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Block head.

So I just want to take a moment to grumble about WordPress’ site builder nonsense. I mean, could they possibly make it any less user-friendly? The blocks are an improvement, I guess, but they could definitely do with some refinement. Also, moving around pages should not be this difficult. There are plugins that would make things easier, but they all require you to have a business account, and I am nowhere near established enough to be taking on that kinda investment. 

WordPress grumbling aside, I should have some writing project news next week. Some details are ironed out, but not all. It’s a big undertaking, so I want to make sure I have all of my ducks in a row. Getting everything moved around isn’t done, but I focused on fixing navigation this week. On that note, I think I have all of the broken links and whatnots taken care of, but if you come across any I missed, please let me know. 

In the clear, back to work.

So, according to the thyroid doctor, I’m in the clear for now. He doesn’t want to see me again for a year. I still have a whole host of other doctor appointments to get out of the way – my energy levels are low – but it’s good to have one less worry on the mind.

Site renovations are taking longer than expected because I simply cannot make up my mind about how I want it organized. I definitely understand why some people wait until they can afford to hand off the website stuff to people who get paid to do it, but I am also self-aware enough to know that I am too much of a control freak to do that, even if I could. It’s an issue. I’m working on it. In the meantime…

All vignettes have been moved to their own page. Same with the ridiculous amount of microfiction I churned out when I was more active on Twitter and the flashfiction that was scattered willy-nilly around the blog. Novels are next, but they’re going to take a lot of work and even more patience. Until they’re done, the link for them has been taken down. I’m hoping to have them back up before my next “weekend.” 

I’m looking forward to finishing this up so I can move on to the layout and then get back to writing. There are so many interesting writing prompts going around right now…

NaNo snippet

Hard at work on the site stuff now. Haven’t been to the doctor yet, but figured I’d share a snippet from my NaNo project. Enjoy 🙂

She watched him go, sunlight bathing his dark skin and turning his black hair blue wherever it touched, then made her way to the center of the clearing, where a small spring bubbled up from the earth, surrounded by wildflowers. Dropping to her knees next to it, she submerged her hands in the cold water, sucking in a breath as the ice-cold water met her hot skin. Shifting her body back so she was leaned over her knees in a low bow, she let her head come to rest on the ground and focused on her breathing. With every exhale, she could feel the anger and frustration flow from her body, down through her hands and into the water.

She lost track of time as she stayed in that position, grounding all of the negative energy she had let build up too far, but eventually, she became aware that the water was now warm, and she was no longer alone by the spring. Keeping her hands in the water, she turned her head so it was no longer her forehead, but her cheek, resting on the ground. 

Alex had re-entered the clearing and was standing guard over her prostrate form, eyes constantly skimming the skies and treeline.

On a whim, she reached for her lanai and sank her consciousness into the earth. The flowers around her lit up in her mind and the wind brushing through the treetops tickled against her skin. Underneath it all, she felt him.

Watch your step!

Only a few updates to the site so far. There are a lot of broken links and missing stories, I know. I’m working on it. I did warn you all that the site’s a mess. On the plus side though, I have the (probable) name of the next book in The Survivor Chronicles figured out, and I might have a project coming out later in the year. It’s going to depend on a lot though.

For the TL;DR crowd: dealing with another possible cancer scare (yay!), and possibly more writing coming much sooner than expected.

For the full story crowd:

Seriously, if I hear the word “cancer” or “oncology” directed at me one more time

For those of you who have followed along with the blog at all, you know I had a tumor removed behind my eye back in 2017 (which reminds me, I need to set up an appointment to follow up on that…yay, more eye puns!). Well, for the past several years, my family and I have suspected that my thyroid doesn’t work right. I finally got around to seeing a doctor for it, and she sent me over to a specialist. As it turns out, I have “lesions” on my thyroid (I think they’re basically tumors?). Whether or not they’re cancerous, we don’t know. I have a pretty severe reaction to needles coming near me, so I haven’t been able to sit through a biopsy on them. Instead, we’re taking the “wait and see” approach, because – normally – if the lesions are malignant, they grow fast enough to see within a couple of months. If the lesions have shown any signs of growth in this next visit, we’ll have to assume that it’s malignant, and they may just vote to take the whole thing out. I was supposed to find out the week before Christmas, but my roommate came down Covid, and then I was down with that and bronchitis (I am so glad I’m triple-vaxxed). We finally kicked it, but now I’m dealing with a sinus infection, so everything is a bit slow going.

