Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday October 27, 2011

Sorry I've been MIA but two weeks of hospital visits plus trying to finish a book before deadline, plus being diagnosed with Posterior Tibial Tendonitis and having to wear a heavy walking boot/cast, plus the new puppy has mean a complete shortage of time.  Once my mom gets out of the hospital and I turn the book in, I can return and dazzle you with my mediocre wit, but for now I can barely breathe.

Good news though - the tree in front of the house is actually finally changing colors.  When I get time, I'll take a new picture and post it.

Take care and I'll talk to you later.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

With all the hospital/mom issues, plus having a book due November 1st (nearly there!), I'm sorry I haven't been here much.  Things will soon improve (hopefully).

Meanwhile, weather-wise, we've been having a bit of a fall.  The tomato plants that wilted in the heat are full of tomatoes which are growing larger by the day.  If they ripen before we have a freeze, I'll actually get some tomatoes this year! 

My mum is flowering too.

It's really nice to have this bit of nature.  This is my favorite time of the year, not counting the occasional random 90 degree day here and there (we're supposed to have one today or tomorrow).   This morning I woke to a wet fog and at 9:30 am it still lingers.  Later I will have to make a trip to visit my mother - she's having another surgery this morning, but for now I'm allowing myself to wallow in the chilly, damp air.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Every now and then, you meet someone who is such an extraordinary person that they leave you in awe.
My mother's surgeon, Dr. D. Rohan Jeyarajah Director of Surgical Oncology, Methodist Dallas Medical Center is such a person.

First off, the man is a whirlwind.  He seriously vibrates with energy and passion.  After seeing him for the the past three days, he reminds me of a rock star.  He breezes into the room surrounded by his entourage - he always has an entourage consisting of another doctor, a resident, a medical student, and last night an oncology nurse.  He is warm and personable rather than arrogant.  One gets a sense that he actually cares.  Last night after he visited with my mother and gave us all the results of the pathology report, he glanced at me and then hurried over and took my hand and asked me if I was all right.  I almost cried, but managed to tell him yes, thank you. 

He is the doctor who repaired the tear and he is the doctor who will perform the Whipple Surgery once the radiation shrinks the tumor.  He says that God will guide his hand.  I like that.  I have never met a doctor like him before.  I would trust him with my life and I am trusting him with my mother's.

Here's a link to an article from D Magazine where they asked him about one of his toughest cases.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday October 20, 2011

Sorry I've been MIA.  I was supposed to go to St. Petersburg, Florida for a writer's conference, but on Monday my mother went in for a routine procedure (an ERP where they put a scope down her throat and look at the pancreas and also take a biopsy).  Something went wrong and a tear occurred in her bowels.  She was transported by ambulance to another hospital and had emergency surgery to repair the tear.  The surgeon - an amazing doctor - had hoped to remove the tumor while he was repairing the tear, but it had grown and was attached to a blood vessel.  He said normally he would have constructed another blood vessel and tied that one off and removed it anyway, but the tear was too bad and life-threatening.  She had a second surgery on Tuesday to insert a drain that goes into her intestine and her liver.  She is totally jaundiced as the tumor is blocking her liver duct and part of her stomach/intestine.

Yesterday, my mom was moved out of the ICU and into a regular room. Her jaundice is fading thanks to the drain.  She is on a feeding tube and the plan is, once she's recovered from this surgery she will start radiation and chemo.  Once the tumor shrinks enough, the surgeon plans to go back in and remove it.

So, I have been at the hospital every single day, often for all day.  Monday I got home after midnight and Tuesday night I didn't get home until 9 pm.   Last night was better - six pm and I made my husband take me out to Chili's.  Obviously, I haven't been writing.  I'm exhausted and foggy and working on half a brain. 
On top of that, I think I've sprained my ankle. 

Anyway, just wanted to let you know why I vanished off the face of the earth.  If you are a praying person, your prayers would be greatly appreciated. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I'm nearly finished writing the first draft of my new Harlequin Romantic Suspense "The Cop's Missing Baby."  I should hit 50,000 words today and I have to end up somewhere between 55,000 and 60,000.  I'm on the next to last chapter, alternating between writing the black moment and some of the resolution.  I often do this when I'm writing, switch scenes, switch point of view characters, just to keep things interesting.  And sometimes random scenes occur to me and I've got to get them down before they vanish. 

Often it takes a moment of great personal crisis to make us appreciate our life.  Of late, I've been happy and content and full of thankfulness, but now I've actually fully realized how much take for granted.  You see, on Tuesday afternoon, my mother was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. 

Our entire family is reeling.   She is having more tests done on Friday and we will know more then.  Until then - and even after then - please include her in your prayers.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Yesterday I took a break and went to the  State Fair of Texas.  Hubby and I haven't been in YEARS and my daughter had the day off from work (plus teachers get free tickets), so we went.

