Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘health updates

Will Be on Dellani Oakes’ BlogTalkRadio Show This Monday (November 14)

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As the title says, I’ll be on writer Dellani Oakes’ BlogTalkRadio show this upcoming Monday, November 14, 2022, between 3 and 5 Central Standard Time.

You might be wondering what I’m going to talk about. I figured I’d discuss writing the two Elfyverse short stories that have been sold to the Fantastic Schools anthologies; one is in Fantastic Schools 3, while the other is in Fantastic Schools Hols. Both feature Bruno the Elfy (my main character from the two Elfy novels), but before he knew he was an Adept. (Actually, the second story features him both before and after he found out, because of my own sense of whimsy.)

I plan to read from the second story, mind you. It’s called “Jon and Leftwich have a Holiday Adventure.” I do hope you’ll join me and the others, because I think you’ll enjoy yourselves if you do.

At any rate, talking about that isn’t long enough for a blog, so I figured I’d discuss a few other things.

While I still love writing Elfyverse stories, and plan to get out a collection of Elfyverse stories soon (it may not be the end of the year as I was hoping, as I’m battling significant flu issues right now), I wonder sometimes if I’ll ever hit my market squarely. I know it’s there. The folks who loved Robert Asprin’s comic novels or love Jody Lynn Nye’s funny stories or Esther Friesner’s work should enjoy what I’m doing. (If I were truly lucky, I might even tap into some of the folks who clamored for Douglas Adams’ work, but I doubt I’m that lucky. Plus, I’m not British, and lack that sort of edge to my humor. Still, my daydreams sometimes work that way…and if it keeps me writing, why not?)

The state of the Elfyverse is better than it was, mind you. I do have those two stories in the FS anthos, I’m working on two other new ones (for the upcoming collection), and I have restarted the long-delayed novel KEISHA’S VOW and have figured out at least in part what had been stopping me cold.

Thing is, I must get over this flu. (It’s not Covid. Tested negative.)

I rarely have fevers. So when I have them, I don’t really know what to do. When I get a few good hours, I need to use that to finish up the edits in progress, which of course is sensible. But it’s knocked me out of a band I was hoping to play in (I may still be able to play in another one soon, but I must get better fast), it’s delayed my writing more than it was already (and that’s been considerable), and because I have to push all the time, it seems to stop my creativity cold.

Music lives in me. But when I’m ill, the notes escape before I can write them down. (Playing is not an option today. Maybe it will be soon.) And my stories live in me, too. But it’s hard to write down music or words when I can’t concentrate worth a hill of beans.

The stories I have in progress are various. One’s about an Amazon who’d settled down and was teaching young warriors (men and women) how to fight…but while she was away, her whole family (including her beloved husband) was killed. She goes to his family to let them know, and before she can tell them, finds out that most of them are dead also. Only her sister-in-law is alive, and she’s like a mental vegetable. So what’s gone wrong there?

I have an inkling, but I also think somehow I lost my way. Still, this remains one of several stories that are vexing me.

The second is a good friend’s favorite story. It’s called “All the News That’s Fit,” and is about the US post-apocalypse of some sort. There’s now a bunch of divided states rather than a United States, and while one part of it still calls itself the US, it’s now centered around St. Louis, Missouri. (The South split off by itself. Texas, I think, is alone. The West Coast is now The Republic of the West.)

But the reason my good friend loves it is due to the romance between a newsreader (technology has backslid, to a degree, so the Army shepherds newsreaders around to various hamlets to tell ’em whatever the official story is) and an Army NCO. Newsreaders go into doing this to save their families, mostly…to get good medical care now is even more expensive than it is now in the US, and if you aren’t affiliated with some sort of public service, you can’t get it. But if you do an important job like newsreading, you can get your family the treatment they need…and that’s important for my heroine, Chloris, whose sister has cancer.

The guy in the tale is Sergeant James Carter. I didn’t consciously name him for the former POTUS, if you’re wondering; instead, I named him because I knew a very good, female Sergeant Carter years ago. She was competent, tough as nails, and yet very kind to me as I tried to work my way through becoming a military wife. She was a Reservist, and as I said, I truly appreciated her.

