My year has gone from chaos and craziness to numbers and routines. We've dealt with the darker side of Autism and mental illness, the big "c" word, and now (juvenile) diabetes. The year of 2012 definitely lent itself to the spectacular, heartbreaking, and heartwarming. While I don't normally do an end of year blog, I felt the need to do so this year.
I have books to write! I have people asking for books! I have several in the works, partially and mostly written. So, what's kept me from finishing them up? LIFE.
In the early part of the year I was dealing with my son's Autism and mood disorder. It was hell on Earth for a while. I couldn't get anyone to listen to me. I lived with my parents back then, after my separation from my husband. I couldn't make my dad understand that if he approached my son differently, things wouldn't get so stressed and out of control. My dad, like many other adults who aren't familiar with Autism and mental illness, couldn't grasp the concept. He felt my son should understand, and should be "normal". It added a lot of stress to an already bad situation. My son's doctors wouldn't listen to me about his medications either. They just wanted to up the dosages, add more meds, etc. All I wanted was for them to take them away and start fresh to see how things would progress. Clearly, the regimen they had him on wasn't working.
My kids and I moved out of my parent's house in May. We got our own place, and things began to look up. My son's behavior was noticeably different from the start. I began weening him off his meds (yes, against the doctor's advice), and since then, we've had zero fits. ZERO. As opposed to the nearly daily outbursts we were having before. We had a win - finally! I had my son back. For that, 2012 will always be a shining moment.
I was also dating again in 2012. Having been married for 13 years, and separated from my ex for a year and a half, walking into the dating world again was scary and strange. I don't go to work or church or any social clubs to meet people, so I turned to the internet. Some of the weirdos weed themselves out for you in that respect. I was asked in January if I could be pregnant by March so that this guy could have a baby this year. (YIKES and HELL NO) I was asked to be the second wife in a marriage. (AGAIN - YIKES AND OH, HELL NO!) I had grown up men approach me in e-mails with nothing better to say than "hey, nice boobs!" And yes, I censored that a bit. None of that was really the worst part of dating. The worst part is having the courage to put your heart on the line only to have it broken (again) by someone you thought you could trust. I did learn at least one lesson though. Trust your gut! Mine was not wrong, and sometimes you need to just throw a muzzle over that heart and listen to your instincts instead. I also learned the fine art of forgiveness.
My year saw my oldest daughter off to college at 16. She's amazing, beautiful, talented, and fiercely independent. She's done well. She's made me beyond proud of her. She now has a full semester of college under her belt and a world of experiences that are shaping who she will become as an adult. Even though it's hard to let go, it's so very amazing to see who she's becoming.
In between all of this, I've also dealt with health issues myself. In the early part of the year I had an abnormal pap. Nothing new for me, and I know, not something one really enjoys talking about. I am going to talk about it though. WHY? Because my little abnormal pap grew out of control rapidly. It was not the first I had ever had. The specialist I was sent to decided that since it was only a (LSIL) low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion, that I should just leave it alone and come back in 6 months to be re-checked. He never did the colposcopy I was sent to him for. Therefore, the results were never double checked for accuracy.
Six months later, my regular doctor called me in for my check up results. I knew it wasn't going to be good, because I normally I would get the news over the phone. She informed me that my results came back high this time, and I would need to go back to the specialist for further testing and biopsy. I was certainly not going back to the same "specialist" so she sent me to another group. There, I would learn that I was now at an HSIL (CIN-2) stage. After Cin-2 comes Cin3 then cervical cancer. SIX MONTHS. Doctors like to say, oh, it can take years for you to go from low level to cancer. That's what my doctor said when he did nothing at the beginning of the year. But it took only 6 months for my body to jump from low-level to that advanced. I did have surgery to remove those bad parts. Hopefully, when I got back to the doctor in 2013 for my check-up everything will be clear. Ladies, do yourself a favor, if you haven't had a pap in a while, get checked! I'm going to throw a stat out there for you, even though I hate them... *80% of women will become infected with HPV in their lifetime. That's changing somewhat with the vaccine that is available to younger women and girls, and maybe one day it won't be a concern anymore. For those in my age group, it still is. Something worth note for us is that HPV dna tests are also available these days to distinguish if you have the strain that can cause cervical cancer. That way you know to be more vigilant with your checkups. It's a frightening situation when you are told you may have cancer. When it's caught early, it can be dealt with very easily though. So, go get checked!
I thought that would be the end of the year's bad news. We jumped a couple major hurdles, and moved on with our lives. The year was going to close out, not in a bang, but in a delicate sigh. That was the plan. No drama, no medical issues, no dating catastrophes, just a nice easy slide into 2013. That was the plan! Until two days before Christmas when my youngest daughter, who is 8, got extremely sick. Her illness came on fast. It presented like the flu, with her waking in the middle of the night to throw up with a fever. And by mid-day Sunday, we were running her to the emergency room. Before we got there she went blind. She was having trouble staying awake, and once there, she was so confused she thought she was at school and telling me I forgot to pack her lunch. Before long, we couldn't understand what she was saying anymore. Everything came out as garbled gibberish. Then she was in and out of consciousness as the ER prepped her to be transferred to a children's hospital pediatric intensive care unit. One of the first nurses who saw her immediately said, "She's gonna be DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis)." He was talking to the other two nurses who were in the room. I had no clue what that meant at the the time, but I will NEVER forget it. I caught snipets of conversation about blood sugar before they stuck her. Then the nurse told us her blood sugar was 590 and that it should be between 70-120. The blood sugar wasn't the only problem, her body had been building up ketones (acids) that were making her sick too.
We knew that her blood sugar was elevated, we didn't know why. It wasn't until we got to the PICU at the children's hospital that we started having questions answered. We'd never had a type 1 diabetic in the family. That was one of the questions they asked us. "It appears your daughter has type 1 diabetes. Don't beat yourself about anything, this is how a lot of people find out, hopefully, we can keep her on track from here on out so she doesn't end up with anymore hospital stays."
