Saturday, November 3, 2018

Where the heck have you been, Nancy?

Actually that is a pretty complex question. It has been over a year since I updated this poor, neglected blog. Not for lack of wanting to, I can reassure you, or because I've lost interest in writing—which I definitely have not. It's just that life keeps getting in the way, and the time I have to write has gradually shrunken to 3 days most weeks. I write on any Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday that I don't have appointments, and also any time on the weekend when I have a few hours free. On Mondays and Thursdays I still babysit the youngest grandchild, since her older brother is now in kindergarten, and I also help care for my mother. Besides that, I fill in whenever the family needs me to watch any of the above for a few hours or even an entire day if necessary.

So writing is still happening on this end, but I can see that I have to play catch-up on all releases I've had since the last post. There have been a few...

JEZEBEL JOHNSTON—MOURNING STAR came out on May 3rd of this year (2018) from Airship 27. This is the 4th book in the Jezebel Johnston series. This one has cover art by Ted Hammond and again Rob Davis did the interior illos. The series is far from over folks, I'm finishing up the 5th book now.

While we're talking about Jezebel Johnston, Airship 27 has shown a leap of faith in issuing the first four books of Jezebel Johnston stories in an omnibus edition, which just came out just recently, on October 23 (2018). Behold below, JEZEBEL JOHNSTON—BIRTH OF A BUCCANEER!

This is the very first omnibus that Airship 27 has ever released, and the second largest book they've ever put out, and I can tell you that makes me feel very proud. So if you have a hankering to read all 4 of the published novels in one sitting, this is the book you want.

What's really cool about this book is while that is a brand new cover by artist Kevin Johnson, on the back are all the original covers of the 4 novels that are included inside. Also it still contains all 36 original interior illustrations by Rob Davis. Think what an ideal holiday gift this would make for someone who loves swashbuckling pirates or any kind of action/adventure novel. As always this series is aimed at a somewhat mature audience (think PG13) because of the intense subject matter. I do a ton of research for these books and make them as historically accurate as possible without access to a Tardis or Time Machine. 😎

So what else have I got? Glad you asked!

Now backing up a bit again, on September 1st (2018), Pro Se Press  released THE DARK GLASS, which is the 4th book in the Greenwood Cycle fantasy series, which is included under my Hansen's Way imprint.

This continues the series started with FORTUNE'S PAWN. Cover art is by Cathy Crow. Besides being in paperback and Kindle format at, I understand that this one is available on LULU as a hardcover.

So you see, I did have a few books released this year. I just never got out here to blog about them. And I should because I work hard at this thing called writing. Plus it's also a nod to the publishers who have taken the time and effort to package my offerings so that you all can read them.

Now, as far as what I have going on... Well there are still some works in progress to talk about.

Fellow writer and all around good guy Lee Houston Jr. and I collaborated on another Companion Dragons Tale children's novel this year. That got turned in to Pro Se around the beginning of August. This one covers the early exploits of a little dragon named Kiri, and I will have more details about that on the COMPANION DRAGONS TALES blog when I get that updated. It will eventually be released by Pro Se, but they are already two books behind on the series, so I have no hard timetable.

Most of this year I have been trading off between working on both a new Jezebel Johnston pirate novel, and another book in the Greenwood Cycle. I started them both back in January, just a few weeks apart. Both are nearing completion. The pirate series takes longer because of the copious research involved, so I have been devoting two days a week to that alone. I find fantasy easier to write simply because I know the world I'm working in, so I'll likely finish that book first, even with only working on it one day a week most of the time. I definitely will have them both turned in to their respective publishers before the end of the year, though I was hoping to have them done by Thanksgiving. Titles for both books are DESTINY'S DECREE for the Greenwood Cycle fantasy, and Jezebel Johnston—Danseuse.

So what will I do after I finish this year's writing projects? 

Well, besides breathing a huge sigh of relief after they get sent to their respective publishers, then it's time to take a short break and enjoy family time at the holidays. But I will be thinking about what books and other written projects to tackle next year. In fact, I have already jotted down some notes about that, because at 61, with all I have going on, my brain holds onto random thoughts as readily as a sieve collects water. I've learned the hard way over the years, if you have a good idea, you'd better write it down. Now. Don't wait, you'll forget. In fact, I'd recommend that to anyone who is pressed for time but has some creative urge noodling around in the head. Write that sucker down and file it. Someday you'll be glad you did.

