Three Things Thursday: Book Stuff

  1. The Waning Moon releases on Tuesday.
  2. I have to have all the final edits and formatting done tonight. TONIGHT! I do not have this done yet. This is anxiety-provoking.
  3. In addition, the images on my new internet home are still not working right. Which is frustrating. Hopefully, I’ll get through the next 12 hours, sanity intact, so I can have myself a glass of wine.

Maybe shower wine

Writerly Wednesday

I am still unable to upload new images. (If anyone knows how to change my image URLs with magic, let me know. Nothing else, including running PHP code, is working.) However, I don’t want to forget to remind everyone that The Waning Moon is coming out in 6 days! (AHHH!)

Old image. Sigh. ANYWAY – click the link! Add me to your Goodreads TBR pile!


It’s available for preorder!


iBook & Nook


And, if you’ve read The Cardinal Gate, I would super-duper appreciate an Amazon review! I don’t even care if you liked it or not. (I’m working towards a full set of stars.)

Funny story: I got my very first negative review this week, and I was thrilled. Legitimately thrilled. First of all, it was a weird negative review.

Starts out most excellent then apparently the author decided the plot needed thickening and devolved it into a typical jealousy filled bodice ripper.

What does that even mean? Is a thicker plot bad? I know bodice-rippers aren’t. My personal summary of this review (that I’m considering putting on the book cover to boost sales) is: Too much plot, not enough clothes.

You’d buy that, right? RIGHT?!

Anyway, I’m back to the salt mines where I simultaneously do my day job and try to figure out what the fuck is wrong with my image URLs that they won’t change. (I do not want to re-upload and attach 1500 images. I just don’t.)

I’m also finishing up final changes and formatting for the Waning Moon, so I can upload it to all the pre-order places!

Review! Preorder! Buy! (You really should. You’re so pretty. So very, very pretty.)

(Also – check out the sidebar for the newsletter sign-up. A new issue with Raj, Chapter 4 is out next week and a new Eleanor brew review from one of the stops she made in The Waning Moon.)

The Best Laid Plans

So, yesterday I made my moving day post and mentioned that there might be a few kinks to work out yet. And then? As my backup/security service recommended, I did a thing to move the rest of my media library from the old place to my new place.

And everything broke. This site – the site I’d spent hours on for the last week – was poof! gone. And mysteriously redirecting to gazelleosncrack. Like no longer existed. I couldn’t log into the admin page, I couldn’t view it without getting redirected to the old site, and I couldn’t even see on my host’s backend. (heh.) Everything said gazellesoncrack and I was all “HEY! I AM TRYING TO LEAVE THAT PART OF MY LIFE BEHIND, MOTHERFUCKERS!”

My moving day post disappeared completely (and with it my first comment on this site from the incomparable Carla). My stats disappeared. All my small changes? Yep. You guessed it. Disappeared.

I sent so many emails and managed to keep my cool (most of the time) by reminding myself that even though I’m one week out from a book release, this was not the end of the world. After all, the website was still pointing somewhere! (Thanks meditation!)

Late last night, they fixed it. Mostly. It’s still a little janky and my stats are still gone, which is wicked depressing, because that was 11 years of statistics that I didn’t want to lose. (It makes me sad that I’ve only had 15 visitors to my website in ALL TIME.)

But, I think it’s mostly okay now?

(Based on the number of people I know who’ve had hitches in their physical moving experiences lately, I don’t know why I expected this to go smoothly.)

So, here we are. For real this time. Welcome. Feel free to bring me a site-warming gift. Preferably of wine. So much wine.

hahahahahaha – GUESS WHAT? I cannot upload new images. And my cpanel file manager has gone missing. Who even knows what’s going on anymore? Not me, that’s for damn sure.

Hopefully by the end of the week, we’ll be back to our regular schedule of book reviews, writing updates, occasional navel gazing, and a combo of angst and motivation.

In the meantime, enjoy this image that I uploaded at some point in history, since we can’t have new things here, even though “new” is totally the point, interwebs!!!!

Moving Day!

I have been in the process of moving my website from one place to another for a long time. I’ve been blogging at gazellesoncrack since 2006 (although I’ve owned for just as long). Today is live. There might be a few broken links or broken forms, so bear with me as I get through them, but overall, this should look just like home.

My ex-husband gave me the inspiration for gazellesoncrack and I fully embraced it. I am not graceful. (In fact, in college, there was a person who regularly just called me Grace.) This is not an untruth. For 11+ years, my entire online identity was wrapped around gazelleosncrack.

But in the past 11 years, I’ve become so much more–this space has become so much more. It started as a place to share my clumsiness and book reviews, became a place to share my clumsiness, book reviews, and shoe pr0n. Morphed into a place to discuss clumsiness, book reviews, shoes, and my health & weight loss journey. Then it skidded sideways into a pregnancy tracker and half-hearted mommy blog. All of this while doing my best to hide my real name from the internets.

And now-this is where we are.

There’s a lot less focus on the awkward (although that still exists), I never talk about shoes anymore (my interest in pretty shoes fell to the wayside about the time I had foot surgery), and my posts about my kid are getting fewer and further between as he gets older (and so much bigger, omg, he comes up to my chest now!).