I cried. I know it's not the end of the world. My baby will get better, she can do just about anything she wants in life still. She just has to be careful, eat right, and take her shots. I still cried. This is the sweetest little girl. Seriously, she's always been a bundle of joy. I have often said her greatest joy in life is going to be having her own kids one day, because she just has so much love to give everyone. She's always super positive about everything too. Which is why it broke me when my little girl looked up at me, tearing up, and her first coherent words to me were, "mommy, I think I'm dying." There are certain things that just get seared into your brain. That moment is one of them for me. It hits you in the gut and doesn't let you go. I reassured her that she wasn't dying, I made it through that moment without crying, till she fell asleep again. And then I went to bargain with God. I don't normally pray. I'm agnostic. I believe in a higher being, even though I don't like organized religion. I prayed that I could take her place. I prayed that the doctors were wrong and this was some freak thing that would never happen again. Then I prayed to take her place over and over again. Then I cried some more because I knew nothing was going to change her circumstances.
My daughter got better. She's still diabetic. Our diabetes counselor informed us, she is not ill. She is diabetic. She is only ill if she doesn't take care of herself. We check her blood sugar levels about 6 times a day, she gets one shot at night every night, and then corrective shots throughout the day with each meal now, and more as needed. My baby is back home now, and we've gone from a mildly chaotic environment to being ruled by numbers and schedules. We're counting carbs in food and making sure the correct portion sizes are given (a very distressing matter for the mac-n-cheese lover herself). We are adjusting to a new way of life. I suppose this means that we will roll into 2013 not as quietly as I had hoped, but perhaps healthier, and thankful that after a year of tremendous ups and downs we still have each other.
I am hopeful that life will get back to normal, and that my creative juices will be flowing faster for 2013. I would really like to write more. It's my job, after all. I would really like to see everyone be happy and healthy this year. Those are my goals for 2013, and they are definitely attainable. They are also simplistic, which I need now that everything is scheduling and numbers. Did I mention I usually thrive in chaos? lol
OH - and before I go - the heartwarming part...
My daughter spent Christmas in the hospital. I cried more times than I care to share because of the kindness that was shown to her by strangers while she was there. She received a visit & gift from Santa himself, cards, toys, coloring books, etc. from children & families who had spent previous holidays in the hospital too. The local Girl Scout troop brought out a card and gifts for her as well. A local musician set up in the playroom and performed Christmas carols for the kids to make them feel better. All of it was time, energy, and items donated for one simple reason - to make others feel well. We would like to thank each and every one of them!
I would also like to extend a special thanks to our waiter and the manager of Olive Garden on Two Notch Road in Columbia, SC. While my baby was in the PICU we had an hour twice a day where we had to leave while the staff conducted shift change. It had already been two days of solid hospital cafeteria food, so my ex-husband took me down the road to Olive Garden for some "real food". It was Christmas Eve, we got there 30 minutes before they closed, and apologized to our waiter for our bad timing. He was gracious enough to tell us not to worry, that "closing time" meant no new customers, but that we were fine. He also heard us talking about our daughter who was in the hospital, and apparently passed that on to his manager. When we were finished our meal, the waiter brought our mints, and no check. He said that the manager had taken care of us and hoped out daughter got better. I didn't even try to hold back the tears as I thanked him. On our way out, we ran into the manager and stopped him to thank him too. He again offered us well wishes for our daughter and a Merry Christmas.
Having my faith in humanity restored a bit, and knowing there are still kind, caring people out there definitely made a sweet ending to 2012.
...IT ALL STARTS WITH A PHONE CALL...
Space Herpes... Quote from: Zeno - Ice Pirates
I hate waiting. I especially hate waiting to hear bad news. Doctors' offices should be split by good news and bad news waiting rooms. People getting good news will simply continue to bask in their good news glory while the rest of us unlucky souls get called back one at a time, waiting our turn for the hammer to drop.
Good news, after all, is worth waiting for. Having to sit through face after smiling face of good news recipients just adds insult to the already injured! Screw you - happy, shiny, good news people - screw you!
Okay, I'm really not that bitter. I'm cool with the fact that someone else gets to walk out with a smile on their face. Seriously, wish it were me waving happily at the bad news people, wondering why they are all flipping me off as I head out the door.
The worst is when you go to the doctor knowing full well you're about to get bad news. You know when you get the call...
"Ms. X, we need you to come in today at two and discuss your lab results."
"Oh shit! Oh crap! It's space herpes isn't it? Damn those anal probing aliens! Who do they think they are?"
A little muffled laughter on the other end of the phone and the receptionist/nurse starts again, "are you going to be available at two today?"
"If I say yes, are you going to be available at two?"
"I'm sorry?" The receptionist clearly didn't pick up on my meaning.
"You know, am I going to get there 15 minutes early only to watch two o'clock come and go, waiting for my particular brand of bad news until closer to three?"
"Um, I'm not sure. Look, are you going to be available at two or not?"
"Yeah, sure! I will be your bad news hostage at two. Are you sure it's not just space herpes?
LATER ON THAT DAY... a little after 2 o'clock
"Yep, that's me." This is the point where you let them see you checking your watch or the nearest clock. "Wow, have I really been here for 20 minutes already?"
"I don't know, but we need your co-pay, please!"
"Of course," I reluctantly hand over my not so shiny little blue plastic card and pay the lady. There seems to be some sort of tragic circumstance here though. Having to pay to get bad news is just cruel and unusual. Screw those murderers on death row, who's gonna lobby for the "bad news" patients' rights?
"Thank you, have a seat and someone will be with you shortly!"
...30 MINUTES LATER...
By now I am muttering under my breath, possibly to the unfortunate soul who managed to sit too close, despite my overly anxious, ticked off demeanor. "If one more grinning idiot walks out here waving at me - I WILL explode!""Ms. X, you can come back now."
Well, I've only been here for nearly an hour now, you would think I would be ecstatic about this bit of news, but not now. Now, I am used to the waiting room. I am people watching, and occasionally trying to figure out who the baby-daddy is on Maury - because Maury Povich is inevitably DNA testing someone every single time I am sitting in a waiting room. I believe his show might just contract with waiting rooms around the country, possibly the world, to make sure we all get to see the baby-daddy drama we never knew we were missing! But I digress, as I have a story to continue here.
I meander up to the disgruntled nurse escort that has come to meet me in the waiting room. She sort of smiles and I follow her through the winding corridors, you know, the ones hospitals and clinics use to make it impossible not to get lost!
I lean in close, ready to ask a question, as she first eyes me and then the scale. The SCALE, which has been cleverly placed in the middle of the hallway, where people are lined up and waiting in what seems to be the waiting room overflow area. Why not? Because - being told my weight is already such a joy that I absolutely WANT to share it with all these people too!
"Seriously, you can tell me - is it space herpes?"
"How about we get your weight and blood pressure first, and then I'll go pull your information."
