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Personal Update

by Dennis M. Myers, 01/18/2020

For the last twenty years my mother and her brother have been living in Arizona in quiet retirement. My uncle is an artist and my mother never held a high paying job, so it took both of their social security checks to cover rent.

Over the last decade, my mother had required more and more care, as the first signs of dementia appeared, and she became increasingly fragile. Over time she's broken her hip and had several bouts of pneumonia. Recently she fell again and was hospitalized. After years of her refusing to voluntarily move into a nursing home, the folks at the hospital decided she needed professional care full time, and put her in a state run facility.

Good news for my uncle, who had been struggling to provide the constant care she needed. Bad news for my uncle, her social security check went with her, so he couldn't afford rent.

My wife and I invited him to stay with us in Virginia for a while so that he could relax, not worry about rent, and figure out his next move. After packing away as much of his life as he could into storage, and letting the rest go, he drove here over Christmas.

He's settled in, now. May dotes on him and he squirms at the attention. I am enjoying paying him back for the care he gave my mother. He's started painting again. Set up a little studio in our back room. I know he feels like he needs to find a new place to live, but May and I are in no hurry. May's culture is one where the children care for their elders, so having him here is perfectly natural for her.

The only downside is that I am choosing to visit and spend time with my uncle, instead of working on my current project, Endurance. I've put in a little time, here and there, on Precipice as far as edits go. But I am seeing a big gap develop on my word count spreadsheet.

I'm not beating myself up too badly. I know I'll do the work. I just wanted to explain to anyone out there why the slowdown happened. I know it is not permanent, and it really does bother me, but I am enjoying the time with my uncle, just the same.

As soon as the pass I am doing on Precipice is done, I'll be needing beta readers again. I am starting to put the word out, so if you are interested, please let me know.

Precipice starts with a scene during the Battle of Luna as seen from the side of the crew of the Pang Yu, then skips forward to right after the end of Final Assembly. The Pang Yu Weapons Officer, Jake Tory, is promoted to a viewpoint character, and Ted Becker, a Mercorps Marine is introduced. He had a cameo in Final Assembly. Now we get to see him up close and personal as he leads his team of marines.

Returning characters include Dawn Sheffield, of course. She's working out how to lead a corporation and is discovering some unpleasant truths. Tong Sianothai is here with the rest of the crew of the Pang Yu, until he's caught doing something against the rules, and everything changes. Then there's Elliot Humboldt. Still digging into his mystery and getting in slightly over his head.

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