family, health, writing

Hello from the Other Side…

So, this past week the Muffin and I were sick. Really sick. The sort of can’t-breathe-can’t-sleep-can’t-eat-for-coughing sick. BLEHHHHH.

It was a very, very hard week. There were times I literally could not get off the couch, or recliner, or floor. The snot was an uphill battle. The aches and chills made me fear for the safety of my joints. Sleep was a rare, precious gem.

I have not been that sick in quite some time.

Muffin did not make the process of getting better very easy. He was a massive pain in the rear. He wouldn’t nap, or blow his nose, or stop throwing a tantrum when we asked him to let us wipe up the snot. (At least he cooperated for the doctor.)

There was a lot of other crap going on, too. We were out of everything, at once. (Doesn’t that always happen, though?) The weather — thanks to recent hurricanes — was downright miserable until yesterday. Since Muffin and I weren’t sleeping well, tempers were short.

All of this combined meant that by Thursday, I was utterly exhausted.

I did manage to post a couple pre-scheduled blogs, and keep up on my social media, and even engage with others a little (in the form of comments), partly to keep my own sanity. But there was far too much else that I had to let slide.

I have packages to mail that won’t be going out until next week. Future blog posts are definitely up for debate.

Related image

And my plan of completing the Volume 2 revisions this week went completely out the window.

And although I know there was a very good reason for it, I still feel bad.

After all, I have been trying to finish this particular story since April, and I really wanted to get all the plot holes filled up and the characters flushed out by October 1st. So that I can do NaNo if I want to. Also because there are people eagerly awaiting Volume 2. I know this for a fact, as they’ve told me. (And not to sound intensely selfish, but I am not made of a money-growing tree, and some sales would be nice.)

But after this week, I’ve begun to rethink a few things.

The concept of attempting NaNo this year feels equivalent to Frodo and Mount Doom and the One Ring. Or escaping Smaug without getting fried to a crisp. Or winning the Scorpio Races. You get the idea. I am quickly realizing that to spend my November on a brand new, timed-down-to-the-wire project would not be wise.

Last year, I was honestly really proud of myself for finishing NaNo (although my family was not supportive in the slightest after the end of week 2, and in fact became a major pain in the neck — #sorrynotsorry for saying that out loud). But this year — which I was originally expecting to be easier — is now seeming like an even greater monster.

However, I do have writing to accomplish. At least the bare bones of Volume 3 and the companion prequel to the series. And I know that having the deadline of NaNo helps inspire the discipline to create something and get it into some formation.

BUUUUT…

Image result for anime cats

When something happens like getting hit with an unexpected flu, something that is easily fixed in the grand scale of things, and yet in the moment completely throws off your whole schedule and leaves you scrambling to pick up the pieces those first few days, it makes you remember what you’re really trying to accomplish.

This isn’t a huge philosophical statement (it was just a week of upper respiratory misery). But seeing how my whole household nearly came crashing down just because I was out of commission (which is not a good thing in itself — don’t take your mothers/wives for granted, guys) made me feel that the burden is simply too heavy.

So, this fall, I will make sure Volume 2 becomes the best it can be. And I won’t guilt myself into entering a writing contest.

Or stress out about my blog stats.

Or sign up for any more ARCs. Or panic if I haven’t reviewed every single book I’ve ever finished on Goodreads.

Really. I swear.

You get the idea.

Image result for anime cats

Advertisements
blogging, family, reading, writing

Time to Start the Monthly Recaps!

Image result for the invisible moth

Hello there! So, haven’t I said this before, that I was going to start doing monthly update posts of what in general was going on? Didn’t I then abandon all such attempts a few months ago? Okay! We’re going for this again!

It’s a really good way to squeeze in all the details you meant to relate about certain topics, projects, or reasons for forgetting — er, I mean, accidentally neglecting other tasks or plans. And since I just found out today is July 30th, it feels like a good time…

Is it just me, or did July kind of…get cut short somewhere? Is there a nefarious force at work in the universe that is actually stealing hours or even whole weeks from our planet? Or maybe just American calendars…

What am I talking about? Oh, right — monthly wrap-up and review.

Image result for the invisible moth

So, here’s a quick overview of what July was like for me in writing:

My head exploded. Okay, not literally. But there were days when it was close. I finished the beta-read version of my Volume 2 manuscript, which was going to be Camp NaNo for me, but I changed my mind on about July 1st, because I could tell that simply wasn’t going to work. I was feeling pressured, and planning to stick to a deadline just…well, ker-splush.

