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Hey, guys. It would appear some (or all) of my blog subscribers have received notification of a blog post titled: CAGED FIRST CHAPTER.
I’m so sorry, but it was supposed to be a private post, and I was just testing out the links, but WordPress seemed to interpret something I did to: please post this to everyone (or I possibly clicked something I shouldn’t have).
So, bad news: I won’t be sharing the opening of Caged with you today.
Good news: This, evidently, proves that I’m currently setting something up to do exactly that, so please be patient.
A few days ago, I stumbled across a link described as ‘What would you do for Poison?’, and when I clicked on the link it took me to the website of Bridget Zinn. More specifically, it too me to This Page.
Intrigued, I read what it had to say.
These were the opening lines of the post there:
Bridget Zinn’s first YA novel, Poison, is being released by Hyperion on March 12, 2013. Unfortunately, Bridget died from cancer in May 2011 at the age of 33.
If you skimmed the second sentence in there, then read again, because I pretty much thought ‘Oh, wow’ and had to read more.
Being published was Bridget’s dream.
I can relate. Being published is pretty much the dream of every writer out there. No matter the size of their story. No matter the publication. We all just want our stories to be read.
Now, nearly four years to the day from her diagnosis, her novel is at last reaching readers. On her behalf, her friends and family want to celebrate her accomplishment and help get her book into the hands of readers.
And here lies the crux of the post. As a tribute to an author who never got to see her book being published, this authors significant others are attempting to still fulfill Bridgets’s dream.
My thought on that is: Good for them.
Because I’m pretty sure, even though she’s no longer here, this lady has every knowledge that her book has hit the world, and that she is getting to see this … somehow.
And to achieve this author’s dream, even in her absence, here is what they’re asking. Please read, and consider. Because for each singular person who helps, it’s such a small request, but can make a huge difference to those trying to make this happen.
On your blog:
During the week of March 11, blog about the release of your first novel (if you’re an author) or any other momentous first.
During the week of March 11, tweet about #Poison.
Tweet a photo of you holding the book. You could also tweet a link to this web page, part of a review, or a link to your blog post. Just use the hashtag #Poison.
During the week of March 11, post a picture of you holding Poison, and/or a link to her web page.
If you knew Bridget, write about her. If you didn’t, write about how a librarian helped kindle your love of reading. Or how your favorite young fantasy lit a fire in you as a reader that opened up the full world of literature.
As an author:
Consider mentioning Poison during the week of March 11.
As a librarian:
During the week of March 11, help spread the word.
Bridget was a YA librarian, first in Wisconsin, then in Oregon. Spread the word about Poison on any listservs you’re on. Post a review on Goodreads or LibraryThing. Help raise awareness and get the book into the hands of readers.
As a reader:
Please post a review—if not during the week of March 11, then as soon as you can.
There are a lot more details on Bridget’s website. You can read them HERE! Please check it out (but take tissues because I cried my eyes out).
As an author myself, I could not possibly comprehend the idea of reaching my goal of achieving a publishing contract and then not being around to share in the release.
When Darkness & Light first released in July of 2011, I don’t think I’d ever felt prouder of myself. I’d never been a business minded person. Never been very driven to be educated or have a skill or be better than I already was. Not until I discovered writing in 2009. And for the first time in my life, I was doing something I wanted–no, needed to be good at. And that need pushed me forth to seek publication. Because the need had expanded into wanting to share what I’d discovered I could do with others. So yes, seeing the launch day of your book and getting to hold something in your hands that every writer dreams of to the point they scarcely dare hope … yeah, it’s a big deal.
And for that reason, I urge you all to help Bridget’s family accomplish her dream–because I’m pretty sure she is watching from somewhere.
Here’s what Poison’s all about:
Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.
But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart…misses.
Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?
Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.
Cheers for taking the time to read.
Okay, so whilst the news isn’t 100% related to my writing or the Holloway Pack, it is still news that I’m very proud to be a part of and I’m very excited about regarding my books. You see, a press release went live yesterday from my publisher, announcing that they have partnered with a couple foreign rights agents. Here’s the press release for you (borrowed from J. Taylor Publishing’s blog) because that will say it better than I can.
