beth_bernobich: alice (alice)
Shortly after my last post, I got the results for my biopsy. It was positive, alas, so what followed was a rapid series of appointments before and after our trip to Italy. (Because we were not going to be denied this trip**.)

Surgical consult. Pre-surgery physical. The surgery itself. Lots of paperwork filled out before and after. More medical appointments, including a follow-up with the surgeon, an appointment with the medical oncologist, and another with the radiation oncologist.

But right now, between the surgery and the many medical appointments to follow, I have a week with no obligations other than to rest and recover. And if I can get through a day without needing naps, I might be able to squeeze in a writing session or two.

** Photos to come, as soon as we sort through them all.
beth_bernobich: obsessing (obsessing)
I'm working through several health issues these days. There's the stress fracture in my foot, which is healing, thanks to a wonderful podiatrist. I should be in good shape for our vacation in a couple weeks. There's also the matter of a biopsy next week for possible breast cancer. I'll know by Thursday what the results are, and I'll deal with things as necessary.

Work is going quite well. We launched a new version of our financial tracking system. (Which involved tossing the old and horrible version and redesigning/rewriting from scratch.) I'm now overhauling our staffing planning application based on feedback from the department admins and the finance director.

And the novel in progress... There is progress, even though I still have four chapters left to write. The middle chapters, however, just went through another editing pass, with lots of words added, and lots more replaced. (Chapter 10, in particular, has been especially thorny.) I plan to making a polishing pass through this middle section before I tackle the final section.

And in two weeks, Rome. *bliss*
beth_bernobich: Beak Bird (Beak Bird)
Last year, the snow piled higher and higher, so that we had to dig narrow pathways from our door to the driveway. We still had patches of snow until April, and it took even longer for the pond to melt. When the daffodils finally bloomed, my spouse said that March had clearly arrived in April.

This year, we've had some snow, yes. And several bitterly cold days. But we've also had days where the temps rose to 60F, and while the pond did freeze over, it was only for a few days here and there. So, as the title of this post says, we've had a reverse and now April has arrived in February.

I've been so busy with writing and the dayjob, I might not have noticed, except I do work at a University, so whenever I want a cup of coffee, or I need to get lunch, I walk to the next building over, or maybe to the Student Union. Enforced breaks, they are good for me.

As for the writing... I spent a couple weekends addressing some concerns that my new agent pointed out. Those chapters are now stronger and more emotionally charged. Agent has approved the new version, and the book is now out on submission. Luckily I'm so busy, I don't have time to fret. Mostly. :)
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (cat on a wire)
Nocturnall Kickstarter: E-book gift codes all sent. Thank-you tweets all sent. Spreadsheet updated. I've been researching printers for the limited print run, and so far the front runners are Lightning Source and Createspace. LS has a reputation for somewhat higher quality, but Createspace is somewhat less expensive and appreciably easier to work with, according to all my sources.

Edge of the Empire: On the back burner for now. See next item.

Not!Sherlock: I need to make another editing pass to address two minor issues and one medium-sized issue that my agent pointed out. I had hoped to finish this pass by today, but a few other obligations popped up last week. Once the edits are in place, I want to read through the whole thing one more time to make sure they work with the rest of the story.

And at home, my flowerbeds need some attention—we're still rehabilitating them from their years of neglect before we bought the house—but like the pirate novel, they are on the backburner until Not!Sherlock goes out on submission. Once that happens, I shall descend upon the local garden center with visions of annuals and perennials dancing in my head.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (apples)
The snow is gradually melting. One flowerbed is clear, and the rest are showing patches of mulch. Though I wasn't expecting anything, I did a brief inspection yesterday and was delighted to see a few sprouts from all those bulbs I planted last fall.

I finally succumbed to the lure of Current Novel, and am doing a slow and careful re-read of the latest draft. That way I'll be ready by the time my kind and generous readers send me their feedback. Still stupidly in love with these characters.

