Friday, December 12, 2014

Moaning, Groaning, and a Pregnant Pixie

            I’ve spent endless hours in doctor’s offices lately. I think most doctors are witch doctors in disguise. They stick you in an MRI machine, and it looks all scientific. But it’s little more than shaking a rattle and tossing finger bones to read the signs.

            My relief is sipping hot coffee, nibbling lemon cake with lemon-vanilla frosting, and venting to my pet Scotsman or my coffee group or both. Knobby Knees is less intimidated by my coffee mob. He holds his own fairly well now. Considering the diverse and forward character of most of my regular mob of coffee drinkers, this is a huge male accomplishment.

            Things one learns while visiting doctors and their minions aren’t always pleasant. But I won’t discuss that today, except that I learned that losing a pound or six will make my doctor lecture me for thirty minutes without a breath. (I may have exaggerated.)

            I worked reduced hours on my “other job” this week to accommodate the doctors’ appointments. Did I mention that I don’t like doctors much? Oh, yes, I see I did.

            My writing partner got a nice bit of fan mail from someone who bought out book. He has a very large archive of relevant historical material and shared some of it with us. It’s always nice to get fan mail. I wish our books were selling faster than they are. People buy them in spurts. I do not have a feel for the way they’re selling. But they do sell. If people would leave reviews I’d be happier. You can leave a review of Separate Identity on google books. ( But no one has. There are only two reviews on Amazon, both really nice, but still, there are only the two.

            One nice thing was finding out that we’ve gone from the bottom of the heap on one bookseller site (something like near a million down on their best seller list) to about sixty thousand. That leaves us way down in the pile, but what a jump! I’d like to see us in the top 100. Won’t happen, I suppose. But I’d still like it. On Amazon, where we have many competing books, we’re way down. But most of our books are sold by other sites. Almost none are sold through Amazon, which is not bad because Amazon take more than their fair share of the money. We had several issues with Amazon too. It takes forever to get them to fix anything.

            I’m chronically unhappy with the documentation we have. But things are improving some. I found a few newspaper articles, and I’m on the trail of some original documents.

            I sleep more than usual. And I have some trouble breathing. And I’m cold. I bought a heater for the downstairs bedroom. KK and I have moved into that room. It’s smaller than our bedroom, but I can’t climb stairs without difficulty. I’m dizzy. And I’ve taken some bad tumbles down the stairs. It doesn’t make sense to heat the entire house to eighty degrees (F), so I just heat my workroom. It keeps me comfortable. When I teach I wear a warm sweater. It helps some.

            We’re selling more of our research collection. Both my writing partner and I have medical bills that need attention. Aunt S. still owes about a thousand dollars on her hospital stay when she had her stroke. Insurance paid almost forty-thousand dollars; the rest is up to Uncle B to pay. So we’re selling six bound volumes of a magazine from the 1830s. They contain letters from Henry Grew. While we had planned on eventually writing a biography of Grew and his associates, it is now obvious that we never will. So we can sell these. We’re in negotiations for a private sale.

            I bought a really cheap stamp from Wurttemberg. (under a dollar) It made me totally happy. I’ve looked for it for ages. No one had it. A stamp dealer in Germany who knew I wanted it sold it to me. I enjoy a completed album page. Now I’ve filled another.

            One of my sisters is pregnant. This will be her second child. So, while it makes no sense for me to think about having another, I’ll get to play with her baby. It’s very clearly a girl. I’ve already been buying baby clothes. I suppose that’s silly. But I like being an aunty nearly as much as I like being a mommy.




  1. An occasional reader11:36 PM

    Even if you don't sell many copies of your book through Amazon, it is still good to be listed there. I am sure I am not alone in using Amazon to find out what is available, and then searching to see if I can do better elsewhere. The same thing has been happening with a CD issued by a certain young lady I know. Buyers are more "canny" nowadays - and there's a vaguely Scots expression for you.

  2. I'm sorry to hear that you are sick again. If there is one thing I could have for Christmas it is for you to be healthy.

    I agree with your doctor. You should not be losing weight. You are tiny enough, but I've been told it is hard to enjoy food when you feel bad. Unfortunately food is like opium for me and I am totally addicted.

    Stay safe and warm. Tons of hugs. Harry

  3. I am happy, happy, happy, to hear of the new Pixie. I am sure you will be an adorable and affectionate aunty for the daughter of your sister. And your sister will be a thoughtful and loving mother for your niece.

    Henry Grew is one of my heroes. A day in the future I will write a biography of him.