Friday was phase two of my latest adventure in oral surgery, so it’s been a quiet couple of days as I recuperate. When the image I’m including with this week’s post ran across my Facebook timeline yesterday I had to laugh for how appropriate it was to how I’ve been feeling. One of the peculiarities of my physiology is that I’m super-sensitive to pharmaceuticals. Coming out of anesthesia Friday, that meant at one point my blood pressure dropped to 90 over 44 and there was a lot of scurrying to get me more meds. My hands are bruised from needle sticks and my jaw is still sore, but it’s back to the grindstone this week.
One thing people who follow me on Facebook might have noticed: I’m participating in a Reviewer Round-Up via Totally Talented Promotion. There are 38 of us who have novellas in the ring this week (and I would imagine a similar number with novels starting next week), so if you’re interested in a free review copy, join the fun. For other authors who have scrounged, begged, and pleaded as I have for reviews, Kelli at TTP has created a system to collect and engage avid readers unlike any I’ve experienced before; I would highly recommend her services.
My other go-to Kelley was hard at work for me this week, too. She created a BEAUTIFUL new version of the cover for The Builders that makes it more apparent that this is an F/F scifi romance. She was able to give Navenah the body art I dreamed of and just generally gave me the goosebumps for being able to channel the kind of connection these two characters share with each other. For your viewing pleasure, here it is:
I’m not sure how long it will take for the updated files to fully propagate across all the vendors (and we still have to build the paperback cover and version), but I’m so thrilled to be able to promote Kelley’s x-potion designs business once more. She’s a gifted cover artist and a joy to work with, so she’s earned another unqualified recommendation for her efforts.
Aside from the mouth work and book promotion work, I did manage just a few more pages of editing while I wasn’t blurry with other things, so I keep making baby steps forward. I haven’t yet heard that my audiobook is up on audible, either, so I’ve wasted an inordinate amount of time hitting refresh on that search. Here’s crossing my fingers that it will finally become available there this week.
For the things I track in the news, this was a big week in China. US intelligence services begged US consumers not to buy Huawei phones for the security breaches they could allow. At the same time, China announced big moves on both the space and artificial intelligence fronts. It will be interesting to track how those developments play out over time. From the perspective of setting big and audacious goals, it would appear the US has things to learn from the Chinese, though.
On the personal side, the launch of The Black Panther this weekend introduced me to the real-life version of the Dora Milaje, Dahome’s Women Warriors. Beyond that, Trish Nicholson wrote a broader history of female warriors that is inspiring in different ways. Then I discovered Vanessa Lafaye, an author dealing with cancer, and her moving blog about living while dying, including her bucket-list trip to New Zealand, and was reminded we all fight different battles on different days. In a serendipitous match, Liana Brooks tweeted a link to a blog post about 7 Brutal Life Lessons Everyone Has to Learn Multiple Times about the same time. And then there was the GQ article arguing that to be more productive we need to take more breaks and naps.
A colleague recommended the Sleep Cycle app a few weeks back, so even though I don’t like having my phone by my bed overnight, it’s been useful having the data the app collects. Over the two and a half weeks I’ve been using it, my phone says I’ve averaged six hours and seven minutes of sleep. So I’ve been deluding myself about getting sufficient sleep, and now have data to help me correct my bad habits. I’ll be looking to increase that tally over time. My steps were down this week because of the surgery, so my phone says I averaged 3,314 steps per day–still slightly up from my last report though. It’s an interesting exercise to use the technology in a smart phone to understand some basic health metrics and work to improve on them in a measurable way. I would never have considered those an argument for a smart phone even five years ago, but I’m certainly finding these tools useful now. They seem to be all the small reminders and sources of honest accountability that I need to keep taking care of myself appropriately.
Still, we’re winding down to the final month of this Round, and I’m not sure that I will be able to meet my other goals. It’s halfway through February and there is still an overwhelming pile of editing work ahead of me. We’ll see whether I manage to pick up the pace, but I certainly need to keep reminding myself about prioritization of efforts during times when I have the energy and attention available to do a decent job. I’ll be back again next week to report again, and in the meantime will be checking out my ROW80 compatriots for their progress.