My Novels

Sunday, November 15, 2020

The future, the past, the here & now

Sometimes I sit here in the afternoons, and a slant of the sunlight, an old song's as if the past is the present. I've lived in this house forty years, and not a lot has changed -- some updates, etc. but still basically the same. The yard and surroundings haven't changed much either, so it's easy to slip back in time and imagine it is just another day in the 80s or 90s when I was writing fiction, thinking of what to have for dinner when my late husband would be coming home. Autumn/winter are always my sad times, the loss of him especially keen since he died in late February. Next year it will be fifteen years, yet at times, it's as if it never happened. Or perhaps this is an aging flashback, as the years accumulate. 

I have peace, if nothing else. For so many years life was hectic (especially my time at the newspaper) or with extended family ups and downs and I'd wish fervently for PEACE! And though I know some people (extroverts) would find my life b-o-r-i-n-g!, I have the time and means to pursue knowledge -- the internet can be an amazing resource IF you know how to use it for knowledge. At some point, I'm sure I'll start another story; I have a good idea, and doing some research. A Gothic ghost story, methinks.

As for the future, thank the stars, and the GOOD people, of our country we smacked that wanna-be dictator down hard. Oh, Trump won't go quietly -- but go he will, even if kicking and screaming. My deepest wish is that he goes to some dark corner of the internet, and those nutty cult followers crawl back under that big, big rock they came out of. Life can then get back to some semblance of normal. Biden can tackle the still-raging Covid pandemic, with hopefully a vaccine soon, and economic recovery -- but not at the expense of human lives!

I am still somewhat isolating, though I do go buy groceries/necessities, with masking/distancing/etc. And I have no plans with family for the upcoming holidays, though in recent years I only got together with my two sisters to dine out. Otherwise, I think I've adjusted to less association with people; of course, I've always been somewhat of a loner, and now more so than ever. I do miss library outings, and occasional shopping without feeling as if it's a danger akin to the chance of being murdered! Sigh. 

What else? I'll be 69 in early December! My main concern these days is figuring out how I want to live as I age. I'm still capable of taking care of my house, hiring maintenance (though that is getting more and more expensive), and in general living here. However, I am torn between selling this house and maybe renting a small apartment, or buying a condo. And then, if I live long enough, assisted living is definitely on my radar. I've had a stay in rehab at one point, and it was a senior facility; it was NICE having others take care of me. The past fourteen years have been tiresome due to the responsibility of ALWAYS making every decision myself, etc. Yes, I'm fiercely independent, but on the other hand, when frailty comes (as it does for all the elderly if they live long enough), I have no qualms about assisted living. In fact, I keep tabs on all the local ASL facilities, just in case I need to go or want to choose before it becomes a dire need. 

Gosh, so boring. Things old folks ponder. But hey, if YOU live long enough, you'll get here too!

Muffin is doing fine, though she needs to lose weight. I continue to feed stray cats in the neighborhood.

I also hit 1,000 miles on my air-bike a week or so ago. I had set that goal for this year, but reached it ahead of time! I usually ride at least 5 miles every morning, except on the days I have errands in town. The Marcy bike has arm resistance too, which helps me stay in shape and keep my muscles capable of lifting stuff. My weight is in the range of 107-109...and at 5'2", it's never varied much (except for the extreme diets of the past when I got down in the 90s!) I try to eat healthy, mostly vegetarian and whole grains, etc. I've come to really love almond milk too. Of course, I have arthritis; it runs in my paternal family. And the bunion still needs to be fixed, but I just keep putting it off (NOT a good time right now for elective surgery!) 

Alas, that is about all the news from my life now.  

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Pandemic Fall edition

Perhaps that's an optimistic title, but it is finally becoming a bit cooler here in the South. Not yet comfortable, but a general trend in that direction. Now if only the grass would stop growing. Alas, not yet!