If you could see the amount of document files I have on my PC (and yes they are all backed up) you'd be astounded. I take writing seriously and I'm a stubborn packrat because I never toss out an idea that didn't work the first few times. Some of them are potential titles that speak to me of what would be in that book, some are sketchy pseudo outlines, and others are simply a couple sentences of a scene from a dream or something that inspired me. I have a lot of old story starts too that I am unashamed to cannibalize for new tales. So I am never at a total loss for what to do next and I seldom sit staring at a blinking cursor for more than a few minutes. When I sit down to write, something is going on that page, whether it's 50 words, 500, or 1500. Writing is more than just a creative endeavor, it's an attitude and a passion. I love what I do, and so I do it whenever I can. Even when things are tough, time is short, and the words just aren't coming, I will have something to report at the end of a session. Every book started with a sentence. Then you add another and another. There's no magic, you just have to grind away.

And at the end of the day, I can still sit with family, watch TV, and maybe crochet or something. Now not everybody has the luxury of writing from home rather than driving off to the 9-5 world of cubicles and time clocks. But you can grab a quick half hour and put a few sentences on a page. Or jot down some notes. That's truly all it takes.  😉👍

See you next time I have something to say,

Monday, September 11, 2017

Lest We Forget...

I wrote this poem on September 14th, 2001. I've posted it somewhere online every year since.

They Did Not Die In Vain

All humanity sighed
As souls left the earth
Lives taken swiftly
Unjustly so
They died not in vain
For tears and remorse
Wash clean the blood
On the crumpled edifices
Of steel and concrete
That makes civilization grand

But buildings do not define us
Within we are human
Warm and alive
Full of stories
Martyrs they became, oh yes
But so much more
Every last one
A living testament
To faith
And the greatest force on earth

We watched in horror
Over and over again
As the events were replayed
And reactions were given
Stunned looks
Terror in the streets
Angry oaths
Silent sobs
Open weeping
Our brethren were stoic
Or they cried and pleaded
They were dead heroes or victims
But they were all alive
Just moments before
Without any foreknowledge
Of their place in history
Etched on our minds
Engraved on our hearts
For eternity

I wept with them
The ones who died
The living left behind
The shattered hopes and dreams
Like the rubble in the streets
Made us all stop and think
That could be me!
I watched stunned
And vowed as did others
We will overcome this
We are one people
We are humane and caring
This cannot be!

Who dares challenge that right?
To live free and open lives
To send fear into our hearts
And sorrow of the most profound
For after all is said and done
Nevermore will we trust
With the heart of innocents
That we are safe and protected
In this womb of our building
In this fortress of our sovereignty

Will the swords of justice
Smite down the aggressors
And bring us peace and redress?
Or just a sense of revenge
I do not know
But I do know this
They died not in vain
Who gave their lives for freedom
And to help their fellow man
For as the tragedy struck
And lives hung in the balance
Or were snuffed out
I saw birds rise from the buildings
Sun on their wings
Angels of nature
Reminding me that there is a better place
Where there is no grief or pain
And no thoughts of war
May they live there forever
Those poor wretched souls
Till we join them again

And amid all the rubble
The twisted beams of steel and concrete
The dust and the fires
Papers fluttered to earth
A poignant reminder
We once lived and worked here
Do not forget us
We live on in your hearts
We did not die in vain
If the world becomes a better place
Because we once showed you
How to care about your brethren
And to value all you have
No matter how small it is
Or how rude and humble
Life is a gift

Monday, September 4, 2017

So What's New Nancy?

I like to think someone out there in blog-reader-land is thinking that.  
Yes it's been a while since I have updated here, but it's not because I've given up writing. Oh no folks, that is never going to happen! It might not be the most lucrative career I could have chosen, but outside of my family, it's absolutely the most satisfying thing I have ever done with my life. Writing is a passion and so I've got some new releases and plenty on the launching pad to prove that.

