Blah, blah, blah…

Happy Tuesday, friends! I hope everyone had an enjoyable Cinco de Mayo as well as Kentucky Derby Day.

I’ve been working double-time to get a couple of digital things ready to unveil, but today is not the day for that.  In my last post, I gave you the brief skinny about what I’ve been up to these past twelve months.  One of the major things was my home improvement trials and triumphs as well as custom art pieces I’ve been working on, but, again, I don’t want to reveal those until certain aspects are 100% complete.  So, that leaves me with some of the less interesting stuff to share today.  That being said, I’ll try to keep it brief…

I’m sure you all remember the devastating Hurricane Irma from last September.  Thankfully, my neck of the woods didn’t get the worst of it.  But it was an extremely long night (not to mention long days of reparation beforehand).

What was left of my shed.

After the hurricane, you can see all the standing water as well as the preparation we took in boarding the windows, etc.

View from my front door during Irma’s trek up Florida.

We lost power for a minimal time (quite different than when I told you about our month-long ordeal when we had Hurricane Charley).  My son got stuck at a friend’s house, so I was nervous about him.  It was scary in the new house.  But I’m not complaining.  I’m so thankful we didn’t suffer any major loss.  We lost a lot of shingles, our shed, and the covers to the cable and electrical boxes outside the house.  Insurance paid efficiently, and life went on.  The next day, we were trapped in the neighborhood until the city came to take away some trees that had fallen across the road.  And the worst of it all was that we had no garbage pick-up for several weeks because the city was busy collecting hurricane debris.  When we finally got out to look around, we realized how really lucky we were.

This uprooted Oak stood less than 1 block from my house.

There were broken trees, missing roofs, broken power poles, and downed lines.  It’s just proof that Mother Nature deserves our utmost respect.

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I mentioned to you in my last blog that I discovered the “absolute best bed in the world.”  Well, that’s not entirely true.  It was my son who discovered it, but after he got his, everyone else in the house got one!  It’s a brand called Purple and the mattress is AMAZING!  (I haven’t tried their pillow or other amenities.)  If you’ll watch these commercials on YouTube:  The Goldilocks one and the Raw Egg one, I can testify that they really do all that!  (Seriously, when my son got his, we all laid on it on top of raw eggs, and they didn’t crack!)  Remember, with my lupus, I have pain in my joints more often than not, and though my last bed was relatively new and a nice bed, I still woke up with a significant deal of pain each day.  Now, every night when I lie down on my Purple mattress, I literally feel each and every part of me being cushioned and yet gently supported.  And when I wake each day, while I still have the “normal” stiffness associated with my lupus, I am no longer in pain!  Seriously, this is the most remarkable bed, and I can’t say enough wonderful things about it!

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A couple of months ago, I had bronchitis that just wouldn’t go away.  After 5 weeks on antibiotics – literally the only oral antibiotic that I am not allergic to – I was feeling worse than ever.  Things got so bad that I thought one day I was ready to die!  Honestly, I couldn’t breathe, and it scared the crap out of me.  I called my sister at work and asked her to take me to the emergency room or else I was going to call an ambulance.  So, Michelle left work and picked me up, but on the ride there, I started fearing the emergency room (because of my history with MRSA when I almost lost my leg).  I decided to go to the walk-in clinic instead, and after bloodwork and x-rays, it was determined that I indeed had pneumonia.  However, because of all my allergies, they couldn’t prescribe me any oral antibiotics, and they said I needed the infectious disease doctor to prescribe me IV antibiotics.  And he wasn’t available for another week!  So, I got a breathing treatment there, a breathing machine for home, a high dose shot of steroid there, and a high daily dose of oral steroid for home to last until I saw him.  Once I did see him, I was prescribed a new IV antibiotic that’s in its own drug class called Invanz.  Except once the nurse started the IV, I had an allergic reaction!  They had to stop the IV, and I had to wait to see the doctor again until the next day.  However, later that night, after my throat swelling went away and my mouth stopped itching, I realized that with that third of IV bag, I actually felt the best I had in weeks.  So, I asked the doctor to allow me to continue taking it with a pre-dose of 2 Benadryls.  That continued every day for 12 days, and after about one more week of taking it easy, I felt MUCH better (except for my poor arms!).

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So, looking back, I can see that I was unable to keep this as short as I’d hoped.  Thanks for sticking with me if you’ve read this far.  And I’ll try to make things more interesting in the future.  As a parting gift, I’d like to offer you a photo of my girl Cleo wearing her Halloween skull sweater.  Isn’t she sweet?

Now, tell me:  Have you ever lived through a hurricane or other natural disaster?  Is your interest piqued by that Purple mattress?  Are you allergic to any medications?

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So many changes, so little space to write about them…

Greetings, friends!

It feels like forever since I’ve paid my respects to Bloggyville.  Just over a year, actually.  (Technically, I’ve read a lot of your blog posts many times, was able to comment on them some of the time, but haven’t posted myself in forever.)  I’ve had so many things going on and haven’t actually had a working computer for several of those months (I’ll share why momentarily), but I’m up and running again as far as the techy end of things.  And as for that and everything else going on, it’s too much to go into all the details here, so I’ll give you the quick skinny now, then space the details out on subsequent posts.

