In our family, we’ve always managed to get through the traumas and tears by holding on to each other and praying. A lot. My own philosophy, as you’ve heard many times, is to “take pleasure in the little things,” and most of the time it works pretty well. Since I’ve been laid off, (and trying to stem the tide of worries about finding a job), I inhaled the fragrance of baby Isabella’s curly blond hair, took extra hugs from my grandsons Julian and Gordie, reveled in my gardens, fixed a ton of stuff around the house, and allowed myself the pure pleasure of writing like a madman for eight months. With two more books under my belt, I thought I'd managed to handle the stress fairly well. (hint: whenever you start to get too pleased with yourself, hold on. Life is about to change!)
And so my life took a plunge. Daughter Jenn arrived at our home last Saturday with a fever of 104, dizzy, and delirious. We put her to bed, gave her some Advil , and watched her. She’d had some vomiting and diarrhea in the morning. (I know, too much information, but it's important that you recognize the symptoms!) We got the fever down to 103.5, and put her to bed for a good night’s sleep. We all thought it was the flu, and that we’d have to ride it out.
The next morning, her fever was 105.3. Alarm bells triggered in my head – loudly. I got her to the ER at 9:30 that morning, much against her fervent desire to stay home in bed and nurse whatever it was in peace and quiet.
To make a long story short, Jenn had toxic shock syndrome (which men and menopausal women can get, too, by the way). Her BP was extremely low when we got to the ER (77 over 39) and we later found out she was septic, which means her blood was infected. This all happened in less than 24 hours. After a week of touch and go, they finally isolated the bacteria (Orsa) that invaded her body, and saved her. Additional symptoms were a bright red itchy rash on day 2, swollen fingers, toes, and face, disorientation, and severe head pain. I found out yesterday (when we brought her home), that if we’d arrived one HOUR later, she likely wouldn’t have made it.
My dear daughter came home today. She’s thin and pale and exhausted, but she’s alive.
So this holiday season I beg of you all – if you have any symptoms at all like those mentioned above, get to the ER immediately. If you’re wrong and it’s “just the flu,” so be it. But at least you’ll have a fighting chance.
Toxic shock syndrome is rare – most of the docs hadn’t seen it but once or twice in their lives. But it’s usually deadly, because people think it will run its course.
On the job front... ahem. Yes. The illusive job quest. While I searched all spring, summer, and fall for work in the engineering field, I found... nothing.
The loss of self-image was salvaged only by my life as a writer, by my amazing readers and their loving comments, and by my family and friends. But the old ego did take a tremendous blow, particularly when months and months passed with no return calls for jobs I’d applied for and no prospects knocking on the proverbial door.
Writing provides a nice subsidy, but it isn’t enough to survive on – yet. Until then, I need a “day” job that will cushion us until LeGarde Mysteries (or one of its spinoffs!) hits the best seller list! So, I’ve taken life by its horns and will go back to earn a masters degree in either social work or mental health counseling. I know, this is a far cry from engineering, but helping people through therapy is something I’ve always been drawn to, and the idea of dealing with people all day instead of machines is intensely appealing. It will mean taking more than half of our life savings to accomplish, but it’s an investment in our future where nothing else appears to be on the horizon. Some day I hope to hang out a shingle for my private practice.
Have no fear, I will continue to write like the wind and provide you with many more years of entertainment, God willing.
Mazurka was officially released in Sept. 2009, and was just submitted by my publisher to the esteemed “Edgar Awards.” I’m thrilled that Lida Quillen believes in my work. Meanwhile, I’ve had scores of very generous and validating reviews, and am ever grateful for you, my readers, and your continued support.
Firesong: an unholy grave, was accepted for publication and is slated for late summer next year.
Healey’s Cave (formerly “The Green Marble”), will be released in late spring 2010, and will kick off the “Moore Mystery” series. Its two sequels, One Potato, Blue Potato, and For Keeps, will be offered one per year after that.
I have lots of books to go back to and refurbish before subbing to my publisher, including the follow-ons to Firesong – Virtuoso, Portamento, Counterpoint, Lady Blues, and Don’t Let the Wind Catch You. That work is more like drudgery, but I know it’s important to polish these manuscripts and get them in the queue.
I’ve just started submitting For the Birds, the standalone paranormal mystery set in the Adirondack Mountains, to big NYC agents. No bites yet, but one must be extremely patient and persevere in this soft publishing market. Wish me luck!
I know it’s a little late (the last two weeks have been hell), but if you’d like to order any of the four LeGarde Mysteries for Christmas, I’ll give you a break on the price and am offering free shipping. Double Forte’ and Upstaged trade paperbacks are twenty bucks each, and Tremolo and Mazurka are fifteen each. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the book title(s), to whom you want them inscribed, and your address. Send a check made out to Aaron Lazar at 5647 Groveland Hill Road, Geneseo, NY 14454 for payment. I’ll ship them out immediately so you can have them for Christmas. ;o)
Here's another very classy Christmas idea. Give someone a set of Young Living Essential Oils for the holidays.
I’ve become besotted with therapeutic grade essential oils, so much so that I’ve signed up to become a distributor.These oils (light and not sticky) are produced from plants, trees, shrubs, etc. and are distilled in an ancient, time-honored process. They're grown organically on Dr. Gary Young's four farms in Ecuador, Provence, Utah, and Idaho under stringent quality control processes.
Basic oils such as peppermint, lemon, frankincense, lavender, eucalyptus, spruce, etc. etc have changed our lives. My family and friends are finding health and emotional benefits galore, and I’m so stuck on them that I can’t imagine life without my “oils.” Tons of hospitals now use them in conjunction with traditional meds to treat patients and to sanitize their facilities.
If you’d like to read about my “oil” stories (true testaments to the benefits I’ve seen in person), check out my “Esentially Yours” oil blog at : www.pureoils.blogspot.com. You can also read about and order the oils for Christmas at my official website:
http://aaronlazar.younglivingworld.com. (If you sign up as a distributor, you can buy wholesale for 24% off.)
The bottom line is we’re finding relief for headaches, muscle aches, sore body parts, skin problems, cold sores, mood lifters, stress relief, and so much more, including bumping up our immunity to disease using pure and natural products the Lord put on this earth. I don’t want to spend too much time in this newsletter raving about them, but needless to say I also now have an “oils” newsletter which I’d love to send you if you’re interested. Just email me and I’ll add you to the list. ;o)
And yes, I'm planning a whole book revolving around essential oils - a sequel to For the Birds that will involve ancient Egyptian rites and biblical oils - it promises to be a blast.
Dr. Ni Radio Show:Poetry, Prose and Everything Goes December 14, 4PM EST
Pioneer Librarian Annual Meeting, Canandaigua, NY
December 15, 10:30 AM
Kim Smith Radio Show Introducing Writers
December 17th 8:30 PM EST
About the Oils:
Thank you all for your support throughout the year. Here’s wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season!
Aaron Paul Lazar
Preditors&Editors Top10 Finalist
Murderby4: Writers' Digest Top 101 Website Award 2009