Tuesday, May 9, 2023

State of the author, May 2023


I guess it's time for another update on how I'm doing, health-wise and with regard to my books.

As most of you know, I've been fighting to do a "hard reset" on my health with the aid of a fasting, liquid-only diet.  I wrote about it in early March, and again later that month.  I'm pleased to report that progress is slow, but steady.  A lot of my critical health statistics are showing improvement, and provided I can keep up the pace, I expect that to continue.  Of course, it's not easy keeping it up!  Doing without solid food for five to six days at a time, then a brief pause over the weekend, then another five or six days, is pretty hard.  One's body doesn't like being deprived of its normal nutrition, and it proceeds to grab hold of every spare calorie it can find and refuse to let it go!  Weight loss is a bit topsy-turvy due to that.  Even so, I've lost forty pounds so far, and the next target (by the end of May, God willing) is fifty pounds down.  Slow and steady is the way forward, I guess.

Sadly, that extreme liquid fast/diet exerts its own penalty.  It may be good for health measurements, but it deprives my body of a lot of energy, meaning that I'm more tired than usual and less able to exert myself physically.  That also translates into slower output when it comes to my books in progress.  Even so, there's progress to report there too.

The first draft of the sixth book in the Maxwell Saga, "Venom Strike", has now been completed and sent off to alpha readers.

I've asked them to spend more time and take more trouble over their feedback than usual, thanks to the difficulties under which I've been laboring:  I'd like to catch as many problems as possible at an early stage, rather than inflict them on my fans.  I expect to have feedback from all of them by the end of the month, at which time I'll revise the manuscript and send it to beta readers for a quick once-over.  God willing, it should be published soon thereafter.

The first draft of the first volume of my Civil War naval trilogy, "The Slumbering Guns Awake", is almost complete, and will go out to alpha readers in June.  I expect it to be ready for publication during July or August.

So, as you can see, there's progress to report.  Thanks for your patience in waiting so long for the next books to arrive.  I'll continue to plug away at more of them as and when I have the energy to do so, and I hope that situation will continue to improve along with my overall health.



Old NFO said...

Good news, and yes, slow and steady 'wins' the race. The lack of energy is expected, as the body is compensating for the lack of nutrition.

lynn said...

A new Maxwell book ? Cool. I will probably get to it in 2 to 5 years as I have 500+ books in my SBR (strategic book reserve).

I found the first Laredo book in the back of my SBR over the weekend. And I ordered the second and third Cochrane books (already got them, Amazon's POD service is amazing).

I am going to try the Bone broth stuff when I get starving at the office. I keep way too much junk food at the office for snacking on those nights I don't make it home until midnight.

Coming to you from flooding south Texas. My house and my office building are 20 miles south of I-10 (five miles south of I-69) and we got several inches of rain at the house this morning, not so much at the office (they are four miles apart).

JNorth said...

I've tried a liquid diet but it doesn't seem to help my weight loss, maybe I should try it with bone broth instead of Jack Daniels.

Glad to hear things are improving for you.

Anonymous said...


CGR710 said...

I've done one better than JNorth: Cognac, Scotch, Gin, Rum but sorry, its not working for me either... :-)

Unknown said...

I've been doing a lot of fasting over the last couple of years (dropped over 100 pounds, but regained about 50 of it before focusing again starting to drop again) and have not had the fatigue that you have been describing most of the time. The only times I've had it is when the food I have been eating has been carb heavy. once my body shifts to fat burning mode (i.e. ketosis) I haven't had a significant drop in energy.

Jim Rock said...

Aye Unknown,
Fat meat, cold water fish for iodine and selenium.
NO seed oils.. none.
As close to 0 carb as possible.
Single ingredient, nutrient dense foods.

Andrew Smith said...

Chances are the drop in apparent energy levels (and associated brain fade) is because your brain notices the comparative lack of calories coming in and goes into a survival mode of sorts. You as a person then sense the low energy in addition to it being difficult to engage the brain in 'full power' thinking mode.

But it's otherwise brilliant to hear how well you are doing despite all the limitations you have to work within.

Anonymous said...

Regarding weight loss, this new Substack post by Bill Quick might be of interest to you. Good luck.


Anonymous said...

I’ve gotten excellent results following an intermittent fasting schedule (18-6).
I also do a very low carb, no added sugar, and no snacking diet.

TechieDude said...

Eventually, you're going to have to find a diet that works for you long term.

Everyone is different. The best system I've seen to explain it is based on blood type. My blood type is more carnivore, my wife's more fruit and veggie.

I started slim4life, but found that all the supplements and snacks were BS, my body hated them, and they were where these dudes made money. The diet, though works. I keep myself to portion control, and limit myself to no more than 3 servings of hi glycemic carbs - two slices of bread, 1/2 a baked tater, etc. BTW - way back when I asked my doc about diets he said they are were simply a system of paying attention to what you eat. Most of the common ones, like slim4life, is simply recording what goes in yer gob and having a yenta cluck over the worksheet once a week and suggest more supplements.

I went down 50 lbs. Started relaxing and having a desert here or there, or chik-fil-a and put 10 back. It takes discipline, especially with booze.

My brother joked that because we're Irish we have the potato famine metabolisms. You try and diet and it goes "oh no! another famine! I better keep what I got"

Actually makes sense, since the people that lived through that most likely had bodies that could conserve calories.

glasslass said...

Everyone has diets that worked for them. When I hit a number that rocked me I cut down on number of portions and laid off the snacks and deserts. But your doing this with a Doctor. Talk to her about the brain fade/fatigue your experiencing and maybe a 1X a week to have a craving to get you over the hump. And how long are you expected to be on this? My dad was a diabetic and would really monitor his sugar for a month and be able to splurge on a big holiday. As far as all of us out here we'll be waiting whenever it happens. You have a lot of people praying for you.

BadFrog said...

Great news on both counts. Stay well.

Anonymous said...

The lack of energy is a decrease in metabolic rate, as your body tries to compensate for a lack of calories. The way forward is frankly uncomfortable. In your situation, I would recommend that you exercise before you eat. I do not mean anything exceptional, merely a 15 minute walk, so as to prime the body for increased metabolism. A 15 minute walk would likely serve, as would a series of deep knee bends or isometric exercises at your desk. If you can couple exercise with eating, you'll be well ahead of the game. Prayers and best wishes to you.