Tag Archives: LOST

111.43% | (The End)

31 Dec

Why didn’t anyone tell me that reaching the end of this draft would feel like winning the lottery, or meeting the entire cast of Lost, or finding out that Starbucks would like to give me free lattes for the rest of my life?

Or, that finishing a second draft (also known as a complete rewrite) would feel utterly satisfying, but in a drastically different way than finishing the first draft did?

Or, that knitting a zillion strands of gossamer spiderweb, without leaving loose ends, would be as rewarding as it was challenging?

Or, that by the end of the novel, when you’ve basically just been this diligent stenographer spying on the lives of your characters for months, watching them struggle and conquer and feel, they peek at you through that fourth wall, satisfied with you for being patient enough to see them through to the last page and tuck them in for sleep?

This is how I feel. 

Months of patient plotting and planning and crafting did not prepare me for the satisfaction I felt when I typed word number 78,000 yesterday.  That’s a full 8,000 words past my original goal (hence the title of this post, as 78K is 111.43% of that goal), and I’m more than pleased.  This way, the manuscript can gain or lose a few thousand in edits and still be a good length.  

Because this post will turn into a jumble of randomness if I don’t structure it somehow…

…here are some things I learned along the way.

1) Goals are Good.  Seriously good.  Diligent December was a raving success, as I wrote 26,290 words this month.  Though I didn’t get to write every day, I tried.  When I did get to write, I made the most of it.

2) I Can Write More Words/Day Than I Thought I Could.  I wrote 26,290 words this month, with only eleven days of actual writing.  That’s an average of 2,390/day.  Turns out 1,500 words every single day is hard for me, but 2,300 every other day works well for me.  Weird.

3) I Like Writing By Hand.  With the exception of the last chapter, I wrote everything in December by hand, and then typed it up as I went.  That means I drained at least two pens of their poison and filled two Moleskine notebooks.  (One was fuschia, and the other was lime green.)  This helped me feel more attached to my characters and their stories, possibly because I felt like I was journaling about my own life.  Also, it was easier not to dwell on how many words I’d written without a running total at the bottom of my screen, and it was easier to remain focused without the Internet at my fingertips.

4) It’s Important To Feel.  Without feeling, words are dead.  Without closing my eyes and trying to experience what the character is feeling, or think how she’s thinking, it’s hard to get into a scene.  Conversely, it’s amazing to get wrapped up in the emotion of it all.  The word visceral comes to mind.

5) Therefore, It’s Important Not To Rush.  The last day I posted (22 Dec 09), I was so incredibly tempted to FINISH, since I was only 2100 words away from my goal (even though I’d already written 3600 words that day).  I made the decision to wait, to not rush the climax.  It was a good one.  Monday rolled around, and unlike most first-days-back-from-long-vacations, it was a Monday of Awesomeness.  I wrote 3450 that day, putting my heart on the page, but it still wasn’t done.  Same story with Tuesday; several hours and 3834 words into that day, I was so ready to be done, but again, I didn’t want to rush the end.  Wednesday came around: 2810 words later, with heart and soul and time put into it, I reached the end.  I’m glad I ended up with 10,000 extra words of quality conflict and resolution, rather than 2,000 words of crammed, subpar, just-to-say-I-made-my-deadline-and-I-really-want-to-finish crap.

6) Enjoy the Process.  It’s been over a year since I started working on this novel, and I’ve still got several months of edits ahead of me.  I’ve loved every single challenging minute of the process so far, and I think that’s an imperative part of being an aspiring author.  I love learning how to do this, learning how to be diligent, learning how to use so many different parts of myself to their maximum potential.  Being a writer, you have to create, think, feel, communicate, organize, prioritize, observe; you have to be ruthless, passionate, subtle, patient, economical, and honest.  I’ve used so much more of myself than I ever have in any single paid job I’ve ever had.  Ever.

7) Alone ≠ Good.  Though writing is a solitary act, usually (for me, always), having people in your life is imperative to being healthy, happy, and productive.  I’d still smell like coffee grounds and spilled milk, and my manuscript may or may not stink just as bad, if my amazing husband hadn’t been so supportive and encouraging with my desire to write. (Thanks, Love!) Also, I’m thrilled that I’ve been able to connect with such a rich group of supportive blog friends, and that you’ve pushed me, encouraged me, and held me accountable to do what I set out to do.  Thank you, too.

