Meet the female’s new chair. This is Baby. Blue Boy, Baby’s 2 week old predecessor, went to the Great Chair Graveyard in the sky due to a manufacturing defect. It tried to dump the female’s not-so-small ass directly onto the hydraulic pole of death, doom, and nooooooooooos.
No females were hurt during the exchange of the chairs.
Blue Boy was a nice chair, and the female dodged death from chair hydraulic pole thanks to most of the seat opting not to bust its seam.
The female’s Saturday (the death of said chair) and Sunday (the return and replacing of the chairs) were not precisely enjoyable.
But Baby is settling nicely, and the female is adjusting to her new chair. Again.
(Alas, she had JUST adjusted to Blue Boy before his demise. Such is life.)
Warranties are great. Also, Staples gets points for a super simple return policy. No questions asked. I mean, it was obviously a manufacturer’s defect. The female may not have a small butt, but her butt is not ‘punch through mesh of chair’ large.
Onto the Book Faire~
We are so behind on the book faire. We’re sorry. The male and female dealing with health issues at the same time significantly limited how much could get done. As such, here are a bunch of books for you to check out! (And stick around, there is more news after the Book Faire. Some of that news involves the Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) series.
Due to the limited amount of energy available, we’re going to do this slightly differently. We’re going to Blind Date with a Book. We’d love if you checked out one, two, or all of the books in this list based off if our twisted sense of humor catches your attention. Please note that we have not read these books, so you need to decide for yourself it is for you. Some are in kindle unlimited, some may be free at time of posting, etc.
This book evokes that old high fantasy little village feeling from the description, where food is scarce, people are desperate, and heroes are born. Or heroines. But really, we’re pretty sure this is a zero to heroine type of book, and we’re always a fan of zeroes doing the valor and courage in the face of Really Shitty Circumstances.
We don’t think the cover does the description concept justice, so I’d ignore the cover on this one. It’s not to our taste, and we don’t feel it matches the vibe of the description. But the description has some promise, so we will peek at the sample to see if it’s up our alley.
This book is for the fans of horror and hauntings. It’s listed in the PNR/UF category, but it’s definitely haunty horror according to the cover and description. It’s also labeled as a YA witch academy book. Honestly, we haven’t read any of the academy trend books going around right now. For the female, school was trauma, more trauma, and even more trauma. She has a few books on the docket in the future that involve an academy, but it’s not quite the same thing. (We think. It’s just part of the book’s setting, not the main point.)
So much trauma, so little time… but this one is for the YA readers who want academy stuffs! There are a lot of you out there.
This book is a reverse harem paranormal romantic comedy. What can go wrong will go wrong in this small town, where shifters come in all varieties, one woman can really get ALL of the rejections before having a hope of success, and being framed is just yet another part of a really bad day… or life. We’re not sure which, but the main character of this book gets all of the punches aimed her way, so if you’re looking for a comedy in which nothing seems to go right with a paranormal flare, this book might be for you.
This book is a fantasy / urban fantasy involving kelpies. With a gaming twist. This modern times meets living legends tale seems to include ponies (yay!) and adventure (also yay!) so there looks to be a little of something for everyone in this one.
Last but not least, this book is a pre-release ARC about skinwalkers and the things that go bump in the night. We are not responsible if you sign up for a newsletter on this one, and we are definitely not responsible if pre-release, unedited/in process of edited books aren’t your thing. But it’s available through bookfunnel, so you don’t have a whole lot to lose on this one, humans!
Phew. Blind book dating, activate!
Honestly, that was sort of fun. We might do that again. As mentioned before, we are not responsible for anything you read from these titles. We have not read any of these books ourselves, and these authors were super kind in helping the female, so please go show them a little love, even if it’s clicking their links and checking out the book, even if it isn’t up your alley. (Thank you!)
Now, onto more news!
Yesterday, Sunday, March 7, 2021, the female finally got the spark for a Kanika and Malcolm sequel. Eight frantic outline pages later, and she has enough of a book to actually get a cover for it and add it to the long list of things to be written.