J. Taylor Publishing Partners with Susanne Theune & Associates And J. A. Weber Literaturagentur GmbH For Worldwide Foreign Rights And Subsidiary Sales
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
J. Taylor Publishing partners with two literary agencies for foreign rights and subsidiary sales worldwide.
Apex, NC – March 13, 2013 – The release of its first two books in July 2011 put J. Taylor Publishing on the road to opportunity, leading to partnerships with two literary agencies for foreign rights and subsidiary sales representation of its catalog around the world.
“Our plan has been a slow and steady growth focused on our authors and the development of their careers. With books available in English, the next steps seemed obvious. Get those same books translated and produced in other media,” says J. Taylor Publishing.
J. Taylor Publishing, though, like most small boutique publishers, focuses on electronic and print books in English. While English may be accessible worldwide, local, native languages are important to the culture and literary needs of each individual country.
Susanne Theune & Associates, will represent the J. Taylor catalog in Spain and Latin America, and J. A. Weber Literaturagentur GmbH will represent the remainder of the world. Both will focus on language translation for book publication as well as other media.
“The key to successful growth is knowing where to delegate and to whom,” says J. Taylor Publishing, adding, “Connecting with both Susanne and Julia offers our authors exactly what they want out of their writing careers—the opportunity to reach more readers.”
Founded in 2008, the literary agency ST&A is dedicated to representing international publishers for Spanish-language market, as well as offering translation rights of Spanish publishers for international markets. Their catalog covers all genres, from thrillers and contemporary literature to non-fiction or children’s books.
Susanne Theune , has over twenty years experience in publishing and communication, with extensive knowledge of both the national and the international markets, working for years for the publishing groups Bertelsmann and Zeta.
For more about ST&A, please visit http://www.stasociados.com/
About J. A. Weber Literaturagentur GmbH
Established in January 2012, we are a small, young, dynamic and highly creative literary agency, specializing in representing authors of unique and captivating thrillers as well as MG, YA, NA and women’s fiction of all sub-genres.
For more information about J. A. Weber Literaturagentur GmbH, please visit http://www.jaw-litagent.com
See? Exciting stuff. And in case you’re wondering what exactly this means–these agents now have the go-ahead to try and gain publishing contracts with publishers who print in non-English languages (excuse my wonky explanation), which means, there’s a chance some of the books from the J. Taylor catalogue could end up being translated and sold in other languages.
Well … I’m in the J. Taylor catalogue. So mine could be one of them.
How freakin’ awesome is that? Because the idea of any of my books being translated is incredibly exciting for me. Yippee!
Today is my wedding anniversary, of 18 years.
How did this happen?
At a guess, I’d say it has a whole lot to do with a willingness to fight for what we believed in, and a full acceptance by each of who the other person is.
Though, age is a funny thing when it comes to marriage.
Eighteen years ago, we were both still pretty young. Both, certainly, fairly selfish in what we wanted from a relationship. And certainly a couple with a duet of short fuses and a platoon of weird quirks that needed tolerating.
Now, after eighteen years of marriage, and almost twenty-three years together, we live in such comfortable acceptance of each other, it feels kinda wrong to be parted. Kinda like a half to the whole is missing, like there’s cold where there should be warmth. Even Mr B has gone from loving solo weekends away on his motorcycle, to hating going away without the rest of the family.
And we, neither of us, can exactly pinpoint when this switch in us occurred.
Sure, we had an episode in the marriage (as most couples do), where we sat down and realised things could be, and needed to be better, and we, instead of asking each other what they’d do about it, stated what we, ourselves, were willing to do. And somewhere along the line, the effort we were putting in ceased to be an effort until it became … natural.
Natural to put the needs and feelings of the other before ourselves. Natural to be willing to compromise. To talk when talks are needed. To be supportive and understanding. To ask instead of assume.
Eighteen years ago, I hoped but could never have predicted we’d still be here.
Today, I’m majorly happy we are.
Happy anniversary, babe.
