I’m sorry I’ve been so absent in the past few months, but we are all in good health, and although the covid numbers in my neck of the woods have risen sharply — thanks in large part to the UK strain — we have managed to avoid it so far.
My parents, my husband’s parents, and my husband have all received their first vaccination shots, but in Ontario, second shots are months off at the moment.
This is probably going to be a bit rambling, so the TL;DR is: still mostly healthy, still writing, still struggling a bit with the West novel, where by a bit I mean: pulling all my hair out.
Part of the reason I have been otherwise absent on social media is the writing. I’d reached a point where I had to avoid all of my usual social media feeds because they were eating all available brain bandwidth; I would read them, and I would become wrapped up in the bad news of the day. Since much of it is so far beyond my control, I needed to step away in order to get enough bandwidth for actual fiction.
But there is a second reason. I was trying to figure out how to present bad news.
The last post I made talked about the Augustine collection. That book will no longer be going to DAW. The reason I struggled with presentation was simple: It’s not my fault. It’s not DAW’s fault. I don’t want readers to be angry at DAW, because DAW has been an exceptional publisher for me for the entirety of my writing career, and I don’t want people to be upset with or angry at them.
Since I could not figure out how to position the news, I set it aside to think about it, and then everything else kind of decided to fall into a swirling pit of chaos. But: this is where we are now. I can’t really talk a lot about it, otherwise, so I can’t really answer questions if they arise beyond what I’ve just said.
In March, I was at the bookstore and, hmmm. Peripheral vision. When tested for it, I have perfectly good peripheral vision. I always have.
But… I tend to tunnel when working or thinking, which is how I managed to walk into the side of moving car. I kind of … blank out the external world. I don’t do this deliberately – but it’s a personal failing.
And I tend to be very, very good at failing to notice things in peripheral vision in real world circumstances. If I’m at home or at a place that is like home, my sense of threat-assessment or danger-assessment is… not good.
So I kind of ran into a metal shelf with my right upper arm; I slammed into the edge of the shelf, but I was moving at speed because I was running to get the door (we’re curb-side only, and I had a lap full of books I was receiving, so I had to put them down carefully and then kind of run). (This shelf would be the rolling metal shelf closest to the door that leads to the used books, for those who know the store.)
This was not… ideal. The large cut was not deep but took a while to actually heal, and my biggest fear was that it would get infected — the worse infection from a cut I ever had was for a paper-cut on my finger.
About a week after I did this, I started to have problems with my right shoulder and right arm, and… this has not really gone away. Nothing was broken — it’s definitely soft tissue. It seems to get worse if I remain in the same position for too long, which affects computer use a bit.
Also: because of prior kitchen leaking and haphazard repairs, we needed work done in the kitchen. The short form is: the underside of the counter had rotted away due to water damage over the past 2 decades, and there was nothing holding the actual plumbing for the sink/tap in place except the huge mass of glue necessary to… hold the tap in place temporarily.
That temporarily was supposed to be dealt with in February of 2020. Yes, 2020. February. The start of the lockdown here. So… that didn’t happen. In March 2021, after much angst, we decided to have the work done because, water. Leaking.
So I had to take time off work, because I wasn’t going to go back to work until two weeks after the contractors were finished. I was willing to take a calculated risk (and it was stressful enough that I don’t want to do it again), but that changed the shape of my household bubble, and everyone else at the store pretty much avoids all public transit, stays home except for grocery shopping, and avoids socializing in person. Which described my household as well — but adding contractors to the house kind of changes that, and it’s not a risk it’s reasonable to ask people who are taking no risks to share.
To our great relief, there was no covid, and I am now back at the store (it’s been 3 weeks since the last day of kitchen work; the work was delayed because one of the counter people’s team phoned in sick on the day they were supposed to deliver and install it. So the counter person in charge had to have everyone tested for covid, and the results came back late Monday, so they came in Tuesday — but asked us to stay off the floor on which they were doing work, just in case it was “too early” to properly trigger a positive result.
During the construction work, however, my work space was… not really much of a space, since half the kitchen had to be moved to the nearest safe available flat surface. Now, we have a tap that is properly bolted to the underside of a counter that is not rotted away from water damage.
I…did not get a lot of work done in March.
Toronto, where I live, is shuttered again. Grocery stores remain open with diminished capacity, etc. But hair salons, restaurants, gyms, etc., are closed. Dental offices are open for dental emergencies. Hospital emergency rooms are, of course, open. Doctor’s offices are largely closed.
My shoulder is still not healed; my RMT brother thinks it’s likely a rotator cuff/socket injury. My doctor has nothing to say because her office is closed due to unspecified emergency until the 22nd of April (we were assuming covid, given the timing, but that’s not what’s been announced), but the options for checking the shoulder at the moment are telehealth, zoom doctor’s appointment, or actual emergency ward visit, so. I think seeing a physiotherapist would be helpful, but that’s not in the cards for at least a month because Toronto is not really open.
There is a possibility that I will be eligible for my first vaccine shot sometime in May or June, because I work non-essential retail, which, yes, means I haven’t had mine yet =/.
So we come to April.
I am working on the second Severn novel. The next Cast novel is, I think, a July title — which means end of June in non-publishing terms. The West novel remains — I am so sorry — unfinished.
I have the complete cover for Cast in Conflict, and I’ll post it tomorrow or the day after (I don’t generally tend to post the front cover because that’s available everywhere >.>)
I hope everyone has otherwise been healthy and things have been going well for you. And now I’m going to go look at comments posted here on the previous post — and again, I apologize for hiding under rocks.