Business Musings: Best Laid Plans of Mice and Kittens

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I started into this year going gangbusters. I had a big Diving project, which I figured I would finish in early March, some research to do on my next big project, and I would finish something smaller in between.

Those of you who support me on Patreon saw a flurry of blogs in the front of the year, and then I’ve been trickling the blogs out slowly ever since. That’s not how I planned the year.

Plus, I have a few other projects to finish—the Branding Book is one—and a lot of updating to do on websites and such. I had started all of that, going fast, when…

Well, that chronic health condition of mine didn’t just flare up. It overtook my life.

Dean and I realized that we needed to get me to a major city, where I’m closer to doctors who can deal with my everyday. (I am currently 3.5 hours away from the experts who know what they’re doing with the various health concerns.) I had several rather frightening flare-ups, one during the anthology workshop, and some of them are environmental.

We had known that I needed to get out of Lincoln City as my permanent residence, but we figured that would happen someday.

Turned out, someday is now.

Dean and I have bought a place in Las Vegas, where we will be part time. (We’re planning for summers in Lincoln City, where it’s cool.) The businesses will remain here, including WMG. The stores are doing very well. Everything is going well…except me.

No need to worry about my health. We’re taking care of it all, and getting me out of the environment that makes the condition worse. So, we’re doing the right things.

I’m very fortunate that there are right things to do. Many of you have written to me about your own chronic health conditions. Some of those conditions make mine seem like child’s play. I always marvel at how determined you all are to write, publish, and share yourselves despite the barriers that you have to overcome. You inspire me.

My current writing barrier isn’t my health–except peripherally. I’ve learned to write when the condition flares up. I know how much I can do, when the best times of day are, and what I can do to make the condition less intrusive in my life. It has taken years to get here, but I figured it out.

Nope, my writing barrier is the move itself.

We had to move up the move (no pun intended) from early May to mid-March because of some environmental factors. My neighbor is having a fight with the city and the local dump, so instead of paying to have his garbage carted away, he’s burning it. In his fireplace. And I’m getting sicker by the day.

We had been talking about selling our big house and downsizing here in Lincoln City as well, and that feud cemented that decision. So we’re selling the big house, and moving into about three separate places (Vegas, a smaller place in Lincoln City, and moving the stuff we don’t want to our various stores.)

Since we were already planning to leave, we just moved up the timetable to get me out of here sooner. Dean will return after dropping me in Vegas, to organize and finish the bigger parts of the move. (With luck, by then the neighbor problem will be resolved.)

All of this sounds so easy. It’s not. I’m Distract-O-Girl. I would have had this blog finished an hour ago, except that I paused to sort some books, then packed a box with cat items for the second trip (not this trip), notified a few people who needed to deal with some things here, and put items on the calendar for Dean for Monday.

I’m not doing anything that requires a lot of concentration right now, which is why this post will be short and won’t involve analysis. There’s no analysis that I can sustain for more than five minutes. (I’m Googling the weather for the trip, for heaven’s sake. And looking at cat pictures. Because…you know…cat pictures.)

Normally, I push myself to write even when life gets in the way. But there are some events that simply take over everything.

I talk to a lot of you who deal with this, particularly when you’re grieving for a loved one. (That process hijacks your brain; there’s little you can do until the brain returns from its reset.) I’ve learned over the years when it’s time to throw in the towel and promise myself that I will get back to fiction later.

Right now, I can’t sustain it—and I don’t want to. I need to focus on—oh, crap! I’m the only one who knows where those cat supplies are. I’d better put them here. And oh, yeah! I promised I’d give this particular thing to that particular person. Better do it right now, before I forget.

I’m sending emails with the header: Before I forget almost hourly. Because we moved this up, so the nice orderly way of doing things that we had planned for isn’t going to be orderly at all. And it doesn’t help that I get brain fog whenever my neighbor gets home from work and throws junk in his fireplace.

