Well, this past year certainly flew by like a whirlwind! If you want to see what I got up to, work- and business-wise, check out this post in Thinklings’ blog. I thought I’d talk here in my personal blog about more, of course, personal stuff. ;)
(If you read that post, and realize that I’m a spoonie and about a million tasks are involved with each book release, you’ll understand why I haven’t finished writing Blood Moon – the sequel to Hunter’s Moon – yet! ;P)
Let’s start with the topic of fun things I did in 2022:
1. In October, Oscar and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary in Hawaii!! :D No question that this was the absolute highlight of our year! Check out this post to see some lovely pics and read about the awesome stuff we did!
2. I was matron of honor at my sister’s wedding in March! Yay!! :) Now, bring on the nieces and nephews – LOL. Nobody’s pressuring anybody, but I keep hoping to hear baby news one of these days. . . . (I did gain a new “niece” last year, another cousin’s-kid, or first cousin once removed, of which I now have eight! <3 Love those sweeties!)
3. I sold Thinklings’ books at three comic cons and a literary festival (posts about those are linked in the Thinklings blog post above). . . . Well, these events were pretty fun but also rather exhausting, TBH, because I’m an introvert and I hate crowds. At least they were crowds of nice people with similar interests, including a lot of cosplayers! :)
Next, a status update on Blood Moon:
Back in November, I sent a first draft to my editor that wasn’t finished, but I wanted her input before I wrote the climax and end, to make sure the plot and everything was on track – otherwise, the end could be completely different anyway, and I didn’t want to waste time having to rewrite that much more!
This was a good move on my part, because – no surprise to me – she ripped up my poor precious baby #2, just like she did with Hunter’s Moon (which greatly improved it). BUT she also gave me tons of helpful suggestions to make Blood Moon way better, and she even helped me with a new outline to keep track of the changes I am going to have to make. Woot!!
I did start making some of those changes, but the work stuff I mentioned above got in the way. Sigh. Anybody got any spoons they can send me? Or a pocket dimension outside of time? ;)
(I’m not complaining or begrudging the work at all; I am still on-fire passionate about Thinklings and our books and our mission, and that’s why I keep pouring so much time and energy into it! What I really need is for people to start buying our books like crazy, and then I won’t have to do so much marketing, and then I can write my own books faster! ;D)
Btw, it didn’t take me a super-long time to make the changes to Hunter’s Moon, and she said my writing skills have grown by leaps and bounds, so hopefully the changes to Blood Moon won’t take too long either! I just have to get time to actually work on them. . . .
Finally, the topic of health:
(I was going to start with this, but it quickly became rather negative and I didn’t want that vibe to seep into everything else – so feel free to skip this section! I did still want to include this, because it is the truth about my life, it is stark reality, and I want to spread awareness of how messed-up certain things are in our country.)
Here we go: In late April, my autoimmune disease decided to flare up again (which I mentioned in this post about how to talk to suffering people). This resulted in my having to go back on Demon Pills, but only for a short time, thank goodness. And I’m back to getting Rituxan infusions every six months, which should help keep the beast inside – i.e., my naughty B cells – at bay.
My docs also told me about a new, lovely medicine called Tavneos/Avacopan (I’m calling it Angel Pills), which I definitely meet all the qualifications for, and in early May we started trying to get my insurance to approve it. But some @^%$%^# insurance adjuster screwed up and put the wrong diagnosis for me, which led to an unwarranted denial and delayed the egregiously long, awful process EVEN MORE, resulting in much stress and distress for me in the second half of the year.
Last week, after EIGHT AND A HALF MONTHS of battling the system, things finally got straightened out, with Tavneos approved, after my docs and I made many appeals that should not have been necessary, ending with a review board way up the chain, ALL BECAUSE OF A CLERICAL ERROR (wonder if it was really an accident . . .). So that fight is over at last, but I am too exhausted to celebrate much.
It’s not the very end of the road yet, though – I called the Tavneos pharmacy to tell them I’m approved so they can send me the meds, but first they have to check if my prescription has expired, and if it has (as I suspect) they have to get it renewed with my docs and THEN they will call me about shipping the Tavneos I so badly need. Good grief! I also ran out of free samples, so for the past couple months, I’ve been stretching them out and taking one pill/day instead of six/day like I should, because I didn’t want to run out completely.
Oh yeah, and I had a bronchoscopy this Monday and my lungs look worse than the past couple of times, and the pulmonologist says it’s probably because I haven’t been getting proper meds (thanks, insurance jerks!!) and so ya know what that means? My health insurance company is literally making me sick.
We need healthcare reform DESPERATELY in America. Feel free to pass on my story to any lobbyists or activists or whoever. I am way too exhausted (and busy building my dream company) to do that kind of thing myself. Plus, activism/lobbying is a very extraverted activity and would only add to my stress and make me sicker anyway, so no thanks. I’m trying to take good care of myself and finally get out of this flare already!!
Okay, I did some breathing exercises and ate lunch. Back to the positive . . .
Last year was a rough, crazy, busy year that took a serious toll on my mental and physical health, but some really great things were also thrown into the mix: Hawaii trip, sis’s wedding, publishing more amazing books by awesome authors. I also read a lot of great books in 2022 – see my June, July, November, and December posts.
Through all my struggles, I can see very clearly how close God has been to me, keeping me sane and alive, comforting me and shaping me into a better person, someone more gentle and kind and forgiving like He is. (. . . Yes, even forgiving those horrible insurance people. I need to for my health’s sake anyway!)
That’s the “silver lining” I want to end with, because that’s the only thing that matters. One day, every sad thing will be gone and I’ll have no more pain or sickness for all of eternity, because He reached out and saved me and adopted me into His family. That eternal perspective is the (possibly only) reason I still get out of bed each and every day, keep going, keep trying.
And despite all I’ve been through, I can say without a doubt: He is good, and following Him is Still worth it.
(The album that song is from is one I’ve been listening to a lot since it was released last fall. Wonderful music that’s also helping me hang in there!)
Sarah Awa lives in Ohio with two hairy guys and writes books about werewolves.