Friday, May 7, 2021

Life is What Happens...

 I got my second shot of the Moderna vaccine Tuesday, which was--again--weirdly and embarrassingly moving. 

I can't even explain it. But something about looking around that GIGANTIC barn (literally--it was at our local fairground) and seeing my fellow Americans--the reassuring diversity of old/young, male/female, white/people of color... I felt like crying.

A good crying though. A feeling of THANK YOU FOR BEING SANE, I guess.

But here's the thing. Beyond unexpected fatigue, I had no real after-effects following the first vaccine. The second vaccine? Holy moly. At first, nothing. I went home and worked for about six hours. And then... 

Chills, fever, nausea, headache, aches in every joint...even my skin hurt. 

It lasted roughly two days. So not nearly the length of the flu, and certainly not the length of COVID19. I'm not suggesting it wasn't worth it--because that should be a no-brainer--I'm saying I wasn't expecting it.


In another week, I'll have 95% immunity, and I can't begin to tell you what a relief that is. 

But I've lost a couple of days of work, and between some family things (HELLO, MOTHER'S DAY, WHEN DID YOU GET HERE?) online conferences and doctor appointments, I'm looking at my schedule and thinking I might have to shift some things again. I dread the very idea, after finally getting back on track, but sometimes there's no getting around things. The truth is, I'm still working around a schedule I created last year, when I was definitely in denial about how much I could do within a day/week/month/year. 


Scandal at the Salty Dog (Secrets and Scrabble 4) is maybe...probably going to get pushed back to the end of May. We're only talking a couple of weeks difference. 

Body at Buccaneer Bay (Secrets and Scrabble 5) will hopefully not see any changes. I don't want to shift anything more than I have to. At the most, we'd be looking at a week or so.

The 12.2-Per-Cent Solution (Holmes and Moriarity 5) will almost certainly be pushed back to mid-July. It's the final book of the series. I don't want to have to rush it. So maybe a month's delay there. I've been saying I might have to do this for a couple of months, so this one shouldn't come as a surprise.

(ugh) Murder is Served (2 Novellas) is kind of iffy right now. It has less than 1K preorders, so the enthusiasm is not enormous. I'm already doing seven novels this year (including Hide and Seek for Patreon) so this project might just be a bridge too far. I haven't made a decision, but this is where my thoughts are headed. It would take some of the pressure off and give me more time to concentrate on The Movie-Town Murders, which is good, given the research involved in the Art of Murder series. Also I'm probably going to need that time to finish Hide and Seek

I'm not saying I'd completely cancel. I haven't made up my mind what I might do.

So that's kind of what I'm looking at. I didn't want to have to adjust anything, and I'm still hoping I won't, but every day there seems to be something new and urgent added to my calendar. How I wish I could have taken advantage of all that free time last year. 

 Anyway. Next year, I'll be starting completely fresh. The only thing scheduled is in April. I fully intend to put together a realistic work schedule that reflects how I work now versus a decade ago. 


  1. I understand that Moderna tends to have a stronger "kick" than the other vaccines. I got my second Pfizer today, and I only had a minor bout of the sniffles, which went away after a nap. It was even a lot weaker than the first shot in my case. That said, you really gotta take care of yourself first and foremost. The books can wait, as can your readers.

  2. It does feel good to be vaccinated. I got sick with both shots.

  3. Congrats on your 2nd shot, Josh! I know three people who had the Moderna vaccine. They all had a stronger reaction with the 2nd shot than with the first one similar to your reaction.

    Thanks for the books update. Please work at a pace that is healthy for you, and try not to worry about release dates. We're not going anywhere. Take care. <3

  4. So sorry about your second shot. I have one friend who had a similar reaction, also with chills and fever for a day or two. I feel the same way about the shots - we got Pfizer just by chance and it was great to see a wonderful mix of people lining up. I'll get whatever boosters they tell me to! We had COVID all of November and are not looking to repeat it.

  5. Now, about your proposed changes- we always say this because it's true: Do what you need to do. We'll be here. Life does toss its little curveballs and everybody's dealt with it. I'm just so excited - for you AND for me - that you're happy writing and creating again! If you postpone the novellas, nothing says you can't revisit them when the timing is better. Thank you for soldiering on!

  6. Your slightly revised schedule looks absolutely fine to me - plenty to look forward to, and not too long to wait!

  7. Hope you're doing better!
    For the books, I just can't wait for all your new creations , especially for Art of Murde and Murder is served.