Back in February when Airship 27 released my second Jezebel Johnston pirate novel (subtitled QUEEN OF ANARCHY in case you missed it) I didn't dream that they would release the third book this year. I am so grateful to Ron Fortier and Rob Davis for their support of my initial foray into seafaring storytelling because I've always had a special fondness for pirate yarns. To craft one though when you have no background in anything remotely nautical and haven't laid eyes on the areas the stories take place in makes it a daunting task. Yet I have fallen under the spell of that swashbuckling sub-genre and so I have actually turned out 4 novels so far. The 3rd one is what we're going to discuss right here because JEZEBEL JOHNSTON: SEA WITCH was released back on June 6th with a corker of a cover by artist Laura Givens and more of those awesome interior illustrations by Rob Davis. You don't want to miss this book, it's an adventure filled read that continues the saga of the title gal character set in the age of buccaneers. You can find it on or Barnes & as well as the Airship 27 Hangar (scroll down or click on the sidebar)

BTW, in case you missed it because I have not been blogging as often as I should, JEZEBEL JOHNSTON: QUEEN OF ANARCHY is now also available as a Radio Archives audiobook! Just think of 6 hours and 37 minutes of a very dramatic reading by talented voice artist Brian Held. His love of the material really comes through in both this one and his previous work on JEZEBEL JOHNSTON: DEVIL'S HANDMAID. Thanks Brian!

If you are so inclined to listen to a podcast where I talk about what I write in general and the Jezebel Johnston series in particular, you can find it on Art's Reviews. Mr. Art Sippo is a gracious host and he and I had a fun hour-plus long conversation that seemed to go by in an eye blink. You can get a little insight into the writing and researching that goes into putting one of these books together and it's relatively safe for work because we keep things PG 13. You should listen to some of the other podcasts on the site as well, because Art is an enthusiastic supporter of all us indie authors who tackle this pulp-inspired action-adventure stuff. You might find some other authors and books you'd love to read.

Another Airship 27 release for this year is a multi-author anthology titles TALES FROM THE HANGING MONKEY Volume 2. The basis for this one is a south seas island called Motugra where a bar named The Hanging Monkey hosts an eclectic cast of characters and rogues. Lee Houston Junior and I collaborated on a tale in this one that has a very interesting twist ending that gives a nod to another famous novel that was made into a movie starring someone who should be familiar to lovers of classic cinema. I'm not sharing more than that little tease, but this anthology has plenty of talent and a superb setting. Great cover too!

Now as far as Pro Se Press releases (scroll down), I've had one so far this year, but it's a doozy!

THE SONG OF HEROES story Lori's Lament was on of the first things I submitted to Pro Se back in 2010 when the company was just getting off the ground. That and one other short piece I had previously penned were my audition proposals to write for the company. Fortunately for me, Editor-In-Chief Tommy Hancock really liked both of them. The original SOH idea came from a dream I had about a blonde woman walking down a beach and finding an old silver cuff bracelet with a chain that she connected to a pearl ring and then could not remove it. The rest of the details about the supernatural scum-buster squad on call came out of the keyboard when I sat down to fill in the 'what-if's and whys'. Lori's Lament saw print in the original large format LULU Pro Se magazines back in 2010. The second story, Dark Eyes Of Night appeared in the smaller format Pro Se Presents magazine in early 2013. A third tale, Turtle Key, never made it into print. So what I did after discussing it with Tommy, was to collect and revamp all three tales for an anthology, and then I wrote a fourth brand new story, Goodbye Noreen McPherson. That became the book you see pictured below, which debuted back in July.

So what's on the writing agenda now? Well, I'm glad you asked...

I am finishing up what will be my submissions for 2017, books which will see publication over the next couple years. A Waxy Dragon anthology of three stories written in collaboration co-author/co-creator Roger Stegman titled: MYSTICAL, MAGICAL WAXY just got sent to Pro Se for their YOUNG PULP imprint. We are still waiting for LAZLO AT HOME, which I understand should be out sometime early next year. The Lazlo anthology will be the 4th book in the Companion Dragon's Tales series, so the Waxy antho will become the 5th. These are fun reads for people of all ages, a great family hand-around series.