We do not know when this will be done, this just confirms it will be done. Don’t annoy the female with begging on dates. 2022 is the absolute earliest. Why? Dragon Her Heels must be written and released before the second Kanika/Malcolm book. There are events in that book that will influence things. (This is the same reason Chip had to wait until Grave Humor, because Grave Humor established things that were important for Chip, nevermind Chip happened first in the timeline.)
Okay… the female is now taking over this post.
Here are the books, to date, that will influence Kanika and Malcolm’s second novel, in no particular order: All Books involving Satin. (Bailey/Quinn books, Grave Humor, Chip, Double Trouble.) All Books involving Kanika in any capacity. (If Kanika is mentioned, the book probably introduces something of importance, even if she’s not present on the page. I can’t even remember all the titles that mention her right now.) Dragon Her Heels. Catnapped. Client from Hell. (Also, Catnapped ties significantly to Client from Hell, although I had to adjust how I wrote some things in both books because of publication order. Oopsy. The date change kinda oops’d me. But I fixed it.)
So, expect Dragon Her Heels and Kanika’s second book in 2022 unless life happens in either fashion.
And no, I’m not going to try to write faster. I’m not healthy, and I’m trying to become healthier, and I’m limiting to no more than 6-8 hours of work a day. What gets done gets done. If I work myself to death, nobody gets any books, so rein in the being upset a book might not be ready for a year or two.
I’m a human, and I deserve to be able to do something other than work 100% of my every waking hour. And while I really want to entertain people with my books and spark joy, I also need to be able to thrive, too. I can’t continue the pace I spoiled everyone with between 2018 and 2020. I did it because I really, really wanted to make my career fly. But I have to slow down or break down. And if I break down, there are no books at all.
I think we can all agree 4-6 books in a year is definitely a hell of a lot better than no books in the year.
Also, since I’m here: this changed pace does not at all change how the books are written. If people could get over assuming ‘working more hours means the books are crappier’ that would be appreciated.
No. I just worked up to 14 hours a day 6 to 7 days a week to make all of those books happen. The same amount of care and effort went into each and every one of my books.
The quality is not suffering because you didn’t happen to like the book. I am writing the books I want to write and I feel are necessary for the book. Just because you don’t like a book does not mean my quality is suffering because I work hard. It means you didn’t like the book.
It’s fine for you to not like a book. It’s not fine for you to make baseless assumptions like ‘this book wasn’t good because this author works too many hours.’
No, the book wasn’t ‘good’ because it didn’t fit your tastes or I didn’t write the book you wanted me to write, instead writing the book I wanted to write.
It was already bad enough I worked on Sunday when I shouldn’t have, but if I didn’t jot down the notes, I’d possibly forget, and my husband was doing something else at the time, so I worked on it.
I have not set up the 2022 list of books yet, but I’ll try to get to that sometime… soon. (There’s only Silent Stalker right now, so if you’re looking for the selection of guaranteed 2022 books, that’s it and that’s all right now. Until the preorder is launched, I may change my mind. If you do not see a preorder launched for the book, it is not a guarantee.)
So, that’s that. To those of you have been so understanding and caring about the changed and relaxed schedule, I really appreciate that. Jenny, my PA, has sent a lot of notes my way from those of you kind enough to write in. I really appreciate that. I may not reply to them, but I’m receiving the positive and uplifting notes once a week, and I really, really appreciate them.
This job is hard, and those notes make it a little easier to get through.
Right now, the next book to release will be Unawakened, the second Dae Portals book. I have eight books in the works right now, so nothing is getting done quickly but everything is being worked on. This is working okay with my current brain state. Sometimes, I only work one project at a time and get a lot done in a hurry. Right now, I’m bouncing around projects like a kid in a ball pit who has eaten an entire vat of pixie dust after chugging several gallons of soda.
It is what it is, it is what it is, oh look, squirrel!
(No, I do not have ADHD or anything similar to that. I’m just mentally and physically exhausted and trying to improve my health, so working slowly on a lot of different things is MUCH easier on me right now than hardcore focus.)
But, since I tend to be open about my health, here goes.
