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Surgery or no Surgery? That is the Question

If my doctor had asked me in November last year if I wanted shoulder surgery my answer would have been yes. Without hesitation. Yes! Put me under. Give me the knife. Just make the pain stop! I was really, really over it by then. Physically pained, and mentally exhausted by living with pain for so long.

Disclaimer: I have no recollection of this photo being taken due to drugs
Despite all efforts, to rehab my torn rotator cuff in physical therapy I was still in a lot of pain, and had already been living with a lot of pain for a year. Just to recap. Summer of 2016 I felt a twinge of pain in my shoulder when I did push-ups. By November of that year, the twinge of pain during exercise morphed into an excruciating stab of pain every time I reached for something above my head or to my right. By January 2017 I was in with my primary doctor, who suggested exercises (which I did faithfully) and a follow up appointment if it got worse. I went back to my primary in March. I was referred to Orthopedics, X-rayed and MRI'd. Diagnosis: 7 mm tear of the rotator cuff. I had my first physical therapy appointment in April. I was really committed to physical therapy three times per day. There was some improvement, but I was still in pain doing most of the exercises, up until my very last PT appointment in June before leaving the country for six weeks.

One Year and Nine Months Later...

Oh my. It's been a long time. A lot of things happened this month, and when a lot of things happen the old blog tends to take a back seat.

The biggest and most exciting news is that my long lost husband is home. For good. Not just a visit. The first set of large black containers showed up on May 12th. There would be two more separate sets of box deliveries before he finally arrived on May 26. It would be pretty fair to say he's been quite the distraction ever since. A good distraction. I went from living alone for one year and nine months to rarely being home alone, and I like it.

I'm Publishing My Book

My original manuscript
I wrote a very detailed post about five different ways to get a book published, but never got around to telling you how I'm planning to get my book published.

I learned I'd need a query letter and that I'd need to research agencies to query. This query letter would be sent to literary agents requesting representation for my manuscript. They either want just the query letter or the query letter plus the first one to three chapters, or the query letter plus the first ten pages. Some may also want a synopsis so I had to be prepared for that also. Each query letter has to be tailored according to specific agency submission guidelines, and the idea is that you keep sending queries until someone requests the full manuscript. It's also important not to burn through all submission options in one go. Test the waters and await possible feedback, or lack thereof.  Depending on that, I would need to consider tweaking the query letter or halting submissions altogether to revise my manuscript. It can take a really long time to hear back from an agent at each step, and some of them have rules about whether or not they allow submission of the full manuscript to any other agents while they are reviewing it. So you can imagine how long this could take, and how delicate the process. If I got an agent, there could be more revisions. Then, said agent would try to sell my book to a publisher. If it sold there could be additional revisions after that. If I was lucky.

Novel Update & Why It Took So Long to Finish

My last novel update post was in 2016 when I was taking my first ever writing class, and learning a lot of information that inspired me to make a whole lot of changes to my manuscript.

So what's been going on with my manuscript since then? First, here's a little recap on my novel writing journey.

When You Spend Your Birthday Alone

Birthday Spoils
I'm an April Fool's baby, and this year I spent my birthday alone. When I say alone, I do mean alone, as in the only person I spoke to in person was the barista at Starbucks and she really wasn't all that friendly. You got your free coffee now go away.  She didn't actually say it, but that was the general impression. Good thing I don't rely on strangers for my sense of self worth.