The Story of the Door

 

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Ah, the door. I promised a story, so here goes. A couple years back, I begged my old friend Ant to take me to Sleepy Hollow. I love the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Washington Irving. After reading Jessica Verday’s The Hollow, I had to visit the graveyard.

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As we wandered the cemetery where the headless horseman took his legendary ride, we came across this mausoleum. I’ve always been fascinated by hourglasses and I took 6 photos–my norm for when I find something intriguing. The design lingered in the back of my mind.

A month later, I was working on my first draft of The Girl Who Saved Ghosts. I had this scene where Kat is led by her great aunts, Jacqueline and Vivian, to the center of power in her family’s home, Dumbarton. And this door popped into my mind.

Here’s  a sneak peek at the draft:

I stood there, staring at the door. It was a greenish-blue metal and had an hourglass sculpted on it. Carved above the hourglass was a crescent moon and below the hourglass was a sun.

I looked from Vivian to Jacqueline, bewildered. “What am I supposed to do?”

“Open this door. It protects the family’s power,” Jacqueline said.

There wasn’t a knob or a handle. No keyhole. Nothing. “How?”

“Touch the door. Let it know who you are and why you are here,” Vivian said.

Nothing like major existential questions. Who was I? Katarina Preston. Now Katarina Langley. I was a girl who spoke to ghosts and helped them with their reckonings. I was the Langley heir. A time traveler who changed the past. The one who protected the Radcliffes from supernatural harm.

Why I was here? That was complicated. I wanted to find out who my family was. And I was supposed to help Evan by returning the Kingsley dagger to him. And I needed training to use my powers to protect Joshua, Evan, and everyone else I cared about. I chewed on my lip and stared at the door. Was that enough? Was there more I had to tell it?

Suddenly, the hourglass came to life. The sand began flowing in reverse from bottom to top. When it was full, the door sprang open.

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If you add The Girl Who Saved Ghosts to your want-to-read list on Goodreads, you will receive alerts whenever I’m giving away an advance reader copy or a signed book. They will also let you know when the next book is the series is coming out.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34619522-the-girl-who-saved-ghosts

 

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TGWIG’s Sequel Gets a Title

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BOOK NEWS

My publisher has decided on the title for The Girl Who Ignored Ghost’s sequel! I’m so excited to announce it because it was one of my suggestions!

Drumroll please…

The title for the second book in The Unbelievables series will be:

THE GIRL WHO SAVED GHOSTS

I love this title because it is similar to book one’s title and also hints at Kat’s changing relationship with ghosts. When I get the back cover blurb and cover from my publisher this spring, I’ll be sharing those too!

This book will be out in October 2017!

Since January, I’ve been working on editorial revisions for this book. I am really loving where the story is going and am polishing things up to send off to my editor on March 18.

(In my next post, I’ll tell you how the picture inspired a scene in TGWSG.)

BLOG READING

Most of you know, I’ve been dealing with an ongoing inner ear issue that has topsy-turvied my balance and my life.

I haven’t been reading blogs because scrolling makes me sick. I’m hoping I can do a little blog reading once I have the first rounds of edits turned in. I have to baby-step my way back to my normal level of tolerance.

In the same vein, reading a Kindle is hard for me. Before I got sick, I pre-ordered many author buddies’ books on Kindle and I haven’t been able to read them. I will. It’s a process of exposing and acclimating to the things that make my vertigo worse. So I am hoping I will be reading more on Kindle this summer and getting reviews up.

 

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Dog Days of Winter

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I lay down in the snow one day and just looked up at the trees. When I lived in the city, Emerson and I would take walks and go lay on a bench and stare up at the trees. I don’t know why I stopped making time for that, so I’m going to do more of it this year.

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Reagan has this new game in the snow, she takes a tennis ball, buries it, and then digs it out. This provides such entertainment for her. And as the snow goes flying past me, I can’t help but laugh.

We also play ball a few times a week. She does this thing where she bit the ball with her nose back at you to play catch. Hilarious.

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Emerson and I have been playing more. He loves to take my old clothes and beat them up and chew on them.

He can make a game out of anything. Sometimes we are lying in bed and I move and he decides it’s a game and starts attacking me.

It’s funny what amuses animals. And how much it amuses me to watch them.

What do your pets do that makes you smile or laugh?

 

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Taking My Time

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I spent the past year rushing. Rushing to get revisions done. Rushing to line up promo events. Rushing to create marketing materials. Rushing. Rushing. Rushing.

I can’t remember a single moment where I wasn’t trying to do something faster or feeling like I was behind.

And in the end, I got sick. A prolonged, frustrating sick.

That brings me to today. I’m working at 75-80% of my usual abilities. I can’t rush. When I do, everything gets messed up.

And I realize I hate rushing. It sucks the joy out of what I’m doing.

So I’d rather do things at a more reasonable pace and actually, well, enjoy my life.

I’m done putting tons of pressure on myself to be faster and faster. I’m actually going to aim to be a little slower with things.