My stops for the Make Believe and Blue Moon blog tours have finally come to a close. The entire month of December seemed to wrap around me like a whirlwind that caught me up in its midst and swept me along for an amazing ride, which I expected to be 100% stressful but turned out to be anything but. This end result is, pretty much in whole, thanks to all the awesome bloggers who participated and ensured everything went smoothly.
And I think they deserve a little recognition for that. So, here they are:
.Ambur.I’m addicted to books…and TV, especially Vampire Diaries and Once Upon a Time. I like the colour orange, and music. I’m also a big animal fan. I have 2 dogs, a dachshund, and a chihuahua. I also used to have a cockapoo, miss him to bits! Keep smiling people, it makes the world brighter. even in emoticon form
Gorgeous young lady, awesome to work with, and one of the most colourful blogs on the ‘Net. Check her out.
Stick around and have a chat with me. I don’t bite. Most of the time.
Jocelyn Adams: author of fantasy, urban fantasy, a little bit of romance, with enough alter-agos to keep pretty much everyone entertained. Go visit.
* Long and Short Reviews opened its doors August 27, 2007
* As of 12/31/12 we’ve reviewed more than 8900 books and short stories
* As of 12/31/12 we receive over 600 visitors / 1500 page views daily
* We may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
* We are a “snark free” reviews site.
Review, reviews, and more great reviews. They are also great supporters of the authors who write those books they love to review so much. Definitely worth a read. And they’ve just moved house, too.
Hi, My name is Sandra, though for my blog I go by an adaptation of my middle name, Jeanz! I live in the UK, started blogging in Aug 2011. I have always loved books!. If a blurb catches my eye I will usually give reading it a go!
Another lovely lady I’ve been getting to know pretty well. Adorable to work with and ALWAYS organised. Plus, she loves the Holloway Pack, so it means she has great taste.
Welcome to Lynda R Young’s writing blog. The content includes writing tips, social media tips and some other meanderings. I am based in Sydney, Australia. All the photos you see on my blog were taken by me unless otherwise stated.
Fellow antho contributor, and all-round good guy. Plus, she’s from Australia, and we all know they have cool accents and lots of Bar-B’s.
I’m a total bookaholic. I love reading & I can spend hours with my nose in a book (when my life permits it of course). My favourite genre is paranormal romance (lovee to swoon!) but I’ll pretty much read anything paranormal. I love anything that goes bump in the night but my poison of choice is vampires! Blogging about the books I read is another passion. I love reading others opinions on books and I follow so many amazing blogs!
Ah, yes! One of my favourite blogs. Love the colours. And Tiffany’s seriously lovely to talk to, too.
I’m Kimberly, 21 year old blogger and bibliophile from Toronto CanadaI love to read (obviously) and I love to cook.Not sure what I want to do in life but I do know that I’ll always have a book nearby.
My name is Michelle, I spend lots of my time reading, and blogging. I am not super young, but not old either, but am young at heart, and still enjoy YA books too.
This blog will be for book reviews of books I have read. I really do not read many I don’t like, so most my reviews will be positive. I love Paranormal, Suspense, Magical, Supernatural books, YA and Adult books, I read both. This will be a work in progress, as I have read many books. If you have questions, or have a book you want me to review, you can email me at email@example.com
I work at the Minstry of Health of my State as a PR and I love my job.My mother gave me my first book (Shakespeare´s Hamlet) and that was it for me lol!!!I love animals, I have two dogs a Labrador and a Boxer and they own the House, my fav food is Italian.My fav sport is soccer but i´ve never played, I used to be a Folklore Dancer at the State Company, i danced for 19 years.
My name is Jennifer L. Bielman. I live in California. I am the co-organizer of the San Bernardino-Riverside County Writers Critique Group and I am a Social Media Consultant for an eco-friendly contractor.I have an addiction to reading that has consumed my life. Now I want to share my reviews and suggestions with others. I have read over 400 books in the past couple years, mostly in the urban fantasy and paranormal romance genre. I love reading both traditionally published and self-published books.