Wait... What? You haven't "pulled" my information yet? So, you don't even know what my afliction is? And now, you're telling me I have to wait... AGAIN?
Okay, on the bright side, I have my own room now. There are no more good news grins walking by giving me the "I don't have the Clap after all" thumbs up! The downside, more waiting and wondering. With all the ailments I have diagnosed myself with by now, the least of which being space herpes, I could be dead before I get these damn results. There has to be a more efficient way of...
*Knock kock* "Hi, how are you?"
"Just tell me if it's space herpes already!!!"
"You're so funny!"
"Okay, well, I called you in here, because..." BAD NEWS DELIVERED WITH A SMILE, and a squeeze of the thigh in reassurance. "Do you have any questions?"
"Just one, why couldn't it be space herpes? At least then I'd have a cool story. This just sucks!"
That's okay though, I know just what I need to cheer me up. I'm gonna go march back out to that damn waiting room and give everyone a big cheesy grin and a double thumbs up. I'm gonna make those bastards wonder what good news I got while they were suffering through the waiting room blues! Better yet, I'm gonna tell them the good news!
"Good news, y'all!!!" Obligatory thumbs up and cheesy grin, "it's not space herpes!"
*audible gasps* & *audible chuckles*
So, there are two hot topics on my mind these days. Hell, you might say, in a way, they go hand in hand.
1) Some government moron decided it would be good to allow a woman's EMPLOYER and/or insurance company to decide if they want her to take birth control or not (deciding whether insurance will cover costs). And then, the little lemmings in office ran with that disgusting little idea in the form of The Blunt Amendment - which was killed in the Senate recently - thankfully!
2) Paypal, under supposed influence of the major credit card companies - IE: BANKS, have decided that Indie authors can no longer sell erotica titles that deal at all with the following topics: Rape, Incest, & Bestiality.
I'm going to tackle these separately - birth control first - because I want you to stew over those three questionable erotica choices for a few minutes first.
My Body... My Choice... My Birth Control...
Even when I was abstinent (that means not having sex, people) I still took "the pill."
Why on earth would anyone take "the pill" if they aren't trying to stop pregnancy?
It's simple, that little pill, that may keep me from not getting pregnant when I actually have sex, is also the same little pill that helps reduce the God-Awful PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) symptoms I suffer with. What is that? In short, it means that the week before and during my period I am prone to serious bouts of anger issues, irritability, and mood swings thanks to my body's stupid response to hormones! It also means that I have other exaggerated period symptoms - like a super long, super heavy period, severe - drop you to your knees cramps, bloating, and super-tiredness. You'd be super freaking tired too if you were bleeding to death and in torturous pain, all while super duper emotional!
So, what does "the pill" do for me and why is it important? I take Yaz, which helps lesson all those symptoms a LOT! As in, I can actually function, and have a normal life, without resigning myself to bed and making sure no one disturbs me. I REALLY, REALLY wish my hormones were normal, and that they got along with the rest of my body, but they don't. So, I take the pill to moderate between the two. It works. :)
Women - voters - take note of who tried to take away your right to choose, and stand strong at the polls next time! Any government official who believes that a woman's right to medicines should be regulated by her bosses, insurance agents, and the government needs to lose their damn position - immediately!
And what do you suppose is going to happen if they one day get their way, maybe other hormone therapies will be on the chopping block next. Those silly "fat people" don't have a REAL thyroid issue. It's all in their heads, and the food they're eating!!! You laugh now, mark my words, if you let the government, insurance companies, and especially our employers start dictating what can and can't be covered based on their own MORALS and VALUES (cough, laugh, cough) then you are asking for exactly that to happen! It will not stop at Birth Control or Plan B.
I'm sorry, but my body is just that! MINE! And if I don't ever want to get pregnant again - that is my damn choice, as well as my own business! I, personally, already have 4 children. I have done more than my part in over-populating the world thanks to my rabbit like reproductive abilities. The last thing I need is another one, and no - you pious sons of bitches, I am not giving up sex! If God didn't want us doing it, he wouldn't have made it feel so good! ;)
Big Business & Censorship
Okay, before I go off on another tangent, let's move along to the second issue... CENSORSHIP by BIG BUSINESS!!
Don't think this happens? Think again! It's happening RIGHT FREAKING NOW! Smashwords, a fantastic resource for Indie Authors to get their books distributed to many retailers, including ibooks, Sony, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon, is currently in talks with Paypal about the censorship request that Paypal handed down last month.
What is Paypal trying to censor? Well, they have put Smashwords on notice that they will sever business ties with them if erotica books dealing with the following themes are not taken down immediately: Rape, Incest, and Bestiality.
"Those are all three amoral, horrible things," you say."Who cares," you say. Well, I do! Now, I'm going to tell you why.
If I want to read FICTION about any of those subjects, it's no one else's business! If I want to WRITE fiction about any of those things, again, it's no one's business, but mine and the consumer who wants to read it. Take a look at free source places like Literotica.com (WARNING that link is for an ADULTS only site!) and you will see that in their "top lists" Incest is one of the biggest read genres, for whatever reason. I'm not here to judge anyone else's fantasies. What I am here to do is protect our ability to write stories, read stories, and not have a business tell us what we can and can't say in them!
Because, as with the above jump from birth control to thyroid medication, if we don't stop it somewhere... it won't stop. Next thing you know some Visa exec has issues with trolls, or dolls, or those freaky clowns that plague my nightmares! Think I'm stretching things? Think again. Under the current rules that Paypal has handed down to Smashwords ( again supposedly in response to pressure from the major credit card companies) world famous author Laurrel K. Hamilton wouldn't be able to have her best selling, extremely popular Anita Blake series for sale. Why? It has instances of rape and bestiality. Go ahead, let the gasps out. How can a NY Times Best Seller have anything to do with bestiality? Well, children, Mrs. Hamilton writes about fantasy creatures, were-creatures, humans who change into animals. In one of her books, these were-creatures were forced to have sex on tape (RAPE), and forced to shift into their animal form during sex (BESTIALITY). Snuff films were being made - if you don't know what that is, look it up yourself, I'm not Wikipedia! And anyway, I am sure "snuff literature" will be added to the list soon too. lol
If that example didn't work for you, think about it like this... Twilight is wildly popular right now, but damn that dirty Bella! She's a necropheliac - I mean, come on, she had sex with a technically dead person! I'm sure necrophelia will be added to that list of taboo - censored books too! And when she was hanging out with Jacob, she was in danger of committing bestiality, he's a freaking wolf after all! You see where I am going with this? Yeah, that's what worries me. Once we allow BUSINESS to censor what we read, write, and sell they will not stop. There goes Fantasy and Sci-Fi books because God-forbid Captain Kirk have sex with those aliens, or werewolves and humans fall in love! In closing, I would like to say:
The People have a voice, if we make it loud, and speak up for our own fundamental rights, then maybe we can hang onto those rights for a little while longer! :) Happy reading and breeding! ;)
- If you don't personally want to take birth control for religious/moral reason - then don't do it! And good for you, for sticking to your beliefs and not being a hypocrite, really! I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
- My beliefs and yours are NOT the same though. So, I will respect your decision to have 15 more children because you don't want to use birth control. Please, respect my decision not to suffer from PMDD and to do the responsible thing and not have any more children. I don't want to bring more into this world than I can care for!
