Holiday anti-hijinks

5PuweTeKQi6oMqQ6cy1Z+AWe’ve had two Monday holidays in a row here in Japan, and it’s thrown me off a bit.  Add in The Boy’s birthday and oof.  I didn’t write any post for today.  But!  Depending on when you’re reading this (like, say, two hours after I’ve posted it…) then I have excellent news!  In The Blood is live!  You can get it on Amazon or a number of other ebook retailers!

So that’s all I’ve got right now, because between forgetting that it’s recycling day (because Monday felt like Sunday…) and the leftover party pizza for lunch, I’m about done in.

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Our silverware drawer

The Boy, if I haven’t expressly mentioned it before, is both on the autism spectrum and also ADHD. He has difficulty out in the wider world sometimes, crowds making him anxious even though he loves people. It sometimes makes our life difficult, to put it kindly.
A few weeks back, we were out running errands in Akihabara on a moderately busy boy-facepalm-child-youth-exasperated-tiredSunday. It was lunchtime and we had two options as we emerged from the JR station. Both were family restaurants, both serving what he wanted for lunch: pancakes. The problem? He remembered being to one but not to the other, and even though the second place was pretty much exactly the same as the first, and made more sense in terms of logistics (it was much closer to our next errand,) The Boy dug in his heels and refused flat out to even consider the place.
This is a remarkably common experience for us.
Usually, The Boy just starts melting down at this point and it becomes a huge ordeal and nobody ends up happy. About half the time I give up and take him home and we both stew in our misery for a while. But that day I had, I swear, a moment of being touched by the divine and I crouched down to look the kid in the eye and asked him if he was trying to conserve his spoons.
cutlery-panel-cutlery-knife-forks-spoon-silverwareIt was amazing. His eyes got really big and he actually smiled at me and said, yes. Yes, he was. This led to a long conversation about spoon theory and autism and our own spoons and different kinds of spoons and the whole day was really pretty lovely. Understanding what he was trying to tell us made a thousand percent difference.
This all happened in the middle of a streak of my totally failing to post here on the blog. Over the days that followed that outing, it occurred to me that I was, myself, conserving spoons without even thinking about it much by staying away from my social media more.
See, I’m a fairly introverted person. Unfortunately being an indie author means I have a lot of business stuff to take care of all on my own, and frankly even authors published through one of the big houses have to promote themselves via Twitter and Facebook and all that social media stuff. That can be pretty rough for those of us who just don’t have many Being Social spoons to hand out in the first place. I hadn’t even noticed that I was running low on my ability to be out there in public until my son forced me to think about it.
So now I have thought about it, and I’m trying to come up with a better way to conduct my online life. I’ve started changing up my morning and evening routines, and have started trying to do this meditation thing on something approaching a regular basis.

I’m going to try to keep up with posting again, but you know how it can go. Especially in the summer when the heat and humidity of Tokyo reaches a crushing degree. Hopefully, I can find some nice air-conditioned room to hang out in and work on my social media. Then I can go back to my Introvert Cave and hide out with my Kindle again where it’s safe and quiet.
What do you do when you’re socially overwhelmed?  I’m taking suggestions.

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I’m wiped out, you guys.  I apologize.  I spent last week pretending that I wasn’t sick, then the weekend was The Boy’s birthday.  We went, shockingly enough, to Akihabara.  The Boy wanted to go to the Gundam Cafe (giant robots, you guys.  They’re multi-generational.)

Well, we went, but it seems that so did half of Tokyo.  There was some kind of Pokemon Go thing happening as well, and it was a holiday weekend, and there was a sale at the infamous Yodobashi Camera, and basically, it was a perfect storm of overstimulation and Thoe Boy made it clear that he was Done.

Honestly?  So were the rest of us.

We never made it to dinner and we spent the rest of the holiday weekend crashed out on the sofa watching tv and not really moving much.  I kinda did the same again today, and still feel fairly drained.  I’ve been doing some revisions, and I made dinner, and that’s about it, so no acceptably geeky or writerly post today.  If you are really jonesing for something new to read, there’s a short story posted for Patrons!  Otherwise, I beg your pardon and your patience, and I promise to do better by you next week.dog-sleeping-resting-rest-canine-tired-sleepy

Space Patrol

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Photo credit: darastar via Visual Hunt / CC BY

The packing continues.  The Boy’s sheets and most of our winter clothes are in a box and in a couple of hours I’ll trek down to the post office to ship it all to Tokyo.  We’re not really taking much, but that still ends up being a ton of stuff.  So much that I’m surprised, actually.   Clothes take up a remarkable amount of space, it turns out.  I’ve been going through all the stuff I don’t wear, or don’t love, and the pile for the charity shop is getting to be fairly substantial.  That doesn’t even count the kid clothes I’m pulling because The Boy is growing like kids do.

