It’s January 12, 2017. A new month. A new year. And what have I been up to lately? Here’s a handy list:
- Not long after my last post, I decided to quit Facebook. I’ve dropped in occasionally over the past week, but I’m still not on it a lot. It was a good decision to quit at the time. My levels of stress, depression, and anxiety diminished considerably without it in my life. Quitting had a lot to do with the presidential election and some of the incredible stuff showing up in my timeline. All the anger and sadness and fear on one side and the victorious smugness on the other. I couldn’t handle it, so I became a snail, curled into my own little shell. It was nice. It still is. I’m keeping up with things, but in my own way. Okay, mostly through Twitter, but that site doesn’t seem to affect me the same way Facebook does/did.
- I had two suspicious moles removed in December, one on my arm, the other on my collarbone. Tests on both came back benign. Whew.
- Back in October, I saw my obstetrician to have my Mirena (an intrauterine device, or IUD) removed. My husband and I are done with having kids and have taken the proper steps to make that choice permanent. However, the Mirena has been so convenient over the years. While on it, I never had to remember to take a pill every morning. I stopped having monthly cycles. There was zero cramping or stress about remembering to have pads in my purse. Truly, it was a dream. I had one inserted after my first son in 2006; it was easily removed in the office a few years later, so I could have my second son in 2010. I had another Mirena inserted soon after he was born. Although FDA recommendations may be changing as I write this, when my second IUD was put in, I was told it should come out in five to six years, when a new one could be inserted if I wanted. It’s been over six years. I saw my OB in October, and she tried to remove it in the office. Standard procedure, but it didn’t happen as it should have. The little piece of plastic had embedded itself in my uterus and just didn’t want to come out. Afterward, I spent some time waffling between going back into the office to try to have it removed in a slightly different way (with no guarantee it would come out and enduring more pain in the process), or just putting me under with general anesthesia in the hospital, hoping my body will relax enough to release it from my uterine lining. I chose the latter. The procedure happened this past Monday. It was outpatient, fairly quick, no pain at all, and I was told the IUD came right out. I’m glad I did it. Will I get another Mirena? We’ll see. Maybe having a monthly cycle again will nudge me in that direction, because it was so convenient before.
- The holidays came and went. We ended up staying home on Thanksgiving, because my poor husband got sick and my van needed a piston repaired. On the other hand, Christmas 2016 was probably the least stressful holiday I’ve ever experienced, and that’s saying something. We managed to see almost all our family in the span of two weekends. There was some traveling involved, but we also had family at our house on the holiday, which was nice. We invited friends over for our annual New Year’s Eve gaming party. Lots of party games were played that evening, and we managed to extend the party (after everyone got some sleep) into the following day.
- I was invited to join a new writing group. It’s small, and I’ve attended two meetings so far. Everyone is lovely. They even liked the short story (one of the Golden Orb prequels) I shared with them, which I hadn’t touched since 2014. Which leads into:
- BIGGEST NEWS EVER: I AM DONE WITH REVISIONS. Let me scream that aloud again, in case you didn’t hear it right. I AM DONE WITH REVISIONS ON When We Were Forgotten! (Also, see image above.) It took me a long time to finish this last round of edits. I had several moments of doubt, of wanting to bang my head against a wall trying to get the ideas to come together, of wanting to just quit. With help from both my editor’s notes and a friend of mine who had great ideas regarding certain technology in the story, I was able to finish … the day before I had my outpatient procedure (#4 above). Because, I thought, if I’m going to go under for this procedure, I should probably have the book done the way I want it. That way, if something should happen to me, I’d have one less thing to worry about. It can be published in it’s current form, and I’d be content. A bit too morbid, perhaps? Perhaps, but I’m sure I’m not the only writer who’s had thoughts like that. Which leads into:
- The book will be published some time this year, hopefully within the next six months. I’ve been thinking about finding a copy editor to make certain it’s polished. I already have a cover, so once it’s exactly as I want it, I’ll go through the whole Createspace publishing process. I have a friend who can do the ebook formatting for me, so it’ll probably be in print version first. Or I may wait until she’s done, so I can release it in all formats at once. I had the thought throughout the revision process of querying agents to shop the book around to more traditional publishers, but … eh. I think I just want to get it out into the world. It’s taken three years, off and on, to write. I don’t want it to take three more years to be read by people other than me and my editor and my beta readers. In the meantime:
I have several short stories to revise and post here on the old blog. One should be up soon, so look for that.
Cosplay ideas for Gen Con 2017 are coming along nicely. Pattern drafting may be involved this year. My Evil Queen/Regina cosplay from last year will get another wearing at a “Once Upon A Time” Convention in early June, too.
I turn 40 in late June, and the only thing I want for my birthday is to go to Great Britain with my husband. London, actually, and the surrounding areas. Plans are already in the works for that. It’s a big request, but something I’ve always wanted to do.
I’ll continue to work on our school board this year and next. I may even do some volunteering around town or get a part time job when my youngest is in elementary school. Unless this whole writing thing pans out. Who knows?
We may move to a new house this year, or we may buy a lot and start building. It’s all up in the air at the moment. Big changes, though.
And I think that’s it for now. There will be more happening as 2017 rolls along, but that’s the gist of what’s going on in my life. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are enjoying the beginning of the new year as best you can. Thanks for your continued patience as I slogged through my own writing process. I promise, this will be the year another book comes out! And soon!
As always, thanks for reading.
Amanda Cook is a writer and stay at home mom who lives in a southern Indiana woods with her spouse, kids, and one clingy dog. In the Before Times (and sometimes even now), she could/can be found helping out with her kids' school, catching up on her toppling TBR pile, playing games with her friends, hanging out at virtual conventions, crying over period dramas, or sewing yet another cosplay. Her second novel, "When We Were Forgotten," was the winner of the 2018 Bronze Medal for Best Sci-fi/Fantasy/Horror E-Book from the Independent Publisher Book (IPPY) Awards. She writes short speculative fiction and poetry that can be found at various markets and here on her blog.