Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Just Tell Me When...

OK, so the word is that Brad and his batallion will not be staying in Iraq for the cleanup and stuff. So that means he'll be heading home at least by the end of May, if not sooner. Of course, this is all subject to change, and he may fly home instead of taking a boat. I just wish they would shut up about it until they had something definite so I could make my travel plans. Give me a date so I can book my flight. That's all I need to know - a date. Not speculation, not rumors, not anything else but when and where.

I've finally put my disk in the computer, which is the farthest I've gotten in my writing all week. Haven't opened up Part 3 yet, but I will. Soon. I promise. I've actually got more ideas for Chapter 3 now. And I'm looking forward to writing it. So it should flow now. Why haven't I written this week? Dizziness, fatigue, and picking up slack at the office. My usual coworker is out moving households this week. The woman filling in at her desk right now is, in a word, terrible. I've got lots of stories already. Friday will not be here soon enough.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Need a laugh?

I was cleaning out my email account today and came across a ton of emails from a friend that I've known for, goodness, 13 years now. (Considering I'm almost 25 and have never lived in one location more than six years at a time, that's long.) So this buddy had introduced me McSweeney's Internet Tendency, a website I found hilarious and then managed to neglect for quite some time. Finding those emails again brought me back, and I stumbled across something that made me laugh until my coworkers really started to worry. The satire by Marvin Applebaum and Ian Pinkner is called "Unused Audio Commentary by Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, Recorded Summer, 2002, For The Fellowship of the Ring (Platinum Series, Extended Edition) DVD Part One and Part Two. It's a bit long, but well worth it. Enjoy.

Nasty Internet Scamming Scum

I just found out that there are viruses being attached to emails with the subject "Son's Homecoming" that many loved ones of our deployed soldiers are receiving. They sure know how to prey on people just to wreak a little more technical havoc. Meanwhile, this email prompts the loved ones to call the unit contacts they can get in touch with, trying to find out just when their soldiers will be coming home. And the contacts can't do their normal jobs because they're answering about 500 emails and phone calls asking "When are they coming home? Where are they now?" And the contacts usually can't answer either question. Oct/Nov is the surest I've heard so far.

Letter from Brad: But I do have happier news. Christina (my brother's fiancee) received a letter from him yesterday. She graciously typed it up (minus the mushy parts) and sent it out to his family so we could hear from him at least in some form. The letter is dated 3/26, postmarked 4/8, and she received it 4/28. Better than nothing. Here it is:

...Sorry I haven't written in over a week. As I'm sure you can tell by the news we've been pretty busy.... currently my unit is about 120 miles south of Baghdad. I guess I should start from the 18th when this thing kicked off. Shortly after midnight the day before we were woken up and told to get on the vehicles and break out our ammo. then all the sgts went to a brief where we were told about Bush telling Saddam that he and his regime were to leave the country. After the brief I informed my scout section what was going on and my company moved up to the breach site. We waited there while the enginers blasted away at the burm so we could enter. My company was the first of conventional ground forces into Iraq. It seemed like something out of a movie with all of the explosions off
in the distance from supporting artillery. After we went through the breach we set up a screen line as security so the following RCT's (Regimental Combat Teams) could move in. Since then we've mostly been providing convoy security moving north. The few reconnaisance missions we've had have all been with no enemy forces nearby. Ten days of war and the entire time has felt like a training mission. I'm telling this because I want you to know that though they say a war is going on, it doesn't feel like it and you have
nothing to worry about.... The only interesting thing we've seen other than occasional shepards have been destroyed Iraqi vehicles that either artillery or air has taken out before we get there..... Mail had just started to get worked out when we left Kuwait. Hopefully it'll catch back up shortly.....

Something about the phrase "ten days of war" is just tearing me to pieces, no matter that it was followed by "the entire time has felt like a training mission." God, just bring him home, please.

Monday, April 28, 2003

A Case of the Mondays

OK, I haven't had a Monday this bad in a while. My back is nothing more than a mesh of twisted, knotted muscles. I've got a dull headache that's sort of hanging around, just being annoying. And the dizziness is making itself known a bit more than usual. All I want to do is soak in a nice hot bath and go back to bed. And then curl up with a mug of tea and play with words. Days like today, I really wish money grew on trees.

So I didn't write anything for Human Dignity yesterday. But I did write about 1300 worldbuilding words (what I was supposed to do Friday). And I really enjoyed it. I finished the creation story and moved on to the government and societal impacts of the governing. I really like where this is going. The ideas came pretty easily, too. I hope my muse is as kind to me when I start trying to describe the culture and regions of the world.