- Also, if you don't want to read about RAPE, INCEST, BESTIALITY, CLOWNS, VAMPIRES, or HOW TO MAKE SMILEY FACE PAINTINGS OUT OF COKE BOTTLES... then don't read those things! I understand it goes against your beliefs, but no one made you buy it, and certainly no one sat there and made you read it! If you don't like it, leave it alone. If everyone that reads it goes to the hell of your imagining, then so be it. It was their choice to go! Leave them to it!
I've been separated/divorced for a year and a half now. I figured it was about time to get out there and meet some people. Unfortunately, I had a few things NOT going for me.
1) New to the area - only moved here after my separation.
2) I work from home - don't get out a lot
3) I don't go to bars a lot, because I am a single parent, I HATE ciagarette smoke, and unfortunately smoking in bars hasn't been banned here yet. Besides, meeting a guy at a bar never quite works out the way you think it will... case in point my failed marriage! ;)
4) I don't go to church either. I'm spiritual, and I can be spiritual anytime and anyplace. I don't think I need to be bored to death by lectures that I am really tuning out just to prove how devoted I am. I try, I have good intentions, and then I think about all the other things I could be doing with my time. Besides, I'm not that religious, so meeting a guy at church doesn't seem all that appealing anyway.
So, all those things put together means meeting people is a rarity. Plus, I'm a little shy around new people at first. What's a girl to do then? "Try online dating," friends tell me. It seemed like a logical, easy way to meet people.
Yes, there is always a but when things seem too easy...
| |But... it's been weird...
I tried Zoosk a few months ago, and I decided I didn't want to do the online dating thing after all I didn't even go out on one date. I guess, I just wasn't ready at the time. Then, in Dec. I thought I would try again with a different site. I signed up for Match.com and went out on one date. Then at someone else's suggestions I tried Plenty of Fish, where I was immediately bombarded by pages upon pages of e-mails by the time I woke up the next day. At first, I thought, "cool, this will be even easier than I thought." That was before I started reading the e-mails. A good 75% percent of the people e-mailing me have been questionable to say the least.
<---- That is what my eyes probably looked like while reading some of these e-mails.I was invited to be a sister-wife - you know the 2nd wife in someone's marriage. Um, I'm flattered I think, but really... NO FREAKING WAY! There was the guy who needed me to be pregnant by March, because he wanted to have a baby THIS year! WHAAAAT? Um, good luck with that, with someone else, really!And then, there's my all time personal favorite e-mail: "Hello there, tittie-city!"Yes, that is ALL the e-mail said. And there were a slew of others that said basically the same thing, "love the red shirt, what's underneath?" Awww, I'm sure that was supposed to be a sweet compliment, right? Right? Yeah, I didn't think so. Obviously, some people were meant to be alone. But, I thank them all for weeding themselves off my lists! :D It makes my job of finding someone who isn't going to be a complete waste of my time on a date that much easier!
I've often wondered why some of the dating profiles I read on places like Match.com and POF.com sound really negative. Some of these people seem almost bitter. It's crazy, or so I thought, until I saw the oh so charming (NOT) e-mails that permeated my inbox. Now I understand!
Don't get me wrong, it hasn't been all bad. I have been on some good dates, and I've met some pretty cool people. I am having a great time with the dating thing. It's definitely different than I thought it would be. It's taken some getting used to. And of course, it is helping immensely that the morons seem to weed themselves out faster online than they do in person! Best of all, I get to write all about the crazy, weird, strange, sometimes awesome experiences. And no, I won't name names...
This is what my profile looks like.
My profile now starts out like this...
I have a fantastic sense of humor, however, I will not respond to e-mails like this:
"hello there tittie city" (yes, I actually received that e-mail, and a few more just like it)
If that kind of thing would get you slapped in a bar, why are you going to e-mail it to a chick? You're not impressing her, and all you're gonna have to show for it in the end is an empty lotion bottle and some sticky tissues. ;)
Now, if you're still with me, here's a little bit about me...
SADLY, people can't read! As I still get those e-mails daily! lol
I know this has been a long time coming, but thanks to some family emergencies I had to put a few things on hold for a while. Now that I've had a moment to myself, I was able to get started on my dear friend's second book cover in her Zerrin series. As with the Fantasy Book Cover Creation blog I did previously, I am going to take you step by step through the process of how it was done. Step One - is always the same... you start with an idea and a base image...
I used a different shot of the same girl from the Smitten cover to start on Bitten.The problems to overcome with the original picture and challenges I faced with using this one for the cover...
Here's how I tackled those things:Step one - hair color. I know this is going to be my easiest fix, so I got out my handy-dandy burn tool that I described in the previous blog. And I burned her hair until she looked like this:
- Her hair color and texture - again
- that hideous shirt
- Both sides of her body are cut off and the top of her head, making placement a challenge.
She's still not perfect and that hair is nowhere near what I need it to be, but this is how it all starts. I'm showing you the ugly in-between so you don't become disgruntled when trying it yourself. Yes, sometimes things get ugly before they all come together! :D
So, the next step in this process became placement, thanks to her missing body parts. Some times it is not worth trying to work around those missing pieces. These are things that need to be considered when choosing a model to begin with! I knew I could eventually come up with something for her, despite her lack of limbs and missing the top of her head... so this is how I did it...
Again, before I can place the girl, I need a good background image. It just so happens that when I got the other "sea background" for Smitten I was able to snag a couple variations and this is the one I am using for the Bitten cover.Now that I have a background, I need to drop my girl up there into it and make her look as though she belongs. There are few things I need to think about when getting ready for this step.
