Thursday, March 31, 2005

Hear that? That's my heart.

Some people hide their hearts in an enchanted ivory box. They bury it in a glacier and set ice dragons to guard it. Even then they don't think it's well protected.

Some people wear their hearts on their sleeve. They dance through life and are surprised at how often someone steals their heart.

Then there is me. I'm a very strange cross between the two. I fall in with writing bickity bam, just like that but at the same time I am as scornful of most writing as any princess looking at the suitors who are waiting to climb the glass mountain to win her hand.

Chris and I were playing the slush game the other night. I read the beginning to entries in a writing contest out loud until he said to stop. We stopped at the first sentence with some stories. Most of them we quit by paragraph five.

We only got to the end of one and that's because I skipped the beginning of the story. I found what I thought was the real beginning and we went from there.

I'm having a hard time reviewing scripts and stories at Zoe because I just don't have the patience to read most of them. Maybe it's the thought of that possible brain surgery waiting for me down the road. Maybe life really is too short to read stuff that doesn't appeal to me.

But oh you kid, when I find something I like I fall in love all over again. The stars shine brighter, the air smells newer and that sound in my ears? It really could be the sound of my heart after all and not the sound of my brainstem stretching.

Thank you to Teresa Nielsen Hayden of Making Light who linked to ftrain. I'm happily reading her archives in my copious spare time. She helps keep me freaking out and she doesn't even know me. Now that is cool.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Disorientation abounds

I was up until four or five this morning. It's getting harder and harder for me to sleep. I can only think I have gotten more sensitive to events in the world because ever since Fiddler's Green in November I am always sad about something going on. It started with the invasion of Fallujah during the weekend of Fiddler's Green. Of course once you start crying over Iraq it's hard to stop. Then the tsunami made me cry for months. This week we have Terri Schiavo and Jeff Weise to rebreak my heart. The end result is that sleep is very hard to get.

I woke up around 11 when Cam called. I logged into Pogo to earn my badge of the week. This is a deal where Club Pogo members play certain games and win cute (or ugly) little icons to put next to their names. They might sound goofy but loads of people will play games they hate to earn them and fill up their badge books.

This week one of the games is chess. Now remember I have trouble saying the right words for things. You will often hear me say "and when I say cheese I mean the library books." I think it's a PTC thing because a lot of other people from my support group have it also but it could be post meningitis. Anyway, I do it and we all try and work around it. Hopefully there will never be a fire and I yell "Pollywogs!" or something.

I opened up the chess game and was dumped into one in progress. I was so confused I felt like I was dreaming. I couldn't remember any of the pieces from the last time I played. I remembered them from when I was a kid, I knew a rook was a rook and all but I stared at the screen, trying to automatically play because the timer is ticking down, trying to figure out how I played all those games a few months ago and only moved the pawns. That's what I was remembering, a game where I moved something with the equivalent ability of a pawn, but wait a moment, wasn't it a different shape? Yes my pieces had been round and flat, crap I was thinking of checkers!

The weekly challenges are announced on Wednesday. For three days every time I imagined playing these games I had been thinking of checkers but reading the word chess. Boy did I feel stupid.

Then I logged into Blogger and saw this news item:

Blogger News

Blogger's Day Flowers? Chocolates? Brunch? Those are all acceptable ways of honoring mom but we thought we'd do something different. An all-new release of Blogger on Mother's day. It's not a traditional gift, but we made it ourselves so we thought that might count for something. Please bear with us this Sunday at 3PM PST for a couple hours of scheduled downtime while we work on launching all the additional features and a whole new look for Blogger.
– Biz [5/7/2004] #

And I got even more confused. Mother's Day this weekend? But Easter is this weekend. Maybe they moved Mother's Day? But no, Hallmark would never stand for that because they would lose card sales.

Finally I noticed that the news is all from 2004. It's hard enough having a waterlogged brain and fighting to be as smart as I used to be. It would be nice if I didn't encounter little rifts in the space time continuum to further confuse me. Here's hoping for a sensible rest of the day.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

In which I become angry with a writer for the Washington Post

I just sent this letter to the author of a piece called PSP: A Real-Life Pause Button

Dear Robert,

I read the first page and a half of your item called PSP: A Real-Life... and gave up. I would have stopped at your snark that read:

The PSP also caters to hardcore losers of the adult variety
if it were not for the fact that I was trying to figure out why you would say something so nasty.

