On the Holiday Season

As much as I love the nation’s favorite Pagan’s holiday, I have to admit (damn, I fear I need to watch for that particular expression—I have to admit—or all my characters might start to sound alike, er… like me?) that ’tis the time to be worried.

The word count—or the shortage of it, for it’s dwindling—is horrifying. After finishing each scene, I feel stuck even more than usual, and the story barely inches forward.

This is the season when the scenes I write tend not to fit into the current narration flow and end up being pushed forward until they find their slot in the big puzzle.

The main problem with this method is that it does not work quite well at the end of the novel, as the pushed-forward scene might simply fall off at the very end, and I cannot afford to write something I might not end up using.

It is also the season when I rhyme things. That takes a lot of time and effort, and I normally do that when I really have to, like when I need to design a folk song or a made-up poem quote, or—more often than not—when I cannot fall asleep.

Of late, I switched to haiku—seems to help with insomnia; unfortunately, the bits I come up with, cannot be used in my secondary world, because I have no Japan there (while Mountain Rim Territory clearly reeks of Asian culture, adding haiku-formed poetry would definitely make it look too much like a parody), and I am kinda particular about those things..

To appease the moon
I count syllable sheep
The sun brings no mercy

Well… it does help to fall asleep (eventually). Or is it just laying still in the dark with a cat on one’s stomach?

Now, having bitched about all of the above:

  1. I have finished another scene (this one, I even managed to stick where it belongs)
  2. I have an updated verdict from my doc, which sprouted the next few lines of rhymed words (I am not calling it poetry for the life of me), which go like this:

If I knew how to wish, I would.
If I knew how to pray, I’d try.
If I knew how to thank—and I,
having learned whom to thank and why—
Thank you all for a wish, a cry,
Random thought, thoughtful prayer, or shy
Reminiscence of a guy,
You once met…

Well… most of that was written by John Jameson in the wee hours of Saturday morning, following the results of my Wednesday’s PET/CT scan, delivered by my oncologist, grinning so wide, I was worried that the top of his head would fall off.

Apparently, my…

…primary tumor in the stomach is essentially completely resolved…

That is a literal quote from the write-up which came with a stack of scanned images of my innards. There are many more language gems and pearls in that document, and I could have easily written the whole post, just analyzing its amazingly evasive lingo, but it is not that important; what is important, is that my Christmas song (I Want a New Esophagus for Christmas) actually worked!

Well, I did not get a new esophagus, to be exact, only a used one—my own. Fair enough, considering that it is already installed—very convenient.

Thank you, Santa.

Now, since the lesions on my liver, despite shrinking in size approximately three times, still remain very much capable of killing me, my next song should sound something like this, I think:

I only wish for a healthy liver,
I only wish for a healthy liver,
I only wish for a healthy liver,
from the bottom of my heart…

There are still a few days before Christmas. Who knows, it might work…


Also published on Medium.

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