Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘health updates

Do All You Can…

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…even when it doesn’t feel like it’ll be enough.

That is my motto, right now.

As I continue to struggle with my health, I have to remind myself that sometimes, doing all I can means to rest. Recover. Eat as much as I can (with a raw throat, that’s not easy, but it is again possible), and in as balanced a way as I can…take probiotics, to keep the antibiotics I’m on from destroying my gut bacteria…laugh, because it’s better than crying. (Or pulling my hair out.)

I continue to work on my plotting exercise (I talked about this yesterday), and will hope this will keep me from going stir-crazy.

I did write a thousand words today, though it was a different sort of exercise entirely, and was prompted by home internet problems. (I hate that, but it’s a very minor woe, all things considered. At least I can get out and use the internet elsewhere. So it adds a step when I am not at my best. So what?)

And I looked at the two edits in progress, figured out where I am, and have a good idea where I need to be starting tomorrow to finish them both up.

So, I’m staying on top of it as best I can. And am doing whatever I can, even though as I said above, it truly doesn’t feel like enough.

Written by Barb Caffrey

March 13, 2018 at 9:59 pm

Quick Health Bloglet

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Folks, I had written a longer blog today, but WordPress ate it…and I’m too sick to write it again.

That said, I have been reading a lot, thinking a lot, and resting a lot. It’s all I can do, while I continue to take care of whatever it is that’s got hold of me this time. (Flu flaring to bronchitis, I think.)

For now, as I wait upon recovery, I urge you to read all the books you can, in as many subjects as you can, and to learn as much as you can.

That’s the best way to spread truth and light, and maybe to find some sort of understanding in this world.

I’ll be back as soon as I can.

Written by Barb Caffrey

January 14, 2018 at 5:09 pm

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Latest Interview, Health Update…and Baseball?

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Folks, the book promotion efforts continue apace.

So, here’s my question: Have you met me yet?

(No, I’m not just being snarky, here.)

If you haven’t, or if you’d like to know more, and haven’t seen this interview, please go forthwith to Goodreads.


It might intrigue you. It might keep you motivated.

Or if nothing else, it’ll answer a question I’ve been asked over and over again regarding my newest novel: why did I set the story of CHANGING FACES in Nebraska, of all places?

Q: Setting is also quite important and in many cases it becomes like a character itself. What tools of the trade did you use in your writing to bring the setting to life?
A: I lived in Nebraska for three years when I went to graduate school. I felt the heat, I saw the vivid colors of the sunsets and sunrises, I felt the scorching cold, and I knew exactly how to describe it.

It’s hard to explain, otherwise, but I’ll do my best.

If you’ve experienced something, that helps you to describe it. And I experienced Nebraska. I even met some LGBT people in Lincoln, when I lived there; there weren’t many, but there were some, and most of them, at the time (this being the late 1990s/early 2000s) did not want to call attention to themselves. The goal at that point was for civil unions to be accepted in various churches, and there were many disagreements about this.

So, it was important to me to set this story in Nebraska. These are two people who could live anywhere. They have talent in music, they are creative, they are honest, they love each other. But one of them is transgender and gender-fluid, and yet their love is like anyone else’s, and their communication problems are like anyone else’s, too.

It’s important that society as a whole comes to realize that people are people, and regardless of gender expression or sexuality, they are deserving of love and happiness and care. Whatever form that love and happiness takes (providing it’s consensual, preferably monogamous, and with people who are adult so they can make their own choices and take their own risks) ultimately does not matter.

Only the love matters. And that’s why I set this story in Nebraska in the first place, because it showcases just how much times have changed…and yet, remained the same.

Want to know more? Please go to the interview and take a look!

Now, as far as the health update goes…I continue to improve. I am a bit low on energy, but I wrote a new guest blog (for author Adriana Kraft and her readership, that will be posted Sunday if all goes well), I even worked a little bit on my fiction, and I’m starting to feel more like my normal self.

(Just in time for Friday, eh?)

I don’t plan on throwing any wild parties any time soon, mind, but I at least can write some again and I’m grateful for it.

Otherwise, I wanted to talk a little bit about baseball, as we’re nearly up to spring. (Hey, don’t correct me. I know it’s a few weeks, yet.)

One thing I noticed, recently, is that major league baseball has changed their way of indicating an intentional walk. Before, a manager had to call for it, but the pitcher had to actually throw the four balls (very wide of the strike zone) before the runner could take first base. This occasionally would result in a wild pitch or passed ball, but most of the time was a fairly routine deal.

Now, MLB is going to do it differently. The manager will somehow indicate that he wants an intentional walk, and the batter will go take first base. The pitcher will not have to throw the four balls, wide of the mark or otherwise.

What do I think of this? I don’t like it at all. I think it’s silly. I think it’s stupid.

And the reason they gave for it? They want to speed the game up.

(I don’t see that as being a particularly speedy thing, mind, but whatever.)

