Raeann Blake (Author)

Ramblings from Raeann

Posts Tagged ‘Update’

Two years post transplant – TOMMY is coming soon

Posted by Raeann Blake (Author) on January 22, 2016

Coming SoonWow! It has been a while, hasn’t it? Almost 2 years since my transplant now. Things have mostly been good. A lot of highs, but also some horrendous lows. Depression plus anxiety plus the finally diagnosed akathisia has not been fun as we experimented with first one combination of medications to another in an effort to control all three that would work with all of my transplant medications. That part hasn’t been fun for any of us… even the crazy dog, I’m sure. I’m hopeful that we have found the right combination now as the last few days have finally felt normal again. So it’s back to the everyday life, for now at least. Thank God! I could use some ‘normal.’

And now for more good news. ‘TOMMY’ is almost ready for publication. We are going through the last proof read right now. The files for the covers are done. The magnets and bookmarks have already been ordered. AND The sample is up on the website for you to preview. We should have an actual release day for you soon, but it will definitely be in February!

I know you have all waited so long as I struggled through the various health issues. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate both the encouragement I have received from you and the loyalty you have all shown. I will try very hard not to let you down.

And just so you will know, you should start seeing the books coming much quicker now. My full-time day job unfortunately just went part-time, so on top of being better both mentally and physically, I also suddenly have more time to work on the books. Yeah! Maybe it’s time to turn my home office into my writing den now that it gets used part-time for the day job. Could be.

I hope you will enjoy ‘TOMMY’ as much as you have the others. Be sure to watch for that February release date to be announced soon.

Happy Reading,
~Raeann

Posted in Books, Just Stuff, The Seven Brothers of Elko | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

TRANSPLANTED + 100 Days

Posted by Raeann Blake (Author) on May 5, 2014

Well, hello there! Good to see you here. Good to see ME here. It has now been 100 days since my transplant and I have to admit that I am amazed at the difference 100 days makes. I can’t say that it has been easy because it certainly has not been. There were setbacks that required hospital stays and several more that did not. These served to slow down my progress and make me question the wisdom of my decision to go through with the surgery more than once. I had many days where I was so disappointed in what I saw as not doing as well as I should even though the medical professionals were telling me how unusual my rapid progress really was. What I heard was “blah, blah, blah.”

But here I am now. I feel better than I have felt in two years. I’m walking (usually). I’m driving again. We’re back on the bike (YEAH.) Before you know it, I might even get to go back to work at the day job early. No oxygen. No breathing treatments. Graduated from Pulmonary Rehab. Only have to go to Dallas once a month for the rest of this year. Not dancing yet, but you never know. The rest of my body might be old, but my lungs aren’t. One of the hardest things I have tried to learn is quite simple. I don’t have COPD anymore. I very often forget that I don’t have to take certain precautions that I had to take before. But in their place I have new rules, regulations, and precautions as a transplant recipient. It’s very strange. But looking at this list, I surely don’t see much to complain about.

blogdifference This is me when I sort of “fell off the cliff” in January 2013 and became suddenly and unexpectedly in very serious condition and another one taken this week. I have to admit this is the first time since I can remember that I can look in the mirror and see a shadow of “healthy” beginning to return to my face. Of course I also see some of the 40 pounds I have gained. Granted, I badly needed 20, but not 40. My next task is to lose the other 20 pounds.

And I am so glad to be back working on the books again. I can’t work as much as before right now. I am still recuperating and I have remind myself of that daily. Well, technically my body reminds me when I forget. I have a tendency to push too hard and do too much. I can do more and more every day but just not quite back to normal yet. At any rate, “Michael – The Seven Brothers of Elko: Book Three” is currently being put through the final paces. Last round of editing, then over to the proofreader and he will be ready to go. Hopefully during May, surely by June.

In the meantime, Taming Clay just turned 2. To celebrate that, all four of my current books will be going on sale for $0.99 for two days, followed by $1.99 for two days before they go back to the normal price. If you want to purchase a copy for a friend or you have friends you think might like to buy one or all, give them a heads up that it’s coming. I’ll let you know soon what the dates will be.

I am so grateful to all of you for the support you have given me. You have no idea what your messages of encouragement and prayers have meant and how much they helped. My family, my friends, my readers, and followers from Twitter and Facebook… each and every one of you kept me going. I had some really low days that I had to get through. You helped me get through them. Just to know I had so many people behind me, propping me up until I could get my feet under me again, lifted my spirits more than I could ever explain. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

GeezOh and for those who worried about me being alone at the hospital so much, not to worry. “Geez”, my wolf mascot given to me by my daughter, was with me every step of the way with his own face mask and everything. (Thank God they didn’t make me put him in a gown and gloves.)

So for now I will call it a day. I hope you each have a wonderful evening and an even better day tomorrow.

Happy Reading

~Raeann

Posted in Books, Just Stuff, The Seven Brothers of Elko | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Good Riddance to September

Posted by Raeann Blake (Author) on October 5, 2013

mri-cartoonI, for one, will not miss you. Most of it was spent on the couch unable to walk much at all. Only a few steps would shoot my heart rate into the 130’s, blood pressure into the 160’s/110’s and O2 saturation down to 85. Just typing anything took studied concentration and a truck load of patience (something I’m still struggling with). All rehab had to stop. I left the house only for doctor appointments. I lost back all the weight I had worked so hard to gain. And the panic attacks came back in a big way. That was depressing enough, but having to sit back and watch everybody else go about their daily lives as normal when I couldn’t was even worse.