It’s book reviews and writing and health (physical and mental).

I was doing a meditation this morning (seriously guys, if you haven’t read Rebekah Borucki’s You Have 4 Minutes to Change Your Life, get on that) and realized that the last two years have been nothing but attempts to breathe out the bad and breathe in the good.

I breathed out the job that I hated with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. The job that made me have panic attacks and high-level anxiety. The job that caused me to stress-eat and stress-starve (and may have fucked up my entire digestive system semi-permanently). The breath maybe wasn’t as controlled as I’d have preferred, but it’s gone, it’s out, and this is better.

I breathed out a marriage that had been weighing me down for longer than I care to admit. Letting go of a relationship that doesn’t buoy you is harder than it ought to be. Adding a kid to the mix certainly doesn’t make that process easier.

I breathed in new possibilities. I published a book (soon to be two). I’m taking control of that part of my life.

I breathed in a new job that, although not as exciting as it could be, still pays me with real money and affords me the time and energy to continue to work on my writing.

I breathed in a new relationship with a wonderful man who continually surprises me with how much he’s willing to give to me and my son, just because he loves us.

There are still things that I need to let go of and still things I need to pick up. I need to be bolder, more brazen, more confident. I need to be less anxious, less self-deprecating, less willing to put myself and my needs last. More movement, fewer excuses. More running, less sitting.

I started meditating – started being a person who meditates – when things were terribly, terribly bad earlier this year. I’d just turned 40 and was broke. Unemployed. So anxiety-riddled that I couldn’t tell where my brain was anymore. The one meditation I did over and over and over was (again, from the aforementioned book): “Your situation may look like a mess. That’s real. But you are not that mess.”

That got me through March. I started this job the end of April. I’m sleeping better. Eating better. And (and hopefully the beer guy will back me on this) being an all-around happier, more relaxed person.

I’m not saying that mediation got me a job and fixed my crazy, but there is evidence to show that mindfulness and mediation have a positive effect on anxiety (and a whole host of things!). And less anxious = all around better everything.

I’m still not meditating every day, but I’m definitely getting to “more often than not.”

Which brings me back to moving. Moving on. Moving up. This is one more letting go. Letting go of the gazelle that I so identify with “ten years ago Amy” and “Amy who was married to the architect” and “Amy who was too scared to really live.” (My spell check suggests I mean “Amy who was too sacred to really live…interesting…)

Now, instead of taking a name someone else gave me, we are here. At (Yeah, I know that technically someone else gave me that damn name, too, but hey! It’s very me. 40 years of me, in fact.) I might never achieve the level of fearlessness I’d like, but I’m going to stop letting fear hold me back from what I want.

I will no longer be a dreamer of dreams. I will be a doer of things.

So welcome. Welcome to Amy Cissell Writes. The past is all here – I don’t want to start fresh because the lessons I’ve learned have been invaluable, but let’s move forward with fresh goals, shiny new intentions, and a courage that belies the fear.


Three Things Thursday: So Many Drugs Edition!

Yesterday, as I’d mentioned, I went in to get my endometrial ablation. The morning started with a valium, 2 vicodin, a belladonna/opium mix, a shot of “I forget what it was called,” and some animal crackers.

The drugs kicked in pretty quickly and I still had access to my smart phone. And so I shared my thoughts with everyone in Facebook land.

  1. I suggested to Facebook that now was an excellent time to sign up for races! Apparently, the Beer Guy did not agree. He and my PSM had this exchange:

    (Really, why dot they want me to deuce home? EXCELLENT QUESTION, stoned Amy!)

  2. I also expressed my thought that I should’ve disabled my Amazon app before taking drugs. This also dismayed the beer guy, who, at that point, was probably rethinking his position as love of my life. I tried to reassure him.

    I’m almost positive he found this extremely reassuring.
    SPOILER: I couldn’t figure out how to buy anything, so I won’t have any exciting Amazon purchases arriving. The occult saved us all!


  3. In less amusing news, after getting my hysteroscope (I tweeted that the inside of my uterus was surprisingly pretty), having an endometrial biopsy (just as much fun as it sounds), and getting the opportunity to have the ablation net deployed inside my uterus at least 100* times, it turns out that my uterus is too small for that type of ablation. My MD got a second opinion, and both determined that for some odd reason, my uterus is just the worst**. By this time I was sobbing in a combination of pain and extreme disappointment and MD #2 stuck a bunch of needles in my ear*** and we called it a day. The beer guy got to take home his extremely sore, sad, and stoned girlfriend and I spent the afternoon high on vicodin watching Buffy. We’re going to try again in 6-8 weeks, once my evil uterus that really, really hates me has a chance to rest up and recover from this. So, the good news? I get to do all the drugs again! In the meantime, I want to share with you the gorgeous photo in the procedure room that I stared at while trying to relax whilst having my uterus roto-rootered.

    That is totally not suggestive at all, is it?

* possibly a slight exaggeration. Slight.

** Which is why I was trying to get an ablation in the first place. My uterus is terrible. And really, how did my giant-headed baby fit in there? Answer: my uterus is simultaneously in several parallel universes.

***She was an acupuncturist as well as an MD. Next time, I get ear needles and drugs before the procedure.