Ends and Beginnings…

Newsletter 054 – January 12, 2024


If you’ve been following this newsletter for any length of time you will have noticed that 2023 was a year of ups and downs for me. Things didn’t always go as smoothly as I hoped they would. In the newsletter I sent at this time last year, I said I thought that finishing my novella, Flood and Fire, would take a few months, and it then would need a few rounds of edits and some final polishing before I could do the layouts and the cover art. I expected to be finished with it well before summer, but I’m still not finished with the first draft. The historical section of it (mid-1660’s during the Great Fire of London) proved to need much more research than I thought it would, and I’m finding it difficult to make the writing modern enough to be readable while still presenting an accurate impression of the 17th century. I’ll get there, but I’m struggling with it.

To compound matters, if you’ll recall, before I could do much work on the novella I also had to finish my marketing campaign for If a Butterfly (and that used up the first month or two of the year). I also had to replace my desktop computer and reload my most important software from scratch. That consumed a couple of weeks, followed by loading bits and pieces of other programs during the year whenever I needed them.

Several of the other 2023 newsletters were about various interruptions I experienced during the year (dealing with my dying and then dead Prius, and later replacing it with my Bolt EV, along with the installation of a charging station in my garage; and needing a video card in my new computer to allow me to run the programs I will need to do the cover art and the print layouts for the books). Plus, I had to deal with some plumbing issues and replacing our back fence while wrestling with our homeowner’s association about several issues tied to the fence repair.

Halfway through the year I realized I was spending so much time on this newsletter (especially stopping and starting working on it every other week) that I needed to do something to give myself some breathing space. Since I send out two newsletters each month (the second and fourth Friday of each), I figured I could create more space by writing a bunch of them all at once and setting them up to send to you on the appropriate dates (thus the ten Ramblings newsletters were born). It took me a few weeks just to write them, but I still had to pause to prepare each one for mailing a few days before I uploaded them for Mailerlite to send. After they were sent, I also then had to reformat each of them slightly and set them up in WordPress to be posted to my website a week after each one was emailed. I think I did save myself some time in the long run, but I’m not sure how much.

And then my fall happened. The last half of November and all of December has been mostly about trying to avoid bending my left leg less than one or two degrees. Not easy. I’m writing this on December 28, 2023, with my left leg sticking straight out in front of me under my desk, and the other one curled back under my chair. I have a second doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning. He originally said the healing will probably take three months (and tomorrow will be six weeks after the fall, the halfway point).

Update (12-30-2023): After six weeks in the immobilizer, according to the x-rays, my kneecap is still stable, and a slight hazy area has appeared between the split, which (I think) is a sign that new bone is forming. I have another appointment for more x-rays and a follow-up in February. Hopefully I’ll be out of the immobilizer sometime in the spring.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that things don’t always turn out the way we hope they will. Sometimes it’s for the better, sometimes for the worse. The most we can do is to keep moving (or, in my case, hobbling) forward, and deal with whatever appears in our path.

The next newsletter is about setting a new set of goals for 2024, and how I hope to achieve them. By the way, Ends and Beginnings (today’s heading for this newsletter) is my current working title for Book One of my post-apocalyptic retelling of the King Arthur legend. See Newsletter 14 for some of my earliest thoughts about that series. It’s anybody’s guess when I’ll be able to start on that. After Flood and Fire  and  Jagged Man, I need to finish at least one other book (Murder Between Friends, and/or possibly The Hawthorn’s Sting). I’ll say a little about each of them next time.

See you then,


[“There is a time for many words,
and there is also a time for sleep.”
Homer, The Odyssey, Book VIII, I, 379.
But, apparently, I don’t have
enough time for either one. 😊]

[If you’re reading this newsletter for the first time, I archive back issues of it here a week after they are emailed to subscribers. If you’re interested in reading any earlier ones, you can find them here: https://www.michaelsiroisauthor.com/blog-index/. If someone forwarded this to you and you would like to receive the newsletter yourself, go here. Just download a free copy of Butterfly’s companion book, and you’ll be subscribed.]


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2 thoughts on “Ends and Beginnings…”

    • Hah, humor! Let me clarify. Rants *from* lunatics trying to get me to (for example) fall for some scheme to finance their bogus bitcoin-funded vacation to Aruba would definitely not make the cut. Rants *about* the lunatic who writes this blog would be okay coming from someone I trust, like you. 🙂


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