To my mind, the only legitimate basis for this rule-change is to save the pitcher unnecessary wear and tear on his arm. If, over time, this actually works, and a few pitchers here and there won’t hurt themselves, I might actually — someday — begrudgingly, of course, be willing to entertain this.

But for the moment, I think it’s stupid, nonsensical, and wrong.

What do you all think, baseball fans? Does this rule-change make any sense to you? (And if they really want to improve the pace of the game, why don’t they stop guys from getting out of the batter’s box over and over again during the same at-bat? Wouldn’t that be a lot more conducive to getting the speed down than merely eliminating the four pitches from the intentional walk?)

Written by Barb Caffrey

March 3, 2017 at 7:25 pm

Two New Guest Appearances, Plus Health Update

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Folks, I’m starting to feel a little better. My voice is almost all the way back. And I have a teensy bit more energy than yesterday…I kind of think I might actually be able to write something soon, and I have managed to evaluate something for a friend of mine (read a synopsis and commented), which is all good.

Anyway, there are two guest appearances I need to tell you about today.

First, N.N. Light and her POTL blog featured CHANGING FACES last week, and because of me being sick, I almost missed it. This is a chapter excerpt (from chapter 3, I think) plus longer blurb; I think you will enjoy it.

Second, over at the Mom’s Blogger’s Club, there’s a chapter reveal for the first chapter of CHANGING FACES.

So, the book promotion goes on, and I’m still alive to do it…progress?

Stay well, folks.

Tomorrow, perhaps, I’ll be able to blog about something else — maybe Brewers Spring Training or something. (I want to stay away from politics as much as I can until I’m all the way better, because I really don’t need to raise my blood pressure right now.)


Written by Barb Caffrey

March 1, 2017 at 5:20 pm

It’s a Marathon, not a…

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Folks, I know I haven’t blogged this week. (Until now, of course.) But there’s a reason for that.

I have been seriously under the weather since before Christmas. I finally marched into the local urgent care clinic a few days ago, and found I had a sinus infection, ear infection, and throat infection, plus I might also have strep throat. I was given antibiotics and sent home again, plus given the directive to pick up a bunch of over-the-counter meds (which, of course, I did).

I don’t like talking about being sick. It annoys me. I want to be up and doing stuff. Like making the final editorial changes to CHANGING FACES, which are due imminently…or at least able to take a walk around the park, or drive without my head hurting like a vise has been clamped over my forehead.

My hope was that the antibiotics would help me feel so much better, I’d have something good to blog about this weekend. Like, finishing the editorial changes. Or maybe my reaction to seeing the movie about British ski-jumper Eddie “the Eagle” Edwards. (Good movie, BTW, even though they took some poetic license in creating a composite character in Eddie’s so-called “coach.”) Or maybe more on the virtues of hope, without which we can do very little in this life…as I’ve said before, if you can’t hope for better, you can’t possibly visualize it, either. Which means it’s nearly impossible to create a better situation for yourself, much less create anything else, either.

But that did not happen.

Instead, I have gotten sicker. I’m not sure what’s wrong right now, except that I’m coughing a lot, I have a fever, and feel terrible. I can’t think well and I can’t take care of what needs to get done this way from an editorial or writing standpoint.

My voice is better, which is good. (It’s again recognizable.) But that’s about the only good thing going on right now.

Unless I feel a thousand times better than this in the morning, another visit to the urgent care clinic is in my future. And I do hope they’ll figure out what is wrong, so I can get it taken care of…feeling this sick for this long is decidedly not my idea of a good time, thanks.

But I’m doing my best at the moment to remember that as bad as I feel right now, I’ve worked very hard to get CHANGING FACES ready for publication. I am not about to give up now. I merely have to rest, so I can make my best effort, as I have all along…’cause it really is a marathon, not a sprint.

So my hope is that soon, I will be able to get back to my regular blogging stuff, and talk about far more interesting things than my health. (I have to deal with my health 24/7. I’d rather not have to talk about it at my blog, too.)

And for everyone else, my advice is that if you haven’t seen that movie about Eddie Edwards yet, and you need a quick reminder of what persistence and hard work can do against all odds, you should find a way to see it.

Written by Barb Caffrey

January 7, 2017 at 10:57 pm

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The Revenge of C.diff — and Other Stuff

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Folks, I’ve been dealing with a nasty intestinal illness for the past several weeks. It’s called C.diff, and it came on suddenly after I’d finished a course of antibiotics for a sinus infection.

Because of this, I haven’t blogged, I haven’t written much, and I haven’t been able to do as much editing as I wanted, including the final touches to my novel A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE, the sequel (or continuation) to AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE. (Or, as I put it to myself — and for long-time readers — the second half of ELFY.)

I’ve been put on a very strong medicine to combat this C.diff, and while it seems to be working, it has left me weak and tired.

That said, I will persist…as I said a while back, I may be slowed, but I haven’t stopped.