It was crowded, but there were ample lots for parking.    Like all fairs everywhere, there was food.  I ate weird food that I would never in a million years eat anywhere else.

Chicken on a stick and sausage on a stick.  I had chicken, my husband had sausage.
My daughter had a frito pie.

We saw a HUGE turkey in a cage.

Lots of treats (I meant to go back and buy a loaf of that awesome blueberry bread!)  We ate some more.  (Giant Corny dogs!)


Flying flags (Did you know that Texas is the only state in the US that is legally allowed to fly the state flag at the same height as the American flag?

I got to sit in an awesome Camaro convertible.  I'd so buy this car in a heartbeat if I had a massive garage and could afford to own like six different cars! Love the orange color.

There were sculptures and exhibits and it was a huge fair.

Here's Big Tex!
(The light was bad from the front, so I took one from the back too.  A kid came up to me and wanted to know why I was taking a picture of Big Tex's butt!)

We didn't ride any rides because of the long lines and the fact that I have a puppy at home who can't be left alone too long.  (With the drive and just walking around we were gone 5 hours!)  Here's our huge ferris wheel.

Though we all really wanted to ride the swings! 

We also saw a trick dogs show.  It was called Jump and it had dogs catching frisbees and dock diving dogs.  This is their set up (the dog pictures didn't turn out too well, sadly).

All in all, it was a fun day.  We will have to try and go more often - maybe once every few years instead of  letting fifteen or so go by.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

As I put up on Facebook yesterday and on my website, I have the cover art for my January Harlequin Nocturne THE WOLF WHISPERER.  It's awesome, even though the guy bears no resemblance to my hero whatsoever !  He's certainly hot though. 

See for yourself!

Ain't he purty? 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

This morning I am sitting in front of my computer, half-finished mug of coffee in hand, all the email checked and the blogs read and the work-in-process opened in front of me.  I've played cards on the computer, typed a few paragraphs, checked emails, and then here I am.  At my blog.  Avoiding writing.

I could blame this on lack of sleep.  Hot flashes, insomnia, and a sore ankle kept me up most of last night.  The new puppy slept through the night, so there was that at least.  My body is stiff and sore and feeling every bit of my 50 years.  I got up at 5:30 am instead of 6, let the dogs out and fed them, and began my day.  So I should be ahead, well on my way to getting my 1500 words.  Instead, I'm avoiding them. 

Oh, I'll get them.  I always do.  Every single day for the past month except one, the day after we got home with our new Boxer puppy.  I go to the gym every day too, and sometimes I have to write afterwards if I haven't made my word goal, but I make it.  I should (fingers crossed) finish this book before I go to Florida for the Novelists, Inc. Conference.  It's due November 1st, which is a Tuesday, and I will definitely be on time.

Writers write.  Eventually.  It's not the writing that's hard (ok, sometimes it is), but the actual GETTING there.  I have to get into the story, which usually happens right about lunch time.  Since my husband is a stickler for routine - he must eat at noon sharp - I have to abandon the book and fix lunch and eat - but then it takes me forever to get back into it after my lunch. 

I guess I'd better stop avoiding and get back to writing.  I wonder what avoidance tactics other writers use - and I know they do - we all do. 

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sometimes I start my writing day in a kind of a panic.  As in - I can't do this, where do I go next, what was I thinking.  Then I remind myself that this is just a book.  Just a book.  And I CAN do this.  I've done it over thirty times already.  And I actually like what I've written and am going to finish early enough that I can go to that writer's conference later this month and still have time after I get back to edit the thing before I send it off to my editor.

And then I'll begin again. 

That's how it goes.  Book after book after book.  At least with the vanishing of the dreaded day job, I'm no longer burned out and rushed.  I enjoy writing again.

I've just finished reading on my Kindle a wonderful book by Barbara Samuels called THE CARE AND THE FEEDING OF THE GIRL'S IN THE BASEMENT.  Read it!  If you're a writer, it will inspire you and calm you and move you and heck - you'll just enjoy the nice read.  It's only $4.99 too! 

Not only have I always adored Barbara's warm and vibrant voice, but she and I belong to the same writer's organizations and occasionally attend the same conferences.  I haven't actually met her (except for one time standing in line to register at the Romance Writer's of America's National Conference), but I might someday and hopefully I won't have a huge, fan-girl moment like I did when I met Iris Johansen.  Just sayin'.  Cuz she's gonna be in Florida at a conference at teh same time as I will.  She's one of my auto-buy writers.

Anyway, I tried to post yesterday but apparently blogger was having issues.  It wouldn't let me upload my photos and to be honest, I'm afraid to try today.  So I'll leave you with the book recommendation.  Time to write!