8 ) Enjoy It, Then Keep Working.  One thing my workouts and my writing goals have in common is this: I get to a point where I start getting excited about what I’ve accomplished — doing yoga, running a mile, saying no to cheesecake, meeting whatever writing goal it is that I’ve set — and then, somehow, I get comfortable.  My workouts slip…and I eat cherry pie…and have whipped cream on my mochas…and then it’s back to square one.  Treadmill time.  

I’m determined to avoid this with my novel, so here’s the plan: I’m taking two weeks (until January 18, the Monday after my birthday) away from my it, and then it’s time for a read-through.  In these two weeks, I will rest and relax but also continue on with being diligent, in areas such as (much-neglected) organizing of closets and storage bins and stuff like that.  I plan to catch up on everyone’s blogs, though (I’ve gotten so behind, but I’m really really excited to see what you guys have been up to!), and finally finish reading The Time Traveler’s Wife (How, oh how, did I manage to keep that thing on the table and not get utterly lost in it this month?).

Sorry for the week I’ve been absent, by the way.  Thank you to all of you who’ve been patient and stopped by in the meantime.  Guess all those blogs I haven’t written in a week were just dying to get out, and spilled themselves into this one, very huge, post.

Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone — be safe and have fun!

Can She Do It?

22 Dec

Probably not, if she keeps playing with adorable pictures of Mr. Cat wearing Christmas bows.  However, that’s not the plan for the day.  The plan for the day?  To finish.

Hopefully.

Due to various bouts of sickishness, three weekends full of plans (two vacations and one wedding gig), and the realistic expectation that going to visit my parents for Christmas will be — as usual — like taking a brief trip to another planet on which all we do is eat, play games, and have Lost marathons, it all comes down to today.

And today, my friends, is daunting.  

The good news is that my average word count, on the days I’ve gotten to write, is about 1,500, with the past four days averaging around the 2,000 mark.  Then, there’s the…let’s call it other news, shall we? (Not bad.  Just other.)  That news?  In order to meet my Diligent December goal, I still need to write 5,121 words.  Today¹.  

It’s still early, though, and I wrote about 600 before the sun poked its shiny little face above the cloudy horizon, so I’m encouraged!  I also have a pretty good idea of what I want to write, it’s just the whole getting it on paper in the right way that may be challenging.  Also challenging?  The sheer number of words.  

It can be done, though, and I hope it will be done.

Thanks for all your encouragement, you guys!  It’s super valuable to me as I go through this process, and my writing is better because of you all.  I’ll try to be back with a status post later today or tomorrow with the results of my mini-marathon² today!

Okay.  Time for another coffee.

Diligent December Update: 64,879 down | 5,121 to go | 92.68% finished!


¹Technically, I need to write them by Christmas Eve, but hey, even the most diligent among us would have a hard time resisting the pull of Planet Let’s-Watch-Lost-And-Eat-And-Play-Games-And-Oh-Yeah-Christmas-Too.  So realistically?  Today.

²By the way: I am a member of the slow-and-steady-daily-goals camp, as opposed to the write-as-much-as-you-can-every-now-and-then camp.  However, I am also a citizen of Meet-Your-Goals Land and despite my best efforts, I need to take a brief voyage to the other side of the lake (via canoe), sit by the fire of write-as-much-as-you-can, and then do a little tribal celebration dance³ when I reach the end via their foreign methods.

³Oy vey.  Better go while I’m still ahead.

News flash!  This just in!  Extra bonus update so I don’t leave you all in suspense until the next time I get to post…since I’m not sure when that will be: I didn’t finish today, but I’m okay with that for several reasons, which I shall now list for you!  

One: I cut my “need to write” words from 5,706 to 2,093, which means I wrote 3,613 today – I’m pleased with that, for sure.  

Two:  those 3K+ words were quality, and I’m excited about them.  

Three: I stopped right after major drama and right before even bigger drama.  Didn’t want to rush through my ending just for the sake of finishing a goal.  Quality trumps speed, in this case.

Four: Um, two words: present wrapping.  I did a lot of it tonight, plus packing, plus kitty control.

Five: Though I have just over 2K to my goal, I think the book will run longer.  Therefore, I’m putting writing on hold for the holiday, will resume on Monday, and plan to finish by New Year’s Eve.

