Breathing is My Friend…

Some of Evanescence’s songs are just so beautiful. Take this one on the radio as I am writing:

I wanted you to know
I love the way you laugh
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain away
I keep your photograph;
I know it serves me well
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain

Because I’m broken when I’m lonesome
And I don’t feel right when you’re gone away

You’ve gone away
You don’t feel me here, anymore

The worst is over now and we can breathe again
I wanna hold you high, you steal my pain away
There’s so much left to learn,
and no one left to fight
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain

‘Cause I’m broken when I’m open
And I don’t feel like I am strong enough
‘Cause I’m broken when I’m lonesome
And I don’t feel right when you’re gone away

‘Cause I’m broken when I’m lonesome
And I don’t feel right when you’re gone away

You’ve gone away
You don’t feel me here, anymore

Sad, of course, but also beautiful. It also eerily coincides with how I felt on Saturday night as I was fighting to breathe, struggling not to give into the encroaching darkness. If not for my husband Shawn and my friend Julie, I would have given up the fight and just…faded to black. *shiver* Very eerie.

***

At any rate, I finally got back to serious work on Vessel of Dreams last night. I yanked out the prologue at Catie’s suggestion and started going over the first three chapters with a fine-tooth comb. On this pass I am focusing on showing rather than telling–yes, that age-old writer’s mantra. Obviously, some telling is inevitable and at times necessary. But I have the bad habit of doing _too much_ telling rather than showing, especially in the beginning of the story until I find my rhythm. And since the beginning is the most vital part to _not_ do this since you are trying to entice an editor to read the entire story, obviously this is a necessary thing for me to overcome.

I must admit I got distracted by the tragedy that was game 4 of the World Series for awhile. I say tragedy because I live in St. Louis and am a Cardinals fan. And not one of those crappy Fair Weather Fans either. I stick with them through thick and thin. I’m actually happy for the Sox, but I am very disappointed that the Cardinals put forth such a sucky performance. I mean, come _on_. Only one or two of the guys was even getting good hits. It just figures that for the only decent game, game 1, I was too busy fighting to breathe due to being in the midst of anaphylaxis to actually pay attention to the game. All I remember is that during one of the brief moments of lucidity I looked at the tv and mumbled, “I never liked that Ben Affleck anyway” when he flashed across the screen. Of course, nobody else saw him so they all thought I was just hallucinating or something. *grin*

Er…where was I? Oh yes, writing. I worked through a few scenes and hope to get much farther tonight. I would love to finish up revising the first three chapters this weekend–barring any unforeseen disasters. Which may be easier said than done the way things are going lately!

Also, I have an appointment with the allergist tomorrow afternoon. Here’s hoping that we find out what I’m severely allergic to!!!

***

ROFL…okay now this is ironic. As I finish this entry now Melissa Ethridge’s “It only hurts when I’m breathing” is on…LOL…the radio is mocking me I tell you!

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Update on Medical Condition…

The doctor agreed with my “self diagnosis” of anaphylaxis and prescribed EpiPen for me. So I will be keeping those with me at all time and teaching everyone around me how to use them. I have an appointment on Friday to see the allergist and we will begin testing to see if we can find out what my trigger is. Hopefully we can narrow it down!!!

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Kiss Your Loved Ones Everyday…

Pasting an entry I made on a webboard, since I don’t feel like writing an entirely new entry. Let’s just say that celebrating my birthday with my husband and friend didn’t go quite as smoothly as I had wished…

***

I woke up this morning VERY thankful to be alive. I suffered through an allergic reaction last night which, after doing research tonight, seems to have been anaphylaxis. I endured three hours of hell during which I couldn’t breathe and my blood pressure went dangerously low many times. It’s a miracle that I survived. Actually, I think the only reason I made it through is thanks to Shawn and my friend Julie, who stayed with me and nursed me through it.

Now, before anybody lectures me on not going to the hospital, there is a bit of background on that. About two months ago or so I had my first ever allergic reaction to–something. We never identified what. I woke up in the middle of the night with my head itching like crazy. It soon moved to my threat and I broke out in hives, got dizzy, and had trouble breathing. It scared us enough that Shawn called 911. By the time the paramedics arrived 5 minutes later, the worst of it was over. They seemed rather unconcerned and suggested I take benadryl and caffeine to combat the effects. They said I could go to the emergency room if I wanted, but that it didn’t really seem necessary.

