Monthly Archives: May 2009


Shortly after my husband was diagnosed with cancer, I went to some writer buddies of mine for advice on how to deal with it in my public persona as a writer. I got answers ranging from, “Say nothing – folks want funny from you and cancer ain’t funny,” to, “Tell them everything. You’re human. Your readers like human.” Since I tend to err on the side of TMI most of the time, anyway, I decided to go with the latter.  After all, I have a big mouth. So if you’d rather not read up on the joy of chemotherapy, I’ll catch you next post.

The hubs finished his first cycle of Velcade (chemo) last Tuesday, and today says he feels better than he has in a long time. Great. Just in time for him to start his second cycle tomorrow. This stuff doesn’t seem to have some of the nasty side effects people expect from chemotherapy, but we hear that it can get worse as we progress. I hope not. They gave him one dose of a much stronger stuff -Cytoxan – when he was in the hospital, and true to their word, two weeks later he’s starting to lose his hair. He’s not too thin, yet, but that will probably be a different story by the end of the week.

My life right now is spent measuring his blood pressure twice a day and making sure he gets his meds on the right schedule. I am on summer schedule at work, so I’ll put in a half day at the office, shuttle the youngest to baseball practice, get the hubs to chemo, go pick up the kid, then go pick up the hubs. So far cancer in our family has meant less about being sick and more about being in the car. And the waiting room. The good news, though, is that I am catching up on my reading. The bad news is I’m falling behind on my writing.

A few folks I know here locally said once that what we need is a support group for writers who aren’t writing. I would totally fit in that group lately. Hoping to rectify that some this afternoon, though, and as soon as I finish this entry, I’m opening Happy Medium and getting something down. I need to get back into Alex’s head – and maybe out of mine for awhile. At least a few hours until the hubs needs his next dose.



Filed under Life? You Mean I Have To Have A Life?

June Contest!!

Football season may still be a few months away, but Maggie’s dad is watching re-runs on cable.  If you’d rather be reading, though, June’s contest is for you!

You can win two Samhain ebooks of your choice. That’s right, two books! All by answering a simple question.

In Let’s Dish, what is Maggie’s dad’s favorite football team?

Email your answer to between June 1 and June 26th. Winner will be chosen at random from correct answers recieved, and will be announced on June 29th.

Start your summer with a few good books!

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Just Call Me Shorty

It finally happened. I knew it would. It was, after all, inevitable. It’ll happen again, too. Has to.

Yes, one of my kids is finally taller than me.

Not that it takes much – I’m only 5’4″ and change.  But this morning – the last day of school – the husband insisted we measure the kids with the idea that we’ll remeasure come September to see how much they’ve grown. Won’t matter. I’ll still be looking up at the oldest.

Our first born is 14 in less than a month, so I suppose he’s a little late in stretching past me. But this morning, the little turkey is 5′ 5″. Almost a full inch taller than me.  The second son is in between growth spurts, but he’s due. He’s 4’9″ but I expect a full five feet before the end of the summer. The younest – well, he’s mid-spurt at 4’5″. Among the tallest in his third grade class.

Also today marks another milestone in our family -we only have one child in elementary after this. The second son will move into Middle School next year with our oldest. Two years later, we’ll have two middle schoolers and a high school kid. Crazy! Where did the years go? Where are my babies?

Not babies anymore, that’s for sure. In fact, it looks like the oldest might have to start shaving.

Sigh… I feel so old.


Filed under Life? You Mean I Have To Have A Life?, The One Where I Waffle On About The Kids

Well, at least the laptop works now…

Miss me? I’ve been gone awhile, haven’t I? Sorry about that – life threw us a massive curve ball.

Long story short, a little more than a week ago, my husband was diagnosed with leukemia. Multiple Myeloma, to be exact. It’s a very long, drawn-out story that actually started about six months ago with some health problems we thought were unrelated. Turns out they’re all related, and we found out last week he was in kidney failure. The cancer is treatable, but not curable, so we’re in for a long haul that started by him getting shipped to a hospital three hours from here for kidney treatment.

Fast forward to today and he’s home from the hospital, sitting across the room from me watching some old Spaghetti Western. We’re shaken and exhausted, but we’re already starting to get into the new routine of chemo. He actually feels better than he did before in certain ways.

So what does that mean for us here at the blog? Well, the laptop is home (yay!) with a new hard drive, so now I can actually get at a computer now and then. However, there will be bad days and weeks when I get nowhere near it. I’ll try to keep up as best I can.

As for the writing business, I have a new blurb for Another Time Around coming soon, and hopefully a cover. There will also be a new contest coming in June, so look for that.

In the meantime, though, I think this afternoon I’m going to take a nap. Cancer is a sneaky bastard, and it tends to leach the energy out of everyone around it.


Filed under Life? You Mean I Have To Have A Life?

If I Could Turn Back Time

Yup, the title’s from a Cher song. I generally don’t like Cher’s music, but that one wasn’t bad. My status on Twitter/Facebook this morning is from Phantom of the Opera, so apparently I am waxing musical this morning.

