The next issue of Writing Etc.

Status

I’ve been busy as a beaver updating books, editing, uploading to new markets… uff-da. It’s been an exhausting yet exhilarating task.

If you’re a Writing Etc. subscriber, I just thought I’d mention I haven’t forgotten you. Sure, I’ve been quiet, but I figure it’s better to be quiet than give you less than stellar information.

Speaking of stellar information, as I’ve dug through all my writing resources, I’ve dug through a ton of new info to share; some truly exciting stuff.

If you aren’t a subscriber (and are a freelance writer), just head here, sign up for Writing Etc., and watch for a bunch of new goodies to fly to your inbox. It’ll be a fun adventure.

Talk later,

— Beth :)

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Marilyn Monroe and I have something in common.

Beware. A potentially NSFW pic ahead. Woah, that makes two NSFW posts in a row. How unusual. (This pic isn’t all that bad, but I’m never sure what some people categorize as NSFW). You’ve been warned. :)

Here’s what happened: I’m minding my own business, surfing the ‘net, when I ran across this pic:

marilyn-monroe-photoshoot-16My jaw dropped. Do you see it? It’s hard to miss.

See the scar on her belly? Yup. It’s very similar to mine.

Turns out, she had her gall bladder removed. I had a good chunk of colon removed. Hence, we’re scar-sisters.

Granted, my scar is longer, plus I have a couple laparoscopic slits, but hey… I’ll take any similarity with Ms Monroe.

Thing is, every other colon cancer person I’ve seen has a nice vertical incision with a awesome swerve around the belly button. I didn’t get that.

So, finding this pic was oddly gratifying.

Someday, I’ll be super-brave and post my own scar pic… maybe. Perhaps someone else with a choppy horizontal incision will find it comforting. :)

(I found the photo here.)

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Woah.

Great art is powerful. It’s thought provoking. Its message leaps back into your memory long after you’ve left the installation.

It’s haunting. Brooding. Heart wrenching. Fearless.

*Note: the following may be NSFW.*

Those words accurately describe Nona Faustine’s latest project. The photo series called “White Shoes,” depicts the “hidden history of slavery in New York City.”

As a time traveler I’m very invested in the past and our future. I see myself, the people who built this city and country as one. They deserve so much recognition for their sacrifice and contributions, something that is still being denied them. There was a force deep inside of me that needed to pay homage to those who played a pivotal role in the early history of this city, and the spaces in which they existed. I wanted to uncover those places where a tangible link to the past exists. Being a documentarian at heart I wanted you to feel and see those spaces, let your mind wonder. What does a Black body look like today in the place where they sold human beings 250 years ago? No other medium but photography and film could do that.

And boy, oh boy does she capture it.

It’s an amazing series by a fearless artist. Check out the images here. Prepare to be dazzled… and haunted.

Here’s an author interview.

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A day late and a dollar short.

Well, Amazon has disagreed with my plans for a .99 sale. Turns out they won’t let me run any awesome events unless I promise to keep them the exclusive seller of all my novels for the next 90 days.

I don’t think so.

July 1, we’re going “wide” and will offer all three novels at every online bookstore imaginable. It’s been a fun process.

However, I’m rather sad to say goodbye to my exclusive deal with Amazon. They’ve been very nice to work with. But it’s time to move on to other markets along with our Amazon listings.

So, I’m not saying farewell to Amazon, I’m just spreading my wings a bit.

Sorry about the lack of sale. But I was quite literally one day late to the party.

Go figure.

Onward and upward!

Beth :)

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.99 Cent Sale Coming Soon

I’ve recently noticed an uptick in novel sales (YAY… thanks to everyone who nabbed one) and figured it might be a good time to run a fast sale.

In a day or so, all my novels will be available for .99. This doesn’t happen often, but I thought I’d give a fast heads up to everyone who is kind enough to visit this space.

This has been a phenomenal week… and it’s only Monday.

All my novels are spit polished and good to go. Covers are awesome. I’ve had a few wonderful developments professionally. And on the health front, I just got some news that was out of this world.

Wow. Time to celebrate, eh?

Keep an eye on this space. Better yet, become a VIP reader and you’ll be the first to get in on this fun stuff.

Talk later. — Beth :)

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Cancerversary #2… complete. :)

typewriter 21Wow. I hardly know what to say.

After a solid month of getting poked, prodded, scared, tested, and gouged… it’s done. And the results are in.

Monday, I visited my oncologist and I don’t believe the news could have been better. Every test, biopsy, and scan have come back stellar. Also, we have this:

First, it appears new guidelines concerning stage 2 colon cancer were installed around six months ago. My particular cancer (2A) was revised as such:

Before: I had an 80 percent chance of not having cancer five years from diagnosis.

Now: Statistically, I now have an 87 percent chance of not having cancer five years from diagnosis.

Before: At my diagnosis, I could have opted for chemo or go with a plan consisting of blood tests and CT scans.