I have some projects I can work on once we’re on the road. I also have projects I can work on while I’m unpacking and getting settled. Once I get settled, I’ll be back to writing fiction. I should be at full speed when I have to teach an in-person workshop in late April. Which will feel good. I always write while the students are writing, so I’ll be on course.

I’d call this a process blog, but it’s really too scattered to be a “process.” More like an update blog—and a reminder to all of you going through major life events that sometimes the best thing to do is focus on the life event, rather than try to force yourself to do everything.

And writing that made me remember that I need to back up some negotiation stuff that I had been putting off. Not to mention moving some files to a different room, so they don’t get inadvertently included in a pile of boxes heading south, and…

You get the idea.

“Business Musings: Best-Laid Plans of Mice and Kittens,” copyright © 2018 by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Image at the top of the blog copyright © Can Stock Photo / shepherd302.


28 thoughts on “Business Musings: Best Laid Plans of Mice and Kittens

  1. Oh how I wish I wasn’t behind on blog reading, and had read this a month ago! I’m tickled pink that one of my favorite authors is living in my city. I’m sorry it’s for health reasons, and hope that the move has improved things.

  2. Kris – I know this is going to sound totally fangirlish, but this does explain why we might get to see Dean at the 20books conference. I’ve followed your blog and Dean’s for years off and on, and have been very excited at about the possibility of meeting him in person this year. Heck, I’ve been trying to figure out how to juggle a workshop on the coast with you two. So – I don’t comment often but so much of what you’ve talked about has resonated – death resetting your writing (my husband was killed), editors trying to change your stories (omg threw the edit away), mentors being one and losing them (so many people), and needing fantasy at the boost to get your through the day.

    All that is trying to lead to this – I know you can’t handle the smoke or even the sheer number of people at a conference but if there is any possibility I could treat you (and Dean) to a lunch, dinner, or breakfast would I love to. Thank you for the support you’ve provided over the years, even when you didn’t know you were doing it.

    May your new home bring you joy and health, and many more years of writing.

    1. Melisa, we’re talking about the 20K conference. Things are easier for me in Vegas. If the airflow is good in the facility, I can probably attend. Once we’re settled, we’ll figure it out. And thank you for the kind comments. So glad I could help!

  3. My heart goes out to you and Dean. What a thing to do at speed!

    Now… I would like to offer some support through my expertise in RL: EFT tapping. It’s useful for lots of things like stress reduction, but also definitely for health. Let me know if you’re interested in an online session, and yes, this is a gift. You have given me so much through this blog, I want to offer this as a bit of a balance.

    All the best for both of you!

  4. Sorry to hear you have been ill. Hope the move is not too overwhelming for you and Dean. Best wishes as you settle in to a new town. Take care of yourself, dear lady.

  5. So sorry to hear that your medical problems are affecting your lifestyle, but (hopefully) not so much your work or your writing output. I hope that you’ll be able to get a handle on these problems. And I hope you find LV palatable — it’s a much different vibe than coastal Oregon. (At least you (or Dean!) will be able to pump your own gas there. 🙂

    Hang in there, Kris. You have a multitude of people wishing the best for you.

  6. Feel better. Rest. It will work out.
    As the Fly Lady would say – don’t try and catch up, just pick up wherever you are at.
    Something that always makes me feel better at my worst is to read books that make me laugh. I know that is not always an option if you are still mourning, but keep it in your pocket for later.
    And I really don’t know if karma happens, but I hope your nasty neighbor gets theirs.

  7. Having gone through two moves and three surgeries (none of them major, thank God!) in the past two years, I can totally relate to the distraction. I’m sorry your health has gotten worse. Hopefully, the move to Vegas will help you feel a whole lot better. Take care of yourself.

  8. Sending you and Dean thoughts and virtual gentle hugs from New Zealand. Best of luck with the moves…
    we’ll be here when you get back.
    Ka kite ano…
    Stay Strong
    Kia kaha

  9. What is it with neighbours and the burning of things? The minute the rain stops every idiot and his dog are out there burning WET garden clippings and leftover debris from our winter of ice storms. Have these people never heard of mulch, compost?

