The Most Amazing Week Ever! Friday, Aug 27 2010 

Listening to: Sex Bob-Omb – Threshold – Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

I have a knee condition called patella alta.  In the picture on the right, A is normal and B is me.  A good bit of the

cartilage in my knees are gone.  This causes some awkwardness when I walk.  Due to this, my hips and ankles hurt quite a bit as well.

I gradually dropped a lot of my normal activities over the years.  I took a desk job that I hated.  Sitting at a desk for most of a decade allowed my legs to get even worse over time until I was having cortisone shots in my left hip and taking hydrocodone about once or twice a month when some twist on a step or a long shift at my desk caused a flare-up.

For the last year and a half, I have been back at school completing my teaching degree.  This has required a lot of walking, which has gradually started loosening me up and, according to the doctor, smoothing out the jagged spots in my knee.  It seems that low-impact movement performed for extended periods of time (i.e. stationary bike, treadmill, and light walking) can be beneficial for my condition.

I can’t grow the cartilage back, but the rubbing of the patella (knee cap) against the leg bones essentially sands the troublesome jagged bits down.  Not a pleasant visual, I’ll grant you, but the upshot is that I have more mobility than I have had in ages.

So, I decided to put it to the test last Saturday.  My son and daughter did something that I have not attempted in about 15 years.  We hiked the 1 mile trail up Kennesaw Mountain.  My daughter is nine, so I don’t think she fully understands my problems since I don’t talk about it much.  She ran ahead on the trail and sat down at each rest point to wait for her old dad.  Mocking little imp.  My son kept pace with me. He is fourteen and has understood about my condition for a long time.

We set out and made it .2 miles up before I had to sit down for a pain pill.  I limited myself to one so that I would not get swimmy in the head.  I wanted to have my wits about me.  The experience was worth a small amount of suffering.  I slowed pace a bit on a straight to explain what we were doing on the mountain.

“Remember what I always tell you?  Never tell me that you can’t do something.  You can do anything you set your mind to.  Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing.  I have not been up this mountain since before either of you were born.  I am going to walk the whole mile.  It will be one of the most difficult things I have accomplished in recent years, but it will be worth it if it proves my point to you.”

With those words, I had sealed my doom.  I couldn’t back out or my words would be s hollow as my fool head.  That, of course, was half the point of the speech.  It was half for them and half for me.  I used my cane pretty much the entire way and we rested a lot.  Water was imbibed, small boulder climbing was done (by the kids), and much fun was had.

We eventually reached the Georgia Overlook and gun embankment.  I sat down for a while and smiled.  I had accomplished something.  It might not have been grandiose, but it was a start.  My legs hurt, but there was more muscle burn than joint pain.  The pain was there, but it was not as prevalent as normal.

Our spirits did not drop when we realized that there was not transportation back down.  We simply walked back down the mountain road, which is a much easier way than the hiking trail.  On the way down we made note of especially beautiful flowers and berry bushes.  On the road ahead were a doe and her fawn.  We slowed and approached in a non-threatening posture.  The mother spotted us and leapt up the hill.  Her child tagged along behind.  At the top, the mother continued on into the woods, but the baby stayed.

We stood at the base of the embankment looking up at the fawn, who munched the occasional leaf and peered backward over his shoulder as if to say, “Hey.  ‘Sup?”  My daughter edged right up the edge, where I told her to stop, not just for her safety from the steepish climb and the deer’s hooves, but from the poison ivy on the embankment.  The baby played its little game (bite, tug, glance, “‘Sup?”, much) for about two or three minutes.  Finally it realized mom was gone and ambled along after her, still chewing on that last leaf the whole way.  It was the perfect end to the excursion.

We went back home and met up with some friends.  We worked our characters for the Dresden Files RPG that a friend is about to start.  Much fun was had then and the next day when a friend dropped by unexpectedly from out-of-town to drop off a food container we had let him borrow.  He stayed for supper and we played The Pillars of the Earth and Small World. A pleasant surprise, as he is one of our favorite gaming people.