My Sergeant Carter is close to retirement age. He’s in his late thirties. He’s been through a lot. And because of his training, skills, and service, by the time he meets Chloris, he’s pretty much off women and off the idea of getting married someday. (That newsreaders rarely marry doesn’t help, because the duty is grueling, and newsreaders have to be hypnotized after a while to remember what to say and how to say it. As I said, it’s a messed-up world they live in.) But there’s just something about her that appeals to him, and the better he knows her — away from her job, and he’s thrown together with her due to his own — the better he likes her.

Then her sister goes missing…and all Hell breaks loose.

The third one is a YA story featuring a young version of Commander Ryann Creston, who features briefly in my story “To Survive the Maelstrom.” Here, she’s been taken captive at 14 along with a whole bunch of would-be cadets — stolen on the way to the military academy — and is put to work by a cult at some sort of out-of-the-way space station. She finds one person who’s willing to help — the doctor, who’d also been shanghaied years earlier — but in the meantime, she’s forced to endure many indignities…including the gropings of a young man named Derrick. There’s no actual sex here, and there’s more the threat of violence than anything…still, Ryann’s in a bad spot and needs to get the Hell out of there.

Now, why am I stalled? It’s very simple. I can’t figure out where the Hell the ships would dock on this station. It’s an old one, so it might actually have to use some sort of manual locks or shuttles or something to deal with how to get on and off. Ryann can’t move about the station unless there’s a power outage, because she’s watched nearly every minute of every day. (This station is old, so it does have some power outages, thank goodness.) And if Ryann can’t figure out where to go, how can she lead everyone else off that station and get back to the Academy where she belongs?

Those aren’t all the stories I have in progress, but those are the three that vex me the most. Somehow, I have to get them done…and while in some ways “All the News” is closer to it than the others, the best ending I’ve found relies on a cliffhanger and I don’t want to do that to readers (hoping they find me in the first place, I don’t want them then to throw down their e-readers in disgust).

So, that’s what’s going on.

What’s going on with you? (The comments, as always, are open.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 11, 2022 at 6:04 am

Racine Concert Band Parts Ways With Me

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Folks, this is a blog I never thought I’d write, but here goes.

Four days ago, I received a letter from the current president of the Racine Concert Band’s board of directors. It was titled “RCB Letter,” and at first I thought it was something they wanted me to look at to give my writing/editing opinion (as they’ve occasionally done that before).

That was not it.

The letter said it was “uncomfortable” for them to ask this, after my many years of service, but that they wanted me to resign for the good of the band.

I will not do it. They can put me out, and I’m sure they will. But I will not resign, and I will not pretend this was my decision. It wasn’t.

I have been a member of the RCB for over twenty years. Every time I was capable of playing music and in the area, I was in the band. I played oboe, clarinet, and saxophone in the band, and soloed (in front of the band) on all three instruments. I’ve also played in both the regular concert band and the jazz ensemble.

However, if you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you have to realize my health is problematic. Especially for a band that has a summer outdoor concert series like the RCB, my health issues — which include asthma, allergies, and migraines — have always been difficult to deal with for me.

Until the last few years — after Covid-19 hit the US with great force — I was able to power through most of the time. I still had migraines and still had asthma issues (one knocked me out of half of a rehearsal, several years ago; I went to the local hospital’s ER to get a breathing treatment), but I played many concerts under hot, humid, and difficult conditions.

The difference now is, I suffered a pulmonary embolism in early 2020. (We did not yet know Covid was in the country, so all I can do is presume that’s why it happened. There were obviously no tests for Covid at that time.) I have really never been the same since then, though I have regained some strength and some health.

Just not enough.

Anyway, the RCB has been important to me for a long time. I was fourteen when I first joined. (Yes, fourteen.) I never have wanted to cause trouble for the band, or its members, or its board. (Especially as I was on the board for two years myself, once upon a time.)

