(9 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Thanks, everyone. Today has been my best day since February. David and I went to the gym, and he walked 17 laps and I walked 2, but hey… I’m only three weeks out from surgery!  I’m actually cooking dinner tonight!  No more Chinese take-outs or frozen dinners, at least not tonight!  Our good health is something we often take for granted, but what a blessing to be on the road to recovery.


(9 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Hi, All,
I'm thrilled to be back with some amazing news to share regarding my recent health journey, and let me tell you, it's been quite the rollercoaster ride! Over the past two months, I've been through a whirlwind of doctors' visits, tests, surgeries, and infusions—all stemming from a cancer scare that had me on edge.

But here's the incredible part: I am overjoyed to announce that I am now officially cancer-free! It's been a tough road, but I've emerged victorious, thanks to the skilled hands of some remarkable medical professionals.

From my electrophysiologist's PA, who ordered tests after my complaints concerning lack of energy and erratic blood pressure following a heart ablation in December, to the oncologist who delivered good news, I've been surrounded by a team of angels in scrubs.

It all started with a visit to a gastroenterologist, who ordered iron infusions to address my low hemoglobin levels and scheduled a colonoscopy. That colonoscopy brought a frightening diagnosis of cancer in my cecum—a part of my anatomy I never knew existed! But thanks to the skilled hands of a specialist surgeon, I underwent a hemicolectomy (yes, I learned some new medical jargon along the way!), and I'm thrilled to report that all 18 lymph nodes removed during the procedure came back negative for cancer. Talk about a sigh of relief!

Next up was a visit to an oncologist, who delivered the best news I could have hoped for: "No chemo for you, young lady!" With that weight lifted off my shoulders, I'm now focusing on the road ahead, which includes a few more iron infusions to boost my hemoglobin levels and kick-start my energy levels.
Throughout this journey, which has seen me shed 32 pounds—definitely not a weight loss plan I'd recommend—I've been surrounded by the love and support of friends, family, and, of course, the incredible medical team who guided me through every twist and turn. My sweet husband learned the secrets to feeding feral cats and even how to clean litter boxes! 

So here I am, filled with gratitude for the early detection of my cancer, the expertise of my medical team, and the countless prayers and well wishes that have lifted me up during this challenging time. I'm eager to dive back into life with renewed energy and enthusiasm, and yes, I'm even dreaming of writing a new book!

Thank you all for your support and encouragement. Here's to health, happiness, and many more adventures ahead! Blessings to you all, and I can't wait to reconnect here soon.



(22 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Glad to hear you're back up to snuff, Bill!  Keep us informed, and you're in my prayers!


So sorry to hear this, my sweet friend.  But I'm glad to know she's receiving help. I know exactly what it means to have your home turned into a hospice facility... been there.  I will remember you both in my prayers.  Please keep us updated. Get some rest when you can.

Hugs to you and Di,


(13 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Thanks for the kind words and well wishes.  I appreciate all of them. 

Happy trails… until we meet again!


It's been a long season of "not doing so well" for me, especially since my normal level of activity is go, go, go! 

Heart ablation Dec. 29, 2023 for aFib.
From Feb. 15 until the present:  Shortness of breath, unable to walk twenty feet without huffing and puffing... unexpected weight loss of 20 pounds.
Hemoglobin level is normally a minimum of 11, but mine was down to 8, so there was an internal blood loss going on somewhere.
Finally had a doctor REALLY listen to me and who sent me for tests.
Iron infusion last week to bring my hemoglobin level back up, which gave me more energy than I'd had since February when all this started.
Colonoscopy first on the agenda yesterday.
Colon cancer on the agenda for today and who knows how long.

So... I will be away from my desk for the next couple of months while surgeons and oncologists determine the best course of action for this tired and exhausted human being who has had to close her animal rescue sanctuary for good... all the animals except one dog and about twenty barn cats have been placed with other rescue organizations and my barns and stalls are completely empty.

I've been here since 2008, and this place feels like home. So I didn't want to disappear completely without a goodbye (for now).  Take care, and best wishes to all. 


Prayers for you, Bill. I hope everything turns out well and you're back on here soon. Thank you for your service to our country. 

