(update) The state of the Val, writing, and other stuff

So, I haven’t really been posting much. Part of it is because I managed to lock myself out of my WordPress account for a week or so, and I couldn’t grab enough time to reset it. (That has been sorted out, and I even managed to update to the latest edition without issue! I’m convinced WordPress is softening me up for something, but hey, I’ll take it.) Another part of it, though, is health issues.

I don’t know if writers are just more sickly than most folks, or if we’re just more open about it. What I know is that since March, I’ve been dealing with hideous migraines that have managed to knock me flat, and since then, my writing has pretty much been hung out to dry. I’ve finished a few things that were in progress, but nothing really huge. All my energy has been funneled into getting through life and trying to figure out what the heck is going wrong with my body.

I’m finally, finally thinking that we might have a handle on what it is. I’m still working through some things with my doctors, specifically my PC, my allergist and my nutritionist, but it looks like what I might be allergic to is food additives. Lovely, huh? Our bodies are genetically very similar to what our ancient ancestors’ were, and mine apparently wants to return back to that simpler time. So, while we wait to see if my insurance company will cover the test that we think will uncover a lot of these intolerances (not allergies, per se, but foods/substances that my body just can’t handle exposure to), I have gone back to a whole food diet. As in, if I can’t pronounce the ingredients in the list (for a lot of them, if there IS a list), I don’t eat it. No more fast food (I’ve been clean on that since Friday last week, and I can already fit easily into a smaller pair of jeans), and no more artificially-sweetened/flavored drinks (the same). It’s been a bit of a change, but I’m hopeful that this is going to finally get me into a healthier weight and just a healthier LIFE. And my hubby is enjoying all the real food. I’m also looking forward to an end to the cravings that come sweeping through sometimes – apparently once you stop eating the foods that your body is intolerant to, the cravings end.

All I can say is, it’s about damn time. I’m tired. I’m tired of being tired. Of being sick, and yet having NOTHING WRONG. Of having my head pounding and my mouth full of cotton wool, and yet having nothing show up on any tests. I mean, they put straight histamine on my arm as part of my allergy testing, and I didn’t even react. But I know something’s wrong.


During the summer, this is easy. There’s so much fresh, local produce that I can glory in it, and I don’t miss it. Now that I know there are issues with preservatives, my canning just became a much larger priority, because anything I can, I know I can eat. So I’ll be getting that cranked up, so I have options this winter. I’m also freezing a bunch of stuff. (Making pesto this weekend, with the tons of garlic scapes I have. NUMMY!) I’ve borrowed a dehydrator from my dad too, and I’ll be drying fruit and things like that as well. The peaches are coming. Winter, well, I have a local co-op and I’ll hopefully have a freezer full of stuff. I need to get filling it.

It also means that I’m expanding my cooking horizons again. It’s shocking to realize how many sauces/spice blends/side dishes that I took for granted have preservatives in them. Even the organic ones. They’re all verboten right now for me.

On the upside, now that my head is starting to clear, I’m also starting to write again. And edit. I went through a brief funk in which I was reading Elizabeth Bear and despairing of ever, ever being a real writer who could write like that. However, I now realize that I won’t ever write like her. I’m not her. I can admire her stuff, but write it? No. That’s not my style.

So, writing. I took the first splat draft of the beginning to Advent Murders to my writing group and they cheerfully ripped it apart, which it desperately needed. They pointed out the logical flaws and issues, and I’ve got some good directions to go in. In addition to cleaning my house this weekend, I’ll also be cleaning up everything on Spells and Swashbucklers, and sending that out to the folks who need to finish some things for it before it goes to bed in August. And I’m still noodling on a novella for my Dreams universe.

So that’s what’s been happening in this corner of the world. I’ve also been gearing up for Pennsic, where I’ll be in August. If you’re going to be at the greatest war on earth, drop me a comment and let me know – I’m thinking we need a writer’s meet-up.

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