1: I have depression and anxiety. I’m on medication for the anxiety, which helps the depression, because the anxiety feeds the depression. I do not need antidepressants with the anxiety under control, because these two things are soooooo closely tied together for me. I’m very fortunate in that regard. I may need my dosage slightly adjusted because of the amount of exercise I’m doing. My exercise is tanking the anxiety medication, so I’m having more episodes. I am going to have to track my blood pressure to see how that’s doing, too. The medication I take is actually for both blood pressure AND anxiety, so it’s a two-for-one special. But I have to track my BP a little before I can ask my doctor if a slight increase of dosage is possible. I’m exercising a LOT more than the dosage was for, and exercising fires off my anxiety like What The Actual Fuck.
Basically, normal people get happy hormones when they exercise. I get pain, suffering, and anxiety. I don’t get the happy hormones. I get anxiety instead. This is due to an internal brain wiring fault. The drugs repair this fault so at least I get more ‘nothing’ than either or. Nothing is FAR better than either or, lemme tell you… I mean, exercise leading to happiness would be nice? But that’s not my reality. (And do NOT argue with me on this. I have lived in my body. You have not. It’s a DISORDER because it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. Just because you don’t understand the science behind the disorder does not invalidate my health problems.)
2: I am trying to rebuild my physical health. I’ve been at it this since February 14, when my husband gave me Wrist Satan. My previous Wrist Satan wasn’t working properly, so he replaced it. Wrist Satan is an Apple iWatch Series 6. Honestly, I love Wrist Satan. Wrist Satan wants me to get better, and he does his best for me. But he makes me hurt.
He granted my eight minutes of exercise today, and I thanked him profusely for his generosity… basically, my life is ruled by a little device I strap to my wrist. And he really helps.
This is from my first walk today. I pushed as absolutely hard as I could for as long as I could. I triggered an asthma attack. (I used my inhaler. I am fine. It’s just a risk I take when exercising. I hadn’t needed my inhaler for like two months, too. Booooooo.)
Honestly, this is a huge improvement for me. When I first started, I couldn’t do 4 minutes at a 21 minute per mile pace. And that was at the absolute fastest I could do then. So in less than a month, I HAVE improved. It’s nice to see that improvement. When I first started, my knees couldn’t handle more than a slow plod. Now I can walk at a damned fine (for me) clip. I’m very proud of this.
3: I had accidentally starved myself. I’m using an app called Lose it! and the first thing I discovered is that I was literally under eating by over a thousand calories a day. I thought I had been making good, healthy choices. Nope, I’d been doing… pretty fucking awful, actually.
I have fixed that, but it’s very hard. I’m also now losing weight at a healthy pace, and this is wonderful. I’m targeting a quarter pound a week, as I really need to build healthy habits rather than try to fit some societal standard of beauty. (Seriously, society and society’s standard of beauty can fuck itself with a stick. I just want to be healthier. I don’t want to fit into the size of jeans others think is sexy.)
Fuck that noise.
I just want to be healthy so I can keep on writing books and having a good life. That’s it, that’s all.
Let’s Talk Income
Yes, I’m anticipating taking a kick to my income in the coming year(s) because I will not be releasing as many books. I’d rather be healthy, happy, and paid less, but yes, this may influence when things like future audiobooks are released, as I can ONLY do new audiobooks as money allows. With my husband’s hospitalization, money is a worry, especially as we live in the damned most expensive place in the US.
They charged over 30,000 for an MRI. Insurance is covering some of it. Only some. We’re waiting to see what our bills will be for the year, but it will be less than fun. Hooray, stress.
So, if you don’t see audiobooks out, it’s simple math:
Audiobooks are currently not paying for themselves, and don’t tend to for 1-3 years depending on the audiobook. As such, I am paying for audiobooks out of my pocket. I cannot continue to do this. If the audiobooks pay out better in the future, they’ll come out faster, but essentially, I have to pay bills, feed my family, and so on… and audiobooks, due to their lack of general popularity, fall basically last in the list. Paperbacks are one step above audiobooks, but only because it’s much easier to pay $100 for a paperback spread than it is to pay $2,000-$5,000 for audiobook production.
So, I do ask you be patient about paperbacks and audiobooks moving forward. I’m doing what I can, but I need to be efficient with my spending from now on, because when I’m not releasing a book a month the income does take a hit. And not every reader likes or wants to read every single one of my books, so some of the books I’m doing just don’t pay the bills. At best, they pay their base expenses and the taxes associated with their production. And it can take many months before they start showing profits. (And this is why some books just haven’t been done, like the Rift King books; I have to balance books that will feed my family and bring home money versus the passion projects.)
