That is the title and theme of this year’s ARIA anthology. Submitted short stories and poems are judged blind. I’m very happy and excited to say my story “Ghosts” has been selected. I’ll post you when the book is available for purchase.
EXETER FALL FESTIVAL
As a member of the Friends of the Exeter Library, I am once again helping to organize the annual Fall Festival. This year it will be held on September 23rd, from 10:00-3:00 rain or shine at the Yawgoo Valley Ski Area. There will be vendors selling their crafts, authors selling and signing their original works, food, carnival games and entertainment for both young and old. I’ll be posting more information as the time draws near.
It’s good and bad. The good news is the lump on my pancreas is a cyst. The bad news is I’m going to have an MRI every two years to keep an eye on it. The good news about its problematic functioning is it’s most like heredity and normal for me. At least it explains why for as far back as I remember, I get sick after I eat. The bad news is I have to be very careful about how much fat and sugar I eat. Also, vegetables, though good for me, are a big reason why I get indigestion. I love ice cream, a good glass of wine and chocolate. I don’t mind eating less vegetables, I never liked them anyway, but I have to eat the right foods to stay healthy so I’ll just have to work that out. I gave up wine. I even gave up cookies but ice cream, now that hurts, smaller and smaller amounts will have to do. I weight 103 now and have no intention of losing any more weight. Then there’s the tumor on my back. The good news is it’s not sitting on my spine and isn’t a factor in back pain and walking. We’ll continue monitoring it. The bad news is that means even more MRI’s. You can comment to me if you’d like to know what they’re like. What I will tell you is I hate them. I’m going to stop complaining now. I was able to run three miles Saturday. I have vacations planned and now, unless something drastically changes, I’ll be able to enjoy them. Sister World, Back to Terah has been sent to my beta readers, the map is in process and i have a lot of reasons to smile, I hope you do too.
Going to see the neurosurgeon today. I hate driving to Providence especially alone, but what can you do. I did get a call back about my other issue and it’s a cyst so I’m supposed to do MRI’s to keep watching it. Have I said I hate MRI’s. Sucked into a machine where the top is about five inches away from your head which is held in place by a basket very much reminding me of Silence of the lambs, though it really isn’t that bad. First you go through all the tests, sounds like someone’s hammering all around you, then they redo them with contrast. Last time, last Monday, I actually needed a break. While the tests were being run, I said all the prayers I knew, recited the Desiderata and counted to 1000, more times than I can remember. Of course I also wrote a best selling Pulitzer prize novel but I can’t remember it either. I’m tired. Deep down inside I’m just plain tired. I choose to wait and watch a tumor only once, for this. I’m pretty sure that was a mistake. I was afraid of not being able to walk, but the odds are worse now.
I sent a copy of the completed manuscript of Sister World 3, to my beta readers. I have a map being made and a question for those reading this post.
I had originally intended to call the book Sister World, Back to Terah. Now I’m thinking of calling it: Sister World, Terah
Let me know which one you thinks works best.
The Next Step
I’ve had one MRI. The next one, scheduled for next Monday, is to see if the tumor in my back’s gotten bigger. Finger’s crossed. I haven’t gotten the results from Yesterday’s MRI. This waiting and worrying is difficult, but I’m doing my best and the best I can do is keep busy. I’m almost ready to send Sister World, Terah to my beta readers, then the professional editor.
I’ll be there, I hope to see you.
I’m going to talk about recent events, but first I have to start with my past.