I’ve loved playing the music over the years and have appreciated the fact that they put up with my health for the past two years before making this decision to part ways with me.

There are many great people in that band. I want them to be able to play music, enjoy themselves, and enjoy life.

But I will not say I resigned, because that is not the truth.

The truth is, I was forced out.

And it makes me very, very unhappy that this is so.

Written by Barb Caffrey

July 28, 2022 at 9:35 pm

Had a Covid-19 Scare, but I’m Fine

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Folks, last week I was preparing to play a concert with the Racine Concert Band. I was looking forward to the concert (which was held this past Saturday evening) as it was going to be the first time I’d played in a concert since the beginning of the pandemic.

However, my health did something weird. I ended up going in to urgent care, and they thought it was Covid-19. They tested me…

And I’m fine. I do not have Covid. (Whew!)

However, I still did not play the concert as I missed the two rehearsals beforehand due to the medical scare. I felt awful, missing out on the concert as I did.

That said, I did the best I could with the information I had. (Sometimes, adulting is hard.)

Right now, if you get a fever, or chills, or in my case, both, any reasonable person has to assume they have Covid until it’s proven otherwise. (Unless your state or country doesn’t have that much of a problem with Covid, of course. Right now, all of Wisconsin’s counties have a big problem with it.)

And yes, I’ve done everything right. I’ve gotten the two vaccinations. I’ve had the vaccination booster shot. I wear masks when I go anywhere outside of my car or my parents’ homes. (I have to take my rescue inhaler far more often with a mask on than without it, as I am asthmatic, but I still wear the masks as long as I can.)

Still. The point remains, I will not give someone else Covid if I can help it.

There are folks out there who do not believe Covid is that big of a deal. I have to say I don’t understand that. Even if you just — just! — see this as akin to a bad case of the seasonal flu, the seasonal flu can kill you. (It most often kills those with depressed immune systems — immunocompromised — or the very young or the very old, granted.)

As I’ve said all along, I hate wearing masks. I don’t know how much good a normal mask does. (A N-95 or a Korean N-94 is different, but I can wear them for even less time than a more normal medical-type mask.) But I do know that at the beginning of the re-opening after the first pandemic shutdown, two hairstylists (I think in the South somewhere) went to work not knowing they had Covid. They cut several people’s hair that day, and neither of them gave Covid to anyone else.

(That’s the main reason I keep trying to wear my mask. But I digress.)

Anyway, the point of this blog is that I do not have Covid. I am very, very glad not to have Covid. I hope I never do get Covid, because I’ve worried all along about my parents and friends, and I do not want to spread Covid to them or anyone else.

Have any of you had any issues with regards to Covid? Are you as worried about it as I am? If not, why not? (Aside from politics, that is. I still don’t know how politics got messed up in medical care.) Please tell me how you feel in the comments.

Written by Barb Caffrey

January 31, 2022 at 6:50 am

A Sunday Throwback (and Other Stuff)

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Folks, Facebook has a memories feature, and it reminded me of a blog I wrote in 2015 called “A Writer’s Work is Never Done.” (Link is here.) As lately I’ve been editing far more than I’ve been writing, it was nice to have something positive show up in my Facebook feed (yes, I shared that puppy; what, you expected me to say anything else?)

See, editing can be draining. And the most recent project I’ve been working on was a monster of an edit. (It might be the toughest edit I’ve ever had.) It consumed me, at least when I wasn’t sick and was being consumed by something else.

I am still sick, mind, with an asthma exacerbation and some sort of untreated allergic reaction. (I have an Epi-pen, and I know what to do if/when something bad happens of an allergic nature. Still, I hope I won’t have to use it anytime soon.) The new meds I’ve been put on should do some good, but it’ll take a few weeks for them to ramp up.

Anyway, the point to this Sunday post is this: No matter how awful you’re feeling, something will remind you of better days. (Even if it’s not exactly what you’d thought about, at first.)