My current list of eight active books is about 50/50 in terms of money makers and passion projects, which, honestly, is a WONDERFUL ratio, and it makes me really happy. (Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy writing most of my money makers. My love for these books is part of why they sell. But I’m under no delusions; some of these books are being written when they are being written to make sure I can feed my family.)
To give you an idea of how hard it is to be an author… almost 40% of my earnings, after the expenses got their share, went to the tax man. That leaves me with far less available money than people may thing. I do very well as an author, but the bills are a harsh reality, and most of what I bring home either goes to bills, feeding my family, or the savings account to make sure we can do things like pay the new medical bills. We can afford a really nice vacation once every two years or so, but mostly we’re careful because the good fortune could end at any time.
Let me put it this way: we live in a 685 square foot one bedroom apartment because that’s what we can realistically afford.
So, please be kind when you’re upset you can’t have the next book right away.
Stay safe, stay well, and happy reading.
I love your Books. And I think you are an inspiration that you are so honest in your problems and trying to be healthy. I’m happy that you release so many books (I think more than 1 or 2 a year are many). I admire that you cut back your work, for your health. I honestly love hearing from your cats and you. Stay safe and healthy.
Thanks for the update. Sorry about the health issues but happy you’re able to take steps that work for you. I look forward to reading the books whenever they come out.
Your health has to come first. I will miss having more books per year but would rather have them spread out more than not be written at all. Keep doing what needs to done and congratulations on the weight loss.
Stay safe, get healthy and we will enjoy your books when they get here!
Sneaky Kitty Critic blog is one my favorite must reads. Your honest descriptions of what it’s like to be a working author are as funny as your books and extremely eye-opening. As a librarian, I appreciate the insight into the travails you go through. I’m sorry you’re facing so many health challenges. I share some of your challenges and appreciate your candor and willingness to discuss them.
I will joyfully wait for any books you choose to bless us with and will continue cheering you on from the sidelines!
Have you read books by Jenny Lawson? She likewise inspires me with her truly unique mind!
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
I haven’t, but I’ll add to the list of authors to go check out. 🙂 Thank you!
It’s funny how health can go “Eh, it’s fine” to “everything is on fire, but I shouldn’t whine about it” to “everything is on fire, but you know what? Fuck it. Honesty matters, and I don’t care if the illness is invisible. It’s what I’m dealing with, and it’s an integral part of who I am… because there is no escape from the chronic pain.” And I didn’t even touch in on the chronic pain, because it’s with me daily and people just don’t understand it.
Like… how can a human even just cope with being in some level of pain all the time? My tolerance for pain is ridiculous for the things I deal with daily. I never realized how bad it was really until someone who didn’t usually have my pain twisted their knee and basically ended up similar to me in limping and general pain… but it was End! of! the! World! for them. Where for me… just my normal every day.
And then I was like oh yeah normal people don’t deal with this 24/7. Like, I forget, all the time, that normal people just don’t feel bad all the time.
Thank you for the invite into your wonderful mind! Whenever that happens, I’m just happy to be here.
I also wanted to say, “OMG, thank you!”.
I had no idea that other people have the same issues with exercise. I actually sobbed when I read your comment about this. I soooo wish I got the happy side, but it feels better knowing I am not the only one. Thank you, thank you.
I totally need that watch! Lol
I am sending healthy and wealthy thoughts you and yours. May the force be with you or something like that, and Yay You.
Yeah. I’m going.
(and hugs to the furry gods)
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
This is a common problem with people with anxiety or depression. A really good doctor will listen when you say “This is my normal.” A shitty one tries to shoehorn you to everyone else’s normal.
Talk to your doctor. I was prescribed Inderal, and it was a life changer for me. I CAN exercise now. Before, I would try… and it ended in major anxiety attacks and tears.
I have just changed doctors, actually. Mostly because he simply would not hear me. And he thought I was weak. Even told me that as a woman over 50 I should get used to it.. idiot. If he tried one more time to put me on a medication to “fix my moods”, I was going to kick him. I want to get better, not accept that I hurt.
