2006-11-21

The Thanksgiving Entry

Live...from New Jersey...it's...!!!!!!!

Um, oh, no. It's probably not a good idea to start this this way. But then again, I just had to endure a loooong 'splanation of something or other during a departmental staff meeting. The woman is very nice, but apparently she can drone on for some time, and she chose this time to do so.

Ah, me.

Anyway, after looking over a couple of online workshops, I've decided to go with one of the free ones, but not until after the first of the year (and after my current paid one runs out in December). I think I did the critiquing thing a little too early; I enjoyed critting others' stuff, but as for my own...some of the comments, while diplomatic, cut me the wrong way. I stepped away from that particular workshop (which I have no problem recommending, BTW) a few months ago, did a couple more crits back around May or so, and then never went back.

My bad.

Once my current WIP is done, and I'm starting the revision process, then I'll join this other online crit group. I like the way it's set up. And although I still get to pick and choose what I want to crit, it'll be sent to my email address instead of going to the website to do it. (Sounds silly to decide something like that on some technology thingy, but there it is.) And, yes, people have had their shorts and novels published, so I'm not worried about that.

But enough of that.

So...what am I thankful for? When I clear out the cobwebs in the brain and insert some smart and "stay awake" cells in there, I realize quite a lot of things.

I'm thankful to be alive.

Now, it's not as if I was involved in a serious car accident (thank God). I do have an on-going medical illness called endometriosis. I gave up on doctors giving me anything useful that would help me. Hysterectomy? Two surgeries is enough (and the hysterectomy would probably induce other problems, knowing my body). Birth control pills? Tried that - no. I'd been off the pill for many years, was put back on it after my last surgery back in 2002; when I'd say something, I'd have to concentrate hard on what I was saying, or I'd forget what I was saying. I was going nuts, wondering what the hell was wrong (well, besides the endo, which leaves scarring all over the abdominal region; this is a result of "that time of the month," with everything not being flushed out of the body).

I finally read an ebook which described my symptoms exactly. I got rid of the pills, and have been on a search ever since to tame the abdominal pain. At least, thankfully, I'm not bowled over with pain, which was a problem taken care of in my first surgery in 2001 (remember 9/11 that year? Yeah. My follow up was the day after that.). But I still have bouts of pain.

All I can say is...I think I may have found something that will work this time. This, in connection with being careful about caffeine and chocolate (too much of either seems to aggravate the pain a lot) and few other things, may offer the control I'm seeking.

I'm not looking for a cure. But if I can keep the pain to a slight twitch three or four times a month, then I'll be satisfied. (And those of you with babies, be very thankful for your lovely little and big ones; I strongly suspect I never conceived because of my endo - all that scar tissue does not make for a nice place for an embryo to do its thing.)

Enough of that pity party. (What, you're not at that stage? I must be doing something wrong. ;-)) Suffice to say, after having some cola last night, this morning wasn't the greatest, but things are smoothing out right now. That's why I'm hopeful for this latest herbal stuff I'm taking, because 1) a woman put together the formulation and 2) It's specific to the problems of endo and fibroids.

I'm thankful to be writing.

I do have one pubbed credit to my name, but that was three years ago. Gads! I'm hoping this time around, in between taking a break from the rough draft and diving into the revisions, that I'll do some other writing: I have a subscription to Realms of Fantasy, and I'm really enjoying the shorts in them. Which got me thinking that maybe I should try that again, and instead of giving up after a couple rejections, to just plow on. Well, I'd have it critted first.

But, yes, I'm thankful to be writing. My day job is mundane typing, a lot of the usual memos and 200-page plan documents (don't even ask). Writing fiction takes me away from that mundane existance (my hubby would pipe in that he takes me away from my mundane existance, and I'd have to agree :-)). It gives me a chance to create interesting characters, to twist things around, to have fun with ideas and names and all sorts of stuff. Can it be a drudgery? At times. But it's a chance to let my creativity blossom, it gives me a chance to unleash the fun and ideas inside of me. And if others like what I've written...all the more fun and satisfaction.

I'm thankful for both of my families and for my co-workers.

Yeah, I'm lumping 'em all in; you got a problem wit' that? ;-) Anyway, co-workers are like family, simply because those of us in the corporate spend so much time with them. All the more pleasant, then, when they turn out to be friendly and funny and helpful, which almost everyone here where I work is.

My family? Well, except for my mother, I don't really get to see my side of the family all that much. But I'm thankful for them because they had to deal with my temper as I was growing up (just ask my mother; she really should've smacked me upside the head a few times for the fresh way I spoke back to her). My mother's really sterling, handing us "Care packages" when hubby and I weren't bringing in a hell of a lot of money, and just being a general help. My mother's sweet and tough and generous, and makes the best damned perogies on the planet! (So there.)

