It’s been another week of wasting away again in Coronavirusville. I’ve had a few health issues pop up lately that aren’t the virus, including a cancer scare. It’s a long story and not one that I really want to tell, but let’s just say that the original fear turned out to be unfounded after more tests and consultations. Given my occupational history as a firefighter, and the fact that I smoked like there was no tomorrow for twenty years, it’s really just a matter of time, and so had it turned out to be the big C, I wouldn’t have been all that surprised. The second issue landed me in the Emergency Room last week, which is NOT the place you want to be during the Rona! For those of you who have followed the blog for a long time, you’ll remember that between Nov. of 2017 and May of 2018, I spent a total of six weeks in the hospital, including a three week stay and two major operations. When I got out of the hospital that May, I weighed 130 pounds (remember, I’m 6’4!) and it has taken me two and a half years to finally hit 180 again which is what I weighed before that nightmare started. Truthfully, since the second surgery, I haven’t thought or much worried about a recurrence of the problem. At least not until last week. It wasn’t a full recurrence, but it was enough of one to cause severe pain and send me to the ER. By the time I got there, it was starting to resolve on its own, so they let me go home eventually, but now I am left to feeling like I am playing Russian Roulette with it. The issue (chronic small bowel obstruction) is not only horrifically painful, but also potentially fatal as it can cause serious complications. That’s not something I ever wanted to have to worry about again, yet here we are. 2020 has been a shit year for my wife and I, even if you take the Rona out of it. Still, we keep pushing ahead.
If you recall, late in the spring, we had to have a massive amount of home repairs. As part of that, we did a bit of redecorating/rearranging of the house. My bedroom is also my “office,” as our house is only 900 sq. feet. We moved all of the big bookcases into the living room, which opened up the whole wall near by my writing space. I write standing up because of my spine injury, but I wanted to decorate it nonetheless. I selected two regimental flags (the Royal Irish and the 79th [Cameron Highlanders] Regiments of Foot as I have familial ties to both. My other regimental flag, the Connaught Rangers, is in my office on campus. Then, I selected two 19th Century military prints; one of the Connaught Rangers storming the walls of Badajoz during the Peninsular Wars, and the second of the last stand of the 44th Regiment of Foot at Gandamak during the Anglo-Afghan War. And, of course, I also added some framed photos of my Mashka. Last but not least, I have printed out four of the photos of the unnamed prostitute who inspired Molly’s Song. It’s only right to include her! Plus, there’s more of her story to tell. Remember, that’ll be a three book series. Now, it looks like the proper place for a writer/historian to work, but I’m not a historian, I just pretend to be one in bars.
I’ll get Molly’s Song back from my editor at the end of this week, and then the book will go out on submission. Wondering what that means? It means rejection. A lot of rejection. The best advice I could ever give to aspiring novelists is to develop a thick skin and learn to live with rejection (and self doubt). Even the best books get rejected a few times. Unfortunately, I cannot give you an firm estimate on when the book will be released…it might be a while yet. Rest assured, Dear Readers, that it will happen as soon as possible. The best way to stay up on all the current book news is to subscribe to the blog by email or to follow me on The Twitter. My handle is author_hutch . You’ve been with me for this whole journey, and I’d hate for you to miss out on any happy news relating to the book.
Don’t laugh at me, but I’ve discovered the TV series Glee which ended several years back. It’s a teen comedy/drama about a high school Glee club. I love music, as I think most of you know. 2/3rds of the space on my phone is taken up with music divided into various playlists, including the one for Mashka which I’ve written about here. And you can see the full playlist I listened to while writing Molly’s Song here! Anyway, the music in the series is really good. This might actually be a better series than Dawson’s Creek…but I’ll reserve that judgement until I have finished binge watching it. Once upon a time, I could sing, but I shredded my vocal chords with years of yelling over the sound of sirens, yelling to be heard through an SCBA mask, breathing in God knows what while investigating fire scenes, and twenty years of smoking. However, since I have given up the cigarettes, my voice is starting to come back a little bit. I’m planning a nice surprise for my wife, but you’ll have to wait until the next installment to find out what that was.
Until next time, Dear Readers, take care of yourselves, and each other.