In case I don’t get to say it before then, Merry Christmas, everyone!  Thanks for your sweet comments and support, and I’m sorry I haven’t been able to respond well yet.  They encouraged me greatly today, so thank you!

15 Dec 09 | Diligent December Update

15 Dec

Between receiving LOST: Season Five from the blessed UPS lady’s hands and the fact that I wrote almost 3,000 words today (2,915 to be exact), this Tuesday has rocked pretty hard.  

After a stellar Friday, the weekend was, in a word, bleak.  Okay, I exaggerate.  The weekend itself was pretty good; only the word count was bleak.  Three days of zero words in a row?  Not pretty.  At all.  Unless you’re particularly fond of zeroes, and also fond of no progress made whatsoever.

But!  This morning, I woke up with determination, I woke up with zeal, I woke up with…well, you get the picture.  I woke up.  In haste, I tied my unruly curls behind my head, threw on some clothes, purchased my latte (With a gift card!  Bonus!), and returned home to settle in for some serious work.

I accomplished way more than expected in the most unusual of settings: I sat in semi-darkness on my couch, beside our so-not-yet-decorated-it-isn’t-even-funny Christmas tree¹, with a lap desk, a pen, and an almost-full lime green Moleskine notebook.  To answer the question you didn’t ask, why, yes!  I am still writing by hand, still loving it.

Speaking of writing by hand, here’s something fun…I ran across these last time we went for a visit at my parents’ house.  Twenty years of writing, and it all began with this.  Take a look at the ridiculous stuff my six-year-old, second-grade self created (complete with some unique illustrations)(click to enlarge):

“The scariest monster I ever saw was Frankenstein.  He had fourteen eyes!  He had a pumpkin head.  It was black, purple, green, pink, and orange!  He had a screw in his neck.  His clothes were black.  And he had slime hair!  And he lived in a mummy case!  He flew a nasty old kite.  He had twenty feet!  And forty arms!  The End…(His Kite)” – October 25, 1989

and

“‘A Halloween Ghost’ – There was a ghost that lived in a haunted house.  His name was Kooky!  He kooked alott [sic].  And he scared peppole [sic] too.  He wasn’t terrible.  He was silly.  The End.” – October 18, 1989

Diligent December Update: 59,744 down | 10,256 to go | 85.35% done!

¹Perhaps I should make the Christmas tree its own post altogether.  Long story short, we are trying to train certain feline cohabitants that the tree is not, in fact, their new cat food, nor is it a bed.

4 • 8 • 15 • 16 • 23 • 42

9 Dec

Now that I’ve dethroned the reigning Boggle Czar (also known as: my dear, sweet husband) and eaten tasty food (despite the fact that I forgot to buy pine nuts for my pesto, and despite the fact that I accidentally put way too much garlic in it), I thought I’d give a quick update on today’s progress.

I spent some time on my novel, though it wasn’t all spent writing new words – actually, I’m getting to a place where I’ve been planning to borrow some stuff from the first draft and work it in to this one.¹  So, I pulled out the old manuscript, and wow.  I knew my second draft was different, but man, it kind of blew me away to see just how much it has changed in these past few months.  

In the time I spent working today, I searched the old draft for stuff I want to work into the current one, then picked pink as my trusty highlighter-of-choice² for the day and began to mark sections that would still work.  I spent some time figuring out how to weave the old scenes in, then wrote a little bit, went to yoga, and called it a day.  (So far.)

Depending on how you define progress, I made some.  Looking forward to making more tomorrow, and maybe even tonight, if I get really ambitious.  

How are you guys doing with your Diligent December goals?  

Encouragement of the day: you are only one person, and if you’re like most people, you’ve got a lot of stuff going on right now.  In each day, you have things you must do (eat, sleep, care for family, order Lost: Season 5 on DVD, etc.), things you should do (strive to meet goals, be diligent with work/home responsibilities), and things you want to do (read and/or write all day long, while drinking lattes from pretty mugs, beside a cozy fire, with Remy the Cat — or the adorable-cat-equivalent-of-your-choice — curled up on or beside you).  Sometimes the musts, the shoulds, and the wants overlap, but not always.  As we are all acutely aware, we only have so much time, and being but one person, we can only do so much.  So!  All that to say?  Life happens.  Do the musts, prioritize the shoulds, and sprinkle in some wants.  Set goals, strive to accomplish them, aim for greatness in whatever you do, and enjoy the things you do as you do them.  If you run out of time, you run out of time.  Sleep, sleep well, and then get up again the next day, ready to go forth and conquer some more awesomeness.  Take it from a former serve-everyone-but-herself-all-day-every-day-for-years kind of girl, the road to burnout is paved with extremes, guilt, joyless work, and being a people-pleaser.  