    Cat pictures make everything better, also, baby goats. 😀

  10. I’m sorry that you’re health has taken a downturn and forced a move. Hopefully, the move to Vegas will get you on the mend and you’ll be able to enjoy all that area has to offer.

  11. Sorry to hear that piece of news about your health, Kris. Here’s hoping you’ll get better in Las Vegas. Don’t let yourself be distracted by the city, though! 😉

  12. I have a cousin currently fighting a chronic illness that has left her with no known place to be – everywhere has something that sets off her condition. I am so very happy you’ve found a place and hope it allows you to return to a normal(ish?) lifestyle. This area has been kind to me and my allergies and I hope it is to you, too. Fingers crossed and best wishes.

  13. I’m so sorry it’s happening under these conditions, but welcome to Las Vegas! I’m a native and have lived here all my life, so if you want suggestions for restaurants and such, I’m just an email away.

  14. I talk to a lot of you who deal with this, particularly when you’re grieving for a loved one. (That process hijacks your brain; there’s little you can do until the brain returns from its reset.)

    I’m one of the ones to whom you gave guidance on this (in the wake of my mother’s death). Your words of wisdom and experience were incredibly helpful. I might have compounded the problems without your advice, so I am very grateful.

    I’m glad you are taking care of your health. The moved-up move sounds very disruptive, although necessary. I hope you get through it as smoothly as is possible for such a thing to ever go.

  15. Sorry to hear this, Kris. I usually see you in superwoman mode and had no idea you were dealing with this. It’s frustrating that you have to deal with packing and burnt garbage (why can’t the guy just reuse and recycle and deal with the city, especially when he knows he’s sickening everyone around him?), although Las Vegas should be an interesting change.

    Thanks for the reminder that it’s okay to be human. I, too, am moving slower than I’d like on my latest Hope Sze novel, but am wary of burning out. I’ll pace myself too.

    Good luck getting everything together. We all look forward to your fiction when that part of your brain comes back. I’ll see you at the series workshop in July.

  16. Very sorry to hear about your health troubles, Kris, and that they’re causing you so much upheaval (along with your jawdroppingly selfish neighbour).

    I hope you and Dean enjoy your new part-time home in Las Vegas.

  17. I wish you all the best and hope your health stays good for a long time. I thought I was the distraction girl. I haven’t lost anyone but I am dealing with a parent who is now in a personal care home, a brother who needs care and a cousin who I wish was not in the mix. I haven’t written anything this year outside my flash fiction I do on my blog. I’m trying to introduce writing back into my life but it’s been hard. I can only take care of my brother’s situation one step at a time. Take care both of you.

  18. Oh, honey. (((HUGS))) That’s not ideal. I am glad there is something you can do. The noxious neighbor is awful, I identify with that, we have a family two houses up who occasionally burn everything and then we smell burned plastic in the air (and here I thought it was a pollen issue.) Thank you for the update. I hope this is the most boring move ever.

  19. Yes, I agree. Sort the health problems out first, like moving so you can stop breathing smoke, and your health will thank you for that, giving you more time and energy to write.
    I went through a major downsizing 5 years ago, and my stress levels dropped back to normal so my energy levels picked back up. I have been writing and learning ever since, and having fun. And I even stepped out of my comfort zone to write an adventure story. Not saying it is good, just saying I finished it. 🙂
    Hope the move goes smoothly and the cats settle quickly into their new home, and you health improves.

  20. Best laid plans. Understand totally. Keep getting my writing and stuff hijacked by real life events. This current week has been a “tread water” existence as a deal with a sickish toddler, legal stuff, stress caused by both. Just have to get to the end of the week and hope things go better next week. Hang in there, this too shall pass.

  21. Wow. Very glad you have the option to move somewhere better. Looking forward to all of your upcoming books. I’ve become a huge fan over the last ten years. Needless to say, get well.

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