The middle aged & the exhausted

What a time to be alive! Am I right, or what?! So much has been happening it’s hard to keep track of everything going on, and stay on top of the things that matter most in the order of execution. Work has been churning like the ocean beneath a hurricane, the entire seafloor (my life) has been changing in tumultuous ways, but I’m fighting to make it work. Chiari Type I has been a big impact to my life this year, and I’ll be seeing a Neurosurgeon next month, with testing this month. School started today, and I have a High Schooler! X_X That’s too much for my day, but nothing I can do to change it. Just praying he has a good day.

Writing, writing has not happened, but that’s mainly for the fact that work has gone from a stop, to I have an overwhelming amount in my lap. I also went out of town the last two weekends with my kids – making memories before they’re gone. Again, teenage son is in High School!!! Surgery is scheduled as well for Friday after next, so there’s that. Now, that means this weekend and next my daughter will be gone. This means opportunity to write, and I will be taking that opportunity in as fully as I am able! You know, as a writer, that you miss your craft when you are Dreaming about it, when you think, “Hey, I wanted to see where that story went!” Great feeling, knowing that’s going on, and I have so much to do to finish this last book! Of course, after I finish this series, I will be working on the next series of books, though these will be for children – I’m flip-flopping between 7+ or 12+. The age range will determine how I write these books, and the level of detail (gore) I can feasible incorporate. I love the idea of starting out with 7+ and moving on to 12+ as the character grow/age, but not sure how that will be received, would like to review other books for guidance.

Closing: I will finish Hail. I will get sleep. I will find a way to get better, and Be Better!

Success & Momentum!

27.7k words, and counting 😉! 23 chapters, roughly, remain. The best part of this progress? It is flowing beautifully, and coming together as well as I had hoped! The hope and prayer is that when readers get hold of the published copy, they agree!

For where I stand now, this part of the book will close up in about 8-9 chapters more, and I can’t wait 😄! For what’s to come will be brutal, and glorious. Who’s ready?

Review: The Paladin of Panama by Michael Chrobak

Alright folks! Here it is, my review ofThe Paladin of Panama by Michael Chrobak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Be prepared, this is a Lengthy review!
The Paladin of Panama has such promise, though I hoped for more action! It is good in seeing the different abilities coming to life in the characters, I can’t wait to meet the rest, and I enjoyed the educational side of what the church and what the associated community can bring. This book is overflowing with good intentions and messages, one’s many of the youth today could benefit from. I would say this series would be particularly good for those gearing up to head to the priesthood, or nunnery, as it touches on many of the struggles and ways to get past those issues. Michael Chrobak has done a wonderful job of incorporating fantastical elements without them being deemed “magical”, rather they are God given gifts and abilities, and not to be confused with any other power. I also have to give praise to making sure that all the characters have strengths and weaknesses, each their own struggles. These individuals, for the most part, are not all weak with only one strong, but lift each other up in various ways. Now, that has a flip side (see below).

I did find some pieces to be more “preachy” in a way that was telling rather than showing, where the author’s intention came out more bluntly than I think intended. Almost a bit like having a father telling their child what they will experience in detail, little lessons they will learn as they go rather than letting them learn and experience firsthand. Which, for me, took some of the sizzle out of the book, some of the mystery, and rather dragged along a few pieces. There were stereotypes cast that I felt were trite, utilized to reinforce the religious and moral ideals, but I felt that a disservice. There were a few places I found the descriptions of the characters (all young, mind you) to be condescending, which shocked me a bit. It was a little bitter, and that pushed me away as a reader. Beyond that, I found pretty much all the female characters to be pretty much one dimensional, with defining characteristics only coming to light at the end of the book. I stand by that Thomas is written to be far too wise beyond his years, and while I expect the main character to have more strength than the others, I found Thomas, and the side characters, to be either written beyond their years, or at times painfully immature.

Getting Personal:
I found the book slow for the first three quarters, and it didn’t “pick up” until the last quarter, making it a difficult read overall for me. It was like a first book, an introductory, which in some ways it is-meeting more characters, learning abilities, etc., but I felt there were pieces of detail/description that lent nothing to the story. I know I have had a bad habit of getting caught up in describing too many details, and that’s what this felt like. Additionally, having read and reviewed the first I will reiterate here: having been raised Catholic, I have personal beliefs that strike deep within me, things I do not agree with the church on. So deep are my beliefs that I have walked away from the Catholic Church, as much as there are plenty of things I love and appreciate, I completely disagree with them on others. These books look to reinforce some of those those beliefs I disagree with, so it was more a struggle for me than I would have liked. That’s not to be confused, I’m not calling it bad – quite the opposite, the passion that this is written with, the firm belief and follow through is impressive and not to be dismissed. It just did not inspire me, personally, to love this book entirely.

