See the Positives

Two weeks ago, I spent $560 on my car. The intake manifold was leaking, among other issues, and I had to get through emissions to register her–so I had a  a deadline.

I barely got her back, and the AC went out. In case you haven’t heard, it’s a really bad time to be without AC in my neck of the woods. That cost me $322—and they’re not confident they fixed the problem, as they’re not sure how they got it working.

Last week Erin talked about what it’s like, living mostly without pain. Putting nearly a thousand dollars into my car over the course of a month has made me think about what it’s like, having a life without lack.

People like to complain about their jobs, and their bills, and how their paychecks are gone before they even hit the bank account, and I think it’s important to get that frustration out. I also think it’s important to remember that jobs are good to have. Lots of people out there would love to have a job. Though most of us would love not to need a job, until that awesome circumstance comes about, it’s good to have a job.

Bills are good to have. Bills mean (probably…?) you’ve received something you wanted.

I whine a lot every summer about my electric bill. When summer hits and we start running the AC all the time, my electric bill quadruples. See above link to the weather.

But you know … Continue reading

Trigeminal Neuralgia: One-Year Update

Well, actually, it’s 11 months, as my 1-year anniversary of my diagnosis is July 17th, but “One-Year Update” sounded better than “Eleven-Month Update.”

So, for the most part, I’ve been doing really well. I had an interesting moment while reading an article on one of those list websites. The title caught my eye: The Top 10 Most Horrible Medical Conditions Known to Man or something like that. Guess what #10 was? TRIGEMINAL NEURALGIA. I’m like, “No kidding.” They don’t call it the “suicide disease” for nothing.

I am not 100% pain-free, which is okay. Going from 100% excruciating pain while conscious to about 95% pain free while conscious is a BIG, huge improvement. Times I still have pain: when it’s going to rain (this is eerie — I can predict when storms are coming before the weather people), if any kind of wind or breeze touches my face (so fans are bad), when the water hits my face in the shower, and about an hour to an hour and a half before the next dose of my pill. Times I’ve used a loopy pill in the past month: zero. Six months? Maybe once or twice. Compare that to almost every day.

Things I enjoy now that I’m not in so much pain anymore: photography. Writing. Sunlight (used to be a trigger). Camping (although the campfires can trigger pain still).

Stress is just stress now, not stress+pain. That’s a good thing.

The medication does wonders. It is really a life changer. I’ve had … Continue reading

Life’s a Strain

I’ve pulled something in my back. I have this spot–it’s on the right side of my back, not quite in “lower” back territory but not much higher–and from time to time it gets aggravated. Every six months or so it gets really bad, like “can’t stand up straight” sort of bad. Muscle relaxants and pain killers have little to no effect, and even massages haven’t proven terrible useful in fixing things.

It’s very fun, let me tell you. Especially when one has to pick 20 and 40-pound wiggly things up on a regular basis.

It started hurting last Wednesday-ish. It peaked Friday/Saturday, and now is on its way back to normal, though it still hurts. I did manage kickboxing this morning, though it hurt more for a while.

My internet searches tell me back pain is the most common pain experienced by adults in the United States. 80% was the stat I saw, though I don’t know how scientific that is. Bad posture and too much sedentary time at computers and watching the TV and what have you.

So what do you do when your job consists of you needing to be on the computer for significant lengths of time?

Sitting is definitely a problem right now. I’ve switched my computer chair out for one of the hard, straight-back dining room chairs, which has helped some, but even as little as 15-20 minutes sitting at the computer causes everything to flare again, even if things were feeling pretty good.

It’s … Continue reading

Adventures in Marketing CITY OF HOPE AND RUIN

It’s been almost a month since City of Hope and Ruin was released, and guys, I’m discovering that the marketing phase of a book can be pretty intense. I’ve been doing some sort of promo (or networking for future promo) just about every day, while trying not to annoy my social media friends and followers too much. That’s a lot of brain cycles. Especially because it’s all new to me. I’ve been learning about book marketing for quite a while now, have done some already for Turtleduck Press, but this is a whole ‘nother level.

Of course, it helps immensely that there are two of us — our marketing power is doubled. Or even more, because Kit and I are in vastly different parts of North America, so we can each hit our respective local bookstores/libraries/conventions. We even managed to co-host a virtual launch party on Facebook. (We had lots of Q&As and some fun discussion, which you can still read at the link.) It felt surprisingly festive, and was a great way to celebrate our release date together despite the best attempts of geography to keep us apart.

I also held a local launch party at my favourite bookstore — one of those “dream come true” moments (except that Kit couldn’t be there). How did it go? Here’s the short version:

In actual words: I did a reading, then a Q&A (and people asked great questions), and finished off with a signing.

I have also had … Continue reading

Flame Isfree and the Feather of Fate VI

Once wild magic shattered human civilization. Mage-built cities collapsed, spell-sped galleons sank, airships fell from the skies. Magic-born chimerae turned on their creators, and then their neighbors. The peoples of Awrhee fell into barbarism.

But that was generations ago. Humanity has scraped together kingdoms again, and learned to live without magic. Those who practice spellcraft are eyed with suspicion, as are the old ways, and the old places.

Some, however, seek treasure in the ruins of what was. Knowledge, gold, power—it’s out there. Treasure untold for anyone clever enough to find it, bold enough to take it, fast enough to get away with it.

It’s out there, in the Spell-Wracked Lands.

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

 

Flame Isfree and the Feather of Fate VI
A Serial Story by KD Sarge

 

“You said you would come alone,” the boy blurted when Flame stepped out of the shadows in the correct alley. Flame rolled her eyes.

“My chaperone. He annoys me, but I’ll vouch that he’ll treat everyone else well.”

“The mistress is ready for surprises,” the boy warned, eyeing the ranger. “And she is never questioned when bodies turn up in the lake.”

Ryahled rested a hand on his sword. Flame shot him a glare. “I will vouch for him,” she repeated. “And further vow that if he starts anything I will kill him myself.”

The boy snorted and turned away. “Come, then. Mistress Pwyllydwen … Continue reading