A Catch-Up Post
Why? Various reasons. Overall, life has been leaving me in a bit of a funk since the beginning of the year. Shall we make a list?
1) My mother's death in January. Not unexpected; she was 88, and had been in declining health for several years. But our relationship was never completely comfortable, with some old issues going back to childhood that were never discussed and never resolved. And now they never will be. Doesn't stop me from thoughts or regrets, even now.
2) The Arm. My right arm, which has never been fully pain-free or as easy to use or as strong as it was before the joint replacement surgery in 2012, got worse again. Updated x-rays showed the prosthetic joint was shifting and starting to work loose from the surgical cement used in 2012. I had revision surgery on July 21st, replacing the original prosthetic with a different type (a "reverse shoulder arthroscopy", using a cup-and-ball joint instead of the standard ball-and-cup joint and working primarily from the deltoid muscle instead of the rotator cuff). Still in a sling 24/7 right now (my left-handed typing is getting fairly decent), with another three weeks before starting physical therapy to get strength back and maximize range of motion. Still won't be normal, but might get 75% use of the arm back, which would be better than I'd been doing.
3) The Smash-Up. On April 27th, in the middle of that period of trying to get paperwork and x-rays and pre-testing done before the new arm surgery, Some Asshole decided to make an abrupt left turn across traffic lanes without checking for oncoming traffic. My car got T-boned hard enough to spin me 180 degrees and leave me facing south in a north-bound lane. The frame damage to my Outlander resulted in it's being declared a total loss by my insurance company, which in turn meant several weeks of having to deal with paperwork and many hours online and at car dealerships trying to find a suitable replacement. (We ended up with a 2015 Nissan Versa Note, smaller and with less cargo capacity than the Outlander. Because it was a former rental car and because it had some minor hail damage, it was kinda sorta affordable; it still cost $2500 more than the insurance reimbursement. It's a nice enough car, but something I'd ordinarily have considered as a secondary vehicle, not our primary vehicle.) And I had to deal with all that while also dealing with medical consequences of the crash; getting flung around by the collision aggravated the right arm's problems, so I needed more painkillers and was even less able to use the arm for weeks afterward. I've turned the case over to an attorney to try and get compensation for that, and for the unexpected financial costs. I really, really, really don't want to end up having to carry additional debt for a couple of years; if I do, my plan to be debt-free and able to fully retire when I turn 66 in a couple years might have to be pushed back. That thought, it's probably needless to say, doesn't make me happy.
4) Trump. Ghaaaaack.... Can't look away from the trainwreck. Back during the Bush administration, I spent way, way too many hours online, horrified and jaw-dropped at what was happening to America. Trump is worse. Why do I do that to myself? Because I hope that someday, eventually, please God, I'll find that webpage I've been looking for, hoping for, the one that says HI BRUCE. YES, IT'S ALL BEEN A JOKE ON YOU. THE ENTIRE INTERNET, TELEVISION, RADIO, NEWSPAPERS, EVERYONE, EVEN YOUR OWN FRIENDS AND FAMILY, HAVE BEEN PUNKING YOU. FOR YEARS. IT'S ALL BEEN FAKE, ALL BEEN LIES. TRUMP ISN'T RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT. HE'S NOT EVEN A BILLIONAIRE. HE LOST HIS MONEY YEARS AGO AND WORKS AT A STARBUCKS NOW. AS A JANITOR. YOU'VE BEEN TRUMAN-SHOWED. PRETTY DAMN FUNNY, HUH? SINCERELY, ASTON KUCHER. And I'll say, "Oh, thank God."
Those have been the Big Bads this year. It's not all been doom and gloom, though.
I've continued to write fiction, and have gotten several short stories completed and out on submissions.
I haven't been completely inactive online. I've been making occasional tweets, and responding to others', on Twitter. The Twitter limit of 140 characters has been more achievable for me recently than the time or energy for 140 or 1400 words here. (Twitter is weird. Most posts get 40 or 50 impressions. But sometimes one will take off and gets hundreds or even thousands of views, not always for any clear reason.)
I've got a long list of books read and audiobooks listened to since February. I'll try to get some reviews written for forthcoming posts here. So, yeah, I'm hoping to write more here again.
That's probably enough words for now.