Friday, January 27, 2012

Pantheons Book #2 (The rules of Tasselball, the game of the gods)

Check out the rules of Tasselball as it is played in Pantheons Book #2 and also how you can play it along with your friends in real life :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pantheons Book #2 takes shape!

Yes, it's another night of no sleep for me tonight as I forge ahead with Pantheons book #2.  Well, I should have a few breaks tonight though when my son wakes up for his bottle and the usual diaper change, lol, at least that will allow me to stretch my stiff muscles.  Okay, back to work for me :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Poor Isaiah

In this chapter I just finished tonight, Isaiah is conflicted.  What's a hero to do when he's facing such a difficult choice? I guess tomorrow as I write more chapters, we'll see what he does.  You know what that means, I probably won't get any sleep tonight, because my brain will be up working all night, trying to work it out lol :) There's no rest for the weary!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pantheons Fan Page!

I wanted to let you all know that my fan page is up! If you had the pleasure of reading Pantheons already, please take a visit over there and post about your favorite characters and anything else you'd like to discuss.  Thanks!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Albino Piece!

There's another art piece I'm supposed to receive tomorrow.  It has Albino in it and nine other different unique characters as well.  We'll have a frog, a toad, a mountain beaver, two raccoons, a flying squirrel, Albino, another mouse, a skunk, and another creature, which I'll keep secret for now :) I'll keep you all posted!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Albino Cover!!!

I finally got the ALBINO cover and it is gorgeous!!!
You can check out the cover for yourself ;)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Challenging Pantheons Chapter & Artworks for Albino Book #1

Working on a tough, challenging chapter today for Pantheons Book #2, it's one of those that has me banging my head on the table, lol, but I'm confident something will click by tonight.  

I also received my final art piece on my ant generals for Albino Book #1.  They look amazing!!! 

I'm expecting a layout on Monday for another piece, which features Albino and nine other character :) I'm so excited!!!  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sea Lion Books Signs Bestselling Author Patrick Rothfuss!

My brothers David and Pascal released the news today at Sea Lion Books!

Best Regards,

E.J. Dabel

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Albino Time!

Just received the layouts for my four ant generals from ALBINO book #1, which is due to be released in March, and they're looking really cool.  Tomorrow, I get the finished piece :) I'm so excited!!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pantheons on Fantasy Book Critic

PANTHEONS is on Fantasy Book Critic.  There's also some info about the upcoming ALBINO there as well and a free sneak peek of some cool artwork!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Living in the Hospital Part III

     Many days and nights had passed since the time I had started living in the hospital.  I hadn’t been home since the day the hospital had called us to come in.  I knew with the blood pressure issue I had to stay here so I could be closer to our newborn son, Nathan, and that was the only thing that could keep my wife Aba calm enough for the blood pressure to decrease to a safe number.  
     I was sleeping on the same two small chairs but now my aching body was used to pain and stiffness.  The night had been frigid as usual, even the comforter (I had now upgraded from my small sheets) had not been enough to keep away the extreme cold.  Now, it was morning and the rising sun was pouring in some warmth through the hospital windows. 
     Two nurses passed by on their way to their morning shift.  One of them called to me kindly and pointed to a small out-of-the-way box on the far wall and explained to me that if I was cold I could put up the heat at night when I was sleeping in the waiting room.  She told me that she imagined that it would be very cold for me here.  I quickly thanked her for her kindness and then she left with the other nurse.  You don’t understand how happy I was after I had heard those words from the nurse’s mouth.  The past few nights, I had nearly frozen to death and the comforter had done very little to keep me warm. 
     I reached up and scratched my chin, and I felt my beard.  It had grown wild and unkempt these last few days, so I made a mental note to remind my wife to bring me something to shave with when she came later today to pump.  Every three hours, I was up to feed Nathan and changed his diapers.  A lot of the nurses told me I should go home so I wouldn't collapse from sheer exhaustion, but I explained to them the situation with my wife and the blood pressure.  In afternoons my wife came, and she brought all the breast milk she had been pumping from home and then she would pump even more in the hospital as well until she left to go back to the house in the evening with my parents.
     The door swung open and a nurse stepped out.  I said hello and she responded to me as well.  As she was walking towards the elevator, she stopped and slowly turned around to face me. 
     “I’m sorry,” she said to me in a very concerned voice.  “I don’t mean to get into your business but I see you here every day and the way you treat your baby, it’s obvious you love your baby.  So what I don’t understand is why would your wife kick you out of your house?”
     My sleep-addled brain tried to understand what she was saying, and then it clicked.  Since she always saw me sleeping here at nighttime, she must have assumed for some reason that my wife must have literally kicked me out of the house.
     “Oh no!” I quickly explained.  “My wife didn’t kick me out.  I’m here, because they took the blood pressure and it was very high and even with medication it wasn’t coming down fast enough for her.”
     “I’m so sorry,” she said, looking a bit uncomfortable after her mistake. 
     “That’s not a problem at all.”
     After that she went inside the elevator and she left.  I checked my cell phone and It was time for me to go to see Nathan.  I cleaned up the area where I had slept and then went to the bathroom.  I quickly got myself ready, and as I did that I chuckled, because I remembered that movie with Tom Hanks where he lives in the airport.  I felt like him, really, but I now lived in a hospital instead of the ocean (grins).
     When I was done with the bathroom, I went to the door that led to the NICU.  There was a sink nearby where all visitors were supposed to clean up.  I took the brush, and soap so I could thoroughly scrub my hands.  As soon as I was done, I wasted on time to go to Nathan.  I saw the doctor and she explained to me that there was a problem that they found this morning.
     My heart sunk and I wondered how low Nathan’s blood sugar had dropped.  The doctor took Nathan’s arm and showed me.  There were two huge, reddish bumps on his arm and one of them was leaking pus.  They were both as hard as rocks
     “We found this abscess this morning,” explained the doctor.  “I believe it was caused when the IV was being placed on his arm when he first came to the NICU.  I’ll have to drain it, and send some of the samples down to the lab for tests.  Our biggest worry is that the pus might get into the blood and that would not be good.”
     I asked a few more questions, and the doctor answered all of them for me.  Nathan would be staying in the hospital for much longer now, because of the abscess he had developed.  Then I stepped outside so pus could be properly drained.  I went back to the waiting area.  My poor Nathan, not only had low blood sugar, but now two huge abscesses on his arm.. 
     I took a deep breath and dialed my wife’s phone number.  This wasn’t going to be easy for me to explain to her, and so I prayed that her blood pressure would not skyrocket from the news…