It’s a good thing he’s got a fancy whole-apartment-in-one bed from Ikea, or we’d never have anywhere to put The Boy’s things.  In addition to the clothes and the bedding, he’s got an army of stuffed animals that he will die without.  And books (in English and Japanese) that he requires for his continued good health.  And Legos.  I have tried to explain that we won’t have all the space there that we have here in his grandparents’ house, but it’s like shouting at a rock.

And, of course, all his school things are there already as well.  We’re sort-of homeschooling until his Japanese reading and writing catches up a bit to his peers, and the online school we’re going through has sent two boxes of supplies, from books to an inflatable globe to art supplies.  His desk and shelves and dresser will be full to overflowing with his things and it’s going to be an adventure keeping everything tidy.

Meanwhile, I get two shelves in closet and no room for all my books.  I’m heartbroken, my bed doesn’t even have fancy drawers under it!  Kids get the best stuff.    What would you take if you had to live essentailly out of a suitcase?

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But where do I put all my books?!!!      Photo credit: OFTO via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Everything hurts

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             Jacob’s Sheep are super adorable.              Photo credit: Alan Weir on Visualhunt.com / CC BY

This weekend, I took some time off editing to hang out with my family.  We all bundled off to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival because when you have the chance to pet a Jacob’s Sheep or an angora bunny, you take that chance.  Seriously, you guys, so soft and adorable!

My mom and I always love seeing the sheep (she was a Future Farmer of America, back in the day.  You know what they say about the best-laid plans and all that.) and I’ve been a knitter, spinner, and weaver since… for as long as I can remember actually.  I can crochet, too, but somehow I never got as hooked on it. So we love wandering around the festival when we can get out to it.  All that fiber!  All that yarn! All those amazing projects and beautiful craftsmanship!  Last year it took us a good 4 hours to see a small fraction of the event, and we basically only left because it started sleeting.

The Boy went with us this year.  It was super fun to be able to share this with him, and I was looking forward to taking him through the fleece barn and show him around the sheep and the goats and poking around the craft stalls to find some wonderful treasure that was small enough we could take it to Japan in our luggage and not have to pay a million dollars to ship it.  We could spend a lazy sort of day mostly outside in the pleasantly not-too-hot weather, and learn maybe a little about how we all end up not wandering around naked all the time.

The Boy, on the other hand, was on a damn mission.  He arrowed into the festival and

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Ok, to be fair.  Picking the right button is always a challenge.

went straight to the first stall and pointed to the pink yarn like “This one, Mom.”  Um… we just got here, sweetie.  We can buy some yarn but let’s look around a bit.  Finally, he put his foot down and we got a skein of candy pink yarn for him (me…) to make a hat from.  Once he had his bag of yarn in hand, he was done with the festival.  Mom wants a fun kit to play with? Tough.  Gramma wants to see the sheep? Nope, time to go home. There’s a whole main barn we haven’t even reached yet?  Meh, who cares, we’re done here.  The Boy had his button and his yarn.

 

Fortunately, there was ice cream available for bribing the kid with, so we did manage to make it through the main barn at least, mostly by carrying the post-growth-spurt first grader piggyback through the thick crowds and now my whole body hates me.  Still, the only other things he stopped to look at after his purchase?  The biggest spinning wheels he could find.

That’s my boy.

Thursday?

So I got a little lost in the week.  I’ve been busy, doing my re-writes and getting the book ready to send to my editor and whatnot, and apparently got totally lost in the moment rather than remembering the whole of the week and preparing stuff for later.  Like blog posts.  Whoops!

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Basically, I’ve been either deep in the antics of certain residents of Los Gatos, or over at my son’s school helping to set up a New Tool for him.  You see, The Boy is ADHD, and has been diagnosed as on the autism spectrum.  Personally, I don’t care about the labels the school system has to use to get him the help he needs.  I just want to make sure that by the time he’s an adult he has all the skills necessary to function in the world.

That, however, includes paying attention in class and actually doing his work, among other things.  So this week they’ve started an experiment.  (That’s how I’ve presented it to him because science is a motivator in his case.) . They’ve decided to try putting a ‘bug in his ear’ during class.  I know, gross, right?  Really what they mean is that they’re adapting a system they brought in for heard of hearing kids and are trying to see if it will help The Boy.  His teacher gets to wear a fancy microphone necklace and he wears the receiver and a fancy headset, so when she needs to make sure he’s on task but she herself isn’t near him, she can just hit the button and talk right into his ear.

