Twas the night before cancer surgery, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even the mouse
We don’t have cats to catch the mouse, thank you very much. When you have dogs, who see cats as vermin to be kept out of the house, our yard, the neighbors’ yards, and everywhere else that is within their field of view, you learn to live without cats no matter how cute they naturally are. The dogs don’t like any kind of vermin, especially the squirrels who think being chased
My grandfather, after whom partially named, died of lung cancer before three years before my birth. My grandmother, who I vaguely remember, died of ovarian cancer when I was six. My father died of metastasized prostate cancer unusually at 52. He hid it from my mother by calling it hip cancer. It didn’t help that he was a five o’clock alcoholic. My mother died of recurrent breast cancer that in the nearly fifteen years between the initial case and the last when it had metastasized to her abdomina
It's been a while since I last visited Blogland here at the ol' GA, so I might as well update you on how things are going in my little corner of the world.
First off, my service-connected disabilities were reevaluated by the VA. I'm no longer rated at 50% for Bipolar Disorder. I've been rerated at 70% for Schizoaffective Disorder Bipolar Type. The only reason I wasn't rated at 100% (the next level) was because I wasn't frequently hospitalized, had many suicide attempts, or homeless. Also, m
It's been a fun two weeks so far in my new hometown of Plano, Texas. My old faults have come back and are having a blast messing with my attempt at independence in the sunset years of my life.
First, I suffer from chronic procrastination. What can be put off until tomorrow will enable me to do fun things, like write a story or read an article in The New Yorker, today. I have tons of broken down cardboard boxes that can't be put in the trash. They're supposed to be taken down to special dump
I've moved on. Back in 2011 I came to the end of my residence in the VA Homeless Shelter at the Salvation Army facility in Dallas, TX. My original plan was to get an apartment somewhere in the north end of Dallas, but my son said, "Hey, come on up here an live with me." His intention was for him to be my caretaker/caregiver in the sunset years of my life. Unfortunately, I get all my health care from the VA. Where he lives it's nearly 40 miles to the nearest VA clinic and nearly 60 miles to the n
I've been renting a bedroom from my son since October, 2011. I pay him a suitable amount for my share of the utilities, upkeep, and miscellaneous expenses. In the beginning, it was good living here way out in the country. It was relatively quiet, if you don't count the yoyos playing with dynamite, target shooting with their AR-15s, the empty coal and crude oil trains taking up slack down at the siding with house shaking BOOMS, and not being able to get out of town because all the tourists and sk
Wow, I didn’t realize I haven’t done a blog entry since September, 2018. A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then, so I suppose it’s time for an update on what’s occurring here in Gold Bar, WA.
First off, I’ve been doing quite a bit of writing, but other than the 2019 Fall Anthology and the 2020 Spring Anthology I haven’t posted any stories here since August 2018. In 2019, I wrote a YA Fantasy novel, The Birthday Present, about a young boy who runs away from home to go to Faerie
Needless to say, my life is one big fuck up right now. Everything seems to be going to the shits. Well, not everything. Two significant parts of my life remain on track. My reading is prodigious right now. I am actively reading: Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman, Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett, The Seventh Cross by Anna Seghers, Hiroshima by John Hersey, Blood’s a Rover by Harlan Ellison, and most of The New Yorker when it comes to the house most weeks. Yeah, you’re asking how do I keep
I received an interesting comment (not a review, which I would’ve preferred, since it seemed to cover the whole story) on my recently completed five chapter story The Angel of Retribution. Since the comment was not totally flattering, I will refrain from revealing the user name associated with it.
I’ll save you the trouble of having to go look up the comment by quoting it: “Hmm (a half-smiling emoji added here) really bad writing great story though but I don’t really think u (yes, ju
I’m at a juncture in my writing where I seriously think I need to stop it. The problem is basically for the most part I write violent shit and I don’t like it.
I’m tired of having likeable characters die in the most horrible ways. For chissakes, how many assaults, rapes, and murders have to be written before I go down to the local sporting goods store and buy a pistol to blow my diseased brain out of my head? I suppose I could call my new therapist, but what the fuck will she do?
I realized this morning that I’m old. Not growing old, just old. This not to say I’ve reached the end of my creative cycle because there are still stories to tell. I have one story that is ready to be published, but I’ve lost contact with my editor (Sharon).
Such is life that I should still have stories to be published, but no editor to review them prior to publishing. I await contact with my prior editor to be reestablished, but so far I don’t think much is going to occur in that direction
Back in October my VA shrink told me she could no longer see me long term. I was to be sent outside the VA. Well, my outside mental health provider took me off Seroquel and put me on Lithium in addition to my existing prescription for Valproic Acid (Depakote). As the Lithium dosage increased to a therapeutic level the tremors in my hands and arms increased until I could no longer hold my medication in the palm of my hand without it jumping out before I had a chance to put it in my mouth. I could
Unbeknownst to me, my shrink replied to my voice mail yesterday when I was at the restaurant and not expecting any calls. I suppose I should’ve set my phone to vibrate, but I didn’t. So, today I called her voice mail line and, shock to me, she actually answered. She wanted an explanation why I upped my Depakote intake from 1000 mg to 1500 mg. What could I say? So, I said I’ll have taken one form or another of valproic acid off and on for the past 10 years, as of April. I know the difference betw
Okay, it’s been five days since my last entry. I increased the Depakote dosage to 1,500 mg at bedtime and I called my shrink to inform her of such action. To those who might be worried, I am not wonky anymore. My mind has entered that dead state of drugged submission. Unfortunately, my new book has ground to a halt at ten chapters.