Speaking of my muse, she sure is an odd bird. She gave me a fantastic idea of Part 3, something to wrap up my theme and give Aidan something to do. But she was incredibly tight-lipped about how to get this plotline going in Chapter 3. Hence I didn't even try to write Chapter 3 yesterday. I had absolutely no ideas for it. Nothing. So I did the worldbuilding instead. So the day wasn't a total crapshoot. And I've got stuff to keep me busy today, so we'll see if Muse will be kind and send a bit of inspiration to me for tomorrow (which will hopefully be better than today).

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Start the Day Off Write Again

I wrote Chapter 2 yesterday. 2400 words or something. And I liked it a lot better than I thought I would. I was able to give Jeff and Darren more character in those 13 pages than they ever had in all 213 pages of Part 2. Must fix the men in Part 2. :) And I've been trying to collect my thoughts to write an essay about rhetoric, especially the phrases "I support the troops but not the war" and "I have no problem with homosexuals but with homosexual acts." But I just don't think I'm up to it yet. And I have to find a way to organize those thoughts better or else I'll spend all day writing about that rather than just kick starting my fingertips for Chapter 3. I'll hold it in reserve and see where my thoughts on the subject go over the next week.

Saturday, April 26, 2003

Start the Day Off Write

The goal is to write chapter 2 today. I got a really nifty idea for Chapter 3 (Aidan's POV), but I need to get a few plotlines going in Chapter 2 in Denise's POV. Chapter 2 most likely will be me just writing to get it done and I'll fix it later. Mainly because I'm not sure how she's going to come up with a cure that has eluded the scientific world for 15 years. (Well, longer, because her cure for Mike's Virus also cures AIDS - in at least one of my three different outlines for this part). So as I write this little essay here, maybe I'll come up with some ideas to fix the viral plotlines in Part 3.

One Voice in a Maelstrom of Sounds: So I wrote my congressmen this week. First time ever. It was a fairly lengthy letter about Senator Rick Santorum's now infamous AP interview. Much of the democratic party and the gay community is up in arms about his comments on homosexuality. While I had a problem with those tidbits, I was more concerned with the Senator's views on the right to privacy. He seemed to think that not only was it a fictitious right brought about by a contraception ruling, but that it was also causing the demise of society (more accurately, the demise of the American family).

So I wrote my letter, indicating my concern that a politician did not know the true origins of the right to privacy (I found them out with a very brief Internet search). I was also concerned that a senator high on the leadership totem pole would be interested in doing away with the right to privacy. (By the way, the Privacy Act of 1974 covers patient-physician and client-lawyer confidentiality). I expressed serious discomfort at the implication that Mr. Santorum would want to regulate my private sexual activities. Because he seemed to think the government needed to know whether or not Mark and I are doing anything sexually "deviant." Because such "liberal" acts were causing the destruction of society and had to be stopped. And so on and so forth.

But will either Senator Wayne Allard (R) or Representative Mark Udall (D) actually read my letter? If they do, will they find a poorly expressed sentiment or a wrong statement and harp all over it so they don't have to listen to what I was really trying to say? And if they do actually listen to my point and take it to heart, will they do anything about it? And if they do something about it, what will that be? Insist Mr. Santorum step down from his leadership position? The White House has already backed Santorum in this mess. But apparently they did that with Trent Lott at first, too. What it comes down to for me: will my letter make any difference to anybody but me? I wrote that letter feeling more and more powerless to do anything when it comes to politics and my government. I'm glad I wrote it. I would have hated to have gone through life never writing my congressmen at least once. But by the time I fired that letter off in emails, I felt resigned to the fact that Santorum would likely still be in his 3rd from the top position in the Senate and that if he and his pals decided to do away with the right to privacy that it would happen. I started out writing that letter hoping to feel empowered, that I had done something to make a difference, to let my voice be heard. Will it be heard? In the cacophony of opinions thundering through our nation right now, how is it possible that my one voice will be noticed unless I'm shouting the exact same thing as a large number of others in the throng?

I'm both dreading and anticipating a non-automated response from Allard and Udall. I'm eager to see what this entire process is like. But I'm also afraid of that response. Will it increase or decrease my annoyance with my government? Can I take another increase and still keep my sanity? One day when this nation isn't so battered by loud shouts, maybe I'll write my congressmen again and see how I feel. Maybe it is usually an empowering thing during peace and quiet in our nation. I hope so.