On top of that, I was dealing with fluid on my lungs. Or, actually, fluid on just one of my lungs. We’re not entirely sure why. The most common cause for it – according to google – is congestive heart failure. I have no other symptoms of CHF, however, and – again, according to google – CHF usually involves a “pleural effusion” (the fancy word for ‘fluid on the lungs’) on both lungs, or the right lung. Mine showed up on the left, so I should be in the clear on that, but the next most common cause? Cancer. The other causes range from a simple infection to pneumonia or a blood clot in the lung.

The good news is, the effusion is cleared up, so that’s one big issue down. The thyroid appointment has been rescheduled for next week, so hopefully I’ll have good news to share next time around. In the meantime, I’ve had to buy a heating pad cause the muscles from my neck to my hips are jacked up from all the coughing I’ve been doing. 

I can’t tell you the name of the upcoming zombie book, because I want to make sure all of my “I”s are dotted and “T”s crossed, and the project I’m thinking of taking on is still in baby steps of planning, but I’ll be sharing more as I get closer to something concrete.

Construction area ahead.

Dropping in to give you all a quick heads up on what I’m working on this week. I figure, first thing to do is take out the trash. I’m going through, deleting posts that are no longer needed, and changing some of the posts to pages. Just, you know house cleaning. It’ll be good for the site in the long run, but in the meantime, this is your warning that you may run into a few broken links. Please be patient while I get it all sorted out and rearranged. 🙂

Honestly, most of the posts this month are probably going to be updates on what’s going on with the site. Some people have a house to renovate, I have a website. This thing is a mess, and it’s past due for a good deep clean. 

For those of you wondering, the stories that I have posted aren’t being taken down. They’re just being moved to make it easier to locate them. When I do move on to writing, it’s probably going to be editing. I’ve already mentioned that “Don’t Feed the Trolls” will be getting a massive overhaul, but “Say ‘No!’ to Zombies” will also be getting a lookover. There shouldn’t be any big changes to “SNtZ” – mostly toning the language down to appeal to a broader audience (don’t worry, Shelly will still have her potty mouth – it’s just going to be a bit more refined in the way she uses it) – so I’ll probably work on that in between renovations. Since “Don’t Feed the Trolls” needs much more attention, it will probably hold off until much later in the year. 

To tide you over, I am opening myself to any questions you all might have. Whether it’s about the characters, the story, or something else entirely. Hit me with all the burning questions 🙂 (or the not-so-burning ones. Either/or!)

Better late than never?

I just want to preface this with a massive apology. I know you all probably thought this thing was abandoned, and I should’ve kept you updated, but instead, I’ve been neglecting my works, my blog, everything.

I have no excuses for the neglect, so instead, I’m just going to give you the long overdue update.

“Don’t Feed the Trolls” is not dead or abandoned. I was just struggling with it, and I couldn’t figure out why I was struggling. Usually, it means that I’ve forced the characters into doing something out of character, and they’re no longer speaking to me until I fix it, but for the life of me, this time, I couldn’t figure out what I could’ve done to piss Shelly (or her boys off). Now though, I think I figured it out. It’s not Shelly or the boys. It’s me. I’ve been reading back over the previous chapters and I am very unhappy with the quality, and I think that’s what has been holding the story back.

This past week, I’ve been going through and editing previous chapters. I’ll be posting them when they’re done, but I don’t want to rush things and end up putting myself in a rut again, so I’m spacing out the posting. Don’t worry, as long as you’re subscribed, you’ll be getting a notification each time a new chapter has been reuploaded.

