Category Archives: fellowship

My Not So fiery Thursday

Picture it: Sicily I mean Tucson, a beautiful day in mid April, a 1950’s era home with doors and windows flung wide, a breeze full of deliciously fresh spring air dancing from door to door and door to window.

It was about 12:30pm on Thursday and I was contemplating making my lunch while doing something on the laptop, probably reading Twitter,while Jayden snuggled beside me on the couch. All was quiet and lovely and I was in a wonderful mood after a surprise from iTunes that morning.

After preordering the new Josh groban album, Stages, I was confused to hear the tritone chime alerting me to new downloads. Since the album isn’t out until the twenty-eighth I wasn’t expecting a download. Was it because I preordered the deluxe version? I knew some of the songs were out in the wild since I’d read tweets from people commenting on them. I have avoided reading the song list or listening to any of the new ones, wanting to experience the album song by song, sight unseen.

Curious, I searched my library for Stages and had songs! What was this magic? I didn’t check how many, wondering which songs they would be, anticipation building as I grabbed my bluetooth speaker and settled in to listen.

I had four new Josh Groban songs! four! Is it April 28 yet? April has been an awesome month for books and music, I must say.

So a few hours later as I contemplated making my turkey and radish sandwich before my Thursday call, relaxed back on the couch with my laptop, it took me a few seconds to understand the sudden horrible blaring screeching noise, Jayden bounding off the couch and running, cats running, everyone running and the blaring, was it coming from outside? No. In the house? yes. Do I smell smoke? No. Jayden was leaping around, nails clicking on the tile floor, if the screeching was hurting me it must be killing him.

Follow the sound, it was bouncing off tile and walls, bedroom? windows open in there, the only windows with screens. Neighbor burning weeds again? blaring. I can’t hear myself think. I can’t see. I can’t hear, anything but the blaring. Is something on fire? I don’t smell smoke. Are we ok? I don’t smell smoke. Bedroom, it would be up near the ceiling. run my hands along the rough brick of what used to be the outside of the house. I mutter the word help. A neighbor will hear the blaring and come to help. I can’t reach it. Run out of the bedroom, close the door.

Hurry away from the sound. Pull my phone from my pocket. B might be taking a lunch break. He has working eyes. He can come make the sound stop.

Ding ding: Call B.

Siri: Calling B.

ring ring. Ring ring. ring ring. voicemail.

Hi, um everything is fine and nothing is on fire but the fire alarm thing is going and I can’t stop it but you didn’t answer, think I’ll call the fire department just in case.

Ding ding: Call 911.

Siri: calling emergency in five seconds.

Blaring fire alarm. Head pounding. Nervous giggles threatening.

Silicon Sally: What is your emergency?

Silicone Sally? Seriously?

Um, fire alarm is going off.

Dispatcher, a real woman.

Your fire alarm is going off?

Yes and I’m blind. I don’t smell smoke.

Her voice takes on an edge. You’re blind? Ok sending a truck right now. What is your address?

I tell her, beginning to spell the street name and she interrupts.

I’ve got the spelling. Go outside and wait for the truck ok?

Ok. We hang up.

I freeze in the living room. I usually put timmy in a room when I go outside so he won’t escape. No time. No time to find timmy. He freaked out with the other animals anyway and is probably hiding. Go to back door, grab Jayden’s leash , go to front door, put leash on, step right outside the door, stop.

Wait. In school we always had to walk away from the building. Jayden’s harness is right inside the door. Step back in, grab his harness, step out, put it on, direct him to the curb.

The distant siren growing closer and then the sound of a heavy engine turning the corner. I waved, feeling so happy to hear them so fast. Even though I knew nothing was burning, I was running on pure adrenaline, and that blaring, so loud, hurting my ears…I had known what it was like to lose that all important sense, at least in a way.

the men stomped towards me and cheerfully said hello and I followed one back to the house. Jayden stopped at the door and a fireman behind me said the door was closed.

“I thought he went in ahead of me.”

“He did, he left you in the dust,” a fireman said with a chuckle. We all tromped into the house and the blaring suddenly stopped.

“Did you have anything on the stove?”

“No.”

“Did you have a candle burning in the bedroom?”

“No.”

“We could smell something sweet in there,” he prompted.

“Oh well I have a Plug-In in there.”

They went on to tell me the fire alarms were all rather old. I said I would call the landlord. the first fireman said he left the detecter on the dresser next to the fan. I mentioned the neighbor burning grass and I could hear the eye roll in the first guy’s voice.

“He shouldn’t be doing that.”

I was so wishing he were, so he would get caught at no fault of mine. It was the smoke alarm’s fault.

The men left and I sent a thank you behind them.

Firemen. Even without vision I could tell they were hot. I was suddenly aware of the fact that I was wearing no braw under a t-shirt and men’s pajama bottoms. At least my hair was freshly cut!

B arrived five minutes after the men left and it was good he did because the smoke detector started chirping. We walked around the house thinking it must be one of the other ones but no, it was the same one. The fireman had pulled it off the wall and stopped the screeching but it still had its battery, which B promptly popped out. I left a message for the landlord, b went back to work, and I had my Thursday chat.

Not to worry, if I had smelled smoke, B would not have been my first call. It was a good learning experience. I will get another leash to keep by the front door and will grab Jayden’s harness in the event of an emergency so we can walk to the curb just like I learned in elementary school. The day was interesting, to say the least. And one word: firemen.

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Filed under apple Inc, cats, fellowship, gratitude, Jayden, music, Silicone Sally, Timmy, twitter me this, working dog

March’s Audio books

*Eleven books this month*

I did not keep track of books very well this month beyond keeping a list. I must remember next month that unless I want hours of work at the end of April I must write as I go.

I’m pretty much calling the month of March a wash anyway since tons of medical appointments got me out of my good writing habits. How easy it is to have plans derail. since I’m on that MS drug Gilenya, I had to have several medical appointments plus it was time for my yearly check-up with my doc as well as Jayden’s health and wellness visit. My stupid blood came back not happy (thyroid and anemia) and Jayden is having pain in his neck. His pain has been the worst part of this month though it’s getting under control. The vet checked his blood and he’s not anemic like I am. We’re still waiting on the result of the valley fever test the vet ran. His pain could just be a pulled muscle for all we know and hope.

I’m up to nearly forty-five thousand words on the memoir. Last month’s post tells me I was at twenty-five thousand so I made some progress even with the stress of this month. I wrote a little fiction last week for something different and I submitted an essay on my life with MS after a friend on Twitter alerted me to a call for submissions but I never heard anything on it.

