Friday, March 18, 2011

When You Fall Off the Horse, Just Climb Back On

Well, hello, my faithful followers and friends. I apologize for my lengthy absence. The last few months have been full of many changes and abundant challenges, and I'm afraid I've let a lot of things slide, including my blog. I've got some good stuff coming up in the near future--things I will be sure to announce here first. A new website. A new book. And various other surprises that will hopefully make up for the lack of my status updates.

I guess the first thing I should talk about are some of the splatters that have been happening. The falling off the horse things. About two months ago I went to the emergency room with a severe pain in my side. I thought I was having a gall bladder attack or kidney stones or some such thing, but after various tests and several hours in the hospital, it turns out that it was pleurisy. Now, for those of you who don't know what pleurisy is, it is an inflammation of the lining of the lung, and let me tell you, it hurts like heck! Well, the last step in making sure it was not a serious problem was to get a blood test done to be sure there were no clots, especially in my lungs. When the doctor came back with the blood results, he said, "well, I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that there were no clots found in your blood." Of course I was relieved to hear that, but my stomach clenched with his next question. He met my eye and in a quiet voice asked, "Have you ever been tested for diabetes?" My mouth went dry and my heart sank to my stomach. "I was tested about 3 years ago," I told him, "and was prediabetic."
He shook his head and with some compassion lining his features, said, "well, it's not 'pre' any longer. Your blood sugar is 424." Now, I knew from talking to the doctor three years before that my blood sugar needed to be close to 100 to be normal and it was four times that. My stomach dropped to my feet. "We're going to give you an insulin shot now, and I want you to get in with your doctor tomorrow. Do NOT take no for answer," he said. Thankfully, my kids already had appoints for well child check ups for the next day, so I stole their appointments and went in.

Since then, I've gotten my blood sugar down to close to 100. It varies from day to day. This week's average is about 125. I'm doing everything I can to lose weight and eat healthy and exercise so that I can put this thing into remission. I am determined to make it happen.

Now, if only the rest of my life would get out of the way. Too much stress and too many decisions hit me hour by hour, and I'm afraid it makes it hard to keep on track the way I would like, though my quality of life and my eating and exercise habits are tremendously better than they have ever been.

I feel like the last year, since my book was published, I've been riding along on this lovely horse, my hair flowing behind me in the wind, and the last few months, the saddle has slipped and sent me tumbling into the mud--cut, scraped, bruised, and dirty. It's been a challenge climbing back on the horse, especially when the horse keeps running away from me, but I'm trying.

I'm trying.

Last month I had the opportunity to go to Arizona not once, but twice. Once to the Changing Hands Bookstore for their Authorpallooza event. I was able to sit with wonderful authors like Janette Rallison, Lisa Mangum, Bree Despain, and Angela Morrison. Obert Skye was there, as well as Jessica Day George, and a ton of others. I had dinner with a lovely lady who told us amazing stories about Stephenie Meyer and when she was first published and her events at the same bookstore. It was fabulous. And I got to room with the amazing Lisa Mangum, who is not only a wonderful writer, but is also an editor for Shadow Mountain and was the first and only editor to give me a phone call rejection, which is not as bad as it sounds. It was the first rejection I ever got that said, "We like you and we love your work, we just don't have room in our publishing schedule for you." There have never been hard feelings, and I had a fantastic few days with her tootling around Phoenix and Mesa. I took my GPS,which is voiced by Darth Vader, and we had many a laugh as the told us to "Take the Highway" and "Stay in Formation."

After that, Lisa went home and I stayed another day so that I could go and visit with the wonderful kids at The American Leadership Academy. My friend Theresa put me up for a couple of nights in her home, her lovely daughter having sacrificed her room for me. I was so very grateful! Theresa works at the school and made arrangements for me to come, and what a thrill it was! Those kids are fantastic and I wish I'd had more time to visit with them and not just rush from class to class and do my presentation. I hope I will have the chance to go and visit with them again.

A few weeks later, I went back for the ANWA writing conference, where for once I did not present, but was there only as an attendee. I rode down with my best friend Shari and my new wonderful friend the "Other" Karen. It was a long drive, but tons of fun and I loved spending it with these ladies. I met editors and agents and many, many fellow writers. I think my favorite class was Elana Johnson's. The woman is brilliant and hilarious and I love her to pieces. Kirk Shaw kept picking on me in classes so people kept coming up to me after and asking if I was a Covent author. I had to tell them, no, we're just friends and have been to a ton of the same conferences. I met an agent who is interested in the first book in another series I've written. That was cool.

And life goes on. I'll be attending Writer's Fest at Clarke Johnson Jr. High in Tooele next Friday, the 25th of March, and will be attending an author event in Ephraim on April 9th.

And for those of you waiting for book 2, I know it was supposed to be out like three days ago--but it isn't, and I honestly have no idea when the release date will be. As soon as I know, you will, I promise.

And that's about it for now. Hopefully my next post will be happier. I could use some happy posts, and I'm sure you could as well. The one thing I've learned through all of this, is that it's important to just keep chasing the dream. Get back on the horse when it kicks you off. Keep doing the work that will get you there and I have no doubt, that someday, we'll all catch the ring and win the prize.