You’re not imagining things, it’s really me!

Hello Writerverse, it’s been a while! A lot has happened in the seven–wow, seven?!–months since I last posted here on my blog. I had no idea it had been that long, and I need to make up for that. So I’ll take this time to get y’all caught up on what’s been going on. Beware, this is gonna be a long one. :)

the endFirst and foremost, the big news: I. Finished. Writing. My. First. Novel! Yes, you read that correctly. Last November 30th at the end of NaNoWriMo, I wrote the words “The End” on the last page of my manuscript for Curse of Camelot! I was with my bestie, and the second after typing those words, I clapped my hands over my mouth to keep from screaming out loud. Meagan, of course, knew instantly what I’d accomplished, and she grinned at me. A moment later, we were boogieing like idiot teenagers.

I took the next four months off until I half-heartedly attempted to participate in April’s Camp NaNoWriMo to edit the rest of COC. I failed miserably, and the manuscript sat another month and a half until Meagan and I went on our second annual Belletristes writing retreat in Fredericksburg. Having already spent nearly three weeks without air conditioning due to a busted compressor, I was more than ready for time away from home and getting back to writing.

Two momentous events happened that week, the first being my second big accomplishment with Camelot: I completed the copy edits of the full manuscript on 7 June. Another boogie session ensued with my bestie, and I celebrated by tossing the original first draft pages into the air for one of my Instagram posts. Then we each plowed through a pint of our favorite ice cream while watching my favorite movie, Ladyhawke. Meagan went to bed early (she was being a good mom and heading back home at the crack of dawn to attend my oldest nephew’s fifth grade graduation) and I stayed up to watch my new favorite dance movie, High Strung, then I too went to bed.

Little did I know my world was about to blow up into smithereens the next day.

I got up Friday morning, smiled at the note Meagan had left, and ate my breakfast bagel before getting down to work at 7:30. I started transcribing my edits into Word, and broke for lunch around noon. My bestie called to say she’d be on her way back shortly, and I got back to transcribing. When my cell rang again, I picked it up and automatically glanced at the caller ID, and stopped breathing.

It was the animal hospital where I was boarding my Molly calling, and I knew  they wouldn’t be contacting me if she was okay. As the conversation continued, my heart ached, the tears I cried (okay, sobbed) made me almost incoherent as I tried to comprehend the details being relayed by the on-call vet. The entire time, I sat in the chair in front of the window staring out of it and waiting for my sister-bestie to get back so I wouldn’t be alone in a rental cottage without transportation 78 miles away.

Molly Maru (1998-2018)

You see, my kitty had developed fluid in her chest from her heart murmur or her kidney disease or possibly cancer, and it was hard for her to breathe and she would most likely not get better. So I had to make The Decision all pet owners avoid as long as possible, and I had to do it long distance. I knew what was best for her, and to do anything else would have been horribly selfish. Fortunately, my very good friend works a receptionist at WLAH, and loved my kitty almost as much as me. Caryn was with Molly for me as my baby girl left this world to join Tink in Kitty Heaven, and also agreed to keep her until I could see her one last time on Monday.

As you can imagine, my emotions have been on a roller-coaster ride the last three weeks. Some days, I’m the Walking Dead as I shuffle around the house desperately missing my cat. Others, I’m inspired to work on this or that for my novels, and her being gone hurts a little less. Part of why I continued with FMS’s Instagram June Photo A Day challenge was to have something different I could focus on. My July is shaping up to be enormously busy too, what with taking on three challenges simultaneously: 25,000 words for Camp NaNoWriMo, Kara’s bullet journal #bohoberrychallenge, and NaNoWriMo’s #InstaWrimo challenge from April.

Here’s to getting back to normal and reconnecting with my shapeshifters. I’ve been away from them too long, and I could use some old friends to talk to instead of a few empty rooms.

Good luck in July, fellow Campers. I’ll be back around the campfire starting Sunday, so see you there!

NaNo 2013 ~ Day 26

Cat on a lap
Cat on a lap

Happy Tuesday, everyone! As I sit here with a laptop on my lap and a kitty on my legs, it’s hard to forget that I’m on vacation. Last night, however, I nearly forgot that tonight is our neighborhood ecumenical (aka multi-faith) Thanksgiving service and my choir is singing. Not sure how I did that, unless I was fully embracing the idea of not having any commitments beyond that final push to 50,000 for NaNo and cooking up some potato soup and chili so I wouldn’t go hungry. In any case, it altered the original writing timetable I’d set for myself for today.

Originally, I’d thought today would be a non-writing day, you know, because of the service. Then my brain kicked in and said, “Hey, you have hours before you have to be at the church, you can totally get some words in!” My brain was right. I got over 2,100 words on the page, but only after muting the television so the only thing I could hear was the clicking of the keys as I typed.

I can now take a little break before getting ready to head out into the cold, COLD night and sing a little music. That light at the end of my NaNo tunnel is looking pretty darn bright. :)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

This week’s challenge is a great one. I’m keeping it simple, though, to the four things I love the most. Well, the four things I love most after my mom, of course. She’s always #1 on the list. Although, now that I think about it, she’s actually associated with each and every one of the photos below in some way or another, so she’s here in spirit, even if she is a bit camera shy.

Love... is a cat on a lap
Love is… a cat on a lap. I was able to adopt Molly because of Mom’s best friend, V. (Click the image to visit my Nik’s Cats share site for more photos.)
Montana, and the Glacier Avalanche trail. My heart lives here.
Love is… Montana, and Glacier’s Avalanche Trail. My heart longs to return to Montana, a place I was able to visit because of that very same friend of Mom’s, V. (Click the image to visit my Great Flathead Valley Adventure share site for more photos.)
Love is... Ireland. My soul lives here. (click image to visit my Nik's Irish Birthday share site for more photos)
Love is… Ireland. My soul longs to live here. Mom and I visited the Emerald Isle to celebrate my 40th birthday.
(Click the image to visit my Irish Birthday share site for more photos.)
Love is... Firefly. 'Nuff said.
Love is… Firefly. ‘Nuff said.