I will read the next book in this series, this one ended on such a cliff hanger it was almost insulting! Michael, how could you leave me hangin’ like that, man?! Teasing aside, the last quarter is the best of this book, and so very well written out! I Loved it for that especially, but can’t say anything so as not to ruin it for other readers! This rating was more like 3.5/3.75, but the ending helped close that gap to a 4.

By keyboard & pen

I’ve been terribly neglectful, I didn’t realize how long it had been since I last posted on here! I received answers for ailments that have been ongoing, though I cannot say the solutions I received are the best options at this point. Right now I’m considering talking to the neurosurgeon and seeing about getting surgery done to fix what’s wrong, that’s if they would even consider doing it until the condition worsens. Within a week of finding out what was wrong I found myself single, once more. Completely unrelated, or at least 98%, as to why the relationship ended, mind you. I have still been through a bit of hell in all of it, but have been plenty busy with my job that pays the bills, and adjusting my budget/paying off debt. Thankful that chapter is closed, clearly not one that would have ended well.

So the medical aspect: I have what’s called Arnold Chiari Malformation Type 1. I had my onset of symptoms start of this year, with sudden migraines. Technically it’s been one long, never-ending migraine, but it all makes sense now. Worse symptoms showed up throughout this year, and I have some still that are etching their way through, thus my consideration to consult with the neurosurgeon. Fun times, I tell you!

All that garbage aside, I started writing again, and it feels amazing! I don’t know if there is a feeling equivalent to how writing makes me feel as it flows. It’s also funny, the things you will research as you write. Looking up what types of containers have been used to hold liquids, pens and pencils creation, types of trees and flowers, proper terminology for similar items across centuries of time! Time consuming, but completely worth the effort :).

Something else intriguing has occurred. I had a fan reach out, two technically, asking for hand written letters. I have happily obliged, and must admit it is both insanely flattering and humbling. Should send apologies in advance, my handwriting is atrocious :S…beyond that I found myself, this past 4th of July weekend, trying to find something to do for myself, and thought about my writing without even realizing it was my own writing I was thinking about. I know that sounds odd, but honestly I was thinking about the story line and how I wanted to see what happened next, before it struck me fully what I was thinking about! There was a lot on my mind, as per usual…but this was funny when I caught up with where my mind had gone.

Changing Tides

Over a year ago I started working on Hail. The tragic reality is, I’m just 8400 words in, and haven’t been able to do what I should have done, what I had planned to do, in that 1+ year timeline. This is disappointing to me, but also to my readers. Here comes the news, though. Major changes have been happening in my life, and good things overall!

Last week I put in notice to my current job of 5.5 years that I was leaving, I have accepted a new opportunity with another company. What does that mean, how is that good? Doesn’t a new job mean more heavy lifting, front end especially? Yes, but, new job is half day every Friday! That means every Friday, I will have 4 hours, minimum, to myself, and I can WRITE! I’m working out a schedule for myself on how to get this book written, and get it published ASAP. It’s been a rough year, over the past year. To make it to this point, where things are finally falling into place and truly improving, gives me such hope!

Nothing will ever be easy, but it there is always opportunity for improvement, and I am seeing that more clearly every day. Beyond changes in work life, I will be following up with my neurologist soon enough. MRI on Monday, blood work completed, praying for all positive and/or at least some answers. There is a song that has been playing in my head today that makes me laugh, in an ironic manner. Time Marches On by Tracy Lawrence.

I’m a Texas woman, love me my country music – 80’s & 90’s are my favorite. Have a wonderful day everyone, I’ll be getting this book in order and out the door before you know it!

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In a months time

Everything happens for a reason, I firmly believe that. The past month (and a half) has proven a difficult time. This weekend hit me with some unexpected surprises that will be impacting when, and how, I can get things done. Especially for my last book, Hail. I’m working through changes at the moment to mitigate these issues, praying I can find a solution in a timely manner. I am incredibly impatient with these types of matters – I know this. It’s frustrating to work so hard and end up with only more loose ends to tie up, constantly watching things unravel.

Yet, as Walt Disney is quoted as saying, “Keep Moving Forward!” (Thank you, Meet the Robinson’s – one of my Fave Disney movies that makes me cry every time <3_<3)! I don’t know how, but I WILL figure it out. With time, the outside factors that have crushed me will dissipate. Hopefully. Praying you lovely reader’s are too terribly disappointed with me, but as I said, everything happens for a reason, and I see the very good reasons why things have not worked out as planned with this last book and timeline. Praying the decisions I have to make in the short-term are the correct ones. Could use a reduction in the stress department.