Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Sidetracked Again!

But I still did pretty close to 500 words. I didn't count, but after a while, you sort of know.

The sidetracking resulted from on of those cc-all, reply-all emails that pretty much ruin your day. As a rule, I refrain from getting involved, and actually, I did pretty well with this one.

The subject of said chain is my 66-year-old brother, Steve, who, besides being my favorite sibling because he is funny, warm, non-judgmental and loving, is mentally retarded and in pretty poor health. He recently moved to an assisted living facility.

Right after Christmas, he caught Clostridium Difficile, often called C-Diff, a very serious bacteriological affliction you can find out about here. It's serious, very contagious and can be difficult to treat and cure. My sister and nephew were both looking in on him, and they both caught it. Steve is in a quarantined section of the hospital used for infectious diseases.

Treatment for these things is really unpleasant, with tubes stuck in all orifices, catheters, intravenous feeding, & c. The attending doctor seems to have also found a bowel obstruction and, possibly, a hernia.

The doctors and nurses tell Steve this, along with the usual disclaimers and appositives about surgery and what not, the problem being that all he hears is "surgery" and gets scared. He does not have the mental capacity to sort these things out.

Which resulted in a 29-letter chain of cc-all, reply-all emails to relatives, some offering ideas, others giving information to the cc'd, all of them creating a drama with no beginning, middle or end. Word to the wise: If you know someone who may get really sick, make sure that person fills out and signs a health care directive.

I won't get into the drama, but suffice it to say that it directly confronted my resolve to write the 500 words to my novel. I won, but I really wanted to do 1,500 words today, so even though I succeeded, I feel I failed.

I know I promised to tell about what's going on with the book thing. What happened is that about six months ago, maybe more, a song entered my mind from nowhere, complete with words and music. Not all of it, but enough that I could sing the song in my mind much the same way as a familiar song will stay in your mind when you hear it on the radio first thing in the morning.

As you might imagine, this was weird. I can play guitar a little, and I was force-fed piano lessons as a wee lad, but I can't claim to be musical. No way. This happens to great ones, but not to me.

But it happened. So, what the novel is sort of about, I guess, has to do with what this means. What is desire. What is memory, both those had and those that might have been. It's an exploration.

More later. Enough for tonight. 



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