- Remember, she's missing limbs - placement is important
- Lighting - it's going to be an issue because this background has a definite source of light that will be visible and we want to be able to blend that light into the girl.
- She's going to be underwater, so as I did with the first cover, I am going to have to make her hair light and floaty
Okay, I forgot to save some of my in between moments here, so bear with me. :) This picture is what I call a rough draft. What I have done is placed the girl - making sure that I addressed the following things:
BUT... I don't like it. Her hair is yuk! The author's name is bugging me for some reason. The title is having issues with the lighting, and my damn mermaids have disappeared. Now it looks like "Vampires Under Water" or something. SO... here come the fixes.
- Her arms are both cut off, so I had to make sure she extended out to both sides of the cover.
- The top of her head is cut off, so I had to fluff her hair a bit, and also make it "float in the water. This was all done with the smudge tool.
- She needed bite marks because she gets bitten (hence the title). The blood, as described in the story is a bluish tint...
- Lighting, I added blue tinted light to each of her eyes to make them stand out, I also added a light source located above and to the right of her head.
- Title and author name - obviously have been temporarily placed as well...
So here's what I have done now...
And now, Patria has book cover #2 in her new Fantasy trilogy. Book Three will be on it's way soon, and there are already some pretty cool ideas flying around about that one. It will be a little different. You're going to see a LOT more of our little cover girl from both the front and the back as she's finally going to see her reflection! That's all I can give away for now. Stay tuned for the third and final installment in Fantasy Book Cover Creation...
- The mermaid tale is back and placed just so beneath the title. It catches the light in all the right places, adds a bit character to the cover, and lets people know that vampires probably aren't camped out under the sea after all.
- Makeup... the poor thing was bitten, but she didn't have to be washed out. Seriously, she undergoes a transformation, and the makeup is going to help illustrate that in this cover.
- The author's name - the lighting was toned down a bit and the name was off centered, as it was on the first cover. It just works for some reason - so I stuck with it.
- Hair - the hair has been softened and allowed to float a bit more. Now she doesn't look like a greasy crack whore who's been bitten by underwater vampires! ;) At least, I hope!
I just designed a book cover, for a friend, that I am absolutely in love with. Now, I am going to tell you how I did it!
Yes, I am sharing trade secrets here, shhh, don't tell anyone! Oh wait, this is a blog - on second though - tell everyone! We bloggers love our traffic! ;)
Okay, so it all starts with an idea.
PATRIA: "I have this idea for an amazing story *edit the details here, because you guys just have to check the book out for yourselves when it releases* do you think you can come up with something for the cover?"
So, Patria sends me a link to these images:
Okay, along with these images she tells me I like the blue thingy in the middle as the "firefly glowing mermaid thingy" those are my words, not hers... hers were probably more sophisticated, but I am too lazy to go look them up! So, I say, okay gimme 5 minutes and I am going to send you an idea to look over and you can tell me what you are thinking - about how they are combined. So, literally 5 minutes later I send her a few selections of basically the same image with different lighting going on...one easy-peasy look at a sample possibility. It looked like this:
This is really easy, we're talking a little lighting on the girl with the top light being white and the undertone light being a bluish hue. Then the words have some lighting effects, all of it on a basic black background. Simple enough for a sample. So, my dear friend says something like, "cool, except my character isn't blond. Can you do something about her hair? And I don't like the black background. Can you do something different with that?"
Why, yes, I can.
So, I am going to describe what I did first then show you the finished project. First, I found a really cool water background image to use. For those who don't know, when I say I found an image to use... I am talking stock photos. The rights to use them are purchased! Photo manipulation is a lovely art, but the original artists/photographers deserve their just due too!
So, first thing's first. I burned blondie's hair! Using the burn tool in Photoshop. Her stick straight blond tresses became a beautiful mix of browns and reds. If you have never used the burn tool before, I suggest trying it out! Photoshop (and similar programs such as Gimp) have an UNDO button for a reason! :D Experiment away!
Then, I dropped my new brunette/redhead onto the background. When I dropped her in, an interesting thing happened. Her nose came right up to those bubbles on the left. However, when she was sized down to a proportionate level, the bubbles were above her head. SO... that lead to my next step. I had to go back to the plain image of the watery background and crop out a section of bubbles. Then, because the water is different colors in certain places I had to erase everything except the outlines of the bubbles. Then I drug that image onto the background and positioned it just so... now, it looked like the girl had bubbles coming from her. :)
My next problem, HAIR. I had a great color change, but no one's hair sticks straight down when they are submerged in the water. So I had to make that hair seem to float a little. Also, one of Patria's requests was to make her look a little more cartoony than realistic. Basically a soft touch on everything. So, I used the blur tool in Photoshop. I blurred out every bit of her hair, then I flared it at the ends to give it that wispy under-water look. For the top of her head, I actually cut out the top of her head from the original picture, and attached it to what was already there, to give me the part and the "other side" of her hair that was doing a little floaty thing at the top. :) OH - and I added some lighting to her face to make it glow a little. And voila, this is where we are...
Now, to tackle the glowy thing that Patria wanted. At this point, my teenage daughter came home from school and is looking at what I am doing. She is wildly fascinated by the hair! I earned cool points for that, but then she's like, "so, why is there a glowing water-sperm on the book cover" OH, NO! Now, all I see when I look at this thing is a glowing water sperm. SIGH So, after about 30 minutes worth of a headache trying to find a way to work this in... I start browsing for other ideas. I think a mermaid tale would be really cool. I am lazy though, did I mention that? While I can draw (somewhat decently) I just prefer the instant gratification of photo manipulation. So, I head back to Dreamstime.com and look for mermaid tales. I came away with this image:
Okay, it's obviously a computer created character image, and I don't like the mermaid herself at all. But what I do like is her tail! And her tail is going to look really cool with the same soft touch elements I used on Blondie's hair! So I crop out just the tail from right below her hand, then I flip it and drop it into the image I already have. It gets re-sized and positioned. Then, it gets that soft touch from the blur tool.
And now, I am almost ready to see the finished image. One thing is lacking... the title and author name. Obviously the very pretty lighting effect I used at first on the black background will not work the same on blue water. So, I go with the color of the light that is filtering through the water. And here is the finished project:
So, I send it to Patria for approval and she responds with this, "Omg you are a freaking genius!!!!!!!"Yeah, that made my day!So, then she asked how I did that to her hair, and I thought it would be cool to share with everyone. :)By the way, you can find out more about Patria's upcoming book (series) from her website: http://patriadunn.moonlitdreams.org/smitten.htmlHappy Reading!