Anyway, on with Marche’s books. Oh, this time last year I was in St. Pete. hard to believe it’s been a year since #RoToTrop. Speaking of baseball, B and I went to Phoenix a few weeks ago for a spring training game between the Cubs and Brewers. Two of his co-workers met us there along with one of the co-workers seven year-old son for his first ever baseball game. Within five minutes of sitting down, the seven year-old got a foul ball a spectator caught and gave to him. How freaking cool is that? Oh, the kid also brought me a randy Johnson baseball card which was doubly cool since he’s one of two baseball players I can remember from my sighted days. Any guesses as to the other? Ok, now really on to March’s books.

34. “The Stranger” by Harlan Coben – narrated by George Newbern

finished March 30

Classic Coben, to be sure. However, I think this audio book proves that a narrator can really give a book that final push to greatness. I’m so used to Coben books being narrated by Scott Brick that I was truly disappointed this one had a different narrator. Newbern wasn’t terrible by any means but c’mon, you can’t compare anyone to Scott Brick.

Harlan Coben books have a wonderful sarcastic style perfect for Scott Brick. He drops the lines so flawlessly as to be constantly laugh-out-loud funny. I chuckled a few times while listening to ‘Stranger’ but I didn’t get the hours of enjoyment I’ve gotten with past Brick narrated Coben books. I found the book dragging for quite awhile until the mystery began to unravel and then I couldn’t stop. This book packed a gut punch I certainly was not expecting. Good book but not one of his best. I honestly don’t think i would have said that if Scott Brick had narrated.

33. “Without Fail” (Jack Reacher book 6) by Lee Child – narrated by Dick Hill

Finished March 28

I was reading “Gulliver’s Travels”, trying hard to get through it, when I just gave up one night and frantically began scrolling through books to find something I could get lost in when I scrolled to this one and thought, Jack Reacher to the rescue! Oh wow I just looked up the series to find which number book this was and I have the next book too! I do not remember starting to collect Jack Reacher books but that makes me happy haha. Man, it’s going to be hard to finish the American history book I’m reading knowing I have another jack Reacher…

Reacher books are just plain fun reads. Mystery, action, romance, dead-pan comedy, the whole nine yards. I get a kick out of an American series being written by a Brit. It works, that’s for sure. This one was just as good as all the others, if I’m remembering right. I read a lot. Oh hi there, Captain Obvious.

32. “gulliver’s Travels” by Jonathan Swift – narrated by David thorn

Gave up halfway through on March 24

This had been a daily deal that grabbed my attention and based on the publisher’s summary and reviews I picked it up. I found it so incredibly boring though. Ok yeah fantastical stories of his travels, first he’s a giant, then he’s tiny and by the time we got to the third story I just wanted a nice concrete story with constant characters with back stories and a beginning, middle, and end. This book reminded me of “A Hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy” which I enjoyed though still had the same sense of ok yada yada let’s move on. I just couldn’t finish this book and that is really rare for me because I hate abandoning a book.

31. “Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials that Shape our Man-Made World” by Mark Miodownik – narrated by Michael Page

finished March 22

So, if I ever get the opportunity to hold aerogel, it’ll be one of the most fascinating days of my life. Yeah because commoners like me often get to hold a piece of awesome material that looks like sky. Yep. Happens every day.

This book was soooooo fun! Do you ever wonder why something is the way it is? Do you ever run to Google to ask? Then this book is for you. Absolutely fascinating stories of different materials and how they work the way they do. I worn you though, the chapter on chocolate is pure torture if you don’t have a chocolate bar so do yourself a favor and pick one up before reading this. That is however, unless you’re one of those rare people who don’t like chocolate.

Oh! Forgot I had jotted down this note while reading because I was so excited to have a chapter on pool, which was begun with a cute little screen play. I’m telling you, this book was just plain entertaining. Ok, my note: Billiard balls, sticks made with leather tips and covered with chalk to control the spin of the balls, brought to the west by the English, hence, putting English on the ball.

30. “The Woods” by Harlan Coben – narrated by Scott Brick

Finished March 21

I am so grateful I didn’t read this right before “The Stranger” because then it would have been even more difficult to go from Scott Brick to that other guy.

This book was freaking awesome. A twenty year-old murder, a lost first love, an eccentric hippy, a court drama and just when you think those are all the details to wrap your head around, Cold War Russia decides to make an appearance. What! Yep. And all read for you by the incomparable Scott Brick. Highly, highly recommend.

29. “Involuntary Witness” (Guido Guerrieri book 1) by Gianrico Carofiglio – narrated by Sean Barrett

Finished March 18

The things you learn when you get the links to books you’ve read. This book is the first in a series and I had no idea! There are four books out and I will definitely be checking them out. This must have been a daily deal that caught my attention though in the publisher’s summary it mentions the series. I blame subsequent brain fogs for forgetting that. Also, it’s not mentioned anywhere on the Audible page but announced at the beginning of the book that it was translated from Italian to English.

I really enjoyed a murder mystery set in a different country with different laws and different courts. Guido is a lawyer set to the task of defending a “non-European” (black) man accused of murdering a child. Having no faith in the Italian courts thanks to the Amanda Knox case, which coincidentally was back in the news just weeks after this book reminded me of it, I thought would take magic for guido to succeed. It truly is a seemingly hopeless case, if you believe in his clients innocence that is.

The book is a perfect mix of serious and humor and Guido is a relatable character battling past demons and what is quite possibly a mental illness. I’m glad to know there are more books!

I only wish they had gotten an Italian narrator. Barrett’s slight English accent is pleasant but not at all Italian sounding.

28. “The Weight of Silence” by Heather Gudenkauf – narrated by Jim Colby, eliza Foss, Cassandra Morris, andy Paris, Therese Plummer and Tony Ward

Finished March 16

As I was reading this I had to wonder if it was the author’s first book. Not because it was bad, just the opposite, but it just felt like a first novel. Was it the shifting points of view from first to third and even second which I’ve just never seen that gave me that impression? I’ve done that with my short stories but never would have dreamed of experimenting with all three in a novel. It works in this book though, it really does. Just now when I grabbed the link to the book page I discovered that this was indeed her debut novel.

There is such a large cast of characters in a relatively short novel that I can see why she wrote this the way she did. The delineation between all the characters was very well done and helped keep the story moving. Where are the girls? I mean where are they!