This week was stressful.  I am taking five classes this semester.  A fairly hefty load, at least for me.  I have taken three or four at most before this, but I am trying to graduate Spring 2012.  It has been a good, but worrisome couple of weeks as I try to figure out my due dates and the work I am going to have to put in to get my customary A’s and B’s.

There is an Amtgard group, Shire of Iron Springs, that meets several times a week on the campus green to beat the crap out of each other with boffer swords, polearms, daggers, etc.  While many LARP (Live Action Role-Play) activities are “lightest touch,” these guys go for the gusto, which I appreciate.  Besides, check the pic from the site.  Any LARPer who wears a Green Lantern t-shirt is all right in my book.

So, in the spirit of getting back in shape and trying my legs out, I joined in today.  I played for about 45 minutes before class and about an hour afterward.  It was fun and exhausting, but just what I needed.  I was amazed that my legs were not giving me any trouble.  Some pinches, but nothing too serious.

Then I drove home.  I tried to get out of the car when my knees and hips registered a complaint.  I could almost hear them shout, “Sit back DOWN!”  I, not having any desire to crack my skull on the car frame by falling back into the driver’s seat, spread my arms and stopped my backward descent.  I asserted my inner stubborn mule, which my mother passed onto me, and pushed myself up with my arms.

I have to say, it hurt.  It hurt a lot.  I walked to the front door like I needed a walker.  I was glad it was dark, because I looked sad and pathetic.  I came in, stripped out of my sweaty clothes, and flopped down on the bed.  I refused any pain pills.  I don’t like to take them and I avoid it except in cases, like the Kennesaw Mountain ascent, where they are absolutely necessary.

All in all, I am glad I have taken these steps toward better health.  Sitting here in the bed, I am pretty sure that 75% of the aches and pains are the direct result of muscle tissue damage of the sort I expect after a workout, and boffer fighting is a workout just as much as basketball or soccer.  The other 25% is mostly in my hip.

I am guessing that sitting in the bed with a laptop in my lap isn’t the best thing to do, but I had to get this down.  I am well over 50% joyful for the first time in a while.  I might even hazard a guess that I am hovering a bit over 85-90% joy, as measured on the Snoopy Index.  As a note of interest, I have found that at 100%, I tend to do the Snoopy Dance of Joy™, which is a sight to behold, indeed.

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When you get into a tight place, and everything goes against you ’till it seems as if you couldn’t hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that’s just the place and time that the tide’ll turn.”

~ Mr. Avery – Old Town Folks by Harriet Beecher Stowe

What’s Wrong With Me? Friday, Jul 30 2010 

Listening to: The Guild – (Do You Wanna Date My) Avatar (feat. Felicia Day)

I have not written word one that wasn’t required for school, posted to Twitter/Facebook, or posted here in several months.  Before Mom died, it was understandable.  I was busy with Mom, school, the kids, looking for some sort of work, etc.  Well now that Mom has passed, my school is out for a few weeks, my children are returning to school, and I have given the job thing a rest at my wife’s request so that I can increase my class load, it seems that I should have plenty of time to write.  Unfortunately, it isn’t turning out that way.

Since Mom died, I have been in this state of depression that I can’t get out of.  My wife thought it was because I miss Mom, but I had a talk with her the other night and I think I know what’s wrong.  My stress levels have been so high this last year that I have been on constant alert.  Here was an example of my schedule as of a couple months ago:

  • 10am – Fix Mom’s breakfast, which consisted of the food of the day, one cup of coffee with a blop of milk and one and a half teaspoons of sugar, a cup of juice, and her pills.
  • 11am-1pm – Work on homework until 1:30pm.
  • 1pm-2pm – Either fix Mom’s lunch or go to school depending on what day it was.  One of the older children fixed lunch when I had to go to school.
  • 2pm-5:30pm – If not at school, I worked on homework, ran errands, or did other assorted chores.  Take care of whatever Mom needed in between.
  • 5:30pm-6:30pm – If not at school, fix supper.  My wife took care of supper otherwise.
  • 6:30pm-8pm – Relax a bit unless still at school.
  • 8pm-10pm – Drive home from school or work with my wife on anything else that needed to be done, including anything Mom needed.
  • 10pm – Mom’s bedtime meds.
  • After that, it was free time until sleep.

