Gone With The Wind

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I had to share an excerpt of our projects in my writing class today.  I hate reading my own work and hate even more, reading it aloud.  I did it though and it went really well.  After reading it, we were given feedback from the teacher as well as the class.  All of mine was positive which made me feel really good about it.  As I haven't been very proactive on my blog lately (because I've been concentrating on my book) I've decoded to share the same except with you as well...


It was the beginning of July.  My mother had just gotten central air conditioning and she liked it cold.  What made it worse was that my room was in the basement and because it was underground, it felt at least ten degrees colder than it did upstairs.   I laid in my bed shivering with the phone under the duvet wearing my thermal pajamas.
‘Come on Eve, just come to the party’ Tess pleaded.
‘You know my mother hates that you call me Eve.  She says my name is Eva and my friends have just renamed me without consulting her.’
‘Stop trying to change the subject, EVA.’
‘I don’t want to be fixed up.’  I said.  ‘Robbie and I just broke up a few weeks ago.  I’m not ready for a fix-up’ I turn to look at the framed picture of Robbie and place it face down on the nightstand.
You've been walking around depressed for weeks.  It won’t be a fix-up.  You’ll be just two people at a party.' 
‘His name is Ashley?  I said.  ‘You mean like in Gone with the Wind?’
‘What?’  Tess asked impatiently.
‘You know, Ashley, the blond guy that Scarlet longs for throughout the movie.  He joins the Army and she waits years for him to come back to finally love her.’
‘Can we get back on track here?’
‘He ends up marrying someone else.’
‘Eve, enough with Gone with the Wind!’
‘She only marries Rhett because she can’t have Ashley.  It’s Ashley she really loves.’
Tess huffed into the phone.  ‘I know what you’re doing and I’m not saying it.’
‘Just say it.’
‘No.  You’re not funny.’
‘Yes I am.  I’m hilarious.  Just say it and I’ll go to the party’
‘Fine!’  She said as she sighed into the phone. 
‘Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.’


Pin It

Angry Birds, Tablets & Kindle

Saturday, November 17, 2012
My 4 year old son is obsessed with Angry Birds.  Last Christmas, my husband bought me a tablet PC.  Soon after, my son started playing with it.  At first I was showing him all of the educational apps I could find, but he watched me download and started downloading things himself.  I had to take my card number off of Google Play because he started buying games as well (yes, he's four!).  Somehow, he discovered Angry Birds and he's become obsessed with it!
He has an Angry Birds lunch box and wants the toys for Christmas.  Last week, was the much anticipated release of Angry Birds Star Wars.  He couldn't wait to get home from school to download it.  I'm not sure if I should be proud of his skill level or ashamed.  I never wanted to be the kind of parent that lets their four year old become obsessed with computer games, but he goes to school full time now and when he gets home, I just want to let him relax and have fun in any way he chooses.  School is hard work.  He's excelling, so as far as I can tell, there's no harm in letting him play.
The downside is the tablet is no longer mine.  It's filled with so much crap that my son has downloaded, I really have no use for it.  It's the most expensive toy we ever thought we'd buy!  I have requested a new smaller and lighter tablet this year that I can use as a book reader as well.  The thing is, I'm not sure there's a need for a tablet.  I find they have too many limitations and get frustrated by what I can't do on them and always go for my laptop instead.
I keep wondering if I should just get a Kindle instead of a tablet, but I love books and am hesitant to move to an e-reader.  I love to hold a book and turn the pages.  I love the smell of a bookstore.  I love books, but I'm also a bit of a techie geek and am torn between the two. The only thing I use Kindle for now is with books that are too large to hold and cause pain (due to my arthritis), but I have to admit that there are an awful lot of books that cost a hell of a lot less on Kindle than in book form.  Sometimes there's such a huge difference in price, it almost hurts to order the book.  It's the way forward.  I know that, but I'm still not convinced it's something I should do.

Pin It

My latest doctor appointment

I saw my GP yesterday and was told that the lumps on my knuckles are not due to my arthritis, but cysts that have formed and they will go away with time.  It's just my sort of luck to have odd things like this happen, but I am so unbelievably relieved to hear that my arthritis is not getting to the point of disfiguring my hands! He didn't say what caused the cysts or maybe he did and through my relief, I just didn't hear him.
When I spoke to him on the phone, he warned me that depending on what he thought when he saw me  he may have to give me a steroid injection.  I try to avoid steroids at all costs.  Every time I've had them as treatment, I've gained an average of a pound a day.  The most I've gained is 20 lbs in a month!  It's awful when it happens and it's the sort of weight that is really hard to get back off!  Luckily, after examining my hands, he decided the steroid treatment was unnecessary.
As for my painful, stiff knee is a whole other thing and is probably due to my arthritis.  My doctor has set me up to see a knee specialist next month, but the elusive Rheumatologist has still not contacted me for an appointment.  Thank God my GP is an excellent doctor and is really proactive with my care.  I don't know what I'd do without him!

