IWSG: Don’t bug me

Late is supposed to be better than never, right? Not always. But more on that later, ha-ha.

First, let’s give credit where it’s due: Alex J. Cavanaugh, ninja leader of the group.

Co-hosts for today are Misha Gericke,  Christy LK Hill, Juneta Key, and Joylene Buter!

Now for the late breaking news: I’m late because of bugs. Lots of them. Bad bugs. Here’s one I caught on a microscope slide:

Look at the size of that sucker…proboscis? Go ahead and say it. EWWW!

That’s how writing has affected my reading. I never thought I’d cringe at head-hopping, but I do now. EWWW!

Cliffhanger endings? EWWW! Can’t writers figure out how to finish a story anymore? This also applies to series. Each book needs an ending. Want to temp readers to read the next book? Give a little sample for the readers who can’t wait. I have better things to do than start something I know I can’t finish for six months or more. Often years.

In the meantime, I’m studying diseases, parasites, all kinds of stuff so I can prevent my chickens from dying in the humid climate of Florida’s panhandle where every bad bug flourishes no matter how many times we clean coops and torch the soil to eradicate parasite eggs.

Life sucks, literally, when it comes to parasites. They really do drain the life of the host. So I bought a good microscope and brushed up on my Clinical Lab Scientist training to diagnose what ails my birds, and finally, even though I lose some battles with parasites, I think I’m winning the war.

I can’t even remember if I missed posting last month because of hubby’s knee replacement surgery or  because we had 13 sick chickens at once. Now only 4 are in the barn. Bottom line: some things, including my chickens’ lives, are more important than writing or reading. But I do need to record the information sometime because it might help others learn the easy way what I learned the hard way.

In case any of you have chickens, note that the bugs that finished off many of my flock are the smallest on this slide: Coccidia. Chickens gain immunity to coccidia at about 3 months of age, but when it’s 80 degrees Fahrenheit and rains for days straight, parasite growth in soil explodes. That’s when the little buggers overwhelm the birds. I learned all this too late. Within a week after the storms, I found out even the chicks still on medicated feed had Coccidiosis. Adding Amprolium to their water helped most, but it couldn’t save the sickest.

So if I bug out on occasion, you’ll know why: sick chickens, turkeys, pets, or sick family. And a final note on writing — sometimes late is better than never, at least when it comes to concluding a story.




Share A Heart

Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.


  1. Sounds like a challenge, raising chickens there!

    And totally true about writing–better late than never! We take the time we can find, and do what we can. As long as you don’t give up, you’re good.

    • You are so right. If I had known, I would never have asked the previous owner of the house we bought to leave their little flock. Now I’m chicken addicted. One hen follows me around and sounds just like a puppy when she wants something.

      You know, sometimes I do feel like quitting. But I figure that blogging counts as writing. Short stories!

  2. 🙁 Sorry to hear about your chickens dying, but I am glad to hear you’re winning the war against the little buggers!

    Hehe about the cliffhangers. I don’t know that they bother me too much, but I only really recall one series that did it to me.

    • I research a lot to find ways to keep my chickens healthy. Today’s research tidbit: mannon oligosaccharides (MOS) plus organic acid supplements lead to significant egg weight improvement and feed conversion. I have no clue what MOS is other than a prebiotic, but I will find out soon because I don’t know not knowing any more than cliffhangers. Organic acid is probably apple cider vinegar or similar.
      Now I wonder what series you read…

  3. Sorry about your chickens. After our last house sit with chickens I have a new appreciation for them, even if they didn’t lay eggs this time of the year. They are so social and soft, I was astonished.

    I hear you about books not having a decent/real ending. It is also why I only like to watch TV series when all the seasons are finished and produced and ready to be binge watched. I hate to wait for a continuation on a story, especially if it is up to others to provide them!

    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

  4. Sorry about your chickens. I bet all sorts of stuff grows when it’s always warm and humid.
    I’m with you on some of those things. Especially long descriptions.

  5. Sounds as if this problem is following standard story structure pretty well. Makes me wonder if you’re still heading toward the all-is-lost moment or if you’re past it, on the way to winning the battle.

    Btw, my work computer still won’t let me log onto your site so I have to check in via my phone. Good luck with the chickens.

    • Oh, my. I sure hope I’m past the all-is-lost moment. I’ve cried enough, especially after my favorite rooster died, and again after his successor died. But I suspect there will be no end to the pain of losing my chickens until I decide to sell them all, and that’s not the end I want.

      Your work computer just sent me on another round of file searching via my security plugin notices. I deleted every whitelisted file or page and everything in my core files they said had changed or didn’t belong. I examined every picture in the whitelist, checked the code, and didn’t find anything amiss. I still took them off the whitelist. All that, and WP won’t let your comments post without my approval even after I whitelisted your ip. Good grief.

  6. Take care of you. Stopping by via the IWSG list.

  7. Sorry to hear about your chickens. Hopefully things will get better for you soon!

  8. I wrote about bugs, too, this month. The flu bug. Ugh. Not a good week for humans or pets.

  9. BUGS–yewwwwww indeed! I’m with you on endings. I read a book not finished cause the author thought it was a clever way to buy her next book–to discover the ending of the first book. I took the first book and threw it across the room! Very irksome. We have to figure out our priorities and I agree writing comes last next to family and other responsibilities.
    JQ Rose

  10. Head-hopping and cliff-hangers! Boy, do I agree with you, Ken. I can’t stand those either. I agree that writers need to truly END their stories. Like the Harry Potter series, all those books complete a story each time. Yet, the bigger overall story of Voldemort logically grows. Thanks so much for sharing this insight with your followers. And…EWWW! I hate bugs, too. Take care of your chickens.

  11. Your poor chickens! Mine are happy to see grass again here in Michigan. The deep freeze does a fine job of keeping little pests at bay for while.

    I’m with you on the head hopping and cliffhangers. Drives me nuts!

  12. Jennifer Lee Hawes

    Hope your chickens get rid of those pests! I have six chickens. (Hubs idea) I don’t like taking care of them. I’m not a farm girl!!

  13. I hope you win the war of the chicken pests. And definitely late is sometimes better than never. Happy IWSG day.

  14. Hey, Amazing Post. Love It. Thanks For Sharing

  15. A lot of friends ask me about how to start a travel blog because they think it’s so easy! I mean it’s easy to blog, it’s more challenging to make money from it.

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