God Bless!

What the heck?  Looks like someone advertising herself - Maryam Kabir

Dark and Stormy Night... I'm scared already!  Ooh!


(9 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Thanks, all!  I will be back soon!

Hugs and Merry Christmas!



(9 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

No big whoop-tee-do, but I've lost my pizzaz for both reading and writing at the moment.  Hang in there with me while I try to get it back.  It all started with a trip to the doctor and my AFib diagnosis two years ago, and it has continued with a year from hell that has led to a small heart attack and an upcoming heart ablation operation with the installation of a Watchman in the left ventricle of my heart at the end of this month. 

I'm sorry to say I must give up my animal rescuing, and it's causing me great grief, but that's what happens when you become an antique!

All of you here are like family, and to find myself not writing and not reviewing and not wanting to do either is driving me crazy.

I will probably be out of commission for a short time, maybe until the first of the year.  I wish for each of you a very merry Christmas.

Send me a note if you need anything between now and then, and I'll get an email that you did.

Happy trails,

And another ---  Marei3211


First ad posted in Short Stories.


(12 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

I guess we must hear from our fearless leader…. Sol, are you listening??


(12 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

vern wrote:

Can I take my own picture? Oh, never mind; I probably couldn't get it by the censors. Take care. Vern



(12 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

It may be time for a contest to get the blood flowing here again.  I suggest a picture contest with a 200-word story.  Those are always fun and seem to draw a crowd.


(10 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Take care, Mike, and hurry back. These folks are like family, so we'll set an extra plate for Thanksgiving! 



(8 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

SolN wrote:

Thank you but I still feel terrible. The last two weeks have been tough. I do appreciate the kind words. At one point, I wasn't even sure it made sense to keep the site going. This thread makes me feel like we made the right decision.

I learned to write on this site!  And I'm still learning!  You made the right decision, and you are to be commended.  Good job!


There’s my buddy!  Yay! You’re back!  Hope you got my text message and I hope things are improved with you and Di.  Great to see your smiling face!! 

Hugs to you both!


(7 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

njc wrote:

I'd like to blame Würd, since MicroSlough does deserve most of the blame (eg. Magick Quotation Marks).  But changes in The (One and Many) Right Way to store and display characters have turned various real problems into mud to be tracked everywhere.

Start, if you are of stout heart, with https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Univers … racter_Set .  Chase the links, especially the ones into UniCode, and venture upon the Basic Multilingual  Plane.

Oh,  you make that sound so easy!  LOL!  I'd end up in worse shape than I'm in now!  Tech smart I am not.  I'm just an old woman who lives in the woods in Georgia.  But I'll venture into it and stop if it gets too advanced for my simple brain to figure out.  Thanks!



(7 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

B Douglas Slack wrote:

They could possibly be some sort of invisible editing marks inserted by Word. I've had that happen to me as well. I have a habit of lightly fiddling with the keyboard while I'm thinking, and sometimes strange combinations of key presses make it into my work. They show up as question marks when the TNBW editor doesn't know what they are.

Used to be, long ago with WordPerfect, you could "View editing marks" and they would show up. Word doesn't do that.


I always liked WordPerfect.  Sometimes Word does funky stuff.  I’ll keep weeding them out I guess.



(7 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Randall Krzak wrote:

Just checked and the question marks are only where I put them.

LOL, Randy!  That’s a good thing.  It’s probably a glitch in Word that happened simultaneously with the site going down, which led me to think it’s site related. But since I’m the only “questionable “ person on here so far, I will remove Word and reinstall it. I’ve already done a scan by my security program, and nothing came up. So back to the drawing board.



(7 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Is anyone besides me having problems with question marks being thrown into your chapters when you copy and paste from Word?  They land in random places.  It’s a painintheass to go back because they only show up after the chapter has been posted.


(5 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Nathan B. Childs wrote:

Please restore my premium account. When I was prompted that my account had expired, I downgraded to Basic to see what I had lost in the shutdown.

I did the same thing, and Sol will get you back to Premium. Can't do much in Basic.


(0 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Hi, Sol, I’m back to Premium now. If you will add the 500 points, I should be back where I was before the crash.  Thanks!