Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Best Laid Plans...

Often run into technical difficulties. My friend flew in from San Diego for the holidays and to take a look at my computer. We finally got a BIOS error beep that told us it was either the video (which wasn't working) or the RAM... Again. So we went to the store, in the awful cold and snow, and got a video card with money I didn't have, got back home (me white knuckling it in fear the whole way), only to discover— of course— it's not the video card. We now get to back to the store, return the video card, my friend gets to fly back home to San Diego with the motherboard and RAM, exchange it again, bring it back on his next visit and put it all back together once more.

Meanwhile, I'm stuck with only my iPad and a laptop with a randomly working display, a battery that won't charge, broken keyboard, and prima donna power cord that doesn't like to be moved ot the whole thing goes off without warning. This is not a good work machine. So I am stuck, once more, writing everything with my thumbs. The scary part is... I'm actually getting good at it!

The manuscript also came back from the editors, and they love it! But they would like me to add more, and I love the places they mentioned, because they were exactly right. I've been too close to the manuscript and I overlooked places where I though I had told the full story, but I clearly had mot, based on their questions. So the manuscriot is not ready to go to typesetting. Which is good, because I don't have the machine to support the next few steps.

Writing continues to be fun, despite my uncanny ability to destroy technology around me. I'll keep everyone updated!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

So When Do We Get to Buy a Copy of Your Book?

Welcome to the wonderful world of to publishing, where writing the book is only half the job! It goes like this:

1. Write the book
2. Typeset the book for publication (the phase I'm in now)
3. Buy first ISBN number for the eBook (required for the next step)
4. Create the book front cover, back cover, and inner jacket material
5. Submit the book and associated material for Approval
6. Wait for Approval
7. Get approval or go back to step 2 or 4
8. Get Proof Copy
9. Make changes and go back to step 6 or approve and publish
9. eBook gets published in about 48 hours, tell EVERYONE.

10. Typeset the book for print publication
11. Buy another ISBN, Bar Code, and a Library of Congress Code
12. Reformat the covers & material for print publication
13. Submit book and materials for print publication
14. Wait for approval (several weeks)
15. Get approved or go back to steps 8 or 10
16. Get a proof copy
17. Check for errors
18. Make changes and go back to step 16 or approve for publication
19. Paperback gets published, tell EVERYONE.

So as you can see, I have a lot of work still ahead of me. I'm doing this on less than a shoestring budget, and I've enlisted a lot of volunteer help. A long time ago I learned: "You can have it quick, you can have it cheap, or you can have it quality. Choose two." I'm going for cheap and quality, which means it's going to take TIME. *sigh*

I was just so happy to write in my blog instead of the book, and I wanted to let you know I was quiet with good reason! As a result I have to ask you one again to be patient, and believe me, you'll know when the book is available for sale!!

[March 10:] It's up!!

Friday, December 19, 2014

How to not "Miss" the Holidays with a Chronic Illness

The holidays are a particularly nasty time for someone with a chronic illness. We desperately want to participate in all the merriment, and every year something happens where I just fall out. This year I got a stomach flu right before Thanksgiving. One holiday missed. My father's recent stroke make it impossible for him to fly for a while (and lord knows I don't want him driving this far at his age...). I have too much pain to drive long distances (anything over an hour pretty much does me in), plus a night-time oxygen machine that is as large as a carty-on itself, and three times as heavy. It's all such a logistical nightmare, that visiting one another for Christmas never happens. Oh, sure, for my father's stroke I would have found a way... but he said, "Stay." Christmas just isn't important enough to pull out all the stops, which can make it difficult to get through!

In past years I've ignored the season, which is easy to do when there's no evidence of the season around you. Seattle was rainy that time of year, just as it was since October, and would be until May or June. It was easy to act like Christmas happened somewhere else, in a land far, far away. Now that I'm in Colorado where the main precipitation is snow, it's a little more difficult to be in "responsible denial." (Denial of certain specific facts, such as an upcoming holiday, to protect yourself from the sorrow of knowing you're too sick to participate anyway.) So I have to find other coping mechanisms.

As a compromise, knowing that I may not be well on the exact day on which the holiday falls, I expand the holiday to strech from December 21st (the traditional Yuletime) until the 4th of January, (what my mother called "the Twelve Days of Christmas"). That way I can celebrate any time that I feel good, and shrug off the days I'm not feeling well, and not feel like I've missed the holiday completely!

This year I have bells on my door that ring cheerily every time I run an errand. I splurged on Christmas lights (and repurposed some of my Halloween lights) that sparkle beautifully in the night. And, friends in-town and out-of-town are coming to see me, which I appreciate so much, because it makes it possible for me to have energy left to socialize, rather than me being exhausted by the mad holiday rush.

I love my family, so we can make it a celebration any time I visit, and it doesn't have to be a holiday. There are family traditions on different days (like our summer family reunions) that can be as special to me as Christmas or Thanksgiving, so it's okay that we're not able to meet face-to-face. We all call one another on the phone or Skype, so we still spread the holiday love around.

So this year, it feels really good to be a part of the seasonal celebrations that everyone else is doing. I love the lights that everyone in my neighborhood puts up. There are some amazing displays that out my little white strands to shame! But what matters is what I do for the season, and this year, I'm celebrating!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Book One is Written! Thank You for Your Patience!

I know I've been hideously absent these past few months, but with good cause! The book— 50 Ways to Make Money While Disabled— is now finished, and the website is set to launch December 15th, so mark your calendars and come subscribe to our Launch Party over at http://makemoneywhiledisabled.com!

This work was inspired by my "Unicorn Sister," Jana (see the link, Medical Unicorn above, for that back-story), who gave me the idea, "Ya know, I bet I could come up with 50 different ways for disabled people to make money, and keep their disability benefits (if they're on those programs). I bet it would work even better for people who aren't limited by federal benefit rules." As it turns out, I've discovered over 150 ways for disabled people to make money, and I'm learning of new ways every day. Jana and I decided to break those jobs up into three volumes to start, so we could get you the first volume as soon as possible.

The book is divided into three parts: the first part gives an overview of the disability benefit system and things you will need to know before you start working if you're receiving Social Security Disability benefits. The second part is 50 money-making ways, with start-up considerations, disability concerns, and the approximate average hourly income for that money maker. The last part of the book covers topics raised in the first half more thoroughly, and includes information on self-employment and where to find resources.

More information in the upcoming post: So... When do I get to buy one?