Claire Gillian is the pen name for a number-crunching executive by day and a darkly romantic curmudgeon by night. Her debut novel,The P.U.R.E. was released in April 2012. She also writes fifty shades naughtier stuff under the pen name of Lila Shaw, but please don’t tell her mother. No matter which name she uses, Claire is happiest penning romance drenched in humor with a dash of intrigue and loads of spice.
Claire lives in the boggy Pacific NW with her husband and two teen-aged sons.
A lovely lady but she’s a wee bit nuts. :p
Nah, joking aside, Ms Gillian is yet another author with alter-egos to delight all tastes. She can be pretty witty, too.
Oh my, where to start. Well, as I said in the blog description, I have a wide range of interests and hobbies. I’m in my late 20’s. I’m married and I have an adorable dog who you can find in my photographs.
In no certain order…I love spending time with friends and family, music, watching movies, scrapbooking, reading, word games (yes, I’m part dork), photography, baking, kayaking, traveling, flying, hiking, white water rafting, technology, smartphones (Go iPhone), experiencing new things, and nature.
I’ve had dealings with Jen awhile now, right since Darkness & Light came out, and she read it, waaaay back when. She’s an awesomely lovely lady. Please visit her.
L.S. Murphy lives in the Greater St. Louis area where she watches Cardinals baseball, reads every book she can find, and weaves tales for teens and adults. When not doing all of the above, she tends to The Bean (aka her daughter), her husband and a menagerie of pets. “A Reason to Stay”, a contemporary romance novella, is available as of November 2, 2012. Reaper is her debut young adult novel and will be released on January 7th, 2013.
Love this slight insane American bird. Her writing’s pretty good, too. In fact, I’ll have Ms Murphy here in a few weeks to celebrate the release of her debut YA, Reaper. You MUST come check her out.
Pragya is a real tough cookie when it comes to winning her over with your books. She’s also a total pleasure to deal with.
Oh, and maybe I should mention she can also be a horrible tease and has a great sense of humour? :p
Click the About Me tab for more information.
If you are an author/publisher requesting a review of your book please click the Review Policy for more information.
Lolita was co-blogging across at K-Books when I scheduled my tours, and she was awesome to work with. Good communication, good to chat to, and not afraid to speak her mind. She now has her own blog, Lola’s Reviews–don’t worry, I’ll be linking to her, too–and is taking on tours. But you should still go visit Kay over at K-Books, who might be better known WORLDWIDE for her slightly nutty obsession with all things Jennifer L. Armentrout.
I had a really great bio in my head around midnight one night …. right before I fell asleep and it disappeared into the nothingness of unconsciousness. Bummer. So here’s something less well thought out.
I want to be young again, so I’m kinda sorta living it again. At least on paper. You see, I write paranormal romance. Now, that stuff can get really hot, and really gritty and well … mine does. But! My characters are teenagers, 18 and under. Like I was once … and want to be again.
Why would I want to be a teenager again? …..
I think composing my post–a back and forth interview with Josh Larsen–for Ms Gayle’s blog was quite possible the most fun I’ve had. She also writes GREAT YA! GO READ IT!
I’m a romantic … and as a photographic artist, I’m the epitome of that term. Whether it be via visual or written imagery, I like to bring out inner beauty. Some have called it pure talent, others an intrinsic ability to understand my subject’s soul. No matter what it is, my images are real, fun, imaginative and unique, and I hope my writing is, too.
I infuse my beliefs, love of the artistic and my open, honest spirit into the my work and those with whom I surrounds herself …..
One of my favourite peeps. You should go visit her just because I said so. And if that’s not enough, you should do it just because she is the creator of TRIPP FOX!
Aspiring Young adult author…currently working on my debut novel. I graduated from high school and college, where I received a degree in forensic pathology and psychology. Even though I enjoyed working in the morgue, my parents know their daughter would never be a doctor for the dead or living. My ideal place to write is anywhere dark and being alone in the morgue at night inspires great stories…..
Lovely, lovely, lovely lady, and one of the most beautiful people I know. Please head over and follow her.
I am Lolita, I am 22 years old and I live in the Netherlands. I have my bachelor’s degree in psychology and my master’s degree in economic and consumer psychology. I love reading books and writing reviews about them. I am a bit of a critical reader and also love beta reading.
