Monday, July 23, 2007

Back in the saddle again.

Yesterday was several hours of sorting through random boxes of stuff at my Dad's house which is now my aunt's house. Stuff that needs doing. Today is the first real day of being back at the work of writing. Which is also stuff that needs doing. Writers write.

Last night, I sprawled on the bed with the notebook for one of my WIPs, reacquainting myself with the whos and whats and whens, and today was the same thing with a blank book for another project. It's an interesting sort of homecoming, going over stuff that's at once strange and familiar. There are the "I forgot about that" moments, the "hey, this is pretty good" moments and the "I can't believe I never patched *that* hole" moments. There are the moments when a turn of the page is the most perfect time machine ever created, and I'm swept from the present day into sixteenth century Amsterdam or seventeenth century England, the high seas, what have you.

The weather today has been cool (seventies) and off and on rainy -- good writing weather. True, all today's writing has been in the letter variety, but a letter to a writer friend I'll be collaborating with in the fall, so it counts. It feels natural to fall back into the rhythm of storytelling.

Also on the agenda is the big scary thing for us writer types. Submission. Completed manuscripts cannot be allowed to lounge around like an old college buddy who's been crashing on the couch for several years, leaving Cheeto crumbs between the cushions and never putting the lid back on the Diet Coke. Nope, stories, get out there and work for me; you have to finance the ones that are coming now that I have my mojo back.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Remember when Queen Elizabeth II gave her speech about her "Annus Horribilus?" The year life went down the loo, to be blunt? Our family's was this year, and much of it centered in the past month.

During one week, my husband and I visited the ER three times for his severe asthma attacks, the first one nearly fatal. To say scary is understating things by a ton. He's home now, he's doing fine, on good meds, and most importantly now a nonsmoker.

At the same time, my father went into hospital (a different hospital, in a different state, actually) for a minor procedure regarding his dialysis access. He'd had that procedure before, but this one went differently. The surgeon wanted to take out this access and put the old kind back in, and that seemed to be one thing more than my dad's body could take. He fought several conditions very hard for the past few years, but there comes a time when the body can't fight anymore, and the spirit is ready to go. Two weeks ago, it was my dad's time.

It wasn't quick, or easy, which was in keeping with him, but he wasn't in pain when he passed, and I do believe that even though he wasn't conscious, he knew when family and friends came by to tell him we loved him and that it was okay to go if he wanted to. He did, peacefully and with no pain, on June 27th. On June 26th of last year, we'd had the bad news that the doctor gave him a year at most. Dad beat him by one day. Very much in character. We love him and we will miss him, but (spirituality warning here) we do beleive we'll see him again in Heaven, so he's not as much "gone" as "away."

From there, it's been all the things that happen after a death in the family, and of course it had to happen during the hot and humid season. Somewhere in the middle of all that, I had heat exhaustion more than once, likely one time climbing into heat stroke, but the weather seems to have shifted, so looks like that's not a problem for a while yet.

What the family has now is the finding of the new normal. We have his house to clean out and sell, need to find a new place for my Aunt Lola, who I am proud to call as much a friend as a relative, and get her closer to us. Rheuben and I are also looking at possibly finding a different apartment, so start saving those cardboard boxes, everyone. Looks like we're going to get a crash course in downsizing, moving more than one household and all the stuff that goes along with that.

I haven't felt much like blogging lately, though I have been doing lots and lots of reading, and getting the writing in where I can. I'm looking forward to getting back to a regular writing schedule, and hopefully that will include a return to more regular blogging.

In the meantime, hop over to and meet my alter ego. I'm letting her handle the time travel writing. She also apparently does more reading than I do, or at least is better at keeping track of it.