But this blog title comes from something I got to thinking about while my brain chewed away at plot for Happy Medium this weekend. On Mother’s Day, actually. You see, the main character, Alexandria, is a psychic medium. As she progresses through the story, she also learns she’s got a knack for seeing the future, too. So she can make decisions about our hero based on what she sees.

Wouldn’t you love to have that power? Then again, I’m not so sure I would.

True confession time: before I got married, I consulted a psychic. Who told me exactly zilch. I still married my husband, and nearly fifteen years later, am glad I did. But what if that psychic had actually been able to tell me about my future? I can imagine the conversation would go something like this:

PSYCHIC: You will have three children.

ME (Heretofore known as “Stubborn and Stupid”): But I only want two.

P: Well, you’re gonna have three. Boys.

SS: But I want a daughter!

P: Tough tomatoes, toots. You’re having three boys.

SS: Okay, okay. If I have to. Boys are all right. Just as long as their healthy.

P: Um…well, there’s a problem with that.

SS: What do you mean? I am going to have healthy, well-behaved, above-average kids.

P: Well, for the most part, yeah. But your oldest will have autism.

SS: But I don’t know anything about autism!

P: You’ll learn. Fast. And your middle son, he’ll have an emergency apendectomy when he’s six. There will be complications. You’ll almost lose him.

SS: But he’s okay, right?

P: Yes. But it will be touch and go. He’s bright, too, so when he’s a toddler, he’ll try to light the house on fire with the fish tank heater.

SS: He doesn’t sound like much fun. But the third one. He’s okay, right?

P: Well, he’ll have colic as a baby, and later you’ll find out he has a tumor in his brain. Not cancer, mind you, but you won’t know that for a few months.

SS: Man! I’m not sure I want to do this!

And knowing all that going in, I might not have. And if she’d told that 22-year-old me that all men are just big babies and basically dorks, I just don’t think that ring would have gone on my finger so easily.

But as I said, 15 years later, I’m glad I did it. We’ve been through a lot, from seizure disorders to tongue-tie surgeries to IQ testing. But it’s been worth it.

My oldest will be 14 next month, and is just a hoot. Yes, he has autism, but really loves as purly as anyone can. He does Special Olympics and really does well in school.

The second son was a pure pain as a toddler. No child safety lock could keep him out of anything! But he’s an amazingly bright kid who – except with his little brother – has a wonderful temperament and is fun to hang around with and talk to.

The third boy is my buddy, and is glued to my side most of the time. He’s a smart kid who does well in school, is very responsible, and a great help.

So if that psychic had told me what lay ahead, I might have missed all the stuff that made me tempted to buy stock in Clairol. But I would also have missed my Mother’s Day hugs and cards, and the boy who told me he loves me just because. So it turns out a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

Aren’t you glad we’re blissfully ignorant?

Oh, and the husband? Yeah – guys are still dorks. Sorry, ladies. We knew that going in.


Filed under It's A Writing Life, Life? You Mean I Have To Have A Life?

Still Computerless After All These Years

Okay, maybe it only feels like years. But it’s been over a week that I’ve been dealing with a limping laptop. After contacting Acer tech support, they took me through a gazillion senseless emails that had me jumping from one foot to the next. I was able to “restore” the drive, so I am actually typing this post on the laptop. And it moves….verrrry……slowwwwwwllly…..with a lot of……”not responding” going on. At last I have shipping instructions to send it in to be fixed. I get to pay postage there. Needless to say, I am not real thrilled with Acer at the moment.

In the mean time, though, life has moved on at Casa Del Catie. Final line edits for Another Time Aroundjust went to my editor tonight. It took a bit of juggling on the kids’ computer and sneaking time at the office to get it done, but Brin’s book is in the can and ready to go. The release date was backed up, by the way, and will be released on September 8. Just after my birthday.

I also spend a day at Camp Iyataka with a bunch of Cub Scouts – including my own. We hiked and hiked and hiked, ate pizzas made out of pita pockets over a camp fire, and made the absolute best banana dessert I’ve ever had. On a campfire! I have pictures, but can’t load them to stupid computer to share. I will, I promise. Along with pics of my latest pet project.

I had a wild hair this spring. Really wild, considering how much I hate gardening. Our house is low and blocky with no curb appeal, so I had the idea to make a new flower bed out front. And I did. Two days of stripping grass off the dirt, another day of digging, and a day of planting and we have a gorgeous new garden! It came out better than I thought it would, and the last touch – a tree my son won by writing an Arbor Day essay – will go in when we pick it up on Thursday.

So I’ve had a busy, frustrating week. Hopefully, though, soon I will be back on schedule and working on the next book. Whatever that will be. In the mean time, I’m off to bubble wrap this puppy and ship it off to parts unknown.

Cross your fingers.


Filed under It's A Writing Life, Life? You Mean I Have To Have A Life?

It’s dead, Jim.

Laptop gave me blue screen of death, so updates will be few and far between until I can get it replaced. Just bought it in November, but the hard drive has failed. I’ll check in as I can get on the kids’ computer, but no one hold your breath.

Now… let’s see how Acer customer service is, shall we?

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Filed under Life? You Mean I Have To Have A Life?