Summer News (June Edition)

Author’s Note: I wrote this as a draft at the end of June, but it’s taken me a bit to get up the courage/energy to post it here.

This summer’s going to be a bit of an odd one.

After nearly a year of doctor’s appointments and referrals, it became clear last week that the lump growing above my collarbone is Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Ugh. It’s stage one*, and the outlook is very good, but I’m nervous about starting Chemotherapy at the end of July and disappointed to have to take the rest of the summer off as the receptionist at the Veterinary Hospital. I mean, what the heck, bod.

The focus this quarter is to maintain my health as best as I can and to have patience with myself while my body heals. I’ve got a wonderful family and amazing friends to help me through this,  and while I’m sure there will be ups and downs I’m optimistic about the future.

In brighter news, we’ve adopted a new kitten!

We brought her home last Saturday and named her Lydia. She’s a scoundrel and a dear and we adore her already—a weird looking tuxedo with the sweetest mew. She loves to be around people. Grade A kitten. Would recommend.

I’m taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo again this July. I’ll be working on Coral & Bone, my queer-romance novel about a saboteur mermaid and the emotionally distraught whaler who falls in love with her. It was fun to dip my toes into the story this past spring and I’m really looking forward to spending more time with the characters I’ve made. I’m not used to writing romances, but it’s been a fun challenge so far. Also there are kelp forests and whale magic and bar fights and a pet octopus. It’s great stuff.

The veggie garden is looking great after a bit of a slow start. It’s been a spring of extremes—either very hot and dry or quite wet and cold—and while the plants didn’t appreciate the swings they seem to have forgiven and moved on. This spring, John built us a pair of rather cleverly designed raised beds with chicken wire cages on hinges, and it’s been enough to keep the deer and raccoons at bay. Time will tell with regards to bears.

Now, off to work on a novel!

*Whoops, turns out it’s stage II, but the prognosis is still good and we’re still aiming for a cure, it’s just likely going to take 6 months of treatment instead of 4. Bummer.

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Life Update: the First Day of Spring

It’s officially spring, and I couldn’t be happier about it. This past week was a doozy—a difficult end to a difficult winter.

The Thursday before last, the hot water heater in my rented home experienced a critical failure. I came downstairs at 3am to find a stream meandering it’s way through the laundry room. I won’t get too into the details here, but no hot water tank meant that we had no hot water or heat. The last blast of winter in these parts happened to coincide with our plumbing dilemma. It sucked.

The next 7 days were filled with as many visits from technicians as it became clear that not only was the hot water tank busted, but its exhaust system was dangerously inoperative. I’m buggy about using natural gas at the best of times, but finding out that the system in our home had been dumping exhaust into our walls for the past two years was brutal.

The system is now fixed and (aside from needing to mend the insulation and drywall in the garage) the excitement is pretty well over. Anyone who’s had a landlord during a home-related crisis knows that the road ahead is not a smooth one, but at least it’s a road with a reduced risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

I’m doing my best to quell my anxiety in the aftermath and perform self-care. Today, the weather is decent enough to have a window open. This weekend past, I built a worm bin for composting kitchen scraps. I got some soil on my hands and the smell of humus in my nose at a garden show. I deep-cleaned the parts of the house I do have control over. And I’ve been busy writing: new scenes for my novel ‘Steep’, letters to penpals, journal entries, and now here on this blog.

Sometimes staying busy is the next best thing to happiness—and it’s easier to stay busy in the spring—so here’s to the vernal equinox and the warmer days ahead.