Erego why we weren’t very concerned last night when the head-itching and hives commenced. Well, we were _concerned_, but not _scared_. Shawn ran across the street from the bar we were hanging out in to get some benadryl, and the bartender gave me some Red Bull for the caffeine value. I took two benadryl, and we waited for it to get better. Unfortunately, it didn’t. It only got worse. But by the time it got REALLY bad we had already taken me home, and anaphylaxis set in, and my mind and body were so fucked up that I couldn’t quite communicate to Shawn and Julie just how bad it was. Not to mention the alcohol in my system didn’t help my coherence factor.

I have never been so scared in my life. I came close to death more times than I care to remember. Had it not been for Shawn and Julie alternatively coaxing and browbeating me, I would have given up the fight a few times and…well, let’s just say I wouldn’t be writing this now.

Needless to say I have instructed Shawn to take me to the emergency room at the first sign of such a reaction again, and I will be making an appointment with my doctor first thing tomorrow. Hopefully she can fit me in soon. I need to figure out what is causing this, and, more importantly, get some damn epi-pen or something to have in hand next time. Fucking Benadryl does NOT work for anaphylactic level reactions. Mild ones, sure, but the kind I had last night need injections of epiphedrine/adrenaline.

Moral of the story–make sure you always kiss your loved ones and tell them what they mean to you. You never know when your time is going to be up.

***

Needless to say, I didn’t get much (read: any) writing done this weekend. But considering I’m lucky to be alive, I can live with that for now.

Fairly Nice Birthday So Far…

Considering that the Cardinals won last night and are now on their way to the World Series. Woo hoo! And since I lived in Boston for a year, if the Cardinals don’t win I will at least be pleased for the Sox. Don’t get me wrong, I’m cheering for the Cards all the way! But I would far rather lose to the Sox than to the Yankees if that’s what’s fated. *grin* This should prove to be an interesting Series!

Husband and I were at the gym for almost two hours last night. Yeesh! We’ve decided that the personal trainer’s weight routine is going to HAVE to be broken up into two parts during the week. So one night arms, one night legs, and then we can do both one day on the weekend. It’s too hard to do two full hours at the gym after working all day and knowing that you have to work the next day, too. But last night we did it. Of course, then I got engrossed in the Cardinals/Astros game until I fell asleep so I didn’t get any revising done on Vessel of Dreams last night.

And tonight husband and I will likely do something for my birthday, so I must be a Revising Fiend this weekend! And I won’t think about how quickly my 20’s are passing by. Nope, not going to think about that at all!

The Joy and Pain of Writing…

Like everything else in this world of ours, writing is filled with both joy and pain. (Oh great–now that Rob Base song is running through my head. Joy…and pain. It’s like sunshine. And rain. Joy…pump, pump, pump it up…and pain. It’s like SUNSHINE! And rain!) Er…must catch my train of thought…Oh yes. Ahem. Writing is filled with boy joy and pain. The joy of creating something uniquely your own. The pain of opening that creation up for outside criticism. The joy of realizing that YES, you have an interesting story that is worth coaxing to fruition. The pain of realizing just how much more work is needed to accomplish that task. Joy and pain.

I’m being purposely melodramatic here, because it’s true. Writers–writers who have any chance at success in the publishing world, that is–engage in a roller coaster ride of both joy and pain each and every time they work on a new project. Is this plot worth pursuing? Are these characters worth listening to? Is my prose as perfect as it can be–or so purple it makes even ME sick? Doubt battles with confidence battles with fear battles with complete and utter paranoia. And yet–most of us wouldn’t trade it for anything.

NOTHING feels better than the euphoria that comes with reaching those two beautiful words in a current project–The End. (Well, at least not until you hear those even more beautiful words–your story is accepted. But that’s for another tale. One I’m unable to give firsthand knowledge of–yet.) Of course, most of us then transfer our fears and doubts on to the rewriting stage, but for that one perfect moment we feel a sense of achievement, a feeling that, at least for now, we are utterly fulfilled. It is truly a joyful moment.

And it is moments like these that keep us tapping away on our keyboards, or scribbling furiously in our notebooks. The moments when we realize that maybe we DO have a little bit of talent. Enough of a spark that we can nurture into a true blaze of creativity and imagination. That we can draw our readers into the worlds we have created, and make them truly care about the story and characters every bit as much as we do. Now THAT is true joy.

