Monday, March 29, 2010

Missing Sunday Soapbox?

I am sorry I missed the last two Sundays. Last week I was at FantaSciCon. This week, I just missed it. Bad Cheryel.

Update on my spine: I’m looking at surgery on my neck (no date as of yet). Two vertebrae have almost no disk left and bone spurs pushing on my spinal cord (the reason for the increased pain and the inability to walk). I’m scared, but also hopeful. Maybe this surgery will help, or at least keep the problems from getting worse.

Update on writing: I am almost ready to submit a lighthearted paranormal romance to Samhain. I want it to be thoroughly polished, but I’m pretty sure I can get it in before I have surgery. I hope to be working on a dark paranormal romance by the time I go into the hospital. This will give me something to work on while I recover. At least that’s the plan.

Speaking of writing and books, The Long and Short of is holding a scavenger hunt and I’m part of it. The hunt begins today and runs until April 3. Yes, it’s an Easter Egg Hunt. Yes, that’s strange for someone who doesn’t celebrate Easter, but it’s a fun game, and the prizes are fantastic! And you won’t be outdone by your three year old.

Go HERE to get all the info.
And for all of us who celebrate Pesach (Passover), have a wonderful Seder and a great time with your friends and family throughout the holiday.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Soapbox Sunday II

First, I want to thank everyone for their comments, their thoughts and prayers, and caring concern. It makes me feel better just to know there are people out there who care. I am feeling better, at least most of the time. It’s simply going to take time for me to adapt, and I’ve never been all that good at patience.
For today’s rant, I would like to talk about fear. As a writer I feel fear every time I get close to submission, or as I wait for a judgment on my work, or even as I put words on a computer screen. And I know from everything I’ve heard and read that I’m not alone. Apparently writers, and I suspect other artistic types, seem to thrive on fear. We use it to fuel our fingers as they create the next work. I think many of us want to show that ugly fear monster that, "Oh yes we can!" in spite of all the growling and stomping the beast does.
But what about the rest of the world (and artistic types when they aren’t creating)? How does fear relate to their/our lives? Well, it’s always there. We all live with fear hiding in the shadows around us. Whether it’s a traditional monster that we can’t help but feel is under the bed or in a closet, a mass murderer who might be coming in a window as we speak, or the dread of a boyfriend leaving, a husband filing for divorce, or a child getting hurt. We all feel the sting of fear.
In fact, fear is so univerisal that advertisers take advantage. What happens to your family if you don’t buy my insurance plan? Will anybody love you if your teeth are yellow? Will your arthritis be so bad you can’t take care of your child if you don’t rush to your doctor and get that latest medication? Will your husband be able to perform? Will you get the most out of life? Will you be able to handle a headache, backache, or "minor arthritis" without a particular brand of pain medication?
Seriously folks, that "call the doctor if you have a four hour erection" probably sold more Viagra than any other part of the commercial. And that really SHOULD be scary.
And then there are the politicians. Both sides of the heath care issue have used fear to push voters to where they wanted them to be. And the same is true of most of the things politicians push. They hire expensive PR firms to make sure the public is informed, but in a way that uses fear as a driving force to get the voters to do something. "If you don’t vote for me, this (insert horrible thing) will happen." Or, "If we don’t push this bill through, then (insert horrible thing) will happen." Listen next time a commercial or promo spot comes on. It can be enlightening.
Fear can be useful too. Need something to help you forget your problems? Try a scary movie or book (maybe SHADOWS OF EVIL?) Fear and adrenaline grabs you and pulls you out of the world briefly. Afterward you feel energized, and the laundry mound doesn’t look so bad anymore. Not compared with the Big Slime Monster.
Take care and have a great rest of the weekend!
Writing update:
Deep editing chapter one of SOUTHERN GIRLS (light paranormal romance) manuscript.
Began first draft of major revision BLOOD (dark paranormal romance) manuscript.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Soapbox Sunday

My plan was to use Sunday posts to get on my soapbox and rant on some topic I felt strongly about, but my muse had other plans (what do you expect from a dragon!). Instead, I’m going to fill you in on the latest curve thrown at me along my life’s never boring road.

Most of you probably know I’m disabled. I have, among other problems, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (connective tissue disorder) and degenerative disk disease (spinal degeneration likely caused and/or worsened by the EDS). I’ve had problems walking before, but thankfully it was temporary. It’s been about seven years since I’ve had more than a few hours that I needed a wheelchair. That all changed on January 27. I had an MRI of my spine, got up and started walking down the hall, and I suddenly couldn’t walk anymore. I almost hit the floor, and have since been dependent on a wheelchair for mobility.

Wednesday will be six weeks that I’ve been in this chair. At first I wasn’t all that concerned. I figured it was a temporary glitch. But as the weeks wore on, and I noticed more neurological symptoms than I’ve had before. Eventually, I began to feel the effect of the sudden loss of independence. I was shocked by the rush of emotions. After all, I’d been in a wheelchair before. My husband uses a wheelchair. A big hunk of our friends use wheelchairs. What was the big deal? Well, beyond the obvious, my upper body isn’t strong and no matter what I do there won’t be a huge improvement. The result is that I need help from other people to do much more than the basics of bathing, dressing, etc. Not a good place for someone whose life is built on the foundation of independence.

I honestly felt guilty for being depressed, anxious, and scared over this change in my life. After all, I didn’t know if it was even going to be permanent. It finally took three separate people telling me that obviously I was going to grieve over the loss of mobility. It was natural, normal.

"Normal" is not a word I like very much, actually. After all, what is normal really? But in this case I’m defining it to mean that any independent, intelligent woman would experience an emotional rollercoaster in this situation. I’m finally coming to terms with needing help on a daily basis, but I also feel like crying at odd moments with no real provocation.

Please don’t feel sorry for me. Give me the dignity of treating me like you always have. I haven’t changed because my legs aren’t working well anymore. As I said earlier, I actually had started this blog with another topic in mind. But it feels good to open up about this development and the feelings my loss of independence has provoked.

My plan is to blog on Sundays about different topics. Many of them will probably involve disability. I’ll try to be interesting, and I’ll try to be informative. I’ll even try to be funny, at least some of the time.

Now, go and enjoy what’s left of your weekend.

Take care!!