Wednesday, 18 March 2015

March Musings

Good morning!

For those of you who have finished The Mime Order, I hope you'll be pleased to know that I am finally closing in on finishing Book 3. It's divided into two "acts", one of which I finished a few days ago. The second act is about half the length of the first, so I'm confident that I'll hit my goal of finishing Draft 1 by mid-April or earlier. The end of Act 1 was emotionally exhausting, and I think the last few chapters of this one will be, too – but I'm loving it. 


I admit that I'm very nervous about this book, far more so than I was about The Mime Order. Nervous about sending it to my editor and agent. Nervous about readers not enjoying it as much as The Mime Order, which received such good feedback overall. The pressure is on to make this one even better, so I don't show signs of losing my touch midway through a long series. Book 3 has ended up being vastly different from the last two, which I sense will appeal to some readers and not to others. As I've said at several events, that's my goal for this series: to make each book a totally different experience from the last, so my readers have no idea what to expect and find it difficult to predict each ending. I'm not a believer in doing the same thing twice. This book contains more of some major characters and less of others, and I've really missed some of them during the writing process – but I've also enjoyed looking at new ones, and examining old friends in greater detail. I've learned a lot about Paige in particular. I'm so wrapped up in her voice and her head, I don't think I'll ever want to leave it by Book 7. 

In health news, it's been two weeks since my appendectomy, and I recently had my stitches out. The wounds have healed beautifully, and I'm very much back on my feet. I've been left with two small cuts on my abdomen (the third scar was avoided by going through, yes, through, my tummy button, argh). At the risk of sounding like I was born in the last century – oh, wait – I'm amazed by modern surgical techniques.

But as the old saying goes, 'you win some, you lose some'. While the surgeon was removing my swollen appendix, he also discovered that I have a condition called endometriosis. I hadn't heard much about it before, but it's a long-term disease with four stages of severity, which affects about 10% of women. Endometriosis causes tissue from the womb's lining to grow outside the womb – sometimes on other organs, like the ovaries – which can cause chronic pain, fatigue, depression and infertility, among other symptoms. As of now there's no cure, but I'm told it can be managed. So far I only seem to have one patch of it, so I'm assuming I'm in one of the first two stages. Fingers crossed it stays that way. I'm starting to think now, though, about all the old aches and pains in my abdomen that I always wrote off as normal. In a strange way, it's a relief to know that there was something wrong all along. The pain and discomfort I've had over the last few months has sometimes made me feel as if I'm going mad. Having any "silent" condition is frustrating. You start thinking you're imagining it and being paranoid that other people think you are, too. For weeks I tried cutting out different food groups, exercising more, sitting and breathing in different ways, to no avail.  

What I've learned from this experience is that sometimes you need to be a bit pushy, and to listen to your body. Remember, guys: pain is real. 

Anyway, back to my writer cave. More news soon!

16 comments:

  1. I'm glad you've recovered from the surgery, but ouch about the endometriosis. *hugs* I can imagine that might be a bit scary, but I hope now that it's identified you can at least find ways to manage it better. (And hopefully it'll stay in stage 1.)

    But yay about exciting book 3 news! I'm sure it's brilliant - though seriously you are scaring me with how emotional those endings are making you. Now I'm imagining all my favorite characters dying and asdfjkl; Anyway! Best of luck in finishing it!

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  2. Your appendectomy story is a classical "silver-lining" one: you are now aware of an underlying condition and will be much better prepared to deal with it both physiologically and mentally. It's a tough break, but -- as you yourself say -- we are in the 21st century and the miracles of modern medicine are seemingly endless. You are a brilliant young lady; it is not like the cosmos to conspire against your happiness and success.

    Now to business: I am choosing to believe that the emotional turmoil in Book #3 is a positive one. For example, I am hoping that Paige's mom is not *actually* dead and that her return is in the works. In the long run, I am hoping for Paige and Arcturus to have (at least) a "Desdemone-like" arrangement by the end of the series (with some kiddos tossed in; domestic bliss is underrated :D). I am hoping that you will not need to say good-bye at the end of it all; Mrs. Rowling continues to publish little nuggets on Pottermore, why wouldn't Ms. Shannon.

    Wishing you all the best!

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  3. I can't wait for book three. I was figuratively (to use the correct term) left crying a hole in the ground after the mime order ending. I need to read that book now. So happy that you started writing these books they are completely amazing

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  4. Ouch! At least you know now that something has been underlying with all the "silent" pain. I've heard of endometriosis a few times and it doesn't sound like a nice thing to have. I hope it stays manageable for you.

    I loved The Mime Order -- so many questions!

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    1. Thank you! And I'm glad you enjoyed the book.

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  5. Glad to hear that your health is recovering and book 3 is almost done. One of my first thoughts after finishing Mime Order was "she needs to write fast!!!" After that ending, I'm very much looking forward to more explanation, that revelation at the end does explain a lot about a certain person's character and behavior. I hope Paige gets to speak to her father in the next book, and that we see Michael, I found myself worrying about him all through The Mime Order.
    It seems like your endometriosis is at least limited in scope and manageable, so hopefully the effects won't be too severe. In case infertility is a worry of yours, a good friend of mine has endometriosis, and was still able to give birth to a healthy little boy, and her symptoms seem pretty under control.

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  6. I'm glad you're doing well, health-wise! I hope that the endometriosis stays in stage one for you, as that sounds like a really scary condition as well. I also just wanted to say that I'm looking forward to seeing where you take Paige and her story in the 3rd novel!

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    1. Thank you, Alexa! I think it should be fine. I'm going to see my doctor to talk about it. And Book 3 is almost finished...

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  7. Just finished reading Mime Order! Awesome read, thoroughly enjoyed it and cant wait for the next one! Take care of yourself!

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  8. So far these have been a excellent read, keep my going non stop

    Excelleing wrighting

    Thanks
    John

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  9. Reread The Bone Season and then read The Mime Order last week on my spring break. I enjoyed it quite immensely! I love the relationship between Paige and Arcturus and I'm going to beg you to not make this series a romantic tragedy. We have enough sadness in this world and books for a long time were my only escape into other worlds where happy endings existed. All that to say, loved the books and look forward to your next book! Hope it comes out relatively soon!

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    1. I'm glad you liked the books! I can't promise happy endings for everyone, but I hope you continue enjoying the series. Book 3 should be out in 2016.

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  10. Thank you Samantha! I just finished listening to The Mime Order, and thoroughly enjoyed every moment. Alana Kerr did a brilliant job of narrator, btw. I can't wait for the 3rd, and hope for a speedy release (Selfishly hoping).

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    1. Alana is great, isn't she? And Book 3 should hopefully be out next year.

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