I am still working on the sequel to the first TALES OF THE VAGABOND BARDS anthology for my Pro Se imprint, HANSEN'S WAY. This time, what started as a short piece wound up being a novel. It's currently rather too long, so I've been trying to pare it down without losing the story. I'm rather proud to say that this one is just as action packed as the three stories in the anthology were, but features Siska of Voruta, the elderly Archon (leader) of the Vagabond Bards, in her own adventure. When an old beau from her girlhood who is now a monk calls for Siska's help in investigating some local murders, they uncover together a cabal of intrigue handling a local leader's monetary affairs. I have not nailed down the title yet but I will be turning this one in well before the end of the year. Like the original Vagabond Bards antho, this one is set in that overarching world I created for my Pro Se Imprint books.

And don't forget, the original Vagabond Bards anthology is still available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Now, as for those aforementioned pirates...

I have just finished the rough draft of the fourth Jezebel Johnston novel. This one is titled JEZEBEL JOHNSTON: MOURNING STAR. Our Jez has really gotten herself into a dire predicament or two in this one, but her pluckiness and quick thinking often catch the hearts and win over her rough and ready buccaneer peers. This book opens a brand new chapter in the life of the young, mixed race girl who went to sea and became a pirate to be reckoned with. I'm having a lot of fun with this historical fiction series, in spite of the copious amount of research that goes into writing it. This one should be getting submitted to Airship 27 within a few weeks. Make sure you check out the three previous books as well.

BTW, if you ever want to make contact with me online—and some of my readers do—I can be found on Facebook as Nancy Hansen, and while my avatar pictures vary I usually have book covers behind it. On Google+ again you can find me under my own name by looking for the book covers. And I'm now on Twitter as well (finally) @Nancy_H_Author with book covers behind me. 

I do have an Amazon author page as well, you can find that right HERE

I also have a couple sister blogs to this one. 

COMPANION DRAGONS TALES is all about what is happening in that world of all-ages books that I share co-authorship with Lee Houston Jr. and Roger Stegman

IN MY "SPARE" TIME is a blog that I share with the aforementioned gents, but it most often showcases our hobbies and interests outside of writing. I'll warn you that I haven't posted on there in forever, but that is about to change, so stay tuned.

I'll try and be a better correspondent on the blogs, but my time is limited by family demands and writing. I do faithfully update the social network sites almost daily, so if you want to know what is going on, those are the places to look.

I write books, and while I do other things online like connect with friends, peers, and relatives, or read what interests me, I try hard to make myself available to readers. Writing is a lonely and demanding business, and you wonder at times if anyone is reading and (hopefully) enjoying your hard work. I treasure every bit of feedback I get, and so when you tell me what you liked or disliked (it happens) about my work, I can better assess whether I'm wasting my time and should go get a day job or maybe do some badly-needed housework. I much prefer writing, so if you want to keep me at the desk with my fingers on the keyboard, drop in and say hello.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Isn't It About Time?

It's about time for another update that is. Considering how long it's been since I've written something here (Almost 4 months! 😲) I figured I'd better take the rest of today and play catch-up again.

Part of the reason I have been so slow to update is I am busy cramming in all the writing I can do. Writing takes time, blogging takes similar time. People don't buy my blog posts, so when I have to make a choice between the two, I choose my fiction. That's what keeps me published and out of mischief. 😼

When I last left a post here, my house was under renovation, I was babysitting the youngest grandkids two days a week, and waiting for an entire slew of medical tests and a couple surgeries. Well the renovation goes on, the tests are over for now, and I've gotten through as much medical hoo-hah as possible. First I had to find out what was going on with my thyroid, and as it turned out, I have a crop of almost symptomless benign growths that can wait a while before we decide what the next step will be. That was a great relief because at the same time all that was going on, I also found out I had to have eye surgery. 😎

I was able to get both eyes operated on over the last few weeks, and I now have no cataracts, almost 20/20 vision, and I can get by with just the help of over-the-counter reading glasses. Wonderful stuff that is! 👀👍 We're still waiting to see if the I-stents that were implanted in each eye to help relieve the pressure that causes my glaucoma were successful, and unfortunately so far the results have been somewhat disappointing. I am back on all four medications that I was taking in three drops once or twice daily, and while it's come down a little, that's not enough for any of us to get comfortable with. I just happen to have a stubborn case. 😞

Now because of the period during eye surgery where I can't bend or lift things in fear of messing with the healing, I have not been babysitting for over a month. Thankfully the small fry have other loving family members willing to fill my two days a week. A lot of the healing period I had restrictions on what I could do and how, but none on using the computer, so I was able to write. I've been pounding the keyboard as often as I can, getting projects done that I started last year. 

