Business Musings: Life Happens (A Process Blog)

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Because of various health issues, I’m behind on the Niche Marketing blogs. I am better, but struggling to catch up. I’ll be back on Niche Marketing next week. Until then, here’s a blog I wrote in July just in case the health issues got in the way. Enjoy!

I had a great June. I finished four shorts, two of them novellas. I finished a novel. I finished a big editing project. And I finished a big exercise challenge that I didn’t think I could complete. I also saw some WNBA basketball (Go, Aces!) and a hell of a great concert that I hadn’t expected to be great, not to mention the Tina Turner musical which I also hadn’t expected to be great but which was.

I should have expected a crash in July. Only, it wasn’t an exhausted crash. I was going great guns. Or, as Dean says, I had hit ground effect. (I did a blog on this a few years ago. You can find it here.)

It felt really good. I had plans

And then my cat Gavin got sick. So sick that when I came downstairs on the last Sunday in June, I thought he was dying. Off to the emergency vet he went (along with thousands of our dollars) to get X-rays and tests and enemas (poor kitty) and all kinds of other fun things.

We thought he had a blockage, that he had eaten something bad. He hadn’t. Turns out he has a chronic condition that we’re trying to resolve. But that took many tests and a lot of medication just to get him stabilized. We brought him home earlier than the vet wanted because, delicate kitty that he is, Gavin wouldn’t eat for anyone but me. When I went to the vet, he ate. When anyone else tried to feed him, he wouldn’t.

So there I was, medicating him with several different medications several times a day…and medicating myself three times a day, thanks to some health issues of my own that turned out to be a lot more serious than I had expected.

I had thought I’d be having other medical issues this summer, but those turned out to be something for waiting and watching. Instead, I had dental issues, which have been the bane of my existence since I was nine and face-planted off a bike so badly designed that the maker took it off the market in the 1970s when no one really cared about product safety.

I’ve been dealing with those dental issues for decades, literally, and I have to again. My dentist is grand, and the dental surgeon is grand, but between that and something else, I had a run-in with a dental scammer who tried to extort $5500 off of me by telling me I needed surgery in 36 hours, and he would do it.

I’ve been around dentists forever. I knew, even in the scammer’s office, that everything he said was fishy. And once I calmed down, I got a new referral. I reported him to the dental board. So that was fun…

Needless to say, all of this knocked me off my game. I had other projects on deadlines that had to be finished while I was dealing with Gavin and people who wanted to put gloved fingers into my mouth. I had signed up for another exercise challenge, that I’m going to meet, dammit, but it’s been hard.

And writing’s been even harder.

Tonight, instead of writing this, I had planned to see a favorite singer in concert. Instead, I’m home, with a healthier Gavin who is down to one tiny pill per day (that he takes like a champ). I’m too tired to fight crowds and the record heat. The concert doesn’t sound like fun, at all.

I am going to get ahead on my blogs, as well. Those of you reading this on my website will see it in early August. Those of you who back me on Patreon already saw it on the weekend of July 15 when I wrote it. I wanted to finish the Niche Marketing series this weekend, with a blog tonight, but I couldn’t focus well enough to do so.

I really needed to write all of this down and get it out of my system. I also needed to get out of catastrophic thinking. When I had my accident at age nine, everything changed. Having to deal with the dental issues from that horrid time and to deal with nearly losing Gavin put me in a dark frame of mind. It took Dean and a friend to snap me out of it, if, indeed, I am entirely out of it.

I have to replan my summer. I already did that for exercise, since I’ll be having minor surgery in August (so fun!) about the time Gavin goes in for his check-up. I had to write down the exercise so that I wouldn’t overdo. (Goodbye, sweet streak. I shall start a new one in the middle of the month.) I need to do the same thing for the writing.

That’s the whole issue. Because of other life events, I’m not going to be able to return to fiction for at least another week. Which is much longer than I want. And that week is filled with more dental appointments.

I’m not whining—or maybe I am. But I don’t mean to be. I’m looking at life heading my way.

