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Archive for December, 2010

Celebrate Life

 

The route into the new year looks rocky, but inviting.

Hey my friends, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday in whatever way or ways you celebrate life on this amazing place called Earth.

Happy Solstice, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah.

Thanks for being in my writer-life. Each and everyone one of you has made this past year all the richer with your thoughtful and thought provoking comments, emails, tweets, critiques…the list goes on.

I’ll be around, but won’t be posting here until shortly after the new year. Have a wonderful two weeks.

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It’s been about 12 hours since the scorpion delivered its venom to the tip of my pinky finger.

At first I think a stray cactus spine has somehow lodged itself into the carpet by the foot of the bed where I was reaching my hand. But when the tip of my finger just keeps buzzing with pain, and then the buzz and tingling starts traveling down my finger into my hand and toward my elbow, I start considering other options.

I carefully lift the frilly decorative sheet that hangs to floor at the edge of the bed. And there, partially visible in a crevice between the mattress and box-spring, is a tan scorpion.

I’m no stranger to things that bite and sting and know that all scorpion venom is not created equal.

Am I a little freaked out? Hell yes!

I want that scorpion in a container to identify it so I’ll know if I’m just going to experience some major discomfort or something worse that requires medical attention.

I position a yogurt container where I anticipate the scorpion will fall when I harass it with the end of a broomstick. (Side note: In the midst of all this my wife and I are both googling “scorpion bite” on our laptops and finding some gruesome stuff.)

The scorpion misses the container, skitters under the bed, and I attempt to pummel it with the broomstick figuring a dead scorpion is much preferable to a live one. But even peering with a flashlight after my attack, I’m not sure if I got it.

I call the people we’re renting from. Luckily they live right next door and turn out to be scorpion experts. They come over with a black light (that’s the best way to find scorpions since they glow), and shine it under the bed, and yes, we find some scorpion parts, but we’re not sure if they’re from the scorpion.

They offer us the spare bedroom in their house but we decide to stay at our place. We strip the bed, do a thorough search and find nothing.

In the meantime, the pain and numbness has traveled up my arm to the base of my shoulder, but I’m not experiencing any of the really bad symptoms, i.e. foaming at the mouth, shortness of breath, profuse sweating, so I’m pretty sure all I’m going to have is a local reaction.

When I wake up the morning, the numbness and buzzing has retreated to my pinky finger. It’s hard to type because I can’t feel my finger when it presses on the keys, but supposedly it’ll be much better in another 24 hours. We’ll just have to wait and see.

So, if you’ve got a character in your novel that experiences a scorpion sting I’m your go-to guy for information.

This scorpion incident ranks second worse in my continuum of sting experiences. Sometime I’ll have to tell you about number one.

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Here’s a few shots from above and below a natural bridge we hiked to yesterday.

And no, I didn’t walk across it.

Did I think about it? Yeah, but not in a serious way. More in an imaginary way.

It’s pretty much a bridge to nowhere of the best possible kind.

Devil's Bridge from above.

 

Devil's Bridge from below.

You can probably see why I didn’t walk across it.

Have a great weekend!

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I’m about halfway through rewriting my newest WIP. One of the things I’m doing is changing from past to present tense. It’s a tedious job but so far, I’m liking the results.

My reasons for making the change:

1.  While writing the first draft, I kept breaking into present tense.

2.  My WIP is a survival story and I was looking for more of a sense of immediacy than I was feeling with the first draft.

3.  I’ve never written a novel in present tense and thought it’d be a good learning experience.

When I started my rewrite I had some major resistance to changing tenses because it looked like a huge job and I wasn’t sure it’d be worth the time. With writing, and teaching too for that matter, I’ve found that sometimes the things I feel resistance to are the very things I need to be working on.

Have you pushed through any resistance lately? How did it go?

What factors help you to determine the right tense for your novel? Have you ever rewritten a novel in a different tense? How did it turn out for you?

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