Monday, June 24, 2013

Going under the knife!

Gonna post about something unrelated to books for a change.  Well, mostly at any rate.

Not long after the new year I developed a numbness in my left pinky, part of the ring finger, and the surrounding palm area.  I chalked it up to too much typing or too much guitar playing and thought nothing of it at the time, the idea being that it would just go away.

It didn't.

Long story short, I've been to about five different doctors through ten appointments and three different tests.  I was poked, prodded, x-rayed, hit with magnetic waves, and had electric currents shot through my arm.  Don't worry, it sounds worse than it really was =)  During the course of all of this, I was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy.  In layman's terms, a nerve somewhere between my elbow and wrist is pinched, thus the numbness.  It's just like carpel tunnel, only it's the nerve on the pinky side, not the thumb side.  

So, what now? 

SURGERY!  On Wednesday morning (at the ungodly hour of 6:45 am) I'll be undergoing surgery on my left arm.  It won't be much unlike the orthopedic surgery one would get on their knee.  The good doctor will be making a small incisions at both my wrist and elbow.  He'll be clearing up some room in the small tissue in my wrist around the tunnel where the nerve runs.  That should solve the pinky/ring finger numbness.  A similar incision will be made around my elbow, but he'll be performing what's called 'radial nerve translocation'.  That involves moving the nerve from where it runs along the funny bone to an area where it won't be pinched.  

Friends, both online and off, have been asking me if I'm scared?  The answer is, no, not really.  After MONTHS of dealing with a finger and a half that feel constantly asleep, and all the requisite tests and doctors appointments, it's nice to have a fucking answer.

Now, none of this is life threatening.  I can easily live with a pinky finger that doesn't want to do what I want it to do.  But, I'm a guitar player and I've written a thing or two: something I'd like to keep doing.  I'm right handed, but the left hand is my fretting hand.  That's the hand that picks out the notes on the guitar's neck.  Without a functional pinky and ring finger, I can't feel the strings and the results are shitty slop to say the least.  I'm no Steve Vai but I don't suck either.  Guitar's been in my life for over 20 years and I've gotten pretty good at it.  The prospect of never being able to play again blows.  Also, there's the whole writing thing.  That's not so bad because I've basically retrained my left hand how to type.  I've been clocked at almost ninety words per minute, so yeah, it blows not being able to type up to speed but I've been working around it.  Timing-wise, it's not so bad.  Ghosts is published and I've been taking a bit of a break from writing, although I'd like to get back to editing my other book.  So, that's going to be interesting, but at least it won't involve long hours of typing; it's mostly just cleanup.  

So, what next?  Insofar as recovery, I'll have a brace on my left hand for about a week.  Furthermore, the doctor informed me that I'll need to wear a 'dressing' on my arm to protect the elbow for 'longer than that', and in addition, my elbow will be 'tender' for a while and my hand 'won't exactly work properly' right away. 

That's the long and short of it, folks.  While I'm not scared, I'd like this shit to be over with at long last.  Seems we're headed that way.  After months of this crap, it's good to have a probable solution in sight.  If'n ya don't see me on FB or blogging much for the next few weeks, you'll know why.  

And that's that!  Hope this post finds you well!  Until next time, take care.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ghosts of Demons Past is LIVE! Also, free stuff, interviews, ramblings

Long time no blog, people!  I've been recalcitrant in my ramblings as of late.  Why?  I was busy as hell getting my debut novel ready to publish on Amazon.  Good news is, it's finally, FINALLY up there!  I'm drained, exhausted, and happy all at the same time.  I won't go into detail as to what I had to go through this past weekend to get the thing up there, but let's just say that, other than a few excursions out of the house, I neglected everyone and everything to format the book, check it, re-format when I ran into troubles (of which there were legion), wash, rinse, repeat.  It was a learning experience, lemme tell ya.  I hadn't run into many problems when I published Words With Fiends.  Ghosts was an altogether different beast because I'd hired an editor (which meant more changes to double check) and it's a full length book, which meant inserting a table of contents, page breaks, all that good stuff.  ANYWAY, it's done, and it's available to purchase!

So, here are the buy links!  I'll put it on my dedicated Ghosts of Demons Past page as well.  (Side Note:  the Kindle sample contains not only the prologue from the novel, but THE FIRST SEVEN CHAPTERS AS WELL.  If you're unsure as to whether you want to buy the full book for the outrageous price of $2.99, the sample offers you a big chunk with which to test the waters.)

Buy Me!

NOW, onto other business.  I've been interviewed by two sites.  You're probably sick of reading my interviews by now (I've had a couple of them) but these involve the possibility of winning FREE SHIT!  What shit is up for grabs, you may ask?  Why, a Kindle copy of Ghosts of Demons Past of course!

The first interview is with the nice folks over at the One More Chapter Blog .  I am their June 'Featured Author', and at the tippy top is a Rafflecopter entry form.  All you have to do is click on one or both of the buttons, and you're instantly entered to win a free copy of my debut novel (doesn't that sound cool?  "Debut Novel'?).  There are over 12 days left so you have plenty time to enter.  Go over, enter, and check out the interview!

The second interview is over on the Bloodletting website.  Bloodletting is a text-based fantasy roll playing game.  Cool stuff.  After you've checked out the interview, give the site a browse!  Bloodletting is also having a giveaway, which includes a Kindle copy of Ghosts of Demons Past as well as a bunch of other stuff.  Here's the link to the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

I'd like to thank Jude (aka JOOOOOOD) Frazee for taking the time out of her very busy schedule to come up with the questions, host the interview, and run the contests.  Thanks, Jude! 

It's not easy putting yourself out there, and I'm part excited/part anxious about finally having Ghosts of Demons Past out in the world.  It's been nearly a year in the making, and has been through many edits, read by many people, and has even suffered a few hiatuses.  I hope people enjoy it as much as I did writing it.  It's one of the hardest things I've ever done, but now that it's done?  I can say I'm proud.

Thanks for reading folks!