I feel like a fortune-cookie therapist.  Your lucky numbers today are  4  8  15  16  23  42.

¹Perhaps now is a good time to tell you, since I don’t know if I have, that this second draft is pretty much a complete re-write of the first one.  The basic plot and characters have remained in tact, but after much thinking, rethinking, and note-jotting, it has more depth, stronger subplots, and is generally more cohesive this time around.  I’ve hardly used any actual writing from the first draft.

²Always a difficult decision.  I love my ten-pack of Sharpie highlighters.

Amendment: The former Boggle Czar would like it to be known that I have only temporarily dethroned him, and that I only beat him by one point.


Handwritten

20 Nov

Word Count: 49,577 down | 23,423 to go

PS: If you can’t read the fine print, it’s just a little note about the LOST premier, in which I urge you to set your alarms for the second day of February, as well as give you all permission to weep tears of bittersweetitude.  (Fun pastime of mine: making up words)  Then I try to console all of the weeping by writing, “At least we’ll finally get some answers,” but once I thought about that statement I felt the need to add “Finally.  Hopefully.” to the end.

PPS: I mentioned Merrilee.  Check her out by clicking her name in the sidebar, or click here to see why I’m inspired by her!

Iron Sharpens Iron

3 Nov

Looks like I’m going for the less-traveled road, like I told you yesterday I thought I might.  In one of the comments on yesterday’s post, Jennifer Neri wrote:

Just write, stop thinking about it.  What will come will be your novel, and I am certain it will be great whatever way it goes.

(She also mentions her recent post about writing from intuition, which is excellent, and you should check it out here.)

Jennifer’s advice is so true, and so very helpful.  I shouldn’t lock myself into must-write-this mode – I should listen to the story, listen to the characters, and not just force them to squeeze into my little idea box I’ve molded for them.  Though it’s looking like my story is headed toward the direction I initially planned, the shape of its characters and story details are coming together in a totally unexpected way.  I didn’t expect to like these characters so much, honestly.

On a different-yet-related note, my NaNo friends are kicking butt and taking names.  They’re rocking so hard on this challenge it makes me feel inspired to do so much more than I already have.  I’ve met the Day 1 and Day 2 minimum word counts, and I’ve got a few hundred more to go before I meet Day 3’s expectation.  Though I’m blowing my personal levels of recent productivity out of the water, I’m so inspired to keep going because of all the committed people around me.  Shout-outs to my NaNo buddies:  J.C. Hart (6,262), Melissa (4,614), Joy of Dawn (3,230), Katherine (5,052), Brigid (6,842), and Nicole (6,444)!   

Well, the day is hardly over – it’s only 11 AM here – but today is looking to be another busy one, even without the writing.  I’ve got cleaning, cooking, and shopping to do, since we’re having friends over for dinner – we’re hanging out for the series premier of V, a new show starring Lost‘s Elizabeth Mitchell.  I should probably get to the gym, too, if I want to keep fitting into all the cute skirts I bought last week.

Thanks for being iron to me, you guys.  I’m sharper because of all of you.

NaNoMeter:  4,457 down | 45,543 to go

Stay Sane in November!

30 Oct

The cats are frolicking (with a vengeance, but frolicking nonetheless).  I just scored three super-cute skirts for $3 each at Ann Taylor Loft.  Thanks to Frugal October, we found ourselves victorious in the Us v. Our Finances battle this month, with more to spare than expected.  My favorite chef, Jennifer, eluded the dreaded elimination for the second week in a row on Top Chef (as she should, because she rocks).  And, it’s been another awesome week of writing.

Must be the calm before the storm.

Like many of you, and unlike many of you, I’m jumping in backs-of-my-thighs-first to the madness of November.  Here’s hoping I don’t end up bruised and black-purple, like my poor sister did, years ago, after an unfortunate leap from a bluff into the river¹.  I’ll be sure to post updates, though I’m going to try not to be exclusively NaNo-focused, since many of you aren’t participating.  Here’s a little something fun for all of us:

Owl and Sparrow’s Seven Tips for Staying Sane In November!  