My hubby's family? Have you ever watched an episode of Seinfeld? It's something like that, minus the shallowness. My "married family" is loving, rambunctious, loud, helpful, obnoxious, generous...oh, and did I say loud? ;-) One of hubby's sis-in-law's has a soft voice, and can barely be heard above the ruckus when all the siblings get together (the police are always alerted ahead of time, just in case). Sweet, low-key, innocent me? I was shellshocked the first time I met my then boyfriend's family.

But I got used to it. I figured out early on that if I didn't want my words of wisdom or dreck to be lost among the crickets, I'd have to raise my voice a few decibels. That mission was accomplished very early on.

And my mother-in-law? No, I'm not going to let loose a torrent of mother-in-law jokes because it doesn't apply here. She's as sweet and tough and generous as my mother.

I'm thankful for helpful writers and agents and editors.

Why? Because they're giving of their time to help me, an aspiring writer. It doesn't matter if it's just an encouraging word or three, an interesting insight, or something else. All of these people - whether they're involved in fantasy, SF, romance, whatever genre - deserve my thanks for whatever help they've decided to give.

I'm thankful for my hubby.

Where do I start? (I'm not being flippant.)

There was a time when I felt totally inadequate about not having a child. I'd dreamed about it in my teenage years, wondering how I'd handle that (at the same time wondering if I'd ever get married in the first place, lol).

But it never happened. My first surgery was bladder surgery, and the doctor told my hubby that there was a lot of ugly stuff in there; fortunately, not cancerous. Then the second surgery, to deal with all the scarring elsewhere in my abdomen.

Prognosis from the doctor: Unless you want an ectopic pregnancy, forget about having kids.

She was right, of course, but it didn't hurt any less. I plodded along at my job and in my usual life, then started writing. One WIP that I've put aside but will come back to was written at this time. I poured all of my grief into one of the characters in that story.

Anyway...I'm fortunate in that my hubby doesn't look at me as a baby machine, and that he's not into the whole "carrying on the name" bit. Because if he was, he probably would've dumped my ass a long time ago.

But that didn't happen...because I have such a warm, loving, understanding hubby. His only concern the entire time was that I was okay. And he didn't care one whit about the baby thing. He has me, and that's all he cares about.

Well, he likes his beer, too, but that's another story... ;-)

He's my best friend, my lover, and if I can ever get over keeping a lot of my feelings to myself, he'll become even more of a confidante than I consider him to be.

I'll be writing some time this afternoon; hopefully, I'll finish the next chapter. Oh, and I've decided, in my revision, to add another POV character, except this will be in third person instead of first person (the Diego character is a bit flat at this point; my fault, but I feel he's an important person, esp. since Jackie is depending on him). Diego isn't giving Jackie any sort of reason to believe in him other than he's ruggedly good looking and took care of her big-ass wound in the first chapter (she could have bled to death). But, for now, I'll be concentrating on first person, because I feel it works, and I like Jackie's voice.

Don't give up - keep writing!

4 comments:

G Paul B. said...

Thank you for the most kind words, dear.....better than I deserve. And don't worry about forcing out feelings that you are not yet ready to let out: all things in their own time. A warm gaze and the hold of a hand can tell a thousand words otherwise difficult to say. Just be yourself. :-)

laura said...

Wow, my heart goes out to you with endo and fibroids. Been there, done that....the pain, endless bleeding, chills, clots, etc. Seems endo comes first and then fibroids. They come from the same thing and are fed by the same thing. Fibroids are no fun, especially when they grow rapidly and become very large. When this happened to me years ago, my gynecologist was no help, telling me he didn’t know what caused fibroids and the only medical “cure” was a hysterectomy. Because I’d always used herbs and alternative healing to keep my body healthy, I felt there had to be a better way. There was. But by the time I found it and stopped the fibroid from growing, my uterus had reached the size of a 5-month pregnancy. When I finally discovered a way to shrink it naturally, I vowed I would put this information in my contemporary fantasy novel WHITE WITCH to help any woman with fibroids who does not want surgery. If all the information in this novel had been available to me earlier, I know the fibroid would never have grown so large and caused such misery in my life. Hopefully, WHITE WITCH will keep that from happening to the women who read this novel. That is my dearest wish for every woman suffering from fibroids. You can find more info about this novel at www.KittyfeatherPress.blogspot.com and also an excerpt from the book. Enjoy, and I wish you a pain-free holiday! We women deserve it!!! :)

Southern Writer said...

Aaaaww. Is that your hubby, Nancy?

I know this is totally unfair, but since you're on this subject, I'm going to tell you anyway. I never had cramps in my life. Not once. Ever. I have no idea what it feels like. My best friend in high school stayed in bed a week out of every month. All these years later she has an ongoing issue with what she calls The Yeast Beast. I have no idea what that's like, either. So there's a couple things I'm grateful for this Thanksgiving.

Buffy said...

Reminds me that I forgot to do a 'what I'm thankful for' post.

Shame on me.