A September to Forget

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This September I had a close brush with death.

I’m not exaggerating this at all, but honest to goodness, sitting there going “you know what? I think I might die very soon!”

Me and my household caught COVID from my wife’s best friend, S. She caught it from work. Ultimately, no one is to blame. You may believe in the medical security theater of masks and social distancing. I do not. I’ve done my research and looked into these policies origins and found circular reference junk science at the root. You do what you feel to function in your life. Just don’t expect me to join in.

That said, COVID is dangerous, but not for the reasons you think. It tears up your red blood cells and hemoglobin, which forces the liver to try and extract those dangerous bits of cell and free radical iron, but it can’t do that very well. So the next line of defense against that is your lungs which quickly become inflamed and fill with liquid that THEN turns into the real killer: pneumonia or other lung infections. Of course it’s doing incredible damage to the alveoli in there too. So don’t think I’m downplaying the danger of COVID. I respect it and regard it like I would Meningitis or Measles or Pneumonia. Deadly if ignored, but easily dealt with, if you take care of your nutrition and get the proper therapeutics (therapeutics that are illegal in the US, but working miracles in a dozen other nations).

And no, don’t talk to me about the vaccines either. If you want to take it, you do that. I’ve done my research, and I don’t trust any of those companies to do me anything but find a way to cause harm. So, if you want that discussion, don’t. Please. You do what you need to feel safe and I won’t talk down to you for your choice.

But I survived. I’m into week 3 since I got infected and it’s been a very tough road with hospitalization and supplemental oxygen (I was down to 65 at times at my lowest and panting like a dog in heat. Normal is 96). My Dr. figures it will be another week or two before I’m more or less fully back to normal. At that point, I hope to get back to writing, working on the graphic novel, talking to artists and all that. It sucks that this cancelled my honeymoon, but whatcha gonna do but reschedule? So more to come soon.

Rest assured, I’m resting and being careful, lest there be some hidden damage caused by COVID like Myocarditis or blood clots. My Dr. has been very very good (even with the FDA and CDC refusing him access to proven drugs to cure the disease.) and moved quickly to keep me out of the ICU where our friend S. is.

Prayers for S. are greatly appreciated. She is still intubated and ventilated and her status has plateaued. We pray that she can overcome this and her previous health conditions, but it’s all in God’s hands. We are praying heartily that He shows his grace and mercy and takes all the glory unto Him in healing S, but if that is not His desire, we pray that He takes her home. After events in August, and the deliverance and spiritual warfare we were all involved with, I’m certain she will be glad to go home to Him, if He does not have more work for her in this world.

With a bit of a smirk and an eye roll I will say that there have been two silver linings from all this. #1, I am free of pitting edema in my left leg. This health problem has dogged me for over a decade, and its finally gone. Amazing. #2, I dropped 40lbs the hard way. That’s almost 6 inches on the waist, so that’s pretty fantastic too. I do NOT recommend the COVID diet where I couldn’t eat for 4-5 days. Don’t do it.

But I hope all is well with you all and the Lord’s blessing you mightily, as he has blessed me and my family. Major cheers to my wife who was my nursemaid through out all this. She was just wonderful and I cannot say enough good about her. I wouldn’t have made it without all she did.

Go well, God bless.

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A Crisis of Doubt (Bonus Draft Excerpt!)

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I’ve been radio silent for a few weeks now because I’ve been struggling with some things in regards to “A Light Rises in a Dark World”.  I opened myself up to ask others what they thought of it in a professional forum to see what kind of surface reaction I was getting.  Everyone was great with what they told me and the criticisms all honest, having validity and expressed the opinions of those who cared to share.  I appreciate all of them, so don’t think I’m bashing them or unappreciative to what they did.

What this is about is an unintended consequence of doing such a thing that caused me to stumble in my productivity and confidence in my book.

I’ve had a set of good and bad reviews lately, and I had started to doubt my work.  Not the quality of it, but its public visage.  I started to question the cover, the title, the sales copy (oh yeah that’s puppy poo and needs to be reworked, for sure)… but the title?  The cover?  Like I said, a crisis of doubt.

But three other incidents have gotten around the corner.

My editor reminded me I get streaky like this where I’ll go ‘fallow’ (my word) for a few weeks, but bounce back with a lot of productivity.  I just need time to let the stew in my head simmer.  Let me tell you, it’s more complex and time consuming than black roux gumbo can be, and just as fraught with disaster.  So she’s the one that helped me realize I was lying on the floor covered in self doubt.

So while I was mulling about that, my writing buddy and friend, Dave, came along and reminded me that I was looking for reason to doubt myself.  Reasons to tear down everything and dispair.  Something I am still wondering about.  So he helped pick me up and made sure I was standing again.