Tuesday, January 3, 2012



     I had just finished speaking with the nurse at the NICU, and I found myself walking back to our hospital room.  I’m not afraid to admit that I was now dragging my feet.  Not too long ago, my wife, Aba had delivered our son Nathan Ernst Dabel, and everything was picture perfect, but now some few hours later, everything looked grim.  You know those moments you have in your life when you walk around and all the colors seemed to be sucked out of life and everything you look out is painted gray.  Well, that was one of those moments for me. 
     When I finally walked into the room, my wife and our family all looked pale.  Maybe they had seen the dismal look on my face.  I explained to them the situation Nathan was in, just as the NICU nurse had explained it.  His blood sugar was extremely low and they had to get him hooked up to the IV and monitor him very closely.  If the blood sugar dropped any lower, it would be devastating to Nathan.  The nurse had explained that he would be fed every three hours and his blood sugar would be tested before every feeding by pricking certain parts of his heel and placing the blood on a strip.  Being the bearer of bad news is the most terrible experience.  I did not like it one bit.
     Grandparents were allowed to the NICU and no one else.  So all three of them got to go and visit Nathan, even though Nathan was very weak, did not cry, and did not move very much.  My wife wasn’t healed yet from the C-section and so she couldn’t get out of bed yet to go to see Nathan. 
     My wife had been given a pumping machine and as soon as she was ready, she began to pump.  It was a painful, yet frustrating process for her, because the milk had not started to flow yet, just the very limited yellowish fluid, I forgot the name the nurses had called it.  So I quickly adjusted to my role of every three hours of going over to the NICU with the small amount my wife had managed to capture.  My wife began to call every drop, ‘gold nuggets’, and she was right, every single drop counted and would make a difference in helping Nathan.
    In the morning, I travelled back and forth to the NICU, the kind NICU nurses taught me how to change diapers and feed.  So began my regular routine.  I would arrive, scrub my hand thoroughly outside for 2 minutes, go inside and hand over the small amount of breast milk my wife had pumped to the nurse, and then watch as she poked Nathan’s heel and squeeze for blood for the test (he would cry every time, because it hurt him, but it hurt me much more just to see him having to go through all this and I was powerless to do anything) and tell me how there was no progress, and then I would be allowed to change his diapers and feed him his bottle.  Now the problem was that Nathan was throwing up the milk (not my wife’s breast milk, because there just wasn’t enough of it) the nurses were giving to him, but then it was discovered that he was lactose intolerant and couldn’t hold the milk.  He was fine with the very minute amount my wife was pumping, but it just wasn’t enough to help him get better.  So a soy milk substance was introduced into the picture and Nathan did not throw it up, but the soy only kept him steady.  So back and forth I traveled from the NICU and back to my wife with no signs of improvement in sight. 
    Then one day, miraculously, my wife’s milk started to flow, and my wife determined to see our son get better, literally became a factory overnight.  She took her pumping very seriously and was filling up five to six NICU bottles every three hours for Nathan.  Things were looking bright because Nathan was taking the breast milk without any problems and the soy was set aside.  The blood sugar numbers rose a little bit.  We were all very excited.
     My wife got better enough to go and see Nathan, but when she saw all the wires he was attached to, and all the punctured holes in his heels, she broke down and cried.  The nurse on schedule on that day did a great job in helping my dad and I encourage her to cheer up and that even though things were far from alright, showed some signs of improvement. 
     Then just as quickly, Nathan’s blood sugar began to show signs of dropping again.  The doctor at the NICU decided to put a certain extra powdered substance in the breast milk to see if that would help the numbers to increase, but still things were not looking as if they were about to get any better. 
