Fire-Side Fire Cider Chat

Fire Cider, I made dis.

Welcome to 2022. As we all know, many people didn’t make it this far, but if you’re reading this, I’m assuming you did and you should applaud yourself. Well done.

My brain…hurts. Every plan I had has ended up like the Lego bin–dumped on the floor and causing me great pain with every step. I’d cover what has changed and what is still valid but, frankly, I don’t want to. At some point, am I able to just say “New year, new everything?” Because that’s about where I am. I can’t even begin to explain how much time has been lost over the last few months to just sitting with my head in my hands, wondering what in the world I’m supposed to do with [insert latest thing dumped on my shoulders here].

Xiao Xiong, The Chairman Meow, the cat with diabetes, now also has a luxated patella with severe arthritis. In a few days we have an appointment with an orthoPAWdic surgeon (see what I did there?) to weigh our options. Meanwhile he’s on two kinds of ridiculously strong painkillers, an antibiotic for a suspected bacterial infection in his chest, and, of course, his insulin.

Y’all, I don’t even want to discuss how much this is costing us, but I will admit that our entire savings has been wiped, including what we put aside to travel Europe on when Europe was done spritzing Americans with a spray bottle full of disinfectant.

Plus, we have a new addition to the menagerie–a kitten named Mochi who just cost us an arm and a leg to remove his testicles. He was found wandering around a Sheetz parking lot eating whatever he could dig out of the trash, so we had a lot of work to do to get him ship-shape.

This is not a sob-story, though. I’m happy to be in a place where we can make some sacrifices to take care of the critters who have trusted us with their care. It just means my plans need to adjust according to time available and finances. I didn’t expect to have a pet who needed so much care so soon after Mugsy, but here we are. Rather than think about how many resources we’re losing in the exchange, I want to focus on the peace and safety we’re providing.

This, ugh, means my books are back on Amazon and I’m doubling down on my efforts on Kindle Vella. Anything to help bring in money. Preliminary research has shown me an agent likely wouldn’t touch Spellbound, even if I did package all four parts into one book, because the first and second have already been published. I probably should have anticipated this, but, you guys. The whole trad/self-publishing universe is a mess anyway. I want to finish my series and move on to something that is less soul-sucking.

It’s really hard to type with all these kitties laying on my keyboard all the dang time. But if I had to choose one or the other…