When I was in grammar school, I told my mother there was a thing, remember I was a kid, on my palet that got in the way of my chewing. It turned out to be a benign tumor. The surgery was quick, followed by a fast recovery. Accept for my falling in love with the idea of becoming a nurse I would have forgotten all about it. In 1978, the year I got married, I started having trouble walking. My shoes were suddenly too tight. I had an aggressive, non cancerous tumor going around my index toe, that is its name. The removal was more difficult than expected because the tumor had completely encircled the toe. I was lucky not to have any side effects. Then came the brain tumor. My son was four and it was located in the right temporal lobe. I was offered the option of watching it or surgery. I opted for surgery. At that time there were only a handful of surgeons who operated on that section of the brain. I went to Dr. Spenser of Yale New Haven hospital, the third best brain surgeon in the world. He removed it. I won’t go into the surgical details only to say it’s amazing I can talk, chew and see. It did have a side effect. You don’t need to hear about them either. Fourteen years later, checking into my frequent nausea, the doctors found a tumor in the base of my spine. Offered the option of watching it or have surgery; thinking it wouldn’t kill me to watch and surgery might stop me from walking, I chose to watch. A couple of weeks ago I went to see my present doctor. Here begins this years fun. My pancreatic enzyme levels are high. On my fathers side, his mother died of pancreatitis, her mother from diabetes. A cat scan to get a look at my pancreas revealed what was thought to be a tumor, that turned out to be only a cyst, I’m really not one hundred percent certain that’s any better. We’re watching this one. It also revealed that the tumor in my back has grown. The high enzyme levels are normal for me( I would have died by now if they weren’t), so I have to live with the frequent nausea I’ve had for a far back as I remember. I’m now faced with another big decision. Do I get the surgery I was afraid to have, now when I’m fourteen years older? Walking, and hiking are my two favorite things, after writing that is. Being stuck in a wheel chair would just about kill me, but for you my faithful readers, I just might have the time to write more stories. Maybe the next one should be about a person whose consumed by tumors.
One thing about growing older is if you worked hard and was careful with the money you made, you can take a few vacations. I just returned from the Mayan Riviera. Most people would say I went to Cancun though I’ve never seen the city. We go to the Moon Palace, an all inclusive, I’m glad to say I’ve never been disappointed. The beach sand is different than the beach sand of New England. I love to walk shoeless along the beach knowing my feet won’t burn. I watched the birds, smaller than my fist, and I’m a small person. They played with the tide, digging for food when it rolled out, running away as the waves once again crashed against the shore. It reminded me of how we spend so much time crashing into the waves life throws our way. Some of us run. Others stand still, fighting a future we can’t change and others work with the water hoping to make the waves wash away past hurts to bring a better world for those who will follow. I’ve run. I’ve stood still, feeling the water break around my toes only to see it return unchanged as I step away. Now I walk into the crashing waves, floating on its roiling surface, hoping my movements help the children playing on the shore. I hope their sand castles last longer than those I made. I can’t fix the past, neither can I determine the future, but with each step into the sea, I can make a difference. It may be a difference only one child will feel, but to that child it may be the difference giving her or him, or them, a life worth living. In my books I try to show how our decisions, even those that seem inconsequential, can make a difference.
A New Year/New Hope
It’s hard to say goodbye to characters/people you love. Though it’s been a long time, the journey has been worth the time invested. It will be difficult to say goodbye to Kahill, Peter, Becarra and Rebecca but mostly to Spirit and all the animals I’ve tried to represent. As an ambassador, I hope I haven’t failed to represent the world of those who don’t speak the languages we speak. Mere words can’t convey what a simple swish of a tail can. We take them, the beauty of a tree reaching to the heavens, as something to be expected. In my heart I know we don’t see the forest for the trees. I believe they are meant to remind us of our place. The world is larger than we imagine. A long time ago a child lay upon a boulder sitting in the woods outside her house imagining she was sailing on a ship to places where others didn’t care how expensive her cloths were. A chid who thought her sister was the strongest person on earth, her father the tallest, bravest man she would ever meet. This child couldn’t imagine a safer place than her mother’s arms. I knew with out doubt my dog would die in my defense, and I in his. I did try, but that is another story. Difficult as the concept is, I believe we are but a small part of the world we see as ours. I hope when you read the books I’ve written you see yourself in the girl, remember those who made life less difficult and those who made you feel safe. Sister World, three is coming. With my friends you’re safe.