The last week she was alive, the stress levels amped up to eleven.  After the funeral and the main aftermath, my classes started back and the children were out of school.  Plenty to do.  Then classes ended this week.  Suddenly, my schedule is open with nothing to keep my attention.  The routine that I followed with minor tweaks to account for Mom’s or the children’s needs was destroyed.  I have kept to a schedule for three years and not I have copious amounts of free time.

I have come to the conclusion that it is not Mom’s death.  Considering the pain she was in at the end, I consider it a blessing that she went when she did.  I miss her, but she is better off this way.

I think my main problem is that I have never handled drastic change well.  When I got divorced, I fell apart.  Ask anyone who was around at the time.  I was a total mess.  It wasn’t that I wanted my ex-wife back.  I didn’t.  An ex is an ex for a reason.  Or in our case, a multitude of reasons.  I fell apart because my life no longer made sense.  I was alone for the first time in my life.  I missed the hell out of my children.  They were a part of my life since the day they were born and suddenly I had to share them.  I lost my house.  I was laid off from my job.  My car was totaled.  All this happened over the space of a few months.  Yeah, I was a mess.

I am nowhere near that now, but the feeling is similar.  It’s like the difference between having a chocolate bar or a fudge brownie with chocolate chips, a scoop of chocolate-chocolate chip ice cream on top drenched in hot fudge.  It’s all chocolate, but there is a difference in magnitude.  My current depression still has that flavor of huge-life-changiness to it, but it is not heaped up in the bowl.

It just sucks a lot.

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“When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching — they are your family.”

~ Harry Dresden – Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher

Resistance is Futile. You will be Assimilated. Thursday, Jul 1 2010 

Listening to: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – The Waiting


AppleLogo

I’ve never been much of a Mac guy until today.  I swapped out my wife’s defective iPod Touch at the Apple store today since the touch screen would intermittently stop functioning.  I walked in and played with the iPad, some laptops, and some desktop models.  Afterward, I approached the counter where a guy checked me into the queue with his iPad.  I played around with an iPad for maybe three minutes before the guy called me back.

apple-ipad-tablet-ebook-420x0 The tech looked at the iPod, deemed it non-functional, and went tot he back of the store.  I figured he would fill out some paperwork, send the iPod off, and call me back (if I was lucky) when the replacement arrived.  I barely had time to text my wife that they were replacing her unit when the guy came back, had me sign and initial a form.   Then he handed me her new iPod Touch and kindly sent me on my way.

I was more than a little boggled.  I spent about a decade in tech support before this and speedy service like that is almost nonexistent.  I came home, set up the new iPod, and told the wife that I wanted to get some Macs at the next upgrade phase.  I am already getting an iPad when I finish my Bachelor’s degree (and aquire the teaching job that will hopefully stem from it), so it’s not much of a stretch.

imovie_main Still, I have been a die-hard Windows guy all my life.  This semester my work has been highly tech-dependent and Windows has let me down far too many times to count.  Windows Movie Maker alone has caused me more grief than I can take.  I played with iMovie today and almost wept bitterly for want of its shiny goodness.  God in heaven, it is slick.

So, I may need to get together some money and pick up a small mini lappy soon.  I just don’t know.  I have hardly been in possession of my current mini lappy a year.  It’s not quite time to upgrade yet.  Alas, it’s not even close to time.  My inner Veruca is in full-on whine mode, though.

veruca_salt

“I want it now!!!”

