Thursday, October 31, 2013


Sometimes the hardest part of writing is pushing the "publish" button.

Understand, I'm a writer. That's what I do, it's what I am and I'm not going to apologize for that. But I've always been a writer for me rather than for other people. Letting other people see my work is a risk.

But the interesting thing there was that once I started letting other people read my work I learned that it wasn't so hard. And the first time I pushed the publish button on a blog post, it wasn't so hard.

The first time I pushed publish on one of my books--that was hard, it took several hours before I was willing to actually jump. But the second was only about half an hour, and I have no doubt that the third will be even easier.

My first negative review--I still laugh every time I think about it.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

An alternative to healthcare

I was just on the Matt Walsh blog reading responses to one of his posts. This particular post is real-life stories from people who are being affected by the Affordable Care Act.

Someone mentioned a bill-sharing ministry, which I've heard of before but not by that name. My understanding is that everyone pays into the "fund" each month, and medical bills are paid out of that fund. When someone submits a claim, it's paid out of the existing funds and the rest of the participants pick up whatever the fund doesn't cover. So if you have 100 people participating, and they're each putting in $100 per month the fund has about 10k per month to work with. So if someone submits a 20k claim, 10k would be paid out of the fund and the other 10k split between the individuals, so each would pay an additional $100.

My proposed structure is more like a health-insurance credit union or a health-insurance trust. The participants pay in every month, and medical bills are paid up to a certain limit, pretty much the reverse of our current system. As the fund builds, the amount available also increases. For the first year (or two years, depending on how it's structured) people would be restricted to the amount they've paid in to the system, but by that time the fund could have grown to the point where it is self-sustaining. If everyone has a particular limit per year then the fund could take a 30% loss and still be self-sustaining. And the next year each person has that same (or a higher) limit based on the fund balance. So a person who has 100k in medical bills could keep claiming the maximum per year as long as they continued to pay into the system.

People with preexisting conditions would have the same payout and the same "premiums" as everyone else.

Statistics say that 2% of individuals will have a "catastrophic" need in any given year. Even assuming that more than 2% of the individuals in the plan claim the maximum, the plan can take a 30% loss while remaining viable and continuing to grow. People would be in charge of their own medical coverage, deciding for themselves what they want to claim.

Example: Individual paying $100 per month, fund balance of 100k after the first year, 100 participants. Per family limit of 5k per year. 6% could claim the max and the fund remains viable. Year end balance of 160k, maximum goes up to 6k the next year or add 100 participants.

Makes sense to me. Someone please make it a reality?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

One step at a time

I admire people who can speak their mind. I tend to try to make sure that no one will be offended, which is self defeating but as an indie author it's rather important not to alienate my audience.

Then I realize (every time) that if they're going to be offended it doesn't matter what I say or don't say. I could stand still in the middle of a room and someone would find my stillness offensive.

That seems to be the world we live in.

The problem is that all my life I've been taught not to make waves. Not told, mind you. Taught. There's a difference.

Keeping my mouth shut and my head down has always been my safety net, but now I'm an author. I've put my work out there for other people to read, which means I can't hide in the dark anymore. Eventually, what I write is going to clash with what someone else believes. It's inevitable.

And in my writing, what they think doesn't matter. It's in my life that I have to fight to say what I really think rather than pulling back into my safe turtle shell. I learned early that the only way to survive was to have no opinions, no feelings and keep my interests to myself.

I am working on stepping out of the dark, but it's an uphill struggle.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Is Without A Voice a thriller?

I talked to one of my readers the other day and she said that she found Without A Voice frightening.

I can't get my head around it. It's alternately described by other readers as suspense or a thriller, but even that I can't quite figure out.  Thriller? When I think of thrillers I think of chainsaw murderers. I don't like thrillers. I don't like blood and guts and extreme violence, so I don't write it.

The book is tense, yes. It faces topics of domestic abuse, stalking, etc, but there are only two violent scenes and even those are what I would consider extremely mild. I cataloged it as suspense for a reason.

I think my idea of "thriller" must be seriously out of whack.

What do you think?  Is Without A Voice a thriller? Did you find it frightening?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My life in jigsaw

I have a puzzle on my desk. Well really I have five of them, but one I'm working on. The idea is to make sure all the pieces are there and send it off to the thrift store.  Otherwise, if the pieces aren't all there it's going in the garbage.

My nephew said I should just count the pieces and I told him it wouldn't be as much fun.

My life is a lot like a jigsaw puzzle.  Not these nice, neat puzzles with the perfectly shaped pieces that might fit anywhere in the frame--a jigsaw puzzle. Of course if all the pieces are the same shape that creates a different problem.

My problem isn't finding out where that black piece goes--it's that every piece of my life is a different shape. Making them all fit is near impossible.

It's the writing, and the puzzles, and the laundry and the books I want to read. It's looking for a job and wondering where the money is going to come from and thinking about the herbal stuff and a science project. The old language project and I need (i.e., want) to make a batch of soap but if I get the soap stuff out I'll get distracted by all the other projects I haven't finished. And the garden, the weather, politics and dancing. And that book of magic pictures is calling my name, which brings me back around to the writing because magic, you know.

Tomorrow I'll go off on another tangent. But no matter how hard it is to put all the pieces together I wouldn't trade the craziness for that perfect puzzle with all the pieces precisely the same size and shape. I graduated from that one a long time ago.