It reminded me a little of a gillian Flynn novel but with even more subtle darkness. I definitely enjoyed this book and will be reading more of Gudenkauf’s stuff.

27. “Tandia” by Bryce Courtenay – narrated by Humphrey Bower

Finished March 13

I don’t remember when I first began reading this book but it must have been last year. Actually yes, I think I remember making an egg salad sandwich while listening and that kick was sometime towards the end of last year. Anyway, I had to stop. the beginning of this book is just plain brutal as Tandia, a beautiful Indian/African has her first run-in with the South African police. What happens sets up her character and the police officer for what follows in the book as she becomes a freedom fighter of sorts during the days of Apartheid.

I decided to return to the book after my friend Ricardo, who also had to stop during the first reading, returned to the book and said it was really good. I’m glad I trusted him and returned and I’m also glad the Audible app keeps position because I was able to pick up where I left off.

Bryce Courtenay books are awesome and Humphrey bower is the perfect narrator for them. If I meet Courtenay in the afterlife I’m going to ask him what his deal was with incredibly obese women and prostitutes.

26. “Razorhurst” by Justine Larbalestier – narrated by Rebekka rimmington, Fiona Hardingham and David Ligudzinsi

Finished March 8

I was sooooo disappointed with this book. I had high expectations after reading Larbalestier’s tweets as she researched and wrote this book. I don’t know what went wrong. It had so much potential. I jotted some notes while reading:

The narrator that reads the Kelpie chapters sounds like she’s reading a Shell Silverstein book to kindergardners and is not enjoying it. I don’t understand the separate narrators.

The other female narrator sounds like she’s running out of air. And it sounds like there are commas in really odd places.

There was no description of 1930’s anything. No description of clothing. I’m shocked after all the research she did and movies she watched.

I just didn’t like it. It was neither an adult book nor a young adult book to me. It didn’t ahve the fun feeling I get when I read YA. I just didn’t like it.

End notes. Referring to the multiple narrators, I don’t understand why there was more than one narrator needed. the book shifts between two character’s points of views so that explains the female narrators I suppose but the chapters the man read were back story chapters. The book was just sort of a clustermug, to use a Stephen King word. I was so let down that’s why I ran to Bryce Courtenay.

25. “Seven for a Secret” (Timothy Wilde Book 2) by Lyndsay Faye – narrated by Steven Boyer

Finished March 5

I love Lyndsay Faye! I love these books, I love this narrator. Faye better write these books until she just can’t write any more haha. Beautifully written, intricate mysteries, fun and relatable characters, Faye has quickly become one of my new favorite authors. She’s on Twitter too, @LyndsayFaye, so I definitely won’t miss new books.

Timothy Wilde is a great guy but of course I’ve got a crush on his drug addicted, alcoholic, womanizing firefighter and politician brother Val. wow, after writing those words together I see just what a complex character Val is haha! No wonder I like him.

24.“Falling Glass” by Adrian McKinty – narrated by Gerard Doyle

finished March 2

I just read the Audible page and apparently McKinty is a fairly well known author of Irish mysteries. I love the authors I discover thanks to Audible daily deals.

This book was really good. It’s about a hitman who comes out of retirement to track down some rich guy’s ex-wife who has disappeared with the two kids. Sounds simple enough of a story line right? Oh there’s just so much more. Very good, wonderful narrator, funny and witty.

Here’s a note I jotted down:

Sudden inexplicable switch to second person narration that made no sense. A few words that sounded like maybe n editor’s note. Very odd.

Odd indeed, but great book.

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Filed under 2015 Monthly Audio Book Lists, Audio books, baseball, doc, fellowship, in the news, Jayden, twitter me this, vet visit, writing

January’s Audio Books

I’m changing the way I keep track of books here on the blog. I’m going to experiment with writing a monthly post summarizing all the books I read, rather than writing a post for every single book which last year proved to be too overwhelming.

I listed these in descending order. I suppose that makes sense for the future if someone wants to read all the monthly posts. total books this month: Eleven.

11. “The Mime Order” by Samantha Shannon – narrated by Alana Kerr

Finished January 30

Oh man this book was so freaking good! If I thought “The Bone Season” was good, I had no idea what I was in store for with book two. The story picks up right where it left off in book one and Shannon does a brilliant job of recapping without being tedious and obvious. She weaves in reminders of book one as the story goes along in book two. ‘Bone Season’ was definitely the series set-up (see a few headings down). The story continues with non-stop action and intrigue. The dystopia takes on a very Victorian feel and has many more characters it seems than did ‘Bone Season’. I just did not want it to end! Did you ever see the French Film City of Lost Children? If so, that’s how I imagined this world looking. Very dark but with bright colors. The book is so visual! Shannon is just a brilliant writer, in my opinion. the novel is three dimensional, if that makes sense. It was like a movie in my head. Absolutely loved it. There were questions posed that leaves me impatient for book three. And Warden…*sigh*.

alana Kerr seems to have found her groove as a narrator, sounding more animated in this one and less like she was reading the phone book like in the first book. It’s fun watching these two women grow in their art! Samantha Shannon’s Twitter is linked a few headings down. You should become a fan of this awesome young lady!

10. “The Girl on the Train: A Novel” by Paula Hawkins – narrated by Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey and India Fisher

Finished January 27

I probably would have gotten done with this book faster but my friend Chupa was visiting so I didn’t read at all during the day. Her visit was so much fun! I converted my den into a guest room and couldn’t help but feel very adult with the purchase of an air mattress and guest towels. the weather was beautiful and we spent most of our time sitting outside listening to music, except for the day we took paratransit out for Mexican food and our traditional Walgreens visit. Be well. The first paratransit driver decided to give Chupa the whole experience by driving down bumpy roads on purpose. I was sad when she left on Wednesday night. We did an impromptu podcasty thing if you’re interested in our ramblings.

I saw a New York Times article about this book on Twitter and just so happened to have an extra Audible credit so I picked it up. This book is about an alcoholic who rides trains all day. Not like, cargo trains, passenger trains in and out of London?London I think. yes, London. I think, ha! She rides trains and tells herself stories about the people who’s homes she passes. She ends up getting involved in a missing persons investigation after one of the women who’s house she passes goes missing. Actually she pretty much inserts herself into it. It’s quite sad really.