(Hopefully, you’ll enjoy them whether or not you’re participating in NaNo – I think they apply to the rest of the year, too.)  Here goes:

#1: Priorities: Know Them & Remember Them.  Just because it’s November, doesn’t mean I can slap a pair of 1,667-Words-Per-Day glasses on my face and look at the world through them.  I’m still a wife, I still want to be a healthy person (meaning eat well, exercise, and sleep well), and commitments don’t just disappear for 1/12th of the year.  So I must remember that, first and foremost.  And I hope you do, too.

#2: Stress = Mess!  Stressing out, in my experience, only bears one fruit: more stress.  Doesn’t make you feel better to worry, doesn’t get more words written, it only gets in the way of a clear head.  How are ideas expected to flow through a messy, stressy brain?  So, I plan to stay calm, which leads me to…

#3: Kiss the Critic.  Goodbye, that is.  Everything written can get fixed later, but it won’t have a chance to get fixed if hours are spent agonizing over its inevitable lameness.  Lame just might be the precursor to awesome.  

#4: Squaliteed.  What do you get when you mix speed and quality?  Probably something better than squaliteed, but hey, it was the first thing I came up with.  In a challenge like NaNo, it’s inevitable that quality sometimes gets sacrificed for the sake of mere speed.  In the other eleven months of the year, speed gets sacrificed for quality.  Now’s the chance to smash them together.

#5: The Future is Now!  Especially if you were a passenger on Oceanic 815 and are stuck in the 1970’s with a little Benjamin Linus².  Oh, wait, we’re talking about writing, not the best TV show (ever) on the air?  My bad.  Here’s what I meant to say: write without worrying about the what-other-people-might-think-in-the-future stuff, and rather, write the what’s-the-best-it-can-be-right-now? stuff.  

#6: Chase the Cats, along with other stuff that has nothing at all to do with writing.  I’m pretty sure I’d even get sick of Lost if I watched it all day, every day, for all of November.  Same with writing.  Gotta keep it fresh so you’ll want to return to the story; make some biscotti or some mushroom soup, then come back to the project refreshed (and/or satiated with deliciousness).

#7: Unserious Seriousness.  Last but not least, it is a commitment – and commitments, self-imposed or otherwise, require follow-through.  That doesn’t mean it has to be a drag, though³.  How amazing is it that we have ideas, language, and tools to communicate them?  Food to eat, family to visit, cats to referee?  Other authors at our fingertips to bond with – whether they’re cramming their novels into one month, or spreading them out in a more timely fashion?  Life is amazing, you guys.  Make the commitment, but don’t miss the beauty of it all in the process.

¹In case you’ve ever wondered what small-town Texans do for fun when they’re in high school, it goes a little something like this.  When it’s daylight, go in droves to the river, jump off something high, get bruised if you land with your legs out, do it all over again.  When it’s dark, meet at the gas station and drive up and down the same road all night.  I wasn’t in the in-crowd in high school, so I didn’t get to participate in these exhilarating activities.  In case you can’t tell, I’m sooooooo bummed I missed out.

²Random Lost shout-out!  January, come soon, please…

³Feel free to remind me of this when November 29th rolls around, after the eight-hour drive home from seeing our Kansas relatives, and I’ve spent several days probably not writing.

Lava

7 Oct

How can it already be Wednesday?  Wow. 

I’m taking a brief break from today’s writing work to tell you guys about the amazing discovery I had this morning.  Seriously.  It kind of rocked my world, and I don’t know how I’ve written so much without it.  Ready?

My villain scares me.  Like, scares me in a Hitler-meets-Voldemort-meets-Benjamin-Linus kind of scary.

And yet, I pity her, in that I’m-so-sad-you-went-through-those-awful-life-experiences way, where you start to understand and feel such sadness for her, it almost excuses her horrible actions.  Almost.

Before this morning, she was sort of shadowy, lurking around, posing a halfhearted threat.  Now, she’s more relatable than I realized, more menacing, more driven.  She’s a danger not only to my main little guy, but to everyone around him.  It’s imperative that she not be allowed to succeed, yet what’s scary is that not everyone in the story can see her danger.