Then Torfinn, the man that makes the foreign words work right and provider of good suggestions came in, and made some simple apt points about what was said and showed me again the good things that were said to counterbalance out all the negative stuff I was feeling that really may not have been there in the first place, but only in my own doubt.  So in essence, he dusted me off, straightened my tie and got me thinking about what needs to be done next.

So to you three, thank you.

Upshot of all this has yeilded some interesting thoughts in my head.  I realize I’ve been struggling with the “What Next” question.  I know what I want to talk about, and I’m shaping out the characters, but I haven’t found the right way to fit them all together in Book 2.  Until I do, I can’t make myself move forward it seems, but I can cogitate a lot about it.

Which has lead for me to understand the themes for books 1-5 better.  Yes… you heard me right, I’m already thinking 3 books ahead.  Pretty easy when book 3 is half written already, but with what’s going on in book 2 that’s going to take some heavy modification which I’m really salivating about doing… but can’t till I get done with book 2 because I need to understand the world that is being built better.  Every book is worldbuilding in chronological order for me.

Why you may ask?  Because I leave myself open to happy accidents.  It’s how I got the whole third act of book 1.  (Or as it will soon be known as ‘Volume 3’)  I knew where I needed to be, then let the characters and world tell me what was happening.  Of course, I got that done in a much more compressed timeframe than this, but it was nowhere near as complex as what I’m doing now.  The interconnectivity… oh you’ve heard this all before.  I’ll bore you to tears with that some other time.  Anyway.  I’m at 36.5 chapters, I have a new visual image going in my head that helps me understand my map the people and how the story must progress.

It’s going to be fun.

Lastly, I will be releasing Book 1 Volume 1 of “A Light Rises in a Dark World” this month still.  Putting finishing touches on my new cover.  Keep an eye out, for it’s going to be “BAM!  Surprise launch!”

And as a thank you for your patience, here’s another first draft exerpt from Book 2 for you.  Remember… this is a FIRST draft excerpt because y’all are worth it.

Bon appetit!

The Jarl’s Hall was impressive to say the least, Brother Finn thought as he walked up to the large structure.  It was twice as large as the Stallare’s Hall in Athrvorthfestning, but comparable to others he had been to.  What made this one stand out all the more was the incredible decorations at the entrance.  Trophies of animals, and demonspawn stood there or were mounted on the walls.  Carvings of great hunts were etched around the massive pillars while ornate tapestries dripped down from the walls.  The long hearth in the middle was roaring as the clergy from all around the area filed in as a processional to the chanting of the choristers in their midst.  The song finished as the last of the clergy reached their seats.

Jarl Jakob Vilhoaettir sat in the high seat watching the procession filed in and took their seats at the table.  Bishop Aarlig Krakisson stood before the Jarl and the Domari stood before him as the Thing finished assembling.  After the Kyrjka was seated, the Huskarls allowed the Forsamling who wished to be witnesses to enter, sitting on the outer benches by the walls.  Silence was strictly enforced.  Those who dared talk could expect to be escorted to the dungeon without hesitation.

When everyone was seated and the only sounds were the crackling of the hearth and the rain hissing on the roof, the Domari turned to face his master.  His form swallowed up in the all black robes of his office with a golden staff in hand taller than a man by half again.  On its tip, was a figurine of balances resting on top of the seal of the Vilhoaettir.  

“Deres Naade, we are ready,” he said with funeral humor.

Jarl Vilhoaettir nodded, his face a serene mask.

With the bottom of his staff, he pounded the timber floor the traditional seven times.  The knocks brought even greater quiet to the hall.

“Damer and Herrar, we are assembled this day, April the eleventh, in anno Domini One Hundred and Ninety Two Ad Segregationem.  We call forth a special assembly of the Thing that justice may be done!”  The man’s powerful voice cracked off the wooden walls loud as any herald.  

“All come forth in fear and trembling in the presence of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and before the justice of Den Aerefulle Jakob Fritjovsson Vilhoaettir.  May all those who speak, do so in the Spirit of Truth, and no falsehood be found among the Thing.  Pay heed to this warning, for all may be judged for their actions and words.”

The Domari’s sparkling blue eyes swept over the hall, challenging anyone to disagree.  None did.

X-Post… Launch Countdown halted

Well, not halted, just… sigh… just not able to launch like I hoped.  Similar to launching a rocket, sometimes the countdown has to be stopped for some reason, and I hit one of those kinds of snags.

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Before I can use some of the services that would help for getting reviews, I must have the cover complete first, not a temporary cover.

So I guess I’m ready to send it out to those who wish to review it that I’ve found. So, If you haven’t contacted me and you want a review copy in which to brag about, contact me. I will probably be sending them out later today to those I know, so if you did not get one, you need to contact me  through here right away!  Get me your emails so you can be part of the fun!