On The Writing Process (if what I do can be called that)

Well, it is writing, of course, even if the procedural aspect of it is reduced to poking the keys on the iPhone’s keyboard (wrong ones more often than not, recently) with numb fingers (or picking more or less right keys with a stylus—while struggling to keep it from slipping out of my numb grip).

And yet the velocity of soiling the virtual paper with the magical symbols is not as important as deciding which they are and what they say. Continue reading “On The Writing Process (if what I do can be called that)”

Before I Forget

This photo was taken on the western-most observation area of the Grand Canyon. This is the spot, where I would like my ashes to be… (whatever it is they do to ashes—scattered? spilled? tossed?). To end up, eventually. At sunset, preferably—the view is nicer.

The place is not that hard to find (I think we took a shuttle bus from the main parking lot), and it is much more beautiful than on this photo—it does not do it justice (much like all 500+ Grand Canyon photos I brought from that trip).

Just saying.

The Rumors of My Resurrection Were Slightly Exaggerated

Last Monday’s upper endoscopy showed that my tumor is NOT gone, as I was led to believe by my doctor earlier.

Now, another six sessions of chemo later—although it has decreased in size (by about 30% in the esophagus and 50% in the stomach area)—it is still pretty much there. Small wonder I still cannot swallow without chewing everything but drinks to mash.

Continue reading “The Rumors of My Resurrection Were Slightly Exaggerated”

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.

Continue reading “On the Holiday Season”

Part II is Finished!

Part II is finished (first draft of it, that is), bringing the tally of words to a staggering 473 thousand. Go me.

It was a difficult one, considering the fact that I had to deal with several characters, simultaneously climbing their individual arcs. Now, since I have dealt with it, I can move on to more fun stuff, like actually hunting—a dragon.

Continue reading “Part II is Finished!”

Random Things to Think about while Waterboarding another Cockroach in the Kitchen Sink

There are a few (the order is random as well). Some, are more entertaining than others:

  • Why does Hillary dress like a cartoon character? Queen Elizabeth II does, too, but she is a queen, she is allowed. She is basically a fictional character anyway.
  • There should be a limit to the number of my own funeral parties that I have to host per week. It gets depressing after a few. Same goes for the cards. My fault, though. Should have kept my mouth shut.
  • I finally have my dream metabolism—no matter what and how much I eat, I lose a pound a day.
  • Today’s episode is brought to you by the letter C and the number 4. As in 4% survival chance (that number had been recently optimistically upgraded to 30—if I make it to the test trials—but at least I have an appointment scheduled for January next year! This is the first doctor’s appointment I am excited about).
  • If you were miserable yesterday, but today you look back at that day with a warm and fuzzy feeling, what exactly does it say about your state of mind?
  • And finally: how come that after working most of my life (with some unfortunate and not at all enjoyed unemployment gaps) I cannot afford to simply stop working and concentrate on my treatment? Although I feel quite ancient, I am apparently too young to retire with a less than ridiculous income, nor can I can expect Social Security Disability Benefits to cover me (I have started the Social Security application and see absolutely no light at the end of the mine shaft)—once I do that, my medical insurance will be over, and I will not be able to afford one on my own, while also clearly not being eligible for Medicaid or Medicare, because my wife makes too much money. Nobody cares that “too much money” is still not enough to pay for my insurance, our current apartment, food—human, cat and dog—and other necessities (like cigarettes and red wine). The system is effectively sentencing me to a painful and not-so-quick death, unless I keep on rowing. Well, I guess, it is what it is going to be.

On that note, back to the Ward (the scene split again, damn it, could not keep going without losing momentum), need to steer my main characters to the second inciting moment. Almost done with Part II!

Sighting time. Here, dragon-dragon-dragon…

A Status Update

Just saw the doc.

I was sooo hoping to go under the cleaver like, tomorrow, but apparently the hexed thing spread too wide (when did it find time?), and they have to start nuking me as soon as possible in an attempt to slow it down (I hope I will look half as handsome as the cat above, poor hairless creature).

Evidently, cutting me open would delay the aforementioned nuking and thus would be counterproductive to the whole process, unless we go for the whole-body transplant (my suggestion) which is, to put it lightly, not really a real option (doctors’s answer).

Luckily (if the word is even remotely applicable) I happened to have some magical marker* in my blood, which would allow them to nuke me 2.75 times harder and in a 2.145 times more efficient and a 1.0989 times more promising way. The very thought of that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. In the areas where it does not hurt yet.

Or perhaps not the thought, but the three happy hour cocktails, plate of wings and a fried ice cream at v{iv} Thai restaurant half a block away from the NYU Pearlmutter Cancer Center.

Highly recommended.

The cocktails are strong and the food is out of this world. Or on the way there. :-/

An awkward segue to the main purpose of this journal— let us talk about the deadline.

I have still not been given one (they have to nuke me first and keep doing that for a while to see the results), so I think I could continue going at the pace I was going so far, but just in case I might be facing a time limit in the unexpectedly near future, I should explore various avenues to take.

Finishing the First Draft by November and embark on a NaNoWriMo** experience to write the Prologue, two Interludes and Epilogue as a stand-alone piece, called The White World***, which could easily qualify for a novel length-wise, is hardly feasible.

So, I guess it is Christmas for the First Draft, and The White World interjections right after…

Decisions, distractions, decisions…
______

* I promise to learn the proper terminology soon. I do not think I have a choice.

** National Novel Writing Month. In November, when NBC anchors fight (ironically) cancer by not shaving. I will try that, but the imminent chemotherapy might make some adjustment to the plan.

*** Maybe, go for repetition instead of an alliteration—White Desert, White Sky, White Death? Sexy, no? :-/ Hm…

On Today

As much as I am reluctant to turn this journal into something it was never intended to be, I have to admit that the reality does somewhat affect my otherwise happy world of fantasy, or—as my wife disaffectionately calls it—Laloland. This morning in Laloland was a tad hectic—which would not be unusual after sleeping over the alarm clock after yesterday’s prolonged alcohol-soaked hearty discussion of how to handle my situation—and yet a tad different, because there was a distinct physical adjustment to the routine.
My breakfast—as simple as it was, just a piece of lean baked pork—decided not to stay in. Jumped out literally while I was still chewing. Bon Appetite.

As much as I enjoy logging less food into my calorie-tracking app, deleting the whole entry seems to be a tad overkill.

Anyway, back to my regular stream of uncounsiounceness: half-way through the pivotal chapter of the book—the last chapter of Part II, The Things That Matter.

There shall be more of those accidents now, I gather. It is only a little over a week since I was diagnosed with cancer.

The trick is not to loose the momentum.