What I’ve Been Up To

Mothering doesn’t stop just because kids are growing up

I haven’t been able to do much with edits on the books I already finished. I can only hope that now school has started that things will settle down, but who knows? I have two still in high school, one in college who works part-time, and another who works full-time. I honestly don’t know how anyone can afford to get a place of their own right out of high school with prices being the way they are. So I told my kids they can stay here and save up money so they don’t have to go into debt to be on their own. Anyway, this means I’m still busy with the kids. Even if they are in the 16-20 year range, they like to talk to me about their day and stuff that’s bothering them. I want to be available for that, so I will set aside things I’m doing to sit or walk with them.

Years ago, I was hoping to be close to my nieces and nephews and for my kids’ grandparents to be close to my kids. But life didn’t turn out that way. My parents died early on. My husband’s parents weren’t all that interested in spending time with my kids. As for nieces and nephews, that’s a whole other set of issues I don’t want to disclose in a public forum. But at least I can have a close relationship with my own children, and I’m taking advantage of it. I do what I can to encourage my kids to make decisions for themselves, so I see my role as a listener and a source of emotional support. As they get older, they’re not really “kids”. They’re kind of like friends but the dynamic is a bit different since I used to change their diapers. πŸ˜€ I’m not sure how to think of the relationship now that I’m not really in the role of doing things for them. I make an effort to encourage them to make their own decisions. This is why I let my youngest go to school instead of homeschooling him. I gave him the choice. I preferred homeschooling, but he’s old enough to choose what works best for him, and it’s my responsibility to honor that.

Haven’t got much editing done and haven’t written anything

My eyes are still giving me grief. That’s nothing new, but I can tell that my days of being able to sit at a computer and type or edit for hours is coming to a close. The more I’m on a computer (even with the Reticare screen), the worse things are for my eyes. My condition is dry eye, and all kinds of screens (computer, phone, iPad, etc) only makes things worse. I live on audio now. I listen to podcasts and AI audiobooks while doing household work or going out for walks. I have made it my goal to get into physical shape and eat better. I go for walks a lot these days. Sometimes I go with one of my kids. Sometimes I go alone. After struggling to lose weight for twenty years, I have finally managed to lose 38 pounds. That took a year to lose. Unlike some people, I lose weight slowly. I don’t miss carbs like I thought I would, though giving up chocolate candy and ice cream was hard. All the walking and diet change has made it so that my eyes aren’t all watery like they used to be, but I’m in no way able to do things at a computer like I used to. I think this is just an aging thing.

Dictation is out for me. I had thought about going back to it, but when I dictate, the program I speak into doesn’t get a lot of things right, such as spelling of words. It can take me about one hour to clean up a session of dictation, which is roughly half a chapter. And even then, I still have to edit the book when all is said and done before it’s ready for an editor to iron out consistency issues or typos. I gain no “off the computer” time from dictation. It only doubles my workload. What this means is that I have to slow down with editing and writing. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep going with this. But that’s okay. I’ve had a good run of this. I have completed over 100 books. Never in a million years did I think I’d ever be able to write that many books, nor did I think anyone would want to read them. I went into self-publishing thinking I’d write about 20 books and have those paperbacks sitting on my shelf. God has been very good to me. I have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams.

Still creating AI audiobooks for Kobo but haven’t added anything new to Radish

Both Kobo and Radish are slow to upload to, and something about the Radish site really does a number on my eyes. I can’t afford an author assistant. Taxes are going up, and anything I make seems to go to taxes or to a repair that pops up. So it all falls on me to do these things with my books. In theory, it sounds so easy to get these things done, but it doesn’t play out that way in real life. This stuff takes way more time than one would think. I am planning to get all of my books up on these sites. It’s slow going. That is frustrating, but what else can I do? I’m only one person, and given the situation with my eyes, it’s just going to be slow.

