Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I Want a Bath

I had to get two more moles removed a few weeks ago. My usual dermatologist had to take a leave of absence due to family issues (very sad) so I was seeing a new dermatologist. And, of course, I forgot my comparison photos at home.

For those of you lucky enough to not have these problems, I am a fair-haired blond with a family history of skin cancer, and I am covered in freckles and moles. Not freakishly so or anything, but there are plenty of the little bastids. So many and so odd that I have a set of photographs about three inches thick that I have to bring with me to appointments, so the docs can see if any of the moles have changed significantly since the last time the photos were taken. If the moles have changed, that's a sign they may be cancerous.

I've had a bunch of moles taken off, starting when I was age four. Most have been "dysplastic." That's medical-speak for weird. (Sometimes they also call it "pre-cancerous.") For a while I was convinced all my skin cells were just weird.

Since I forgot the photos, and the images in the computer file at the dermatologists weren't that great, and I couldn't tell the doc whether the moles had changed at all (one is on my back where I can't even see it), she decided better safe than sorry. (Which, given my family history, I can't really blame her for.) So she removed one mole off my right calf and one off my right lower back. (As it turned out, both moles were perfectly normal.) And I am supposed to keep them covered with petroleum jelly and bandages until the wounds are healed. No soaking the wounds, which means no baths.

I am losing my freaking mind.

Baths are how I relax. The bathtub is where I read. It's my warm happy fortress of solitude.

I haven't had a proper bath for over a month. I had a crappy bath last month when I had bad stomach cramps, and figured out I could lay on my left side and balance my right leg on the tub rim and only fill the tub half-way and it at least worked on the cramps without getting my wounds wet. But that's not particularly relaxing, nor a good way to read a book.

Also, the skin of my torso is sensitive and most commercial adhesive bandages eat my skin off. Seriously. (I don't seem to have this problem on the tougher areas of my skin that see the light of day. Go figure.) So I had to use gauze pads and Hypafix. Gods, I love that stuff, but after a while even it will start making my skin very angry.

It's been five or six weeks now, and the wounds are closed up enough that I've said screw it, I'm done with the bandaging. I don't care if they scab over. Gods know I have enough mole-removal scars already; a couple more aren't going to kill me. (Not that the dressings prevent scarring. Maybe it's supposed to heal faster? Beats me.)

The back seems pretty much healed up. The calf is a bit scabby, but I don't care. I'm having a bath, dang it.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Updates and Football

Hey folks.

I know I've been pretty scarce of late. First, The Once and Future Poet took a LOT more time and effort and energy than I was expecting. I'd planned on having the Sept, Oct, and Nov Rookery Creek releases all set and ready to go by the end of August. Yeah, I barely finished Poet, much less the other two.

And still not entirely sure what I'm doing for Halloween...

Also, my depression has been kicking up again. Trying to nip that in the bud, but it's made it easier to ignore writing in favor of, oh, sleep. And watching football.

Speaking of football, if you haven't already experienced Scott Sigler's Galactic Football League series, you should give it a try. It's been described as "Star Wars meets The Godfather meets Any Given Sunday," and that's pretty accurate. You can listen to the first three books ABSOLUTELY FREE over at Podiobooks.com, or on iTunes. I only started really liking football after listening to these books.

So, back to me. I've finally started on Empire's Shadow, which is the novel I brought to The Roundtable Podcast a couple months ago. (Don't listen if you don't like spoilers.) I've been trying and trying and trying to figure out how to start this puppy, and finally I decided to just stop trying to get it right the first time and dive on in. So I've got the first scene mostly written (crappy first draft written, granted), but as I figured, once I started it just got moving. So I have hopes of not getting too stuck as I work my way toward the middle. The problem with having a well-filled-out timeline spanning twenty-five years or so, when your story only really spans ten years or so, is figuring out where the story's frame starts and ends.

I can already tell I'm going to have to totally rewrite everything I'm writing now, which is really frustrating because this only happens to me on the long fiction, not the short fiction so much. (Succor the Child was a notable exception, but then, I lost temporary sanity on that one.) Right now it's very distant and telly, but once I get a handle on young Isolde this should get pretty darn fun.

And I feel like less of a slacker now that I'm working on a long project again.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Once and Future Poet is free at Amazon

My newest release is available, and it's free at Amazon today and tomorrow.

The Once and Future Poet: A Writer's Retrospective on Growing Up covers the poetry I wrote between ages eight and thirty-three--twenty-five years worth! Each poem is followed by an essay discussing what was going on in my life or what inspired the poem or current thoughts on the poem's themes. If you liked my last two posts, Poetry and Death and Poetry and Mirrors, those are right out of The Once and Future Poet.

It was interesting for me to go back through all those poems and those years and see what themes I kept coming back to, and which ones still show up in my writing even today, and also the way my writing style has evolved.

I decided to put this one into KDP Select for three months, which means it's only available on Amazon. I did this because my sales at Amazon have pretty much died out, although they are steady (or growing) in other markets. I want to see if putting one book in Select will increase the visibility of my other works with Amazon's algorithms.

But my non-Kindle readers, don't fret! If you buy a copy at Amazon and email a copy of the receipt to mercy.loomis at gmail.com, I will send you an EPUB or PDF version for free! Yes, even if all you do is go to Amazon today or tomorrow and "buy" the free copy.

In fact, I will extend that offer to all of my writings: if you email me a receipt and tell me what format you want, I will email it you. Because you already bought it--why should you have to pay for it again?