Friday, April 25, 2003

The Cats' Revenge and Other Stories

OK, as promised, I will now divulge the funny but, erm, not so funny pet story. It's Thursday morning. And I'm enjoying doing up my eyes with the new blue eyeliner I got a while back (I know, the excitement of my life approaches astounding levels). I'm admiring my straight lines when Mark yelps from the other room. Or maybe he just yelled "Argh" in true piratey fashion. The memory is beginning to fade. At any rate, I have to ask what happened. You just don't ignore either a yelp or piratey bellow that comes from somewhere in your own apartment. In an angry but oddly defeated voice, Mark yells, "The cats pissed on my bookbag!" At first I'm shocked. Any litterbox accidents are usually committed on a particularly clean and convenient spot of carpet. Then I remembered that we were a bit out of sorts Monday night, the usual Litterbox night. So I asked Mark if he had been able to clean the litterboxes this week. And he said no. This was when I started to laugh. Because it seemed that either or both kitties had decided to exact a little revenge on the man who had neglected their restrooms. I tried to stay my amusement after Mark informed me that the cats had urinated on the notes he needed for the paper he was writing for his class. My attempts met with varying levels of success. The least successful attempts, unfortunately, always occurred when I saw Mark that morning. I would move into the living room to look at the paper, see Mark, and giggle. I just couldn't help it. I did eventually tease a chuckle out of Mark, so I figured everything was good. Until he came home that night and proceeded to eye both Addy and Nosey with a suspicious gaze. I even began to wonder if he would take the kitties aside one by one and interrogate them, using Python's Spanish Inquisition tactics (which the cats would, of course, never expect). But this tale does have a happy ending. The (hehe) soiled notes have been copied (alas, the happy ending does not extend to the Xerox machine involved in said duplication), Mark has realized the felines are not talking, and the litterboxes are clean.

In other news, I was hoping to do a little worldbuilding today. I still may, but I'm dragging my feet. Which surprises me. I came up with some good ideas last weekend. Maybe it's just being tired and feeling a little down. Actually, I'm feeling pretty powerless about some work issues. Which, of course, I can't talk about until they are officially announced. Suffice to say, I may be looking for another job so I don't have to put up with the crap. But I really don't want to, because then I'd start trying to find a job using my degree, and I really don't want to do that. And Mark wants me to stay put so I can write as well (I still find it amazing that he can, without trying, remind me almost on a daily basis why I love him and why I married him). So more on that probably next week.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Finished Chapter 1 of Part 3!

Feels good to have it underway. And it's fun writing in Aidan's POV. Can't wait to see where that takes me. I'll save the funny, I mean, the, uh, not so founny pet story. Hehe.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003


This damn dizziness is really mucking things up for me. The doc on Monday was the best I've seen yet about this. He actually took me seriously, tried a few different reaction tests, and told me I had some symptoms of Benign Positional Vertigo. So the dizziness is actually a problem with my torturous inner ear canals. A piece of ear wax or somesuch crystallizes somewhere in the inner ear and gets lodged in a positional tube - the sort that helps tell you what end is up. The crystal throws this all off, causing this vertigo - my dizziness. The solution: some odd physical therapy that involves specific head movements followed by two to three days of sitting upright. Even while sleeping. But this treatment has often cured people of this vertigo for good. So I'll take it. A doctor once mentioned this to me in passing, but this is the first time a doc has actually worked seriously with me trying to fix this. It was a good feeling. Of course, the PT is very specialized, only one person at my clinic does it, and she requires all first time patients to meet for over an hour with her. Which means I couldn't get an appointment until May 5. So I have to put up with the dizziness that's being unusually persistent for a while longer.

And I found out yesterday that dramamine is not a good idea to treat my dizziness. I was barely able to stay awake until 8:30 last night, and I slept the whole night through. So I suppose I'll have to grin and bear it. Maybe I'll be able to get so into my writing that it doesn't bother me. But it does look like I'll have to slow down my time line for part 3 and editing. Which stinks.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003


For once, the grey skies and rainy weather are welcome. Mark and I found out last night that his cousin Raes died Sunday night. He was 23. He was racing ATVs with a buddy and missed a curve in the fading light. Hit a tree. He wasn't wearing a helmet and, quite frankly, I don't want to know if the helmet would've saved him. In that knowledge lies the madness of "what if." He didn't die instantly, but was able to remark to his friend that he couldn't feel his legs. So we can hope that perhaps he couldn't feel the pain either.