Ah, yes, and here’s the lovely Lolita. Her blog is young. She has plans to grow. I have no doubt she’ll achieve her plans. You can help her by heading over and following her blog. Say hi, too.
I’ve been a book reader all my life and a few years ago I started an account on Goodreads and fell in love. I’ve met so many friends and received SO many book suggestions from that site and it has really been the jumping off point for my reading addiction. After reading and reviewing quite a few books I decided that I wanted a place of my own to keep up with those review & thoughts. I also had started visiting a few other blogs and was really beginning to like the blogging community as a whole.
Alyssa is great to deal with, and make interviewing fun. Her blog is real easy on the eyes, too. Go visit.
Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with storytelling.Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her two young daughters allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open.
Born in Ohio, I lived next to my grandfather’s horse farm until the fourth grade. Summers were about riding, fishing and make-believe, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all.
I struggled with multiple learning disabilities, did not excel in school. I spent much of my time looking out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) I fought dyslexia for my right to read, like a prince fights a dragon in order to free the princess locked in a tower, and I won.
Author of YA novel CRUX, and 100% gorgeous. If you haven’t read her book, you should. It’s brilliant.
So Hello, My name is Maghon (it’s pronounced May-gun, for everyone trying to figure it out), and I don’t really know very much about making/having/writing blogs, but I love to look at everyone else’s so I thought it would be fun to have my own, with my own opinions! I am a veterinary technician, (I have lots of fur babies). and I am VERY passionate about animals and books… so I’m pretty sure that’s what most of my blogs will be about I am a very friendly kid, born in Abbeville, Louisiana (and still live there) and I’m still close to my family. If you have any questions, please ask
I love to read and write. I started blogging after several friends told me I would be good at it and I should share my passion for reading with others. I am so excited to have two blogs today. I have a YA Blog named A Diary Of A book Addict http://adiaryofabookaddict.blogspot.com/ and I have a New Adult Blog called Kaidans Seduction http://kaidansseduction.blogspot.com/ Come visit me on either place and feel free to leave a comment or two! Happy Reading
Kelly loves life in the foothills of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. When she’s not reading, being doted on by Mr. S, or pressed for attention by the wet nose of her beefy bull terrier, she can be found huddled over her little laptop writing whatever catches her fancy — mostly Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror stories for Young Adults.
Hi! I am Susan Rocan, a proud Canadian, the mother of two young adults, with a young grandson who has stolen my heart. I am also the published author of two teen novels – Withershins and Spirit Quest. When I am not writing, I work with special needs students and visit schools to talk about writing – and I love to make homemade cards.
Rebecca is a single parent, full time IT geek, and reformed gaming addict living in Upstate NY. When not at the office with her nose buried in a laptop trying to fix it, she can be found at home with her nose buried in a laptop, writing instead. Her debut novel, a Paranormal Romance titled The Call of the Sea will be published by Inkspell Publishing with a tentative release date of June 21, 2012, giving her one more reason to look forward to summer.
Jennifer likes to blog about life, writing, and her publishing experiencing. If you want to follow along, then hop over there.
I’m a work at home mom who can most often be found wearing pajamas, drinking a glass of sweet tea, and reading a book.
I read as often as I can. Books are my escape, my refuge, my safe adventures. Recently I’ve discovered audio books and so now have a new and better way of shutting out everyone and everything and losing myself in a book. I can’t think of anything more relaxing than being read to and there are so many amazing narrators out there right now that when you find that right combination of story and narrator, its perfection….
Yet another great blog that is 100% worth checking out. Please do so.
Ms Martin may well be able to kick your a$$ but she’s also a great murder-mystery, thriller writer. An avid blogger, too.
Shout with Emaginette.
Another lovely lady. Always very supportive of others. With always a kind word to say.
And last, but by NO means least:
I write about whatever I feel like writing about really, usually with a humorous slant. Oh and I like lists, so you’ll often find lists on here.
I have a second blog as well where I talk about all kinds of sweet things; literally I mean – recipes and info on cakes, cookies, fudge etc….