The book is told from three different points of views, hence the three narraters. Every time we got back to the drunk I’d roll my eyes. She really did get tedious. Hawkins nailed the self absorbed alcoholic though, that’s for sure. She must have some sort of personal experience whether it’s herself or someone she loves. Maybe the alcoholic isn’t so tedious to a normie but for me, I just wanted her to get off the drunkalog and into the solution haha!

The mystery was really well done. Literally every character is a suspect. The drunk? The ex-husband? The red haired man? the psychologist? did the missing woman just run away? and each one gets some time in the red herring spotlight. The aha moment hit me about thirty minutes until the end of the book and then I sat on the edge of my seat waiting to see how the book would resolve. Excellent mystery! The three narrators were pretty good too, all very British which is just soothing. It was nice to read a current IT book haha. I found Paula Hawkins on Twitter.

Oh, my only pet peeve was some outdated technology. I have to wonder if Hawkins started writing this awhile back and didn’t catch phones with buttons and phrases like “logged on to the internet”. I’ve noticed outdated tech in my book that I’ve done some revisions on. Maybe it’s a snobby pet peeve ha!

9. “The Alienist” by Caleb Carr – narrated by George Guidall

Finished January 24

How interesting that I read a book narrated by Alana *Kerr* and then a book written by Caleb *Carr*, both names pronounced the same way. Am I the only person who notices things like that? Also, Steve Kerr pronounces his name differently than Alana: ker. Kerr, ker. Anyway…

Ricardo really really wanted me to read “The Alienist”. I’m glad I did, though I wasn’t sure at first that I would finish the book. It got off to a slow start in my opinion and the book begins with a gruesome murder of a child prostitute. It was tough to stomach. Slowly but surely however, the story drew me in as a psychologist, otherwise known as an alienist in 1896, his friend a reporter and a police secretary begin investigating the murders of the child prostitutes no one cares about. Special Victims Unit anyone?

This wasn’t a typical detective novel which was good because I’m pretty much sick of detective novels. This one had a fun historical fiction element and while the character development took awhile to click, when it did, I enjoyed the people very much. The criminal profiling was fascinating and had a ‘Silence of the Lambs’ feel about it. george Guidall is always a good narrator. I definitely recommend this book. I also want to see what else Caleb Carr might have out there. Thanks Ricardo! Oh, let’s see if Carr is on Twitter. I didn’t find a Twitter but I did find this site, which has info about his other books. I’m going to have to check it out since it sounds like there’s an Alienist movie and TV show. Interesting!

8.“The Bone Season” by Samantha Shannon – narrated by Alana Kerr

Finished January 19

I read this back in November of 2013. You can read my review here which I just did and I think it was a pretty good review. It’s interesting how differently I would have written about it this time around. Honestly it’s sometimes hard to write reviews about books which is why I got so far behind last year trying to write a single post for every book I read. I think a simple list in a monthly post will be much easier.

I read “The Bone Season” again because book two of the series was due out this month and I needed a good refresher since Shannon’s world is so complex. She tweeted links to a lot of good posts for a refresher but I just wanted to read it again. I got to follow Shannon on Twitter while she wrote the second book. So cool! I just adore her. You can follow her here.

1. – 7. The Kara Gillian series by Diana rowland – narrated by Liv Anderson

I started this series last year and finished the sixth book early This month. I often times will go back in a series and read a little bit of the first book in a series just to see how it all began. I did that with Kara Gillian and next thing I knew I was finishing the whole book. I just wasn’t ready to be done with Kara Gillian the summoner of demons, her friends and the demons themselves. I ended up reading the whole series again, enjoying being absorbed in pure fiction with fun and interesting characters, human and demon alike. I even bought a can of Cafe Du Monde coffee with chicory. I mixed some in with my usual coffee and it is most definitely an acquired taste. I drink coffee black at home but I found the chicory needed the sweetness of some Splenda to help off set the bitterness. It was fun to drink the coffee one of my new favorite characters drinks though! I highly recommend this series if you’re craving some pure escapism. In fact, is it April yet? I seriously cannot wait for April.

Book seven is out in April and I cannot wait! Diana rowland has put some quotes from the book up on Twitter, torturing her fans. Isn’t she kind? She is definitely one of my most favorite people. She never fails to make me laugh, both in her books and on Twitter. You can follow her here.

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Filed under 2015 Monthly Audio Book Lists, Audio books, coffeeholic, fellowship, hanging with ro, twitter me this

Blind People Can’t Do That – Changing our Expectations

My friend @BigBadEd sent me a link to a This American Life podcast episode this morning. I told him I’d listen while eating my serial, I mean cereal.

I had seen a retweet from Ed for a podcast asking the question, can expectations make blind people see. I gave it a split second thought about listening and then just kept reading tweets about the Golden globes and skipping passed pictures of cats. But then Ed specifically sent me a mention with a link to the podcast so I changed my mind and decided to listen. Why the initial hesitation? I had contempt prior to investigation and figured it was just more sighted people talking about something they think they know about even though they don’t. I trust Ed though and since he made it a point to bring my attention to the podcast, I decided it must be good. Especially since it’s a This American Life podcast and they brought us Serial which I loved. Also, the episode was called Batman. Huh? Did I hear that right? Yep, it’s called Batman and you can play it here.

I opened the tweet on my iPad and started the episode while I poured a bowl of chocolate frosted mini wheats. Shut up, they’re good.

The podcast begins with some fun science about rats that I found interesting. Maybe science is the wrong word. It was a social experiment with rats. Then it moved on to talking about this blind guy and I was like oh great a blind guy. A blind guy who clicks. This was nothing knew to me but it was entertainment while I ate my mini wheats.

This guy has been on the news showing off his clicking and I was like what’s special about him? He’s riding a bike which he can do because he can click? Before I went blind I saw a Dateline show or 20/20, one of those shows, about a blind kid who rode his bike and played basketball, all by clicking. Just the way this guy in the podcast rides his bike. the podcast acted like this had never been seen before and I just kept thinking about that kid I saw, literally months before I went blind. I even told B I should learn that clicking thing in case my other eye ever went blind. I clicked my tongue a few times, we had a laugh, I moved on. Just FYI, that is a really hard skill to learn, the clicking thing. He’s lucky he figured it out when he was a kid.

But then I warmed up to this guy on the podcast when he admitted how much he hates showing off his bike riding skills. It’s like, yeah I can ride a bike or bake cookies or take a computer apart or insert whatever it is that I or you or your kid or sister, blind or sighted, does. It’s like so what? That was this guy’s attitude.