Life has been dubbed, "the new normal" now...with a statewide mask mandate in our region, which has helped lower the numbers of Covid. Kudos to our state governor, a lady that had the best interest of the public, despite being a republican! I read an article that stated that women leaders had handled the pandemic better, and I would guess that is because we value LIFE over DOLLARS. Not all, mind you, but the majority. Also, it takes an iron will not to bow to political pressure, especially when the bully-in-chief of America randomly targets those who prefer to be safe rather than rich. Let's face it folks: If you are dead, you won't have to worry about your financial situation. On the other hand, if you take reasonable precautions (masking, sanitizing) and live to fight another day, you can THEN take care of financial aspects. 

At any rate, Covid is still out there -- everywhere. Lurking, just waiting to pounce on crowds, those stuffed in close quarters, unmasked, striking again and again. There is so much distrust of the current occupant at the White House, due to his outrageous lies, constant fabrications and fantasy scenarios that it is unlikely very many will get vaccinated IF a vaccine is available soon. Personally, I would NOT, especially if it comes out before the election. Far too convenient for him, and unless this can be overcome, I don't see a majority volunteering for it. In fact, in forums I often see even his devoted followers stating they won't get the vaccine; after all, deep down, they know what a fraudster he is!

My life rolls along, not that different than it has been -- with the exception that I haven't had visits with my sister from a nearby large city in ages. It still seems risky, since her husband has some lung issues and could be at higher risk. I do my weekly grocery shopping, any errands (though few) and continue onward. 

I do have some outdoor work that needs to be done: my back porch needs some carpentry work, and my privacy fence needs some repair. I just keep putting it off, hoping the Covid situation continues to improve. My fence is the immediate problem, as it is leaning -- but I have it well-braced right now. With Fall coming, the leaves will soon be flying and I'll be trying to stay ahead of the avalanche, even though I have yard care. 

I've been reading a lot, just finished Michelle Obama's book. Truly enlightening and she can write! So sad to see so much she and Obama tried to accomplish tossed on the ash-heap of everything Trump has destroyed. If he's there for 4 more years, the government will be dismantled -- though few seem to realize what is at stake! Anyway, I am catching up on a lot of bestselling fiction, since I am able to check out ebooks from the library. 

As for writing, I don't seem to have anything to say. That is the reason no updates at this blog. I do have story ideas, but can't seem to get motivated to write. For several years now, I lack the motivation; it seems a waste of time, and who knows how long any of us have, especially during a pandemic? More and more, I just coast...waiting to see what happens next...

And that is it for today. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Pandemic Pandemonium

I've lived through a lot in my 68 years, but this year's outbreak of COVID-19 is truly unique in my lifetime. I vaguely recall being administered the polio vaccine on a sugar cube in grammar school; the lines were long, with kids jostling and joking, hardly anything remarkable. And I knew no one personally who had polio, but then again, I was just a kid back in the 50s.

I also recall the Swine Flu in the late 1960s, and that my paternal grandfather had it -- but refused to go to the hospital. He was terribly sick, but weathered it with my grandmother's help. She, on the other hand, never got it. They both lived to advanced age, 88 and 92. I never caught that either, nor have I ever had the flu except for once in the early 1980s. I sometimes get a flu shot, and sometimes not; although, as I get older, I am more likely to get the vaccine, though I did not this past winter. This is not to say that I am against flu vaccinations, just that occasionally I don't make the effort.

As for what is going on worldwide now with COVID-19, this contagion is a different beast. Politics aside, when our current president was downplaying/underplaying it back in March, I'd already done enough research online to KNOW what was coming. I began stocking up in late February, and by the time panic buying hit, I was fairly well prepared. The lack of preparation by our USA leaders bordered on criminal, in my opinion. A fool with an internet connection, had they looked, could have seen what was coming. And now, here we are: currently over one million infected and 60,000+ dead in the USA!

While quarantines were slow in coming, at least the past month has slowed the outbreak somewhat -- although, again in my opinion -- we are at the beginning of what is sure to be with us a long time. The medical/researchers are just tossing every drug at victims, seeing what will stick on the wall. Which, in some ways, is almost as scary as the actual beast. Digging up drugs that have had no proven effectiveness against viruses, testing on live victims, willy-nilly. And it remains to be seen if any of those drugs do any good whatsoever, or if some hasten the demise of terminal patients. Argh!