Going Out With My Honey Sunday, Jun 13 2010 

Listening to: Gary Ray and the Heartwells – Mississippi Streets & Smile


One of the things that my wife and I have not done in a while is go out to a concert.  We have been out on occasion, but it was on rare, carefully planned dating excursions to non-remote locales.  This mostly had to do with the responsibilities involved with taking care of Mom.  I went out to run errands once while my wife was at her office, leaving our then eighteen-year-old daughter to watch Mom for about an hour.  I was about fifteen minutes from the house when Mom’s blood-pressure plummeted and she passed out.  I then received a panicked phone call and I flew back home.

So tonight, I decided that I needed to get out and throw off this funk I have been in for the last three weeks.  I am part of the street team for a local (soon to be world-famous, if I have anything to say about it) band, Gary Ray and the Heartwells.  Since I don’t get out much, most of my work has been pimping them on the web.  A task I must admit I am pretty good at.  There was a street team contest at Reverbnation and I won it by generating the most interest from my various posts,  The prize was an autographed copy of their latest CD, “Livin’ the Dream.”

I have been a fan of Gary’s from his solo days.  I have everything he has ever released, from his days with the rock band Obsession Day to his current band, The Heartwells.  His music has heart and it’s fun, so I love it.  Plus, he’s just a great guy from the few occasions I have had the chance to speak with him.  A lot of artists disappoint you by being jackasses and he honestly likes his fans, which is a valuable trait that I hope he keeps when he hits it big.

So I emailed him back the other day to let him know that I’d be at the show tonight so he could save the shipping of sending the CD to me.  My wife and I saddled up and headed off to Kramer’s in Atlanta for the show.  No cover was an added bonus, but I had cash, so I bought an extra couple of CDs for some friends who wanted a copy but were unable to go.

While I was chatting with Gary, I mentioned two of my favorite songs.  “Smile” is pretty much a universal favorite in my household.  My wife and I love it and I am pretty sure most, if not all, the kids have it on their iPods as well.  It is a song from his solo days and he said he hadn’t played it in a while, but he would give it a try.  The other song was “Mississippi Streets.”  He plays this song using a glass bottle as a slide for his guitar.  Love that song and it is on their latest album, so it was part of the set they were going to play anyway.

The show kicked off and they mixed their own song with some outstanding covers of such songs and “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Copperhead Road.”  When he got to “Smile” he dropped my name as one of his top street team members, so I have some street cred right there.  That’s right, y’all.  I rule.  Don’t forget it.  The song went fine until he started the second verse.  Remember that this is an old song of his from before he formed the band.  I was impressed that they were able to pull it off since I have never heard them play it at all.

Gary looked down off the stage and said, “Ok, you’re gonna have to help me here.  How does it start?”

“I’m headed down I-65!” I shouted.

“Right!” he said and lit right into it.  Mucho street cred for me once again.

So Gary, sorry for requesting such a blast from the past, but I just friggin’ LOVE that song.

After that, he played “Mississippi Streets” and rocked the asses off everyone there.  We stayed until they took a break, a little after midnight, listening to and singing along with the music, watching drunk people dancing, and just having a great time.  I wished the guys a good show and went on home since the A/C in the place was  overpowered by the dancing bodies and the humid June evening.

I know this had nothing to do with writing, which this blog is ostensibly about, but since Mom started to go downhill, I haven’t written anything of note that wasn’t either required by school or a post here.  Part of being me is the therapy I have to go through before I can start back again.  I may as well bring this blog along for the ride, if only so I can have some documentation of these days for future reminiscence.

Thanks for listening.

Well… reading.

You get the idea.

Thanks.

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“To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music that words make.”

~ Truman Capote

Beyond the Final Days Tuesday, Jun 1 2010 

Listening to: Rusted Root – Send Me on My Way

Well, since last time I posted a lot has happened.  My mother fought emphysema from heavy smoking all her life.  It finally escalated into full-blown COPD and she moved in with us.  Eventually we had to have Hospice come in and help us in our home with her.  The change from taking her to the doctor to having a nurse stop by a couple times a week was a huge relief.  Many people wait entirely too long to go on Hospice.  As a circumstance, many people suffer far too long.  My mother’s last six months were as comfortable as we could make them.