As of today, I finally finished the second Vagabond Bards tale. This one started out as a short story for another anthology, but like a zucchini in a July garden, it just kept growing until it became a brand new novel. It has no set title yet, I'll probably get that inspiration when I make a very severe second pass, because it rambles and it's waaaaay over-budget on words. But it concerns the Archon or leader of the Vagabond Bards, Siska of Voruta, who is called forth by a dear old friend who is now a monk and has sort of a murder mystery on his hands. I love the fact that both of the main characters are older adults because you don't see too many gray hairs and wrinkles on classic action adventure characters, and I think that's a shame. Also there is a nod in here to the perils of PTSD with another character who has chosen to self-medicate to make the horrors stop. Fun writing, and it makes me feel good to have gotten all that stuff across in one story. I've been working on this one since the end of last July, so it was overdue to be completed, although this is just a first draft. This one will be going to my Pro Se Imprint HANSEN'S WAY when I'm satisfied I've done all I can with it. 

On the back burner while I finished the aforementioned novel is the fourth book in the Jezebel Johnston pirate series, subtitled MOURNING STAR. Yes, the spelling is correct. I started this one back in early February and it really took off in my head, which is why the bard book took a backseat for a good part of this year so far. I had to force myself to set Jez and her fascinating world aside to finish that earlier novel. Now I can go back out to sea with her and her pirate friends for a while. That gives me the time that need to get the bard book out of my head because when I do make the next pass, I will see it with fresh eyes.

I am about half done with this latest tale of seafaring adventures, which will take dear Jez through some big changes in her life, and to places she never imagined being able to see. Of course, there is always a price to be paid for such freedom, often in the people you lose and the dreams you have to give up. I hope to have this one done and turned into Airship 27 sometime this fall.

And now with some freedom to look for a new project to trade off with, I'm giving some consideration to putting together a Waxy Dragon Anthology for the COMPANION DRAGONS TALES which are part of Pro Se's YOUNG PULP imprint. Roger Stegman and I have co-authored a bunch of Waxy stories over the years, and he has some standalone short tales that would work just great in a multi-story setting. 

If CDT has a release this year, the Lazlo Dragon antho that I turned in previously would be it. We had hoped to have Lee Houston Jr.'s Kiri dragon tale, but he's kind of bogged down in other deadline pieces, so I volunteered to come up with something else for a potential 2018 release. I'll have more about all that on my sister blog, COMPANION DRAGONS TALES, as it develops.

Now, as for what you may have missed...

JEZEBEL JOHNSTON: QUEEN OF ANARCHY came out February 8th of this year from Airhship 27. Yes, it exists in both paperback and Kindle copies. This is the second book in the Jezebel Johnston series, and it sports not only more wonderful interior illustrations by the uber-talented Rob Davis, but he did the cover art as well. 💖👩 Typical of the series, this is a straightforward historical fiction piece without all the supernatural fantasy stuff you usually see in my writing. 

Oh and I have heard through the grapevine that the third book in the series, subtitled SEA WITCH, is moving very rapidly toward potential publication later this year. 😸 Ron Fortier and Rob Davis of Airship 27 have shown a lot of support for the Jezebel Johnston series, which I thank them greatly for, because that's what gets my butt in the chair and my fingers on that keyboard most days.

