Monday, December 12, 2022

No Needles, Please

So this weekend, my sister hosted a Botox party. I turned 45 this year, and I've really taken care of my skin. But STILL. There are THINGS. Gravity is dumb. Making expressions, like we primates do, carves canyons in obvious places. I've been wanting to try this procedure for years. If nothing else, it's good research for stories about alien experiments or something. Anyway!

My sister, myself, our mom, and several friends were all thrilled to hang out, eat, laugh, and get stuck with needles. I do NOT like to think of myself as squeamish. I laid under a tattooist's needle gun for an hour and a half and prided myself on my nerve and strong stomach. And during the party in question, I watched a friend and my sister surrender their skin to the RN. No problem. I rushed to be third in line, plunked down in the chair, laid my head back, processed the feel of the needle in my forehead so I could remember it for future reference, told myself to not really think about it, listen to the conversations and laughter going on around me. A minute later: done. Forehead complete. Now to wait till the numbing balm really takes effect on my upper lip, cuz my sister inherited a gorgeous upper lip and I got zilch. I'm not bitter. Not at all.

But as soon as the RN goes back to her kit to refill while we wait, I start feeling a little queasy. No worries, I'll just breathe through it, it'll pass. Then the little black grainy flecks start prickling across my vision. My sister asks me, "Are you okay?" (Later, she said I was green. Apparently, that actually happens.)

I nod, in full denial. A few seconds later, I admit it: "I think I'm gonna pass out." I do not remember anyone running to me. Next thing I know, I'm waking up. My sister is holding me in the chair, my mom is fanning my face with a paper plate. Thank God these are calm women. No one panicked. 

Up till this experience, I've only ever fainted when having blood drawn. (Didn't even occur to me I could FAINT while getting Botox!) But this time, in front of everyone, my body did one better. "I think I'm gonna throw up." Someone shoves a trashcan under my chin, and sure enough, there's no stopping it.

All the while, I'm thinking, "WTF?!?! Why does this happen to me? Body, you're so stupid."

Well, the barfing shoves blood back where it belongs, my head clears, and I come fully around. My friend brings me water, my sister gives me anti-nausea medicine, and someone asks, "Are you done?" As in, Are you finished with the Botox?" Well, after everything I just went through, I consider this an affront. I declare, "I'm not stopping! Stick me again!"

By golly, I came here for an upper lip and I'm not leaving till I get one. Ah, the things we do for Beauty. She who loves no one in return.

In the end, the party was a grand success. We had a blast. Plus, a couple days later, the canyons in my forehead are relaxing into gentle valleys, and my upper lip is marginally plumper. Will I do this in again in six months? Perhaps. With the caveat that "I'm in no way squeamish. I just faint now and then." 

Sunday, December 4, 2022

NaNo Final Tally: Success, Sorta

Final tally of my unofficial NaNo attempt:


So I did not reach my word count goal. BUT! I wrote more than I expected and made serious progress on my WIP. Better, I like what I wrote. I may have met the 20k mark, but during the last two weeks of the month my attention was diverted by holiday/family stuff and writing entries for a micro fiction contest.

Because the contest entries were all-new material, I counted those words in the final tally as well. 

Altogether, I had a LOT of fun during this first attempt at NaNo. By this time next year, I really really really hope Blackbird is finished and I've moved on to the query phase.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

NaNoWriMo: Flash Research

NaNoWriMo is going more slowly than I had hoped, but it's going. I've decided that writing an historical novel for my NaNo project was a mistake. Details keep cropping up that I feel an urgent need to doublecheck or learn on the fly before I can continue writing with confidence.

I'm calling it 'flash research.' Where I research "in a flash," not "how to flash." Bad joke. Whatever.

I love learning things, so research is a risky business during NaNo month. One thing leads to another, and suddenly an hour of writing time is gone.

So what sorts of things are distracting me from writing? 

Today, I looked up the deathstalker. What is this thing with a kick-ass name? Be prepared to shudder in terror when you behold it.

Deathstalker Scorpion, image by מינוזיג

Let's retrofit some stuff I looked up during earlier NaNo research pitstops:

1870s fashion, not because I needed to, but because I wanted to gawk at loveliness
Mahalabiya, or milk pudding

The range and habits of the Egyptian cobra

Where shall the story take me next? If a djinn would come along and grant me a wish, I'd want the story to take me back to Egypt, in a literal sense. I'd go back in a heartbeat. I expect my love of the place and my fascination with its people and its history come across in the story, perhaps too strongly. Can't be helped, and I'm not sorry. :D

Thursday, November 3, 2022

#NaNoWriMo Shell Shock

So yesterday, Day 2, of my unofficial NaNoWriMo participation, my brain went into full revolt, cannons booming, bombs falling, satellites shooting lasers, the Death Star revving up on the horizon, and sent my words into full retreat. The result was a pathetic 163 words and a cussing fit.

On Day 1 I was so excited and knocked out 1214 words of my goal of 20k. After that, I'm pretty sure my brain got to looking at the structure of the schedule I had handed it and decided to give me the finger. Now words are quivering in the darkest corner of the void stunned by shell shock.

Takes me a bit to adjust to any sort of change, and I assume this is no different. Hoping my brain gets over itself and we can make some headway. Before it's too late to catch up.

It's not like you've never written on a tight schedule, Brain! Stop acting like a melon loaded with dynamite and do what I know you can do!

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

First Time #NaNoWriMo Participant

In an unofficial capacity, I'm participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time ever. I'm hoping the collective goal of 50k in one month will light a fire and provide excuses to focus and say no to distractions -- so that I can make major headway on my WIP.

I've crossed the halfway mark on Blackbird (no longer the title, but for consistency's sake), so I'm looking at the finish line at last. Problem is, it's taken me two years to reach this halfway point. The last half MUST NOT take another two. It's time to kick things into high gear. Now of all times. During the holiday season, which is the WORST time for me to write. Always has been. But if I can tell family, "Sorry, there's a writing competition going," maybe I'll get this thing done by spring.

I haven't joined the official NaNo site/forum. I'll be doing all my updates on LegendFire. And here. I hope.

Ugh. And by rambling on my blog, I'm proving my dread to begin. Stop procrastinating! Get writing!