And in Kickstarter news: I've added the option to get extra copies of the print edition—just add $10/copy to your pledge level. See here for details: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/706143456/nocturnall-a-coda-to-the-river-of-souls-trilogy
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (doggie)
Chapters 9 and 10 edited, plus a dent made in chapter 14. Have I mentioned recently how much I love writing this book?

Meanwhile, my birthday was last Friday. My son took me out to dinner to our favorite Thai restaurant. My spouse was in San Francisco, but had left a (wrapped) box of chili chocolate squares for our son to hand over on the day. And Bookscan gave me a very shiny present with its report of how many copies of The Time Roads sold the week before.

Onward.
beth_bernobich: alice (alice)
Winter temperatures have finally settled in. We've only had one snowfall, which has already melted, but the nights bring frost to our windows, and the lake has that silver sheen that says it's starting to freeze over. Come January, the ice fishers will be out.

One goal I have is to buy a grate and screen for the fireplace in my office. We had all our fireplaces cleaned out, and the chimney repaired, last spring, and I'd love to sit by a bright cheery fire, reading a good book. (Or marking up manuscript pages.)

Speaking of manuscript pages, I've marked up chapters 9-13 of Current Novel, and have set myself a goal of editing 2 pages each morning before work. That leaves me weekends for writing new new material. And, hopefully, have some time with my family.

quiet...

Oct. 19th, 2014 10:00 am
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (Black Cat)
It's been a very hectic couple of months. Crisis after crisis at the dayjob. The drama of Newbie (now, thankfully, over). At least four weeks in a row where I consistently worked long days and weekends. And though I was truly looking forward to our vacation in London, that also required time and work to prepare for. I had no time for writing, and I could feel my nerves frazzling.

But! Vacation did finally arrive. And it was lovely.

We rented an apartment near Russell Square and within a few blocks of the British Museum. Having an apartment instead of a hotel room meant we could have a leisurely breakfast in our pajamas, with coffee made to our liking. It also meant that on Tuesday, when my spouse decided to go visit coin dealers, I had the space to write, pace, write, make coffee, and write some more.

We're home now, and that too is a good thing. I have quiet. I have my cats. And yesterday, I opened up the latest chapter for Current Novel and spent the afternoon writing. #bliss
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (Black Cat)
It's Mother's Day in the US, and it's my husband's birthday. Since our Sunday evenings are generally taken up with necessary chores, we went out for dinner last night, then came home to swim in the pool in the moonlight. Low-key and lovely.

Today is all about house chores, however, with possibly some gardening. No fiction writing, though. I'm using this break between copyedits and page proofs for The Time Roads to make a dent in the chaos. Sorting mail. Dusting and vacuuming. Tackling all those tasks I neglected over the past month.

What about Current Novel, you ask? My agent loves the new version of the synopsis and chapters. ("They went from Good to GOOD!" is the quote.) Her goal is to go out on submission this week. Fred, that happy muse, is feeding me new scenes and details. I will jot them down as I can, but I really want to resist diving back into the draft until I'm done with The Time Roads.
beth_bernobich: Crab (Crab)
I had fully intended to work on copyedits this afternoon, but that ain't gonna happen. I had a colonoscopy this morning, which means I am tired and not very focused.

Meanwhile, news just came from my editor to let me know that The Time Roads will be released as a trade paperback, not hardcover. And y'know? I think this is a great idea, because more readers will take a chance on the book this way. (I'm guessing the price of the e-book will also go down.) Sales is also excited by the cover and the splendid quotes. And Sales being excited is also a Very Good Thing.

home....

Dec. 1st, 2013 08:30 am
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (Black Cat)
...from a week in Paris, visiting with our son who is studying at Université Paris VIII for the semester. We had a lovely time: catching up with our son, talking politics and art and books with him and his host, seeing favorite sights from before, discovering new ones. And oh, my, the food. I will likely go into shock when the next credit card bill arrives--Paris is an expensive city--but I am so glad we could indulge ourselves.
beth_bernobich: balloon heart (balloon heart)
...to my son, who turns 20 today.



