I Heart Lesfic Mega Sale — I Heart Lesfic

Dear Lesfic Reader, The I Heart Lesfic Mega Sale is underway. Woot! Click on this link for the main page. More than 100 authors have joined forces to deeply discount more than 200 books. There are 25 different subgenres, ranging from romance to fantasy to thrillers and so much more. The final day of the…

I Heart Lesfic Mega Sale — I Heart Lesfic

Guilty by association

A few years ago, on Fiverr, I discovered an up-and-coming promoter and suggested a trade.  I suggested I teach him and his crew of women how to promote on Facebook, as I had been doing for years.  I’d been in and out of Facebook jail one too many times for comfort and to be honest, I thought someday they would be sick of me and throw me off of Facebook for good (go figure).  He put together several people and I’d have them promote in groups that I put them in, telling them how to word advertisement to promote books.  I was in nearly 1000 writing groups and worked out a deal with them.  He and the women appreciated my patronage.

I did not say who they could accept, it’s their business, and all I got in return were a few free posts.

Because I had to use them to help me promote on Facebook and avoid being blocked myself, I used them for my own books, my publishing company, and my promotions companies.  It saved time and for $5, why the heck not?  It was worth it to get the posts out in a timely manner (usually 24 hours), and now that I am no longer on Facebook, the only way to promote there.

I am not the only one to use their services though.  I also turned many authors onto their service, not asking or requiring anything in return, other than credit, so that my posters would know that I sent these people.  Some of them were of course lesfic authors.

About a year or so ago someone hired them, because they saw them posting in all the lesfic/writing groups, to ‘out’ an author.  It happened again last fall.  I found out because I had used their services so much that many people thought I was the one who had paid them to ‘out’ this author.  I did not. 

I would further like to point out that because of these incidents, and people’s assumptions, I have lost friends on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.  I have lost their friendship, their respect, and it does kind of hurt me as I realize who has blocked me, unfriended me, and possibly spread these incorrect rumors about me.

I would like people to know that I didn’t do this.  My opinion on the matter was made public the first time this incident happened, and then I let it die, as all things of this nature do.  I didn’t out another author or her friends who stalked me, bad-mouthed me, and harassed me for years, never publicly, and I didn’t out this particular author who was doing exactly what the poster posted about, the first time or the second.  It wasn’t a lie.

It’s really sad to be tarnished with the same feather over things I have no control over.  I used the poster, yes.  I paid them to do a job for me.  I used them many times to do many jobs for me.  I did not however pay them to post those outings.  That is not my thing.  Had I wished to do this, it would be in this forum and I’d have been precise, concise, and direct.  I also felt, knowing what I did about this particular author, that she wasn’t worth my time or effort after what she had done to me personally.

I don’t pretend to endorse the behavior of that author who was outed, I do have my opinions about the postings.  I will not however, be going into any of that here in this particular blog.

So, assuming that I am guilty because we paid the same promoter isn’t really quite fair, is it?

I don’t always care about people’s opinions about me personally.  After all reviews on my books are hard enough.  The good ones, great for the ego, the bad ones a real mood killer.  I guess I have to let people think what they will, but I do want people to know, if this is the rumor that has gone around, it is false.

Surgery and other medical fun

I mentioned on my blog before that I have unnecessary aches and pains.  Some are due to the experimental cancer treatment I underwent years ago; some is due to age and wearing out this body. 

In December I was exercising, stretching my old joints after suggestions from my physical therapist when I heard a distinct pop in my left shoulder.  Now, this shoulder has undergone surgery to shave off some bone spurs in the past.  Not pleasant, I don’t recommend it.  But the pop I heard which gave me a distinct ‘uh oh’ to my psyche told me I had pulled something and I immediately stopped my exercise and stretch, mostly due to the pain that ensued.  It didn’t go away either.  That spot swelled up.  Further down my arm swelled up, by the elbow, and then by the wrist and the back of my hand.  This couldn’t possibly be normal.  After icing it for 10 days on my physical therapists’ recommendation, I called the doctor to have them take a look.  They were confused by the examination.

Well, about three weeks ago they decided to give me a shot.  Right there in the old joint that brings those muscles and bones and probably a few other things that Anatomy 101 taught us, but I didn’t pay attention to, because ‘ooo, gross.’  It didn’t work right away but a learned friend said, give it a chance.  Three days later it felt almost ‘normal.’  As normal as it could considering my age and other problems.  About the size and shape of a football, the pain area went away.  It still hurt on my collar bone, my neck, my elbow, and other various spots that always seem to hurt.

Then, two weeks later I had surgery scheduled.  Yeah, I know it was soon, but this tale isn’t over.  I’d decided due to cramps, pain, and an unreasonable hormone level at times, once a month, despite being in menopause that they could take the ovaries.  After all, put me in an insane asylum if I suddenly decided at my esteemed age to have children at this point?  My sons are in their thirties and I certainly don’t need or want a babe in my arms.  So, take them out!  Get rid of symptoms, and I’ll move on.  I’ll also live longer without the pain that came around, right?  Holy cow.  I knew ‘instant’ menopause would be the result but I didn’t sign up for the hot flashes and sweats, the rage, the depression and the various other things that hit me since then.

