Page last updated: January 1, 2005
Archive for November 2004
Hey everyone. I apologize once again for only being able to give you another life update rather than a story update.
Well, let me start off with the good and say that Corene and I are married now (though not legally, of course). I'm working on a website to showcase our handfasting, but it isn't finished yet. I'll let you know as soon as it is (it's going to include video clips of the ceremony and reception, pictures, and a transcript of the ceremony; I just need to .zip the clips, upload them to the site, and finish writing synopses for each clip, as well as finish up the transcript page).
Now for the bad. About a year ago, I was diagnosed with three gall stones. I wasn't having any symptoms, so I didn't have surgery, but in the months before the handfasting, I started getting sick. I was testing some new medication (new to me, not as in I was a test subject :)) and dealing with side effects, so I thought that was the problem and stopped the meds. The only problem was that the 'side effects' didn't go away.
Anyway, I was focused on the chaos that is planning a wedding, so I did my best to ignore the nausea and lack of appetite, etc. Well, I made it through the ceremony and about halfway through the reception, and then I just about collapsed. I didn't even get to have cake.
Okay, I just reread that and the collapsed part sounds really dramatic, which it wasn't. I was somewhat used to the fainting spells (though can I just say that is the worst feeling in the world?), so I was really aware of the warning signs, and from learning to breath in order to help control my panic attacks, I was able to stop myself from passing out most of the time.
Basically, I would start to feel nauseous, then I would break out in a sweat, and then everything would start to go white. That's when I would chant, "I'm not gonna pass out, I'm not gonna pass out, I'm okay, I'm not gonna pass out." That's pretty much how I got through it that day until the feeling passed, and then I crashed on the couch for a few hours.
Well, the next day, I had an even worse bout and really did collapse at the local food co-op (I only just barely stayed conscious and was flat on my back in the aisle). Luckily, my sister, who was the High Priestess for the handfasting, was with us. She's also a paramedic, so she had a shopper she knew go out to her car and get her oxygen tank and one of the cashiers called for an ambulance, and to make a long story short, it was a really shitty day.
And now let's skip ahead past the bullshit of Medicaid not approving me having my gall bladder taken out in Vermont because it 'wasn't an emergency' and it could wait until I got back home, and the hospital in Vermont not accepting North Carolina Medicaid, even though they told me they would (they're currently hounding me for about $1000 in hospital bills, which Medicaid would actually pay if they just let them), and go directly to Corene and I cutting our vacation short, so we could get home to see my surgeon.
Of course, then we have to skip past two more months of waiting because I was told my doctor couldn't see me until he had my medical records from Vermont (by the way, my doctor is very cool, so I'm not bashing him, it was Medicaid that refused to pay to duplicate any tests done in Vermont, even though they didn't pay for them in the first place), but Vermont decided to hold my medical records hostage, since I hadn't paid my bill (at least, that's the only explanation I can come up with, since when Vermont requested my records from my doctor, they had them the next morning). So, I finally said "fuck it" and made an appointment with my doctor anyway, and he immediately sent me to see my surgeon (in case you're wondering, this has to do with the type of Medicaid program I'm on called Carolina Access; I have to see my regular doctor and he then has to refer me to other specialists, or else Medicaid won't cover it).
So, finally, on October 21st, exactly two months to the day after my handfasting, I had surgery to remove my gall bladder. And after all the bullshit I went through in Vermont when they were telling me they didn't think it was my gall bladder, I find out that there really was a gall stone stuck in the bile duct, though it was too small to show up on X-ray and was probably just causing me pain rather than blocking the duct.
Anyway, I'm now trying to recover from the surgery, which I feel is taking way too long, but which everyone else keeps telling me I'm doing fine. Unfortunately, from being sick for so long, I really kind of wasted away. Not that I'm thin, by any means, but I lost twenty pounds from not eating because of being nauseous all the time; my 38" Levi's used to hang on me, now it's my 36's that do that, and I can pull off the 38's without unbuttoning them. I still feel really weak, and not being able to use my stomach muscles for a couple weeks weakened me even more I think (the way the surgery is done, they basically punched five holes into my abdomen, which passed through three layers of muscle, so it definitely hurts to use them and it takes a while to heal).
So, that's been my life for the past few months. Needless to say, my focus hasn't really been on my stories, but that seems to be changing. I've been trying to be a little bit more active, which at this point really just means being awake, though I actually did some dishes yesterday. I tried doing dishes a week after the surgery and barely washed a single bowl before I had to take a break. Even now, just standing up straight hurts if I'm up for too long (it's amazing how much we use our stomach muscles to support our bodies and how much it sucks when that support is taken away or injured).
Okay, I feel like such a whiner after that little admission of weakness, but as Corene and my sisters keep telling me, I need to be patient with myself. I push myself really hard sometimes, and this is one of those times when I need to back off or I could end up making my recovery time even longer.
So, anyway, as I was saying, my focus wasn't really on my stories for a few months there between the handfasting and being sick and the surgery, but over the past week, I've been getting back into that headspace. Not that I ever really left it; my brain is always off thinking about one story or another, and I would jot stuff down every now and then, but this past week, I've actually been writing for a few hours at a time.
So, here's the list of what I've been working on:
Prisoner of War - I've almost got the next chapter finished. I just need to write the sex scene and fill in some gaps in the dialogue. I'm not sure what's holding me back on the sex scene. It might be because I'm not physically feeling good, which causes problems when I try to 'feel' what the characters are feeling, so I can describe it properly. I know when I've had a cold and have tried to write sex scenes, the muse has definitely deserted me. It's just hard to feel sexy when you feel like shit.
The Trine - I'm still really enjoying this story. I'm just a little worried about how long the beginning is. My introductory/establishing chapters for two of the main characters go on for about 90 pages before I get to the introduction of the third main character, which seems like too much, but when I read it, it seems fine. The amount of story world time that goes by is only a day, so in that sense, it's really short. It's just the number of pages that seems a lot, but it's not like I'm including a bunch of descriptive prose or unnecessary scenes (at least I don't think I am; all of them give information that's important, in my opinion). Oh well. Guess I just need to let it go and follow the story where it leads.
The Vampire Hunter: Blood Moon - I've gotten quite a bit more written for this story, but now I'm trying to focus on my outline. Because of the amount of time the story is going to cover, I need to carefully pick and choose what scenes to show and what to just gloss over in the narrative (at times, I'll be skipping hundreds of years). Otherwise, the story could end up being longer than The Trine, and I don't think it needs to be. Of course, if the muse gets into it, it could turn into an offshoot series and I could then go back and tell the stories of those glossed over bits, but at this point, that's not where I'm at. The big thing about picking and choosing those scenes, however, is that I need to do a lot of research about what was happening in ancient Egypt (as well as other parts of the world) at particular times, so that I can make everything fit (or at least fit as well as it can). So, I've been watching documentaries and reading online histories, so I can try to work in what I want to have happen with what current archeologists know/speculate really did happen. Unfortunately, some of it is pretty dry stuff, so it's a bit slow-going.
Well, I think that's it. I have no idea when I will have anything ready to post again. And I do want to thank everyone for not pestering me too much for updates. Getting an e-mail that tells me how much you enjoy my stories, but that you understand about the lack of updates and are trying to be patient really takes the pressure off and lets me just write, instead of feeling like I'm letting everyone down. So, thank you. I'm writing as fast as the muse and my inner perfectionist allow. :)
Take care, everyone.
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