Happy Friday. I hope this day finds you prepared to read something great this weekend!
I’ll start with the simple news first. Today, I should receive trade hardcover copies of The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey. I’m really excited about finally holding my newest child. I just hope the books arrive safe and that they’ve been printed and bound correctly. But the copies didn’t ship in time to meet the November 9th bookstore release date. So I’ve pushed back the official release date to November 23rd. More news on that next month.
For those of you who ordered a copy via the Kickstarter, I’ll be shipping copies out if your order doesn’t contain any of the other books that were offered. I have the bookmarks, prints, coins, etc., just not The Undone LIfe of Jak Dreadth — which should be bound soon — and the limited editions won’t be shipping to me until late December. Once I’m done shipping out these initial copies of Antiquity Grey, I’ll post copies up on The Signed Page. That way, you can order The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey along with Song of the Fell Hammer for the holiday season. More news once I actually receive the copies — with pictures!
Now, onto the strange news: I had COVID.
I’m not telling you to receive pity and sympathy or the like. I’m sharing this very personal news in the hopes of sharing knowledge. On Wednesday, October 6th, my 5-year-old son Soren became ill. We don’t know where he got it from. He had a worsening cough and congestion. But no fever. No chills. And he still had the energy that all 5 year olds seem to possess. My wife Kristin and I knew it could be COVID. We took him out of school and quarantined until Saturday, October 9th, letting whatever virus he had picked up multiply where his viral load would enough to give us a better test result. He tested negative for COVID.
Then my 2-year-old son Kael got sick. He had the same symptoms as Soren. We decided not to get him tested because we thought it wasn’t COVID. Just some flu or head cold. Both boys were doing fine. There was no need to worry.
Then I got sick. My sore throat and some fatigue started on October 8th. I was largely fine for two days. Then on Monday, October 11th, the real symptoms began. Severe body aches and chills. I had no cough, no congestion, no fever. But it was clear something was on the attack. I went to bed and stayed there as the chills got worse. At one point, I was shaking so bad my teeth were chattering. The next day, Tuesday, October 12th, is when many of you saw me on daytime video with Terry Brooks. You could hear how sick I was. By the time the night event with Terry and University Book Store came around, I couldn’t do it. Author and friend Peter Orullian stepped in to help.
Meanwhile, my symptoms continued to worsen. That Tuesday night, I got a fever of 103-104 degrees. I kept it knocked down with Advil but the fever and chills persisted until early Wednesday morning when my fever broke.
Then, all of a sudden, that same day, my symptoms vanished.
It was the strangest thing. One moment, I’m miserable. The next, I’m just fatigued but feeling pretty good. It was like someone had flipped a switch. That never happens to me when I’m ill. It takes days for me to recover usually.
The strangeness of it all grew until I realized what had likely happened: We all had gotten COVID.
As someone who is immuno-compromised, I’m fully vaccinated. Science has saved my life four times thus far and I trust it. There was only one reason why my symptoms abated as quickly as they did. Either it was a virus I had previously had and my body took care of it faster than it ever had before, or it was the one flu virus I had been vaccinated against.
Then Kristin got sick. While I was Pfizer vaccinated, she was vaccinated with the J&J vaccine. She became really, really ill. Knowing what had happened to me, she decided to get tested for COVID. And the results came back positive. She grew worse, to the point we did a video chat with an MD a few days ago. The MD said Soren had likely tested as a false negative, leading us to this moment.
Given what we know about the J&J vaccine just this week, Kristin had a much harder time of it due to the one-shot nature of the J&J vaccine. The good news? She is almost over the worst of COVID. The rest of us are now fine. And all of us are beyond the 10 days needed to successfully quarantine to not get anyone else sick. Life resumes.
I do wonder how awful this would have been on immuno-compromised me if I hadn’t been vaccinated. Kristin likely would have ended up in the hospital, given how severe COVID hit her. It’s something I don’t want to think about. I’m just happy we got vaccinated and didn’t have to find out.
I’m not here to tell you what to do. Lead your life the way you deem fit. But I think my story here is a cautionary tale. Take it as such.
Back to work for me. A busy day. Be safe. Be well. More news about Antiquity Grey coming soon!
With Mech Magic,