My Novels

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. happens.

Friday, January 01, 2016

New Year's Day 2016

How did it get to be 2016? Amazing! Time is flying, as they say.

I don't keep up with this blog as often as I'd like, but did want to sum up the past year and my goals for 2016.

First, I lost my dear doxie, Oscar, last February; I still miss him, although I still have two dogs. Rambo is getting old, nearly 11 now, but still active and spry. Muffin is about 3, so hopefully she'll be with me a long time. I got Rambo about six months after my husband died; it is going to be very, very difficult when I lose him. He's very protective of me, as well as a general watch-dog -- always on alert for stranger-danger. Ha!

Last January I published Wildscapes; it was mostly written in the fall of 2014 though. I didn't write again until early fall, then completed Where Whippoorwills Call, published in early December. I have also completed Fogbound, don't know when I'll publish it. I've been busy, suffice to say.

And that brings me to my New Year's resolution: continue to write fiction. Not going to do much promotion, instead focusing on turning out new novels and/or short stories. More content. The promotion is almost a full-time job, so I am not going to do much this coming year.

Most important though, I'm on count-down to medicare! This time next year, if I make it to then, I can finally breathe a sigh of relief that I won't have to worry about losing everything I have to medical bills. Of course, I'll still have to get a supplemental insurance policy, but overall, it should be much better financially. However, even with the insurance I have now, I've managed to increase my savings. I am a frugal person, and my only extravagance is electronics.

To that end, this past year I had to buy a new desktop PC; a new wireless router, and a new flat screen TV for the bedroom. All were necessary, not just upgrades. I'm intrigued by the new gadgets though, like Amazon's Echo; I just hope that by the time I need assistance around the house, some sort of robot is available and affordable. Would be wonderful!

And with that, I'm going to sign off. Hoping for a healthy and productive New Year!

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.