    It wasn’t long after when a nurse took the blood pressure for my wife and found that it had gone pretty high.  The doctor quickly spoke to my wife and I, mentioning to us that they’d have to monitor this very closely and that she had to rest.  My wife asked for some medication that would help her to relax and sleep, but that didn’t work.  Her mind, she explained couldn’t rest, because she was worried for Nathan.  The next time the blood pressure was taken, it had risen so high the doctor advised blood pressure medication immediately or she feared a possible stroke or even worse.  The blood pressure only showed signs of climbing up even higher.  The numbers were so high that my wife and I agreed with the doctor that we’d like to try what she was offering.  My wife took it, and the blood pressure went down but not enough.  The doctor gave a stronger dose and the blood pressure then reached the safety zone.  It was then that the doctor advised for us to go home, because she felt that my wife being here would not allow her mind to rest and that at home in her own bed she would get the rest she needs to lower the blood pressure beyond just the safety zone. 
     Certain things about my wife, I’m used to by now, and I knew that if we both went back home, her blood pressure would skyrocket just for the fact that we were both so far away from Nathan.  I could see it in her eyes and the way that she went silent and did not say much.  So I spoke to her and explained that she would go home and my parents would alternate with my mother-in-law to stay with her at the house, but I was going to stay behind.  My wife’s eyes brightened at the thought.  But she wanted to know where I would sleep if we were signing out of the hospital room.  The Head nurse advised me to call the person in charge of the NICU and I did.  That is how I was allowed to stay at the waiting area.
    That night as my wife left the hospital I looked her straight in the eye and promised her that I would not rest until our son was healthy and ready to go home.  I also assured her that I would be in our son’s NICU room every three hours on the dot, and that I would give her detailed updates to our son’s progress.  I told her in return, she had to promise me that she would relax her mind and sleep, so she could lower that blood pressure.  Since I was so close to our son and should they need anything for him, they would know exactly where I was and could come directly to me and not have to bother her.   I could feel her relief, because she knew I was that type of man, once I set my mind to do a thing, I would achieve it, no matter what the cost.
    Later that night, long after my wife and I had prayed on the phone for our boy Nathan, I pulled two short chairs together in the waiting area.  They were both small chairs but they would have to do.  I covered myself with the sheets I had and settled myself for a short nap.  My rear end sunk in the area between the two chairs and I had to tighten my stomach muscles so I wouldn’t fall to the ground.  But this was my only option for a bed.  I pulled the sheets closer to my body as I shivered uncontrollably, it was cold.  Hospitals were very cold at night, and my sheets were just not thick enough.  I knew this was going to be one of the greatest challenges of my life, but in order to help my wife relax her mind to lower that blood pressure I had to do this.  So began my first night of living in the hospital…    

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Party for Three

I had the camera zoomed on Nathan's face, he's two months and a couple of weeks old now.  My wife Aba and I were counting down...5, 4, 3, 2, 1...HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Nathan's eyes went from me then to his mom, unsure what all the excitement was all about.  But that's alright! I'm sure next year and the one after that he'll have a better understanding what all the celebration is all about!

2011 had been a great year for us! It had seen the birth of Nathan, but although now we get to enjoy and love him, but I remember not too long ago, how his birth had taken certain turns we had not expected... 