Having just joined Mark's family a little over six months ago, I didn't know Raes very well. But I was able to spend a decent amount of time with him during our Thanksgiving visit. The day after Thanksgiving, we had a big family gathering with Mark's Dad's side. And Raes had a tape of his training to be a corrections officer in Georgia. He showed us his favorite clip a couple times - footage of him and three other officers getting zapped by a taser gun (part of their training is to experience the weapons they have at their disposal to use on the inmates so they know what sort of pain they're inflicting). All four the guys started on their knees and ended prone on a mat. But Rae was the first one back up.

Mark and I spent our last day of that trip with Raes, waiting for our flights. We played cards and board games at Nana's house, watching the Bills game on TV. And then we went to the airport and watched a blizzard pound against the runways. Raes, being a tall, baldish guy travelling alone, had been pulled aside for the "random" screening. And the security guard had slammed his bag around, breaking his bottle of Tommy cologne. I remember sitting with Raes at our gate, breathing through my mouth and helping him fill out the complaint form (Mark and I were listed as witnesses). We hunted all down that terminal, trying to find a plastic bag big enough to hold his stuff and another to seal up the doused bag. When that was finally taken care of, Raes and I realized that we had both been overseas at the same time, and that we likely ran at track meets together. I remember thinking - in my mushy newlywed state (OK, so that hasn't changed) - that Raes was a connection from my past that led back to Mark.

These are the things I remember about Rae from the very brief time I knew him. I wish I knew more. Godspeed, Rae. And love, thoughts, and prayers to your family and friends.

Monday, April 21, 2003

Good Laugh

Check out my link to The Onion. I personally enjoyed their spin on SARS and WMD. Heh.
Again with the wierd dizziness and mushy brain business. I've got an appointment this afternoon, but I'm not hopeful the doc is going to tell me anything useful. This will be the fifth or sixth doc I've seen in nearly as many years about my odd dizziness. The only time it ever did any good was when they found out I had anemia, which solved the worst of the dizziness for a few months, but then it came back. And my iron levels haven't dropped since. I've been told that it's because my inner ear canals are really twisted that I'm dizzy. One guy told me that it's because I'm blonde and fair-skinned (he said this caused my pupils to be really dillated a lot). Another doc did a CAT scan and told me everything was perfectly fine - and he couldn't find any evidence of the three sinus infections I had had in the nine months before said scan. So forgive me if I'm skeptical of this appointment. I wouldn't have made it, but enough friends have expressed concern that I'll go to make them feel better if nothing else. And who knows? I've yet to try a Colorado doc with this business. Maybe they know something here that the ones in Arizona and Indiana didn't.

Saturday, April 19, 2003

Start the Day Off Write

Well, I'm not sure this is going to work today. I'm not entirely certain of my ability to string together words even into the simplest of sentences. I don't even want to know how long it's taken me to put this much together for my blog.

Last night was great. Sharleen is really cool and was happy to see me and the others of the crit group there cheering her on. And I bumped into a couple people that I haven't seen in about a year. That was nice. And I bought Terry Goodkind's first book for only $3. I figure I'll try any author for $3. And he's supposed to be a good fantasy author. The bad part about last night is that I was really dizzy. I mean, we're talking I wasn't sure if I would be able to drive back home dizzy. Sleep helped, but I feel like I need to sleep another decade to really feel better. I got eight hours of sleep, ate some breakfast, read the paper, then went back to sleep for two hours. Now I've been up for another two hours and feel just about the same. My brain is just mush, but at least I don't have the same dizziness as last night. Now I have to decide if I want to try to write today. I don't know if my brain is up to it. I think I'll write for a couple hours and see how I feel after that (and how much I've written - I'm not going to stay glued to this chair for six hours and only wring 200 semi-coherent words out of myself).

Friday, April 18, 2003

OK, so I was supposed to have done some worldbuilding today. But the file I need for that isn't on my disk like I thought it was. Grrr. I really don't like doing this. That and my dizziness is back. I'm just glad it left me alone for the past few days so I could finish up Part 2. I hope it goes away tomorrow when I start Part 3. Tonight I'm going to a book signing. One of the writers in my critique group has her first book out. It's called _The Canyon Wall_ by Sharleen Pendergrass. Buy it at I'm picking up my copy tonight and hanging with Sharleen so she has company. Tres exciting.

