A New Beginning

Dear friends. It’s been over six years since I’ve posted. I haven’t forgotten about you or about my writing, but some things happened and life got in the way.

At the time of my last post back in February of 2016, I was working on the rough draft of my third novel, “Confessions of a Mumbler,” while trying to find an agent and market my YA manuscript, “Circle of Squares.” I was also a full-time caregiver to my disabled father.

One day, with no warning whatsoever, my right hand blew out. You read that right. One moment my hand felt fine, and a second later I reached into my purse and it felt like my hand had exploded with the worst pain I’d ever experienced in my life. On a scale of one to ten, my hand went from zero to ten in one second.

My doctor diagnosed me with tendonitis, gave me a brace to wear, and told me to call back if my hand didn’t improve in three weeks. Three weeks later my hand was swollen like an inflated rubber glove, reddish-purple, and as painful as ever. After additional X-rays, an MRI, second and third opinions, and a multitude of other tests, the final diagnosis was Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).

CRPS is a neurological condition where a person’s autonomic nervous system (the bodily system that controls automatic functions such as breathing and heartbeat) sends pain signals for no apparent reason. The syndrome sometimes occurs after a minor injury and is often linked to intense stress.

Over the next few months, the swelling went away and my hand became shiny and claw-like as my fingers curled in on themselves. The pain traveled up my arm into my shoulder and I lost the ability to lift my arm above my head.

Around this time my father’s health worsened. Long story short, I put my writing projects on the shelf and spent the next three years dedicating myself to coordinating his care while searching out a cure for myself.

Eventually, Dad passed away and after lots of prayers and intense physical therapy, I regained the use of my hand, arm, and shoulder. Although the fingers on my right hand remain slightly bent, they no longer hurt. I can type with my right hand again and my handwriting is as bad as it ever was. I can also apply mascara, chop vegetables, and drive stick just like before.

I started writing again about a year ago, and after doing some minor revisions on “Squares,” updating my agent list, and entering a few contests to get my chops up, I’m back at work on my current book.

For the past four years I’ve barely thought about this site, but no more. This is a new beginning, where content will be fresh and blog posts will be regular. In the words of the late cowboy singer, Gene Autry, “I’m back in the saddle again.”

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