Welcome Gentle Readers

This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Week of Woes, Window Greenery and Updates

I mentioned a Maserati in my last blog and was soon being followed by a dealership on my social media accounts. Who knows where that may lead? In the hopes of tapping into luxuries through my blog, I will now mention the places I want to visit or things I really want to possess. For places, I'll take (in no particular order but with deluxe travel and accommodations): Paris, Provence, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Rome, Tuscany, Tokyo, Kyoto, Madrid, Barcelona and Washington, D.C. For things I'd like a house with a serious kitchen and a nice sized yard, a second car (Maseratis aren't a good idea for Costco), any cooking implement and foodstuff I desire. That should cover it for now. I'll let you know if the Google gods fill my wish list.

Spring may be off to a slow start in most of the US, but it has sprung in my apartment. The window box herbs are growing like crazy. The tomato plants are getting big, but are just now producing. It's kind of nice to have all this going on in the tiny apartment. I got to use the thyme in my soup stocks this week. I'm also experimenting with pizzas. I'll be pickling the tomatoes this weekend to make another sweet sauce for the soup dumplings. Speaking of pickles, I made a very successful jar of garlic dill pickles. I can't call them Kosher dills, because my kitchen isn't Kosher. But they are really yummy!

You can check out the photos from the last couple of weeks here: http://dlwarner.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_27.html

Mopy Monday

Last week was probably one of the worst I've had since my diagnosis. Monday began with terrible news from some of the members of my cancer support group. And then a dear friend with an entirely different kind of cancer got some disheartening news about her annual tests. All of this happened before I could make breakfast, and I had gotten up at 6am with Jon. And then, I read the article: My Amazon Bestseller Made Me Nothing http://www.salon.com/2013/03/15/hey_amazon_wheres_my_money/ sent me into a horrible depressive tailspin. There is nothing like more evidence that everything you're doing creatively is likely a waste of time. That actually happens to me fairly often. Most times, I shake it off and move on. I've tried what we call the 'civilian life.' No offense, but I would end up with headaches each afternoon and thinking bizarre and destructive thoughts. Most days though, I didn't have a breast biopsy waiting for me. I was left feeling raw. I'm usually able to focus on the positives (and there are a lot of those). But it was almost too much to cope with.

Woeful Wednesday

But I showed up bright and early Wednesday with what I hoped was a positive attitude. The one thing I had hoped to leave with that day was some answers. I had reports from other patients who'd had biopsies that I should know something that same day. I really can't stand being in limbo. I especially can't stand it when I have so many other things to stress me out in life. This blog is seeing a fraction of the goings on behind the scenes with me. Today, I thought I'd stick with the stuff that has me in or near tears most often of late. The nice administrator who went over my consent form dashed all hope of leaving limbo. She said that I wouldn't get results until my next oncology appointment – in June. I assume that she noticed how distraught that bit of news made me, because she quickly explained that the areas they were investigating were of 'low suspicion' and this was all simply a precaution. This may have been all well and good for most patients, but this one is still trying to recover from the damage inflicted upon me by precautions. I had few problems after the HIPEC surgery. My current pain and mobility issues stem from chemo damage. Needless to say I remain leery of precautions.

My tech for the biopsy was the same as from the mammogram. That was heartening. I liked her and found
her to be very professional. Still, I was given more reason for being off put when I saw the machine, I noticed there was a set of plates for more breast smashing. I wasn't sure how that was supposed to with the needles. And then I almost fell off the stairs meant to make getting on the table easier. I nearly fell through the various openings in the table. I had to grossly contort my neck and one leg to get in the best position for the imaging to show clearly. I had to hold that position for over an hour. It was painful and made me panic when it became difficult to breathe. But what makes this even more special is that I have to do it again in two weeks. They only did one side. The radiologist explained that patients often can't handle doing both sides at one appointment. You think? I had not been told that at all when the biopsy was initially scheduled. I also wasn't told how long I could be out of commission afterward. I was wrapped tightly in a pair of wide tenser bandages that made movement difficult. And the restrictions covered everything that I'm able to do save for reading and writing. I was down physically for two days. Emotionally, this has felt like a tailspin. Needless to say, I'll be really glad when this set of tests are over though I was told that I should expect more frequent mammograms and/or biopsies for years to come. I'm not ungrateful to have thorough medical care, but I'm really getting while some patients get very tired of it all.

