Tag Archives: humor

Cystoscope - photo by Michael Reeve via Wikimedia Commons

My Story’s Far From Over

The Lie Called Cancer is now on sale in paperback; Kindle comes Monday.

(A three minute read)

If you haven’t yet read TLCC, some of this may get past you, but that’s okay. And, in all my generosity, you can read a free sample to fully know how wonderful it is before you order cases and cases of what is surely destined to be given as The Best Christmas Gift Of The Year.

Even as TLCC bursts onto the scene, humorously detailing my 2019 cancer treatment, my story continues.

Those doctors can be a suspicious and unconfident lot, but I love them for all that. I’ve healed 100% but they still want to poke around inside me in case they missed something. 

I had another one of those lovely cystoscopies in September. You know – the 14 mile journey with the big probe up into my bladder. Only one way to get there! However, now that this has been done many times, it’s not as frightening as it once was.

While the probe goes in and knocks around, I can now sit relaxed as one might while having a limb removed with a bone saw, cigarette and highball in hand, chatting with the medic. 

Seriously, it has actually backed off to the discomfort level predicted by NHS, as compared to the screaming-level pain I enjoyed the first time round.

Here’s the travelogue: ‘Normal urethra, non-obstructive prostate, meticulous examination of the bladder done without any recurrences masses or lesions detected.’

Meticulous indeed. 

So, What’s Next For Me?

I have contracted a case of NaNoWriMo. No, that’s not a medical condition. It’s short for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to produce a 50,000 word draft by 30 November. That breaks down to 1,667 words per day.

For you non-writers, 1,667 words is about five times as many words as in this post. it’s 340 words more than in the US Declaration of Independence. 20 of the 66 books in the Bible are shorter than that.

Plus there’s the added challenge of inventing compelling characters, penning witty dialogue and devising cracking good cliffhangers to keep you reading through.

The conventional wisdom is to ‘write what you know’, which lends itself well to a novel about coming-of-age in the American Midwest during the 1970s (since I did that). For now it’s called Fortunate Son, which may or may not be an accurate outline of the life lived by the protagonist. You get to wait and see.

To stay on top of this new book, and get other updates on what else I’m writing, you can subscribe to Pleasant Lines here.

If you wish to join the happy throng, you can buy Masterpiece (A Love Story) and The Lie Called Cancer in paperback or for Kindle, or read them free through Kindle Unlimited. Using the ‘Look Inside’ feature you can get a free taster.

Happy reading and Happy Christmas shopping!

Photo: Michael Reeve via Wikimedia Commons

Pile of construction trash

Cleaning The Idea Closet

(A five-minute read, if you mull these over properly)

I’m trying something completely different this week. Here are things I hauled out of the writer’s junk drawer…

“Gosh, where to start?” The writer’s dilemma, the correspondent’s nightmare, and the friend’s angst.

I love the phrase “no creditability.” As a poet, I have to note that this says it all.

Sometimes as a writer, I’m actually a short order crook.

An author on deadline is nothing less than someone strapped down on the writer’s block.

It is most embarrassing to be caught naked from the neck up.

I don’t analyze things. I Alanyze them.

It takes fast footwork to remain slow in a world built for speed.

If activists try to change the status quo and I disagree, does that make me a passivist?

Crypticism: A helpful suggestion that is too obscure to be understood.

Download a free sample of The Lie Called Cancer now

Broken down walls

Performance Failure

(A four minute read)

This post is a last-ditch effort by someone who sometimes makes the mistake of over-promising and under-delivering. It’s the online equivalent of push-starting a car after it has been left for dead, way too far from a safe parking spot.

I will admit to feeling unprepared, which can be bad for the stomach as well as the reputation.

Have you ever had projects like this? Where you were fighting a deadline, but inspiration wasn’t anywhere near the ring – not even waving a white towel?

I’m no stranger to writing deadlines. They were a constant presence for more than 20 years. In fact, they often spurred me on to great heights.

Too bad I’m afraid of heights.

My current crisis comes from the endless artificial need to provide you, Dear Reader, with what in the industry is called ‘fresh content.’ No problem. I have some experience pulling this together ‘on automatic’ you might say. But gosh, I’ve been busy. A day went by. Then two days and three, and suddenly I am up against it. But, gosh, I’ve been busy.

(At least give me credit for thinking of you as ‘Dear Reader’ instead of ‘just another set of eyeballs.’ After all, respectful relationships are important.)

The ticking of the deadline clock grows louder, like Poe’s Telltale Heart. Finally, there are only two choices, both poor. Either I tap dance through the bald faced lie when I ‘call in sick,’ or I shuffle you off to re-run land with something that’s been posted before.

How do you like my footwork so far?

I admitted earlier to feeling unprepared. I lied a bit. Unprepared is not entirely true, because I DO have a post, it IS entertaining, and it is now HALF DONE.

Failing to meet my own expectations, and the even more painful experience of failing to meet yours, are not new. But as always, the finger of blame can only point at the pointer.

So what do I do about that?

They say if you fall off a horse or a bike, you need to get right back on and keep riding, or you will lose your self-confidence.

Do you know what this is like? I am the actor who forgets his lines. Or the salesman who calls all day with no order sheets to show for it. Or the athlete who is in a horrible slump. Or the farmer who sees an entire crop wiped out by bad weather.

Or the writer who can’t make the words appear on command.

We must steel ourselves to start over and try again after we fail. Sometimes we come through in the clutch. More often, we manage something adequate, like this, just enough to keep going and show up, instead of being shown up.

Before I finish, because you are my Dear Reader and not an anonymous set of eyeballs being tabulated by an automatic counter, here’s a secret. This post was not actually made up from whole cloth. There is nothing new under the sun.

Because of all those years as a deadline writer, a hoarder of words, a pack rat of paragraphs, a collector of cogitations, I was actually able to resurrect some ideas from the last century and ask them to help me limp across the finish line.

I may not have made the grade, but at least I have made a grade. Now that I am finished, and have admitted my performance failure, I can move onto the next thing.

Logging off.