Of course, the other memory I had pop up in my feed was that my dog Trouble died on this day two years ago. (Well, two years and a few days ago, now.) Thinking about Trouble is bittersweet, at best, ’cause I loved that little guy so much. He really did see himself as a badass, but he was a sweetheart. (Hey, you can be both, especially if you’re a dog. But I digress.)

I don’t have a picture that’s shareable, or I’d show you one. But Trouble was about fourteen pounds, had a black and white coloring, was mostly Shih Tzu but mixed (the back legs were shorter than the front, which isn’t common for Shih Tzus), and was one of the most interesting and funny dogs I’ve ever been around. Big brown eyes, an expressive face…Trouble had empathy galore, though of course he didn’t bruit it about (as again, he was a badass and don’t you forget it).

Finally, though my Facebook feed didn’t throw this memory up, I remember my good friend Jeff Wilson on this day. He would’ve turned 58 today, had he lived, and it’s been ten long years since he died.

How time flies.

Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be able to forgive myself for not being able to go out to Colorado and be with him (as I was still working on financing that at the time of his death). I wish I had made it there, as maybe Jeff’s passing would’ve been a bit easier…and even if not, I would’ve had people to mourn with (rather than mourning alone so many miles — almost half a continent — away).

So, on this day, I remember Jeff. I remember Trouble. I remember that once upon a time, I was excited for my second novel to come out, and was working on my third.

All of these things remind me of my most intrinsic, essential self. And my hope is that as I continue to heal that I will be able to resume my fiction writing, along with being able to play my saxophone and clarinet regularly, along with editing.

Because while I do enjoy editing, doing only that stifles me.

I must be able to create, you see. Or it all builds up to the point I feel like I’m going to spontaneously combust (and not in a good way).

At any rate, what are you thinking about this Sunday? Do you ever think about the people (and beloved pets) that have gone before us? Let me know in the comments, if you would. (Still feeling all alone in the void, here.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 21, 2021 at 5:23 am

A Quick Thursday Update…

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Folks, I figured I’d better write something to y’all today, as I’ve been quiet now for close to two weeks.

Longtime readers of this blog probably know what that means, but…there are usually two reasons I don’t blog. One is that I’m overwhelmed (with work, with life in general, or all of the above). The other is that I’m ill.

Unfortunately, in this case, it’s the latter reason. I am indeed ill.

The problem is, no one can figure out exactly what’s going on. The best guess is that I have some sort of untreated allergic reaction, so I saw an allergist earlier today. (Very thorough, competent doctor, too. I liked her.) She made several suggestions, and I am going to take them to heart.

In addition, she felt my asthma was not as controlled as it should be, so I now have a new medication to take that I hope will work better.

Overall, she felt the reason for me being ill has to do with being sick so often over the past year-plus with multiple (read: recurrent) sinus infections, so I don’t have the energy or stamina from that. Add in the allergy issues and my asthma not being as controlled as all that, and it’s added up to me being incredibly ill for about four months now.

She did request some blood work, and of course I had my blood drawn. (Fortunately, it was not a fasting blood draw, or I would’ve had to wait until tomorrow.)

I do feel heartened from seeing the allergist today. I really hope she’s right, and that if I do some commonsense things (like get enough sleep) in addition to the new meds, my energy level will rise soon and I’ll be able to take up all the threads of my life again. (I most especially want to play my saxophone and clarinet, as I haven’t played at all in months. But I also want to write, both music and words, and finish up some long-delayed stories and novels.)

For the moment, that’s all I know. But as it’s more than I knew prior to today, I will count it as progress and call it good.

What’s going on with you? Tell me about it in the comments…please?

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 18, 2021 at 6:48 pm

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When the Going Gets Tough…

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Folks, I wanted to stop by and let you all know that I’m starting to get a little better. I’m weak, somewhat dehydrated, and and extremely tired, but the symptoms of the food poisoning are finally gone.

As I said before, I think what happened is this: The Irish sausages I ordered were not fully cooked, as they were cold when they got to the table. Even eating the half-portion I ate was enough to put me down for the count for the past week.

