Still working on figuring out how to get my returned-rights short stories, etc, into ebook retailers. I've mastered using Calibre to turn my .docx files into .epub and .mobi, yay! Next challenge to overcome: Shaking the tree of my city officials (gently & politely & respectfully) until actual official word on what their tax policies are for self-publishing ebooks within the city limits...because I've gotten conflicting answers so far. *polite grrrr, shakeshake shikkashikka shake!! "Thank you! Can I get that in writing, please?" (Always ask for it in writing.)*
I know it's taking me a while to get things done, to get things published and posted. I keep saying that I've been dealing with a lot of health issues, and I haven't gone into much detail about what kind of issues. But...I want to address that as we come up to the holidays. If you visit with relatives, or friends (and thus their relatives), you're going to encounter people with various health issues...including "invisible" health issues, such as physical, emotional, & mental health illnesses.
It's difficult to talk about them because of the stupid mountainous heaps of shame and social stigma people have piled on those who suffer from ill health...and worsened by the flatulent idiocy of assuming that if someone is ill, they somehow "deserve" to be ill. That's utterly untrue.
It's like the assumption that if you're poor, you somehow "deserve" to be poor. That's completely false. If you're poor, it's because others are making you poor, not anything you yourself do--employers are literally stealing the profits that should be going to their workers, and paying far too many people less than a livable wage because of their vicious, selfish greed. If someone is too ill to work, we as a society have all this frikkin wealth locked up by the greedy selfish bastiches at the top of the financial ladder, but it could be used instead to help a heck of a lot of people at the bottom...which, if we're compassionate human beings, if we stop to care about each other instead of only ourselves, we should help each other out.
If you're ill, it's because of viruses or bacteria, physical injuries, biochemical imbalances--which nobody can prevent, because at our current level of medical knowledge, it just happens--or something that has caused trauma in your life. I'm talking not just physical trauma either, though that of course counts. I also mean emotional and/or mental trauma. Something that caused so much stress in your life, in your heart, in your mind, that you have ongoing, reoccurring health issues as a result. PTSD is one such thing...and no, you don't have to be a veteran to have PTSD. Any sort of traumatic situation can cause problems down the line when you either remember it or are exposed to similar circumstances.
And then there are the difficulties caused by other people. The holidays are stressful for a lot of people because their families are less than joyful: They can be stressful, abusive, indifferent, absent... These add stress on top of stress. Even in a happy family situation, the holidays disrupt schedules, too, and that adds stress.
>So this holiday season...be kind to one another. Deep breath...relax...it's okay if things don't work out. The important thing is to love one another, and DON'T feel guilty if, for health reasons, you have to skip out on a holiday gathering. Even if it's because you just don't want to deal with That One Relative Who Thinks You Should Drop Dead, but which everyone else keeps inviting, no matter how many times you point out they literally want you to die to make them happy.
I have a pretty good family. We're not perfect; we have our ups and downs...off days and good days...but we try to be more up than down at the holidays. We take in people who don't have family nearby to celebrate with, and treat them as friends & family. We ask if they have friends who want to come have a meal with us, too. Just this last Wednesday, I checked in with everyone at my gaming group to make sure they all had family to celebrate with; the one lady I was most concerned about, she'll be back East with her brother, visiting extended relatives, so that's good.
We'll still have a full table at my parents' house as it is, but...consider yourselves invited in spirit. Chat with me on twitter at @JeanJAuthor if you need a friendly voice at some point, or a sympathetic ear to complain to about That One Relative They Keep Inviting Who Always Disses Me, Ugh. Even if far too many illnesses (my own included) cannot be easily dismissed or easily cured...you don't "deserve" to be miserable, this holiday season.
No one does*.