Pin It

Loss

Thursday, November 15, 2012
The book I'm trying to write is partially about a dear friend of mine who died when I was young.  He was in a car accident, suffered a head injury that caused brain damage and later died as a result of his injuries.  He was recovering well before then and his death came as quite a shock.  Before his passing, the two of us spent a great deal of time together and a portion of what I'm writing, tells our story.
I've written quite a bit about the time period, other events and people, but up until today, I have avoided writing about him.  It's hard to capture someone you've lost and you've tried to avoid thinking too much about.
Grief is a odd thing.  When we lose someone, we don't want to forget them, but remembering them is too painful.  We put them away in a box, carry them with us close to our hearts, but rarely allow ourselves to re-open that box.  As a result, the memories fade and we lose little bits of the person as each year passes.
I've forgotten so much and today, I tried with all my heart to bring some of that back.  It was a hard write.  I've taken a break now from the three pages I've finished because if I didn't, I thought I'd break down and cry.  I don't want to do that.  I want to allow the memories of him to come without the grief so I can try to embrace it and let myself remember more without the grief to hinder it.  I'd like to get to a place where I'm happy for the memories rather than being overcome with that sadness that comes with it.
I recently found out that my friend's father died.  I was once very close with the family.  His brother still refers to me as his big sister and his father used to call me his little girl, but a time came when in order to move on, they had to leave me behind.  I knew they still loved me and would always be grateful for the bond I shared with their son after his accident, but they needed to let me go in order to move on.  We've kept in contact from time to time, but I am no longer on the list of people informed during times of crisis.  I found out about his father's passing months after his death and even though it had been many years, since I had seen him, I grieved his loss.
I found out by contacting my friend's brother to tell him about my writing project.  I maybe enough time had passed that we could talk about it.  There are a few items I wanted to ask the family if I could have. I have very few photos of my friend (it's a long story on why) and there's a video of him that was filmed just before he died.  I also wanted to ask for some other items I thought might still be somewhere in storage. I was going to find a way to work up the courage to ask them if maybe I could have some of it.  It's been twenty years since he passed, surly it would be okay for me to finally make my request.
I asked his brother if he thought his mother would mind talking to me (without mentioning my intentions).  His response was, 'Since we just lost Dad, it's probably not a good time right now.'  The words hit hard.  He said it as if I was still 'in the know' and that his father's death was common knowledge. I responded with my shock and sympathy.  I asked about his mother.  He told me that they were building a house together and she was going to live with him and his family.  He said everything around her was a reminder of my friend and now his Dad and it was time to move on.  I knew then that my time to make my request had passed and on that day, I grieved the loss of not only a man who used to refer to me as his little girl and I saw as a father figure, but the loss of those precious items I knew I'd never have.

Pin It

Been Writing

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
I've been getting a lot of writing done this week.  I seemed to have passed through my barrier for now.  It's coming along - slowly, but it's definitely coming along.
I saw a documentary that followed the author Ian Rankin for a year as he wrote his latest novel.  It was really inspiring.  It taught me so much about the the creative process, first drafts, second drafts and beyond.  After writing thirty books, he still struggles, still has times he thinks his story is no good and still gets changes from his editor.  I can't say enough how wonderful it was to get such insight into a successful author!
I'm more than halfway through my writing class.  The experience has been good, but I wish there was more actual writing in the class instead of just discussing concepts.  I haven't submitted anything to the teacher to be reviewed (she doesn't teach that way) and I really would love the feedback.  It looks like I will have to find a course next semester that will include more feedback and guidance on our writing rather than teaching concepts and theory.  I've learned a lot, but it's not the kind of course I thought it would be.

