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Redheaded Step-Child
Karen E. Taylor
Around 11pm tonight (EST) my dad died.  I am not okay with this, but yelling at the gods isn't really an option.

I'm glad we saw him in January and he was doing fairly well then so we had a nice visit. 

But we knew it wouldn't last.  At 91, there aren't a lot of ways you can go.'

We leave for Pittsburgh on Wednesday and should be back home on Saturday.

I haven't cried too much, but tomorrow I'll be alone.  And it'll happen.

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But first I’d like to wish everyone a happy (albeit belated) holiday and a great new year!! 

My holiday was kind of iffy.  But it’s not over yet...I haven’t had the energy or the proper oomph to take any of it down.  Maybe this weekend.

And now for the news.  None of it qualifies as genuine good news...none of it (so far) has generated into genuine bad news.  So...

I took myself off my sleep medications – I’m now not anywhere near as groggy during the day time and I spend less time sitting like a slug.  Of course I don’t sleep as well at night.  But it’s a good trade so far.

BIL has been staying with us since December 15th.  He goes home on Saturday.

Both boys are still in UC schools – Geoff left for Santa Barbara on the 2nd.  Both he and Brian started back to classes Monday.  Last semester they had 5 As and 1 B between them.  I don’t think I could be any prouder of either of them.  They are good men.  (Okay, this is GOOD news...)

The economy is still hitting us hard here in California.  I don’t want to talk about it really.

My dad has been failing in health since Thanksgiving.  We’ve beenall pins and needles waiting to hear bad news since Christmas.  But I spoke with him this morning and he sounded stronger.  He at least was able to navigate the new cell phone he got for Christmas to call.  He’s in a nursing home now...I fear he won’t be getting out.  My brother and wife moved to Grove City this fall, having built a new house on a golf course – Dad moved with them and spent a few months before ending up in the hospital.  Pete and I will be flying into Pittsburgh next week and driving up to the Grove to visit.  Who’d’ve thunk it??  Heh.  I do plan on visiting with a previous professor while there...I will convey greetings if desired.    As far as Dad goes, I’m a complete basket case.  Daddy’s Little Girl and all that.

And for the biggest bombshell of them all (so far and I don’t want to contemplate more), we may  have to move from LA sometime in the next year or so.  Pete’s company is moving their corporate hq sometime in 2011.  And to (ARGH!) Washington, DC.  I am totally and utterly devastated, having to leave the home I found so late in life.  But, you do what you have to do.  I’m looking on it as a necessity and a temporary one at that.  If all goes well, we’ll still retire to the West Coast and retirement isn’t all that long away.  Of course, I still have some friends in the area (if my long silences haven’t driven them all away) and to be honest, I rarely leave the house here.  Maybe I could take life-sized pics of California landscapes and tape them to my windows.  Or not.  None of this has been decided for real, yet.  We could be looking at a lay-off or early retirement instead.  Which is bad news.  Or not. 

My internet connection is iffy-er with each passing day.  Email delivery is somewhat sketchy.

I’d promise to be around more often, but I’m not sure that’s a promise I’ll keep.  Know that I think of everyone fondly, at least. ;-)

Current Location: Dining Room, Dulcinea
Current Music: Japanese ghost creakings from eldest son

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Watch out for those Titan peelers.  They are sharp.  Sharp!!

I tried my new one out last night and discovered they are also quite adept at gouging the skin at the tips of your fingers.  As a result, I'm heading to the doctor's office real soon -- hoping they can stop it from bleeding.  Every time I change the bandage, it starts gushing yet again.  I'm slightly woozy just thinking about it.

The peeler also does a good job on potatoes, but I suspect I'll be going back to my old dull one from now on.

I actually intended a nice long entry to catch everyone up, but my typing isn't so good.

I did want to mention that if anyone wants candles for the holidays, it's still not too late.  Check out the page at:  http://www.karenetaylor.com/Candle.htm and email if you're interested.  Any orders received in the next few weeks are still available for Christmas delivery!

More later, I hope.

Hi and thanks to everyone for hanging in there for me.  I really do have news to tell...
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Just a quick note from me. I'm alive. Writing. And since it's that time of year again, I'm also making candles. If you'd like some, check out the link.

Hope to have a bit more time to talk later on today...


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Current Location: United States, California, Los Angeles

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I survived the surgery, but am still a little spaced out from drugs and whatnot.