We'll have a belated celebration with him at the end of the month, when we go to visit him.
beth_bernobich: petal twigs (petal twigs)
(I meant to post this yesterday, but the dayjob was even more hectic than usual.)

You still have three more days to enter my triple giveaway contest! Winners will be announced next Sunday.

Tor is running a special sale on the e-book of Passion Play. Only $2.99 until October 4th.

The lovely and talented Liz Bourke interviewed me for Tor.com this week.

And there are my Sunday Essays, where I talk about the River of Souls books, with character studies, essays about magic and multiple lives, and more. (Warning: There are some spoilers for Passion Play and Queen's Hunt.)

If you want a peek into the books themselves, here are excerpts from Passion Play, Queen's Hunt, and Allegiance.

In more personal news, my son has just started a semester abroad in Paris, and judging from his Facebook entries, he's having a wonderful time.
beth_bernobich: alice (alice)
Just over a week ago, I had Mohs surgery on my right hand for skin cancer. Because the stitches went across the back of my hand, I have spent the past week at home, unable to do much other than read, awkwardly pet the cats with my left hand, and type a few posts or tweets one-handed. Things had steadily improved over the week, and I had hopes of getting some writing done over the weekend, but then came a migraine, my hand turned blue and numb, the area around the stitches turned bright red and acquired some blisters, and once I got over those, a stomach bug attacked.

This morning, the stomach bug is...mostly over. (I might not eat solid foods today.) However, I can type two-handed without any aches or shooting pains, and I can grip a coffee cup handle, so it's time for me to go back to the dayjob. I will be glad to get out of the house. Not so glad that this puts me back in the locked windowless room. (At least it has good AC.)

In happier news, Google Alerts brought me the news that Queen's Hunt is on the long list for the 2013 David Gemmell Legend Award. I'm pleased to be in such splendid company.

in between

Apr. 15th, 2013 09:33 am
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (blue woman)
I am currently in between jobs. My last day at Konica was April 9th, which meant I was there to help with the new system launch. My new job  starts April 22nd. I have several very different goals for this period. Some are practical (medical appointments) and some are just plain fun (we spent this past weekend in Provincetown). And some are both at once (writing novel proposals).

Speaking of writing, galleys for ALLEGIANCE are scheduled to show up this week. This is the last step for me before all those words I wrote turn into a real book. I'm pretty excited. Also very nervous. This book is the end of the trilogy, and readers who have followed Ilse and Raul through Passion Play and Queen's Hunt deserve a satisfying payoff. I tried to deliver that. I hope I succeeded. Come October, I get to find out.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (red mushroom)
The snow started falling around 9AM (or thereabouts) on Friday, but didn't really pick up speed or quantity until 1PM. Snow continued throughout the night until 1PM on Saturday. During the night, the wind speed was fairly brisk, with gusts up to 75mph. In our area, there wasn't much damage, mostly lots and lots of snow.

Here's what our house and yard looked like after the snow stopped falling. )
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (blue woman)
The kind of skin cancer I had is called squamous.** It's faster growing than basel cell, but not as dangerous as melanoma. However, if not taken care of, it can spread to organs.

Today, the doctor removed my stitches, and we discussed further treatment and such. While they did get all the tumor, the bad news is that once you get skin cancer, you are more likely to get it again, especially if you are, like me, fair-skinned with red hair and freckles.

So. At our next visit, she and I will discuss whether or not to use a skin cream that can highlight any lurking precancerous spots. I'm also scheduled for annual full-body scans. (I was doing those with my previous dermatologist, but then we moved and things got hectic.)


** Which makes me think of H.P. Lovecraft. And really, isn't cancer an eldritch thing?
beth_bernobich: Crab (Crab)
The bad news is that it** was malignant. The good news is that the doctor managed to remove the whole thing in one shot. Also, luckily, I can still type, though the stitches are annoying.

** A "thing" popped up suddenly on the back of my hand. Doctor removed it last week,and I got the biopsy results today.

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