Life Update, and a Random Recommendation

Sorry about the 7+ days of somewhat abrupt silence here on this blog. I know that the tens of people who read it have been anxious for an update!

The main reason for the lack of blog activity (except for a couple updates on the novel, for which I direct your attention once again to the “Radicals and Royalist” page, linked on the upper right-hand corner there) is that I’ve had a lot of non-blog activity. As I said, I got my book proof, and since then I have been busting my butt to re-design the cover and do another round of edits, which essentially amounted to a read-through of the book, literally cover to cover, making notes and edits and playing with the formatting and realizing that I was leaving out some descriptions of characters and repeating adjectives and neglecting to describe the protagonist’s feelings about pivotal events. And all these changes had to be translated from paper to computer file. And last night I finally uploaded the new files for a printability check before I order a second (and last, oh please God please) proof.

Other sources of non-blog activity are my day job, where I have been working more than ever and so I can’t wait to see my next paycheck, and having my college friend Jessica as a weekend houseguest and showing her around Columbus (translation: dragging her to some of the places I’ve wanted to go but haven’t seen yet). Unfortunately, that partially overlapped with catching a cold, which I blame on the children at church. Thankfully, it was one of the shortest colds I’ve ever experienced: one day of a sore throat, overlapping with one or two days of general fatigue, then one day of sniffles, and one day of coughing, and today I feel fine. I attribute this relatively not-awful cold with drinking fruit/vegetable juice and lots of herbal tea.

Let me take a moment to offer a product recommendation: A few years ago, I read an article that said ginkgo biloba may help people with asthma breathe better. I don’t have asthma, but I do have allergies that make me wheezy sometimes. I stopped going to an allergist after college, so I no longer take prescription meds, including an inhaler, and since then have been creating my own allergy-management plan. I knew that scientific research has pretty much poo-poo’d ginkgo as a memory aid, but I figured there was no harm in trying it out for my breathing.

What I personally have been using. Your mileage may vary.

And gosh all fishhooks, it works! I don’t take it every day, but I try to take it at least once a day, with food, shortly before and during known cat exposure (the worst wheeziness cause for me), and it definitely helps me breathe better. It works every bit as well as my inhaler used to, although the ginkgo is better at preventing the wheezing in the first place. It takes a while to help my breathing after wheezing has already started.

A while back, I also tried taking it when I had a cold, and I found that it helped with my coughing, too! Usually when I have a cold, the cough lingers for two or even three weeks afterwards. When I take ginkgo, it’s a matter of days instead. Even if you’re skeptical of natural/herbal remedies (and trust me, so am I), see if it’s worth a shot.

Word of warning: Yes, I’d recommend it, but I took on the risk myself and since I don’t have a regular physician I didn’t discuss it with anyone before I tried it. Ginkgo does have blood-thinning properties, so don’t take it if you already take blood-thinners, or regular aspirin, and don’t take it before surgery. I also read somewhere that it can raise your blood sugar, and although I can’t vouch for that, don’t take it if you have issues with that (unless you discuss it with your healthcare provider, of course).

OK, enough with that, just something I wanted to get out there.

So yeah, what with all this going on, I am physically and mentally (but mostly mentally) exhausted. I know I should work on book marketing after it’s officially published and released, but I think I will need a vacation instead. Even if it’s just a relatively short one. I’m trying to plan a trip to DC, but I’d also like to go up to Rhode Island/Boston and visit friends there. I also want to go to a beach somewhere. Oh, I don’t know …