Saturday, April 27, 2013

Back to Writing Last!

This year has not been conducive to writing for me. 

After completing Pinned but Fluttering on January 5, I've been exhausted, overworked, in pain, or sick until now. 

Seriously. I'm not surprised that I only wrote the Prologue and Chapter One of Only by Moonlight so far, considering how terrible I've felt since the holidays. 

After teaching two online classes at once in January (never again!) then another online class in February, plus keeping up with the grading and lessons for my IRL co-op expository writing class for high school home-schooled students which has been overfilled all year, not to mention homeschooling our three teen boys, one of whom is graduating from high school in June, and we have a recipe for severe exhaustion and a flare-up of chronic pain due to autoimmune issues. 

The good news is that I've rested for much of April, and the current online class I'm teaching is very low-maintenance. In addition, my IRL high school class is working on their research papers, so I haven't had much grading to do for the past few weeks. 

In addition, my doctor ran some metabolic tests and discovered some mutations and other issues, so he decided that I should try some modified B-12 shots which seem to be helping in the areas of mental energy and sleep. I haven't seen much physical energy or reduction in pain yet, but I hope that they're coming along. 

So this week I completed the first draft of Chapter Two of Only by Moonlight and sent it to my pre-reader, ladylibre. She gave me excellent advice (as always), and I plan to make a few adjustments and post the chapter either Saturday night or Sunday afternoon, preferably the former. 

I hope now to be back to posting weekly chapters, but I make no promises until school is finished on June 14. May 20 and onward will be rather crazy with a high-maintenance online class to teach plus grading and returning the MLA research essays to my co-op class, so those four weeks may be a little scary. But until mid-May, I hope to be posting regularly, and again over the summer. 

Dealing with autoimmune illnesses is difficult as stress and overwork definitely worsens the pain and both mental and physical exhaustion. But I'm praying that these injections (which I'll be injecting myself...yay) will help to clear the mental fog as well as strengthen me physically. I'm praying, too, that as my sleep lengthens and deepens, my pain levels will fall, too. I'm leaving it in God's hands. 

Thank you so much for bearing with me during my "slump" here this year. I so appreciate the kind and supportive messages so many of you have written to me on Wattpad and FFN as well as on Facebook. You all are the BEST readers ever!! And I hope that you'll really enjoy the second chapter of Only by Moonlight

Writing for you,
~Cassandra :) 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Slowly Writing and Re-Writing Only by Moonlight

I've been having some pretty serious physical difficulties over the past couple of months. I've been diagnosed with a bevy of autoimmune illnesses, depending on which doctor I've seen: first it was fibromyalgia, then rheumatoid arthritis, then chronic fatigue syndrome. Now I'm being tested for mitochrondrial diseases. 

Despite the variance in diagnoses, the end result is over a decade of chronic pain that is somewhat controlled by eight methadone pills per day and a great deal of sheer exhaustion. I've overworked myself since the first of the year, and life is catching up to me at the moment. 

After completing Pinned but Fluttering, I took January and February off from writing. In early March I picked back up with my new story, Only by Moonlight. The response to the Prologue and first chapter have been amazing, but I've really struggled with the second chapter. 

Then this week it dawned on me: because this story was written in third person limited omniscient point of view, I was feeling too distant from my characters. As I drafted, I felt that I was "telling" more than "showing"--relating the story through a filter of distance rather than capturing the raw emotion and reactions of a first person narrator. 

So I've since rewritten both the first chapter and the half to two-thirds of the second chapter of Only by Moonlight in first person. I'll be switching the new first chapters on Wattpad and later today and will keep working on Chapter Two.

And I do have an image of Bella's quilt for Chapter Two that I'll be posting when I upload the chapter. :)  

So thank you for your kind understanding of my physical condition, my busy schedule of homeschooling three teen boys (one graduating this year), teaching an overly-full high school class in expository writing, and teaching online courses for homeschooling families at Brave Writer, plus keeping my own essay grading business afloat. 

I took this week off after Easter--no homeschooling, no teaching, no grading, and it's helped some, but I really need an additional week or two (or perhaps a month) off in order to feel a real change in my health. 

But I'm also missing the creative outlet of writing fiction, so I shall continue, albeit more slowly and painfully than I would like. ;) 

BTW, I'm thrilled that Pinned but Fluttering has passed 1.6 million reads on Wattpad (and an overall total of nearly 15,000 votes on all my works combined there) plus over 1500 reviews on 

And even the mere seven pages I've posted of Only by Moonlight has garnered over 90 votes and over 100 comments on Wattpad plus 64 reviews on; the reads/views on each site are comparable at about 1200 each. Thank you for reading, voting, commenting, and reviewing my stories!! You all just overwhelm me with your love and support!! :)

And if you're interested in the fan fiction stories I've been reading, check the sidebar under "Fics I Have Read in 2013" for a complete list of all the completed stories I've been following. :)

Thanks again for your compassion and understanding, and I hope to be posting more chapters for you soon. :)

Cassandra :)