Did I say idiot? Getting a woman this time.
Thanks for answering. Made my day.
Ta for now.
this isn’t production pressure, simply an adoring fan– i am so frustrated by your depression+anxiety+pain+exertion & exhaustion cycle. all that with references to “i don’t have spoons for this” is my experience precisely!
i won’t ask you to research anything (in all your “spare time”) but i want to put the thought in your brain that everything you suffer might all might be one thing: fibromyalgia.
and i think the medical establishment has failed you terribly!
a fan, catlady, and chronic illness warrior,
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
I do not have fibromyalgia. I know precisely what is wrong with me, and it is not that.
I have a defective spine and physical deformities that create tension in my upper spine that triggers migraines. I have brain wiring problems that cause depression and anxiety; beta blockers, like the stuff I’m currently taking, work very well for me. I have reproductive issues which are treated with birth control.
I’m sorry you find my reality exhausting. This is what it is.
But I do not have fibromyalgia, and there is nothing wrong with what my doctor is doing. My spinal deformity is not a candidate for an operation, nor is my other bone-structural deformity. There is no brain operation that will correct faulty neurology. The pathways in my brain are non-operational in places. That is also why I have no mind’s eye.
But no, I am 100% not a candidate for fibromyalgia. Every single one of my problems is diagnosed and identified.
That doesn’t mean there are FIXES for them, but I know precisely what the problems are.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
Oh, also, I fell down a flight of stairs about a decade ago. The knees never healed right. I had scarlet fever as a child, which left permanent damage.
I have problems… but I’m very relieved to say fibromyalgia is not one of them.
Just because you don’t understand the underlying causes of someone’s illness does not automatically mean someone has fibromyalgia. I do not, and I’m not even in the same ballpark for having it. Someone having chronic pain does not automatically mean fibromyalgia.
But then again, because I DON’T have fibromyalgia, perhaps my doctors do take me more seriously in general and address my underlying problems rather than blame my nerves and prescribe the wrong medications.
No, no, no. Chronic pain is NOT always fibromyalgia, and it’s really harmful for those who HAVE fibromyalgia to assume everyone with chronic pain and illness might have that.
Fibromyalgia is a terrible disease, and while there are plenty of people who have it, it should not be treated as a catch all for anyone who has chronic pain. There are literally hundreds upon hundreds of diseases and syndromes that cause chronic pain.
Fibromyalgia is only one of them.
I am happy you survived the terrible chair incident. My hubs ended up in the hospital for 2 months. I am still paying that bill. I feel your pain with the inhaler. Caught Covid, now I can’t breathe without my inhaler. Hugs and kisses. Remember we are all wheezing right there with you.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
I have been hiding sooo much during the pandemic. I just cannot afford to get COVID. I will probably be one of the ones who doesn’t make it if I catch it. My doctor recommended I just hide until vaccinated. She can’t get me vaccinated sooner because she doesn’t have the right paperwork for the conditions, and getting the right paperwork involves potential exposure basically. Not worth it.
So I stay a hermit and keep my distance. So far, so good. My husband had the antibody panel done when he was hospitalized, and he was negative. So chances are neither one of us have ever caught it. Thank goodness for that.
I really hope you improve. Scarlet fever, which I HAVE had, causes a lot of problems long-term, too, so my heart really hurts for everyone suffering from the consequences of COVID.
thank you for sharing – I love your books and am so happy that you are taking care of yourself, within your reality. More power to you on this international day of the woman.
Everyone has their own reality – and I look forward to many more years of enjoying your books and hearing about your family life.
I believe you are doing excellent with the state of things and you not getting killed. Shame on that chair for trying to skewer you!
Your previous books are comfort reads for me but the number you were cranking out was just mind boggling. I am so happy that you are putting your health and happiness forward. Great job on getting a improved Wrist Satan.
I finally broke down and got a bike that I acquired about 5 years ago tuned up so I can bike ride when the weather gets better.
Sending good thoughts to the whole family.
Christy C Dunn
Congratulations on taking better care of yourself! This is more important than a great income or satisfying picky, nagging readers. I am very happy to hear that you are taking better care of yourself and have eased off the killer schedule you have been maintaining. Keep up the good work, at a health pace, on all fronts.