As I stated in my blog My Life With Autism, we had a hard road to get to a diagnosis. Times they are a changing though, and people are getting better about recognizing the symptoms. I now live in a community with many options for early diagnosed Autism. Of course, as I mentioned before, they seem to stop caring after your child hits those tumultuous pre-teen/teen years. I am hoping to change that, but for now, back to our story...My son was hospitalized for a week to stabilize him with new medications, meds that he would be starting for the first time. If I could fast forward and see how long this process really takes, I would have laughed at the doctors who think a week in a hospital will do the trick! My son was put on Risperdal. I freaked out a little bit, at first, when I read that it was commonly used to treat Schizophrenia. It is also commonly used to treat other disorders, including some of the more unsightly symptoms of Autism. When my son came home, he was new and improved! I told him to do something and he actually smiled and did it. No fights. No tantrums. He just did it, and then he had the nerve to ask "is there anything else?" I'm thinking Stepford Wives, or in this case children, maybe Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I don't know what's gone on here, but there seems to be some sort of magic involved. My son just did something after being told, while smiling, and then asked if he could do anything else? Wow! Talk about miracles!Before I tell you how short lived this miracle was, I need to tell you how my son responded to it. I have always worried that psychiatric medicines would make him not himself. I had experience with my step-daughter's mom overdosing her on ADHD meds and she was a zombie on them. She literally would sit around my house as a child and all but drool on herself. Her mom didn't think anything was wrong with that, since it kept her kid quiet, but I was very disturbed by the effects. So, here I am faced with giving my son meds, and worried about him becoming something other than himself. I sat him down and had a real conversation with him. I remember writing about it on my Facebook at the time, because I felt it was the first real conversation I was able to have with him. I asked how the medicine made him feel, and aside from hungry, he said he liked taking it, because it gave him that little something that made him stop and gave him time to think about what he was doing before he did it. In technical terms the medicine works to stop impulsive behaviors, such as yelling no, running away, even screaming. He was able to take a step back and tell us, "I need to go cool off before we talk." YAY! That was our miracle. The first of many tiny ones. The medicine worked, my son wasn't a zombie, life was good... almost.One of the perks of the medicine was being able to see my son's sense of humor. He has an amazing grasp of things and is super funny. It is a trait that was lost in the misery of his disability. Seeing him laugh regularly at age 11 was amazing. Even more amazing, was that he was starting to grasp human emotion and concepts such as empathy. My first real hug from my son came around the same time. There were awkward hugs too, at inappropriate times. There were hugs that lasted too long, or squeezed to tight, or just felt weird. But - they were hugs - initiated by my son. That was the second tiny miracle. I am a huge fan of random hugs with my kids, and now I get them back from him as well. I won't go into the details of my family's inner turmoil at this time, only to say that it was explosive, emotional, and life changing. I felt as though we were finally making great strides in my son's progress only to have them hampered by other things that were going on. My husband and I split up and having nowhere else to go at the time, I moved to South Carolina with my family. Change is not easy on children, especially children within the Autism Spectrum. While my son had been in somewhat of a decline due to the heated emotions in our home before the separation, he went into a tailspin with our move. The defiance was back, with a vengeance, the moods were worse than ever, and to top it all off he couldn't stay focused on school work long enough to write his name on the paper, let alone attempt actual work. Part of this was an ongoing problem with ADD/ADHD, which his doctors still had not started him on meds for. The other part was because the Risperdal actually causes ADHD symptoms as a side affect. This is where you pull your hair out as a parent. What do you do? Are the side effects worth the benefits of the drug? Sometimes I thought yes, other times I thought NO WAY!Along with the Risperdal, which he was now taking 2 times a day, he was given Clonidine (which is a heart medication for adults). In children, Clonidine (small doses) helps with moods. And so it did. I was also told to give him 2,000mg of fish oil pills a day. Studies have shown that increased Omega 3s found in fish oil pills help improve symptoms for people suffering from issues like my son was. I encourage everyone to read about Omega 3s because they are a "super food." They help with your metabolism, heart, cholesterol, inflammatory diseases, the frontal lobe, memory, focus, & moods. This is a SMALL list! It expands exponentially. Anyway, so he takes those three pills every day. It's not enough because, after a while his moods were uncontrollable again. He would cry at the drop of a hat. He was failing nearly all his classes, including science - which was always one of his best subjects. My son was melting down time and again. These melt downs effect our entire family. He will cry, scream, flail about, and it's all someone else's fault. Our family was being beaten down by one boy's tantrums. Day in and day out. It's exhausting. I can't leave the house without having at least him with me at all times, because no one else can handle him. I have become a prisoner to my son. Imagine no nights out. Imagine never having that stress relief of being able to sit back and enjoy a movie with friends, a dinner, coffee... It's not easy and his dad would not take him to give me a break either. So, I've been stuck for the better part of a year with no time off from this nightmare. He's been stuck with me too, and we pretty much resent one another from time to time. I'm being honest here. Yes, it is possible to resent your child. It is possible to hate the lot you've been given, to curse the gods (whichever ones you pray too - if any), to throw in the towel in your own mind over and over. It is possible - I have done it. And then I start all over again the next day. I can't tell you the number of times I have packed my bags and headed out on my own, abandoning my responsibilities in order for one peaceful night! I do this in my head, of course. These are my daydreams - sometimes! Then I get right back up and keep living the same responsibility laden life I have.So, after tearful conversations with my son's therapist he was placed on Depakote, along with everything else, for his mood disorder (bipolar is now among his rather lengthy list of things that he has been labeled with.) Three months. That is how long we tried the Depakote. Three months in which we saw ZERO positive effects from it. By then, my son was in 7th grade. He scraped by and passed out of 6th grade somehow. I actually argued the fact that he should be moving on, but he managed to pass, not by much, everything except math. So, off to 7th grade and within the first 3 weeks of school this year, I was receiving calls from the school. We needed a conference because not only was my son not doing ANY work, he was sleeping through the first half of the day. That was the Depakote at work. That stuff had to go. And it did. It was replaced by Vyvanse for my son's ADHD.WOW! Vyvanse - an amazing little pill! An expensive little pill, but well worth it. My son is not a zombie - which was my biggest fear about ADD/ADHD meds. My son is wide awake, alert, and attentive. Within 2 days of him taking