Updates, Updates, Updates

It has been busy lately. Well, let’s face it, it’s always busy around our house!

I am just about done updating That One Small Omission and More Than I Can Say for their re-release. The newly named That Missed Call is now undergoing major updates. Competing with the Dead Man is now moving closer and closer to its release. Phew!

Oh, yeah, and my serial novel, The Stained Glass Window, is almost ready for its release on April 15, 2021. I will release here it on this site, and on Wattpad on the 15th, and I think you will enjoy Lily’s adventures in this new book.

 

My Secret!

I am thrilled to announce that I will publish a serial novel starting in mid-April!

What does that mean? It means that on this website, and on wattpad.com, I will publish my newest novel, The Stained Glass Window, in three parts. The book will be free to all readers, and can be shared out as well.

Why do this? Sometimes it is fun to try something new. For a while now, I’ve been writing serial novels as a ghostwriter, and I decided I wanted to write one under my name and share it with all of you. The first section will release on April 15, 2021.

And I cried…

After Sam died, I wasn’t sure if I would ever stop crying.

For weeks, I cried daily, sometimes multiple times in one day. We all cried like that. Sometimes it would be slow, soft crying, with tears running down my cheeks one at a time. Sometimes I cried so hard it hurt. Sobbing, really. Tears would stream down my face, wetting my shirt, running into my mouth. Snot would stream down as well, and eventually, my eyes would swell almost shut from the process.

Over time, the crying slowed, then mostly stopped. Not that I wasn’t still grieving, I will grieve for the rest of my life.

Then, in May 2019, my husband was diagnosed with ALS. And I cried. We cried. Again, sometimes slow, quiet tears. Sometimes loud sobs. I cried in anger. Frustration. Disbelief. Grief. Fear.

Slowly, the tears mostly stopped. It’s not that as we cross over some milestones in this process that I don’t cry, because I certainly do, but not like I did in the beginning.

At first, after the diagnosis, I joined Facebook groups about ALS. Less than a week later, I had to leave them. The daily list of hell people were going through, or their deaths left me terrified and sobbing.

Then, I rejoined, and I found hope, a sense of community, and practical answers to my questions. Suggestions. Humor.

And love. Relentless love.

Those groups, those posts, became a daily part of my life, and still are. They keep me focused on love and advocacy. They remind me that no matter how daunting the situation, you can always find love and humor, and always, always find something for which to be grateful.

In the course of this, I started following one particular pALS (patient or person with ALS). A devoted family man, a teacher, someone with a great sense of humor. Almost every day, I would tell my family about one of his posts. He talked about the daily progression of ALS with brutal honesty and humor, as did his wife.

Over the last few days, I learned he is about to transition to his next phase of existence in this universe. Logically, I had known that for a while. But reading the posts announcing his entry into the last phase? I cried.

No, I didn’t cry. I cried long enough to tell my husband and youngest son why I was suddenly in tears while we were watching The Voice.

Then I sobbed. I sobbed for the injustice of the FDA loudly and clearly showing they don’t care about ALS patients. I sobbed for husbands and wives, losing the loves of their lives. I sobbed for children robbed of parents and grandparents. I howled through my tears for siblings, watching their brothers and sisters wither away.

Finally, the tears stopped, and I sat and gave thanks. I gave thanks for a husband who understood why I was crying for someone that I’d never had the chance to meet in person. I gave thanks for a son who just quietly hugged me when I came back to the TV room. I gave thanks for friends and family who are with us every step of the way.

No matter how deep the grief, the sadness, there is always something that brings light and hope, and for that, I am so grateful.

 

The Big News!

I am thrilled to announce (oops, I announced it on Twitter and FB last week) that my next novel, Competing with the Dead Man, will be published in late 2021 or early 2022 by Between the Lines Publishing.

Finally, Boone, from More Than I Can Say, comes back to the page. Will Boone find true love, or will he lose to the dead man?

A Very Belated Happy 2021!

What a long, strange almost two months it has been since I last posted here…

The holidays were unique. Quiet, poignant, different, but beautiful. We enjoyed socially distant visits with family and friends, and made some new traditions.

Then we looked forward to the start of 2021. We thought that perhaps the darkness and sadness of 2020 would be left behind. Unfortunately, the events in D.C. on January 6th shook us to our cores, leaving us emotionally battered and fearful for the future, and COVID continues to ravage our people.

Thankfully, the rest of January had more calm and hope. Bernie memes made us laugh, and a new puppy joined the family. Love, laughter, and hope seem to prevail.

Now we wait for COVID vaccines. Getting opinionated here, I can not for the life of me understand why someone with ALS wouldn’t be at the top of the list for the vaccines after essential workers. But that is not the case in Vermont, so we will wait as patiently as we can, staying home and being as careful as we can be.

Spring is coming, and we can’t wait. Garden seeds have been ordered, and we are already sketching out the planting maps.

As we look forward to the rest of 2021, all we want is love, peace, hope, treatments for ALS, laughter, and time with loved ones. May you all have a 2021 filled with love and hope!

Love Chicken-Style

In the last week, we have lost two members of our family community. Our dog, Sobaka, and our oldest hen, Red, passed away. Both had lived long, long, long past the normal lifespans of their respective species, but we still feel the losses deeply.

Humans often have the misguided idea that only humans feel emotions, and only humans have friendships.  Baka, as we called him, and Red proved that wrong. Over the last nine to ten months, they spent countless hours together. When young, Baka would chase the chickens. By this spring, he was ready to just hang out with them. He’d slowly wander out to see the chickens, and he’d find a sunny spot to lie down in the grass, and Red would come over to sit with him. Baka had lost much of his hearing and sight, and Red was asthmatic and often a bit confused where she was, but they formed a deep and trusting friendship.

Last Friday, Baka was nearing the end of his life and he clearly knew it. He walked down to visit the sheep and Ellsy, then laid down next to their fence. Red came over and sat with him, the sheep laid on the other side of the fence, as if they all knew it was his time. When I walked him back up to the house so we could take him to the vet’s office, Red followed along for as long as she could.

That night, when I went to bring in the chickens, Red was clearly sad. She came to stand with me, wanting to pet her, which I did for a long, long time. She was grieving.

Monday, Red passed away. I can say it was from old age. I think it was from a broken heart. Her friend had left her, and she was ready to go join him.

I openly admit I cried a second river that afternoon. Red had been a constant part of our lives since before Sam died, and while she hadn’t laid an egg in years, she was a sweet friend. Losing two of our creatures who Sam had loved and known also hit harder than I can express. But, I can say without hesitation, that I am thankful for all that both creatures taught us.

They loved each other.  They proved that emotion and friendship are not limited to humans, and I am so glad they shared themselves with us.