Give me a day or two to respond, even to phone calls.
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Still haven't had the surgery, but it's now scheduled at least for next Tuesday, August 4th.  It should be routine, will involve a small incision (so not laproscopic) and I should be home that day.  We'll see.

Other than that, the summer has just flown by.  Belated thanks for all the birthday/anniversary wishes. 

I've been perfecting my culinary expertise lately -- mostly working in Mexican cuisine.  Yummy.  Tamales are my new passion.  And mole' sauce.  Etc., etc.

I've also lost about 5 more pounds.  Not that much, but every little bit helps.

Shout outs to everyone I saw at the Stoker awards in June.  I wasn't doing all that well that night and my memory seemed to have deserted me a touch -- names were giving me some trouble.  Still, it was good mingling, if only for a little bit.

I've started yet another new novel.  EVICTION NOTICE, a book I'm thinking is the first of a series, features one newly-met main character, and perhaps several older ones already running around in what I'm now thinking of as my Southland Supernaturals series, combining with COMB OUT and HOUSE OF CARDS.  Working titles, all, of course.  The new character is one Lexi Byrne.  She's a different "creature" for me -- right now, I'm not saying who or what she is.  The book(s) will be a lot like the Vampire Legacy series in execution and tone, although I'm shooting for a more sardonic voice.  It fits.  So, the same.  Only different.

As a little sneak peak, here's my music playlist for the novel:

I Don't Want to Set The World on Fire (Single)        -- The Ink Spots       
Wild Night -- John Mellencamp & Me'shell Ndegéocello
Closer to the Flame -- Dave Edmunds       
Ghosts In The Wind --        Richard Thompson
Walking Through Fire -- Mary Chapin Carpenter
Santa Ana Wind -- Catherine Feeny       
Into The Fire -- Sarah McLachlan       
Black Wings --        Tom Waits               
Possession -- Sarah McLachlan       
A Keeper For Every Flame --        Mary Chapin Carpenter
Santa Ana Winds -- Janey Street       
Ring Of Fire --        Allison Moorer       
Mystery Wind -- Richard Thompson       
Who By Fire -- Leonard Cohen       
Broken Wings -- Mary Black       
Out Of The Frying Pan (And Into The Fire) -- Meat Loaf       
Wind Howling, Mountainous Wind, Cold Gusts, Weather       
Slow Dancing In a Burning Room (Live) -- John Mayer       
Dust In the Wind -- Kansas       
Paper In Fire -- John Mellencamp       
We Didn't Start The Fire -- Billy Joel

Heh.  Fun, huh?

And I think that's enough for now.  Need to get back to writing.


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Current Location: Horse with no Name, office
Current Mood: anxious anxious
Current Music: Tom Waits - Black Wings

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It appears now that the aforementioned pain in the abdomen is some sort of hernia.  And we suspect surgery is in the offing.  Out-patient, most likely.  And relatively easy.

Still, I find myself depressed by the news.  Or rather more depressed, since I've just not been all that good lately.

But hey, at least April is over and done with!

Current Location: Horse with no Name, office
Current Mood: bummed

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So, I have to explain a bit about where I've been and what I've been doing.  Since the beginning of the year almost, my health has been horrible.  Nothing really specific, but nothing has felt right.  You know how it goes sometimes.

In March, we discovered the cause of most of it.  Treated it with anitbiotics and I'm somewhat relieved.  Although the antibiotics cause other issues, which in turn also have to be treated.  I'm not a huge fan of doctors or medicines.  They sometimes seem to cause more of a mess than they cure.

In a totally unrelated issue (or is it?) the recurring pain I have in my lower right abdomen (the one they were supposed to have fixed in 2002(?) with a gall bladder removal) recurred.  With a vengeance.  As did the little lump in the same area that only I could feel.  I've started calling it my "crazy old lady" lump, since many doctors would just shrug and ignore it.  And me.  But yesterday a new doctor  found it!  Felt it!  And even managed to get an image of it on an ultrasound.  I did not, alas, get a picture of it for my refrigerator (as did most of theother ladies who were also having ultrasound procedures received pictures of their little bundles of joy.)  But...  And we have no definite idea of what "it" is...the likeliest is that it's a coil of intestine clogged with scar tissue.  I have to schedule another more detailed ultrasound to discover.  No real hurry, except as needed for pain.  And if it is just scar tissue, then the only cure is more surgery, which, of course, causes more scarring.  Yick.  And if it's something else?  Who knows?

