Archive for November, 2007

Surfing on the clock? Here – ease your guilt

Posted in this-n-that, Uncategorized on November 29, 2007 by bosquechica

free rice bannerBuild your vocabulary and end world hunger simultaneously at Free Rice. For every correct answer to their bottomless vocabulary quiz, they will donate (via their advertisers) 20 grains of rice. The rice is distributed by the United Nations World Food Program.

Great words, good cause. Kinda sorta almost justifies playing online while you’re at work. At least, you can tell yourself it does. I donated 1000 grains earlier today, and I feel better about myself already.

 

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My own pillow

Posted in family, life-n-death with tags , , , on November 26, 2007 by bosquechica

I got home this weekend and slept 14 hours. My mother has been from critical care to oncology to inpatient rehab and back to oncology again (this time with pneumonia), all in less than two weeks. Went from 100% independence (home, finances, pets, shopping, cleaning – everything) to almost nothing – she can’t walk, write, stand, sit without help, swallow safely, talk clearly. She’s still cognitively on-board, which is just unbearable, I think.

I’m reminded of my grandmother’s death – she had a stroke during Jeopardy and died on the spot. She was almost 90 and living at home with my granddad — they were married for 70 years. He said she turned to him, said his name (Paul), held out her hand and died. All in the blink of an eye — he always described the transition from life to death as taking place in the blink of an eye — moving from a temporal state to one in which time no longer exists. He and Laurie had a lot of good wine-swilling late night jaws about the nature of life.

Anyway, there will be more to do for mom and the brother, and sleeping with my honey in our bed with my own pillow is a welcome break. I baked, watered the plants, praised the dogs, did some laundry, played scrabble with Laurie (I was a bad sport when she kicked my ass — sorry honey! — sooooo frazzled), and did my billing. All regular stuff, fortifying to have some usual routines. I sense that I will need to regroup again — hell, what is the meaning of life? Of work? Of love? Of family?

The sandhill cranes just flew past my window, coming down low on their way to the fields next door. Maybe they know.

2 a.m. again

Posted in family, life-n-death with tags , , on November 19, 2007 by bosquechica

Full on stroke, leukemia, and a host of other issues. It’s becoming less likely that she’ll be going home again, although there is still more to talk about. The schnauzers are worried, Steve and I are just starting to rally the family, and Laurie is at home looking after everything else.  

I’ve been thinking about how we become (and continue to become) who we are, about choices and chance. About certain people, ideas, books and experiences that have shaped this life.  Floating thoughts: integrity – consistency between thought, action and belief; choice points – moments when  conscious awareness and response helps guide our path; the importance of witnessing the joys and sorrows of self and others; the need to dream and rest, to sing and dance, to worry and grieve. I am reminded of my jungian analysts in Assimilate/Appropriate, who took emotional possession of their new country through full engagement with the physical aspects of it. Which reminds me of an actual jungian analyst I worked with in California many years ago, who taught me how to watch and feel my dreams, and how one day in therapy I screamed like an animal while reliving the pain and anger of being a child with cancer. And how hard it is to die, and how much self-reflection means to me and how confusing it is (to me) that it can’t possibly mean much to someone who avoids it. And about time and how it alternates between linear and circular.

My mother was very insistent yesterday that Steve and I go home and watch Groundhog Day, which is a movie she’s watched many many times, and it gave me a crazy infinity mirror meta-feeling about repetition and how it helps create a feeling of safety in the world. Poor mom.

In graduate school my mentor was a very bright man who’d done a master’s thesis on locus of control and how it informs the perception and choices of the individual. Internal locus being a psychological style in which the individual believes strongly in self-determination; external being a stronger belief in authority and a need for known rules. Of course all of us shuttling along a continuum even within the context of our own lives.

Which brings me to a precarious balance, here filtered through the imagery of the tarot (sorry, I truly am not a linear thinker) and an emotional trinity: internal forces (the empress – I make these choices because I have the knowledge and power to make them); external forces (the heirophant – my choices are determined through the guidance of the powerful other); and chance (the fool – the unknown is just that, and I step out over the cliff into whatever will come next) that we all live with.

And now it is 4 a.m. and time to say goodnight, at least for an hour or two.

2 a.m.

Posted in family, life-n-death, pets, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 15, 2007 by bosquechica

It’s 2 a.m. I am not good at sleeping, generally. My rule around this is don’t get online in the middle of the night!

I’m going to see my mother tomorrow (later today). She went to the emergency room yesterday with what she thought was a TIA (transient ischemic attack, mini-stroke), but is apparently some kind of leukemia. She’ll be frantic about the schnauzers.

My brother Steve is there — he lives next door to her and has been her primary caregiver and companion for several years now. We’ve been trying to get both of them to move out here so we can help, but that has stalled for various reasons. Steve says he feels unreal, like he’s hovering about six inches above his own body. Common feeling during medical stress.

I’ve been information mining — what kind of leukemia? course of treatment? prognosis? — but in the absence of more specific medical information I’m just spinning my wheels.

I’m going back to bed. The rules still more or less apply.

Here’s a link

Posted in nanowrimo, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , on November 11, 2007 by bosquechica

To the novel-in-progress.

Crazy. 

Mayhem, Texas.

Nanowrimo and how it’s working so far

Posted in nanowrimo, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , on November 9, 2007 by bosquechica

I’m writing on a word document, researching on-line, pasting the bits and pieces into Nanowrimo, and trying not to worry about the process too much. Here and there my instinct is to identify a section as the beginning of a chapter, and I’m assuming things will change.

My characters do seem to have their own thoughts and pasts. My job seems to be to provide enough information for them to tell their own stories. Like the fascination with storms that goes back to their (Zola and Billy) adolescence, and how some people need to run away and others need to stay. 

I have a certain amount of fear of my own ignorance, also of creating a fictional town in a real geographical location. So I’m blending what I know with what I don’t, to try and get a composite.

I haven’t figured out how or if non-participants can get in to view, but when I update the story this weekend, I’ll take another crack at that.

Approaching

Posted in writing with tags , , , , on November 6, 2007 by bosquechica

I am working on my novel (Mayhem, Tx) at Nanowrimo. Right now I am researching historical descriptions of storms approaching. I have 1400 words so far; a little behind. I’m afraid of my main character. Or I’m not sure that he is the main character. Probably should blast through that. They are all dancing on sticks in my head, like a little puppet show. More like Punch and Judy than characters in a coherent story. But the outline is there. Writing is an act of faith, que no?