Solstice Retribution

I finished and loaded the last chapter of my urban fantasy novella. So far, Vella has been a bust for me, and I have no patience (ask my poor HH). I changed the cover and the tags, but I’m tired of waiting for even one reader to find my story there. In case readers are waiting for the entire thing to be available, I scheduled all of the remaining chapters to go live on August 3rd–a meaningful day for me,–my younger daughter’s birthday. But I don’t ;have high hopes that anyone’s going to look at it that day either. Which is fine.

I knew Vella was a high risk venture when I started it, but I didn’t expect it to be a total flop. I have insurance, though. If the novella stays a stillbirth, I’m giving it a few days and then I’m taking it down to self-publish on Amazon–for free. Muddy River is never a huge success, but I enjoy writing it. So I thought this was worth a shot. And visiting Raven and Hester again has been fun.

In the meantime, I polished the first five chapters of POSED IN DEATH and sent them off to my agent with a note that it’s not a cozy. She asked for a short synopsis, so maybe she’ll represent it. My agent is a saint. She’s stuck out the bumps with me. Even if she decides to give it a try, the next step is submitting it to various editors. And the long wait. Remember I said patience isn’t one of my virtues. I’m going to have to try to be virtuous. Ugh. But by then, I’ll be starting to write my next Jazzi and Ansel, and working on a new project helps me push visions of a million rejections out of my mind, especially when I’m working on an old favorite.

So August should be an interesting month for me. Hope it is for you, too–interesting in a good way, that is:)

Chapter 2’s up!

This Thursday’s going to be as busy as last Thursday, so I’m posting chapter two today to make sure it goes up on time.  Tomorrow is my very last therapy session for my broken leg. I almost have full range of movement and it’s stronger, thanks to my therapists, so I’m taking them snacks tomorrow for my last day.  They’ve put up with me since July and they’re all awesome!  Anyway, here’s the link for the chapter.  Hope you enjoy!

Not your typical holiday story

cover_27_thumbI just wanted to let you know that I posted the first chapter of a holiday story on my webpage.  I’ve missed Babet and Prosper, so my present to me was to write an urban fantasy with them as the main characters.  Instead of Christmas carols and cookies, though, the story that came to me is a bit on the gory side.  Sorry about that, but hope you like it anyway!  I love comments.  Check back next Thursday for chapter 2.

Is Death a good guy?

I’ve thought kindly of Death since I read the novel, On A Pale Horse, by Piers Anthony.  I mean, who’d want that job?  Not the guy who got stuck with it, against his will, in the Incarnation story.  But when he was called to the scene of a car accident, and a woman was crushed behind a steering wheel in horrible pain, and when he reached inside of her and gently removed her soul to release it, he realized that Death sometimes is a blessing.  I realized that when my father was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells.  Dad’s cells made so much protein that his blood got so thick, his heart could hardly pump it through his veins.  At the beginning, he’d go to the hospital, and they’d take blood out of one of his arms, put it through a machine that used centrifugal force to separate the heavy protein from the clean blood, and then they’d put his clean blood back into his other arm.  At the beginning, it would be a long time before he’d have to redo the procedure.  But the longer the disease went, the shorter time between treatments.  Until his skeleton and skull looked like moths had eaten at his bones, leaving pockmarked holes scattered through them.  The thing is, by the end, it was a mercy when he died.  He hadn’t turned sixty yet, but quality of life can matter more than quantity.

Years later, I watched my grandmother–in her nineties–fight a losing battle with diabetes.  She nicked a toe and got gangrene.  That spread to her foot.  That spread to her leg.  The leg had to be amputated.  They didn’t get it all, and they had to amputate above the knee.  She didn’t survive the second operation, but she let us all know that if the nurses didn’t wheel her back to her room, she was fine with that.  She’d lived a hard life, surviving the depression, but a good one.  She wasn’t up for another battle.  Death, for her, was a blessing.

Now, I watch my mom struggle with Alzheimer’s.  She’s in the final stages.  She can’t remember things and gets frightened.  Every once in a while, on a rare visit when she’s lucid, she tells me that she’s ready “to go.”  I wish she could.  I wish when your will got too weary, you could leave here.  Or do I?  Would we all hit a tough patch and take the easy way out?  I’m glad it’s not my decision.  But I know this, Death isn’t the scary, horrible thing for me that it used to be.

In my novella, Destiny With Death, Death assists people from this world to the next one.  When you’re suffering, he’s a release.  And he’s welcome.  But if it’s not your time, he won’t take you.  And if you make him angry, well….that’s just not smart.