Writing Updates

I'm still editing manga and working on a couple of film projects. As for fiction, I've actually gotten into a good rhythm with the next Soldiers book. I'm planning on publishing that in May or June. I'm also going to do some short fiction based on my Yaoi characters that will be posted on the yaoi blog. I'm experimenting with illustrating those pieces to see if I can broaden my audience. Meanwhile, I have some other works that have sprung up from who knows where. I'll share more about those later.

Stay tuned.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Herbs and Stress and the Maserati

When I started writing this blog two weekends back, the really big news was the new window box garden and the Maserati. There was a Maserati in the parking lot of the garden center. I'm not sure if they had the space for boxes of plants and large sacks of soil or fertilizer. I'm pretty sure the place delivers. We were surprised that the car was there. Not that people in the area couldn't afford a six figure sports car. We were a five minute walk from the yacht club were boats have helipads. The wealthy people are usually in the marina or in the insanely priced condos. I suppose it could have come from one of the many McMansions that populate the area. All that was certain was that Jon and I were walking our purchases home in our four wheeled granny cart. No worries about soil stains. I spent a couple hours after that transferring the plants into the window boxes. I was pleased to see that the two tomato plants already had flowers about to bloom. I'm happy to report that tomatoes are already growing. The weekend was to be laid back as I had an arduous week of medical tests. Not that the tests are hard. It's just a lot of commuting and lack of sleep, because I'm an Olympic class worrier. My plan was to be well rested and as calm as possible.

More photos from this blog can be found on this link:  http://dlwarner.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_11.html .

Yet by mid-day that Sunday, Jon and I were in the ER at UCLA Santa Monica. It wasn't me this time. It was Jon who was in sudden an excruciating pain. I was silly thinking that I could write the blogs while I was there. It was impossible to focus on anything other than the Skymall magazine inexplicably in the waiting room. I really love those things. I look at them every time I fly though I'd never actually buy anything from them. We were lucky that despite the very crowed ER, that Jon got seen fairly quickly and they soon knew what the issue was. It was a kidney stone. Jon had had one before. We were back home within six hours. To say it was a relief is beyond understatement. I was certain that pain that severe meant surgery was in the offing. I was thinking all sorts of dire things including dragging IV poles down a hospital corridor together. I said I was a big worrier. I also felt guilty that perhaps being my caregiver had been too much stress for him physically. Being a caregiver takes a toll. I had been trying to get Jon to have a physical for a while to make sure he was okay. I was very guilty about not having pushed hard enough. I feel guilty about Jon just about every other day. This was the worst ever. I think the relief left me exhausted for most of the week. However, my work load does not allow for any lazying about.

Blog Blogs Blogs

I've become a serial blogger. Despite my very deep misgivings, there is now a blog for almost every aspect of my life. There will NOT be one for the food thing. I'm not planning on going pro on that, so I don't need anyone doing internet searches for me and food. That is the reason there is a separate blog for each professional thing I do. It makes it easy for people interested in the books or the films to find me on a dedicated blog with a title for that industry. Those other blogs rarely shed any light on my personal life. They are all business. I keep them all funny, but they are all business. And I am obligated to write them at predictable intervals. The Demonspawn blog is now a perk for those who donated to the film funding campaign. The Yaoi blog is part of the reason why I was hired as an editor at Digital Manga. They were looking for people with a presence in Yaoi related social networks. Blogging about the manga is as important as editing the manga. On top of all of that, I have a Facebook page that is a news agregator for all things Yaoi. I have to update it every day at least three times a day. That's why it seems like I'm always on Facebook. I am of late. But it's business. That's how my poor flagship blog got pushed to one side. Have I mentioned that my schedule got trampled in this mess of the past two weeks? I'm not giving up though. No way. There is a way to make these facets of my life play nicely together. I will find it!

This sounds crazy with all that I have on my plate. I will concede that. However, even though I'm just now getting back on track with my latest Soldiers novel and a long overdue short story, I have been pulled by little snippets of story that I can't see being part of a novel. These snippets involve characters from the Soldiers universe and the Ensnared universe. I've decided to start writing and illustrating the snippets to post on the yaoi blog. I'd forgotten that I used to write such things – generally fanfiction – when I had a block on my novels or scripts. Strangely, they may help me write the longer pieces faster. I think the snippets may attract new readers as well. And I can compile them and sell them at some point.

Stay tuned.