My goal for 2017: I’m going to do less in more time.

 

 

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A Little Update…

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I hope everyone had a good holiday. It’s been a touch road lately, but I’m making progress.

My vertigo turned out to be a kind that doesn’t just clear up on its own. I’ve been going to vestibular therapy all month. In early December, I could barely stand and was dealing with constant nausea and motion sickness. I lost time, forget simple things, had trouble putting a sentence together, and felt like nothing was real. Like I wasn’t here.

I can stand now. I can walk a mile. I can stand at the board to teach again for my classes. I can think and I feel here again. Serious progress.

But I am still struggling with turning my head or moving my eyes when I do things. Both set off the vertigo. I’m not driving yet. My therapy requires that I do things that make my condition worse until my body acclimatizes to it. It’s working, but it’s slower than I’d like.

I’m not back to my old self. Not in terms of energy or balance or focus. Not yet. But I’m hoping that I will be by this spring.

I’m teaching two courses at school and I’m in editorial revisions for the sequel to The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts. The publisher has it set for an October 2017 release. And I’ve got to get my therapy exercises in twice a day every day to continue to get better.

I can’t be back on social media the way I used to be. For now, I will post to my blog twice a month and check in on FB and Twitter weekly.

 

 

 

 

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Blog Break

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I’ve been trying to keep up with as many of my normal activities as I can, but I’m constantly tired and I feel worn through. The vertigo continues and I just need to step back for a few weeks. I’m going to take a blog break for a month. And I’m going to limit my social media.

I just need to take some time for myself right now.

I’ll still check in once a week on social media, but I won’t be there daily. If you need to reach me, please email me.

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and a great new year. I’ll see you back here in mid-January.

Hugs!

 

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Life Lessons from Movies

High Strung

Believe in yourself. Never ever give up on your dreams.

 

Odd Thomas

Everyone has their quirks. Embrace yours and be the best you that you can be.

 

Camp Rock

It’s easier to lose yourself than to take a chance and be you. But you risk losing everything when you blend in instead of standing out.

 

I Give It A Year

Sometimes you have to admit a major life mistake and let go of what you thought you wanted to get what you really want.

 

Spending a good part of my day in bed, I’m catching up on movies. These are just a few of the life lessons I’ve learned from movies this week. Any movies you’d recommend that gave you a sudden insight?

 

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When You Start to Spin

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November has been a tough month. Mostly because when something is wrong, it’s my instinct to hide it. Ignore it and pretend it’s not happening. I’m incredibly good at rationalizing away whatever bad, scary thing is happening until it overwhelms me.

In early November, I stared having episodes of dizziness and lightheadedness. Feeling like I was rocking when I wasn’t–it reminded me of motion sickness. I thought it was stress. Then I blamed a virus.

I pushed myself to keep going because this wasn’t serious. I was fine. I was fine. I was fine.

The episodes grew more frequent and started interfering with my thinking. Everyday tasks became harder to perform. I had to focus to make breakfast. I started doing things out of order. I was mixing up words when I spoke. My short term memory was hazy. I felt like I was drunk without touching a sip of liquor.  My mind wasn’t mine anymore.

I didn’t say anything. Because if I said something that would make it real and this was too scary to make real.

Finally, I decided it had to be a bad ear infection. That’s how I convinced myself to go to the doctor. By telling myself it was simple and treatable. When I went to the doctor, he ran a few tests and ruled out certain things. Unfortunately, it’s not a middle ear infection.

Right now, we think it’s an inner ear issue. I have to wait two weeks for a test to determine what inner ear issue it is (there are over a dozen possibilities) or if it’s actually a problem with my brain. (They cannot treat the vertigo until they are clear on what is causing it.)

A week ago, things got really bad. I started talking slower and having trouble organizing my words into sentences. My ears started hurting–deep inside my skull. And ringing–constantly ringing.

I had trouble walking. The dizziness and lightheadedness and spinning feeling all became constant. The nausea was overwhelming. I’d forget to eat because I was so sick. Headaches became my daily companions. My scalp tingled and I got these weird rushes up the back of my head like I was going to faint, but I didn’t.

Right now, that’s all still happening.

If I sneeze, laugh, cough, or blow my nose, I lose all sense of balance. It feels like I actually move a foot outside of my body going either up or forward. I have to grab onto something solid or risk falling over.

It’s incredibly scary. So I wanted to be honest with you, my readers and my friends.

I can’t function like I used to. I can only be on the computer for limited amounts of time because it makes all my symptoms worse. It’s no longer just me spinning, the ground actually feels like it’s undulating beneath me and the room sometimes tilts.

The scariest part is feeling like I’m losing myself.

I wear sea sickness bands to cut the nausea down. I lie in bed and watch movies because that makes the world and me stop spinning. And I try really hard to do some of my normal tasks like dishes and laundry. They require so much more focus and energy than they ever have.

But I’m still here. And that counts.

 

 

 

 

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