I don’t know if you can imagine not having any creative abilities, but that’s what happens when you choose to be drugged vs. being totally wonky. When I w
You have to understand being Bipolar is basically an extreme state of mind. A month or so ago I was taking 1,500 mg of Depakote as a mood stabilizer, plus 400 mg of Seroquel, also reported to be a mood stabilizer. My shrink decided that, maybe, I could reduce my intake of Depakote until I was taking Zero mg’s and relying on the 400 mg of Seroquel to stabilize my mind. Unfortunately, when I hit Zero my mind went wonky and I was hallucinating to the extreme.
So, I backed off and got he
I’m still waiting for a referral from the agency that handles outside referrals for the VA to see a psychiatric or psychological professional because my VA psychiatrist said she can no longer see me long-term, per VA directive. The agency that sets up appointments called me before Thanksgiving to say they would find someone (probably an ARNP) to handle my case. They said that I would be authorized to see that person for only four visits. The interesting thing about this is that I’ve been seeing
Tonight, I started the first chapter of a new story. The working title is “The Black Scandinavian.” The lead character, Troy, comes from the last chapter of “319 Winesap Lane.” Yes, that book is finished, although two chapters remain to be published. (hint, hint, Sharon!) Many of my readers probably will not like the last chapter, but I will not let the cat out of the bag today.
Troy has an identity problem, which is identified in the last chapter of “319.” I won’t reveal it now beca
Well, it’s official. I have now entered old age.
Last Thursday, I went to the VA medical center in Seattle to see an ophthalmologist about a previous bleeder on my left retina. Luckily, there was no evidence that it had re-occurred. Unfortunately, the cataract in my right eye has worsened to where it is now operable and I will be going under the knife sometime next month.
During the past couple months, I’ve had a esophageal barium exam and a laryngoscopy to determine why
Today I am sixty-eight. The highlight of the day my son and I went to our local Mexican-American restaurant where I had four chilled Cuervo Traditional Tequilas and two Corona Light Cervezas, an order of shredded beef Taquitos Rancheros with rice and whole pinto beans, and a Chocolate Mud Pie to celebrate my birthday. I didn’t tell them it was my birthday because I wasn’t interested in wearing the sombrero and having the servers singing “Happy Birthday” in Spanish.
My writing is focu
I’ve been reading a collection of Ernest Hemingway’s first forty-nine short stories and I finally came to “Wine of Wyoming.” I suppose it’s a nice short story, except for the French dialogue of which there is quite too much. Two of the characters in the story are from France and, of course, speak French quite a bit, even though much of it is broken. But, enough of it is illegible to someone who does not, nor never has, spoken the language of France, Quebec, French Guiana, and other foreign outpo
lt's taken a bit of time, but I've finally been able to pull all my teeth with a some rusty pliers and get this story going again.
Due to my diminished mental state I do not know when Chapter 19 will be out, but at least there is enough material pending for that chapter.
I’ve been suffering with writer’s block for a few months now, but slowly the creative juices are beginning to unclog and flow once again. Most of this block can be attributed to my recent bout with increased arthritic inflammation in my left knee. My PC sent me to x-ray and the radiologists diagnosed pseudo-gout. My PC who isn’t an MD, but an ARNP, did not accept this diagnosis because she had no knowledge of this affliction. She decided I was suffering from regular ol’ gout because my uric acid
Let’s get this straight right from the beginning. I am suffering from a writer’s block. I’ve had these before and they’ve passed in time, but somehow I feel that this time it’s terminal. In fact, I don’t know the process of moving from Signature Author to Classic Author, but this very well maybe the time for such a transition.
I’ve tried to work on 319 and The GMOs, but there just doesn’t seem to be anything there.
So, I’ve done the only thing that a failed writer can do. I’ve turned to
I haven’t been working on the next chapter for 319 because I have been working on a possible short story for another site during the past week. I know I should be working on 319, but I’m focused on this other story. It involves a young teen who decides to run away from home, hoping to connect with his uncle in Fresno, California. The only problem is that he hasn’t quite figured out how he is going to get in contact with his uncle.
And, then a favorite song comes up:
That’s the pro
Okay, let’s get this clear from the beginning, “I am inebriated.” I have had a double shot of Laphroiag single malt Scotch liquor (it’s one of Prince Charles’ favorite Scotch single malts), an Estrella Jalisco cervesca, two Harvey’s hot buttered rums, a Dos Equis draught, and two double shots of Cazadores Añejo tequila. In the process of becoming inebriated I had a chicken enchilada, a chicken tostada, and a third of a Chicken Milenesa (deep fried chicken breast).
I have had, as usual on wee