Fancy!  And if this works for The Boy it might help other kids who are deeper into the spectrum than he is.  The Boy’s teacher is hopeful and encouraging him to give it a chance.  I’ve been on the phone and emailing both her and the special education specialist who watches The Boy’s case, and basically, when my brain isn’t in editing mode, it’s been following the exciting adventures of the bionic boy.  We’ll have to see if it helps… so tune in next time for further updates!

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                                                   Maybe next time The Boy can join them!                                                        Photo credit: Gage Skidmore on Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

Crash

I have something to admit.  I was not very productive this weekend.  I didn’t even manage to get dressed.  I did venture out on the front stoop to sit with my coffee on Sunday afternoon when the sun was gloriously tempting, but otherwise, I pretty much hid in my room for a little over 48 hours.

 

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me, this weekend.

 

See, my brain crashed completely on Friday afternoon while I was having my eyes checked to get my glasses updated. (Something about sitting in front of a computer while writing or reading for about two-thirds of every day seems to affect my vision.  Go figure.). I crashed so hard that I couldn’t even manage to tell the nice folks doing the exam the right number of letters on the last line, let alone what letters they were.  It was maybe a reverse Miss Marple: instead of being dismissed as a fluffy-minded old lady who is really sharp as a tack and can see all the connections, I was probably viewed as a competent, well-put-together adult who had the brain of a jar of whipped marshmallow.

So… I didn’t get much work done.  I caught up on sleep (slightly.)  I played some Super Mario Oddessy with The Boy.  I read about 6 books on Kindle Unlimited (and I have a few opinions about one of them, I’ll maybe post about that on Thursday.) But I just couldn’t manage to sit down for more than 10 minutes to do anything work-related.

It was hardly surprising, I suppose, after the past few weeks.  April, in general, was a rough month full of fairly heavy real-life stuff, so my brain deciding that it had had it at some point was probably something I should have expected.  Still, it inspired me to get

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Okay, maybe I’m not here *yet* today, but I’m working on it.

up bright and early this morning and get showers and dressed and all made up for the day long before I had to.  And you know what?  It feels pretty good, actually.

 

I realize that weekends like this are a bit of a luxury for me while I’m still living with my parents before the Big Move.  Still, I’m going to capitalize on my good fortune while I can, and honestly, I feel a lot better today than I did last week.  Have you ever had a weekend like that?

Life

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How to spend the day with a sick kid.  Hopefully, at least, cause I’d like less cleaning up vomit…  Photo credit: kristen & todd via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Funny how it gets int he way so darned often.  I don’t have a lengthy post today because who’s got time for that when their kid is sick?  So I just have a few quick updates.

Some of you got to Beta read Sarah’s Inheritance, and I’m going through my final edits now!  I hope to have it ready to go in early January, so keep your eyes peeled!  Want to join my Beta reader/ARC team?  I will be asking for volunteers for the 2018 releases in my newsletter soon, so if you want to be involved, sign up and you’ll get the chance at first crack at my new books for free!

I have been working hard on my new series.  I’ve had several of the characters whisper things to me that I don’t really understand.  I’ve been assured that they’re important puzzle pieces, but I don’t see the whole picture yet.  It might just be that I haven’t gotten to that part of the story yet, or even haven’t gotten to the right book in the series!  We’ll see.  These people are both fascinating and pushy.  I hope you like them as much as I’m getting to.  Hopefully, you can meet them come springtime.

Meanwhile, Brian is being extremely stubborn.  He just doesn’t want to do things my way, which means I’m going to have to tackle this story from another angle somehow.  I’ll figure it out soon, I’m sure, but it’s probably not going to be out there till March maybe.  We’ll see.

So that’s the State Of The Universes over here in Casa de Sick Kid.  With a little luck, I’ll get some edits in tomorrow while The Boy sleeps off his fever.

Ouch

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This is basically my house today.   Photo credit: kristen & todd via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

I spent all weekend clearing out my storage unit near San Jose.  This was no mean feat and I did a lot of the work all on my own over two days, lugging nearly all my worldly possessions to put them in a U-haul shipping box.  So, basically, I was far away from my computer and now everything hurts.

Seriously, everything.  I am not 20 anymore.

And naturally I came home to a sick first grader, so basically I am just jotting down a quick note here apologizing for not having something witty and entertaining for you.  I just need a day or two to recover.  My son and I might be spending the day on the sofa playing a Paper Mario game in our pajamas.

If you’re bored, though, may I suggest a good book?   A Demon Saved is out an ready to be enjoyed by all and sundry!