As for my life, can't say it's changed a lot -- since I've always been an introvert at heart. And as I've aged, my ailments (arthritis, etc.) had already slowed down my socializing and shopping. I usually went to the grocery store about once a week, and I've reduced that to once every two weeks or less now. I use a stationary airbike for exercise, have done so for a couple years, so no change on that. I do miss taking my dog, Muffin, to a nearby park, but had slowed down on that too in the past six months due to a bunion on my foot. I somehow twisted my shoulder, and need to see my orthopedic doc at some point for that. But it isn't an emergency, and not sure anything can be done about it. As with much of aging issues -- risk making it worse or just live with it!

When the quarantines started, there were so many, many things closing....from sporting events to shows/festivals...I was surprised by stuff I didn't even realize existed. Not a sports fan, and other than when I worked at the newspaper, don't attend festivals. I suppose if I learned anything it is that people are unable to just sit down and stay home. And that our economy revolves around getting out, seemingly "enjoying" everything from restaurants to shows to simply shopping. And don't get me started on those ten-deck cruise ships or foreign tourism -- apparently a majority of people have to be in perpetual motion -- even if it's mindless and pointless. I'd say those splashy, expensive PR efforts for the travel industry have paid off in spades! Trust me, I have been tempted too...but the logistics, the hassle and aggravation, kept me content to just watch a video or see a picture instead of actually going to witness it "in person." Plus, I learned long, long ago that nothing ever quite measures up to my imagination -- the curse of a fiction writer, I suppose.

All that traveling, those flights, those car trips, those know what that is doing to the environment. Not going to preach it, but that kind of damage is going to lead to a bad place eventually. The environmental calamity will make this virus look like a picnic in the park. As an aside too, there are TOO MANY HUMANS on this planet, period. Maybe nature has decided to thin the herd.

So I continue living my life pretty much as usual, but do take precautions: wear a mask when I go out, sanitize, etc. And IF I should end up with the beast, I would refuse a ventilator -- have made that clear to my sisters (as well having an updated living will). No one lives forever, and as I get older, the ailments piling on with time, I wonder if there is any advantage in living to an advanced age. The physical suffering of an aging body is truly burdensome.

So it goes...and goes...and goes...till it's all gone. Such is life and death.

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Completed Novella!

It's been awhile since I did any writing, and though I wrote all but the final chapter of a novella last year, I finally completed/edited it today. It is in the horror genre, but a sub-category: apocalyptic fiction.  Titled, "Into the Nowhere," the story centers on a female protagonist who survives the initial disaster, and then meets others who band together for a trek to find her parents at a lakeside camping retreat. It could be expanded into a series, but I don't have plans at present to do that.

At any rate, not sure when I'll publish. I found a perfect cover, and will have to buy that soon. Since I only use Google Docs now, having not kept the subscription to MS Word, it might be more challenging to publish via Kindle.

When that subscription ran out, I decided not to renew. What is it with subscriptions these days? Nearly everything requires you to pay a monthly fee just to use what you could, in the past, purchase and use continuously. Ridiculous. (End of rant!)

I had also previously used the Kindle app that allowed creative formatting, but when my desktop computer bit the dust, never replaced it. Instead, I use Chrome laptops now, thus unable to access certain software.

Otherwise, life is peaceful here. I'm trying to get back into writing, though it's slow. I bought a laptop tray because sitting at my desk was causing back pain, and numbness in my feet. Even though I exercise on a stationary bike every day, my back and knees can't take certain activities. I'm all about compensating these days, experimenting with various positions and items that enable me to write and/or be comfortable. Having five herniated discs in my back is challenging, to say the least!

Maybe I can get motivated to write again. I have been toying with an idea for a Gothic romance, sheer escapism. To quote a famous person: "The world is too much with us." (Yeah, politics is what I mean!)

And with that, I'll sign off for today.