The surgery itself was kind of cool, they slit open my belly.  Now, again I didn’t take Anatomy 101, but my uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries are located BELOW my belly button.  Unless I’m some medical anomaly that’s the area that swelled up when I was pregnant three times.  I did ask why the four slits on my belly were above the belly button and not below.  Well, apparently the surgical tools they use don’t fit in the small space below the belly button and they go in above it.  They also used a robot (too cool) and filled my belly with gas to make it easier to see what they were working with (that was uncomfortable).  I’ve been recovering ever since last Wednesday when the surgery was performed.  They also found the beginning stages of endometriosis so good call on the timing and we’ll watch that in case it progresses further and I have to have a hysterectomy (something I was avoiding because in my mind it’s a man’s excuse to operate against a woman, a whole ‘nother blog for another time).

One of the things I’ve learned over the years with the various surgeries I have had was that I have a reaction to narcotics.  I often joke I would be a bad drug user as I projectile vomit when narcotics are used on my body.  It is also rather painful.  So, I prefer never to use those.  I tell the doctors, I tell the nurses and technicians, just make it very clear that I do not want these and that I do not even want it as a prescription much less as an aesthetic.  They all tell me, tell the anesthesiologist.  I do.  Unfortunately, they never listen.  As a result, I have to live with the results of that application.  Not just the day of the surgery (where I went home within hours, and yes, I did throw up. twice) but for a week to two weeks afterwards in the form of nausea, dizziness, and other reactions to something my body does not like or want.  That pisses me off.  I specifically say that I never want the stuff and they slip it in?

Well, here it is a week later.  I’m still dealing with the ‘recovery’ from my surgery last Wednesday and I had another procedure scheduled.  The reason I had been going to physical therapy was for my back that I permanently sprained a decade ago.  They decided to give me a shot in the spine, or so I thought.  Instead, they gave me four.  A wee bit painful.  Also, did I miss something when they said shot and now there are four?

Now, I will admit I’m a bit of a pain in the @$$ about being a patient.  Where patience is concerned, I don’t have any.  I look at it this way, you go to a medical professional, they have to treat you with respect, they can’t keep you waiting indefinitely, and you have the right to leave.  I have done so on occasion because they don’t respect me, the patient, for my time, concerns, or knowledge.  I even had one doctor sarcastically state that it was a good thing he went to school for eight years when I can just Google my symptoms.  THAT REALLY pissed me off!  I was making an informed decision, looking at the various options and obtaining knowledge, and I know MY body.  How dare he dismiss me?  Arrogant twit!  In hindsight, maybe I should have put him in his place?  Ah well, neither the time or the place apparently and don’t we all think of something to say after something like this happens?

I digress.  However, I do think it isn’t too much to ask that if you are going to be waiting for any extended period of time in a doctor’s office/clinic/hospital that someone be aware of the time and inform you of the delay.  I don’t need to know the details, but if they are running over because of another patient, then just kindly inform me.

Today was one of those days for my latest procedure.  I woke up late despite the alarm clock.  I’m never late, for anything.  I hate the feeling of being late and am always early, to everything.  I’m always the first to a party, and it’s embarrassing, but it is part of me.  I washed up (I’m not suppose to bathe because of the incisions still healing on my belly.  That’s so cool, they glued me back together and it’s purple too!), washed my hair, and got dressed.  Now, that’s another problem too.  The jeans ride right across my belly and cause nausea because of where my surgery was.  Not a great position, but a necessary evil if I’m going to go out dressed in actual clothing.  I arrived early, despite the late awakening…but then, I build in time so I’m never late.  I’m sitting in the parking lot of where I’m supposed to be, or so I thought, listening to an audio book on the sound system.  Then, fifteen minutes before my appt. time I go in, wearing my mask, and feeling pretty good about myself despite the reason for my visit.  Turns out, I was in the wrong spot at the hospital.  This complex is huge, I mean really huge for the area and an easy mistake was made.  I was supposed to be on the third floor but this building only had two and I felt like an idiot.  Enter the unreasonable rage that had been coming upon me since the surgery.  I’m also feeling sick to my stomach because of the pants against my stomach and the fact that I hadn’t eaten that morning because of the procedure.  I’m hangry.  I recognize the signs.