We teach that life events happen. We call them life rolls, because we used to run a role-playing game based on the writing business, back when there was traditional only.

I hit a large snag of life rolls here, which followed some others in the winter. I felt like I had just gotten my mojo back when I descended that staircase and found Gavin gasping for breath.

He’s breathing fine now. He’s tormenting the other cats and bouncing along, doing his Gavin thing. That pleases me. He even doesn’t mind getting a pill every morning. He waits for me to give it to him before he falls asleep in the sun. (He’s a good cat.) He’s adjusted faster than I have.

I have to face forward and figure out new goals. Or, rather, how the old goals will fit into the fall schedule. And then I have to stop being anal, and realize that I lost an entire month that I won’t get back. So I’m a month behind on an already-ambitious schedule.

Not only do I have to accept that, I need to forgive myself for it. I’m not angry at Gavin for getting sick, but that old stuff makes me mad at me for anything to do with that accident, which is not a conducive place to write from.

I must admit, though, it feels good to be in my office this evening, writing this post. I haven’t written much in July, and what I did write was mostly promotional. I’ll be doing more of that this weekend too, because I need to get a newsletter together.

I have to admit, it’s hard to focus on anything with so much going on. But fiction writing is not just fun; it’s also therapeutic for me. So I need to get back to that ASAP.

The nice thing about the deadlines I’ve been powering through is that none of them reset. (As in, I finish this blog, I have another to write for next week. The other deadlines aren’t like that.) So I am clearing the decks. That helps.

And Dean pointed out that I only have about 2.5 hours left in various dental chairs (not counting the driving and recovery time). So that helps too.

Just a frustrating few weeks.

My excuse for writing this is that I wanted to show we all go through life events, life rolls, difficulties. But really, I just wanted to vent.

So, I’ve vented.

Thanks for listening.

“Business Musings: Life Happens (A Process Blog),” copyright © 2023 by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Image at the top of the blog copyright © 2023 by  Kristine K. Rusch


7 thoughts on “Business Musings: Life Happens (A Process Blog)

  1. I agree about the Tina Turner musical – a great cast, and the lead in the Cleveland production was off the hook!
    I was supposed to go with my husband, but, due to traveling issues, ended up attending with my youngest daughter. I didn’t think she would be all that excited about it, but we were both on our feet at the end, including multiple encores.

  2. Wow. I’m terrified for Gavin just reading this. Glad he pulled through. Our dog, Roxy, also prefers me. I understand the compliment and the responsibility that entails (deliberate pun).
    Ouch ouch ouch for your teeth. May your next 2.5 hours in chair pass quickly and your recovery be swift so you can get back to writing.
    Huge thanks for teaching us just before your life rolls when you could have used that time for your own writing. Thanks for reporting the dental predator. You are a good person.

  3. Hi Kris! I am sorry you are having a rough time. This too shall pass. I am glad Gavin is doing well, and yes, finding a cat gasping for breath is very scary. This reminds me of the weekend away that wasn’t, when we found our indoor – outdoor cat Alexi in a similar state. We learned a lot about the danges cats face when hunting in suburban areas, where people place rodenticides. He pulled through and so did we, and so did our bank account. He also taught me the wisdom of maybe considering indoor cats only. There are more resources on how to keep cats 30 years later.

    I am horribly tempted to counter-vent, but I won’t. It would be boring as well as boorish. Let me just assure you that you are not the only one who is recovering, and perhaps frustrated with having to wait before resuming the favorite parts of life. I can’t wait to go for a walk again! I hope to be cleared for the gym and the pool next week. And I hope you feel better and heal fast, and that you don’t need to see the inside of an oral surgeons office ever again. As always, you are an inspiration. You get a good bit of work done even under bad circumstances. I have been referring to your book on writing with chronic illness, and got a few good pointers out of it, which are keeping me reasonably productive (and by extension, sane.) Thank you for sharing those, they have probably helped countless writers by now.
    Aside from walking 5 miles, my fitness goal for one year from now is to bench-press you. Problem is, I would have to catch you first.?

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