Thursday, April 17, 2003


Total word count is over 40k. Chapter 17 is 2550. I don't like these words as much as I liked the previous ones. It felt a little more forced and that I left out a lot of info. But it's done for now. I'll take care of it on the rewrite. Excuse me while I do the Happy Dance. :)


I left my disk at home! :( I still have my notes for writing out Chapter 17, so I'll still do that, but I was hoping to have all of Part 2 together today so I could send it to a few people. Gah! I hate it when I forget that thing. And work's going to commandeer more of my attention than usual today. So here's to hoping I still get through Chapter 17. I would just work on whatever I don't finish tonight, but I have a chorus meeting. Which, depending on how I write today, I may just bow out of.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Chapter 16 Done

I am now one chapter away from finishing a draft of Part 2. I wrote 2,571 words today. Can we say en fuego? :) Should be able to write Chapter 17 tomorrow. And then it's on to Part 3. Nice when it all comes together and decides to smack you in the fingertips.
The embedded reporters are coming home. Which means now I'll have absolutely no information about my brother. I hope he's had a chance to write Christina, or even call her. I wonder if he's been told anything about when he's coming home.

Part 3 Cometh

I finally got some solid ideas for Part 3. It's still kicking around in my mind a little, but I think this will work. It might be a bit more sad than I had originally intended, but the original concept for the book stemmed from a very scary thought and worry about the future. So I suppose it's appropriate. I'm just happy to have something written down and planned for the thing. I might even be able to push through a chapter or two of it by Sunday. Today I should be able to write Chapter 16, tomorrow Chapter 17, and then the first chapter or two of Part 3 on Saturday. Since Sunday is Easter and we're going to my uncle's for a big dinner, I don't think I'll get any writing done that day. I'll try, though. It's so exciting to think that I might have a completed draft of Human Dignity in as little as two weeks. And then it's all about the editing. And submitting. And facing rejections. And trying again. And again. And starting new projects.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Well, I managed to shake off most of the morning's strange feelings. And I finished chapter 15. Wrote 2,634 words. I think that's a personal best in a day at work. I'll have to try to outline my scenes more often. Makes things flow better. And I've realized that the inspiration I thought I had for Part 3 actually works better as a final chapter for Part 2. Still not sure where I'm going with Part 3, but I do know it's going to be short. Definately no more than 20,000 words, which would bring my rough draft word count to about 95K. Wow. Considering I started out 2003 with 34.5K words that I had been building since September 2000, I'm pretty happy. :)

Odd Dreams

I had two nightmares early this morning in between alarms. They were so short and fragmented and, well, wierd, that I really don't know what they were about. Ghosts? Aliens? Not sure. But it featured Gwen Stefani being attacked by strange invisible creatures (this is what I get for going through some old CDs this weekend). And then later Britany Murphy leaning over me in bed telling her friend wearing a green hooded sweatshirt that I'll do just fine. Then they both walked through our wall. Both these little dream segments had me clutching Mark. I feel exhausted and just upset in general. I hate it when you can't shake off an odd dream. I've already written 1,034 words today (that was a shock...I thought I had written 700 at most), so the day has been successful. I think I'm going to stop writing for a bit and see if I can shake this ickiness.

Monday, April 14, 2003

Spoke Too Soon

Just because the Constellation is coming home, doesn't mean the Boxer will be, too. And if the Boxer is coming home, my brother doesn't necessarily have to be on it. Silly Navy and Marines. Never had to think in these terms before when it came to the military. The Air Force is easier to understand. :)


I just read the following in this ABC News article.

U.S. military officials told ABCNEWS that USS Kitty Hawk and the USS Constellation aircraft carriers would leave the Persian Gulf later this week and make their way to their home bases.

It also appeared at It better be true or the media will be on the run from me in short order. (Just in case you're wondering, my brother sailed over on the USS Boxer, which is part of the Constellation's battle group.)
Yesterday was AWESOME! I took the energy from my blog entry to map out and outline the remaining three chapters of Part 2. The ideas just flowed. Then I took a break and did the domestic thing (went grocery shopping with Mark, made dinner, etc). I went back to writing at 8:30 last night and kept going until 11:30, stopping only to sort out the motivations behind a tricky bit of dialogue. I wrote the first of the three chapters - took about 2000 words. 2000 words in about 3 hours is nice.

But then I was so wound up by the experience. I couldn't even think about falling asleep. So I let my brain spin for a while. I came up with yet another story idea (although this one is very vague and inspiration came in the form of two lines of dialogue), which I wrote down in the dark on a yellow post-it pad I keep in my nightstand drawer. And then my brain started feeding me ideas about Part 3 of Human Dignity. Which is great. I've been focusing on Part 2, trying not to get worried that I had only the vaguest sense of what was going to happen in Part 3. And now I've at least got a starting point. I really could conceivably finish this before the end of May. I'm so excited.

