The Long Way Around

So much time has gone by, and so much has happened. I lost both my dogs, cried and cried, and then decided life was too short and too small and too predictable. So I sold my house, bought a boat, and moved aboard with The Other Lamm, my weirdo bird, and our cat. (Yes, the cat belongs to all of us. The bird is part owner of the cat. I just decided this.) So, without further ado…

Here’s S/V CHAOS in St. Croix, where we fought for her, won her, and took her back home.

 

And here she is in her new home, the PNW, all cozy in the snow.

 

I’m guessing most of you already know about all this through Twitter, or just… my general chatter. But I wanted to share it anyway. Grief sucks a whole lot out of you, more than you even realize at the time. I guess I just needed to take a year or so and completely overhaul my life. I miss my dogs. I meant to write a piece on each of them and share photos, but every time I looked through them, I just started to cry again. It’s stupid, I know. But for now, I give you boat pictures! And maybe after I get a real camera, some real sailing videos. The goal is to eventually go back to St. Croix, the long way around.

Still Alive

It recently hit me that my last blog entry is about a year old. At the very least, I thought I’d offer an update. I’m still alive, still writing, albeit at a much slower pace. 2014 and the beginning of 2015 handed my little family some big changes. We went from a house on a desert mountain, to an RV in the forest, to a little house in the city. My job changed in some great ways, and I’ve been enjoying the challenge.

But there’s a downside to change, too.

My family lost two members, and we very nearly lost a third. The first loss was a gentle, old Amazon parrot we adopted knowing we were in for a hospice situation. After a long stretch of apparent improvement, one morning, the little guy just stopped breathing. The second loss was our wonderful Shepherd, who had been with my husband and I since before we were married. Cancer took him on Valentines Day, within weeks of his diagnosis. And the almost-loss was our Cocker Spaniel, our accidental second dog. She, an abandoned puppy-mill mom, fell sick for months, lost a third of her body weight, and spent way too many nights in the hospital. She is finally beginning to pull through, and while I can still see far too many of her ribs, she’s actually wagging her tail again.

I know to many people these are just animals, but I don’t draw much of a line between species. To me, family is family, and mine feels decimated. So that’s part of the reason I’ve been a bit silent online. I always hesitate to share personal bad news for fear of bringing people down, when I imagine it’s the last thing anyone needs. But the truth is I’ve had little energy due to a patch of depression steered very much by the losses and illnesses of some creatures I love.

I thought about sharing some of their stories and photos with you, because these (mostly) speechless sweethearts amaze and inspire me every day. But first, I think it’s important to get caught up on projects. Plus I still get a little teary when I think about the ones I lost.

Anyway, don’t give up on me just yet. And thank you for being out there!

Operation “Get Your Ass Back to the Coast” Was a Smoldering Success

Smoldering because it went down in flames. Successfully. We made it, but not in one piece. We lost a lot of money, a transmission, six tires, and one beloved pet. This is the primary reason I’ve been taking my time about getting back online. I think we’ve just about pulled ourselves back together, and I’m so glad to be close to the ocean again. The ocean feels like home to me. It’s funny. No matter where I go in the world, the ocean is home.

It’s good to be home again.

So I’ve made goals, at last! Here’s what you can expect to see from me in the coming months:

1) Chemistry will be coming out in paperback.

2) Titan Magic: Body and Soul will be published in both ebook and paperback.

And here’s what you can expect to not see, but will be done anyway:

3) Titan Magic: Chaotic World will be outlined! YAY!

4) The Watcher, the Thief, and the Sacrifice will enter revisions. I’m really excited to share this story with you. It’s a stand alone frame story, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading it when it’s ready.

That should keep me properly busy for a while. Thank you all so much for your patience while I recovered from the catastrophe that was my escape from the desert.

Conversations with Gollum

The Other Lamm and I have set in motion an insane plan to change our lives completely. We’ve done this sort of thing before, but not nearly to this degree. As expected, this process has been an even mix of thrilling and terrifying, and I don’t imagine it’s going to get easier. We’ll see, though.

So far, we’re midway through steps one and two.

Step 1: Get rid of nearly everything we own. This includes furniture, artwork, keepsakes, lots of kitchen utensils. It’s not as easy as I figured it would be. For the furniture, you really want to sell it, since it was pricey to begin with, but people just aren’t buying a lot these days. For keepsakes, you know, you think you can just dump them… until you look at a thing, hold it in your hands, and remember that long-dead relative who gave it to you. And I have this added guilt whenever I get rid of an item I was told to treasure.

gollum happy
Never throw this VCR away. It has all metal parts. They don’t make these any more. This is a precious, precious thing.

But… it’s a VCR.

gollum angryKEEP THE PRECIOUS!

Books are just impossible. Because they’re books. It’s like throwing friends away. I just know I’m going to miss them once they’re gone, even the ones I haven’t spent time with in a while.

Still we’re trucking along, and our house is slowly getting emptier.

Step 2: Buy an RV. This was The Other Lamm’s plan to move comfortably with our pets. The wheeled beast will be our home until we find another in our new location. This should be interesting. We’ve got potential RVs narrowed down, and we’re taking steps to finally procure one. I’m not fond of RVs as a rule, but getting one means we’re another step closer to our ultimate goal, which you don’t get to know yet. It’s easier to share plans when they’re in mid-bloom than to explain why they fell apart before they ever got started.

So that’s the current story of my life. Documentation of the next steps to follow, when they’re a little less jazz and a little more—I don’t know—symphonic, I guess.

Also…

Chemistry Is Free at Amazon Today and Tomorrow

I just found out Doctor Who is back on the air! That’s how out of touch I’ve been. I missed it, and I’m probably going to miss some more because THINGS ARE HAPPENING. My life could change dramatically very soon in so many different ways, and it all comes down to just a few factors. For this reason, I’ve been in high-anxiety mode. When I’m not running around trying to figure things out and get things done, I’m busy fighting insomnia. So I haven’t been blogging, I haven’t been tweeting, I haven’t been very active on Goodreads or DeviantArt, and I’m sorry.

Chemistry CoverOne thing I have been doing is working to get my books to a wider audience. You may have noticed Chemistry, my contemporary YA retelling of Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, has been having a bit of a coming-out party in the form of a free e-book event. It was nurtured and sheltered by Amazon for its first several months in the world, and now it’s time for the little book to grow up and meet new vendors like Kobo and Barns & Noble. Maybe even iBooks, if iBooks is sweet.

If you missed the first few days of Chemistry‘s event, don’t fret. You can still grab the book for free at Amazon all day today and tomorrow. Please do, in fact! Compared to Titan Magic, Chemistry has been kind of an odd duck—a socially awkward, shy little book. It needs to get out there and dance with new readers.

And I need to get my life in order so I can sit down and have a very serious Doctor Who marathon night.