Sunday, June 27, 2010

I'm on the Radio

I just finished my very first radio interview (Thank you, Theresa Chaze). I think it went well. I haven’t listened to it yet—there’s that little fear of listening to myself to get over first—but I think it went well. I certainly enjoyed myself and I hope I didn’t say anything stupid. I think I spoke too fast at times (I get excited and start racing—I do that in class too. I start speaking about a book, and my face gets flushed, and I speed up; my students laugh at me) and I think I talked over the host a couple of times (Sorry, Theresa), but if you get me started, sometimes you just can’t shut me up. Not bad for someone who considers herself shy. (Really. Don’t put me in a situation where I have to mingle and mix—but ask me questions and I can get rolling).

We talked about the romance genre, fantasy, science fiction, the magic in writing, my puppy (Yes, I know I need to post a new picture—it’s coming…sometime), promotion, and stuff in general. If you’d like to listen to the interview you can download it or listen here at blogtalkradio.

So…how did I do?

Books I’m reading now:
Finding the Dream by Nora Roberts
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (because I’m going to the new Harry Potter World at the end of July)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Good News

If you remember that personal post of two weeks ago, I have the results. The pathology was negative. I don't have cancer. Good news. They did find what they called active tissue, which I will have to have monitored for a while (next MRI in December), but for now I'm fine.

So how does this affect my life? Well, it's freed me in my writing a little. I'm not afraid to be a little more out there, sink a little more of myself into the text. It's made TOIL & TROUBLE, the third book in my trilogy, a little more interesting to write because I'm able to turn off that internal editor with a little more success. That internal editor gets in my way a lot. That and being an English teacher. Hard to forget those grammar and essay rules I'm trying to drive into my student (That's right; it's driven into them; they don't want to learn them).

So now it's back to work, and loving it.

Happy summer everyone.

Books I'm reading now:
Duma Key by Stephen King
One dance with a Duke by Tessa Dare

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Tribute

Yesterday we had our monthly writers’ meeting, and I was struck by something. Earlier in the week, I had received an inquiry from a film producer about the film rights to my book. I know most likely nothing will come of it, but it’s fun to speculate, and I shared this news with my writer friends, and they were appropriately excited. Our meeting was about screenwriting (wonderful speaker, great meeting, by the way), and through the course of questions one of our members revealed that her book is going in for screenwriting through a huge Hollywood agency. She had not mentioned this to me.

Now, let me explain. This author got the fairy tale, the Cinderella story. Her first book sold in a major deal, foreign rights are being sold right and left, and now I’ve discovered she’s got a movie or TV deal in the works as well. I did not get the Cinderella deal, but that’s okay. I’m really happy with what I have. I didn’t get the guy who can sing well either, or the guy who picks up after himself, and while I love to look at my guy, I wouldn’t say he was a babe magnet either. But you know what? I love him with all my heart and soul. He is my perfect guy and I love being around him and I’m still thrilled he picked me (after 25 years of marriage that’s saying something).

I adore the author who received this deal. We are at the start of real friendship (yes, we’re friends now, but we still don’t know the names of each others’ children—okay, maybe we do, but you know what I mean). I’m thrilled for her, but I’m afraid she might be holding back on sharing some of the exciting details of her fairy tale because she is afraid she might put some people off, or it will sound like bragging, or because people will turn nasty with her (it has happened with other authors) out of jealousy. Really, she got the deal we all dream about as authors. And it’s exciting to be a witness to. It proves that dreams do come true. It doesn’t diminish what I’ve achieved. So it will take me longer to reach her level—I may never get there—but who cares? There’s room for everybody. Her success is everyone’s success.

Is she not allowed to celebrate because of her success? Isn’t she allowed to bask in her glory and just enjoy the whole process? I’m sure she’s celebrating with family and close friends, but I hope she doesn’t have to fear celebrating with the rest of us too.

So I’m here to be a cheerleader for her. (Not literally. Me in a skimpy skirt with pom-poms? That’s the stuff of nightmares. Wouldn’t give the right impression. Frightening. >shudder<). I want to hear about everything, because even if I never get there, I’m learning from her experiences, and if it’s my turn I’ll know a little more. Besides, she deserves it. She worked hard. She wrote a great book (which I’m still waiting to read—but I suppose I have to wait like everyone else.) and she was recognized for it. Good for her!!!


P.S. I don't have the results yet in regard to my last post, but I will keep you informed.