One of the first blind people I met when I started getting my “blind education” at Saavi all those years ago is a guy just like this clicking guy except he doesn’t click. I was amazed by him, that he could get around the blind center without a cane. I was amazed by him because I was newly blind and didn’t have that confidence yet. Granted, I still would not walk around the blind center without a cane or Jayden like he does, but he was blind since he was a baby just like this clicking guy. When you learn skills as a child, it sticks.

*Aside* You know what’s weird? I had a dream about that guy just last night. The day before Ed sends me a podcast about a clicker guy who reminds me of dream guy. I was getting a manicure and the guy from Saavi walked in to tell me he got a Mac. He wanted to shake my hand but my nails were wet. Huh?*End aside*

So the podcast went on to talk about just that, and they talked to clicking guy’s mother and how she let him just be when he was a child. She let him climb trees and fences even when neighbors and the police told her oh no, he could get hurt. I was thinking, any kid could get hurt climbing a tree. I sure did when I was a kid. I remember watching a friend fall off our fence right on her face. We were all sighted. clicking guy’s mom let him be a normal kid and he’s grown up with the ability to see even though he has no eyes. The point was that her expectations for him were that he would be independent, especially when she saw how he developed ways of doing things without sight.

Ding ding ding! That’s when I got excited and thought about how my own blind life has been influenced by other people’s expectations for me. The point of the podcast was that we can see in our ways when the sighted stop putting expectations on us. There were interviews with other blind people, with professionals who work in the blind field etc. It turned out to be a very good podcast.

It got me thinking about how Saavi treated me when I started going there for training. They eased me into getting around there independently. On the podcast, they talked about how so many blind kids and newly blind adults are led around constantly, how food is brought to them etc. I thought back to my experience at Saavi and at Guide Dogs for the blind and they would certainly help you get around if you asked but they didn’t force the issue. After I learned how to use the white cane, I got around on my own at Saavi and actually led other blind people around who didn’t know the center yet. yes, the blind leading the blind. Saavi taught me how to safely use a knife and a stove. They taught by showing and then having us do. How else can one learn? I joke about Dave, my old orientation and mobility teacher, locking me in an elevator at the mall. Yes, it was a scary experience when he told me to go to the bottom floor and then come back up and then he walked out. My heart raced and I couldn’t believe he left me but how else was I to learn to do things on my own without him?

However out in the real world, people aren’t like the people at Saavi and GDB. They see a blind person getting near the street and freak the freak out. They don’t realize that being blind means we have to get up close and personal to something a sighted person can see from hundreds of feet away. I have to find a curb with my cane that you can see from way over there. Jayden can see it from way over there too but he has to take me right to it so I can feel it with my foot.

This is where the problem is and the podcast pointed that out when the clicking guy was working with a five year-old who had to find a curb by walking right up to it. His godmother freaked out and stopped the kid from learning how to do it his way.

Damn but this helped me understand the people in my life! When I’m on my own, I just do things. When I’m with B, the way I do things change. His expectations bleed on to me. When I’m out on my own I figure stuff out in my own way, the way I’ve had to learn to do. There’s no way sighted people can read my mind and know how I’m going to do something and the expectation is that “blind people can’t do that”.

Wow.

I never thought I would learn something about sighted people by listening to that podcast when it first started. Since I’ve gone blind I try to be an open book, to answer questions people have without getting offended because I remember when I was sighted being amazed by blind people. I don’t ever want to stop being open, but I did find myself being closed with that pesky contempt prior to investigation. I’m so glad I listened to it.

When the kid’s godmother stopped him while he was trying to find the curb, I thought back to an experience I had at the hotel in Florida. Jayden and I got lost and no one jumped out to help. I don’t think anyone was around or if they were, they were very quiet. Jayden and I wandered around for awhile until I got sick of being lost and asked a jogger for help.

That’s how it should bee. Don’t jump in and help because you assume someone needs it or that “blind people can’t do that.”

I could go on and on about this but just go listen to the podcast whether you’re blind or sighted. For the blind, it might shed some light for you on why the sighted are the way they are. For the sighted, well I can’t say what it might shed light on for you.

This goes so much deeper than how the sighted people’s expectations effect the blind. How about expectations about men and women, black and white? Could the root cause of all the isms out there simply be caused by expectations? We expect a woman to be weaker than a man, a white person to be better than a black person? Is it all down to expectations causing groups of people to be what they are? B thinks it would be dangerous for me to walk in my neighborhood since there’s no sidewalk, or along the nearby street that has a sidewalk but lots of driveways because he can’t imagine doing it the way I do it so that fear has rubbed off on me and I haven’t gone exploring even though I have the needed skills to avoid getting hit by a car. Heck, i pay more attention than some sighted people walking down the street texting. The news and social media expected the destruction in Ferguson. Did that have an effect on the people there? We expect people to act in a certain way so they do?

Food for thought.

PS – I appreciated that clicking guy said anyone could learn that skill and use it to ride bikes and hike and stuff as long as they didn’t have another disability stopping them.

Random Link from a Random Tab

A tab I had open when I opened the podcast link had a Mental Floss article about why electrical plugs are different in Europe. I thought I’d share for your inner Arthur Weasley.

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Filed under Adjustment to blindness, blind opinion, dream, fellowship, GDB, Jayden, no no sightie, Orientation and Mobility, plugs, twitter me this, white cane, working dog

The Lackluster Burger

I think I’m going to enjoy reading back on this month’s posts especially after the steroid treatments were started. There has been no planning for any posts except the plan to get caught up on book posts that I started at the beginning of the month. Then medical stuff happened and best laid plans went the way of the dodo.

Tonight I shall write about the disappointment that was the All In Bacon Burger from Applebee’s. When B called after work to discuss food, neither of us knew what we wanted. At first he said he’d come home and we’d order something but then he said he wouldn’t want to go back out once he got home so he’d just swing by Culver’s so I looked up the flavor of the day and it was cherry cheesecake and he said ew and I said I’d get it if it were strawberry cheesecake but I’m not a fan of cherries so he said he’d come home and we’d order out from Applebee’s.

The decision was easy to make once he read about the new All In burgers. They take ingredients and cook them right along with the ground beef of the patty. At first the mushroom swiss sounded good but then he read the bacon burger and come on, it’s bacon, cooked right into the patty and then topped with bacon. I hadn’t had bacon in a long time so I immediately tasted it in my mind. Bippity boppity bacon!

I tweeted to my friend Ricardo that I was excited about this bacon burger and then when I was done I told him I was disappointed. I asked him what I should write about for today’s post and he said, “the lackluster burger.”