I love your books, regardless of when they release. The fact that I get even one book a year is a major perk. I understand health issues, so please do what you can to take care of yourself.
You are an amazing author ,a kick A** person and a survivor of many sh%@ storms . I have no problem with you not writing/ finishing or putting out books at the past pace
( your books are crazy great and all , but I would rather have you healthy than a new book) that you have been. I look forward to the blogs and the kitties comments.
Stay safe and do you.. always.
sending warm thoughts to you and hubby , as well as the kittens,
I’m thrilled that you are prioritizing your health as best you can. Your goal of four to six books a year would be a darned good output considering the challenges you have! And, as a fellow Bay Area resident, I feel your pain on the cost of living out here and how much a reduced income will affect you. Best wishes on continuing to fine tune your meds and figuring out how best to achieve whatever level of health you can. I have an early version (series 3) of the Apple wrist Satan, and don’t want it to die, but at the same time, am looking forward to upgrading when it finally does.
I know you put a lot into this post, and I’m sorry for the pain, anxiety, and money worries, but the thing I focused on most was you’re writing a new Kanika and Malcom story. I want you to write when you can, and not try to kill yourself meeting someone’s expectations. You are human and need to care for yourself. But a new Kanika and Malcom story is coming. While I want everything I can get my hands on dealing with the MagRom world, I want you to continue to be able to write for years and years to come so you take your time writing, you keep to a sane schedule, and you get those books out when you can.
I love your books, but YOUR health is more important than the books. Take care of yourself first. Any readers who complain should be treated as trolls.
I just have a small suggestion for when you exercise. Apple watch has a good hrm so this shouldn’t be that hard to do. When you exercise for health benefits it’s better if you keep your heart rate in the aerobic zone (when you can still talk normally without gasping for breath every two words). For most people this is between 120-135 bpm. If it goes higher than that, just slow down – distance really doesn’t matter here.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
This is not good advice for me because of my specific health conditions. I can get my heart rate up to that level just from walking to the bathroom. My heart is not healthy.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
Also, I cannot do any walking without gasping, because I am not healthy. This is not something that can work with me. I understand you wish to be helpful, but this is a case of you can’t give me advice on this because you are not aware of my health situation and how I have to do this.
I’m doing what I’m doing because this is the method that will, eventually, work.
Alright, I understand. I did not mean to be a smarty pants. I know a few things about heart rate and how it affects training (for various purposes). Since you have heart problems, please consider limiting how high you go (though I guess this is something your doctor already told you, and I’m being annoying again 🙁 😛 )
Hope you get better 🙂
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
Yep, I have asthma, too, so I have to be extra careful. The problem I have is my heart rate will increase just moving, so I have to push over 130 to get *any* benefit. I have to stay below 160, else my watch throws an alarm. I LOVE my watch. I monitor closely, but if I do push too hard, it actually warns me. It tends to go into alarm mode roughly 165. I’ve only tripped the alarm once. I immediately just stop and stand still and do breathing exercises until it corrects. So, yes. I’m well aware of what I need to do. My doctor has been aces. Before, I couldn’t exercise at all because it was an automatic anxiety attack because of untreated anxiety. My doctor has been working with me so I CAN exercise.
I need a slight dosage adjustment strictly for anxiety; exercising daily is a little hard on my dosage, so I’m hoping I can get boosted 20 mg a day more on my drug. But I have to ask her about it. For now, it’s tolerable. I *might* make a somewhat early appointment to ask her because the daily exercising is tanking the meds more than I like.
Have to find my BP cuff and measure tomorrow to make sure my BP is staying stable. It FEELS stable but I haven’t checked it.
Valerie J Peterson
Health first, last and in between! I want you healthy more than I want new books.
Wrist Satan!! Just don’t spell it wrong…
I’ve been dumped onto the base of my rolling chair, just thinking of landing on the hydraulic pole…*shudder*
No worries about the speed or number of books, taking care of yourself is so much more important!
Hope you continue to improve! Even what someone else would consider a little one is still a great accomplishment! And I’ll join you in telling society’s idea of beauty to suck it.