An All Too Rare Event

Usually I post here on Fridays (part of the plan. I am not putting you off till last dear reader!), but today is one of those days that I find myself staring at the screen.

I’m looking at something entirely too rare: the title page of a book, with my title on it. I look farther down the page to see the written by line and realize it’s me! Then, the realization hits, “Oh my god, this thing is actually happening. I’ve been saying it’s coming out this year and… it is!”

I sit there in stunned silence considering that this thing I’ve been working on, swearing at, and generally entwining my life with is actually becoming a book. One that is available at an actual retailer. One that somebody might actually buy and read!

Then the next wave hits… I haven’t written the dedication yet! No, that image isn’t right. Where is the other one? What is that %$#$@$#%^#$%!!! hyphen doing there?

It does settle down. It will all work out. And, somebody is actually going to pay money for something I wrote.

I’m not going to say that that’s what makes it all worth it, but it certainly helps! The reality is I love it. I love doing it: the process, the pain, the whole thing. The book being released and people reading it is a real rush and tremendous validation. But I love the writing too.

Sure, reviews and reviewers may be scary. Sure critics may whine and rave, but I’ve said something. I’ve done something. I’ve made something. I have had an impact on the world.

One of the questions people ask is, “Are you going to write another one?”

My answer is a line from Shogun, “It is over until it begins again.” The truth is, pieces of the next one are already on my desk, and the seeds of the one after that. And then there is my notebook stack…

I’m not saying much about what is in it now, but…


It is coming.

That’s it for this post dear reader.

Until next time: it can happen… it does happen… and you can do it too.


Back from Beyond and Still Being There

As I mentioned in my last post I’ve recently taken a week off from this blog (and a few other projects) to take a ride through the desert on my horse with no name. As the song says when I made it to the sea shore I found many things, things that are food for my fiction and non fiction writing. I also found a diagnosis that makes my Type 2 Diabetes look down right cute and Cuddly!

My mother has been diagnosed with ALS, a degenerative disorder that caused you to loose control of your muscles over time. My mom’s case is really fast moving. The level of muscle control loss she’s seen in the eight months takes 3-5 years in a ‘normal’ case of ALS. Loosing that much of one’s mobility and freedom that fast should be scary to anyone.

As scary and frustrating as the ALS diagnosis is… that’s not the really frustrating part. The really frustrating part is that ALS is a sort of selective nerve degeneration. My mother can not move her legs and can barely move her hands, but she feels pain in all her limbs. And, since she’s not really eating much, or using her muscles, there’s not really a whole lot of padding or ‘pain resistant’ material on any of her limbs.This means that laying around hurts! And having people help her move hurts. When people are rough or non-conscientious it really hurts, and she can’t do much about it.

This brings me right back to one of the big themes here at WMS; people need to thinks, observe and understand. It is insufficient to merely run on assumptions. Sure assumptions may be right a lot of the time; however, even if an assumption is right 90% of the time, it is wrong 10% of the time. That 10% has to show up in reality (say 10% of the time?).

I guess I’m actually invoking the old golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you want to be treated as an individual, treat others as individuals. If you don’t, and ‘they’ don’t… well, you really don’t have grounds to complain.

Not everyone who can’t move their legs can’t feel pain. Not everyone who has diabetes ‘inflicted it upon themselves’. Not everyone of minority X shares belief Y.

Of course if you are going to live up to the stereotype, you really can’t complain about it being applied to you. It’s your life and your choice.

Very few things will cause more distress and aggravation for yourself and others than making bad assumptions; think then act; learn then choose. There are times when you do have to make snap decisions, but the rest of the time they can cause more problems than they cure.

That’s it for today dear reader. Till next time…

Be healthy. Be safe. Be smart.

Minor Achievements While ‘Away’

For years (and years (and years (OK, lets face it, when it started the 1980s were in fashion for the first time))) when I’ve traveled I’ve always carried and played some sort of Role Playing Game (RPG).  Well, I didn’t do it this time. Just cloths, two novels (I read part of one of them), diabetes supplies, and five wire bound notebooks (blank).

On this trip I’ve managed to:

  1. Keep my blood sugar readings comparatively low. With one exception they have stayed under 125 without insulin, with my mother in the hospital, and with a hoard of in-laws floating around. I succeeded in this in-spite of most of the cooking and restaurant choices (not to mention times for eating, sleeping, exercise, etc.) being out of my control. The one higher number (a 143) was on a Sunday where I got no exercise and was faced with a family dinner with all of the assembled in-laws including my mother in-law’s mother in-law.
  2. I controlled my stress without RPGs entirely.
  3. I managed to get my diabetes supplies through the trip with a minimum of trouble (OK, I did have to point out that leaving insulin out in a black car in 102 degree weather was a bad idea). In spite of the stories I’ve heard, the TSA people weren’t a problem.
  4. Looking at it as an average, I actually exceed my 1000 words a day writing goal on the trip. Sure I only made about half of my goal the day I was flying, but I made it up on the next day and on Saturday I more than doubled my goal.

I honestly believe that the writing was the key, and not just with ending up with over a thousand words a day. Writing helped me cope where role play used to. Writing helped me keep my stress under control, which helped me keep my blood sugar under control and kept me from freaking out on TSA people, hospital people, in-laws, and all the other interesting denizens of Los Angels California.

Writing as therapy, I not only believe in it… I’ve proved it (on a personal level at least).

Until next post dear reader… write on!