I just could hardly taste the bacon. That doesn’t quite seem possible since it was cooked right into the patty but they put this barbecue ranch sauce on the burger and that seemed to like cancel out the taste of the bacon or something. And it was way too greasy, probably since there was bacon in the patty. And the bacon wasn’t crispy at all and it didn’t come with any condiments. It needed a ring of red onion. It was just a disappointing burger. You know the burger in Pulp Fiction that Jules eats and he’s like, “damn, that is a tasty burger.” This was opposite. Lackluster is right.

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Brad Pitt asking, “what’s in the box?”

I am insanely tired today which is a major bummer since yesterday was a pretty good day. I slept great so there is no reason I should be this exhausted other than the stupid MS.

Ok it was way too hard to type that tiny paragraph. It’s like my fingers won’t obey the signals my brain is sending them as I type.

For some reason, WordPress refuses to email me my comment notifications and pending approvals. I’ve checked the settings and they still won’t come to my gmail. Anyone have any ideas?

That’s all I have to type today. Check out audio of my crazy friends Amanda and Taylor as they unbox a four pound boa constrictor. Well I shouldn’t say they. Taylor is the crazy one but since it’s Amanda’s Christmas present , she can’t interact with the snake until Christmas so Taylor did it. Oh yeah, they’re both blind too.

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At one point he peaked through the hedge at the field behind his and there stood Michael Jordan!

You know, I could go for steroid infusions every day. There is something comforting about other chronically ill patients and the nurses who care for us. We’re all a rather kooky lot. Everyone at treatment the last two days have been in good spirits. They all laugh easily and share stories openly. My nurse is a riot and is very helpful when my treatment is done, helping Jayden and I get outside to his relieving spot and getting me settled to wait for my ride. It’s been beautiful the last two days so Jayden and I get a good hour of fresh air and he bathes in the sun.

When we got to the hospital, we went to the volunteer desk like yesterday to grab help to the infusion center. An older gentleman exlaimed, “I’ll take her! What’s Sparky’s name?” I could hear a female volunteer asking the man if he was sure he knew where he was going and he assured her he did. As we walked he explained that he used to come do some sort of charity work for the patients at the hospital and it had been awhile since he had done it. He said it felt nice to be helping someone again. We walked passed infusion and he read a sign that said imaging.

“Oh imaging, that’s the same,” he said uncertainly.

“I don’t think they’re quite the same,” I said, hiding a smile. He turned us around. He had passed infusion. When we walked into the right place he said, “Is this the veterinary clinic?”

Haha! That was a good one. the nurses took me to my same chair. My steroids had already arrived from the pharmacy so they went right to work. Another nurse besides Christy started my IV. Neither of them hurt at all.

As I got settled in, the daughter of another patient was going to get coffee. I said I didn’t have enough coffee in my bloodstream yet and she asked if I’d like coffee. I hesitated, having limited my fluids like I did with Jayden, but then she said the magic word, Starbucks. I checked to make sure I had some cash and then asked for a pumpkin spice latte.

There was something oddly vacation like to reclining in a chair, dog at my feet, friendly conversation around me, sipping a pumpkin spice latte.

I don’t know how conversation turned to baseball but it was the best baseball talk I’ve had since I was in St. Pete. The man to my left told us that he retired for a senior baseball league here in Arizona about five years ago. He played center field. He had never gone out for baseball professionally because when he graduated high school in the seventies, he was only five foot six, one hundred twenty pounds. So he played soccer and joined this senior baseball league in his thirties. He said he played with several retired major leaguers. The rule for the senior league is that one must be retired from MLB for three years. I was just riveted, on the edge of my seat listening to his stories.

One story was about a game he was playing on a practice field in Phoenix years ago and minor league guys were on the field behind his playing winter ball. At one point he peaked through the hedge at the field behind his and there stood Michael Jordan!

I got around to talking about my St. Pete trip and when I told him I threw out a first pitch he exlaimed, “presidents do that!” He said he was going to tell all his friends he was at treatment with a girl who threw out a first pitch haha!

We got around to talking about writing and among his many jobs over the years he taught english composition. We laughed about the good old five paragraph essay since I credit all my writing experience to Mr. Heintz and the five paragraph essay we worked so hard for me to perfect so I could win a medal in the essay competition in Academic Decathlon. I placed fourth. fourth! No medal.

Anyway, when I told him I hope to publish he said don’t think about publishing, just write something every day, let it flow from the heart. He gave me his email addres so I can pick his brain about where he lives east of Tucson since I want to drop my fictional town out that way. He also wants a sample of my writing. I’m just trying to decide what to send. My first few chapters of the YA novel, one of my short stories I’ve published here?

Treatment was entirely too much fun, I gotta tell ya. The other patient who was there and sleeping through most of it was ninety-nine years ol! he perked right up when we talked baseball though.

Too much fun! I can’t wait to go back tomorrow haha! Two down, two to go. I feel fantastic today! I got home and decided I wanted clean sheets on the bed so I switched them out and decided I want to order another set of percale sheets. Those were the clean set and I just love the feel of them over my microfiber set. I can’t wait to go to bed tonight. The day isn’t over though, I’m going out for Pho for dinner! In fact I don’t have too much time before my friend gets here so I’m not going to edit, just post. Life is good!

Oh I almost forgot something cute I wanted to write down. While I was waiting for my ride home, I heard a mom and kid walking up towards the hospital, the kid saying something about an alligator. The mom said, “yes, we’ll ride the elevator.”then the kid made up an elevator song. How adorable is that? I then wondered if the little song would become a memory device for reminding the kid what the elevator is called. Not alligator haha. I love it!

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Filed under baseball, fellowship, gratitude, Jayden, NaBloPoMo 2014, spoons, wow, writing

“Mr. Mercedes: A Novel” by Stephen King – narrated by Will Patton – A Health Update and Dark Mood Lifted

It pleases me that the book I’m up to on the list is a book I hated because I’m in a dark mood. I’ll go in to that in the life part of the post.

This book sucked. Or rather it sucked as a Stephen King book. It just wasn’t a Stephen King book. It was a Michael Connelly book with maybe some more violence and blood, but it was not a Stephen King book with some scary town like Derry or a clown or a haunted hotel or a Yellow Card Man.

It was a detective novel. A detective novel with no mystery at that. You know who the bad guy is because there are chapters written from his point of view. There was literally no mystery, not for the reader anyway. Connelly has written from the bad guy’s point of view before too but I don’t remember feeling like there wasn’t any mystery left for me.

