My Novels

Friday, June 22, 2018

Hospital Stay

Just as a note to myself, and dates...I was in the hospital for three days a week ago. June 12-14.

It all started when I suddenly developed a horrible, stabbing pain in my chest and between my shoulderblades. I first thought it was a stomach problem, maybe my acid reflux acting up. However, I had never felt that kind of continuous stabbing pain; the only thing I can compare it to would be having a kidney stone (the stabbing pain in chest instead of kidney).

It went on and on and on...and I endured for two hours. I couldn't sit still -- tried lying down, standing, pacing, etc. Nothing helped. Eventually I realized I needed to get medical help. I had my brother-in-law come take me to urgent care -- where I was turned away, due to the chest pains!! Said they weren't equipped to deal with chest pains, that if it was an imminent heart attack, I would be better off at the hospital ER. Which is where we went next.

The stabbing pain continued until the nurses put a nitroglycerin patch on my chest, and then almost immediately stopped. I also had sky-high blood pressure by then, so they started trying to get it down. Took all afternoon. After a few tests, I was admitted for MORE tests. The three days were spent taking heart test after heart test, and in the end, nothing found. And when I was dismissed, still no explanation for the stabbing chest pain.

So it's a mystery at this point. Was afraid it would come back as unexpectedly as the first attack, but so far it hasn't. That is good news. On the other hand, I guess this will by my first road test for medicare and my supplemental insurance policy. We shall see.

In the meantime, my house damage from the hail storm back in March is still not finished. The roof was done several weeks ago, and I haven't pressed for the remainder: new gutters, new metal carport top, ceiling replacement in living room. Hopefully those will be done within the next couple weeks.

As Rosannadana on SNL used to say: "It's always something."

Monday, June 04, 2018

Procrastination and writing

Still struggling, even though I just published a collection of short stories based on urban legends I heard as a child. All set in the era before 1960. Or at least, these weird stories seemed to have come from urban lore, being told by either parents or grandparents. "Strange Southern Stories," the title.

What project is next? I am torn between ongoing deep research for a long, detailed novel about one of my great-great-great grandmothers who was apparently quite the character in early pioneer Alabama. She was a midwife, traveled the wooded wilderness delivering babies...while also birthing 10+ of her own children! Naturally, the key is researching that era -- so it's going to take a long time.

And then, there's the obsession with a music icon, which I am thinking of turning into a Gothic ghost story. And not a lot of research, mostly just by the seat-of-my-pants writing as it comes from each wild, spontaneous creative writing session. LOVE to write that way, even if it results in lots of rewriting/editing. Not sure when I'll start, but have a basic plot down (by hand/paper).

What else? A bit frustrated with procrastination -- instead of working on that Gothic story, keep putting off starting. I've always been the kind of writer who delays starting -- but once I get even the first paragraph down, I'm off and running. Guess it's the stage fright, being afraid of the performance, and the actual fear of failure. Huh.

I'm reading a lot too, and right now, immersed in a really good novel, "The Ghost Writer," which is not a supernatural work either! I can whiz through mediocre genre novels with scary speed; no need to digest, just follow the flow, so it's great to find a novel that requires more reader participation.

My house is still not finished -- the damage from the 1,000 year hail storm over a month ago (yeah, it's climate change but let's keep denying that reality). New roof put on, but now stalled. The metal carport, gutters and living room ceiling all need repair/replacement. Crews have worked non-stop around here, since the wide swath of hail damage took out house roofs, windows, cars, businesses, etc. Sigh. One man found a 1/2 pound hail stone! Seriously. He photographed it and it is registered as the largest hail stone in some record book.

Since the tornado of 2011, I have never quite recovered in that I now EXPECT the worst. And I'm rarely disappointed when it comes to severe weather. This has made me apathetic about taking care of my property too; seems hardly worth the cost of maintenance. I just do the basic necessity, i.e. the roof replacement, etc. Insurance covered the costs. or at least it is supposed to; haven't settled up yet with the repairs. At any rate, I'm pessimistic about the future regarding weather.

My dogs are well, and that is good. Muffin finally stopped sleeping on the bed with me. Ah, all grown up! Actually I think it's just cooler in her crate -- and also, she LOVES the soft gel cushion in there, whereas my mattress is extra firm!

So maybe I can started on a new project soon...the Gothic story or the midwife story. It's a toss-up!?!

P.S. My PC finally died. I'm using my laptop for now, not sure if I'll buy a bigger laptop or another PC. Decisions, decisions!