So I've been plainly miserable for months.  Sitting with a blankie and a hot water bottle.  Not doing much of anything. 

But today I'm back to writing again.  And hope to get more done over the weekend.  We're also taking a field trip down to Venice Beach to find a good location for Lainey to set up shop.  I like to have an actual image around, if possible.  (For example, while writing Resurrection, I had images of Whitby harbor on my desk top...)

In other news, Dulcinea (the laptop) died.  We hope to resurrect her.  She was too young. 

I ordered groceries today from Yummy.com.  A very nice service.  Different sort of food than what you get from Vons.com.  And you know what they say.  A change is as good as a rest.

We're all eating healthier around here.  YMC has lost over 35lbs.  MMC has lost over 25lbs.  I've dropped maybe 10 or so.  It's harder to lose weight as one gets older.  And my forced sedentary lifestyle doesn't help.  We did buy a recumbent bike, though, as well as one of those portable peddlers.  I use one of them daily, though not for a lot of time.  Slowly building up my stamina.

My blood pressure is still (outrageously, I think) low.  Yesterday it as 102/41!  But they keep saying it's good, as long as I'm not overly dizzy. 

I'm still 100% smoke-free.  And I still hate it!

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Current Location: Horse with no Name, office
Current Mood: uncomfortable uncomfortable
Current Music: KT Tunstall - Other Side Of The World

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Or at least I hope so.

I woke up early in preparation for a day of writing, got a little sidetracked watching 1408 on cable, then cleared up the house a bit, made the bed, cleaned up me a bit, dressed, brushed those items needing brushing, took my bone pill (still, this is the stupidest packing ever for a medication,)  scooped the cat boxes and swept up the litter, grabbed a second cup of coffee, printed out a recipe for dinner tonight (oooh, yummy!) and here I am:  ready to write -- armed only with a very basic plot and character outline, a bunch of atmospheric music lined up in a playlist.  So please give a warm welcome to Magdalena Murphy, a tarot card reader recently moved to Venice Beach.  Yes, she has a past.  But does she have a future?

Wish me luck.  With Lainey and her life.

I'll be around.   

Current Location: Horse with no Name, office
Current Mood: good good
Current Music: Silent Hill Soundtrack

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And one during which I kept wanting to post something here.  And now, gee, it's actually January.  Where does the time go?


Anyway, I hope you all had a nice holiday season and I wish you all the best new year ever!

I've been surviving.  We've had company over the holidays in the form of EMC's brother...he'll be going back home on Wednesday, I think.  This is the first Christmas in seven years that he hasn't spent alone.  That's no fun at all, so I was glad we could make a Christmas for him here.  All in all, we've had a good time.  If only my stomach would cooperate.  Or my legs.  They've done some sightseeing I'd have liked to join in on.

My dad will be moving in with my brother and his wife sometime in January.  It's time.  I just wish we were closer so that we could have him stay with us some of the time.  But...

I have some candles left over from the holidays (one cinnamon pillar and two pine pillars) as well as some assorted halloween candles.  I'd be happy to sell these if anyone is interested.  You can email me at the normal address.

I'm working on a brand new writing project.  I won't say much about it, since I'm superstitious that way.  But it will feature vampires (although not the Vampire Legacy ones) and it should be more of a romance than a horror novel.  I'm shooting for something a little lighter in content and tone, since the last book or two have been mighty depressing for me.  This one might or might not turn into a series.  Then again, who knows if it will ever even be a book.  I don't -- I just can't tell anymore.

Viv is back!!  More or less.  I received a google alert for it a day or two ago.  So you can now get an ebook copy of The Vampire Vivienne at the Sony ebook store.  I think I need to write my former agent and find out if this is a new sale, or a left over from the ebook sale of 2005.  Anyway, it's a fun book and can be read without having read any of the previous books.  So go for it!!!  Or review it, if you've already read it.  Or not.  I'm cool.

I'm on facebook these days as well as here.  But I don't spend anytime there either.  Face it, I'm just a slug. 

However, with a new writing project, maybe I'll just stop in more often.  It could happen.

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Current Location: Horse with no Name, office
Current Mood: okay okay
Current Music: Aaron Neville - I Owe You One

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