This book started with so much promise! I remember being riveted from the first but then it just went on and on and on and was boring. If Will Patton hadn’t been the narrator, I don’t think I would have finished it. I returned it to Audible. That’s how much I didn’t like the book.

I had jotted a note for myself that read: Blatant, not subtle, foreshadowing that goes nowhere. Lexapro. I remember the foreshadowing bit, thinking that was my mystery but no. I don’t remember what it was that I thought was foreshadowing, just that it went nowhere. I don’t really remember the Lexapro part of my note to myself. Thinking back to the character that might have applied to, I’m guessing my thought had been that Lexapro wasn’t used correctly or something. I can’t remember.

I think the story had merit. I just wish he had published it under his old pseudonym so I didn’t go into it expecting a Stephen King novel.

Rating: Meh

“Mr. Mercedes” at Audible

Now for my dark mood. I shouldn’t say it’s dark as in depressed dark, just dark as in crap that thing I was worried about actually happened. usually when I worry myself to death over something, it never comes to pass. I shouldn’t even say I was worrying to death because I really don’t do that these days being on the aforementioned Lexapro.

I was worried about my MRI results though, and that worry turned out not to be for nothing. My new neuro was point blank in telling me I have four active lesions on my brain which means the MS is active and we need to act now. As he was talking I could feel my eyes getting wider and wider. Four active lesions? How did I not have any symptoms? How had I not lost the use of a limb? My hearing? My ability to breathe?

He said sometimes there are no symptoms. Since I’ve been home with time to think though, there have been symptoms, just small ones. My last two MS attacks were kind of huge, losing the vision in both eyes, so little symptoms like fatigue lasting for days, right foot cramping, joints hurting to touch, I just wrote off as getting older and having a chronic illness.

Four active brain lesions. He was able to see my old lesions from the MRI without contrast, the MRI with contrast lighting up the new ones. Unfortunately he doesn’t have my old MRI’s to compare to be able to tell how old these new lesions might be. That doesn’t really matter, the point is now.

I’m going to start IV steroids on Monday to “calm the brain down” as he put it. While I’m not looking forward to spending hours at the hospital and dealing with paratransit, yay steroids! Steroids kill all my pain! Yes, they suck too because they make you really hungry and give you hot flashes but no pain you guys! No pain!

Me and my silver linings.

I see Dr. V again next week and he’ll have the results of the blood test that got drawn today. I was so afraid he would push the old interferon injections on me like my last neuro but no! He said there are much better drugs now. The one we’re hoping I can take is a pill but I was tested for some virus that fifty percent of Americans have and if I have it, I can’t have the pill. I’ll find out more about this mystery virus but for now, I can’t remember what he called it.

If I can’t have the pill, the next one he would want me to do is a once monthly infusion of some drug. Again, I was in such shock from the MRI results I didn’t think to jot down the names of this stuff. I think from here on out I’ll be doing voice memos of my doctor appointments haha! I don’t think I’d mind even the once monthly infusion of a drug as long as it doesn’t kill my quality of life like the interferon injections did. And I wouldn’t have to give myself a shot every other day.

Ok so wow, my mood doesn’t feel so dark after writing that. I’m just really grateful I decided to get back under a neurologist’s care when I did and so grateful my Rays Twitter Family friend found me this neurology clinic all the way from florida. Thank you, Nurse K!

I do need to own the fact that I have neglected my health as far as the MS goes since 2008 because of my resentment at the MS itself and the doctors and the medications that didn’t keep me from going blind. My stubbornness is the reason for these four active lesions. I had no idea B was worried until I heard the relief in his voice when he asked what the next step was and I said treatment.

I won’t neglect the MS again. That’s my solemn vow.

I wonder what next week will be like. I’m looking at it as an adventure for Jayden and me. And no pain next week! Weeeee! Oh speaking of pain, I got a prescription for ibuprofin since I take so much of it it was breaking the bank haha!

Oh, please cross your fingers that my insurance will pay for the steroid infusions I need. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little worried about that.

Jayden was just barking in his sleep. I’m glad he’s good an relaxed. He was off at the neuro this morning and I think it was because he could feel my tension. I’ll make next week fun for him even if it’s not fun for me haha.

Oh, when B asked if there was anything he could do, I told him chocolate would be happy making. I expected a Hershey’s Bar or something. He got me a box of Whitman’s! Such a good boyfriend.

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Filed under 2014 Book List, Audio books, baseball, doc, fellowship, gratitude, humor as coping skill, Jayden, mental health, NaBloPoMo 2014, spoons, twitter me this

“We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart – narrated by Ariadne Myers – Fun, Frustration, Javelina

I can’t remember why I got this book, if it had been a daily deal or one that was discussed often on Twitter. Maybe both. The great thing about collecting authors on Twitter is I get a lot of good book suggestions. I sometimes jot notes to myself about books as I’m reading them, though I don’t do it as often as would come in handy with how behind i get on book posts. On my list, I had just written, “raw emotion” next to this title. That was so not helpful! The only thing I could distinctly remember about this book was that I had the twist figured out really early on and was disappointed. So why had I written raw emotion? Had I lay sobbing as I listened to this book? I just could not remember. I quested out to the me of late May but nothing was jogging my memory. I downloaded the book last night and listened to the last chapter.

Ok…yes, I remember that…uh huh, right, yes. I don’t remember sobbing or anything oh wait listen to the narrator’s voice begin to shake with the emotion of the character oh yes, oh oh no, yes I remember that raw emotion and suddenly I could recall laying curled in my bed back at the apartment, body wracking with sobs, and I wished I hadn’t had to remember.

Honestly, if I had read this book in print, I’m not sure it would have gotten me like it did. The narrator though, either it got her or she’s just a really good actress. That’s all I’ll say about this book. Even the publisher’s summary reads that if someone asks about the ending, llie. I added E. Lockhart to my collection on Twitter and she’s a fun follow. Someone tweeted her that they think of Professor Lockhart from Harry Potter when they see her name and she joked that the family doesn’t acknowledge him.

I didn’t even give ‘We Were Liars’ a rating on my book list, just raw emotion. I suppose that gets a so good rating.

‘We were Liars’ at Audible

I had a day that started fun and ended with frustration and fatigue. I had an appointment to get my hair cut this morning and I always enjoy trips to the salon. That tends to be where I do my socializing. Jayden loves the cousin of my hair stylist. The two shair a studio together. There’s always fun talk in there and lots of laughter. I’d had plans for the afternoon to get together with a friend for a smoothie but she forgot she had a doctor appointment and that was probably a good thing because after I had my lunch I got hit with a wave of mind numbing fatigue. I just collapsed on the couch for awhile after trying to find Jayden’s wobbler and failing. He had pushed it halfway under the couch the crazy dog. I found it later when I asked him to show me and he went right back to the end of the couch he had taken me to an hour before and pointed. I got down on my back and reached under the couch and just was able to grab the Wobbler. How he wedged it under there I’ll never know but I was proud of him for the way he showed me where it was.

The frustrating part of the day was finding out the blind center got its funding cut for independent living classes for people under the age of fifty-five. I won’t rant here because I did that on Twitter and Facebook. Good came out of that because an old friend who now works at voc rehab told me to call her at the office on Monday. So there’s hope. I just want to learn my block sO JAy and I can go for walks. Crap when was caps lock turned on? Oh I am soooo not going letter by letter. Sorry if I yelled for part of this post. I’m freaking tired haha. Blah.

Ok stupid freaking javelina! A friend of ours got attacked by them tonight. I am so grateful we have a wall now! Damned useless pig rodent monsters!

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Filed under 2014 Book List, desert life, fellowship, Jayden, jayden quirks, misty eyes, NaBloPoMo 2014, spoons, twitter me this

‘Fall of Giants’ and ‘Winter of the World’ by Ken Follett – narrated by John Lee – A Character Name Revealed

These books were freaking fabulous! I have Ricardo to thank yet again for the recommendation that I read ‘Fall of Giants’. We are both huge fans of historical fiction and this book introduces the reader to five families before World War One and the Russian Revolution and we see that history through their eyes and lives. Go down into the mines with thirteen year-old Billy as he becomes a man and descends for the first time. He introduces us to the Welsh characters and begins the book, hooking you instantly with his youthful optimism and pride. As characters from the other of the five families are introduced we feel as though we are shaking the hands of real people. John Lee’s narration lends the right amount of accent to each person be they Welsh, Russian, German, English or American. It always cracks me up when the majority of a book is done in accents other than American when the first American character is introduced. I always think, do we really sound like that?

The second book in the trilogy follows our families into the harrows of the Nazi Regime and the dawn of the atomic age. While the events of the first world war were terrible, what follows in ‘Winter of the World’ was nauseous making. The extermination by the Nazis of the elderly and disabled…I’ll admit my ignorance and say I had to look that up because I wasn’t sure if what I was reading was just embellishments on history by the author. It was too much to hope for poetic license however. Is this why I was never taught the truth about history in school? Do they wish to protect young minds? I knew how terrible the Nazis and Hitler were. You can’t ignore the fact that concentration camps existed, though I know there are those who believe the Holocaust was made up. When you read about these events while walking beside characters who are likable and human, the result is truth mixed with fictional humanity, the only saving grace of which is knowing that what happened to the daughter of a character from the first book didn’t actually happen because that daughter didn’t exist. It is when you remind yourself that women like her did exist that you feel a piece of your heart break.

Sitting here thinking about those people I spent so much time with during these two books is making a lump form in my throat. I don’t question where Follett gets these ideas, like the dogs, oh the dogs, like I do of say, Stephen King or Gillian Flynn, because Follett wrote these books straight out of history. That makes it all equal parts horrible and page turning. In complaining to Ricardo just now about the subject matter being rough, he reminded me, “but there is something of overcoming adversity to be found.”

I don’t know what else to say about this trilogy except when I had begun the second book and found out the third wasn’t out yet, I wanted to throw something. People who begin this trilogy now are lucky it’s complete. Oh, I had jotted a note on my book list, the note simply reading: Sears and Roebuck catalogue. There was a hilarious scene where a Russian just back from America is showing his girlfriend the catalogue. While it was funny, it was also a bit embarrassing. the woman couldn’t believe all the things one could buy in America. Like a tractor. A tractor! In the same catalogue as pajamas. We really do love our capitalism.

When I was getting the link to the first book at Audible, I luckily noticed a free interview for members with Ken Follett and John Lee about ‘Fall of Giants’. It was wonderful! I will now be checking out Follett’s Pillars of the Earth Series. The link to the interview is below the links for the books.

‘Fall of Giants’ at Audible
‘Winter of the World’ at Audible
Link to interview with Ken Follett and John Lee

Wow, so bad writing days happen even when you’re just writing a blog post haha. That was like pulling teeth to write. Yesterday I watched a webinar with Scott Westerfeld that filled me with love and optimism for my novel, maybe that’s why writing a post about something other than my fictional world was hard? Haha! I was seriously so happy after I finished the webinar yesterday. According to Scott’s definition, I am most definitely a writer even though I haven’t yet been published. I eat sleep and breathe my characters, I can’t sleep when I wake in the middle of the night in their world, I think about writing all the time, so yeah, I’m a writer according to him. Squeee!

I am also incredibly grateful he told the story of walking down the street with his wife, novelist Justine Larbalestier, talking about the novel he was working on, ‘Extras’ the fourth book in the Uglies trilogy, and he thought out loud that maybe he should write the book from the little sister’s point of view and Justine said, “oh my God you have to!” Unfortunately he had written almost the entire novel so he went back and completely changed the point of view from one character to another, not just from third to first. Oh wow.

So, I immediately made a decision about my own novel, luckily nowhere near completion, having changed my female protagonist’s POV from third to first a few weeks ago and writing my male protag in the third person. While I liked the concept, feeling more like her POV was closer since it was in first, I wasn’t soled on the idea so after hearing Scott’s story, I went and changed her back to third. My friend Davis made a funny joke on Twitter about that:

@newspaper_manbaserunning mistakes will doom you.

Baseball is life. The rest is just details.

After reading that little story to myself, I feel it’s time I reveal my female protag’s name, because I mentioned the book ‘Extras’. I named my girl long before I read ‘Extras’. She was actually a completely different character I made up when I took the F2K fiction writing course. I named her Ren for that course. I have since morphed Ren from an FBI Agent to a fifteen year-old high school sophomore. There is a character named Ren in ‘Extras’ but I swear I didn’t name her after him! He’s awesome though. I think the two Ren’s would get along well.

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Filed under 2014 Book List, Audio books, baseball, fellowship, gratitude, misty eyes, NaBloPoMo 2014, twitter me this, writing