Category Archives: writing

At last

I started writing the following a little while ago, but never finished it.

I’m at the hospital waiting to check in for my MRIs. I see the neurologist next week for a 6- month follow-up. She’ll review the MRIs to see how effective the Copaxone injections have been.

The hospital’s main floor is busy. It almost seems like some senior citizens are here on a field trip. It’s kind of unnerving.

This is really not a post about MS, but I’ll report that I had a not-so-great leg day on Monday. I think it was because I didn’t go back to bed for more sleep after Sadie got me up at around 7:30. The last two days have been much better.

I dreamed this morning of two old friends from grad school (UIUC Dance Dept.) I also saw swirling letters or words. When I have these dreams a try and see if the letters are spelling anything, but they fade away too quickly.

Tomorrow is the second to last class of my Library Science grad school career. My application to graduate seems to have gone through, and I’m looking forward to not being a student.

21 days later I’m finally posting

I got an email confirming the address my diploma will be mailed to, so I guess I have graduated. The neurologist said my MRIs looked good and she’ll see me in 6 months. I suppose the Copaxone is working.

This week is dragging. On Monday, I thought that if anyone at work asked how I was, I would say, “I’ve had enough.” No one asked. Tuesday wasn’t as bad, but it wasn’t great. Wednesday was better. It could be that I’m tolerating life better because the arctic air has been moving out. I hate being cold!

If I’m going to get this posted, I need to stop writing. I should have more time to blog now that school is over.

I also have got to stop playing Enso. It’s ruining my neck.

enso.png

Enso game

 

 

Listening

I love audio books. I’ve been an Audible.com member since I found out about it sometime in the early 2000s.  Before that, I was a frequent consumer of the public library‘s books on tape and cd.  These days I get my library audio via the Hoopla app.

I recently decided to listen to books with the word girl in the title.

  1. The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
  2. Girl on a Train – AJ Waines
  3. The Girl in the Ice – Robert Bryndza
  4. The Girl with No Past – Kathryn Croft
  5. The Girl in the Spider’s Web – David Lagercrantz

30038174576_9aec62d171_o

I listened to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn a while back, so it doesn’t count as part of this “girl” spree. The same can be said for Mary Kubica’s The Good Girl.

I ran out of mystery/thrillers with “girl” in the title, so I had to move on.  I listened to The Night Detectives by John Talton, and after that, I was happy to find two more Mary Kubica books, Don’t You Cry and Pretty Baby. After that came Under Your Skin by Sabine Durrant. My current listen is to Durrant’s Remember Me This Way.

30072061125_f1543aa8bf_o

All this reading/listening has me wanting to write a thriller. I want to do the work it takes to create characters and place. I want to construct a story that hangs together and ends well. As I listened to these books, I had ideas for ways they could have been better. It’s not even about becoming a published author. It’s about going through the process. Of course, I don’t have time to write a novel and make jewelry and art. Maybe I can make time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Superhero Speech

This is a speech I wrote for a Toastmasters meeting sometime in the early 2000s.

Life is hard. Do you know what I’m talking about?
I’ve always suspected that this might be true but in the back of my mind I thought things would get easier. Things didn’t get easier.
With each passing year my life becomes more complicated.
I’m faced with so many choices that I end up not choosing anything, which is actually a choice in and of itself.
That’s kind of ironic
But not all that comforting.

They say comfort is
Comfortable
I like that.
Life is hard
I think we need more superheroes like Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and Spider-Man (the list goes on).

Illustration of a generic superhero.

Spider-Man, he does whatever a spider can.

I know what you’re thinking “those are just fictional comic book characters.”
But how can you be so sure? Just because you’ve never seen Superman in person doesn’t mean he’s not real. What about Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy? You believe in them, don’t you?
Of course, you do.

Now all of those famous superheroes are great but they only come in handy for major catastrophes like fighting off giant atomic waste lizards on rampages through Tokyo.

Illustration of T-rex.

How often does that happen? Once every 17 years or so.
Or is that cicadas?

I’m interested in superheroes for the common man. In my ideal world, there are myriad of super guys and gals just waiting to help get me through the day.

Come here.

Let me introduce some of them to you.

Let’s start with Slumber Man. He’s a guy who’s at his best after a good 8 hours of sleep, and he wants to help the whole world get a good night’s rest. Using his patented Yawnometer, Slumber Man is able to detect a yawn from as far as 500 miles away. Within seconds he arrives on the scene, whisks the sleepy person off to bed, tucks them in with a teddy bear and sings a short lullaby. Oh, he does have a beautiful voice.

Illustration of sleeping man.

Sandal Girl has a different but no less important objective. It is her sworn duty to help people with ugly feet find sandals that can be worn in public. This is a difficult task because each day she is forced to view hundreds of hideous misshapen hairy feet. But what would we do without her?