Speaking of Airship 27, Ron and Rob had a recent ZONE 4 podcast in which they tagged me in a list of things coming up. Some kind words were said both about the Jezebel Johnston series and my recent eye surgeries. What was really exciting to me though was listening to the fellas talking about all the fun they have been having at conventions (I'll get back to doing them when we can afford it, I promise!) and especially when Air Chief Ron Fortier talked about his Brother Bones comic character, which is in the process of being made into a movie. That folks is a writer's dream come true! I hope you will listen to the entire podcast because there's a lot of good things to hear about besides what's going on with my stuff. 😉

And there you have it, my quarterly update! 🙌 As always the writing goes on, but these days it's coming from my PC's new location, in my bedroom. Finally, after nearly 6 years in this old farmhouse, I have a quiet place where I can go, shut the door on the background noise, and tune into all those insane ideas running through my head. Hey... it keeps me off the streets and out of the bughouse! 😜

It could be worse you know. I might have married into your family!👰

Write on,

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Writing News And Other Stuff I Have Going On...

I don't blog as often as I should; that's a given. I have a pretty busy life these days, so I check email, then make a quick stop on both Google+ and Facebook, and then I'm either off to babysitting, another round of appointments and errands, or I'm offline writing. When I say 'offline' I mean I'm not excessively checking email, playing games, or trolling social media. I might still be online doing background research or scrolling through dictionary and thesaurus sites, but I'm working at my PC. That's how you get stories written.

This past year I've been babysitting the two wee grandkids on Mondays and Fridays. The day starts around noon and ends at 5 to 6 PM. I don't get much done before I leave the house, and I'm tired by the time I get home. I don't regret a day of it though because I get to spend quality time with much of the family, and they honestly need my help. So writing has to wait for those days when I am at home.

We've had some renovation going on here, and while it really hasn't completely interfered with writing, it has turned the household upside down at times. There were things that had to be packed and moved more than once, and now and then I'd get called away to check something out. I wrote all through it on my days home, but was not quite as productive as I usually am. I did take a couple weeks off for the big end-of-the-year holidays, because there was so much to do, and with the bedrooms finished in time to move things around, we actually put up decorations and had the chance to host the family here for a change. I now have a living room and a bedroom of my own, which will eventually also have a desk with my PC—meaning I can shut the door and close the world out to concentrate solely on writing. Still don't have a dedicated internet hookup in there, but it's hopefully coming soon. I have my Macbook on a table so I can at least handle email and surf the web before bed. New possibilities are always exciting!

Not so excited about the recent health issues though...

Over the course of this year, my eyesight has worsened, and we've reached the point where something has to be done about that. I am severely nearsighted, and have been from a very young age. I've worn thick glasses since I was 9 years old. That's 50 years now. As an adult, I developed glaucoma, which is not too unusual in the greatly myopic. Something about the shape of our eyes makes them more susceptible to intraocular fluid build up. That excess fluid puts pressure on the cone-shaped optic nerve, flattening it and killing cells along the rim, stealthily robbing you of vision. I have a few blind spots in spite of 27 years of monitoring and medical intervention. I am currently on 4 different medications dispensed in daily eye drops, and I've had laser surgery in the right eye to burn in drains. None of this has lessened the fluid build up for any significant length of time. I also have cataracts now—not unusual at my age, but the one in the left eye has become very thick and leaves my vision in that eye hazy—like peering through a heavy curtain of milky plastic sheeting. Imaging equipment used to examine my optic nerve for damage from the glaucoma can no longer see through that thickened lens, so it has to go. The only reason I waited this long was that surgeons would not touch the cataract in my right eye, which had never fully developed. If I went ahead and had the cataract removed from my left eye it would have been replaced with an artificial lens that was created to be as severely nearsighted as the right eye. Then I'd wear the thick glasses for the rest of my life. That way my eyes would have a balanced vision my brain could interpret without causing constant headaches or perhaps even seizures. Yeah, my uncorrected vision is that bad.

The glaucoma not responding to treatment changed the playing field. Right now I am facing a two-in-one eye surgery on each eye, treating each one separately within a short period of time. I'm going to have stents placed in each eye to open up those drains and hopefully relieve that fluid pressure—a minimally invasive technique the specialist tells me. At the same time, that eye's cataract will be removed and a 20/20 distance vision artificial lens will be installed. One eye will be done at a time, with the left eye containing that thickened cataract being done first. Because of the need for the stents, my eye surgeon says he can justify removing both lenses, even though the right cataract is not very advanced. That is good news for me, because afterward I may only need reading glasses for close work. The surgeries are scheduled for mid-April and early May. I am cautiously optimistic. This should definitely benefit me as a writer as well. Eyestrain is a big issue for me.