My wife and I took turns sleeping on a twin mattress in her bedroom that last week and both of us were in her room the last 48 hours.  I didn’t sleep at all during this time.  I tried, but I couldn’t.  I insisted that my wife sleep when I knew that Mom’s time was close.  She lost her first husband to cancer and I didn’t want her to have to relive his last moments.  I was there at the end.  It was hard to take, but she went as peacefully as could be expected.  She was in a coma and I kept up with her pain medication schedule until the end, so I feel comfortable that she was not in pain at the end.

The only death that I took hard was my father’s, and that was more due to the events that followed his death.  I watched them clean up his corpse and place it in the body bag when I was in my very early twenties.  I didn’t want to watch, but I have no problem understanding how fear and horror can paralyze a man now.  I lived it.  That along with the insensitivity of the preacher of my parent’s church at the time sent me into a tailspin.

Other than that instance, I have never had any profound issues with death.  I see it as the conclusion of our trials here on Earth.  Being freed from a human shell with its many faults and weakness is something that I see as a blessing, especially for someone whose body was as severely damaged as my mother’s.  I still have children to raise up and look forward to, someday in the VERY distant future, meeting my grandchildren.  I am not ready to die, but I don’t have any real fear of death.  I have faith that whatever is on the other side has to be better than here.

That philosophy makes the last two weeks seem bizarre to me.  When Mom died, I immediately went into what I call “worker bee” mode.  Anytime a huge event happens, I react in one of two ways.  If I bear no responsibility in the event, I go into “hermit” mode wherein I hide and avoid the situation as much as possible.  If I have any responsibility, or if I am the primary responsible party like I was with Mom, I jump into “worker bee” mode.  I jump in with both feet and work my ass off until there is no more work to be done or I pass out, whichever comes first.

When Mom died, I woke my wife up and told her it was over.  We called Hospice immediately.  The nurse came by, pronounced her, and called the funeral home.  They came by and picked her up.  Learning from the experience with Dad, I sat outside until they finished.  After she was gone, we went inside and immediately set to cleaning the room up, removing unnecessary furniture and anything else that could hinder Hospice from removing their equipment.

When the funeral home opened for business, I drove there and made some last second arrangements that Mom requested before she fell into the coma.  She had originally planned for a viewing and funeral in South Carolina, but later requested one in Georgia for local family and friends.  I fell asleep during the meeting when the funeral director had to step away to gather some paperwork.  I drove home and literally fell into bed.  My wife fielded further issues, not wanting to wake me.  The next week, I was constantly on the go contacting people, travelling, and planning three visitations & a funeral.

After it was all over, I immediately jumped into repurposing her bedroom.  It was originally our living room, but we never used it since we had a larger family room in our finished basement.  The transformation into a bedroom required us to install two doors, a closet, and a stairlift so she could go up to our bedroom to take a shower.  As executor of her will, I went through her things, giving her clothing to a cousin who we felt could get some use out of them and dividing her other possessions up between the brothers based on some personal criteria.  I gave out the items she had provided in her will to the beneficiaries.  We went to IKEA and bought some new furniture for the room and transformed it back into a small family room.  The den is now where the children go to entertain their friends and the living room is primarily for me and my wife.

I still have financial things we are dealing with, but for the most part, the dust is settling.  We are planning a trip to Disney World and Universal Orlando this month just to unwind.  I have started Summer semester at my university.  My children are around more since it is Summer break for them.  Everything is looking up.

Which is the point of this long, drawn out post.  I am depressed.  I know Mom is in a better place.  I got to spend a lot of time with her these last three years.  I have no regrets at all.  I haven’t been able to nail down a reason why I feel this way, but I have been coasting on the verge of tears all week.  I don’t cry easily.  Don’t get me wrong, I will get teary at the end for a good movie.  Teary and weepy are different from crying.  I feel like a huge dam is about to burst, destroying all in its wake.  Like a boiler has been left unattended for too long and is almost at the explosion point.