Vanessa Chapman is another gorgeous lady, who I’ve recently had the chance to know better thanks to the Make Believe tour, and I would LOVE to work with her again because she is just that cool. She also has a guitar strumming husband and is brave enough to sing with him then post it on the ‘Net. Please go and follow.
Okay, I *think* that’s it. As you can possibly imagine, keeping track of everyone well enough to compose this massive post was a little tough, so if I did miss anyone out, then I’m sincerely sorry. But trust me when I say, you are no less thought of. I am always immensely grateful to the folk who make my tours possible. To me, this seems a pretty measly way to show my thanks but it’s all I have so …
Yep, over at the blog of J.Taylor Publishing, they are running a month long promotion to expand their blogging community.
And you’re invited!
Here’s the scoop direct from their site:
Help us … win Prizes!January 1, 2013
Recommend us to others…
Would you recommend us to your fellow bloggers? Can you share with them the benefits of working directly with us?
For example, these are the benefits of being a J. Taylor Publishing reviewer:
- Free ebooks with immediate access to the novels and novellas (at the pre-release stage) — No asking to be considered on a book by book basis!
- Reduced cost print books (when/where available)
- Free (or reduced cost) marketing materials about our books (media kits, cover images, bookmarks) where available
- Priority for future back-of-the-book quotes with your name on them (for printed novels)
- Priority for blog tours and interviews with our authors
- Promotion of your website on our blog (link back)
- Potential inclusion of your review in our authorʼs media kits, marketing tools, etc
- Priority reviews of any query submitted to us for publication consideration
- Personal feedback on the above submissions
- There are absolutely no costs to this program and never will be.
If it sounded good to you, wouldn’t it work for others?
The steps …
- Register withing the Rafflecopter (to be eligible for all the prizes)
- Recommend us to your fellow bloggers (who might be eligible) and make sure they record you in the Referred By field (to be eligible for the $25 gift card)
- Repeat #2 from January 1- 31, 2013 for more chances to win! Each referral earns an additional entry.
What this pretty much means is that if you hop on over to their Rafflecopter form and let them know J.A. Belfield sent you (you must have registered to be a blogger, also; see below for how), then I get an entry (one for each sign-up) into the draw. More people signing up by my referral means more entries for me.
On top of that, as soon as you have registered to be a blogger for them (you can do so HERE!), you can then head off and shout about the promotion and get folk to enter via your referral–which means, you, too, then get entered into the runnings.
So, what are the prizes, you ask?
From J.Taylor Publishing:
- Two signed bookmark sets, including, J.A. Belfield, Jocelyn Adams, Aimee Laine, Claire Gillian, J.C. Martin, Julie Reece and Emi Gayle
- Two sets of unsigned bookmarks, including the above authors, plus bookmarks for Tidal Whispers, Into the Unknown and Reaper by L.S. Murphy
- Two complete sets of all 2011 and 2012 releases in Kindle format with a bonus book: Reaper by L.S. Murphy
- Two complete sets of all 2011 and 2012 releases in EPUB format (for Nooks, etc) with a bonus book: Reaper by L.S. Murphy
- One $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift certificate
- Now, here you might wonder why we’re only giving one gift certificate away. Well, this will ONLY be awarded to one of our current bloggers. The catch? Selection will be made solely from names entered into the ‘Referred by’ field in the Reviewer registration form.
Sounds pretty cool, eh?
What are you waiting for? Go sign-up to play!
Terms & Conditions for this promotion can be found HERE!
First up, I’m going to start this blog post on a high note, by getting my priorities straight and wishing you all …
Happy New Year!
To be honest, I 100% toyed with the notion of simply stating that I’m looking forward to 2013, but then realised folk really wouldn’t get how MUCH I’m looking forward to this new year without a little give.
So, if you don’t want to hear about my past year, you’re welcome to step away now. But if morbid curiosity is enough to make you stick around, then here goes (but you have been warned: it ain’t all knitting and kittens).
My year of 2012 in a nutshell.
Mr B was out of work for the first 6 months of the year.