Having larger, scarier consequences automatically makes everything else more important.  Really, you can make tension about anything – not that you should.  For example:  

Emma drove to the fabric store on a rainy Thursday night.  She splashed through the parking lot, soaking her new jeans, and walked the familiar paths of the store’s fluorescent aisles.  Anticipation churned in her stomach as she rounded the corner to aisle twenty – and relief!  Emma plucked the last of shade #1061 from its bin, not even checking for quality, and took it to the counter.  “Lucky you!” the clerk exclaimed, “This shade of violet’s been discontinued!  You got the last one!”  Elated, Emma drove home through the flooded streets.  She tucked the plastic bag inside her rain coat as she raced across her apartment parking lot.  In the dim yellow light of her living room, she opened the door of the display case and smiled.  Pristine rows of embroidery floss, untouched and still in their little paper wrappers, lay in rows on the glass shelves.  Tonight, the last empty space would be filled.  Tonight, years of searching would end.  Emma pulled the violet thread from the bag.  Her hands shook; she flung it to the ground.  Frayed at the ends, it lay at her feet, flawed and rumpled, useless.  Years of searching for perfection, and for what?  She grabbed the display case with both hands and hurled it at her apartment wall.  It shattered, scattering tiny shards of glass everywhere.  Emma stood in the midst of her mess and stared.  Years of ambition, over, just like that.

My point?  Probably obvious, but just in case, you can draw the drama out and infuse tension into any problem cared about by anybody.  To this crazy lady, a collection of perfect embroidery floss is a huge deal.  To everyone else?  Not so much.  It seems like a trivial problem, and it’s not really a threat to her overall well-being, whether physical or financial.  Emotional, perhaps, but it seems she has emotional problems already if she’s gonna get so worked up over the frayed ends of embroidery floss, or if she’s setting out to collect something like this in the first place.  

This is obviously an extreme example of a “who cares?” plot.  Lots of drama (and, um, melodrama) over something so unimportant.  Big deal if her thread is frayed!  Big deal that she’s collecting in the first place!  My novel wasn’t teetering anywhere near this cliff of stupidity, but it wasn’t exactly calling for everyone to drop what they were doing and care.  

Now that I’ve figured out what my little guy is fighting against, and fighting for, his trials feel much more important.  There is a lot at stake if he fails.  I’m afraid of my villain, of what she can – and will – do.  Vicious opposition, terrible consequences – they give me a much stronger reason to care about the plot’s outcome.  My little guy is definitely not going through so much pain and consequence for a victory equivalent to rows and rows of perfect, un-frayed embroidery floss. 

How did I ever expect to write something compelling if I wasn’t even afraid of my own villain?  Or, if I didn’t pity her – and kind of relate to her?  If I wanted my little guy to suffer minimally on his way to conquer a problem that was tepid, lukewarm, instead of lava-level boiling?  

Things are heating up, and I’m excited.  Poor little hero.  He’s about to have to learn some tough – though valuable – lessons the hard, scathing, painful way.  He might not thank me for it, but I’m pretty sure my readers will, one day.

Remy Strikes Back!

15 Sep

Remy in the DrawerCat Scratch Fever:  Does that not sound like the stupidest name for an ailment in existence?  

Yeah.  That’s what I thought, too, when my doctor told me I had it.  

A few weeks ago, I noticed some knottiness near my right elbow, and it felt like a bruise.  Naturally, I freaked out and thought it was cancer.  I scheduled an appointment, shelled out $40, and next thing I knew, I was told I most likely had the weirdest-named condition on the planet¹.

Turns out, Cat Scratch Fever is also a song, but having never heard of it before that very moment, I looked at Dr. Burke² like she was crazy.  She assured me she was not crazy, and that it was indeed a real disease.

What is it, you ask?  Apparently, there’s a bacteria on kitty claws that isn’t so friendly to human lymph nodes.  If you get scratched, and the kitty has this bacteria, it infects the nearest lymph node and causes it to swell.  Hence the knot near my elbow, and later in the week, the pain in my armpit that made it impossible to sleep on my side³.

I had to go back in for some blood work and a sonogram two weeks later, just to make sure it was Cat Scratch, like she thought, and not something else.  By the way?  The sonogram people should really inform you before they start doing their thing that it is okay to interrupt them if you need to use the bathroom.  I learned this the hard way.

Dr. Burke left me a message today, while I waited for three hours at jury duty¨ – the blood tests came back, and it is definitely Cat Scratch.  