I haven’t even been blogging as much as I want to. There’s been plenty on my mind. I always have something to say when it comes to writing, publishing, or marketing. Get into a room with me, and you’ll find I won’t shut up. πŸ˜‰ But since I need my eyes to write the blog post, I will usually upload an audiobook, do my record keeping for the accountant, or edit instead. Speaking of which, I just finished getting the audio files ready for the Marriage by Bargain Series, so I can start uploading that series to Kobo now. πŸ˜€

About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to contemporaries romances and other genres (such as science fiction thrillers). For more information, please go to www.ruthannnordin.com or check out https://ruthannnordinauthorblog.wordpress.com.
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8 Responses to What I’ve Been Up To

  1. My sons are 33 and 39. They are still my kids. I still worry about them and care about them just like when they were little. That doesn’t stop, even though they have wives to take care of them. But I don’t interfere in their lives and give unwanted advice (in case someone thinks that by what I said, LOL.) I’m always there for them, though.

    I know how eyes can affect your life. I have a problem with one eye that just started yesterday, and I’m sure it’s temporary (like a scratch or something), but just that shows how important your eyes are in everyday life. I wish you could find some medication or something that could help that. The world will be worse off if you can’t write anymore.

    That being said, if you need me to help you more than just the regular editing, like cleaning it up after dictation, I’m sure we could work something out. Just let me know if I can help in any way.

    • LOL I didn’t think you interfered in their lives or gave them unwanted advice. Based on our friendship, I know you’re not the type. πŸ˜€ My goal is to be like you as a mother of adult children. I want them to know I’ll always be here to listen with a mother’s ear, but I also want them to know I understand they have their own lives to live. I thought I would miss the stage where they were little, but I like this stage a lot more.

      I hope the problem with your eye cleared up. A piece of dust got into one eye while I was helping my mother-in-law clean out her garage, and the next couple of days were awful. When you get something in there, it’s hard to get it out.

      My plan is to slow down and just take the writing thing one day at a time. I’m not going to force it like I used to. I used to make myself write no matter what. Now I’m choosing to walk or clean up around the house. I can’t just sit and watch TV unless I’m relaxing before bed. I need to be doing something. The house is in the best shape right now. LOL Now I’m not going to feel embarrassed if someone unexpectedly stops by. Who knows? Maybe next year, I’ll figure out how to finally get a garden going. I’d like to at least be able to grow some lettuce.

  2. Sending prayers your way for your eyes but congrats on 38 pounds!! I need to walk more but can’t figure out when…I don’t even have time to write, haha! I’m sure you’re already using eyedrops for your dry eyes, it’s a pain, isn’t it? My favorites are the Genteal Moderate – actually I loved moderate to severe but those are gone and the severe is an oil stuff that I just don’t like, lol!!

    • I know what you mean by having a busy schedule. If we didn’t have to sleep, imagine the stuff we could get done. πŸ˜€ I use eyedrops from time to time, but I try not to use them too much. Years ago, I used them all the time, and I think it backfired because my eyes eventually got worse. They weren’t steroid drops. I don’t even know enough about eyedrops to understand why they stopped working. I was using Visine. Maybe it was the brand. I haven’t heard of Genteal Moderate. Is this over the counter?

      Yes, dry eye is a pain. I’m sorry you’re dealing with the aggravation, too. 😦

  3. dorothypaula says:

    8/26/2022

    Dear Ruth, This post touched me deeply. I can empathize with so much of it. God willing, I’ll be 79 shortly and have been processing similar, if not exactly the same, problems, with eyes, ears, osteoporosis, bursitis, anxiety, and my old nemesis, vertigo. Like you, the Good Lord has been merciful to me, allowing me to self-publish over 40 books (novellas, novels, short stories, and from 1985 through 1999, my small press The Pink Chameleon, stories, poetry, articles, and illustrations by writers and artists in the States and abroad, along with my own works. first as spiral paperbacks – I did it all with a typewriter, next a word processor and the old Adam printer – the editing, printing, collating, and mailing, while at the same time being a wife, homemaker, caretaker to my mom and grandma. charging only $5. for copies, including the contributory copy. And I only charged the $5 to cover my printing costs. Then as I grew older and health suffered, I switched to online through 2009, when health issues forced me to stop publishing the small press.