Now: CT scans pose more radiation harm than they’re worth. I now only will receive blood tests every six months. Also, today chemo is not recommended, or even offered, to people with my cancer, grade, and stage (T3N0M0).

And yes… I aced all my tests, including the tumor marker (CEA). Mine is .6. “Normal” is 0 – 6.

So, it appears as though I’ll live another six months. All in all, good news, including a slight suspicion that I may have more colon left than originally thought.

So, while my future is still a tad mysterious, it’s certainly brighter than it has been in a long time.

Now, I’m off to write. Cool… :)

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Totally not a cool week.

So, the second year cancerversary tests are in full swing. So far, so good. I’ve got two appointments this week, the final one with the oncologist next.

I dislike May. Thinking about cancer, reliving gory details, watching newbie practitioners gawk at my crazy scar… it’s not what I’d like to do. Then I have the big C hanging over my head, something I’d rather not think about.

Truth is, my stats aren’t that bad. There’s a 20 percent chance cancer will come back within five years. These next two years are when, statistically, it’ll happen.

So, imagine my surprise when, after my oncologist left, the temporary doc changed our treatment plan. “You don’t need CT scans anymore.”

“Why not? That was the plan. ‘Vigilant monitoring’ they called it. Just for the first five years. I was supposed to do blood tests every six months and a CT scan once a year to catch anything the blood test missed.”

“Nah. I’m cancelling it.”

“Why?”

No answer.

And that was that. My original oncologist is gone. The treatment plan we set was gone. Temporary doc changed everything. Even my family doc retired.

So, I’m starting fresh this year. I like my new family doc. Still no permanent oncologist, though. No treatment plan concerning the cancer. Sometimes I feel like I should just skip all the oncology appointments. After all, I could probably find someone to give me a CEA tumor marker test and if it’s in the normal range, I’m good to go. But my dear husband would likely object.

Life would sure be easier, though.

Enough complaining. On to my next appointment. Yippee.

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More freebies

Pensive RueSo… edits are complete on all three novels. I’m sooooo excited. This means that if you’re a VIP reader, you’ll get a full trio of goodies to check out. If you’re not a VIP reader, it’s easy (and free) to sign up.

I’m a sucker for great romance novels and if I do say so myself, I’m pretty excited about these latest incarnations.

Watch for more changes on this page. After, erm… a gizillion years of blogging I’ve got some tidying up to do. So, we’re going lean, mean, and fun. You’ll see what I mean as the project evolves.

In the mean time, check out the new freebies. Sign up and become a VIP reader. Life’s too short to not have some fun, eh?

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Feral Cats and Arrows

Zi6_2820Kristen Lindsey is a vet. Or was a vet. At the time of this event, she was a Texas veterinarian.

One day Kristen decided to take her bow and arrow outside and shoot what she considered “feral” cats. She even took a pic of said event and posted it to Facebook. (Beware. Click that link at your own risk. It’s heart breaking.) Her caption?

“My first bow kill, lol. The only good feral tomcat is one with an arrow through it’s head! Vet of the year award … Gladly accepted.”

The cat was not feral. He was someone companion.

Let’s chat about unwanted cats for a moment.

Last October, a stray cat took residence under our deck. She lived there for quite a while (weeks) before the temp took a nose dive. She watched us through a basement window any time anyone went downstairs.

Finally, my son took a good look at her and asked why her neck looked so long. I opened the window and she crawled right in. She has lived with us ever since.

She was rail thin (hence the long-looking neck). Her fur clumped in small mats. And she was HUNGRY. I made the mistake of feeding her and that was the end of our cat-less home.

Her life likely wasn’t very good. She evidently lived with continual hunger. She was stone cold when she came in the house. Today, when thunder strikes, that little bundle of fur flies through the house in a panic.

When I reported that we found a stray to the city offices, I was told to just “take it out back and shoot it. We have hundreds of those things in the abandoned elevator.” I didn’t feel that was a good option.

Thing is, Luna (her name) didn’t deserve to die. She didn’t ask to be born. Someone, somewhere wanted a cat and didn’t spay her. They didn’t neuter their Tom. They weren’t responsible pet owners.

Luna wasn’t vaccinated, she wasn’t microchipped, she wasn’t fed, she was left, as a kitten, to fend for herself.

Who are we, as humans, when we treat someone like Luna with such disregard? That said, we seem to have trouble treating each other respectfully, how can we expect to treat someone as tiny as Luna with compassion?

All the companion animals in our home are rescue animals. The two pups come from the Humane Society and I just shared Luna’s story. Every one of them has every reason to be cranky, angry, and biased against humans. But they aren’t.

In that regard, I sometimes wish I could be more dog-like and perhaps more like stray-cat Luna.

I just hope that no one would come at me with a bow and arrow. People like that really shouldn’t work with anybody… let alone vulnerable animals.

More info. here.

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