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June: The Month of Buzzing

by Dennis M. Myers, 06/7/2021

May and I attended AtomaCon in Charleston, South Carolina this year. I learned a bit more about the process my novels are in.

The manuscript I submitted to Baen in 2019 (Final Assembly) is still under consideration, and at this point I know that multiple people have read the book, and not said no, because as soon as a "no" is generated, the rejection follows shortly. So, while it's a lesson in patience, it's still not bad news. Red Ice: Murder on a Monochrome World is still very early in the process at Falstaff. I expect either a rejection, or a request for the remainder of the manuscript. They currently have the first three chapters. I am still working on Red Ice: Dark Side of the Month. I took a few weeks off for painting and personal reasons. I'll get to that below.

May passed her driving test, and we are now awaiting the state issued license. She wants a little pickup truck.

And now for the news that sucks. My mother's health wasn't all that great going into the pandemic, and we all thought that if she got Covid, it would take her. We were wrong. She didn't get the worst of it, they caught it quickly. Probably since it was spreading all over the nursing home. She survived. However it did a number on her respiratory system, particularly her throat. She's been in and out of the hospital so many times since I've lost count. She had a feeding tube installed last time. This time she's in because she simply cannot breathe well on her own. There is talk of moving her into a hospice for final care. At any moment I expect to get a phone call telling me she's gone. Or, as is the way of such things, she could hold on for years. I feel it is more likely that she won't see 2022. In any case, with each trip to the hospital, the discussions, frantic calls from my uncle, it takes a toll. This is my mother we are talking about. I'm not ready to let her go any more than he is. I had wanted to put a copy of one of my books into her hands. Sadly, at this point, she wouldn't be able to hold it.

The family has decided she'll be cremated, and they'll send me the ashes. How considerate of them. Okay, I know. It's because no one else wants to deal with her remains, and I don't want to make one of her brothers go through it. We are all over the country right now. She and one brother are in Arizona, my other uncle is in Minnesota, and I am in Virginia. None of us can afford to travel for a funeral, so this is their solution. I am researching what to do with the ashes. My wife actually has more experience with this sort of thing, as cremation is the standard in Thailand. Her first idea was to spread them in the garden.

At this point it's only hypothetical, but the day is coming. So I've been distracted. Oh, and I painted the interior walls of the house. I can now, unfortunately, tell the difference between an eggshell finish, and flat. It's enough that I'll be buying another half gallon and repainting that last section.

So my mood is a bit melancholy, but May is right beside me, giving me all the support I didn't realize I was going to need. Before we were married she lost her father to cancer. I was a welcome distraction while he was sick. Now, she's returning the favor a thousand fold. It makes me feel incredibly lucky.

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