Chapter One has been “fixed” and will be up for reading shortly. Chapter two is mostly done, and I’m working on Chapter Three right now. Luckily, editing is going fairly quick, when I actually get a chance to sit down and work at it, so I don’t expect another year to go by without something.

Thank you, everyone, for sticking with me for so long. I’m sorry for not keeping you updated. I’m trying to do better, but I think it’s obvious I kinda suck at this. Please continue to be patient with me 🙂 

-TH

One down, One to go!

Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n @ Pexels.com

You all might’ve noticed that Chapter 18 was finally posted. I meant to do it last Friday, on my day off, but something came up. My temperature, mostly. (Don’t worry, I didn’t catch the plague. Quite the opposite, really…)

I think I’ve mentioned now that I work at a pharmacy, but I don’t remember if I’ve talked about their role in the vaccination process. The first one I worked at wasn’t a COVID hub – meaning, we didn’t do testing or vaccinations for COVID. I transferred to a different state back in late January though, and the store I’m at now, is a hub. We do testing, scheduled vaccinations, and – sometimes – unscheduled vaccinations.

It’s happened a few times, where they defrosted a certain amount of the vaccine, and not enough people showed up for their vaccinations. When that happens, the people giving the shots usually run through the store real quick to ask any shoppers if they want it. Most of the time though, they ask the employees, first.

I had already passed on two opportunities to get my shot (I hatehatehatehate needles), but I finally decided that if it was offered again, I would bite the bullet and get it. There are too many selfish people coming into my store without a mask, and I don’t want to end up on a ventilator because some idiot got their medical license from a cereal box and decided that this plague is a hoax. Well, last Thursday, the techs at our store had extras, and I did the damn thing.

Let me tell you something: when they say your arm will hurt, they mean it. The give the shot in the muscle, and you’ll feel it for a good couple days. Mostly when you try to reach for something. It’s not fun. I had a fever for a couple days and felt generally blech, so I rested most of Friday and Saturday. I’m back to baseline normal now, though, which means it’s time to get back on the ball.

Coming up in the next couple months is Chapter 19 of “Don’t Feed the Trolls” and a revamp for the site. Oh, and pictures of the newest addition to the family, Mocha.

Mocha, the “chocolate” kitten.

Shoo 2020, Shoo!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Pretty sure we can all agree that 2020 has been an absolute shit show for most people. Even other writers, those of us who thrive on social distancing ourselves from anyone and/or everyone, are starting to feel the struggle…which is why I kinda feel bad for this next part.

This past year was amazing for me.

There have been down moments (remote learning is not fun to deal with, and some a$$hat got hold of one of my credit cards), but overall, my life has changed for the better. I’ve got a new job I love (except for the idiots who come in, refusing to wear a mask) and coworkers I enjoy working with. I graduated college, summa cum laude. I self-published my first book. I finally got my teeth taken care of, I’ve started eating a little healthier (I’ve lost 10lbs! *dances*), and I’m taking steps to keep the momentum. I’m about halfway packed for my move next month and have paid off one of my big monthly bills.

I’m trying not to jinx anything, but I can’t help but to be excited for the new year.

We have new leadership (suck it, dumpster fire!), a new vaccine (yes, it was rushed; no, I don’t exactly trust it, either, but it’s better than nothing)…in 39 days, I’ll also have a new address and a new roommate. It’s hard not to feel hopeful.

I am standing by my decision from last year; I’m not going to focus on any new year resolutions. I’m just going to keep on working on where I want to be in 2030. For 2021, that means the Indiana side of Louisville, Kentucky. Between now and the end of January, there’s going to be a LOT going on. If anything good happens, I’ll share it, but what fun stuff can come from packing? And why do I have a sudden sinking feeling that this move is going to be more eventful than anticipated? 😬😬😬

2020 Finish line is in sight!

We’re in the final stretch! Just gotta make it through the next 31 days (not counting today), and 2020 will just be an ugly mark in history.