I did, however, for many intents and purposes, complete the latest draft of Volume 2. This is important, since it means I can now look forward to editing once I get the feedback from my beta readers (cries a little on behalf of the suffering they are about to endure), and preparing for my next releases!

I have officially decided on switching publishing companies. Technically this isn’t writing itself (meaning not pen to paper or keyboard to screen), but it’s still a very vital part of the whole process. Since conducting all sales and shipping myself has become a bit of a handful, I shall be making future releases through a self-publishing website (which one has yet to be 100% determined) that will handle orders and distribution for me.

So, look for a new edition of Volume 1 (with new cover and available online — same content as the first edition!) pretty soon (I’m aiming for sometime in September). If you already purchased my first printing (thankyouthankyouthankyou!), and wish to own the re-release as well, I shall make sure the new edition is offered at a low price.

And then Volume 2 should be available before the end of fall! My goal is to schedule an official date for that while summer is still with us!

Image result for the invisible moth

Now, onto what reading was like for me in July:

I am a bundle of sadness because I polished off my TBR… And so many of the reads I’d been looking forward to were disappointing packets of meh. Not that everything I picked up was terrible — not at all, in fact! But my issues are the following:

Too much of what is currently on the market simply does not appeal to me. There are tons of new releases in the last couple of months that I just could not give two random apricots about, and it means I am rapidly running out of new things to read. (The horror.)

I prefer shorter books, so that I can go through them quicker. The down side — I go through them quicker. Yes, this seems a bit silly, since I just stated I prefer novels that only run about 220-300 pages. It is a personal, and practical, choice, and often it works. However, if I don’t have several shorter books lined up, then…yeah, eventually my TBR sort of vanishes of its own accord.

On the plus side — I read two ARCs, Chivalry’s Children and Tomb of the Sea Witch, both by indie authors, which is definitely encouraging my goals to promote more self-published works! And with my birthday coming up, I’ll have a chance to place some orders for indie titles that I’ve heard really good things about!

Image result for the invisible moth

A look at life in general around The Invisible Moth:

White Fang is in film camp for the second summer. He is becoming a master at cinematic editing. Way cool for my future programmer to add that to his list of skills. As part of this camp, he has also gone swimming, to a nature center, been to see Wonder Woman and Spiderman: Homecoming, and generally has more of a life than I have in ages.

Muffin was accepted into the special needs preschool program we’ve been on the waiting list for. This is a big deal because having all his services (physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy) come to the house is getting a bit tedious for me; and he needs constant exposure to age-appropriate special ed — which is, of course, so much easier for a classroom run by 3 or 4 formally-trained adults to pull off, than one rather stressed and harried mom trying to also clean and work from home.

Image result for the invisible moth twitter

And here’s what I have planned for August:

My birthday approacheth. I am already too old for my liking, and I shall only be growing older. (Who could’ve guessed that would happen?!) I have until the 14th to make my peace (or not) with this cold, hard truth.

We are expecting visitors in the middle of the month. We don’t often have company (lots of reasons for that), and these visitors are two of my most favorite people in the world (and I completely mean that), so my family will be very blessed by this occasion.

There will be the premiere of White Fang’s finished camp film, and preschool orientation for Muffin. Pretty self-explanatory; still, big things that we’re looking forward to.

Hope July went well for all of you, moths! And here’s to August not leaping off the calendar pages into oblivion!

Image result for the invisible moth twitter

Autism, family, Parenting

Runt, Inc.

046

Years ago, when White Fang was little, we referred to him as “the Runt.” Obviously he grew out of physically or emotionally fitting that title, yet we still fondly remember. We joked that the name of our family business (which we do not have) should be Runt, Inc.

Now we do actually have a Runt once again. But interestingly, we don’t refer to Muffin that way. It’s like White Fang secured that term so concretely in our memories that we never even considered applying it to Muffin.

Yet in so many ways Muffin does fit the idea of “a runt.” He was tiny when he was born, and he’s still a pretty little guy. However, White Fang certainly taught us that “runts” are not to be underestimated.

068

White Fang was diagnosed ASD at age 4. He couldn’t speak proper words or sentences then. He needed occupational therapy and went to a special needs preschool for a year. He only graduated from speech therapy in 6th grade.

But he’s also spent those years learning to play percussion, singing in chorus, making the honor roll, and now he’s a programmer in training.

Muffin spent the first week of his life in the NICU. He still has to go to physical and speech therapy, and has fought hard to be as mobile as he is. He survived jaundice, acid reflux, lazy eye (and its surgery).

White Fang has sensory issues with texture, smell, and taste that mean he’s not a fun person to cook for. But he’s a master at changing diapers.

