Piper, the day we brought her home. 9 weeks old! She's super sleepy in this picture.
Wow, it's been a while since I last blogged. I used to blog so regularly, twice, sometimes three times a week. But I've also come to realize that blogging without enjoyment isn't fun for readers, is it?
So here I am. My brain is constantly filled with the million things I have to do, and should do, and don't. So here's where my life is right now.
1. I am writing.
Yeah, writing a lot! When I started trying to publish my first novel back in 2009, I remember wishing so hard to get one book published. That was all. Two years ago, I was begging for a career with longevity, hoping I wouldn't be a one-series flash in the pan ("flash in the pan" is a reference to flint-lock rifles. Yeah, I researched that for my second non-published book).
So I wrote what I loved (even though that meant one book--an Asian dragon fantasy--never sold). But it also took me to places I wasn't used to. THE NOVEMBER GIRL is magical realism/contemporary with a diverse main character who's half Black, half Korean. And I also decided to wet my toes in the non-fiction world, with QUACKERY, which I'm still writing with Nate Pederson. Writing a book that got sold on proposal is so new and weird, folks. I try to research and write anywhere from zero to three chapters a month. It's tough work, totally fascinating, but very exhausting.
So this is where I am now, with three books coming out in 2017 in entirely different genres.
2. I got another book deal.
So one of those three books? It's the book of my heart. One that started out as YA, but ended up as an adult historical thriller. This one means so much to me, because it told stories of the hospital that I did my med school and residency in, Bellevue Hospital in New York City, but also combined my love of chemistry and science, and complicated relationships. That one is called A BEAUTIFUL POISON and it's coming out with Lake Union, an imprint of Amazon. So, so happy this book found a home!
3. I quit a job.
So I now have three deadlines, instead of zero. I am very grateful for that. But it also meant having to let go of working as an attending physician at the Veterans Administration, a job I'd had for ten years. I was sad to go. Vets are among the most amazing, brave humans on earth, and taking care of them was truly an honor, but I had to make concessions somewhere. The clinic I worked in completely changed from continuity care to acute care, which is not where my love of outpatient medicine lies. And I refused to quit unless I knew I had income coming in from books. So finally, I said goodbye. I'll miss everyone there!
4. I didn't quit doctoring altogether.
I'm still taking care of my patients at the University clinic where I work. And I'm happy to do so for as long as I can. The truth is, writing keeps me in the medical game. It keeps me from burning out. When the paperwork and headaches of healthcare get to me, I can turn to my fictional universes and feel so free. And when the stress of publishing gets me frazzled, I can go and help someone's diabetes get under control, or help someone with debilitating depression. It's the most amazing balance, and I appreciate it every week.
5. I got a puppy. Her name is Piper.
Because you know, life with two jobs, one hubby, and three kids (one in high school, middle school, and lower school) isn't crazy enough. But hey, everyone needs a puppy. Or kitten. Or gecko. My kids have been wanting one forever, but they have dog hair allergies, and I refuse to pick up anything that weighs a good portion of me, so we got a shihpoo puppy. She's now 7 months old, spayed, and wonderful. And since I don't post pictures of my children online, I can now Instagram my puppy to my heart's content. Here's her IG account.
I hope you are all well. I'm thrilled to see so many of my old blogging buddies with agents and book deals, oh my! We've all come a long way, haven't we?
I find that I spend more time on Facebook, so friend me there if you haven't already. Talk soon!