It's been a long while since I've made any posts or updates. My personal life has been a maelstrom during that time. It started with illness, job loss, unstable housing, and got worse from there. I've gotten emails and post comments asking if I'm alive and well. Some people expressed their worry in unbelievably generous and touching ways. I'm very grateful for all of that and all of you. I feel like I owe you all more information about what happened, what's going on now, and what I'd like to do moving forward.
I was having blackouts, memory loss and crippling headaches. While I still had health insurance, I went through the appropriate battery of medical tests. No reason was found for my issues. Eventually I lost my job, though they did the best they could for me considering I was unable to work. They were wonderful, in fact. There was an issue with unemployment vs. disability initially since I lost my job due to medical reasons but I was eventually able to go onto unemployment insurance. Of course I made too much to qualify for any other benefits but not enough to live on for long. For awhile my family and I coasted, not paying the rent in order to put food on the table and keep the lights on. A dear friend helped us tremendously during that time and, when the eviction came and unemployment ran out, let us stay with her for awhile.
Then I got a job offer in Texas and we sold our car, borrowed yet more money from my friend, and headed down south. The job dried out and went away while I was en route. What followed is the darkest period of my life. We were homeless, broke, and helpless. Family got us back up north after a few months. My friend let us stay with her again. After months of looking for work, I found a job and started the process of putting my life back together again. This is obviously a condensed version. Details are still too raw and painful to write.
I have an amazing job with an equally amazing group of people. The first year was a trial period of sorts and we spent nearly every paycheck trying to pay back money we owed, saving for a cheap car, and just trying to get ourselves back together again. Now that the year is over, I can work from home. That started a month ago and I absolutely love it.
I figured out my medical issue on my own. Chronic dehydration. Now that I limit the amount of soda I drink each day and make sure to have enough water, the dizziness is gone and I haven't blacked out in ages. We don't have to borrow money any more. I smile every time I write a check out to pay a bill. If you've ever been in a similar situation, you'll understand what I mean. I'm still terrified of losing the small gains we've managed to claw and chew our way to achieve. Food insecurity is no fucking joke. Especially when you have a child.
I still get the headaches, but they seem more related to the weather than anything else. They went away in Texas and came back when we returned to the northeast. I'm still saying with my friend but there are plans in the works for me to move away from the coast in January. Now that I'm working as an independent contractor, I plan to incorporate and form a little LLC. The taxes and red tape here in Connecticut are ridiculous so, for both my financial and medical health, I'll be moving to Pennsylvania this January.
Now, for the blog/story.
I've re-read through my work several times and I'll admit, its pretty good. Good enough that I'm worried my time away will have changed the narrative voice. Its made me rusty and I'm intimidated. I started putting together some ideas for the next phase of Jaeger's story. Some of them are pretty good too. I'm just afraid that my writing will suck now.
So I'm considering a minor re-write of the original story. Some editing work. Some little corrections to ease the flow. Overall the story's flavor would remain the same. The same outcomes. Hopefully it will be an improvement. I'd likely name the first "book" Dead of Winter. I dunno. The main reason for this is to get back into Jaeger's head again. Slip back into the role until I can see through her eyes again. Be her voice again.
I've been told to put the story up on Amazon or whatever for a few bucks as an ebook. Or to add a donation button to the blog. Folks here have offered to donate money but I didn't feel comfortable accepting when the work isn't complete. I appreciated the generous offers greatly but I wrote this story because its the sort of story I wanted read but couldn't find. I'm still debating it with myself. If I do wrap it up as an ebook, I'll leave the updated version free online for awhile so those of you who stuck with me through it all can see it.
Wish I'd done that before The Walking Dead came out. :/
So this is where I am. Debating with myself on what to do moving forward. I want to keep the story going. Figure out the next few chapters and hope the writing flows organically the way it did before. I can't give you a timeline on this. It depends on how the writing feels and reads.
I'll keep you posted.