if you are in the lowest low of income, less than $30,000.00, you might qualify for some assistance with drugs, but not me. Not that my income is sky-high, just over that critical barrier. And last year my novels sold well, which created a nightmare for my taxes.

Alas, I digress.

Medicare = Not as good as I thought.

End of rant.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Rainy Sunday

I have almost abandoned this blog. However, I don't want to take it down. And should try to post more often.

Currently I am rewriting/editing a long novel, "Lonesome Moon Road." It is complex and complicated, and taking quite a chunk of time to get ready to publish. It is crime/thriller/suspense genre, though not sure it fits tidily in that category. Often my work is a mash-up of genre, and while I realize I could make better money sticking to ONE genre, I just can't. Money isn't why I write anyway. I do like having readers, but creating characters that come to life and demand their story be told...is more important. Plus, I love to write.

I did move my memoir to another free publishing platform. At some point in the future, I plan to put that into public domain. I feel it is important that young adults read it, perhaps learn from my dysfunctional family and childhood. There is help out there now, but so often, children/teens fear reaching out, breaking that wall of silence that keeps them suffering in abusive/dangerous homes. Anyhow, there's a link to that if you scroll through my twitter feed to the right of this post.

What else? Rambo had surgery to remove a large benign lump on his side that the vet feared would grow large enough to affect walking. It wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be, since I opted to leave him at the vet for a week to heal. He had to have a drain, and I was afraid he'd pull it out at home. He's back to his normal self now, and can't barely tell anything happened. Costly, but worth every penny since I've had him with me eleven years. Found him at the animal shelter about four months after my husband died.

Muffin is fine, though much too heavy. I have tried "diets" for her, but what she really needs is more exercise. Due to my continuing toe and back issues, I can't walk as far or as often as I once did. Sigh.

On that note though, I did see a podiatrist and get x-rays of my toes. He said he could do surgery, remove the bunion, as well as straighten the crooked first big toe. However, some of the warnings he mentioned caused me to put it off. Plus, I will have to find help here at home, since I will have to stay off my feet a few weeks. Tomorrow I see my orthopedic doctor, need another MRI to see what is going on with my spine; having some numbness in feet/hands.

It's always something.

That's it for today.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Eligible for Medicare at last!

So nearly a year since an entry -- and no excuse. I'd like to say I've been totally devoted to publishing fiction, but I've been a slacker in the past few months. After the big boom of hitting best seller lists with three of my novels, I realized a few economic consequences (taxes, etc) and decided not to publish again till January, 2017. Hence, I have been writing new fiction, editing, instead of publishing. I have several new novels and novellas almost ready for publication, but again, not till January.


What else? Well the reason for this blog is to celebrate today: I now am a card-carrying Medicare participant. It's been a rough, rocky ten years of struggling to keep medical insurance, and though some people hated Obamacare, it was a savior for me. I couldn't risk losing everything my late husband and I worked and sacrificed all our lives for to medical bills; keeping insurance was very important. Fortunately, other than a couple of medical issues, my health has remained good. I do have several problems I've put off and will now see what can be done. Foot/toes and back problems.

Of course, for anyone who thinks Medicare covers everything, it certainly doesn't. Only 80 percent in most cases. So I have a medigap policy with Blue Cross, as well as part D drug plan. In addition to those two, there is a payment of 120.00+ for medicare part B. Altogether, I will be paying around 400.00 a month, but it should be near 100 percent coverage. Who knows how long this will last though? With Republicans in the majority, and gunning for Medicare, not to mention allowing private insurance to once again go unregulated, I'm sure this won't last. I would suggest to anyone at all concerned about medicare, pay close attention to what the republicans try to do in the next four years. I know I will, as well as not hesitate to contact my representatives about medicare and social security, should either be threatened.

My two dogs continue to thrive, although Rambo does have a couple of small fatty tumors that will need removing at some point. I still feed stray cats, and take care of a few regulars better than just food.

I spent a couple weeks raking leaves, and using a small battery leaf blower I bought; it helps somewhat. I think I'm just about finished with that chore this year, and it's been tough on my back. I tried to be careful about the way I raked - forward and not in a twisting motion. I'm just surprised I was able to do it at all....since it's an ordeal over several weeks just to manage, not a one-time leaf-raking.

I am typing on a new laptop I bought during the cyber bargains. It's a Chromebook, and I love it so far. I may even start doing some of my fiction writing in this new word processing app I downloaded in the Chrome app store. We shall see....

Saturday is my birthday, and I'll be sixty-five. Hard to believe since it seems only yesterday I was a young adult. Looking back, I wouldn't live my childhood or 20s over again for a million dollars. Both were awful in so many ways. But in my 30s, life improved significantly and smoothed out. Not that it was ever completely smooth-sailing: What life is? However, I've weathered the storms and I'm sure there will be more as time passes.

Alas, I have had a good life, a privileged life in some ways. I got to fulfill my greatest desire: writing fiction, and even seeing a measure of publishing success. I had a wonderful, long marriage and though it was difficult to lose my husband, I have adapted now and don't think I'd ever be interested in another romantic relationship. I've become far too independent and "set in my ways." However, I wouldn't rule it out entirely. And at some point, I think assisted living might be in my future. I don't fear that though, because I researched the establishments in my area and can afford a nice place. In fact, it would be like an extended vacation at a hotel after wrangling with the maintenance troubles of owning a home.

Life....it happens.