Thursday, March 3, 2016

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

I have a crushing headache thanks to albuterol and asthma induced sleep deprivation. So I'm typing in the dark without glasses because that sounded like a good idea to my head. The usual 'may not make any sense' disclaimer applies.

I've had a good run. Haven't been sick since what? August? So I really can't complain. I've been busy, writing, parenting, exercising, improving my diet. I also started volunteering with refugee families in my area, helping all these super adorable kids with their homework.

Naturally they got the flu and gave it to me!

The flu shot has been a dud for me three years in a row. I always get the flu. The shot doesn't spare me. Even the flu at reduced power is a pain in the ass and I'm tired of dealing with it year in and year out.

The asthma is refusing to calm down and is staying flared despite everything I've thrown at it. It's not horribly serious, but it is horribly persistent. I'm concerned that my five day burst will end, but the asthma will keep going. 

What do I do then?

Take steroids until my adrenals suppress? What?

Some life updates:

Parenting: 

So we accelerated the kiddo in math and it has pretty much been an anxiety-ridden scream-fest for her. I heard on the news there's a town with this high-pitched screeching sound that they can't identify. I'm pretty sure that's the echo of my child's screams over math.

It doesn't help her teacher is in their first year and hasn't hit their stride yet. This means we get 8 pages of math homework at random intervals and it's always due the next day. I would've thought an education degree would've covered why that's not a great idea for kids aged 8 and under, but I guess not. Apparently, it's important to do math homework for four hours one night a week. 

The volume of homework interfaces with my kiddo's perfectionism and ends in a huge meltdown. So that's been fun. We're not going to continue with the acceleration next year. She has great math capability, but still hates math, and when we look at how much the entire family suffered with the math homework, it's not worth it. Also, the curriculum her school is using is pretty awful and I think she needed a more experienced teacher, which we aren't going to get any time soon. 

So we're backing off in the hopes of not making things worse.

I hate school. Elementary school is 95% crowd control, 5% education. It's mostly a waste of time. The kids are always waiting for that ten minutes of instruction that is actually at their level. I'm there volunteering every week, I see it in action. We're boring kids to death with crowd control. In trying to meet everyone's needs, we meet no one's. 

I don't know how you fix it. At least not easily. It gets better by high school, but you have to suffer the gauntlet of boredom that is elementary school and then the hormones of middle school to get to anything good. 

I just hope my kiddo doesn't lose her love of learning. She's spent her time at home this week (she's sick too) trying to teach herself French. She found a program online and has been working at it every day. Please, universe, don't let that focus and interest fizzle out!

Writing:

I think my writing career is crashing and burning. It's possible I just suck ass, but there have also been so many structural changes in the industry that outright block book discovery that I suspect that's the bigger problem.

And probably my preferred genre is going soft. (Which I knew was coming but I had hoped I would survive it.)

I didn't expect my book to do super great (yep, I'm a writer and I just wrote super great. Ha. Enjoy feeling superior. It will take you far, I'm sure!), but I had hoped it would be profitable. Right now, it looks like I will lose money despite some pretty decent marketing efforts on my part.

I have no idea what to do. I enjoy writing. I would be happy to continue, but I hate the taxes and authors are at the mercy of corporate interests. Retailers will cut you off from readers if it serves their bottom line. I don't really control my own destiny. Not anymore. The open playing field is gone.

The people who are making big bucks now are spending $10,000-$100,000 in marketing. You have to buy visibility for your book now. You can't just write a good book that readers love. That's not enough. I have the fans and reviews to prove it.

Once I can breathe again, I'm going to have to see if there's anything here to salvage. I'd like to continue to work from home in some capacity. Hopefully I can find a way forward. I have done so many things right, there has to be a way to leverage it into something useful.

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