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About this blog

An examination of my own whirling thoughts, opinions, and rabbit holes.  Most if not all posts will center around writing and my motivations for undertaking such work.

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Entries in this blog

 

Abomination

I manage medical labs. Part of that management is I decide which tests ordered by our providers are integrated into our EMR (electronic medical record). Some will never be "mapped," as it's called, because they're esoteric, or just too rarely ordered; it takes effort and time to do this mapping, so we pick and choose which get added. Well at the request of a number of providers who particularly like this odd genetic-based test for cancer screening, I began the process of mapping this new it
 

The rheal

Do you really want to know who I am? Or do you want the carefully edited version of who I want you to see? Of who I expect you'll want to see? Because the real me? Well, he's doughtful, and questi0oning, and drunk, and scared. And he doesn't really know what tomorrow will bnring. Reality is niot clean or carefully designed. It simply is. And if you can't handle  that, then you should unfollow this imperfect vessel. And maybe follow someone who will more careully alighn himselrf wi
 

Making the Light

"My batteries are almost gone, and it's getting dark." This was the slightly-romanticized description of the last transmission from the little, tenacious rover, Opportunity, on the planet Mars. It had been there and operating for fifteen years - thirteen beyond the wildest dreams of NASA engineers. It heavily depended on solar power, and over time the dust storms on the planet slowly covered its solar cells. That last transmission came when a planet-wide dust storm hit. The rover sent the t
 

Playing God

I never thought I'd be playing God. I manage twelve small clinical labs, including the staff that go along with them. I plotted out minimum staffing levels to run each. I asked for volunteers to go on unemployment while our business contracted, and patients stopped coming in for routine visits. The idea, so beautifully expressed on paper, was to have those "extra" staff waiting - out of the line of fire, and hopefully staying healthy away from the front lines of this epidemic. One of t

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

Bad Timing

I do not need this right now. I am so freaking busy. But ... - Scene - I am seated around a table with one of our medical directors (Kelvin), my boss (Stacy) and our risk manager (Koreen). "Wayne, do you have an update on turn around times for LabCorp COVID-19 samples?" *I am idly scratching an itch on my neck* "LabCorp is saying their turn around is three days, but it's averaging more like six. Regardless of what we're being told, it's six." Koreen pipes up. "Should we inclu

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

Coronavirus COVID-19

The coronavirus is large and in charge in the news cycles right now. Since I work in healthcare, it's sort of center-stage in my world. I'll say this now - though I work in medicine, I am not an expert in virology or epidemiology. However, I have access to both of those types of experts, and I listen very closely to what they're saying. The overall messaging is: It's likely that there will be a worldwide pandemic. It's likely that there will be a huge disruption of services, due to how many
 

Another Ninety Days

I got the results of my blood work back a week and a half ago. I will go see my doctor to officially discuss them in a couple of weeks, but he messaged through our electronic health record. He applauded the twenty point drop on my cholesterol, but ... said that he'd still like me to consider statins. That the drop alone isn't enough to push me into the "normal" range for heart-attack risk. Well, I need one more data point to decide. If what I'm doing is working, even if it's slow ... then m

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

Into the Oaty Unknown

tim shared his Apricot-Almond baked oatmeal recipe, and I thought ... "Yeah, there are eggs, cream and butter in it, but ... the oats and nuts will help with the cholesterol. It should be okay if I don't go crazy and eat half the pan. Okay, let's go to the store for ingredients!" Off I go. I spend forty minutes in total driving there, walking around with my barely acceptable "I don't care" hair, selecting stuff, then driving back home. Once back here, I begin the process of prepping the dri

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

Week Three Begins

I now have two weeks under my belt, and I'm beginning week three of my workout/meal regimen. I'm still getting used to some things, but it's a lot easier to roll out of bed at 440 than it was when I started. So far I've lost four pounds and gained strength on the bench and under the bar. It's rare for me to do both at once. I am enjoying this combination of routine and meal planning. If you're interested at all, here's what I'm doing. I hid the details behind spoilers ... because, frankly,

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

Penance

I hate watching people tear down others for simply living their lives. You'd think that within the LGBTQ community we'd have figured out how hurtful and damaging it is to do this to one another, but we've still such a long way to go. Some of it is so very subtle. People who are pushed to the fringes of an already marginalized community have it the worst. They get used to little jabs, "good-natured" fun at their expense. Usually these come from the people who they depend on to understand the

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

Ninety Days

I recently went to the doctor. Had some routine blood tests done that I've not had in a long time. My vitamin D levels were low, while cholesterol and a test called CRP (c-reactive protein, a test that shows inflammation) were very high. Even though I work out hard, I'm predisposed to high cholesterol and heart disease. I have three months to knock my numbers down. If I can't do it on my own, then I go on meds for the rest of my life. I've always said that I won't do medication when ha

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

DemiGay

Warning: If relationships that include sex with others apart from committed partners offends you then skip this entry. Like so many of us who have a non-hetero identity, I've done a lot of research on sexuality.  I've also researched for stories I write (particularly the one I'm currently posting, Camp Refuge).  One that I discovered while researching was demisexuality.  Here's urban dictionary's definition of it, and it works pretty well.  https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=De

