Monday, January 23, 2012

Healthy again...mostly

"He had had much experience of physicians, and said 'the only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd druther not.'" - Mark Twain

"It's about time to ________________." - Cricket Walker's mini-challenge

It's about time to get healthy.  My boss pointed out last week that if I continue with my brutal cough for another couple of weeks, I'll hit three months--a quarter--solid of being sick.  What she didn't say is that's also three months of underperforming, because the cough I've had has kept me up at night and made me exhausted, grouchy, and pretty much useless during the day.  On top of that, I haven't written much of anything for a couple of months, which is sad for a guy who wrote two books, a novella, and a few short stories in ten months last year.

The good news?  I'm there.  I finally bowed to reality and went in to the Emergency Room.  Interestingly, I went to a hospital that was part of a large system, and happened to catch it on the day when the entire system's IT system was down.  The nurse in the ER was telling us about it, and my wife thought it a good thing to tell her that I used to be an IT guy.  Ended up not being a bad thing, but....

The doctor proved to be a smart one, IT or not.  He talked to me about my having taken four rounds of antibiotics and other meds and still not seeing a change.  He didn't bother taking blood tests; instead, he ordered an X-Ray of my lungs to prove it wasn't still pneumonia (and it wasn't), gave me some serious medication and breathing treatments to help my lungs get ahead of the healing, and talked to me about allergies.  Turns out--and I hadn't thought of this--when we went to Orlando we took our pillows with us.  I've been sick ever since.  Duh.

We took our pillows and mattress and encased them in allergen-free covers, after vacuuming lots of stuff out.  All new sheets and happy blankets later, and now I've been three days in a row of sleeping without Nyquil.  I'm still coughing a little, but it's nothing like what I was going through earlier.

That, then, is a blessing.

Now, back to life.  I've got to catch up on writing.  I've got to work on my dissertation.  I've got to catch up on the aspects of my job that fell through the cracks.  I've got to get back to blogging several times a week; I enjoy this quite a bit. 

I've also got some major plans, of course.  February 10 is the release date for ASCENSION, and I've got a big party on Facebook planned, with trivia games and giveaways.  I'm going on to Giovanni's "Gelati's Scoop" radio show to discuss it the evening of 2/2.  Can't wait for this release!  But I'm also trying something out--I've spent a bit of money making bookmarks that entitle the bearer to a free copy of CATACLYSM.  I'll be putting those into the bags for attendees of SheVaCon, the fantasy/sci fi conference coming up on February 17-19 in Roanoke.  If everything goes as planned, then, I'll be giving away nearly 1,000 copies of my first book.  Why give it away?  Because I hope that people like it enough to buy the second book, and to tell others about it so the others will buy both.

Besides, why bother selling something if you can't even give it away?

On top of all that, I'm really looking forward to getting involved once again in James River Writers; I've avoided the past three meetings because I haven't felt up to them.  Also, there's a conference in Richmond in April I intend on attending, and another one in Baltimore this summer.  The one in Richmond won't let me stuff bags with my giveaways for free, and I'm too much of a cheap bastard to pay for the bookmarks and pay for the stuffing in order to give my book away, but I plan on handing the bookmarks out anyway if  the efforts at SheVaCon are successful. 

There--there's my marketing plan, or some of it, anyway, for all my competitors to see.  Funny thing is that writers really aren't competitors in the real sense of the word.

On that note--good night, and good health to all.



  1. Oh my gosh Stephen, I'm exhausted. I can't believe what you went through and for that length of time. Last year Ivan was out flat for 6 wks and it was awful to watch. Thank goodness you're on the mend; with your upcoming schedule it sounds like you'll need all your resources. Congrats on all of it, I hope it goes off with a bang (no coughs allowed). E

  2. I'm glad you're feeling better! You'll need your strength with the plans you have for the next few months.

    I look forward to your new book.