When I told my husband, he said, “Remy strikes back!”  If I had bonked his head on the doorknob before I got infected, I’d definitely think he was on to something there.  I’d want revenge on me, too.  Poor kitty.  

Oh, by the way:  my life and well-being aren’t really jeopardized by Cat Scratch Fever.  It hurt for a while, but now it’s just the knot, which should go away in time, with the help of antibiotics.  I’m amazed my doctor was familiar with this ridiculous ailment, and even more amazed that someone I picked based on her same-name-status with a character from my favorite TV show has turned out – so far – to be the best doctor I’ve ever had.

Biggest Loser starts tonight – anybody planning to follow this season?  I spent an hour sweating at the gym in preparation, so I wouldn’t feel guilty watching it.  

 

¹To my knowledge.  I’d love, love, love to hear about any medical condition with a name that could steal the award from Cat Scratch in the Who-Named-That-Disease-And-Why? category.  

²Who I chose not only for her fine reputation as a doctor, but based on her name, since it reminds me of Lost‘s amazing Dr. Juliet Burke, played by Elizabeth Mitchell (and rumored to have made it through The Incident of the Season 5 finale, and thus is rumored to be remaining on the show…).

³Though, to my amazement, it didn’t hurt to do push-ups or planks with it.  The body is a weird thing.

¨Got selected for a panel for a custody case.  Apparently the woman involved in the case was a nut who showed up two hours late every time she was called to court, and went missing for two hours while dismissed for a brief bathroom break.  The judge got fed up, pushed the trial to today (from yesterday), and then, what happens?  She was two hours late again.  When she finally showed up, they all decided for some reason that a jury was no longer needed.  I waited for three hours this morning, just to get told to leave again.  Unlike everyone else, I was a little disappointed, because I thought it would be an interesting experience.  Maybe next time.

Sylar

26 Aug

Sylar¹ and I have a lot in common, it occurred to me yesterday.  Except I’m not a super-hero (nor a super-villain, for that matter) and I don’t slice people’s foreheads open and I don’t have caterpillars for eyebrows².

Poor Heroesthey’ve had about a zillion plots, loose ends dangle like frayed wires, they drop characters and whole stories without looking back.  For some reason (let’s just call it a Lost-shaped hole in our lives), my husband and I spent several summer evenings watching every Heroes episode they’ve made thus far.  We walked away confused, yet mildly intrigued, by the entire thing.

Sylar was one of the more intriguing characters, at least back in season one.  Back then, he was this power-hungry murderer with no remorse.  These days, he’s a lot less interesting.  The writers are basically toying with motivations like “I’m a product of the circumstances around me, I’m a victim, therefore I slice people’s heads open,” while in the meantime giving him lines fit for a doofus.  

So, a couple of days ago, I was toodling along the highway at a 30mph pace³ and for some reason, thought of Sylar.  Though I am not a fan of his reasoning – victim or not, it is not okay to eat people’s brains – a small thought formed in my head.  Perhaps I, too, am a victim of my circumstances!  Perhaps my lack of patience with stupid drivers is merely the result of many, many, many experiences with people who should never, ever steer a vehicle.  

For example:  on the day this thought popped in for a visit, I’m on my way to a friend’s house (a little late, which made things worse).  I’m toodling not by choice, but because there is a thousand-year-old lady “driving” the ancient car in front of me, with her blinker flashing left.  She swerves left, then back again, then she veers toward the line…but it seems she has no intention of turning.  I’m so close behind her, I can see her reach to the lever beside her steering wheel.  The blinker flashes right momentarily, then switches back to left – at which point the windshield wipers also begin flailing about.  By the way, it was a hundred degrees with no clouds in the wide, blue sky.  Eventually, I made a break for it and passed her, as did a long line of other victims.  The wipers wiped and the blinker blinked the entire time I was behind her.

I could type four different examples from the past 48 hours of things like this†!  I’ll spare you, but seriously – I’m losing patience for a reason, people!  If anyone knows of a place where all the drivers are kind and competent, please let me know and I’ll be on the next flight.

 

¹Villain-extraordinaire from Heroes, played by Zachary Quinto, in case you aren’t familiar.  

²(Anymore) 

³Speed limit? Sixty.

†Man wearing the eyepatch, I’m referring to you.  People make mistakes – the guy in front of you hardly seemed to care that you ran into his back bumper.  What worries me is that you didn’t even notice you’d hit him!