And I won’t stop.

Admittedly, I am frustrated. I want to be doing so much more than this. (“Outrunning time,” as Lois McMaster Bujold put it in A CIVIL CAMPAIGN.) Being sick for weeks or months on end is certainly not my idea of an endgame, and I hope I will somehow be able to regain my health soon.

That said, I continue to work on my final edit of A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE. I hope to have it to my publisher within a few weeks’ time, and then start work on my final edit of CHANGING FACES. I also hope to finish up a few short stories and attempt the Writers of the Future contest again this quarter if at all possible — though with the quarter end rapidly approaching, that might not be doable.

As for an update with regards to the Joey Maverick series started by my late husband Michael, I remain stalled there also. I am working on a novelette or possibly a novella in that universe, but it’s going extremely slowly — possibly because of how little energy I’ve had to work with due to the present nasty illness, already in progress.

Now, why am I telling you all of this, when I’d rather be discussing anything else? Partly because I believe in being honest. Partly because I think we need to talk more about what troubles us. And partly because I know there are people who follow my life and career — God/dess help them — and have asked me what the status is with regards to my writing and my health.

My weekend plans are to do some editing, both for myself and for a client who’s been patiently waiting, and to see if I can get any writing done. I also plan to finally review Dick Button’s interesting book on figure skating, PUSH DICK’S BUTTON, over at Shiny Book Review later today for Nonfiction Friday. (Edited to add: review is up.)

So I’ll continue to do what I can, and hope that things will pick up from here. (I can’t remember now if the phrase is “We live in hope” or “We live and hope,” but either way, that’s what I’m doing right now.)

And thanks, as always, for coming to my blog. I do appreciate it.

Written by Barb Caffrey

March 27, 2015 at 3:49 pm

Bad Weather, Bad Health

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Folks, I haven’t had much to report in the past week-plus that’s any good, which is the main reason I haven’t blogged. My health is still terrible, I’m still trying to get better, and almost all of my energy is going toward my paying work (that, of course, being editing).

During this time, I’ve had to withdraw from participation in the December UW-Parkside Community Band concert due to my health continuing to act up, and I’ve hardly left the house except for doctor appointments and a few shopping trips (as despite it all, I still need food).

Today, though, there was a new threat: inclement weather.

We had at least five tornado warnings in Racine County this morning, it seemed like, and while all these didn’t pan out, they’re scary while they’re happening.  We’ve also had high winds, flash flooding, and many other problems we rarely see in November in Wisconsin, which has made Sunday enormously challenging all the way around.

Granted, we’ve been spared the devastation Illinois has suffered in a few places.  We’ve mostly been spared anything except for some cows dying, a few roofs blowing off, and of course traffic issues due to streets flooding out in various low-lying areas all over Wisconsin.

For my friends who live in Southeastern Wisconsin, I hope you all will be cautious and safe during this time.

Me, I plan to stay home.  (What a surprise, eh?) And if the winds stop blowing so hard, I’ll try to do some work later on, once I’ve caught up on a wee bit more rest.  (As it’s far from restful to hear siren after siren, though I’m very glad the sirens worked and were able to warn everyone, no lie.)

And it probably goes without saying, but here goes: May the week ahead be far, far better than this for us all.

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 17, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Went to U-C Clinic, Have Bronchitis

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Folks, as you know from today’s earlier blog, I have been sick for not one, not two, but five long weeks.  And I’ve been to the local urgent care clinic, Prompt Care, at least twice before . . . once I’d been given antibiotics for a sinus infection, the second time I’d been given prednisone and sent home again.

Well, today I went back to the same clinic and saw a different doctor.  This particular doctor has seen me several times in the past few years, as this particular clinic serves a lot of people in my particular situation (low income/underinsured/uninsured) but has a rotational physician system (this is why you don’t see the same doctor every time).  Anyway, he said three things:

  1. I have acute bronchitis,
  2. I do need an antibiotic, and
  3. He doesn’t know how this was missed the last time I was in there, as he agreed I’ve been sick with this for at least the last three weeks by looking over the notes the last doctor left (they were consistent, but not as bad, as what I presented with today).

We have a very nice pharmacy here that gives out a certain amount of free antibiotics a year, and I’m going to take advantage of this free program tomorrow when they open up.   (I also was prescribed a cough syrup to help me sleep at night.)

Otherwise, it’s pretty much the same as before — rest as much as possible, drink as many hot liquids as possible (tea with honey, again, or clear soup) to break up the phlegm and work to tolerance (he was surprised I could work at all under the circumstances, and said that I’m much more ill than he can ever recall seeing me — which, considering he works at an urgent care clinic and has seen me ill many, many times, is really saying something).

Anyway, that’s the update.  But I’d still like any thought you might have, including anything regarding holistic cures, because this illness is obviously very, very far from over.

Written by Barb Caffrey

April 14, 2013 at 5:57 pm