As our society debates how to handle our aging population, many of us deal with it on a personal level. My parents are rapidly approaching seventy, and while they’re in great shape and can probably go head to head with most forty year olds, there are still issues.
I was working on the sequel to Safeword: Matte when my mom took a nasty spill. She walks a couple of miles a day, plus works in her yard six or eight hours a day, no matter how hot it may be. She’s not your typical old lady, but she apparently gets injured more easily, and takes longer to heal. Since she refused to allow a stranger into her home when she wasn’t at her best, my dad and I had to give her round-the-clock-care — head injuries are especially difficult, because sometimes she’d wake up and not know where she was. I took a week off work, but when I returned to my day job I went to their house after work, and stayed until around midnight so my dad could get six hours of uninterrupted sleep. Once we were beyond the first couple of weeks, my husband and kids met me there on the days my mom was up to it, so I could see my family. My wonderful husband usually showed up with dinner already cooked, so all we had to do was sit down and eat. I’m convinced having her grandkids around gave my mom incentive to get better, faster.
I had my laptop and — on the days my family didn’t come, or later in the evening after they’d gone home — at first I could write when mom was sleeping. However, sometime during the second or third week the clicking of the keys was too much for her, and she couldn’t sleep through the racket. Since Tyler from Safeword: Rainbow plays a significant role in the Matte sequel, I decided it would be a good time for me to re-read Rainbow. But I’ve grown as a writer since I wrote it, and couldn’t resist editing and adding to the story. It wasn’t constant nonstop typing though, and mom slept through it.
The Rainbow manuscript is currently 30,000 words longer than the previous version, though it hasn’t seen an editor yet, and I still have another couple of editing passes to make before I’m ready for anyone else to see it. The story sports several new scenes, and a completely new ending.
So, somewhere in the (hopefully) near future I’ll re-release Safeword: Rainbow. This will also give me an opportunity to give it a different cover — one more in line with the recent releases. However, I’m working on the Matte sequel and the Rainbow rewrite at the same time, depending on where I am and the mood I’m in. As a result, neither is coming along quickly. I’m probably only going to enlist two beta readers for this one — someone who’s read the previous version, and someone who hasn’t — which should cut a couple of weeks off that portion of the process. I’m hoping to get it out in the next two to three months, but not making any promises just yet.
I pretty much dropped out of all social media, and it seems some of you think I dropped off the face of the earth. Sorry about that, but between taking care of mom, a full time job, and two kids and a husband, plus a coyote problem that’s exploded from minor to super-major over the summer… something had to give. Mom is doing much better — still not back to 100%, but the head injury portion has worked itself out, so she no longer has to have someone with her (and awake) at all times.
School starts back next week, and it always takes about a month for us to get back into the swing of things before we can breathe again, which means I hope to be around a little in the near future, and can hopefully begin to be sociable again sometime in September.
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