Polina Tankilevitch @ Pexels.com

Seriously, the only good thing that came out of this mess was the election results and even that was somewhat depressing. Don’t get me wrong, I am 100% here for Biden and our first female Vice President – of color, at that – but the fact that so many people still voted for the other choice, and the absolute ridiculous amount of people calling for him to run again in 2024 is heartbreaking. One of my roommates had her brother here for Thanksgiving week and I got to listen to a tin foil hat level conspiracy about how Biden’s going to put a chip in everyone by the end of the first year and they’re going to take everyone’s guns. By the time that guy left, I had a headache from the sheer…I don’t want to say stupidity, but wow. 

In other news, I haven’t even touched “Don’t Feed the Trolls.” As predicted, my hours at work almost doubled, and the increase in hours lined up perfect with my Thanksgiving break from watching the kids, so when I wasn’t working, I was recovering from working. There was drama at work on Thanksgiving, so that was really fun. A co-worker came to work with COVID symptoms. We had to send him home until he got tested and cleaned as much of the store as possible. Because of the possible exposure, I got to wear an N95 mask (3/10. Effective but hell on the nose) on top of my regular mask for the rest of the night. The coworker’s test came back negative, but we’re both having to have two temperature checks per work shift, just to be safe. 

I’ll have a two week break around Christmas, but I highly doubt I’ll get to write then, either. I’ll probably be working more, for one thing, and also ramping up on my packing. My future roommate signed the lease on our apartment just yesterday, and I’m supposed to be having a weekend off soon to finish organizing the family storage unit. Right now, everyone’s crap is all mixed in together, and I am not taking a bunch of toys the kids outgrew to my new place. Not happening, folks. I will be taking a washer and dryer (which may or may not work) and other assorted pieces of furniture, but that’s part of the organizing fun I get to have.

Lisa Fotios @ Pexels.com

I’m getting more and more excited, people. My future residential area has already had snow and it’s barely reaching freezing, here in DFW. I’m not going to have much of a winter this year, but it’ll still be more of one than I’ve had for the past twelve years, and I am so ready for it. 

TL;DR

No writing done, no writing probably until after the move. COVID still sucks. WEAR A DAMN MASK. Hell yeah, Biden/Harris, 2020!

In case you missed it:

“Say ‘No!’ to Zombies” is available on Amazon kindle! (Still working on the paperback copy.)

Thank the gods, 2020 is almost over~

Every single time I thought to sit down last month and write a blog post, something else happened. Some good, some bad, some…undecided. I’m just glad I was able to finish that last chapter in time. It was a very near thing. 

Cottonbro @ Pexels.com

Just a heads up everyone, the next couple of months are going to be spotty. I finally got my moving stuff sorted out, and will be moving from Fort Worth, Texas to the Louisville, Kentucky area at the beginning of 2021. For the next two months, I’ll be going through an entire storage unit full of crap, sorting it out, figuring out what I want to keep and – in a lot of cases – repacking a ton of boxes. This, by the way, is on top of working an increasing amount of hours (yay, holidays!) and homeschooling the kids. 

I had really hoped to have “Don’t Feed the Trolls” done before the end of the year, but with everything going on, I don’t know if it’s going to be possible. I plan on working on it as much as possible, but I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up. Due to this, I can’t promise a chapter in November. If I am able to post a chapter in November, I can’t promise one for December, and so on, and so on. 

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I can’t even promise Music Mondays anymore, and those are my favorite posts to do. I have a replacement idea in mind, but I haven’t decided if I like it yet, or how actionable it is, considering how busy I’m about to be.

Stay safe everyone. Whether the Idiot-In-Chief wins the election or not, the next couple of months are going to be interesting.

In case you missed it:

“Say ‘No!’ to Zombies” is available on Amazon kindle! (Still working on the paperback copy.)

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