I'm on-track with my schedule for today. I finished a crit and will finish this entry with time to spare for some work that's cropped up. Then I'll have the afternoon to research my romance trilogy idea and do some worldbuilding for my fantasy trilogy. It's so nice to finally be past the writing hump that dominated February and March. Look out world! Kellie's back! :)

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Start the Day Off Write

OK, so you can see by the time that I'm not exactly starting early today. Mark and I read the paper very leisurely, then had a nice brunch, and then wandered through a new store (and found some stuff for the new apartment - July will not be here soon enough). And then I had some other things to take care of for Chorus. So now here I am with a few hours of time to write today. If I get really inspired, I'll extend the time. But otherwise I'm thinking I'll shoot for four hours and a couple thousand words. That should be good for a Sunday.

So chatting with Linda got me thinking about my teaching experience. I've tried not to think about those three months for the most part. It's still very fresh and close. But Friday night I started to think about the students I had left behind. That was the hardest part about deciding to leave - knowing I'd be leaving those kids behind. I got to thinking about one student in particular. She was in the school's special ed program. She had ADHD (or whatever they call it now) and a rough background. She had given me a few problems, but nothing more than the occasional absence and tardy and talking in class. She didn't like to do her work and often didn't hand in her work if she did complete it. During parent teacher conferences, I got to meet this student's mother. And I understood quite a bit more about the situation. That mother got into a shouting match in front of me and made the student cry. That was one of the many times I felt powerless to truly do anything of worth for my kids. From that moment on, I worked even harder with this student to help her out. A few weeks later, the student was suspended for getting in a fight. During the suspension, we had an intervention involving the student, the mother, all the her teachers, and an assistant principal. And I found out that not only had the student attended my class far more regularly than any other (she had only five unexcused absences in my class but an average of 14 in the others), but she also paid me lots more respect than she did the other teachers. She didn't speak out or call me names like she did in the other classes. This was just a few days before I quit, so about two months into the school year. I had no idea that this student had such markedly different behavior in my class. I was stunned. And I immediately felt awful for leaving her, but I had to or else I would have seriously made myself ill. If I could have found some way to make that job work for the rest of the year, I would have, just for that student. She was in a crisis scenario where one more bad step would send her to an alternative school that would have made things very difficult for her and may have pushed her even further into the ground. It tears me up knowing that I could have really helped her just by being there, but I had to leave for my own health and sanity. I'll never forget her change in attitude on my last day when I told her class I was leaving. That was the only time she had even approached the level of bad behavior that she exhibited in all my other classes.

I'm sure there will be many times when I remember similar experiences from those three months. Times when I was so close to helping a kid in some small or big way. And the realization that I couldn't last long enough to complete that assistance will haunt me in small and big ways. I don't think I will ever regret leaving the public education system. But I will always regret that I had to leave those kids. It doesn't matter that I staying would have continued to drain my health and sanity. It doesn't matter that my dwindling mental and physical well-being might have had a far more negative impact on those kids than my leaving did. Some of those kids just needed me to be there, trying my best to help, and that was enough for them.

Saturday, April 12, 2003

OK, so I'm going to use the blog as a means of getting the writing juices flowing on Saturdays and Sundays. Instead of going cold into my novel. I think that will help me enjoy the writing more and make it "easier." I wanted to start this new thing this morning, but it was such a nice day and Mark had to go into the lab. So I packed up the laptop, we went for a nice walk near campus and then went to his lab. And I did a little worldbuilding before we went off for lunch. And then wrote about 725 words in Human Dignity afterwards. Would've been more, but I was in a more open area next to Mark's lab and PJ kept wandering by and chatting with me. Note to self: working in the library not a bad idea. But the laptop isn't used for on-line stuff at all, so I couldn't connect and do a Start the Day Write entry.

Last night's Girl's Night In with Linda was nice. We had a nice long chat that helped me out and helped her (I hope). It's gone a long way toward helping me deal with some of the issues in my Slowly Going Crazy entry. It also got me thinking a little more about my teaching experience. Which I'm saving for my blog entry tomorrow. And my lunch with Juanece was nice, too, although the food sat a little heavy in my tummy. So things are looking up.

Friday, April 11, 2003

Educational Entertainment for the Troops: I hope my brother is able to bring a deck home with him. I'd love to see it. And I guess it's better than a Vegas deck.

