The last couple of years have been a challenge.
I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer (a particularly lethal type) and had a lumpectomy, tons of chemotherapy, and loads of radiation, throwing me into the middle of a deep, dark forest. So far, so good; I see the light at the edge of the forest after more than five years. Finally I can call myself a survivor.
Except I got "chemo brain." Think of it as a nasty version of the mind you get when you go into menopause. You forget things. Words! What would I give to be able to pop out the right word? I know the definition, how I want to use it, but I can't come up with the word. Watching Jeopardy is torture. I know the answer, I know I know the answer! I can't concentrate -- I zone out, can't pay attention. Oh, to be able to follow a conversation for more than a few minutes. When I type, unless I look at the words, I am likely to type the wrong word. Their instead of there. But instead of and. Worse yet, I now mess up tenses. Was instead of is. Gone instead of go. Never did that before.
I don't always see the errors. I feel like the quintessical brainless blonde.
I developed neuropathy in my fingertips -- nerve damage from chemo drugs. I don't have a bad case of it, but. My typing stinks. I miss keys. Trype instead of type. I hit keys twice, three times in a row. Feel turns into feeel. I have to proofread through the roof. (I typed root instead of roof.)
I am working through it. They say that chemo brain can resolve itself 18 months after treatment. I agree. It isn't as bad as it was -- now if I could plot decently. I have far fewer bad days. Neuropathy is there for life. I will accommodate it.
I practice writing. When I can manage to edit out all the errors, I will write another novel. For now, the mechanics have pushed the magic into a hole under a tree root in the middle of the forest.
So I turned to non-fiction, researching and writing a genealogy of one line of the Chapman family from New London, Connecticut.
I started with a plot and edited until Merlin's magic found a home in the Regency. When the Banshee Brigade wandered into the room, I kept finding more silly things for them to do. So it turned into a series.
The published books in the series are:
Whimsical Adrian Hughes stumbles over holes and Margaret Treadway's far from perfect marriage in Thwarting Magic.
Round Table Magician sees the privacy loving Lord Brinston doing his damndest to keep Lady Martha in her place.
To His Mistress. Alexander, Earl of Shelton, is perhaps the most stubborn man alive -- so muleheaded that he is going to divorce Katherine if it is the last thing he does. Then he can make her his mistress.
Someone, somewhere, loves bossy women. Sir Sloane Johnstone, Keeper of the Grail, runs circles around the Banshee Brigade and grapples with a challenger to his title, all the time keeping a weather eye out for Sarah Frampton's missing Fra Angelico painting.
The Banshee Brigade parades through every book.
Someday, a novella:
A little boy thinks there are monsters under his bed. It takes a special man to chase the fear away -- and save a damsel from a dragon. It is too short to be a full length novel, but writers can and do sell shorter pieces in ebook. Or offer them free.