I find out, when a lady contacted me via GenesReunited, that I might have an older half sister, and DNA testing proved this closet skeleton to be well and truly rattling. Whilst I am over the moon to have gained this lovely lady into my family, as we happen to get on really well, it has certainly caused ruptions and fallings out with other family members, which has resulted in my feelings over it all being somewhat disjointed and definitely up & down.
A suspicious mole turned out to be cancerous. Whilst the entire ordeal was hairy, from discovery to referral, to biopsy, to results confirming malignant melanoma, and a deeper & bigger cut made for safe-than-sorry reasons, I felt pretty blessed when the last letter from the Dermatologist confirmed the cancer had been completely removed and a follow up appointment garnered positive results, too. So not all bad there.
My pooch died. Normally, I’d have handled something like this pretty well. I’d have been upset, of course I would’ve. But I’d have handled it better than I actually did—which turned out to be pretty bad, as it just happened to fall right after dealing with family stuff and cancer stuff and kidlet stuff … you get the picture—and everything that was going on in my life had begun to affect my health.
We got a new pooch. You’ve probably seen the post about Lunar. She was hard work the first few weeks she moved in, but the more that little darling has settled in, the more she has become my saviour. She keeps me company in the day. She keeps me & Mr B company at night. And if I seem to have a lot to say about her in my posts, then it’s because I feel as though I owe what sanity I have to the little creature who’s growing bigger by the day.
Of course, I also have to mention that Instinct, Eternal, Blue Moon AND Make Believe all released. However, when you have so many other things going on, sometimes it’s a little hard to keep your eye on the prize—especially when my too-full-of-other-and-emotional-stuff head lost all concentration, which resulted in me missing my self-made deadline for writing Holloway Pack 4 by around 5 months (so far, anyway—I’ve still to finish). It’s amazing how much falling behind your own goals can get a writer down. But I was happy beneath everything else about so many titles being shared this year.
Plus, despite everything throughout the year creating a roller coaster of emotions and turmoil, we did manage to draw closer to the end of the year on a higher note, with an awesome Christmas away visiting family and an entire week dedicated to My Man & the Kidlets. In fact, these three amazing peeps have majorly kept me going throughout the year. Throughout everything, in fact. Holding my hand, hugging me when required. Getting me to talk about stuff (‘cause I can be a pretty tightly closed book). Drying my tears.
Mr B: You are my Rock, dude!
So, for all the right reasons, I’m so extremely looking forward to leaving 2012 behind, and I cannot wait to see what 2013 holds. At the moment, I’m merely making a wish for good health and sanity, and plenty of smiles.
And, of course, for the releases of Resonance & Caged to flow smooth.
How did 2012 fare for you? And what are you hoping 2013 will bring?
No, it’s nothing rude. O_O I’m talking about Cancer.
You know, that manky disease that if you’ve never had it, you believe it’ll never happen to you?
Yeah, that one.
Well, I used to be one of those that believed it could infect anyone but me.
I’m not anymore.
You see, I’m a fairly moley person. Since in my early twenties, I’d already had 6 moles removed—either because they were huge, or were in places where they got caught a lot, or felt deeper than I was comfortable with.
Then I had a mole on my upper right arm. I never really paid it much attention. Probably because I ain’t a pretzel and couldn’t see it so well, and it never really did anything to bother me—didn’t lose its shape, didn’t grow outward like so many of mine do.
Until it decided to bleed.
The first time, I presumed I’d accidentally scratched it.
The second time, I diggety dang well knew I hadn’t.
Coupled with another mole just below where my bra sits which was sore, and the fact that I’d spent the past few weeks bordering on exhaustion, I sucked up the reality that the outcome mightn’t be good and forced myself to the doc’s.
The mole that was sore? Yeah, he wasn’t concerned about that one.
But the one that didn’t bother me in the slightest, except that it had bled a couple times? Yeah, he took a closer look at that. Using his magical magnifying device, he took a couple photographs, and then uploaded them to his desktop, and then started filling in paperwork whilst yackering away.
Me being me, I twisted in my seat to get a better look at what he was filling in.