Vyvanse I was getting calls from his teachers. "Whatever you have changed, keep doing it!" "He's wide awake in class now!" "He's doing his work!" "He's making "A" grades!" The best part was my son coming home, actually talking about class. He still doesn't do his homework at home, because he claims he needs more help than I can give him - of that, I have little doubt. My son's grades last year were like this: science - 69; math - 50-60s; ELA - 60-70s. This year he has a high B in almost all his classes. I'm talking 90-91, with exception of ELA which is in the 80s. Writing is his severe learning disability, so that is to be expected. And still, 80s are a huge accomplishment because it's the highest his grade has ever been in that class - EVER! That is an amazing turnaround. On top of those grades comes the most important thing. My son has his confidence back.Things are not perfect! They will never be perfect. We are still trying to find a way to deal with the mood swings and tantrums that come with them. I don't know if new medicines will be needed, and I hope not because he takes enough of them. But I will tell you this, there was a HUGE difference in my son when the medicines were added. The worst side effect to date has been the increased appetite, and even that has balanced out. My son is not a zombie, because he has a parent and a medical professional who monitor to make sure he isn't taking too much medication. He has a great sense of humor, and is becoming an amazing student - finally! Without the medicine the potential to do well was just not there. Well, let me rephrase - the potential was there, but it was locked up and blocked from him. I don't think medicine is for everyone, but I do know that fear of the unknown is what holds a lot of parents and children back from going that route. Medicine for these conditions has advanced dramatically from the days of the zombie-children! My son praises his medicine. He came to me with a huge smile on his face when he held that first progress report of the year! I CRIED, because the words out of his mouth were priceless. "Look mom, I'm really smart like the other kids!" I had to tell him, "you've always been smart like the other kids, it was just hidden away for a while." On the darker days, I look to those fabulous moments of triumph. I remember that first hug from my son because he knew I was sad and that it would make me feel better. I remember the look on his face when he brought me that progress report, and I know that there is hope! Whether it is achieved through medical, therapeutic, and/or other ways - there is always hope of something better for your child, no matter what difficulties they have to overcome. I try to remember those things in our darker moments and it is not always easy. Our lives will never be described as easy! One day, maybe there is hope for easier, and that is what keeps me going. So, here's my word to the wise for those of you who have read these blogs and don't have to deal with this. When you see that frazzled looking person out at the grocery store, or that kid who won't stop screaming, give them a smile instead of your disdain. That small thing in their day, can make the difference between packing those bags and throwing in the towel and making it through another day! I have been that person in the store going, "my child would never behave like that in public." I ate my words when my son came along. You never know what hand you will be dealt, so count your blessings, be thankful, and smile instead! :) We all have our bad days, but even our worst days may not compare to someone else's!
I talk about my life with autism now and again. Sometimes it's just to get things off my chest, other times it's to help with awareness. Right now, it's because I've had a particularly rough week. So, here I am ready to pour my heart and soul out to people, in an effort to make them understand what this life is like.
I have four biological children, two boys and two girls, or as my grandmother would call it, a millionaire's family. (Too bad I didn't think of earning the millions first!) Anyway, my oldest son has always been the difficult one to deal with. I can take the other three together on their worst days and it wouldn't equal my son on a mediocre day. I don't mean to say this to compare my children for good or bad, it just is. I knew things were wrong with my son very early on. For the past few years I have explained to doctors that he had delays since he was 3 or 4 years old, but in looking back at his medical records - you can see where I was questioning the doctors about serious delays or behaviors before he was even a year old. I just know that things started getting really bad by around age 4. And sadly, I couldn't get medical professionals to believe me or take me seriously. My son, at 4 years old, would throw horrible screaming fits, and threaten to kill himself. As a parent, hearing that from such a small child, it was like having nothing I had ever experienced. It was literally as if someone cut me open and ripped my insides out. I started questioning everything. I called the doctor, again they didn't believe me. I would have to hold my son down to keep him from hurting himself when he got into his tantrums. He would claw himself, try to bang his head against things. I was there alone, with two other children. My husband was out to sea at the time with the Navy. When it got to be too much I would call my mother to come help me. She was astounded by my son's behavior, too.
There's another side to my son, though. He can be a bright shinning person when he wants to be. He charms the pants off of all the adults he meets. This is what made it difficult for me to get those medical professionals to believe me. It wasn't until my son started school and had a regular teacher throughout the year that I finally had someone else recognize that things weren't right. My son's teacher asked me one day about his behaviors at home. We sat and talked, and I explained to her everything that we had been going through for years. I explained how the doctors just sort of brushed me off because he was always good for them. This one woman - I owe her so much - she started the ball rolling on testing.
My son was in second grade by the time this happened. So much time had passed, where he could have gotten help. Where I could have gotten help in understanding how to better deal with him. I don't know whether to say luckily or unluckily here - but in any case - I had been working with my son on small things like eye contact, and other people's feelings. One of the "signs/symptoms" of Autism/Aspergers is not being able to make proper eye contact. Well, every time my son would talk to me or I needed to talk to him, I would have to grab his face and make him look at me. I did this for years, until we got to the point where I could just tell him "look at me" and he would. Yes, years. It takes years to train behaviors that come natural to people without this disability. Anyway, I say luckily, because I was inadvertently doing something that doctors would later train us to do anyway. And unluckily, because it made his diagnosis that much harder. It took a lot of explaining to doctors, that yes, we have had to train him to do that. Eventually, the public school system was to thank for my son's diagnosis. Although, it would still be a few more years before my son received any therapy or treatments. Why? The military doctors who we were shuffled through did nothing. I am normally one to praise military doctors, but in the case of my son, they let us down. While living in Key West, I don't think my son ever saw the same doctor twice. Try having to explain over and over again what the problem is, only to have different people tell you each time, oh, well, have you tried this? YES, as a matter of fact, I have! Doctor #4 asked me to try that, and Doctor #3 before him, and #2 before that. I felt as though I was beating my head against a brick wall. And sometimes, I think that may have been more effective.