So, now I am going to try to slowly ramp up again. I hope to do some writing (fiction included). I hope to do some editing. I also hope to play my sax and maybe my clarinet soon…there’s a concert scheduled for late January with the Racine Concert Band that I want to take part in, and I want to be ready to go before the first rehearsal for that starts in mid-January.

I don’t know how tough I am, mind, but I do know I’m committed, determined, and persistent.

As far as I’m concerned, that’s the only way to be.

Let me know how you’re doing in the comments.

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 9, 2021 at 2:34 am

And now…food poisoning?

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Folks, in my last blog I told you I’d been dealing with some ongoing issues for a couple of months. Mostly, it’s been my sinuses; there has been a recent suggestion of different allergies than I’m used to having, so I have to get an appointment with the allergist soon.

The one bit of good news I had was that I was going to see my friends from Colorado, who I haven’t seen in at least five-six years, while they drove through Wisconsin on their way back home from seeing family elsewhere.

Murphy’s Law, however, has bit me again, as the restaurant we chose to eat at gave me food poisoning.

Now, some of you are probably sitting out there going, “Barb, how do you know it was that restaurant?”

Simple. I was coming out of a migraine. I had eaten nothing the previous 24 hours, at all, save one sandwich while I was at my good friend’s in Racine (she came with and met my friends, and we all had dinner together). That sandwich could not have possibly given me food poisoning, as everything was at the proper temperature. (My friend is a very good cook, and she takes pride in that, as she should.) I’ve also had this particular sandwich many times (as it’s very good), and it’s never set me off before.

So, we went to this restaurant. I had Irish white sausages called “bangers,” as Michael used to make them. However, the way he made them — which was superlative — and the way this place made them (in beef broth, with veggies; oh, the horror!) was not anywhere close. Because of the way they were cooked, it was impossible to tell if they were cooked all the way through. And the food was slightly cold, which means those bangers were the most likely way I came down with food poisoning.

Most of us who cook at all — like me — know that if food is not hot when you get it, and it contains any type of sausage, be wary of it. Fortunately, I was wary, and I did not eat more than half of the meal.

Eating that half of the meal, though, has put me down for the count now for three and a half days.

That means no fiction writing has taken place. Fewer manuscripts have been looked at than I’d planned on, too. And I’ve had to go much more slowly than usual, as my concentration has been broken by having constant fevers and chills.

Before anyone asks, yes, I did go to the Urgent Care clinic. I was worried this might be a case of the flu as this was considered to be all wrong for Covid. (Thank the Goddess for that.) The nurse practitioner I saw said she’s seen no flu yet, and my symptoms were not the ones she’d expect. But she thought I was wise to go right in, because if it had been flu, they could’ve given me Tamiflu (something that will shorten a flu cycle; it also can be given only in the first two days of the flu’s onset, or it will not work well).

In a case of food poisoning, all you can really do is wait it out. Drink lots of water. Eat bland foods, for the most part. Get your rest. And live to fight another day.

So, now I’m waiting out the case of food poisoning. That obviously wasn’t on my bucket list for the year, but…I’ve no choice in the matter.

Once I feel well enough, I will be contacting the restaurant in question to let them know I had food poisoning. I don’t think anything will get done, but I do have to let them know.

Has anyone else reading this blog had a case of food poisoning? How long did it take to go away? When did you start feeling well again? Please tell me in the comments, if you have anything to share…as right now I definitely feel like I’m shouting into the void (or at least the wind tunnel) again.

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 4, 2021 at 4:31 am

Another Day, Another…

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I figured I’d best drop a wee “bloglet” here, to let you all know I’m still alive.

While I’ve had many things that I’ve wanted to talk about, I’ve simply been running out of time lately. I finished one edit, and am working on several more. (As for most people, work comes before everything else.) I’ve also been dealing with my health. And the best guess any of the doctors I’ve seen has as to why I feel so lousy beyond the usual suspects (which include fibromyalgia) is that I may have an acute allergy of some sort.