Horoscope Update: No sign of extraterristrial intelligence yet. But there's still 8 hours, 40 minutes, and 13 seconds left. I'll keep you posted.
Better: Did a fierce workout yesterday after work and took a nice long shower. Feel much better. Still want my brother home now, though.

Strange Predictions: My coworker's horoscope predicted another bad day for her, and I was curious if the same was in the cards for me. My horoscope for today had some elements that rang true - in a vague way, of course. But I'm most interested in this line:

The Stars shine mysteriously upon you -- could you make contact with an extraterrestrial intelligence?

Hmmm.....I can safely say that I've never had that sort of prediction in my horoscope. At the very least, it's worth a story idea. :)

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Slowly Going Crazy: I'm feeling the weight of too much today. I've taken a lot of stuff way too seriously and way too personally. And it's driving me more than a little batty. I thought I had faced this demon this weekend and moved on. But apparently I haven't. There's always the everpresent War Worry (where's my brother? is he safe? when will he be home? how many times has he had to use his weapon? what is that doing to him?). Add on empathy for a truly shat-upon coworker, desperation for closure on the silly Sheraton Hotel business (the manager's investigation did nothing more than give the same ol' shit I got when I checked out), recovery from a couple months of wondering if I would ever get back on a career track that I loved and was good at, and the need to be in certain people's good graces and suspecting I'm not - and I'm just feeling smothered. Pushed down to the point where I feel the pounds of unseen worries and concerns grinding me even further into the ground as I struggle to keep crawling to the next day. Being steamrolled is never fun. Realizing that I gave the keys to the guy driving the steamroller and then laid down in the street for him only exponentially increases the level of not-funness.

Now I have to figure out how to pick up the pancake that is myself and fix me - all while moving forward with my life, of course. I've discovered a few of the problems, so I at least know what I'm dealing with to some degree. And I've attempted to address at least one of those issues (a result of the Shit-a-ton Hotel experience was that I realized some of my friends weren't really friends; so I'm trying to reconnect with the friends I know are friends and try to get to know some friendly acquaintances better). I've already known that my feelings about seriously considering writing as a career will adjust as soon as I have a completed draft to work with, so that's just a matter of time and persistance and patience (the latter two are somewhat difficult to come by). As for the good opinion of others that I don't really know but feel some need of approval from, I've tried a few things. I've tried ignoring it. I've tried reassuring myself. I've tried just ranting about it to get it all out of my system. And it's seriously not working. I've got a few other ideas, but until I really know my motives for it, I don't want to attempt anything. As for the empathy, I've never found a way to stop this. I try to feel the pain of others way too much. I'm always trying to take some of their burden away by putting it on my shoulders. While this can be a good thing, it's very hindering sometimes. And the war...well...I spent a good chunk of yesterday figuring out what discount air lines fly into San Diego and comparing prices so I could plan on being at the dock when my brother gets back. Even if he left today, though, it would be at least a month before he got back, if not six weeks. And I want him home now.
Silly Muse. She gave me yet another bit of action to start out my next chapter with. She told me what Denise should be doing. And then I managed to forget what that action was. This is what happens when dear ol' Musey gives me tips in the two seconds before I fall asleep. But I've since figured out something else she could be doing. So I'll go with that when I write today.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

SARS: OK, I just don't get this. Why would a country cover up the fact that they were hit hard by a virus that has already hit other nations in various degrees of severity? Do they not want to appear weak? Do they want to be sure they don't get caught having to repay any favors to countries that helped them out during an outbreak? What good does it do to lie about the state of SARS or any other highly contagious, mysterious illness? It just allows the thing to spread more and makes it harder to bring in the necessary help to combat the damn thing. So what good does that do anyone?
I wrote 925 words yesterday! And reorganized some scenes into a more logical order. And I was able to go on for about a page and a half of Margie pacing. I think it sets the scene pretty well, so I may actually end up keeping it! Thanks, my odd, must-be-smoking-something Muse. :)

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Inspiration is a strange thing. Or maybe it's just that my muse has been inhaling fumes at a nail salon. Not sure why she'd be in one, seeing as how I haven't had a professional manicure since last summer (and that was after 3 years of avoiding them). I wonder if my muse has those acrylic nails? And paints them with odd designs? All I know for sure is that inspiration hits me at such odd times and with such odd bits and pieces of stories. Nothing consistent. Sometimes it's a scene she'll give me. Other times it's a character. And still others it's a theme. This morning it was an action. Margie is pacing in a hotel room. That's all the muse gave me. I have no idea why she's pacing. I have no idea what she's thinking, or getting ready to say. But she's pacing. I wonder if I can get away with describing the manner of her pacing for a page or two...
Blogger just ate another post. Grrr. It seems to selectively eat the posts I make about my future writing plans. Is this thing trying to tell me something? :)

Monday, April 07, 2003

OK, I've fixed it, but at the expense of Mark's comment. And now I can't find all the neato admin functions I used to have on the comments. Maybe one day I'll get it all figured out.