Anyway, by the time he was in 4th grade and we had moved back to North Carolina, I again had a teacher approach me about my son's issues. He pushed the school to do more testing. They called in people from the TEACCH facility in Greenville, NC. They did a comprehensive analysis and changed my son's diagnosis from one of Aspergers to high functioning Autism plus learning disabilities in writing and math. What did the change from Aspergers to High Functioning Autism mean? Not a whole lot. They are basically the same thing. It all falls under the Autism Spectrum Umbrella (which is quite large). I also had an appointment made with a local therapist to do another round of private testing. When that was done, I was told he had PDD/NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified), also under the spectrum umbrella. Along with PDD/NOS was a diagnosis of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (by now, my son was trying to run away every time we told him no about something and he was refusing to do anything we told him), mood disorder (possibly bi-polar), and learning disabilities, again in writing and math. The day of our last testing session my son got violent with my oldest daughter, going so far as grabbing a steak knife off the kitchen counter and threatening her with it. I had to wrestle the knife out of his hand, drag him to the car, and take him to the therapist. She wasn't concerned about this behavior. She simply finished up her testing, told us he would need to start some medicines for his behaviors, but that we needed to see a different doctor for that, and told us to have a good day. Are you a little freaked out by that? I know I was.
At that point, I didn't know what to do. I took my son to his school and sat down and cried to his guidance counselor about what was going on. She gave me some options, and told me that if it had been my younger daughter that he threatened, she would have called social services to have him removed from the home, but because it was my older daughter, she could take care of herself. Disturbing? You betcha! So, since we couldn't get anyone to help us we made the tough decision of sending my son to live with his grandparents until we could get him in to yet another doctor to try to get something done, medication, therapy, etc.
His living with my parents lasted all of a month and he was throwing tantrums, running away, and everything he had been doing with us. So, I went to pick him back up and brought him home. I took him straight to the pediatrician, explained what had been going on, AGAIN, and begged her to help us. Finally, we had a doctor who would listen. She got him set to be hospitalized for evaluation so medications could be started.
After a week he came home, on new medicine, and he was a different boy - for a while.
The second part of this blog will be posted tomorrow... find out which medicines helped, which didn't, and where we are with treatment today...
*A note - for the record - I am sharing my family's experience, because I hope that it at least has the potential to help someone else. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to giving these kids a decent chance at a semi-normal life. My son is locked out of a lot of treatment options now because of his age. This too, has to stop! Kids don't stop having Autism or other issues because they grow older - in fact - those issues can be compounded by age, hormones, etc. It is my hope that one day, things will change. I know they have already gotten so much better for the younger kids, but the system seems to be forgetting the older ones still! In the state of South Carolina a parent can get help with special therapy for their kids (play therapy/occupational therapies - help is needed because many insurances won't cover these things, despite the fact that they are essential), unfortunately there is an early age cutoff for this help. My question is why?
If you should ever happen upon me and notice that far off look in my eye, you should know that I am in my own little world. When I don't answer you, it's not because I am being rude (at least not intentionally) or that I am deaf, or blind, or anything else. The truth of the matter is, most days, when I do wonder out in public, my mind is somewhere else. The world around me is a giant playground, a coloring book, and it's just waiting for me to make it brighter. I can look at the quirky lady in the line ahead of me at the grocery store and I suddenly see before me a fairy princess who has been abandoned by her people because her left ear is slightly smaller than her right and fairies simply can not abide by that heinous imperfection. I don't mean to stare, but a brilliant little story has jut begun to take shape in my head and I can't seem to snap out of the image quickly enough.
I've had parents try to wave at me or even speak to me while I wait for the kids at the school. I don't mean to ignore them either. Usually I have my ipod in, listening to music. I do this to help me focus, because otherwise those same parents would soon find themselves as characters in stories that just pop into my head.
I'm not like that all the time. I have quiet moments in my head too. If I am ignoring you during a quiet moment, you have my apologies, I was actually probably reveling in the fact that pink and purple elephants weren't carting Princess Migrania to her own knew home after they nearly wiped out all the Fabrician people. Her elephants eat men, of course, so ... damn! So much for quiet moments. See how easily I can be pulled into my own imagination?
I'm actually not that bad, but I can seriously make a story up on a dime just because I am bored, and generally when I am left to my own devices that is exactly what I am up to. If you see me just standing around with that far away glimmer in my eyes, start checking the bushes for unicorns or faeries. On second thought, you may want to duck and cover before some creeply crawly creature sinks its fangs into you. Chances are, I am conjuring them up from my imagination to put down in my computer the minute I can get back to it.
This is the strangeness of me. Welcome to the life of a fantasy writer! Now, back away slowly, and hope you never see me in line at the local Walmart! :D
It's been a while since I have blogged about writing or anything else for that matter. I have been working on two separate writing deadlines and several e-book cover design projects. I'm not really sure how I managed to get myself into this scheduling mess, but I did! So, today's blog is all about setting goals, and more importantly setting boundaries.
I'm sure many of you can relate to the intense feeling of elation when you have a project that is coming to an end! I know, because I get the same way. The problem for me is, I ride high on that nervous energy and am soon setting goals for myself that are next to impossible.
Case in point - I am having to postpone the release of my book, Revelations, because I got so caught up in another project, The VooDoo Follies, that I was unable to get everything done in time. I probably would have been okay and hit my deadlines except for the fact that I had some technical difficulties along the way with formatting. Lesson learned! It's good to have goals. It's great to get excited! But I must also set boundaries for myself so that I can stay on track. No more multiple "major" project months!
Speaking from a writing perspective, I have to set goals (deadlines) for myself or I will never sit down and finish. This is where my 12-step program to writing success comes in...
Hi! My name is Christine, and I am a procrastinator.
I've gone two weeks without procrastinating on my deadlines.
The first step is admitting you have a problem, right? Okay, I got that one down!
Procrastination - problem - check!
Too many deadlines, too close together - problem - check!
Now where do I go?
Step 2 - Recognizing that boundaries will help me reach my goal...
So, I have begun to set boundaries on top of my goals.
No more doubling up on the major deadlines! This month I am finishing one major project early and turning one out late. I hate that! I mean, early is good, but late is unacceptable for me. I am taking it all in stride though. These are the growing pains I am going through in my first year of self-publishing. I am sure there will be more issues along the way - I'll keep you up-to-date. After all, if I screw up first, maybe I save someone else the headache later! :D
That's it for the month of September! I'm 12 -stepping my procrastination/over-scheduling issues. I know, I know... you're wondering where the other ten steps are... Maybe you'll find out in October.
*Hangs head* Okay, I do realize I just relapsed, but I couldn't help it. I have projects to finish that are already running behind.
How has September been for you?