***

The lovely Catie (mizkit_feed) got back to me with her comments on my synopsis and first three chapters. Her comments were quite helpful and I think will really help me make Vessel of Dreams into a better story. My plan is to engage in a marathon of rewriting over the next few days. Obviously I won’t be sending my proposal out in time for my birthday (tomorrow), but hopefully I will be able to get it out the door on Monday or Tuesday. I am very excited about this. I know that it will be a pain having to go over the first three chapters yet again–but the joy of improving the story will more than compensate. Anything worth having is well worth working hard for. And anything worth doing is worth doing as well as you possibly can.

Eep!

Er…I didn’t mean to go so long without posting, really I didn’t! The husbandly unit and I were visiting friends and his relatives in Maine for a few days. We had a vow renewal there for those who weren’t able to make it to the one we had for my family in Missouri. (We originally got married in Mexico in May–just the two of us–and it was wonderful! But we both wanted to honor our family and friends and hey–I got to wear my dress 3 times. Bonus!) At any rate, things have settled back down again so I should remember to start posting again. *grin*

Never fear, though. I have been hard at work on the revisions for the book I plan to submit to Luna shortly. I hope to send it out on my birthday–which is Friday–but someone who is being published by Luna is going over the synopsis and first three chapters for me and since she is understandably busy this deadline may not quite be met. I do want to wait for her comments before sending my proposal in. But just knowing that I had everything for the proposal close to final form by my self-set deadline makes me happy. If I actually get to mail it in that will just be icing on the cake.

Mmm, cake! Hopefully nobody sabotages my recently-renewed fitness efforts by bringing in too much cake on Friday. If that happens I will be resolute! I will have a reasonable serving and GIVE AWAY THE REST! That’s always easy to do at work, so that’s one bonus. Hubby and I hit the new gym last night and had our first personal training session to learn how to use the Freemotion weight machines that the old gym did not have. It was fun, but since we’ve slacked for a few months I KNOW I’m going to be sore later today or tomorrow. But a good kind of sore, of course. We also stopped by the grocery store after that and stocked up on yummy healthy food. I WILL re-lose this 50 pounds and hopefully lose at least a bit more. And, most importantly, get back in shape again.

We got home really late last night so I didn’t write anything, but I’m hoping to work on further revisions of Vessel of Dreams tonight. One of my Pagan friends finished reading the first draft and offered a few valuable comments. Overall she said I handled all the Pagan aspects really well, and she loved the story and couldn’t wait to buy it in the stores and have me sign it. Okay, so she’s putting the cart a bit in front of the horse, but it’s always nice to have people enjoy your writing!

Here’s hoping that I can make her dream–hahaha, okay, mostly it’s MY dream–come true!

Le Synopsis = Le Sigh…

So I am nearly finished with the complete revisions of the first two chapters of Vessel of Dreams, as well as the cosmetic surgery of chapter three. I have promised both and myself that I will have this proposal out to Luna by the time of my birthday, which is on October 22nd. This is both exhilarating and downright scary. It will be my first professional submission and I have butterflies in my stomach already. I entered the Writers of the Future contest 2 or 3 times, but that wasn’t quite professional and I am (fortunately) _much_ better at writing novels than I am shorts. One would think I would be _less_ nervous submitting something that I am better at writing. No such luck–I have much higher expectations this time. And yet, having a firm basis in reality, I also fear the worst.

Don’t worry, I’m just talking myself through all this. I have every expectation of submitting the proposal by my birthday, and I _will_ do so. Come hell or high water. With that in mind, since it’s been really slow at work today I have been researching the oh-so-fun (tongue-in-cheek again) art of the synopsis. I have even jotted down several pages of notes regarding my book and started the first couple of paragraphs of the synopsis. It’s crap, I tell you! Pure, unadulterated crap! The websites I am referring to make it look so much easier than it actually _is_!

Okay, enough ranting. I have given myself permission to suck bat guano this first run through. The important thing is to get it _down_, let it sit, and then go over it with a clothespin and fine-tooth comb. Er, perhaps that should be big red pen instead of fine-tooth comb, but whatever. The point is that I am going to revise the synopsis until it is the best that I can achieve. I will then go over the first three chapters once more, polish them brightly, and send both along with a cover letter off to Luna. Then the _real_ fun begins–I get to finish revising the rest of VoD.

Oddly enough, I think having gone through this entire process of writing a synopsis will make those revisions easier. I have already seen several places in which I can improve the story. So–that’s a bonus!

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