I can only account for this feeling by assuming that it has something to do with the drastic change in my lifestyle.  I lived my last three years taking Mom into consideration every waking moment.  She had her breakfast at 10:30am, lunch at 2pm, and supper between 6-8pm every single day.  I took her to get her hair done every Friday at 11am and our to lunch afterward.  After she went on Hospice, that was her only time out of the house.  The kitchen was off limits after 11pm, since her bedroom was connected to it.  We had to ensure that the children were quiet in the den after 11pm as well.  The stairs also connected to her bedroom.  The stairs to the second floor also connected, so we had to get onto people for stomping up them.

When I was out running errand, I had to ensure that someone was there to watch after her.  She passed out once due to low blood pressure while I was out and had other issues that I would need to attend to, so I had to keep a phone near me so that whoever was watching her could get in touch with me.  Every week was filled with the stress of wondering what new drama was going to pop up.  The last few months, it escalated to every day.  My mother was a proud woman and never wanted to burden people with her problems.  Thus, she would never tell us that she heard a metaphorical bomb ticking until after it went off.

I supposed this anxiety I am feeling is a combination of a huge life-change and that anticipation of the next bit of household drama that is never going to come from her health issues situation ever again.  While my mind knows that this part of my life is over, my body has grown so accustomed to the Minuteman mentality that it doesn’t trust the change in the situation.  I might be wrong.  I just don’t know.  All I know is that something has to give soon.  I know I won’t go mad over it, so I am not going to make such a dreadful pronouncement.  I survived high school, my father’s death, and a divorce from my first wife just shy of our tenth wedding anniversary.  If all that didn’t drive me mad (and I came close at times), then this won’t drive me mad.

I had just started writing a new book when all this started and I have not been in a good place to start back on that yet.  I might embark on a side quest to bring some closure to this.  I have some tapes left to me by my stepfather.  They contained stories from his life that I still have to convert to the typewritten page and digital audio.  He was at Pearl Harbor, so they are rather fascinating.  I have also been considering gathering stories about Mom for a collection.  I have to approach her remaining sisters and brother along with my cousins and brothers about it and see what kind of response I get.

The only effective methods I have found for dealing with this kind of stress is through my writing and through being industrious, so I hope this will help bring some resolution for me.  I’ll report in as I go through he process and as I get back to my writing.

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“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those, who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear, which is inherent in a human condition”

~ Graham Greene

It’s Been a While Wednesday, Feb 24 2010 

I intended on writing here every week at the very least.  We see how that has gone, eh?  See, this is the problem with taking three Literature classes and a World History class at the same time.  As an example of what my life has been like, here is what I have to complete before tomorrow:

American Literature Survey: I have to read “Desiree’s Baby” by Kate Chopin and “Wife of His Youth” by Charles Chesnutt. 

Intro to English Studies: We have a quiz on “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, which we have already read.  Also, I have to read the intros for all the pieces in the Norton Anthology chapters 1-7, Chapter 7 of another textbook, “Rip Van Winkle” by Washington Irving, and “Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin.  It seems this is my day for Chopin stories.  Heh.

Introduction to World Civilization: Test on India, China, and world philosophies. 

Shakespeare: I have to read “As You Like It” Acts 1-3 and take a line recognition quiz on it.

My classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the preceding was only one day of classwork.  I somehow thought I would have the energy to do all this, work on my won writing, keep up with a blog, and do all my personal family stuff.  I am married with four children and an elderly parent living with me.  That, my friends, is what we call optimistic on an insane level.

The worst part of all this is that the ideas are still there, battering at my brain.  They want out and, like Lovecraftian creatures from beyond the Abyss of space and time, they don’t care how much of my sanity they take with it.  I had precious little sanity as it stood before I started taking these classes.  The tragedy of it is that most of these classes would have been a joy, if I had taken them with other, less time-consuming coursework.  I mean, what was I thinking taking two literature classes, a world history class, AND Shakespeare???  I love Shakespeare, but it often seems that I don’t have time to read the plays and still keep up with the other readings.  Ah well, I’ll just have to do my best.

