Monday, March 31, 2014

The Two Worst Side Effects of Brain Fog

Chronic diseases like depression, diabetes, fibromyalgia, MS, or even acute infections such as Lyme disease and yeast infections can cause brain fog, a condition which is exactly as it sounds. You can't think straight, lines are fuzzy, you 'miss' things, and you could be completely unaware that any of that is happening.

As a result of suffering three of the above conditions for several months, possibly years, I have thrown every ounce of energy into concentrating on what needs to be done. I have developed massive concentration which leads to Worst Side Effect #1:  I am relentless.

As in, utterly relentless. I write, so I evaluate every side of the situation and every character's response to it, although I may only write in a few. That leads to great characterization, but it is an enormous waste of time and energy, fighting the fog to put myself in each character's shoes.

What is worse is being relentless 'in real life'. I have lost all capacity to judge when a conversation should be over, and beat the subject to death until the listeners run screaming from the room. When I start 'figuring' and 'estimating', it's time to take me down bodily.

I have a very odd sense of humor, and when I unleash it, relentlessly, I have people pissing their pants if not staring at me like an alien comedienne who doesn't understand the culture yet. And God forbid I try to make someone feel better! They start to wonder why, as if they were rich people and I am looking to get put in their will!

Brain fog's #2 Worst Side Effect:  I can't keep track of my life. If I don't know how much money I've spent, I spend it until it's gone.  I can't remember what promotions I have done, despite drawing up lists on my computer; those lists are undoubtedly in several different folders. I virtually live off my computer, so I document everything, and frequently run searches (if I can remember the keyword!).

I must have a detailed Google driving map to get anywhere, and I often get lost even then, so I usually only drive routes I know very well. I will walk by signs saying Do Not Enter, and walk by people in distress because I am hell-bent-relentless on getting to my destination.   

I am amazed that this horrific infection I had on my finger healed so well, but then again, I type all day long and probably over-treated it relentlessly with three different strategies...! I am lucky my husband puts all my appointments on his iPhone; hell, I'm lucky he remembers to feed me! If I did not also have my magnificent husband, I'd be deader than a doornail, having forgotten to eat, sleep, taken a shower, pay the electric bill, and a host of other must-do's around the house that leads to safe living.  

So please, if you know someone who suffers from occasional (or even 'relentless'!) brain fog, cut them a lot of slack. They are not stupid; they are suffering! Get with, or be, their caretaker if they want one and you have the time. Understand that it may be temporary -- I was ever so thrilled to get rid of a Candida infection I had for God knows how long! -- or it may be part of a worsening illness. It's not that we don't care; it's that we are not able to concentrate, be aware, or notice!

“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.

Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.”

― Stephen Fry

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Book Review! "Nobility" by Eva Caye

Book Review! "Nobility" by Eva Caye

Fabulous must-read interview!  "...enthralling...  just draws you in and doesn't let you go!"

Friday, March 28, 2014

Indie Author News: Indie Author Interview with Eva Caye

Find out what thrills me, as well as why I write what I write...!

Indie Author News: Indie Author Interview: Eva Caye: Indie Author Interview with Eva Caye - Author of the Science Fiction Romance Series To Be Sinclair. Eva Caye wrote eight books in the ...

Monday, March 17, 2014

An Author's Value

"Create value!" say the pundits. According to conventional wisdom, that will attract your customers in droves.

I look at my life and wonder what value people expect of me. I haven't taught in about 10 years, so I am woefully out of touch with the educational system. I've studied and dabbled in half a hundred arts, crafts, and sciences, so I am not a 'professional' in anything but craft clutter. What do I have that no one else has?

I've written 8 books in the To Be Sinclair series, with three in progress. Many people would consider that a great accomplishment, especially of a sufferer of an insidious chronic disease like depression, although thousands of people think 50K words and slapping a title on a photo is enough to be a self-published author. Yet I value my work highly, which is why most of my books are over 100K and have been professionally edited. My value is that I go way beyond those superficial details to craft my stories.

First, they are very readable; Tracy insisted I not make the reader fight to understand anything, so they flow with precisely chosen words with nothing to 'guess'. Second, they are true-to-life; for being science fiction romance, I have nevertheless had a huge proportion of my reviews say how life-like and utterly realistic the stories are, as if you can truly imagine yourself in the story.

But the truest value of my work lies in its symbolism, especially in contrast to today's political realities! The titles represent noble virtues, which I have set as the theme of each book. You truly believe that the Imperial Family consists of benevolent, hard-working, honest men and ladies who hold the best interests of their people at heart while interfacing with the galactic community. Yet they are also very human, with their doubts and their struggles to be understood.  Compare any of my Imperial Family members to the average lying, hypocritical, debased politician in the world at this moment, and you will find characters worthy of their birthright.