How is your story better because you were cruel?

If I were to classify a group of people as losers I would choose the ones who don't care about anything. The apathetic ones who can't be bothered to think, feel, or vote. To mock someone because they have a passion that you don't share, to mock them to gazillions of people, to mock the very people who are attracted to your title is baffling to me.

I got the impression that these gamers should just step away from the technology and pick up a good book. We are strong readers in my family, I read at least a book a day, my kids read quite a lot, my middle son read the Hitchhiker's Guide series before he started first grade, I am a writer but that doesn't mean we don't play video games. We do. We play a lot of them and we play X-Box Live so my kids can play with friends who live in other states.

I bet quite a few of the gamers you mock are big in the geek/techie/skiffy communities and I bet they do quite a bit of reading both on and offline. I utterly fail to see why you want to alienate them and make them feel rotten for their excitement and happiness.

Maybe you explain all this in the end of your piece but frankly I will never know because my dismay at your callousness and harshness was too strong for me to finish reading.


Georgiana Lee

Edited to add

Robert wrote back to me and said that he saw my point and eventually we ended up talking about books. Funny how most of my correspondence does that.

When I answered his first email to me I got a little more insight into why I was so upset by the loser designation and I told him:

It was kind of you respond so nicely to my email. I suspect I am being an "oversensitive chick", as a friend of mine calls me, right now when I see the word loser. I've seen quite a lot of talk about how the shooter in Minnesota at the school was a big loser. I think we have enough disenfranchised people who don't feel validated and I think it's important to help people feel less like losers. But that's just me and I'm sure if I had read your story two weeks ago I would have just rolled my eyes and moved on.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

A little writing to while the day away

After a little consultation with Uncle Jim I decided that I have been dilly dallying (and perhaps even shilly shallying) around long enough and it's time to do a little work on Bare Minimum, the novel I started for NaNoWriMo 2004. I wrote about 500 words which is not all that much but given the fact that every single time I think about the neurosurgery consult I have scheduled for Monday I want to faint perhaps it is really quite a lot of words.

I was really pleased when I reread what I wrote last November. It's funny and most of it works for me especially at a first draft level.

Sadly I have forgotten a lot of the plot but oh well we will see what develops. I may have to turn into an outline sort of girl until I get this memory thing under control. (In other words for the rest of my life I should really write stuff down because if I am not better after two years why will I be better in twenty?) Adjustments must be made I suppose.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Cat vacuuming, cat waxing, cat polishing, cat juggling

I had a terrible time getting my column done. Here it is 1:30 am and I have to get up in the morning, format the entire newsletter and get it out the door.

I kept getting distracted by everything. Mostly thoughts of this appointment I have on Monday I guess. I finally took a break at midnight and read a hundred pages of The Gift Shop by Charlotte Armstrong and then when I came back I wrote another three hundred words and called it good.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Entering a writing contest

I entered the beginning of Angels in Dark Suits to an American Idol contest at Absolute Write.
I had the queerest dream last night. I dreamt I was having a meeting with an agent who had several copies of different books I had written and wanted to know more about them and was I interested in changing agents and I had no memory of having written the books. I kept thinking she had confused me with my mother, not that my mom published a series of mysteries or anything.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

A really great idea for those of us with PTC aka BIH aka IIH

I was talking to a friend the other day about whether or not I should get the shunt surgery. He thinks its a terrible idea. He thinks I am going to end up simple. I think the gist of his and Cullen's feelings are that so long as my symptoms are physical then I should avoid surgery because the essential me is unchanged. My personality and intelligence are what are important not the fact that I throw up seven times a day. That is of course my own interpretation.

My friend pointed out that we only use ten percent of our brains so if I could just find the right ten percent and remove the other ninety percent I should be fine.

This is such an excellent point. The real problem with PTC is not too much spinal fluid, it's that old law that you can't have two things in one place. So if you remove most of the brain you have lots of room for the fluid, right?

The big problem of course is removing the useless bits. Proper mapping of the brain is essential. I'm thinking all I need are Mapquest, an ice cream scoop and a way to get through my skull and I am all set.