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

Houseboat Adventure

We’re now on the road, headed back from our house-boating vacation. The first thing we did was load everything onboard, then we got a crash course on not crashing the boat.  After our thirty-minute briefing, we pulled away from the dock and onto the open water of Shasta Lake. Our only goal was to have a good time.  To that end, we tooled along on the beautiful and sunny lake until we found a safe, secluded little inlet. We docked by motoring slowly forward and gently kissing the s

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

Good Things are Coming

"Good Things are Coming" I stared down at the carefully written chalk letters on the sidewalk under my feet.  I was on a walk during my break, and I wondered why someone wrote such a message. I continued on my way. "Good Things are Coming" 'Are they?'  I asked myself as I rounded the corner to head around the block and head back toward my office.  'Are they really?'  It's so hard to be positive sometimes.  I'll admit, I felt a little irritated at the blind, uninformed, and ba

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

Proof of Concept

In Fleeting Eternity, Tad, one of the main characters is an artist.  He drew in a graphic novel style, and he depicted many of his experiences in a sequential way - essentially creating a wordless, "novel" of his life over the span of a few years. So many readers asked if the story was based on something I had read, if there was such a book.  It made me think about the possibilities, and mourn my lack of skill with drawing. I'm nothing if not stubborn, so I thought around the problem. 

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

When Skunks Attack

Last night, I wasn't in the best place.  Introverted, still sort of spinning.  But, wildlife doesn't care about my moods. Our chickens were restless.  It was dusk, and we went out to investigate.  I spied a little skunk - small enough to squeeze between the wire that made up the chicken run trying to hide in the darkness of the run.  So we're out there, trying to get this little confused, scared critter out of our chicken run AND avoid getting sprayed.  Kevin grabs a wire door, to block off

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

Allowed to Break

There are days when you just show up.  Days when you do what you must, hating every iota of effort spent, every word spoken, every interaction.  Days when all you want to do is hide, but you can't. So you straighten your spine, raise your head, put on the expected show.  You - "Fake it till you make it."  Sometimes, a smile at a terrible joke from a coworker is so hard, it feels like you'll crack.  But you know it's expected... so you do it.  When someone asks how you're doing, you have to

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

Bled the Blood (part 2)

This is surreal.  To hear my little song done by my buddy in his own, folky/country style is so strange.  To know that his regular fans hearing it love it is even stranger... Happy Friday... wow.  

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

Home

It's a drizzly Friday morning on the northern coast of California.  Banks of low clouds blend into fog blanketing the forests of what has become my home.  Big, brainy, loud ravens shatter the quiet as they bicker at one another in the field beside my work.  Still, I'm amazed by the serenity, peace, and beauty of this place.  I love the green, the fog, the wetness and the cool. I love our trees - the tallest in the world.  Walking among them instills wonder in me, even after thirteen years o

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

A Silly Exercise

Until today, I have never done a writing prompt. In true fashion, I chose a weird, silly, off-the-wall start to writing prompts.  See the little, ~750 word story behind the link if you want a giggle. Demonic Dentistry

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

The Best of Us

It's so easy to be worn down by the world.  There are so many bad stories, a crushing amount of awful news, that it is just overwhelming if you allow it. So I tend to find and focus on the possible good that people can do. I'll stop here.  The story speaks for itself.

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

Many Hells

There are many battles and many Hells. To those who have walked through their own torment and are still here - don't let anybody say that you "should just move on." Just because they've not been tested doesn't give them the right to belittle how hard you had to fight to survive. You're still here.  That makes you a warrior.  The others?  The ones who don't know?  Lucky them.  Let them sit cocooned in their soft world. But we know, don't we?

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

Here We Go

This week I began a new workout regimen.  I was sick of excuses I make when I can't make it to the gym, so I wanted something I can do anywhere.  No excuses then, right? I planned out a mostly bodyweight routine.  I have simple equipment on hand too - two 35 lb kettlebells,  a yoga mat for when I need to be on the floor, push-up bars to keep my wrists happy, and a pull-up bar above our bedroom doorway.  I'm focusing on increasing the work done in the same span of time.  I am not interested

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

Was it ever Broken?

With all my free time (hahaha!) I've been going through a hard edit of Camp Refuge.  It's sort of the story where I found my favorite subject matter.  It was where I decided I was no longer a writer of "porn with plot", but rather "erotica with purpose". Head-hopping became my enemy after Camp Refuge.  I realized that I did it a lot, and I felt I had to eliminate it in order to improve, and grow.  So I did (mostly). Yet, as I edit and as more players are added to the mix in Camp Refuge

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

Broken, but Good

I started rereading a story I wrote a while back. Camp Refuge is such a keystone for me.  It has so many good things going for it, embedded in a package of terrible mechanics.  I'm going to try and explain what I mean. I began it to help a reader who had written while I was in the process of releasing Guarded on another site.  He was recently diagnosed with HIV, and he was wrecked.  I'll never forget the last two lines he ever wrote to me - "Who could love me now?  Who could possibly l

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

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