Nothing of course can be simple. One of the ongoing problems this past year has been the struggle my longtime MD's office has had in keeping doctors and nurse practitioners on the payroll. Many of the area's medical practices as well as two local hospitals have been swallowed up by a large health conglomerate, and both personnel and patients are leaving in droves. I have stayed, mainly because my mother is seen by the same office, and she is at a critical stage in dementia where I'm uneasy about going to a new practice where people might not understand her past history and future needs. Plus she has only Medicare and the state medical card, and not everyone accepts the latter.  Mom and I have joint appointments so that I can answer questions and add my feedback to what is being observed, and at that the last one, it was discovered that I have an enlarged thyroid gland. Oh joy...

An ultrasound showed that I have a multinodular goiter, and so I will be seeing a specialist for biopsy and whatever treatment comes after that. Did I know something was wrong? Yes and no. I complained about extreme fatigue, hair loss, and dry skin a couple years ago and got a blood test, but the thyroid #s were normal—which I hear is not unusual. I now have a palpable lump in my neck. Keeping my fingers crossed that it is benign. I don't need to be fighting cancer on top of everything else I'm going through.

I'm still writing through all this medical hoo-ha. I wrote all around the construction and babysitting too. It's what I do and it gets my mind off the 'what if's'. I am nearing the finish of a new Vagabond Bards novel that I started back in late July. Yeah, it's been going slowly, but the book won't be released before 2018 at the earliest, so I'm still on schedule with my publisher obligations. Once the first draft of this novel is completed, I'll set it aside and concentrate on getting going on the 4th Jezebel Johnston pirate book. Along the way, I'll be working on anything that comes up. I get invited to write short pieces for anthologies now and then.

I have had some recent releases, which is what I know you really want to hear about...

Back in mid-November Pro Se Press released WHEN THE SHADOW SEES THE SUN—Creatives Surviving Depression. This is a multi-author charity anthology dedicated to a friend and writing colleague Logan Masterson, who dreamed up this very concept but sadly lost his battle with the disorder before it became a reality. This is a very important work, because it's all non-fiction accounts of how us creative types struggle with our own issues and how what we do aids or affects that. Very soulful reading here, and the proceeds of the book go to charities that support people with similar issues. A worthy read and one I hope you will pass the word on so that others can benefit as well. Available on, Barnes & Noble online, and Smashwords.

The second Pulptress anthology from Pro Se Press came out in mid-December, and Your's Truly has a short story in it. It's a slender volume and not too pricey, so if you enjoy some good old fashioned derring-do with mystery, intrigue, and high adventure with a gal who can kick butt and take names, this is the series for you! Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Here's something fun: JEZEBEL JOHNSTON: DEVIL'S HANDMAID is now available in an audiobook version! Oh yeah, over 6 hours of pirate pulpy goodness read by Brian Held Jr. Just think of the next time you have a long car or plane trip, or would like that boring weekly commute made more tolerable by having this audio recording to keep you company. One awesome way to let the hours fly by. Thanks to Airship 27 for pushing it out this month. Available on Amazon and

Brand spanking new from FLINCH BOOKS is RESTLESS: AN ANTHOLOGY OF MUMMY HORROR. Yes, Your's Truly has actually written a horror story with a mummy in it. Oh you're going to love this book of fright-filled tales from beyond the grave. You might just want to leave the light on after reading any of these at bedtime, in case something comes shambling down the hallway... Run out and get a copy; RESTLESS is only in paperback on Amazon right now, but I understand that there are plans for a Kindle version down the road.

So you see, I kept writing, even if I wasn't blogging as often as I should. When I'm short on time and things are wonky in my life, writing is where I go to escape. Besides the precious moments with family and friends, I always make time for some creative fiction; and so other things like blogging, housework, and hanging out on social media get sort of shoved into the back room until I can spare the time to get back to them.

Hey, we all have to have our priorities!