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Catching up (a.k.a. catching my breath)

It appears that I haven’t posted here in over a year. Shame on me. In my defense, many things have been competing for my attention. After a frightening incident last January, I realized that my parents’ physical and mental health was failing to the point of no longer being able to live on their own. At the time, I’d been juggling several balls—job, writing, book publication, volunteer work. Taking on my parents’ finances, medical management, and household duties felt like throwing a chain-saw, a bowling pin, and an egg into the mix. I struggled to keep them all in the air.

In April, my sister and I moved both parents into an adult care facility, and my load lightened a bit. In May, Broken Angels was released by Pegasus Books. Over the summer, as I continued to work on my third book and began promoting Broken Angels, Dad’s health deteriorated. After several visits to the ICU, we had to face the inevitability of a nursing home for our broken angel.

I finished the draft of my third book, Don’t Curse the Rain, in August, and shipped the manuscript off to my editor. September brought legal counsel and Medicaid applications. Dad was admitted to The Commons on St. Anthony on September 16th, the day before I began a two-month odyssey to rehab my parents’ house for sale. Spending 20-30 hours per week with paint and power tools, I was knee-deep in the renovations when Dad passed peacefully on October 6th.

Friends and family gathered to celebrate Dad’s life and say a final farewell. The following day, our lives went on without him. Gone but certainly not forgotten. As work continued on the house, a deluge of postmortem paperwork landed on my doorstep.

By mid-November, with the house renovations nearly complete, I felt life returning to a state of equilibrium. We’ve decided not to list the house until after the holidays, so I have a little time to check off the remaining items on the final punch-list. I am grateful for the family and friends that offered their physical and emotional support.

As I bounce ideas around in my head for book four (a sequel to Don’t Curse the Rain), I am crafting query letters and identifying potential agents to represent me. This is one of the not-so-fun parts of writing, at least for me. But I’ve been told by people, including my editor, that Don’t Curse the Rain is my best book yet (and that’s saying something after the overwhelmingly positive feedback for Broken Angels), so I’ve decided to reach for the brass ring.

What did you do on your summer vacation?

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