Books I'm reading now:
Ten Things I Love about You by Julia Quinn
Duma Key by Stephen King

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Take Your Health for Granted

Sometimes I think I need to get a little more personal on this blog, and this is one of those times. It promises to be a long one, so either stop reading now, or be prepared for a bit of reading.

I’m going back to the beginning, April 21. My book was coming out April 27, and I had nothing but high hopes for the future. April 21 was my scheduled annual mammogram. I took the day off of school for the appointment and spent the rest of the day writing guest blogs, planning promo for the launch of the new career. Excitement, nerves, and fear about the new book filled me. And then on Friday, April 23, they called and said that they found something on the mammo and want to do another one. But that this was fairly normal and that I shouldn’t worry. (Really? I’m a writer. I earn money from using my imagination.)

So my book came out on Tuesday, April 27, my puppy arrived April 28, and on Friday, April 30, I went in for another mammo and a sonogram. The mammo still showed something, so they scheduled me for a scintimammogram—that’s nuclear medicine for those who don’t know. May 11 was the next available date. Great. Not quite two weeks of worrying.

In the meantime, I had guest blogs, comments to make, keeping up a good face at school, and trying to enjoy my book’s launch. I also had a puppy to laugh at. I did most of the time, but sometimes the worry would get to me. By the way, thanks to all those bloggers who let me appear on their blogs, all the interviews you all let me give. It was helpful to keep my mind off of things.

So the scintimammogram consisted of having radioactive stuff injected into me, and then a special mammogram that shows the radioactive isotopes that react to anything unusual happening in the breast. I had to laugh while taking the test. The vial of radioactive stuff was kept in a lead tube, the technician kept it in a lead box, the syringe vial was encased in lead, but they just shot it into me. It didn’t frighten me; I just found it ironic. But the test was positive. Definite reaction. Next step: MRI.

Now lest you think I’m feeling overly sorry for myself, I wasn’t. I didn’t tell people because I didn’t want people coming up to me and asking how I was. That’s not who I am. My daughter joked with me. “If it is cancer, they can just lop off the breast. Of course, then you’ll be walking around in circles.” Best line ever.

Meanwhile, I’m checking reviews coming in of my book, scheduling more blogs. It was surreal, really. The excitement of the book coming out, the end of the school year coming fast, and yet behind it all I was frightened of the “c” word. My husband kept saying it wasn’t fair. I should be enjoying this time, enjoy the success the book seemed to have. Yeah, well, life doesn’t work that way.

May 19 was the MRI. It showed not only the spot in the right breast that was causing concern, but also a spot in the left that hadn’t been spotted through all the previous testing. Great. Of course, by now I was thinking this wasn’t so bad. Breast reduction on the insurance company. Never have been able to find blouses that fit well.

Met with a breast specialist who is fabulous, and we decided on a course of action. I went in for a lumpectomy on June 7. We decided that because whatever this was was caught so early, it would just be best to cut them out. Then if it was cancerous, they would be out, and if it was precancerous, then they wouldn’t be there to turn cancerous. She also said that if I were 65, she wouldn’t have done this, and just let it grow for another ten years, but because I was so young (preening here) this would take care of anything in the future.

Between May and now, I decided I wanted people to know. I had gotten used to the idea, and frankly, I didn’t think about it much. I was ready for people to ask me how I was. I’m still not thinking about it much, except now my chest is wrapped in bandages and I can’t take a really deep breath, but I have so much going on. I’m working hard on the third book in the trilogy, putting finishing touches on my GLEE essay for the fall book, and enjoying summer. I wish I had the definitive answer to give you right now. The pathology still isn’t back on whether it is cancer or not (I should find out tomorrow or Friday), but whatever it is, it’s out, and I’m good. I’m a little uncomfortable (I did have surgery, after all), but I’m good. We’re talking cure, not treatment. And really, if it is anything, we caught it sooooo early.

So here’s the explanation of the title of this blog. Take your health for granted. I don’t mean you should eat unhealthy, or that you shouldn’t exercise or see a doctor regularly, but you shouldn’t worry about your health if you don’t have to. Once you’re given a reason to worry, you’ll do plenty of it. No need to worry about things until they happen. So take your health for granted. I’m ready to do just that with only the occasional reminder that something happened to me in April, May, and June of 2010. I’d rather remember that‘s when my book came out and my career started.


Books I’m reading now:
Strangers in Death by JD Robb
Ten Things I Love about You by Julia Quinn