Max and Philip have been sick for over 9 days. I don’t know about Philip, but Max has influenza. Fluctuating fever, chills, ache, congestion quickly followed by a back-bruising cough that has resulted in small vomit. My boys have been so sick. I have been swallowing obscenely huge barnyard flavored multi-vitamins and drunk elderberry syrup for a week in hopes of staving off infection. I have been teetering on the brink but am still standing. But today I gave in and took Max to the doctor. Even though I’m trying so hard not to spend money because we’re on the verge of dire financial strain. A $30 co-pay isn’t awful, but it’s hardly cheap.
The doctor heard the customary wheeze of pneumonia but NOT the crackling sound of breathing. She is on the fence about whether he has bronchitis or pneumonia. She’s erring on the cautious side and has prescribed antibiotics and codeine cough syrup. Another $20. I hate having to count dollars in my head all week.
While we were seeing the doctor we discussed some other issues such as his terrible seasonal allergies that she says we have got to get under control because the inside of his nose is amazingly angry looking. I started to tell her about the progress Max has been making with his food issues – the fact that he’s trying so many new things. I wanted her to know how far he has come in opening up to new flavors and textures because I am still stinging from the lecture we received during the last visit about his terrible diet and the insinuation that Max is just a spoiled kid being allowed to eat whatever junk he wants.
Which gave her the irresistible opportunity to lecture us about his diet yet again. She accused me of “enabling” Max’s picky eating. I almost felt sick to my stomach hearing her say it. I felt like screaming – something inside me is going to crack open in frustration – my heart can’t take too much more of this assumption that if most humans are a certain way that ALL humans are the same way. I am proof against this.
A Few Days Later
Two days on antibiotics and Max was doing substantially better with his convulsive violent coughing reduced substantially. This confirms that he had pneumonia, not bronchitis. It is very unusual for bronchitis to be bacterial which means that taking antibiotics wouldn’t improve his condition and improvement would be slower.
Meanwhile – my dog is acting weird. I think something is going on with her but I can’t take her to the vet again until next payday. So we’ll see.
Lots going on around here. I pickled 30 pints of jalapeno peppers. I cleaned my office. Faced my unface-able mail pile of bills and statements. I finished loading up all my non-anonymous greeting cards into my Etsy shop and put my shop in the sidebar of both my blogs. No writing this week. I would really like to get back to some writing. But it has become clear that while Philip got a big raise that theoretically should allow me to stay home with smart budgeting – it may not actually be true. They take a lot more out of his checks than I thought they would and our rent is about to skyrocket. So it seems I need to actually make strong efforts to sell my stuff on Etsy or get a part time job. Obviously I’m hoping my shop will get more active. Clearly I need to make more things to put in it.
On the book front – Philip is editing it right now and my friend Sharon is finishing up the painting for the cover. Philip is going to do the formatting to make it available on the most popular e-readers and then in a print on demand format so that people can buy a hard copy if they want. We’re aiming to have the book available for sale by the end of this month.
I am worldly enough to realize that I’ll be lucky if I make $5 in sales on my novel. But I still believe in myself. I believe my book is good enough to develop a fan-base and do reasonably well if enough people give it a chance and spread the word. I’m saying that I don’t care how hard it is to make more than a few pennies as a self published author, some authors do well and I intend to be one of them.
And if I don’t end up being one of them? I’m not going to entertain that thought at all.
Yesterday I read a great interview with Anne Rice and her son Christopher in Writer’s Digest. My favorite thing that she says is that there’s no right or wrong way to write books or be a writer. I also love that she said her greatest struggle is finding the voice in each novel – the point of view. That’s one of my biggest struggles too. Figuring out whether your story should be in first or third or a combination or third limited or third omniscient – so hard for me.
She also says that her biggest advice to writers is to write the books they want to read. I’ve heard some people say this isn’t totally the best approach. But I believe it is. If you don’t want to read classic literature – why would you try to write it? I think some people try writing books they don’t necessarily want to read because they think it’s the only way they’ll be taken seriously as a writer. I say screw that. I know what books I’m always looking for and can’t find – that’s what I endeavor to write. And it isn’t classic literature. I want to write quality suspense novels. Not mysteries and not thrillers. Mysteries need carefully crafted clues and structure and detectives. I love reading mysteries but I don’t want to write them. And thrillers are generally political, legal, or full of spies with lots of action. I want to write suspense novels. Suspense burns more slowly and quietly than thrillers, generally. I like an insidious growing tension and fear.
It’s time I took a shower and got something useful done. I think, in fact, it’s time for me to reread the first chapter of the second CandG book and start working on the second.