24 April 2012


I've just finished my two new Dummies titles, both about cryptic crosswords; I emailled the final edited proofs to my editor a few hours ago!

So I have time for a bit of a progress report at last.

Workwise — I've just written two Dummies books in 4 months. OMFG. Ridiculous working hours. But it's all finished now. The books will be out in Australia, the UK, and the USA/Canada in August, I think. The books' launch will be at the end of August in Canberra, and I'm also hoping to be able to organise some book signings or similar in Melbourne. And next month I'm accompanying the Wiley sales rep around some Canberra bookshops, to help promote the books! It's very exciting to get to do some of this 'real author' stuff with Wiley, I've never had the chance before (as my previous titles have been published by Wiley USA, and they didn't offer to fly me over, LOL).

Bodywise — Since starting in August last year, I've lost 17 kg (that's a bit over 37 lb). I'm back to my pre-Prednisolone weight! I am aiming to lose another 8–10 kg, though, to have less stress on my artificial hip, and feel happier about how I look. My doctors are all frightfully pleased with me, and I'm pleased with me too, it must be said. I've been able to drop one of my blood pressure medications, too!

The MyFitnessPal app has been invaluable. I don't use it to track my food so much nowadays, as the dietary changes are second nature now, but it's great for keeping tabs on my weight.

I've been on a plateau for the past 6–7 weeks, which is rather frustrating. Probably not a coincidence that it's been the same time that I've been working 12–15 hours a day, 7 days a week, to get the second book written in 6–7 weeks.

I've also had to ease off on my usual aerobic exercises, because my left hip (yes, that one) started acting up! It was a bit alarming, but after x-rays confirmed that the prosthesis looks wonderful and secure, my surgeon put the 'catching' and 'thunking' down to 'snapping hip' syndrome, basically, a tendon (probably the iliopsoas) was catching on the prosthesis. So no aerobics or heavy lifting for a month, and back onto anti-inflammatories. It does seem to have settled down, so I'm hoping to get back into my swimming and cycling this week.

Healthwise — my neurosarcoidosis is pretty well controlled at the moment. I'm on half the dose of mycophenolate that I started on (1,000 mg instead of 2,000 mg), and while there's a little recurrence of some of the nerve symptoms (numbness around my mouth, and a sensation of having a piece of hair on my eyelid), seem to be managing OK. My vision is steady, thankfully. I have found out, though, that I have early signs of cataracts, as well as the glaucoma (both probably caused by the Prednisolone). And guess what's a bad thing for cataracts? Medicated eye drops for glaucoma  :/  Going blind, no matter which what I do, it seems ...  well, at least you can have surgery for cataracts (shudder), while there's no cure for the vision loss from glaucoma. The sarcoid is possibly affecting my liver, as some of my liver function tests are still elevated, despite my weight loss.

Having a wedge resection on both my big toes next Tuesday, too ... I get recurring infections, which are a huge risk to my artificial hip, so rather than ending up on antibiotics several times a year, we figured it was better just to get rid of the cause of the problem. Having it under twilight sedation, and will need a week off my feet to recover, which I think I can handle after the past 5 months of work!

Familywise — our lodger has left. Jen's taking a break from studies, and has started her own little web design business, something she really loves doing. Rodger's going from strength to strength with his glass ... he's attended some more classes and workshops, and now demonstrates his craft at the Canberra Glassworks now and then on weekends. There is some talk about him teaching there. They're about to start stocking his marbles in their shop, too! First Blood is Sydney is thinking of taking him on as their main glass jewellery stockist. Hubby and I are looking forward to a whole week away at the coast at the end of May, too  :)

Hope to have some time and energy to catch up with blogs, and other work, and my long neglected hobbies and friends now!


  1. You have been a busy beaver! What a whirlwind of activity around you.

    Congratulations on finishing the books! That is so cool. I can't imagine the excitement of seeing your name on the shelf at a bookstore.

  2. Wow, congrats on the accomplishments of both books as well as meeting your target weight goals.

    I'm losing volume in edema, but literally a size 8 or 10 trapped in a size 16 to 18.

    I am curious, as I was when you said first you were doing a dummy books how to make a dummy book on crosswords, as it seems sort of self evident, but I guess I will have to pick up the book to find out, as I am bad at crosswords but have talked to those who do them daily and they say once you do them more than say, once a year, it becomes a mindset, like doing scrabble every night.

  3. Most of the Dummies books on puzzles are actually collections OF puzzles) with only a little bit about how to solve them. I've suggested that they change their title conventions, to something like "For Dummies Puzzles: Crosswords, Volume 1" or whatever, but they won't :/
    I think that would make it clearer for people!

    The Solving Cryptic Crosswords For Dummies IS a lot about how to solve them, that takes up most of the book, because they ARE very difficult puzzles to solve, as each clue in the crossword is a mini word puzzle. There are a lot of tricks and rules to learn, hence the Dummies book.

    The other book I wrote at the same time is a companion volume of 56 more cryptic crosswords to solve.

  4. No wonder you look happy, you have gained so much health (apart from the eyes) I am glad that things are much more positive than they were. It's good news!!

  5. Gawd girl. That is a BIG smile under the weight of all those health thingies. Gotta luv ya.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.