And now, one medication change and one week later, here I am. Still struggling with the typing, but walking and talking (at the same time even). I’ve been to Wally World to ride around on their nifty little scooter while I shopped. I walked all the way back to the car unassisted and did just fine. We went to Mickey D’s where I ate an entirely unhealthy lunch that was SOOOOO good. And we finished it up at CVS to pick up a prescription and get my flu shot where I walked in, out and around without help except for John carrying the concentrator for me so I wouldn’t have to carry the heavy little sucker. The appetite is back so maybe I can gain that weight back. And I feel GREAT….today. We will see what tomorrow brings.

I will admit that I am definitely NOT looking forward to next week. I have 20 appointments next week for the evaluation testing for placement on the lung transplant list. There are 2 that concern me. If any of you know me you know I am extremely claustrophobic. I really would appreciate everybody sending me plenty of prayers around lunchtime and a little after on Monday because that’s when they do the MRI and it’s not an open-air one. And I wouldn’t say no to a few more on Friday around the same time when they’re doing a heart cath. It will not be a pleasant week for me and thereby not for John, poor guy.

On another good note, I’m almost through with my first self-edit for Michael. One more quick skim through it after that and it will be off to Sharon while I work on the cover then get started on Tommy.

Thanks to everyone who has bought any of my books. You all really lift my spirits with your comments and reviews here and on Goodreads, Facebook, and Amazon. I LOVE MY READERS!!!

I hope you all have a super happy weekend. Grab a book and cuddle up somewhere. Happy Reading!

Raeann

Posted in Books, Just Stuff, The Seven Brothers of Elko | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Progress Is A Slow Process

Posted by Raeann Blake (Author) on November 19, 2012

First just a little update. A while back I posted that I had the first half of Davis ready to send to the editor. Well… I ran into a bit of a snag. As I was doing one last pass through it, I kept finding sections I decided needed to be rewritten. So that was a bit delayed. However, I am happy to report that the first half is now in the hands of the editor and I’m on to working on the second part.

Second, I am extremely happy to welcome Amy Jirsa-Smith to the team as our fabulous new proofreader. We are so happy to have her on board. Adding that additional pair of eyes will lengthen the time it will take us to get a release ready, but the end result will be worth it.

Since it is almost Thanksgiving now, I think we can honestly rule out a December release for Davis. I really wanted to have this out before Christmas, but it is just not going to happen. I will get the blurb and a sample up on the website around the first of December and we will hope for January but shoot for February on the release.

Have you ever wondered what my process is for getting these books ready or why it takes so long between each release when all of the books are already written?

It is true that they were all written years ago. So the first thing I have to do is a complete read-through to get back into the story again and correct any items that may not be relevant today that were just fine 5 years ago. At this point I will create the eBook cover and add the “Coming Soon” banner.

Next, I will go through the first half of the book at least two more times, making updates and corrections along the way. I may (which translates to ‘usually’) rewrite pieces in this step.

Once I am satisfied, I now go back through it yet again with a text-to-speech program, listening and reading at the same time. The brain may automatically fill in words that are missing when you are reading something and you never notice. But hearing it read aloud will often point out those errors.

As soon as I am satisfied with the first 2 or 3 chapters, I stop and write a blurb for the book. Then I’ll send that and the first chapters to use as a sample on the website over to my wonderful editor, Sharon Gunn-Jones, who allows me the leeway to keep my voice, my story but makes it better. Then I continue with the remainder of the first half.

When this step is complete, I send that section to Sharon and I start the process over again with the second part. Hopefully, by the time I am through with this piece, she will be finished with the part she has and we will swap. (Usually she is waiting on me here.)

Now I will make changes based on her recommendations and send that to Amy for proofreading. So at this point, Amy has the first half, Sharon has the second, and I have moved on to begin the same process with the next book.

Somewhere in the middle of all of this, I will have received the edited blurb and sample back from Sharon and I will create the sample file and update the website.

When Sharon finishes editing the second part, she’ll send it back to me for corrections and off it will go to Amy while I keep going on the next book. After Amy has finished, it comes back to me and I make any additional corrections needed. At this point I will also make any needed changes to the sample on the website that Amy may have found. Then the fun begins.

The eBook and print versions need to be formatted differently. So I will build those files with the appropriate formatting for each, update the eBook cover to remove the “Coming Soon” banner and the Kindle version is ready to upload… sort of.

Are you with me so far?

Next, I will email the Kindle version to my Kindle through Amazon where they will convert it to the Kindle format. I then go through the book AGAIN to make sure I don’t see something on my Kindle version that we all missed everywhere else or any issues with the formatting. (Am I beyond sick of this book by this point…you betcha!) Once I am satisfied, the Kindle version can now be uploaded and released.

Now, since I do my own covers, I need to create the cover for the print version (front, back and spine) and convert that into a high-resolution graphic that can be used for printing that glossy paperback. Once this is complete I can begin the process of sending everything to CreateSpace to publish this version. This usually consists of more than one attempt to get the cover exactly right and an error-free submission. Then just like magic…..VOILA! I can now order a proof copy of the print version and wait a week for it to come in. I receive the proof, allow myself a few minutes for a happy dance and, assuming it is okay, I can finally push the button to release it and the exhausting process of promoting it now begins.

Simple, right?

Wait…what am I forgetting? Oh yeah…both Sharon and Amy are patiently waiting on the first half of the next one. Get back to work!

There you have it. That is my process that gets squeezed in around my day-job and attempts to have at least a little cuddle time with my own Prince Charming (who is forever picking up the slack on all those things I can’t seem to squeeze into a 24-hour day) and the occasional ride on the Harley to decompress.

Disclaimer: Did this post go through Sharon and Amy? NO! So any errors you see are all mine. Happy Reading and Happy Thanksgiving!  🙂

Posted in Books, The Seven Brothers of Elko | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »