Month: November 2012

30 Days and 30 Nights

late night writing

late night writing (Photo credit: professor megan)

of literary abandon.  So says the wisdom of NaNoWriMo.  Sounds like an orgy with pens and laptops.

No, I’m not participating, never have.  I think about it, most years.  Usually on October 30th, and again on November 7th or so.  Then I do the math–50,000 words by midnight November 30th divided by how many days? feel nauseous, and shelve the thought for the following year.

I don’t know the whole story behind the history of NaNoWriMo other than it’s grown exponentially and started by a small group out in California, but this I know–whoever conceived this brain child cannot possibly have been responsible for cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

I would like to do it one year, though not in November. I think February sounds right. It’s a boring month, no major holidays, guaranteed to be foul outside here in NY, making me want to hide inside my laptop, perfect.  Sure it’s a short month, but what the hell. 28 days and 28 nights of literary abandon sounds so much more manageable anyway.  I’m pretty sure the NYC Dept of Ed is going to take away the February break this year since the kids were off all of last week, so I’ll get to incorporate all the fun of getting Flower Child to and from school each day. I’ll even give it a cute name. PerNoWriFeb.  Personal Novel Writing February. Catchy, isn’t it?

I’ve got the perfect manuscript to work on, the romance in progress. I think romance lends itself to this type of writing frenzy. Keep the momentum building, move it forward, get the hero and heroine to the happily ever after before anyone starts to sag. Add in the whole Valentine’s Day kitsch and both reader and writer hearts can remain intact. Please don’t tell me you’re supposed to start fresh, a new manuscript.

Depiction of Queen Scheherazade telling her st...

Depiction of Queen Scheherazade telling her stories to King Shahryar in The Arabian Nights. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I get to be king in Fringeland, and queen of PerNoWriFeb so I’m making the rules.

None of this will come to pass. By the time my days are free enough to put this much time and focus on writing, my fingers will be too arthritic to tap on the keyboard. But I think about it. The same way I think about a beach house, a second bathroom, and a space of my own. And a dishwasher. And a washer and dryer. Oh wait. I’m getting off track aren’t I? Especially in this month of November, when I’m supposed to be thinking of something I’m grateful for each day. When did that start, anyway?

For personal space there’s no answer other than retreating into my mind.  I’m pretty good at that. Mebbe too good, it could put me over the border of quirky and into the land of looney. Second bathroom? Definitely no answer to that one, unless I develop a fondness for chamber pots. Beach house? That’s what my nano tank is for.  Limping along, having a little problem holding my calcium and alk levels steady at the moment, the front panel is in desperate need of a good cleaning, but still, it’s alive and mine.

Mrs Fringe is not Mary Sunshine. Seeing so many who have lost so much from Hurricane Sandy doesn’t make me happy with life as it is, but I do feel grateful that me and mine are safe and warm, and I excel at putting blinders on and chugging along. So maybe 1785.71 words per day won’t be possible in PerNoWriFeb, but I can shoot for working on the manuscript every single day that month.

Pom Pom Crab, my favorite critter in the tank. She’s survived several disasters, and every time I think she must be dead, haven’t spotted her in weeks, she pops up again, shaking her pom poms at every imagined threat and proving that some creatures are much tougher than they appear to be.


Merry Epilepsy!

Mercury EEG

Mercury EEG (Photo credit: Max ☢)

It’s always somebody’s awareness day, week, or month, right?  November is Epilepsy Awareness month.  If you’ve noticed purple ribbons, or purple in general, showing up in icons on Facebook over the past few days, that’s why.

Seizures and epilepsy are part of my little corner of Fringeland. I believe awareness is particularly important to epilepsy, and people with epilepsy, because there’s such a long history of stigma attached, so much misinformation.  There are those who still believe it’s the mark of Satan. Hell, years ago, when Flower Child was diagnosed, I received phone calls from well intentioned relatives telling me if I would just pray harder….The fact is, seizures are a misfiring in the brain, and how much of the brain gets involved and where determines the presentation of the seizure; in other words, what you see.  Anyone can have a seizure. A diagnosis of epilepsy is usually made when there are two or more unprovoked seizures.

To give a short but clear idea, I’ll just say Flower Child had a favorite EEG technician long before she had a favorite teacher.

Flower Child doesn’t quite “get” the concept behind awareness, but she knows she’s got a great reason to wear purple every day, and has noticed all the purple icons popping up when looking over my shoulder.  Being an excellent advocate, she’s letting everyone know.  Sort of.  In her mind, it’s kind of like letting people know it’s her birthday, or wishing people a Merry Christmas.  She also likes to use weighty words, though their definitions get confused in her mind.

Their Purple Moment

Their Purple Moment (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So you know she makes sure to tell everyone on the elevator, and in the store (before fatigue brought her down for the day and she wasn’t telling anyone anything), “It’s Epilepsy Appreciation Month! You should wear purple!”


Lots of elderly people in my building, losing their hearing, they all assume they’re hearing her incorrectly if they did in fact hear her words clearly. One wished her a happy birthday. Several others look at me to “translate.” I do, and they do a double take, “Oh, well, umm, thanks for telling me.”

The reality is, my world is pretty small. Most of it is quite tedious.  If it wasn’t, I might not feel such a drive to write fiction, and create imaginary worlds.  And yet, somehow every day is an adventure.

I’ll leave you with just a few facts:

-Never ever put anything in the mouth of someone having a seizure, you risk injury to yourself and to them.

-Epilepsy is a spectrum of neurological disorders.

-70% of people with epilepsy are well controlled by medications. That means 30% aren’t.

-About 50,000 people die in the US each year from epilepsy. Yes, epilepsy. That’s more than breast cancer, more than skin cancer, more than drunk driving accidents.

-A seizure isn’t always obvious to a casual observer. Tonic clonics, or what used to be called “grand mals” are only one type of seizure.

Epilepsy Awareness Ribbon

Epilepsy Awareness Ribbon (Photo credit: Cynr)