My health: better. They never did figure out what that lump behind my sinuses was, but either I've grown used to it, or it went away. They did find my decades of chronic infections along with my high blood pressure had done some damage to my brain, however. Whee. I had to stop finding out what all my pain was about because I simply ran out of money.
takayla's health: not so good. The current theory is she's got a bad heart valve that when her blood pressure goes up, blood backs up into her lungs. So she can walk about 20-30 feet and starts to drown. Current treatment is keeping her blood pressure down as well as treating her diabetes.
My son's health: also poor. He's got a part time job working from home from a realty company doing CAD work for house plans, but his knees continue to deteriorate, so he can't walk more than a few feet. Walking is very hard now, but they have started treatment to save what cartilage they can. He's also bravely battling depression due to his frustrating housebound status.
Our finances: at the brink of complete failure, but leveling off there; like the inertia towards losing everything is slowing. We have taken on a roommate (ninjacooter)who helps both in spirits, some bills, and general housework. Now usually a month behind in all bills, our credit rating, which took me years to repair after our issues in the early 90s, is sliding back down to poor territory. Medical costs are killing us, along with all this debt we owe in maxxed out credit cards. takayla lost her job in 2009 when the company folded, and had been living off of unemployment for a year, which reduced our family income by 20%, and then she got a new job in May, but it pays even less than unemployment did, so we are now making 25% less than we did in the beginning of 2009, plus increased fuel costs, bad economy, and so on. We had to take on my insurance here at work, which sucks: it costs FAR more and gives us a lot less. And then we had all the medical problems. We are one financial disaster away from losing the house, but thank goodness I got us a fixed rate; some of my friends who got variable intro APRs lost their homes.
Dogs: So far, so good. We were doing Reiki on Widget and a lot of his hair grew back. Ahfu is 12, which is kind of old for a Peke, but his health seems to be pretty good for his age. Still bouncy and full of joy at times, still crabby at others, but that's not changed since his puppy days. I have made the executive decision that there will be no more dogs in my house after these wonderful companions leave. We simply have to cut back on caretaking cost and time.
Cats: Storm is almost 13, and crabby as ever. Thisby is 10, and still hiding most of the time, although she does come out when food is scarce and to get knots combed out of her hair. Cosmo is 8, and still CR's sidekick. Latte is... 6? Her sinuses are not any better, but we may have FINALLY found a home for her who will deal with her sinus problems after fostering her for 5 years. Taboo is 5, generally a decent cat, and recently started being more social to human visitors. Eventually, we'll be down to 2 cats, which will be my limit for the rest of my life.
Fish: Still all dead. Fish tank has been bone dry for 6 years now.
Now for some good news.
Writing career: Resurrected. For those who have not been following my writing blog, it's been a busy year. This time, I hope to make some extra money as we need it real bad.
The big news is "Trolley," my first steampunk and horror novel, which is being read and edited by beta-readers as I write this. My goal is to have edits done by the end of January, a cover and final professional edit by February, with a release around the end of March of 2011. I already have a publisher who wants it, so I am good to go there. I hope to have this in print and ready to buy for Balticon.
I have submitted two short stories to two anthologies. One is pending approval at the end of this month, and another is sort of in limbo due to lack of submissions from more authors. I also submitted a few tech articles and one "flash fiction," all of which got rejected, but better submit than quit: I sold two screen plays in the last few years, and I wasn't even trying then.
My ghost-writing tech career is dead. I was doing tech articles for a Linux trade author, but he sort of vanished on me. I don't feel too bad, as he said this might happen. Still, it was fun getting free stuff.
My 1993 first print run Punk Walrus Saga is not being sold anywhere but my own self, but I am re-writing some of it, and hope to have a re-release with 80% new material by the end of 2011. Called, "The Compleat Walrus," it will be a re-write of the original publication, plus a lot of stuff I read at conventions but never got published, plus stuff I never released, plus stuff I am writing now.
I failed NaNoWriMo 2010 at the gate: 4700 words. I took on too much.
More works are planned. I hope to finally fix some of my "Gatekeeper" series, where I have Book 1 ("Between the Lines") 90% finished and Book 2 ("We Three Gatekeepers") 98% finished (just needs edited). Book 3 (untitled) is already started. I'd like this done by 2011. Other works are "Paraparanormal," a new comedy about an IT professional and his paranoid ghost-hunting sidekick running into the mafia, and some untitled stuff.
I am doing the Balticon Podcast as a narrator currently. I might interview people at Balticon, too, I dunno. I am usually a guest/panelist so, you'll see me there no matter what.
I still work as a systems administrator for an ISP in Silver Spring and takayla is working for a small insurance company in Arlington. I am vice-chair for Katsucon, and along with takayla, we're running the show under Paul (the current chair). I am also attending various convention to ramp up my future book promotions, including Balticon, Intervention, and who knows where else. I am also working a lot of anime cons for Katsucon, but every little bit of publicity helps.
Oh, and there's Anime Mid Atlantic, an effortless labor of love that brings me down to Virginia beach where I am blessed to be their emcee.
In addition to that, I am a bouncer for the DC Roller Girls, our local roller derby team. I will probably be working with them at Baltimore as well, when the Charm City Roller Girls host the eastern regionals (w00t!). I want to be a derby announcer, but can't quite commit the time yet, mostly due to my work on-call schedule which has me tied to a pager 26 weeks a year.
2011 should be exciting, folks.