In the past twelve months, I have:

  • Bought a new (slightly used) house
  • Remodeled nearly every room of said house
  • Sued my previous landlord
  • Lived in the living room for several months while I was waiting for my bedroom/office to be finished (hence the lack of computer)
  • Lost a lot of money to contractors who said they could do a job but couldn’t
  • Found out that I can’t trust most contractors
  • Figured out how to do a lot of contract work myself (with help of my sister, Michelle, and my son, Jeremy)!
  • Stayed in flare with my Lupus for another entire year!
  • Had bronchitis for 5 weeks
  • And then had bacterial pneumonia for 3 weeks
  • And thought I was going to die!
  • Discovered the absolute best bed in the world!
  • Worked on creating custom works of art to decorate said new house
  • Designed a few genealogical books for a few people (myself included)
  • Uncovered some pretty cool genealogical finds within my own family as well as my sister, Michelle’s
  • Had to get a new computer and monitor because both went bad while they were sitting stagnant during my transition
  • Lived through and survived a major hurricane (in the new house)
  • Had a major change in employment status

That’s all I can share for now, but I actually have another couple of things in the works that I’ll reveal soon.  But just so I don’t keep you entirely in the dark, I’ll share a couple of photos…  One is my new house, and the other is my new life’s mantra.

Rachel's new house!  Woo Hoo!

If Plan A doesn't work, the alphabet has 25 more letters!  Stay cool.

So, tell me, friends, what have YOU been up to?

XOXO,

Rachel

Your Thoughts?

Hello, friends,

Well, I’m in a bit of a quandary, and I’d like your input.  As I mentioned yesterday, I’m contemplating signing up for July’s Camp NaNoWriMo, and during the registration process, I have to list the title of the novel that I’ll be working on.

The next story I intend to write is a psychological thriller inspired by my daughter.  She’s currently doing quite well for herself, but in her youth and younger adulthood, she’s been with some rather unsavory characters (to say the least).

The story is about a mom who hates her daughter’s horrible boyfriends and husbands so much that she murders them and convinces the daughter that they simply left. Of course, due to the nature of the genre, there will be a few bends in the road before the huge twist ending.  😉

That said, I’m torn between two titles:

I like either

“The Assassin”

or

“Judge, Jury, Executioner.”

The first title has, as you can imagine, been used already — several times actually — but not in anything like this.  The second title has been used for TV episodes only.  But I don’t really care about that.  I just want what sounds the best and is most fitting for my story.

Which title do you prefer and why?  

stefani

My beautiful daughter Stefani

I Didn’t See This Coming…

This week, I’m excited to start working on the first draft of my new novel.  One of the first things I do after I map out the plot is to decide on a title.  Now, in case you don’t know, technically, you can name your book with a title that’s already been used, as long as the previously published work’s title is not trademarked.  (For example, you can’t name your book Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire or The Adventures of Tom Sawyer or Chicken Soup for the Soul.)  For obvious reasons, writers generally want to use an original title.  However, there are times when there’s no other title that fits as well as the one the author’s heart is set on and which may already be in use.

For example, when I researched the title for my book, The Other Sister, I found a movie with the same name which is a romantic comedy, and I found a couple of books which were romances.  I figured I was safe to go, since my story was a psychological thriller about twins, one who is kidnapped and the other who enjoys the attention she gets as she searches for her twin.  Then, just now, at this very moment, I Googled the title again, and as it turns out, only last month, another book with the same name was published about both a good and a bad sister, one of whom is kidnapped.   ARGH!  I sure didn’t see that coming when I wrote my story!

Something similar happened last year when I wrote the first draft of The Prison.  Shortly after I finished writing, a similarly titled movie, The Prisoners, came soon to a theater near me.  Of course, when that happened, I had to go see it just to make sure I didn’t need to change my title, but fortunately, that plot and mine were nothing alike.  Nonetheless, it was still frustrating and made me want to pull out my hair!  

Some women can pull off the bald look.  I am not one of them.  In fact, I can’t even pull off short hair.  Believe me when I say, it looks BAD!  A couple of years ago, I got a shoulder-length bob that I was hoping would work for me, but it only made me look like Charles Schulz’s character Peppermint Patty from Peanuts.  YIKES!  That was a very scary few months while I let it grow back. So, the point is, if something frustrates me to the point of pulling out my hair, it is a very bad thing, indeed.

The title of the book I’m starting this week is going to be The Foreboding.  I’ll wait until another time to tell you about the story.  Of course, I Googled it first, and as of right now, the only thing that shares this name is a poem by Robert Graves who died nearly three decades ago.  So for the moment, anyway, I think I’m safe.

A Bit of a Dork

I have to admit, I feel like a bit of a dork having my blog and other social network sites ready before I’ve actually published any of my work.  But, for the record, I am working diligently to change that.

I’ve completed six first draft manuscripts to date, and have notes ready to start my seventh very soon.

I’ve been researching self-publishing, and it seems like a good idea, especially in light of all the changes taking place in the literary industry, but I want to be able to at least try the more traditional route first.  So, concurrent to all I’ve said above, I’ve also contacted a couple of extremely talented artist friends about getting them to design my book covers in preparation for the self-pub route.

In the meantime, I still have several beta-readers who are reading what I’ve already written and are giving me feedback.  And at any given time of the day or night, whenever I get too caught up in writing to remember that there is a real, non-fictional world going on around me, I have my four cats and a bunny to walk across my keyboard or hop on my feet to remind me.

Coming Soon…

Hello, and welcome to my blog.  Here’s where you can find out all about the new stories I’m working on, and when I finish them, the info will be here first!  Right now, I’m just in the first phase of setting up my website, but if you’ll check back soon, I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop.

Thanks for stopping by!

~Rachel Carrera