So, I rush around this huge complex of buildings, all inter-connected, and park my car.  I’m supposed to have someone pick me up from this procedure but my friends are busy and I’m fairly stubborn about these kinds of things.  I couldn’t find a parking spot.  I’m already annoyed at the wrong spot, the time, and the whole bunch of little inconveniences that are besetting me this morning.  I was fairly ugly in my thoughts.  However, I recognize these things and give myself a mental shake to chill as there is nothing that can be done.  Believe it or not, I got the first parking spot, ah ha, the fates are changing.  It’s pouring rain, something I really love, and, I am actually on time yet.  They direct me through a rabbit warren of security and check-ins to get me up to that third floor through another set of rabbit warrens to the office where I need to check in, again.  Again, the unreasonable anger over the delays, however, it’s no one’s fault, I won’t take it out on anyone, and the gal who greets me has cool blue hair.  I’ll take the silver lining as I admire her fashion choice and wonder how it would look on my own head.  I wait there, watching the time tick by and my appt time come and go before someone who identifies herself as my nurse for today comes and gets me.

One thing with the surgical masks we have to wear is no one can see your smile or your laughter and jokes don’t always come through without those nuances, those expressions.  I don’t know if it’s a nervous tick, my personality, or what, but I need to joke, tell stories, and laugh.  They don’t always go over well in this environment.  Ah well, it is what it is.

She takes my blood pressure which is strangely high with all these procedures and hurts because I still have bruises in my arms from last week’s surgery.  She finally decides to take it manually, thank gawd, because those damn automatic cuffs hurt!  After taking my history, verifying who I am and what I’m allergic to (again the damn narcotics), and other paperwork, she says my surgical nurse will be in shortly to instruct me.  Well, nearly half an hour later I am almost ready to stand up and leave.  Now, I can tell there are things going on in the curtained off ‘rooms’ around me but no one is telling me jack.  I’ve waited here respectfully but they haven’t respected me, my time, etc. and I’m letting the unreasonable rage take over.  I keep extending the time I’m going to make my stand and leave.  The nurse enters two minutes before the final time and I tell her, two more minutes and I was about to leave.  She looks instantly angry.

Another rabbit warren of rooms I have to walk through to get there.  They have me unbutton and unzip my jeans so they can pull them down and do the procedure as I’m getting on, face down, what looks like a contoured massage table in a surgical room.  The nurse obviously told the doctor that I hadn’t appreciated being kept waiting and he comes in apologizing.  All I say is I just need to be kept informed what is going on.  I honestly don’t think that’s too much to expect (I didn’t say that part).  Laying down on this table, which has a pillow for my stomach and, what I expect is to keep my breasts from keeping me up or hurting as I lay on them.  I mention that this hurting my incision site.  They ask what incision site?  Um, you know, that lack of respect I was talking about?  I just gave all this information to someone!  They have it right in front of them and obviously ignored or didn’t read.  I repeat myself, something I hate to do, because I find irritating that I do this automatically but also that they are asking me to do it because of their defects, lack of respect, or whatever. 

Now, I’m wearing my favorite hoodie sweat-shirt where I had slipped my keys when I got out of my car.  Their x-ray to show them where on my spine to inject me, shows the keys up clearly which creates a laugh in the room.  I mean, after all, What did they leave in when I had surgery last week, right?  I pull the sweatshirt up and out of the line of fire as we exchange quips.  I tell them that this makes going keyless on my car… and they all laugh about that idea, the key in my belly from the image making it easier to go keyless?  Then one of the techs ask how long I’ve been waiting to put that joke out there.  Another defends me saying I just came up with it, obviously indicating the x-ray.  I quip, yeah, I came up with it on my feet, which leads to another round of laughter because they are injecting my spine and a concern is me being able to walk afterwards on my feet!  Hospital humor.

Anyway, as I walked away today, and drove myself home (not something I would ever recommend), I realized how much work in audio books, publishing, and, thank gawd, a little writing I have been able to do despite being in pain, dealing with all this, still not on social media (thanks Facebook), and on and on and on…

I may be a tough woman but damn, this is a lot, even for me…

An Island Between Us ~ An Audiobook

The war is over, and the boys are coming home.  It’s time for women everywhere to leave the factories and return to their rightful places…in the kitchen. 
Women did their duty and filled many traditionally male jobs while their men were fighting for their country, but now, the men are back and ready to take over.  But what if your man didn’t return?  And what if you found you enjoyed the freedom your job gave you?
Neither Marion Whiting nor Barbara Jenkins loved their jobs in the mill; however, they did the best job they could for their government, and after being widowed by the war, those jobs had become a necessity. 
The two women fell in love and moved in together to save on expenses, but they soon discovered life is very different from when they were married to men.  After giving up their individual homes in order to buy a place together, they learn that no bank will give them a loan without a responsible male’s signature.  Since Marion and Barbara no longer have men to ‘take care’ of them, they decide they will take care of themselves and each other.
Dreams are meant to be pursued, so Marion and Barbara buy an island using the last of their combined money.  They want to create a vacation getaway where they can raise their shared family, but they have no idea what it will take to make their dreams on this island a reality. 
Will they have to give up their dreams to save their relationship?  Will the freedoms they enjoy be thwarted by outside influences?  Come along as two women in post-war Maine embark on their dream.  “What could possibly go wrong?” you ask…