    Then, wonders of wonders, I found Mark Coker’s Smashwords and with God’s blessings and indie publishing, I was able to self-publish my works online and in paperback and recently in hardcover. As you know, my earnings are little to nil. I don’t have your expertise with sales and your intelligence and skill with words, but I’ve always loved writing, and followed that dream, a large part of that as I’ve mentioned before, is due to your inspiration. Thank you Dear Ruth. So, I keep at it, at a much slower pace, as the body ages. Not the best of writers, not the worst, but always with the Lord and His Holy Mother at the center of my stories to bring souls closer to the Lord. God’s Blessings and all the best, dear friend.

    • It sounds like you’ve always been busy. I think people take for granted how much work goes into being a homemaker, caretaker, and writing. I think it’s cool you figured out a way to create those spiral paperbacks. If I had thought of that, I would have done it while in high school and college with the stuff I wrote way back when. Back then, I wrote everything in a notebook, and now it’s all been lost. I had no idea something like an Adam printer even existed. I bet that thing was a lot of fun. I remember having a lot of fun with my word processor since it was easier to work with than my old typewriter or hand writing everything in a notebook. Can you believe technology has come as far as it has? I never thought the world would open up the way it has for writers.

      I remember hearing about some of your health issues, but I didn’t realize you were dealing with all of that! It’s amazing you have such a wonderful attitude in spite of it all. It’s a wonderful testament of your relationship with God to the world. I can tell you have a deep love for Him when I read your books, but your kindness really brings out the testimony. I’ve heard people say that you can preach the gospel by the life you live, and I think you’re an example of this. You are such an inspiration. I want to be like you. πŸ˜€

  4. Erica R says:

    Sorry to hear that your eyes are giving you trouble. That must be frustrating. Especially for a writer. Thank goodness for audiobooks. I do enjoy listening to them also, especially at night.

    Kids are such fun at all ages. They make my life so much better. I dropped my son off for his first year of college yesterday, my youngest, and it got me thinking about the changes that will always come to us in life. Like the waves flowing in and out on a sandy beach. It just is and we just have to enjoy life as it is. He was excited so I am very happy for him.

    My daughters also tell me how impossible it is to get ahead these days. Who can afford their own house and kids with student loans and the price of everything so high. I tell them they are thinking about it all wrong. You don’t need to give your kids everything, you just need to give them the basics and love. So what if you can’t afford to put you kids on three different soccer teams. Just spend time with them, it’s so worth it.

    I’m sorry if you won’t be doing any more writing. I know I will miss new books from you very much, but I will always enjoy re-reading the ones I have. Thank you for all the time you’ve put in to create all these wonderful stories. I am a willing volunteer if you ever need help.

    Congratulations on losing 38 pounds. That is a tremendous accomplishment and you should be very proud.

    Have a very happy school year and rest of the summer. Remember you have this fan out there who will always be reading and listening. Thanks for writing

    • It is frustrating at times, but I’m learning to adjust. I’ve come across people who have (for one reason or another) let their frustrations make them better, and it’s sad. I prefer the frustration to lead me to better things instead of trapping me in box.

      I imagine the youngest is the hardest to watch going off on their own. I’m two years away from that with my youngest. As you said, changes will come, and it’s best to go along with them. I love your wave analogy. That’s really pretty. πŸ™‚ It is a neat experience to be proud of your kid when they grow up and see that they’re making their way in the world.

      My sons would probably love it if I co-signed for student loans, but there is no way I’m doing that. One of my sons told me it would be about $18K for a dorm, tuition, and books for one year, and I nearly fainted. My dad paid my way to college, and I’m sure it was a lot less back then (in the 90s). The most I’m willing to help out is co-signing the first car, and that car has to be used. You’re right. The most important thing we can give our kids is our time, and ultimately, that will be more important than all of this other stuff. I like money as much as the next person, but it won’t substitute time.

      Thank you, Erica. I always appreciate your kindness. πŸ˜€

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