My face pretty much went like this:
Because at the top of the form in big bold letters were the words: URGENT REFERRAL FOR SUSPECTED SKIN CANCER
BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM! <<That was the noise I could hear in my ears.
Then he explained that he was going to get his assistant to arrange for an appointment with the skin specialist (translate: dermatologist) for a closer look, and that I should wait in the seating area outside.
When I got out there, I realised I’d taken a leaflet off him and set about reading it.
Yeah, about then, my bowels felt a little looser.
Because the word CANCER appeared on that info sheet waaaaaaaaaaay more times that I was comfortable with, and I SWEAR it was bolded and in capitals every darn time (though it possibly wasn’t).
Once I’d been dealt with, off I trotted, ringing Mr B on the way home who sounded as panicked as I felt, and then sat staring at my laptop for around 30 seconds before I rang my best friend (Carla) and then emailed Aimee Laine (who ends up hearing all of my woes whether she wants to or not).
The next day, I was given a date for 13 days time. I also got a confirmation letter in the post with talk of a biopsy and whatnot. By this time, my head had settled down a little—because I have a motto of ‘Don’t worry until you know you have something to worry about’, so I figured then was as good a time as any to try that out.
It worked. I was pretty calm by the time I went for my appointment. The doc I saw was very nice. I didn’t even blush when I had to strip to my undies for him to check all of my moles. O_O
He took a much closer look at the one I’d been sent for than the others. He said it didn’t look too worrying (SCORE!), but that he’d do a biopsy just to be on the safe side (PLUMMET!).
I was given the option of having it done then or going back another time, but seriously? What’d be the point of going back when I was already there?
So he did the skin surgery.
Then he sent me on my merry way with the promise to contact me within a couple weeks once the results came through.
Let me just add in here: I was prepared for being chopped up a little and going through the process (I’d been there before with mole removals, after all). What I didn’t prepare myself for was how deep he’d been chopping and how long it would take me to recover from the surgery. Because I couldn’t write! O_O For almost a week! O_o This is pretty stress-inducing to someone with stories in her head.
But, anyhoo, 10 days after the biopsy, I received a letter in the post asking me to go back in 4 days time. I think then, I KNEW. The UK health system doesn’t really waste appointments to tell folk their results came back clear. My GP would have passed that info on. So, yeah, I deffo had an inkling.
Yet, it still seemed a bit of a shock when the words were finally spoken with the confirmation of: we did find skin cancer in your biopsy. My heart did its crazy THUMP, THUMP, THUMP, THUMP! trick again. I also felt a little nauseous and seemed to lose focus on the room I was in for a few seconds.
But, despite hearing the words that every person dreads, I still consider myself pretty blessed.
Because I got to doc’s fairly early when I was worried about my mole. The depth of the skin cancer was real shallow (o.7mm deep). The type of melanoma the most common (superficial spreading melanoma). And the skin specialist thinks all the cancerous cells were removed with the biopsy.
However, he’s still going to do a second cut—deeper, wider—to be on the safe side. I’ve already been warned the second round of surgery will take longer to recover from (which would suck a$$ if not for the fact my mind will be more at ease). On top of that, I’ll be seen regularly for follow-up appointments for the next twelve months, so my moles can be kept an eye on, and we can be aware faster should the cancer decide to make an unwelcome return.
So, whilst I felt as though I’d been hit with juggernaut-worthy health news a few weeks ago, it looks as though I’m gonna be fine and dandy.
Still here? Even after this big-a$$ post? Awesomeness. Because I have one more thing to say before I’m done:
I wrote this post with the intention of serving two purposes. 1) So if I vanish off the social-networking stratosphere at any point over the next month or two, you’ll have an idea as to why. And much more importantly 2) If there is any chance that my speaking up, and sharing a part of my life that I consider pretty personal will encourage other folk to check themselves more closely and not be afraid to go to the doc’s, I would happily do so a thousand times over.
My next blog post’ll be a happier one, I promise. Mr B whisked me and the kidlets away for a few days after we’d been given the results, and I had an awesome time. Check back to find out what can happen when you put Mr B, a beach, and a handful of bookmarks together.
(ps: I seriously do apologise for the size of the post)