He and Muffin already have a very strong brotherly bond. I already know they will be there for each other in ways I can’t even imagine yet. White Fang knows what it’s like to have a rough start in life, and that you don’t have to let that define you. Muffin only knows his big brother takes care of him and plays with him and looks out for him. But he loves White Fang, too; and to Muffin, the ASD is normal. I have a feeling he’ll have White Fang’s back in ways we can’t even imagine yet.

So, yeah, don’t underestimate the runts.

040

 

Autism, family

The Lens

Image result for flowers

We all see the world through a lens. We often don’t want to admit it, but it’s true.

Image result for flowers

But we need to speak up. Not the neurotypical folks who profess to have our corner — those of us on the spectrum. A lot of NTs do love us and support us being who we are — no forced conforming, no cure. And that’s the part I want to address right now.

We are not “broken.” We do not need to be “cured.” We are simply a way of living, a way of being that the rest of the world hasn’t caught onto yet.

Image result for flowers

I put all these pleasant pictures in this post to remind myself that I don’t want to go on a rant today. There are other things I have to get to, and they feel more important this morning than focusing on the negative.

In a very loud and busy world, we are the quiet, the simplicity, the sense of taking a deep breath for the pure reason of feeling the sensation of our body and mind filling with fresh air.

Image result for flowers

We hold up a lens to the world, and adjust it until we find the stillness, the colors, the tranquility of rest.

We love, we laugh, we observe. We think, we explore.

We create music and art, we write and some of us dance. We know the power of words and feelings, maybe better than most.

We hope to be accepted, because we really don’t see any reason to change our perspective.

Being appreciated as we are, and even respected, would be just great.

Hopefully one day there will be no need to adjust others’ lenses.

Image result for flowers

blogging, community, family, writing

Half-Year Wrap-up

Related image

HOW IS IT JUNE?!?! 

Ahem.

Okay, back at the beginning of this year (*sobbing over not yet developing the Time Lord gene that allows me to slow down the passage of months*), my plan was to post a wrap-up every 4 weeks, summarizing the past 30 days. In no way, shape or form did that come to fruition. (Hmmm, actually, maybe I squeezed out one — in the recent re-design of my layout, some things got shifted, moved, maybe cancelled…?!)

All right, trying again: So I’ve elected instead to attempt a half-year wrap-up. (Then I don’t have to worry about doing it again until December…)

Also, lately we have some new faces around here *waves* *thank you!*, so this could be a good way to catch up, too.

Related image

JANUARY: It was my second blogiversary! I have now officially been blogging for well over two years!

FEBRUARY: White Fang (my oldest son) turned 14 on the 15th. He’s an accomplished YouTuber, and does well in school, and is famous in our community for having read almost every single publication in the Warriors series. (It’s where his screen name comes from.) His current obsession, er, hobby is Minecraft. For those of you who may not know, he’s on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum, and I do still remember when he was a little baby.

MARCH: This month passed in pretty much a haze of storms, specialist meetings for Muffin, and preparing for my printing and official launch of Volume 1.

APRIL: April was a big stinking deal around here. On April 21st was the official release of Masters and Beginners (Volume 1 of the Order of the Twelve Tribes). It’s the first novel in my YA contemporary fantasy series (say that 3 times fast), and so far it’s receiving rave reviews in the blogisphere and on Goodreads. I am immensely pleased with this.

(If you’re interested in obtaining your own copy — paperback or digital — of Volume 1, see the blatant advertisement in my heading or sidebar.)

I participated in Camp NaNo for the first time. I reached my target word count, but the end result sucked (in my very biased, first-person-author view). Well, at least I know now what I don’t want to do with Volume 2… My revisions are so far going pretty well, and my plan for the future is to make July’s Camp NaNo Volume 2 Attempt 2.0. (Does any of that make sense?)

Related image

MAY: May kind of blew by for me, as I had more meetings for Muffin, lots of editing to consider, TBR-trimming to do, and little things to arrange for White Fang before the end of the school year arrived.

JUNE: Last night was White Fang’s final chorus concert of the year. He starts final exams next week. Soon he will be finishing middle school. (Insert parental wailing here.)

Muffin turned 3 on the 3rd. He is a busy little guy. For several months now he’s been receiving speech therapy, and on his 4th or so round of physical therapy. By September, he’ll be enrolled in a preschool program for special needs children.

At present, he is obsessed with How to Train Your Dragon and dinosaurs.

And there we have it! Hope you’re all having a pleasant spring, moths!

Image result for all