Now, I’ve lived with a particularly bad bee sting/wasp sting allergy for years, so I know allergies are no joke. (Michael also had some allergies to egg whites, banana skins but not the bananas inside providing there was no skin or oil left on the banana, and tree nuts, so I’m aware of these issues as well.) I also get the “free and clear” laundry detergent, use the “free and clear” fabric softener (though I have found one of the Downy regular ones — the extra-large sheets — doesn’t set off any skin issues), and try to avoid things that give me indigestion on the off chance it may also be some sort of allergy. (Thus my avoidance of artichokes.)

So, next week I get to talk with the allergist’s office to see about setting up an appointment to be evaluated there.

I’m also taking a low-dose oral steroid (as the doctor feels my infection is gone, but everything remains inflamed in there), working to tolerance (oh, how I hate that phrase), and hoping I’ll regain enough energy soon to play my musical instruments as well as write fiction and poetry again.

I’m also looking forward to seeing some old friends over the weekend, as they’re passing through my neck of the woods on a driving trip. It’ll be good to see them, as I haven’t seen them in several years.

So, for the moment, I remain in a holding pattern, health-wise. I will try everything the doctor suggested, though, to get my sinuses to stop giving me fits…and hope that the allergist has some guidance for me (as I already take OTC allergy meds) that will do some good as well.

What’s going on with you and yours? Tell me about it in the comments! (That way I won’t feel like I’m shouting into the void again.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

October 30, 2021 at 2:36 am

A Brewers Update, a Personal Update…and a word about Chris Nuttall’s newest, THE CUNNING MAN

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Folks, I am fighting yet another sinus infection. I am beyond tired of these sinus infections, to put it mildly. But all I can do is rest to tolerance, drink lots of fluids, get more rest, and work to tolerance after I regain enough energy to do so.

As far as music or writing goes (aside from this blog), nothing is getting done. (I did write 32 bars of music last weekend, though.) This is frustrating for me as a creative person, as when I can’t create things get bottled up inside.

The only solution I have is to rest. Again, I hate not being able to do much of anything. But I have to be smart, and I have to realize that my body is extremely worn out right now. Otherwise, I’ll just get sicker, and what good will that do for me or anyone else?

Never mind that. I want to talk about baseball, and I want to talk about books now.

Baseball first.

As I’m sure most of you are aware, my favorite baseball team is the Milwaukee Brewers. They have won the National League Central division, and will be going to the playoffs that start next week. (This week, they’re finishing the regular season, but they’re already locked in for the playoffs as it is. Nothing will change for the team as a whole.)

This has been a season of first, in some ways. There was a combined no-hitter, just the second no-hitter in Brewers baseball history (Corbin Burnes pitched eight innings, and closer extraordinaire Josh Hader pitched the ninth). The Brewers have been good at home but astonishingly good on the road, which almost never happens. And, oddly enough, the usually homerun-hitting Brewers have had to rely on outstanding pitching rather than offense as their offense has been downright offensive at times. (Sorry about the pun, but I couldn’t resist.)

So, the Brewers have better defense and better pitching than most of the rest of the National League. But their hitting is average or below for the most part, and their clutch hitting (hitting with runners in scoring position) isn’t as good as it should be.

What all that means is, when a player like shortstop Willy Adames needs time off to rest a nagging injury, that hurts the Brewers’ offensive capability as a team. When Lorenzo Cain takes a day off to rest, it also hurts for the same reasons. And while the highly-paid former MVP, Christian Yelich, continues to scuffle offensively, he does take walks and uses his speed to some effect…meaning he’s not a black hole, offensively speaking, but he’s not a shining light, either.

The Brewers offense, in short, needs every player to fire on all cylinders. If they don’t, the only way they can win is to rely on their pitching. With three starters among the top ten in ERA (Earned Run Average) as adjusted for time and innings pitched, and outstanding relievers Hader and Devin Williams, the Brewers have put together a formidable pitching staff.