     October 26, 2011.  It was a big day! My wife was forty-one weeks into her pregnancy when we received a call from the hospital with clear instructions for us to come in to start the induced labor.  My wife and I had gone over our ‘birthing plan’ very thoroughly, not once but multiple times in the past several weeks, so we were as ready as any respectable rookie parents could hope to be. 
     We reached the hospital safely, parked in the parking deck and made our way to the third floor.  We went through the usual procedures of checking in, and before long my wife was dressed in a hospital gown, lying on her back on a bed inside one of the rooms and we were ready to go! We had a very nice nurse who engaged us in friendly conversation as she got the procedure started with my wife.  My parents were also in the room with us as well as my mother-in-law.  There was a sense of excitement in the room, and everyone’s face displayed an eager smile of anticipation! It was then that my wife asked me if I could go to our car and get our bags.  My reply to her was a quick ‘yes’ and then I jokingly added for her to wait for me to at least get back before she gave birth to our baby.  She laughed at my joke and promised me that she wouldn’t. 
     My father had joined me and walked with me to the parking lot.  On our way there, we spoke only about the pregnancy, it was the only thing occupying our minds.  The bags weren’t too much of a hassle.  We got them out of the back of the car very quickly and so we were back to our hospital room in no time. 
     Once I stepped back into the room, I was surprised to find several nurses buzzing around my wife.  They had placed an oxygen mask on her face as well.  I glanced at my mother-in-law and my mom, and I wasn’t too thrilled at the look of deep concern on either of their faces.  Why were all of these nurses in here? Was there something wrong with my wife and our child? So many questions gnawed at my mind, but before I could gather them all and ask any of them, the doctor approached me and told me that my wife had to do a C-section immediately.  You could imagine my surprise when I heard those words.  This wasn’t at all part of the ‘birthing plan’ we had written down.  As he brought me over to the monitor, he explained to me that every time my wife had a contraction that our baby’s heartbeat dropped.
On the monitor, the doctor showed me the horizontal line, which represented my son’s heartbeat, and then he showed me clearly where it had dropped drastically; it didn’t look good at all.  “If the C-section isn’t performed right now,” explained the doctor to me, “I’m certain your baby will not make it through a natural delivery.”    
     Understanding what was at risk, I discussed the situation with my wife very quickly, we said a short prayer together, and then we told the doctor we were ready for the C-section.  Although it wasn’t part of our birthing plan, we knew it was the way to go.  I was then given the proper garments as well as shoe coverings to wear for the procedure.  Once I was ready, they wheeled my wife out and I followed. 
     The walk wasn’t too far to our destination, and once we arrived, I was told to wait outside while they took my wife inside and got her ready for the C-section.  As I sat there waiting for someone to call me into the operating room, my hands began to shake uncontrollably.  It’s funny, when I was a young single bachelor, I was fearless; nothing could shake my steel nerves.  But that night, I knew real fear, not for myself but for the life of my wife and our unborn child whose heartbeat was dropping whenever my wife had a contraction.  At that time, an elderly nurse was passing by and saw me.  Maybe my face showed my trepidation, I don’t know, but she started a conversation with me and somehow managed to drive away my fear.  Perhaps it had been simply empathy that had drawn her to reach out and help me with her words, or she could have been an angel in human form.  Whatever the truth behind that moment, I’ll never really know.  But her words had a positive effect on me and helped my hands to stop shaking. 
     A few minutes later the doctor came and sat right across for me.  He explained to me that if there was another way to have avoided the C-section he would have, but unfortunately there was no way around it, because the baby would not make it through a natural birth.  After that, he stood up and told me to follow him inside.  I went in and saw my wife lying on her back.  I was instructed to sit on a very small chair next to her head.  There was a screen across her upper chest, which prevented us from seeing the procedure, but I was told that as soon as they gave me the word I could look over the screen and take the picture.
     As the C-section began, my wife told me to hold her hand for support and I did, fervently praying in my heart that the procedure would be successful.  I prepared my camera and waited.  Then, just like a clap of thunder, I was told I could take my first picture.  I shot up with camera at the ready and took my first shot.  I froze for a moment as my eyes beheld for the first time the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. 
     They asked me what name I would give to the baby, and I told them without any hesitation Nathan Ernst Dabel.  My firstborn son had come into the world and as I watched him, tears of joy began to flow down my cheeks.  But with all the activity within the operating room no one noticed.  He weighed six pounds and one inch and I was so very proud!
     After the operation, my wife and Nathan were brought back into our delivering room.  More family members had come and we all were very excited about Nathan.  Those who were there took cell phone pictures and began to text them over to other family members and friends.  I was right there with Nathan, taking his pictures when one of the nurses turned to the other nurse after taking a blood sugar test and told her that the blood sugar level is too low.  My heart dropped with those words.  The other nurse replied that she should try to take it again.  So it was retaken and the number for Nathan’s blood sugar was 18.  The two nurses looked concerned and one of them quickly said they would take him to the NICU.  I told my wife and family I was going to accompany the nurse to the NICU as well. 
     As the nurse pushed Nathan in his cart, she began to walk very fast and I could tell there was a sense of urgency to get him to the NICU unit right away.  Just what was going on? Why was my son’s blood sugar so low? What was the NICU? Why did the nurse have to get him there in such a hurry? These questions bombarded my mind one after another as we finally got to the NICU.  Nurses rushed to Nathan as they took good care of him and set him up properly with his IV and everything else he needed.  It was very painful for me to watch my own son have to go through it, hooked up to all of those wires.  None of this was part of the ‘Birthing Plan’ my wife and I had come up with.  That was the thought in my head when the NICU nurse finally approached me.  I sensed that the news would not be a good one…