Sunday, 7 July 2013

What's Up With Heidi?

I realized I haven't really updated on my life/writing in a long time, so I thought I would step down from my Princess Heidi duties and do a general update post. So here's the haps.

I'm sick.

Not like, with the flu. I have some manner of weird auto-immune thing that I've been dealing with since March/April and still hasn't been diagnosed. Most likely candidate at this juncture seems to be neurosarcoidosis. So that's fun. It's been a lot of ups and downs as flareups get bad enough for me to go to the ER, the ER prescribes me with prednisone, the symptoms go away, and then the prednisone runs out, and then the flareups return (with a vengeance). Last time I was sick I had a horrible painful skin condition, and joint pain, and neuro symptoms (audio-visual hallucinations, headaches), and heart problems, and eye problems. I spent twelve hours in the ER with a tachycardic heart (187 bpm at one point) and a fever of 40C. Then they put me on some heavy duty prednisone, my symptoms vanished, and then I got to see a specialist, who wrote in my file "A perfectly healthy presenting young woman with some very worrying symptoms." He was mad they've just been treating me rather than diagnosing the problem or sending me somewhere that somebody could. So now I have a letter stating that the next time I'm sick enough to get to the ER, they're to transfer me to a proper city hospital where I can be treated and diagnosed by specialists. No more bandaid solutions, woohoo! So right now I'm on the downswing in my health, basically waiting to get bad "enough." Right now I'm miserable, but not ER miserable, so that sucks.

Luckily I have family in town who are supportive, so I know if I get shipped out my daughter will be cared for. And that I'm a full-time writer thanks to my husband, because I wouldn't have been able to keep up with a teaching job this sick, nor would I have been able to continue teaching if I ultimately have to go on immunosuppressants. Finally, I'm lucky because if I do get flown out, the $10,000 air-vac flight will only cost me $250. This situation sucks, but I'm very aware of the fact that it could be so, so much worse.

Not that I don't whine. Constantly. I'm currently at the point where I'm very sick for about eight hours a day and functional or sleeping the rest of the time, which I why I'm currently able to write this post. Once I get very sick, I may disappear for a couple of days. Sorry in advance, although I'll try to get word out so nobody worries.  And to all of you who've seen my complaining on twitter, thanks for the well-wishes! It means a lot.

What I'm writing:

Anyway, thanks to my nasty illness, my writing hasn't been going as well (or as productively) as I'd hoped. I'm hopelessly behind my deadline on the third Rear Entrance Video book, but luckily everyone at Riptide has been really understanding about the fact that it's my illness really mucking things up. (It may also help I delivered the previous two early.) Anyway, I'm hoping once I get a diagnosis and a consistent treatment, REV3 will all come together. In the meantime, I'm plugging away with as much a day (or a week), as I can manage. It's a tough book, surprisingly psychologically complex, but I think it's going to be fabulous if I can pull it off. (If I can't pull it off, Sarah will red-ink it until it does, so I'm not too concerned. It'll work. Somehow.)

In other writing news, Rachel and I are making progress on Flesh Cartel season 4, which is called . . . (DUH DUH DUHN)


Ohhh yes, my little Flesh Cartel (um) fans, it's the big one. That title ain't a tease. (She says, having used headfake titles many times before.) This new season introduces new characters, new settings, and most importantly, a new love interest!!! You guys are gonna die. We're three episodes in, looking at likely five episodes total for the season, but maybe four. We also just submitted the cover art request, so you may wind up seeing some cover-age soon, too!

In other current writing news, I've been plotting all sorts of things with Sam Schooler, who is awesome.  We have two novel ideas: one a little bit literary with a twisted rentboy-meets-secret-garden plot, one an m/f trans* BDSM erotic short, and one a dark dark dark sci-fi with a creepy twist. I've also got a nice story plotted to eventually write with Lisa Henry, a schmoopy holiday-themed contemporary, because, y'know, neither of us wants to write dark ALL the time. (Just most of the time.) However, I can't do any of this until REV3 is finished. So, y'know, bug me to finish it. When I'm not sick. ;P

What I've got coming out:

This month: Apple Polisher
August: Flesh Cartel #9, Professor's Rule #2: An Inch at a Time (tentative)
September: Flesh Cartel #10
October: Wallflower (REV #2)
November: (Nothing scheduled as yet, but possibly the start of Flesh Cartel season 4?)
December: The Dom Project (M/F BDSM rom-com, writing as Heloise Belleau with Solace Ames and releasing from Carina Press)
Next year: Straight Shooter (REV#3), The King of Dublin (post-apocalyptic M/M romance written with Lisa Henry! *squeals*), Blasphemer, Sinner, Saint (M/M gothic horror with Sam Schooler)

So yeah, there's the haps. Now I'm going to go collapse in bed for ten hours so I can do the fever and pain thing all over again tomorrow. (Groan.) Wish me luck, and by luck, I mean hospitalization-worthy illness!


  1. I couldn't possibly wish you to be sicker, but I can wish you to get properly diagnosed so that you can feel great very soon. Thanks for the update, and please, take care :)

  2. Thanks for sharing where things are at for you and giving me so much writing goodness to look forward too. In good news for me I have all this year’s Riptide releases on pre-order. I keep forgetting to look on Carina Press. Hint to authors - I find release info very useful, I put it in my outlook calendar and go and look then.

    I hope diagnosis and a reasonable treatment plan happen soon and that the whole cycle of anticipatory dread is bearable.

    Don't be hard on yourself you are continuing to work as you can and getting heaps done despite your illness. The comparison isn't with what you might be getting done if you were not ill but with getting nothing done at all cos as you say things could be worse.

    I am also a great believer in the spoons theory because you are doing your best as well as you can on any given day.