Illustration of a sandal.

Speaking of Feet, have I ever told you about Ruler Man and his plucky sidekick the Thermometer Kid? These two heroes are great for home renovations and turkey roasting.
Thermometer Kid can even convince your Mom that you’re too sick to go to school.

Illustration of thermometer.

When you need to have a document certified but don’t want the content of the document disclosed call on the Masked Notary. This hero with government certification wears a mask that covers not just his face but his eyes as well. He can sign, but he can’t see. Useful for those not-so-legal activities.

Captain Celibacy keeps you safe from those nasty sexually transmitted diseases. Dr. Divorcee will come to your house after the divorce is final and say awful things about your ex. The Pale Geek gives lessons in UNIX system administration and the Melodious Manager sings your performance evaluation to the tune of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”

Illustration of person using a laptop.

There are amazing things going on inside my head.
All of you are welcome to join me in here and find your own superheroes.

If you can’t decide which hero is right for you, don’t worry, you don’t have to decide. Whenever you need help with life’s difficulties, you’ll find your hero. Just look for the guy with the cape, mask, naïve young sidekick and the positive attitude.

And if you believe in him–he’ll be real.

 

 

Daily Post-Conceal

From this Dailly Post

I would like to conceal my walk. I would like to conceal my frailties, and hide my humanity.


I’ve been having trouble with walking for a long time now. I felt my walk was uncoordinated, weird, funky, dysfunctional, inefficient, and just plain wrong. Turns out I was using legs that were being compromised by MS symptoms.

I have some good leg and some bad leg days. On a good day I can go about my business without having to constantly analyze and criqique my gate. On bad days, I think too much about how I’m walking and I worry that people are watching me and wondering what’s wrong. If I hear footsteps behind me, I get a sudden pang of anxiety. I want to make sure the person behind me thinks I’m a normal functioning person.  Let’s save talk about worrying what other people think for another post.

Sometimes a well-meaning person will comment on my walk. Sometimes they think I’m injured or in pain. When this happens I tend to get defensive, but I try and joke it off. Now I can say “well, I’ve got MS and this is not one of my better days.” Or I could just shrug and move on.

Here’s an interview with Montel Williams for inspiration.

 

Birds for Thought

She stood outside the door, holding the dog’s leash, waiting for the pretty chocolate lab to do her business. She looked up in time to see two large crows winging their way across the sky. Her eyes followed them until they were out of site. Then two more passed, and then three. 
There was something profound about the way these birds floated across the sky. Maybe the profundity didn’t reside with birds, but in her observation of them. She felt that she had witnessed something holy. She didn’t have a religious practice, so holy wasn’t the right word. There was just something about experiencing those birds that made her feel connected to the universe, and to her, the universe was God. There were days when she believed in God and there were days when the existence of an all-powerful deity seemed impossible. She sometimes wondered if the universe, or if she herself was real.

The dog finished what she was doing, and responding to the tug at her leash, trotted back into the house.

  

Reading, Listening, Writing

I recently listened to the audio version of a novel called NOS4A2 by Joe Hill. You can find the synopsis on Wikipedia. I liked this book a lot. As I listened, I had the thought that this could be my favorite book of all time. I don’t know if that says a lot, because I don’t consider myself to be a heavy reader. I do consume a lot of audiobooks. Sometimes I feel like listening to a book is kind of cheating. Does that mean blind people are cheating if they listen to a book instead of read it in Braille? What about blind people who don’t have the use of their hands? I think that if the words from the book somehow make their way into your consciousness, you have consumed the content of that book. Reading is not supposed to be a competition.

Anyway, in NOS4A2 there was more than one reality. The main character was able to ride her bike across a covered bridge and go where she needed to go, usually to find a lost item. She was able to create her own reality that was just as real as the one the rest of us know. I think we can all do that to some degree. I think I have done this.  I beleieve that just about everything I have wanted out of life has come to pass, or is in the process of becoming a reality. I don’t know a lot about The Law of Attraction, but that’s the kind of stuff I’m talking about.

 

image

So reading books about alternate realities makes me want to write my own book. I’ve been in the business of thinking I want to be a writer for years. I’ve done more thinking than writing. I’ve written a couple of short stories that could be categorized as “Magical Realism.”  I’ve begun writing a book and then quit it. Maybe I’ll try again when I’m 50. That’s only about 5 years!  Yikes, I’m almost 50!

I could declare that I will endeavor to write more. I will build a writing practice. But let’s get real. Declaring it in a blog post won’t make it so. I’d say I’ll probably start doing it when I’m ready to do it. Can I be okay with that decision? Can I stop calling myself  a failure if I haven’t accomplished X, Y, and or Z before a certain age?  Sometimes I feel like I’m running out of time, but really I might have 50 or so more years to go.

 

« Older Entries