AROW80 Check-In for 5/6/2018

A question from this session’s update reminder post which was talking about various ways of reaching your audience:

Do you find your audience through blogging or other social media? What works best in your experience?

Right now? I don’t know as I have an audience in the broader sense of the word.  I’m still limping my way back into blogging with any kind of regularity and I don’t have any of my non-fanfiction writing posted anywhere that people can see it. This will eventually change, but for the time being, let’s chalk that lack up to a combination of “I’m shy!” and “I don’t really have much of anything worth posting beyond random character sketches and unfinished snippets.”

With Omegas: Cake Walk my audience is primarily off-line: a couple trusted beta readers and my girlfriend (who is also a trusted beta reader) have read some or all of my progress.  Since I’m wanting to go the traditional publishing route, I’m reluctant to post large sections of the work online since I don’t want to risk my work being considered to have been previously published — that and what I’m working on right now is really more of a first draft and therefore still rough around the edges.

I do want to start blogging more because I think that’s a way toward building an audience and it’s something that allows me to ramble on longer than, say, Twitter does. Though, I do have my updates go out to Twitter, Tumblr and now Facebook, in hopes of spreading my net wide and maybe snaring more fish readers (though, honestly, if any fish are reading this, you’re welcome here).

In other news, I went to the endocrinologist today (I’m a Type II diabetic) and got some disappointing news followed by some truly heartening news: my weight is up to 254 pounds from 231, though it looks like that’s due to water weight gain caused by a side effect of a medication I was on (Actos). The doctor took me off of that and increased my dose of a second medication (Trulicity) to compensate and a third medication (Farxiga) has a diuretic effect so that should help with losing the water weight.   My blood pressure was high (146 over…something) but when I went to Urgent Care about stiffness in my shoulders, it was 116 over…something and due to other lower readings, the doctor wasn’t overly concerned. I’m supposed to start checking my blood pressure at home (which I can do, I just need to take the meter I got for myself *mumblemonthsagomumble* out of the box and start using it)

The heartening news is that my A1C, which for those not in the know, is a measure of what your average blood sugar has been at for the previous three months, is at 7.7 — which is very close to the target of 7.0 or under.  Diabetes is a lot like golf, you want those numbers low.  The closer the number is to 7.0, the better control you have over your blood sugars and the less likely you are to end up with complications from diabetes.  And since the complications from diabetes can hit just about every system of the body with disastrous effects, good control is seriously important.

So, that’s a non-writing based goal for this quarter and beyond: keep my sugars down low and get some exercise to help get the weight down.

Beyond that, I came home from the doctor’s appointment, took a nap and had weird Cthulu-adjacent dreams. For which, I blame Ruthanna Emrys’s Winter Tide (link goes to an excerpt from the first chapter over at Tor.com), which is a historical dark fantasy set shortly after the end of World War Two and, well, here’s the summary:

After attacking Devil’s Reef in 1928, the U.S. government rounded up the people of Innsmouth and took them to the desert, far from their ocean, their Deep One ancestors, and their sleeping god Cthulhu. Only Aphra and Caleb Marsh survived the camps, and they emerged without a past or a future.

The government that stole Aphra’s life now needs her help. FBI agent Ron Spector believes that Communist spies have stolen dangerous magical secrets from Miskatonic University, secrets that could turn the Cold War hot in an instant, and hasten the end of the human race.

Aphra must return to the ruins of her home, gather scraps of her stolen history, and assemble a new family to face the darkness of human nature.

The book is a wonderful story, very richly told and full of good period detail. Lovecraft is an author, like Jane Austen and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who I’ve never really read directly but whose works I am exceedingly familiar with due to my enjoyment of works based upon their creations.  I highly recommend Winter’s Tide to anyone who enjoys Charles Stross’s Laundry books or Matt Ruff’s Lovecraft Country.

Circling back around to writing based goals: Chapter Nineteen of Omegas: Cake Walk continues apace. I’m past the scene that was giving me trouble and am now on to a completely new scene that needs to be coaxed into cooperating. Since I’m going to be staying up late tomorrow morning to go vote when the polls open, I’m planning on maybe doing some noodling over breakfast in the hopes that being sleepy will make my brain more apt to fire in interesting ways.

Beyond that, all is doing well and I hope you are having a good week. Please feel free to comment below and let me know how things are going.

Later, Gators.

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