On the writing front, I wrote about 800 words on Saturday. Then I succumbed to a headache and dizzy spell. And Sunday, Mark and I remebered that Saturday was our six month anniversary. So we celebrated a day late. We both talked about it last week, but completely forgot on the actual day. So I didn't complete another marathon. I'll have to make up for that on the second MM.
Hmmm...Mark tested out the comments. And showed me there is a problem. Because now is one comment has attached itself to ALL my posts on this page. *runs off to enetation to figure out how to fix*

Friday, April 04, 2003

Very cool. Figured out how to get comments on my blog. I suppose this is my first true experiment in blogging.
The Dangers of the Internet: I'm not talking about spam, popup ads, or the sudden appearance of porn when go to visit a site for a company that is now defunct and someone else decided to take up residence. I'm talking about the threats found in chat rooms, bulletin boards, and blogs. This is a very sneaky danger. One that most people might not even realize is there. It's the evil of judgment and assumption. When I first stumbled into chat rooms six years ago, I realized very quickly that I used a certain persona in them. I was often prone to be sarcastic and cynical and quick to play Devil's Advocate. I do have those traits at times, but they are not the primary components of my personality. Since I realized that, I tried to make an effort to have my interactions in these internet communities be more accurate representations of myself. But I know it still never works completely. And, of course, then you have the product of this Internet evil: misunderstanding. People will pounce on one thing you wrote and run to the ends of the Earth with it. And then ignore everything else you've said - even though the words are right there, plain as day. This happened at Melanie's BB today. I relayed my experience as a military brat, two posters took it be gospel for what every military brat must do. I then said in clear terms that it was only my experience. And it was ignored.

These two dangers of the internet often make me wonder exactly what people think of me, what pigeon-holes they've thrust me in to sort out the multitudes of posters and chatters and bloggers, what label they've given me so they can put me in the "read her stuff," "ignore her stuff" piles. And, of course, it makes me wonder how accurately I've made the same judgments and assumptions.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

OK, so I finally got sick of someone on the Melanie Rawn BB telling me what I should and shouldn't be thinking about this war and my country in general. So I let it fly (6 comments down). I'm Feylin, by the way. :) A scientist of dragons in Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince world. And it's really cute, too, because Mark joing the BB as Walvis, Feylin's husband in the books. Yes, we know how sugary sweet we can be.
Still dizzy. But at least the headache has gone away. For now. I'm going to finish my book and see if my dizziness goes away. I was hoping to write today. Or at least clean the apartment (I still haven't unpacked from this weekend - which is so not like me).

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Ugh. I felt awful last night. So awful that I was in bed by 6:30. I didn't fall asleep until 10:30, but still. And today doesn't seem to be any better. Ick. I may actually got to bed early again and try to get 10-12 hours of sleep to see if that nips this thing. I'm just dreading the inevitable headache and dizziness that will hit me by 2 (as happened yesterday, Monday, and Sunday). It's so annoying when your bod is just miffed enough with you to make you want to do nothing but sleep, but isn't miffed enough to warrant staying home or going to the hospital. Silly body.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

On an amusing note, and perhaps appropriate given the joking atmosphere of April Fool's Day, here's a link to the secret diaries of _The Lord of the Rings_ characters for Fellowship and
Two Towers. Enjoy.
OK, I wrote about, oh, 60 words yesterday. Which is better than 0, but nowhere near the 2500 I had hoped for. It didn't help that my dad called to chat (having political debates with him is fun because we agree on most things :)), and then Mark had to work very, very late and I felt compelled to treat him to ice cream after his long day. And by the time we got back home, my head was hurting and I was dizzy. Either I'm fighting off a bug, the spider venom from the bites is having adverse effects ;), or I need to really stay on top of myelf about taking my vitamins and iron. I'm betting on the last one. Well, I just hope that today I'll get some writing done. I've finally got ideas for getting some characters into action for the climax, but it still needs quite a bit of work. I might just start writing these scenes and see what happens. But April is the month to finish Part Two and start Part Three. My self-imposed deadline.