Now, Williams found out he’d busted his hand while celebrating the Brewers division-clinching win over the New York Mets on Sunday. This means he’ll not be available, at best, for three weeks. And as that’s when the World Series is likely to be played, the Brewers will have to worry about it later while focusing on the first opponent (likely to be the Atlanta Braves, though the Philadelphia Phillies still have a mathematical shot to win their division instead and face the Brewers).

It won’t help the Brewers to have Williams sidelined. (He has apologized, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, to his teammates.) But they’ll have to do the best they can as he heals up.

I’m looking forward to watching them in the postseason, and I do hope they’ll hit (for a change) as well as pitch well.

Shifting gears, let’s talk about books. Or at least one, specific book, that being Chris Nuttall’s THE CUNNING MAN, which is now out in e-book format. (Disclaimer: I edited this book and know it quite well.) He’s having some trouble with his website right now (though his blog is up), and thus he can’t get the word out in his usual ways. I figured I could perhaps help just a tad by letting you know it’s out.

Of course, you probably are wondering what the book is about. (It is entitled as a “Schooled In Magic” spinoff, but that isn’t a lot to go on if you haven’t read the Schooled in Magic series to begin with.) It stars Adam, a young man without the magical gift who has become quite interested in studying alchemy and magical theory. Thus, in many ways, he’s a man without a home. The magicians mostly disregard him, and the nonmagicians (“mundanes,” in Chris’s concept, as it is in many fantasy novels) don’t understand him.

Anyway, there’s one place that will take him as a possible apprentice. That place is Heart’s Eye University. A university is a new concept in the Nameless World (Chris’s environs; it has that name because for the most part magicians believe they should use use-names rather than real ones, as your real name being known can give someone unscrupulous power over you; this does not apply to nonmagical people, as there are plenty of ways to get power over a nonmagician already), and they are trying to blend mundane and magical solutions to good effect.

Once he’s there, it’s not a bed of roses, to put it mildly. He meets Lilith, who’s in an apprenticeship she hates (for reasons Adam doesn’t understand at first), and doesn’t know why anyone would want to study magic when they don’t have magic at all. So, as most people can’t stand Lilith, she falls in with Adam. And at first, the unlikely pairing does not do very well, as you might expect.

However, as both Adam and Lilith have adventures, they slowly start to realize they have more in common than not. (They both have ethics and principles, for example.) And Lilith’s worldview (that of magicians being on top because they have magic, AKA “magical supremacy”) starts to change quite a bit (as it should).

I’m going to stop there with a plot summary, but I hope that has intrigued you.

Otherwise, I have several edits in train, I am hoping to write some fiction somehow in the next few days, and I’ll be focusing on healing up so I can do all of these things as quickly as possible.

What are you all doing this week? Let me know in the comments! (And what books are you reading?)

Written by Barb Caffrey

September 30, 2021 at 3:48 am

Music and Bad Sinuses

with 6 comments

Folks, over the last week, I had to make a difficult decision.

You see, while we were dealing with the pandemic, the band I play in — the Racine Concert Band — was not able to play any concerts. But now that the pandemic is on the way out, the RCB will be playing its entire free summer concert season every Sunday night in July and August.

The thing is, I’ve been battling some health issues. (This should not be a surprise to any regular reader of this blog.) And as of today, I have been diagnosed, again, with an acute sinus infection.

I wasn’t sure, last Thursday, when the RCB had its first rehearsal since 2019, if I could play or not. But that night, I was not able to go to rehearsal as I just felt too ill. As I look forward to playing in the band, this was very disheartening, to say the least.

Anyway, after some thought, I decided that I needed to take a leave of absence from the band for this summer season. This was hard to do for two reasons. One, I love to play. Two, I am — or anyway, have been — a member of the RCB’s board of directors.

So, that’s the upshot. I have a sinus infection, again. And I won’t be playing in the RCB’s summer concert season, though I still urge you to go if you live in Southeastern Wisconsin or Northern Illinois whenever you can. (It’s excellent music, the setting at the Racine Zoo is beautiful, and it’s absolutely free. What more can anyone ask?)