Gallstones and Coloring Books


Much as I tire of reporting tough days, I’m afraid I have more to report.  We ended up having to euthanize our Weimaraner on Friday morning.  For several months, he had been doing better, giving us hope, but he declined quickly Thursday morning to being unable to eat or walk.  We had him for seven years, so we are all very upset.

Also, I had to say goodbye to him very early Friday morning, without even knowing if the vet would recommend euthanasia.   I had an appointment with a gastroenterologist in Manhattan on Friday that took several weeks to schedule, so I could not reschedule.  After many hours of testing, the diagnosis is gallstones.  I have to call a surgeon tomorrow to schedule surgery.  The diagnosis is unwelcome, but not unexpected, and it does help to have an end in sight.

On a positive note, I stayed in New York overnight so that I could help out on Saturday in the exhibit area at the Writer’s Digest conference.  Rachel Funk Heller was in town for the conference, and I helped cover her table on the Writer’s Coloring Book. It was a delight to meet her in person, to talk to people about the Coloring Book, and to have Rachel spinning plots for my next, oh, four or five books or so!  I also saw Gabriela Pereira of DIY MFA, with whom I’ve spoken on the phone so many times, but had never met in person.  I had a lot of fun, even as tired as I was. I was too late to register for the conference, but I plan to do so next year.

I haven’t gotten much written these last few days, although I did manage a few blog visits and replies to comments.  I’m starting to feel a little better all the poking and prodding from the testing on Friday, so I hope to get back to normal tomorrow.

I hope all is going well with everyone on their goals. Please go visit around the other ROWers, whom you can find here.  Encourage as you can, share strategies, make friends.  It is a wonderful community.

If you are unfamiliar with a Round of Words, or ROW80, click here to read more about it from the creator of the challenge, Kait Nolan. It is a writing challenge that “knows you have a life.” Its flexibility is often helpful.

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Push-me Pull-you week

An interesting week of wide contrasts from one day to the next, from the depths of illness to, well, if not the sublime of creativity, a good hillock of creativity.  I prefer to get the bad out of the way, so here it is. My father fell about a month ago, giving himself a concussion and a couple of hematomas.  This week, he fell again, and ended up in the ICU overnight.  I am a thousand miles away from him (Google says 1,004, to be exact), so I feel rather helpless.  Topping it off was getting violently ill at work on Friday, which is very unusual for me.  I have not felt great all weekend, although I am no longer as ill as I was.  I do not think it is contagious, but I am not going to my writing group, just in case, which also makes me sad.

Enough of the bad, and on to the good. Thursday I gave a presentation at another college, which went well.  Almost the best part of the day was that instead of driving the interstate, I went on the Taconic Parkway, which winds through woods and mountains down towards New York City. It was nice to slow down to enjoy the scenery.

I also had a great conversation with Gabriela Pereira of DIYMFA about some of my struggles with writing, especially dialog.  She had some intense exercises for me to try, and some very helpful hints in addressing my perfectionism.  We also talked about my platform, which, as many of you know, since I have vented here often enough, has been difficult for me to rein in, handle, and work to my advantage. I felt I had a better sense of direction and more of an idea of where to expend effort.

As I have mentioned before as well, I am struggling with the whole social media thing as well. Lisa Hall-Wilson really got me thinking in this post. Although I am not guilty of most of the list, I do need to adjust some things on my platform.  I resolve to do better, and all of you can check my progress.

Finally, on my list of good things from this past week, I started to follow my own advice in the sponsor post that went up on Monday.  I started with the easy stuff, but that’s okay, right?  I have made some steps to declare myself a writer to all and sundry. The results have been mixed, but even so, I feel as though I’ve scrubbed theatrical makeup off my face, lighter and truer to myself than I have felt in a very long time.

So, how are all of you doing?  I have put responding to comments at the top of my list for this week, so let me know. I’m happy to sympathize or congratulate, as the case may be.

Please go visit the other RoWers here especially as we round third and head for the home base of this Round.

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