Most of all:  I present a future in which there is hope for humanity, at a minimum to get off the planet still sane. No dystopias here! I see no need to start from the most horrifying possible future in order to write a story of compassion and achievement, and I reject pure Good-Vs-Evil in favor of conflicts between characters who all think of themselves as 'good'. The underlying question for my series is, "What will the greatest ruling family in the history of the galaxy be like?" Therefore, the Imperial Family consists of people who grew up with qualities of true greatness: clear thinking, honesty, sincerely striving to help others, and always progressive attitudes toward education and the future.

We see enough horror of a day, and call it 'news'; I prefer to write about how good-hearted people survive with their ability to love stronger than ever before. I see no reason to write grotesque scenes whose only purpose is to 'stand out' in the mind of the reader. Although there are a few scenes you could call 'horrific', they are always intended to be central to the plot, not gratuitous violence.

Thus the value of my body of work: great stories about a family you can feel you belong to, with all the ups and downs of a regular family. You just happen to be a member of the Imperial Family of Sinclair Demesnes, 600 years in the future, with all the trials and glories involved in being a link in the most important chain holding humanity together. With the mind-bending Easter egg short stories as lagniappes, the value of my books is that you can stare at humanity once more, and have hope for the human race. has psychological profiles on the main characters

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Small Tributes

I understand that readers don't want to miss clues that may be important to the story.  But after another complaint about the fact that I name a lot of incidental characters, I feel I should explain.

After the Sandy Hook shootings, a number of postings on Facebook listed the names of the victims, memorializing them instead of spreading the name of the shooter.  For my own small tribute, I began incorporating those names in the books I was on, Royalty through Evan's Ladies.  A first name here for a nurse, a last name there for a Sentinel agent, these people were only mentioned one or two times for a number of reasons.

First, I wanted to showcase the names in positive ways, such as watchmen or other caretakers of the Imperial Family.  I even used 'Marquez-Greene' for the Speaker of the Galactic Assembly, representing law and order.  Second, I wanted to provide names for the typically 'nameless people' to show that the Imperial Family cares enough to learn the names of their caretakers.  Third, I wanted to memorialize these children and teachers with careers, stations in life which I think they would have been proud to take up in those future realities.

The one thing I did not want to have to do was explain all this publicly because I did not want any of the family or friends of the victims to rush to buy my book and discover their loved one's name as an incidental character not mentioned more than a few times.  I did it for my own small personal tribute, and I do not want anyone to tell any Sandy Hook people about it because I do a lot of minor tributes to people that way, without explanation.

I apologize if you are the type of reader who takes notes and expects every named person to play an important role in the story.  In my mind, the Sentinels, watchmen, medics, nurses, ladies, lords, and other support staff ARE important to the story, and deserve not to be faceless.  I'll try not to bombard you with them in further stories.

Monday, March 3, 2014

SFR Brigade Presents: Snippet from Dynasty!

The Science Fiction Romance Brigade is a lovely group of authors who work to promote this science fiction subgenre's potential as the best niche in the galaxy!  The newest idea is a sign-up, for up to 20 authors, for snippets to showcase our talents and give you an idea of our work.  Please visit SFR Brigade Presents! for this month's snippets.  And here is mine.... which Lord Kurtis Adamov, Prince Stefan Sinclair's love interest, admits to the depth of his feelings....

SFR Brigade Presents:  a snippet from Dynasty, book five of the To Be Sinclair series by Eva Caye

Kurtis fluffed up Stefan’s blond spikes. “I wish I could have you with me all the time, just so each moment would bring me joy.”

A small huff, a mere breath of amusement, was followed by tears springing to Stefan’s eyes.  “I’m so conflicted, though. Mother really does need us to carry on her work; she cannot trust anyone else with even the most basic tasks. And although I love my University work, I wish I were not hemmed into strict schedules.”

“At least you have the luxury of knowing what to expect of a day. Although I do go to a few major events and parties, I’m virtually Grandfather’s drudge, ‘marketing rep’ being a code-word for ‘minion who can handle the books as well as the peons’. I’m lucky if I can wake up of a day and actually have a plan to follow.”

[....]  “But Grandfather and Father need me as much as the Empress needs you.”

“True. We’ll just have to support each other as best we can.”

“And love each other whenever possible.”

Stefan lightly kissed his lips. “You mean, have sex whenever possible.” They laughed together. “Because I already love you, wherever you are and whatever you do.”

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