Dear Family and Friends,
I just received in the mail today the annual letter from my cousins in NM. That reminded me it was time to send out my own letter telling how the year has passed.
This year has been a blessed one in that I am healthy and doing well. It has been over 3 ½ years since May 7, 2010 when I had my hemorrhagic stroke which very nearly took my life. Instead, it has helped me to see so many new and wonderful things and to overcome many of the things that have held me back in life.
I am still slowly becoming adjusted to the remaining problems which have stemmed from the stroke. First, there is my double vision. I am told it has everything to do with my brain and next to nothing to do with my eyes. It could clear up at any moment, but has persisted long enough that I believe God will need to take a hand in this healing.
Second, my hip pain still remains high most of the time. General pain is around a 3-4 constantly and can hit an 8 if I decide to move too quickly or in the wrong direction.
Third, my fatigue level is high while sleeping for more than 2-3 hours at a time still eludes me. I have managed to go off of the Rx med that I was taking for sleep (hoorah) and have switched it with a couple of herbal supplements including Valerian Root (to induce sleep) and Melatonin to regulate it.
Finally, my memory is mostly good, however, I have lost some of the more distant ones and new ones, if not concentrated on, often pass in a few seconds and it is like I never knew them. I use a computer calendar program to keep reminders, but I still, often simply have them fade until I again remember them and that is often too late. Frustrating, but not deadly.
The good things from the stroke include that my OCD is very nearly gone, at least, in my thoughts. My anxiety is low and, with medication, both my blood pressure and my blood sugar have remained in the normal range all year. My yearly tests from the doctor were normal. Yea! I also seem to be able to handle spicy foods much better. It allows me to kick it up a notch and enjoy.
This year has been glorious for my writing. I have been included in 5 anthologies and 1 online publication of my works. Four of these stories have been the horror theme that I really enjoy. I was told by the publisher of 4 of my works that I was comparable to a young Robert Bloc (Wow!). Along with the publicized works, I have maintained my blog for several years now and boast over 200 followers and many readers from 117 countries. I have made some wonderful friends from many places including Washington State, Oregon, Canada, India, Australia, England, and many others. The theme of my blog has changed over the course of this year. I decided that a daily blog gave me no time off and caused a lot of anxiety at times, therefore, I have switched now. The new schedule:
Posted at 10pm –
Tuesday – My own personal post
Wednesday – Writing prompt, Friday Fictioneers – 100 word story on picture prompt
Thursday — Writing prompt, Five Sentence Fiction – 5 sentence story on word prompt
Friday — Writing prompt, Flash Friday, varying from 100-350 word story on picture prompt
It has proved to be fun and enjoyable, while still allowing me to practice my craft.
I had a book signing at the Middletown Public Library. It went very well and I am told I sold more books than any of the other authors who had been there before. I have also enjoyed the notoriety of being the center of a large article in the Muncie Paper, the Star Press. There are plans, this spring, for an article about my writing to appear in the University of Indianapolis’ magazine, Portico (I believe). Finally, I am also preparing several more stories to try to publish and plan on publishing my own anthology next fall.
I am now a great uncle! Karlee Koontz was born early this year. I am enjoying being a great uncle though, unfortunately, I can’t offer to watch her as my stroke problems prohibit that particular type of responsibility.
I do get out eating and seeing a movie off and on. I visit the reflexologist once a month and see a massage therapist once a month, too. I drive myself to Anderson, Muncie, Yorktown, Noblesville, Wabash, and Indy when needed. I am pretty independent, but it is very nice to have Dad, Mom, and Sis close by.
I am employed now with Team National as an Independent Marketing Director. It is an interesting job and one I have had to put in the back seat for a time while I work on getting my strength back. I would tell you more about the work, but it is something you really need to see for yourself.
I also am still selling books and DVDs for the Middletown Public Library through Amazon. I have listed, I imagine, between 500-700 items from the library.
The most difficult part of this recent year was when Kevin Koons, my best friend, had a brain aneurism during his harvesting time. He is in Indy at present, doing well, and local farmers pitched in and have brought in all his crops. I plan to go visit when his family feels he is up to it.
My father is doing pretty well after all his kidney problems in the last couple of years. He is off dialysis and hanging in there.
Aaron, my son, is still in Oregon in computers and loves it. Aarika, my daughter who got married last year, is now Dr. Aarika White (Ph.D.).
All in all, I believe it has been a very good year. I feel fairly strong and haven’t really been sick all year. I look forward to Christmas and spending time with the family.
I love you all. Namaste,