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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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We’re settling in to our new temporary home in Sedona. It took a few days to get both of our computers talking to the router, but after some lengthy conflict mediation with Dell and Qwest both laptops seem to have forged a successful, if at times spotty, alliance.

And, just for the record, we don’t always write right across from each other.

The couch is always an option.

And if things get noisy, I use these:

For a couple of years now, we've been referring to these as "the addition" in our house.

They do a great job of muffling all kinds of sounds from eating a crunchy apple to talking on the phone.

I’m most productive when I’m in a quiet setting, or if I can at least block out the distractions around me. When I was teaching I’d go to school really early to do my lesson planning, and as soon as other people started arriving I’d shut my office door to block out all the noise.

When I was in high school I used to do my homework at the kitchen table. My mom says that she had to be extra quiet while she was preparing dinner. We laugh about it now, but back then I think it was kind of stressful for her. And if I wanted it quiet, why did I choose to sit in the busiest place in the whole freaking house?

Do you like or need it quiet to write? What is your ideal writing space?

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