Pin It

Heading for a brick wall

Monday, November 12, 2012
I am fighting a flare up of my arthritis.  It's like heading for a brick wall with no breaks.  It's coming, but there's absolutely nothing I can do about it.  I'm trying not to let it get me down, but it's so hard.  The fatigue really gets to me and I also see signs of my condition changing for the worst.  Keeping a positive attitude is a challenge.
I have developed lumps in the joints of a few fingers (my left thumb being the worst) & my left knee. They are stiff and painful.  Last night, my knee felt hot with the pain.  This is is all new and it's terrifying.  I now have a bad knee, thumb, hip, shoulder and an inflamed eye to add to my bad back, neck and several other painful joints. I know this is how it gets every winter.  I don't know why I find it a shock to the system every time.
My mother in law has deformed hands due to arthritis.  I had her feel the lumps in my knuckles and asked her if that's how it started for her.  She gave me a sad look and confirmed it was.  'How long do I have?' I asked.  She said she didn't remember.  I pushed harder for an answer - 10 years? 5? 20?? She just didn't know.  I wanted to cry.  I don't want any of this.
I just finished working out,  I am pushing myself to do it hoping it will push me out of flare-up knowing full well, the extra exertion added to my fatigue may have the opposite effect, but I have to try.  I'm feeling very sorry for myself right now (having to take deep breaths and push back the tears forming in my eyes).  I don't want any of this.  I feel 80.  How am I going to feel in 5 or 10 years??...
I'll see the doctor this week. He'll tell me changing my meds won't help (as he tells me every year when the cold sets in) and he'll write yet another letter to get me in to see the specialist which will be pointless because I never get an appointment (f~cking socialized medicine!)  I just want answers.  I want someone to take some xrays or scans, look at my joints and give me a prognosis.  How long do I have before it all goes down hill?
Ok, I have to tell myself - take a deep breath.  Suck it up and drive on.  There's nothing else I can do, but try to fight it.  Sitting here crying is not going to do a damned bit of good.

Pin It

What I've recently learned

Saturday, November 10, 2012
Here's what I've recently learned -

  • - Even though my best friend is thousands of miles away, life without her would be intolerable.
  • - It's possible to mourn the loss of someone you haven't seen in over ten years.
  • - Everyone sees past events differently.  What might mean the world to you, can easily be forgotten by others that also experienced it.
  • - I'm not a great writer (although I plan to keep trying to become one).
  • - No matter how old I get, I am always going to come across women who don't like me for reasons that have nothing to do with the person I am.
  • - Some things I never learn - no matter how old I get. 
  • - Sharing a history with someone does not create ties that bind. 
  • - I am an expert at beating a dead horse.
  • - There are extraordinary & generous people in the world.
  • - Being far away when trouble hits is just as hard as being there to witness it.
  • - It never ceases to amaze me that my husband truly loves me for who I am. 
  • - You don't need more than a few really good friends in life.


Pin It

More on the wake of Hurricane Sandy

Monday, November 5, 2012
I finally got to talk to my best friend over the weekend.  I was such a wreck waiting for word.  Her and her family are okay although  her thirteen year old son lost a school friend to the storm.  The girl's house torn from it's foundation with the surge of rushing water.  Her father is still missing and her mother has just woken up from a coma.  It's said that although they were in an evacuation zone, they stayed because their house was looted during hurricane Irene.
There are stories like this in so many areas of NY and NJ.  So many areas have been hit so hard and it's just surreal to see so much destruction to places I know so well.
I have a friend who has been on the go since the storm hit helping victims of the storm.  She has collected donations of food, diapers, formula, cloths and bedding for those who are in need.  She has gone out to help people recover what is left of their houses and so much more.  She has had so much tragedy in her life (she lost her husband in a car accident and was left to raise her daughter alone) and said that when she was in need, she had people reach out to her so this is just her way to pay it forward.  She is an inspiration.  I'd like to say if I was there, I'd be along side her helping everyone I can, but you just don't know until it happens.  She's faced with it and instead of sitting around complaining about no power or heat, she's out there helping everyone she can.  I am in awe of her and proud to call her my friend.
being so far from it has been difficult.  I am at the mercy of Fox News & CNN and  being so close to election day, I don't get to see much on the effects of the storm.  I can only get through to family and friends half the time and have had no choice than to scan the internet for what ever stories I can find on my home town and surrounding areas. The places of my youth and childhood memories have been destroyed and although I know they will rebuild, it will never be as it was in my memories.  I am so blessed to have had time on the Jersey shore this past summer before this happened.  It was the first time being there for a NJ summer since I moved here 9 years ago. I got to show my son so many of the places that are now swept away and for that, I am grateful, but am so heartbroken to see it in such devastation now.

Pin It