 

On the writing front, one of my professors announced a campus writing contest.  Students can submit in any of the following categories: short story, creative nonfiction, poetry, script, play.  I don’t do scripts and plays, but I have a few short stories, a couple of creative nonfiction pieces, and three poems I am considering submitting. 

I was having trouble narrowing down the poetry submissions to one, then I read the fine print and saw that we were limited to three.  Now I just have to narrow down my short story possibilities.  My wife has a favorite story that she wants me to submit, but I don’t know if humorous dark fantasy would work for this competition.  I have a supernatural story that I think might do well.  It is not one of my horror or suspense stories, so I think it might fare pretty well. 

I am planning on emailing one of my former professors whose opinions I trust (and who I don’t believe is one of the judges) to see what he thinks.  More as this situation develops… and as I have time and energy.

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"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."

~ Benjamin Franklin

 

Listening to: Cowboy Mouth – Misty Falls

Since Last We Heard From Our Intrepid Novelist… Monday, Jan 25 2010 

After the Cold of Doom, I had the Lingering Crud of Doom.  Between school, family, and a horrible fatigue that set in after the cold, I had nothing left for any creative endeavors.  The last week I have been back to watching what I eat, taking my thyroid meds on a regular basis, and have started a regimen of vitamins that have me feeling better today.  Cowboy Mouth’s Rock & Roll Mardi Gras concert that my son and I went to on Saturday night only helped my flagging spirits.  Cowboy Mouth is almost always an excellent cure for whatever ails me.

In addition to the upturn in my general health, I met with my academic advisor and found that I have a couple classes that I can bypass altogether.  This puts me a bit closer to graduation than I thought I was.  I have also started planning my post-graduate studies.  I have three schools that I am seriously considering for my MA and PhD studies.  I just need to do more research on the various programs and speak with the various reps from the institutions in question before I make a final decision.

One of the nice things is that most of the MA in Creative Writing programs I have looked into require 100 pages of fiction to graduate.  I already have that much and more.  As the man once said, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

Anyway, I have class tomorrow.  That means no writing until I get home.  We shall see what tomorrow brings.

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“Write without pay until somebody offers to pay”

~ Mark Twain

 

Now Playing: Cowboy Mouth – Glad to Be Alive

Writing Update Monday, Jan 18 2010 

There was a cold kicking my butt, so I took some time off blogging, writing, surfing…  pretty much everything but sleeping.  I improved after the first 48 hours, but the last week has been hard with lingering after effects.  That said, I am doing better tonight and I have given a great deal of thought to what I wish to do this coming week.  I just watched “Dead Poets Society” and am feeling a tad bit inspired.  If I feel the inspiration waning, I could always watch it again tomorrow.  I have always had an unreasoning love for that movie.

So my plan for the coming week, pending revelations on the school front, is to get my act together on the revisions for my suspense novel.  I have also listened to a host of music to include in my podiobook rendition of said novel and am considering requesting use of a Cowboy Mouth song, “So Sad About Me,” as the theme song.

Sleepy now, so more on the morrow.

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“But only in their dreams can men be truly free. ‘Twas always thus, and always thus will be.”

~ John Keating  “Dead Poets Society”

Happy Palindrome Day! Monday, Jan 11 2010 

01/11/10

Get it? 

Yeah, I’m a geek.  What of it?

And We’re Off! Wednesday, Jan 6 2010 

Reading over my syllabi for this semester’s classes and it occurs to me that I have bitten off quite a bit considering my current influx of ideas for edits. 

My book is currently at 65k words, which is not a publishable length.  I have a character who is currently underutilized, but has a wealth of potential.  Today, I had some solid ideas as to where I can renovate some scenes and add others to beef up her role, but I have had no time to implement these changes.

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“There’s nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” 

~ Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith

I hope to be able to tap that vein tomorrow.

 

Listening to: Paula Cole – Me

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