Monday, October 29, 2007

monster chiller theater

Don’t know why I am reminded of “Slinky from Hell” right now, but there you have it - a random firing of the synapsis causing an obscure recall episode.

Anyhoo - tis three days away from “Write as much as you possibly can in 30 days” time.

My novel is still in the semi-gelatinous form (like an immature Shoggoth) but will likely sprout the adult tentacles and suckers during November while it grows.

So, having said (or rather written) that, I’m not sure if November will see much in the way of Monday updates - I’ll be too busy trying to maintain my wordcount.

I’ll see if I can link up the NaNoWriMo graph thingy here from my profile so you can (if you are really, really bored) see how close I am to cranking out the 50,000 necessary words by Nov 30th.

And in typical fashion, once I got my November novel idea it has started to grow in scope and magnitude on its own like a cancer - but a good cancer . . .

I’m really only putting the final touches on my protagonist right now and sorting out my chapter plots a little bit.

Then come this Thursday - lunatic writing begins.

Should be a fun experiment - either one of fruition or possibly futility . . .

Still, you can’t score a goal if you never take a shot.

Of course, you can’t impact the earth at 120 miles per hour if you never jump out of a plane or off a mountain precipice either - but I think you follow me.

So back to my nagging protagonist.

Monday, October 22, 2007

CT Scanners live in vein

Gee has a whole week gone by already?

This week's short writing update deals exclusively with NaNoWriMo 2007.

My plotting mind has begun to churn and my fingers are limbering up for this big event.

That's about it. I may post more writing stuff once the gales of November come early . . .

Yeah, where did that come from.

So, for your entertainment - or skippage - here is a piece about my getting a CT scan.

I did not enjoy the experience much, but now that it is all over, the memory of it is kinda funny.

Kinda . . .


Ever have a CT scan?

Well if you have, then you know what you have to go through, but if you have not - then let me explain all about it and the wonders that await you . . .

. . . No food four hours before the scan. No drink one hour before the scan. No fun the entire day of the scan.

Flash forward to the general area waiting room -

- which was somewhere about 5 degrees Celsius. I half expected to see sides of beef hanging from ceiling hooks, or at the least icicles or a layer of frost. And yes, it was about 30 Celsius outside.

I believe the super cold temperatures are not to torture waiting patients, but rather, in the off chance somebody dies while waiting, there is little chance of decay setting in before the cleaning staff can find the body . . .

. . . Okay, that was morbid, but I was in a Hospital about to undergo a hideous procedure. What do you expect?

After the prerequisite half hour wait, I was called in for phase one. What was I expecting? Well, I was told by colleagues at work that you have to drink this semi-sweet concoction and that was about it.

Wrong . . .

. . . First question from the nurse (she was nice at least and not at all like the wicked witch of the West wing I was expecting) which arm do you want the IV in?

The what? I thought I was just going to gulp some foul tasting goop and be done.

Oh no, she says, we need to inject you with a metallic iodine solution . . .

. . . bullet time . . .

. . . Oh shit! One person at work I talked to had this done. He said they took a cylinder, about the size of a window calking tube, and pumped the whole damn thing up his arm until he felt like his entire body was going to swell up and explode.

Oh crap! . . .

. . . resume normal time.

Um, how much is going in my arm, and why? Yeah, I was cool on the outside, shaking like a frightened child on the inside.

Only about this much, she said reaching behind her. I half expected her to roll out a 45 gallon drum marked with a skull and crossbones, but she only showed me a small vial holding about 200 ml. Oh, okay. I can handle that I told myself. Piece of cake.

Then, she opens the mini fridge behind her and says, “now for your drinks” . . .

. . . Drinks? You mean like Guinness or Smithwicks?

Yeah, I start to joke under pressure. Okay, not entirely true. I joke all the time. Anyhow, nobody laughs - but she did - to ease my tension I think.

But drinks too, what the hell is this? Don’t I get the shot in the arm only? Both.

Oh crap!

I spy these huge, and I mean huge, containers of Styrofoam holding, and I don’t lie, about 750 ml of orange liquid each. I’m thinking, crap I have to drink all that. I am not a big drinker, unless it’s Guinness or Smithwicks that is, and this was not.

So what does she do?

She pulls out two!

I looked around for somebody else. I mean, two of those means two people right? Right?

Oh crap!

“You can get started on the first one,” she says smiling at me.

I made some other joke about quantity or such. Yes, both are for you. Suck it patient, was what I’m sure she was really thinking, or not another “you want me to drink all of this” comment. She must be bored out of her tree all day handing those over and getting that same reaction.

So back to the, which arm do you want the IV in? Really, I get a choice? How nice.

I pointed to another patient along the hall - how about that arm, over there? Ha, ha, har . . .

. . . Left. I need to drive a manual transmission out of here today so want my shifting arm in good shape.

Why the back of the gorram hand?

It’s so, incase the worst happens, they can wheel you in to the operating room . . .

Gee, thanks. I feel a whole lot better now.

No, I ask the nurse, why the pamphlet before all this telling me that the procedure I’m about to undergo can lead to death? I mean, I’m already on edge here, why the “death” threats?

Just procedure (IE; covering their butts). She tells me that even if they were to give me an aspirin I would have to read and sign this form.

I sign the form - I wonder if the paratroopers on D-Day had to sign a form?

Well, I go back to the meat locker waiting room and begin to slurp down the ridiculous amount of syrupy goop.

After about twenty minutes, and one container later, my bladder is filling up.

So, off I go to the washroom to unload.

I come back and wait another twenty minutes or so.

What in Hell’s half acre is taking so bloody long?

Finally, the assistant pokes her head around and calls my name. As she walks me along she tells me they came out twenty minutes ago but I wasn’t there.

Um, gee, you just had me swallowing two liters of syrup - do ya think I may have been in the can?

My humour is turning to into sarcastic vitriol at this time. I blame it on my body temperature being ten degrees below normal.

Happy nurse shows again and in her hand is another smaller Styrofoam cup - full of orange sweet sickly stuff.

She tells me I need a top-up because I was gone so long.

I am resigned to my fate at this point and just suck it down like a good trapped rat.

The wait is short and I’m lead into the CT scan room. Cool, I think.

You have the X-Files slab and a giant torus shaped apparatus which the table feeds you into.

Not cool, I think as they set me down and strap me in place. Still, no more goop to drink thank Josefat.

Once I’m securely in place they hook up the IV quick connect and get ready for a test? They need to test? How faulty is this equipment anyhow?

And, the test does not work. Bubbles in the IV line or something. The nurse wacks on the unit, just like you would expect a professional to fix something - it works. So, not all you see in the movies is make believe.

The assistant and nurse scurry off behind a protective barrier. I’m reminded of footage of nuclear bomb testing - and I’m at ground zero.

The giant torus, my feet are pointing at, begins to whir and the unit gets up to speed. It sounds like a muted jet engine. Cool, I think again knowing the end is near . . . Okay, not the most appropriate thought, but what do you want.

I am told the unit hooked up to my IV will now administer the lethal (okay, not lethal) dose of metallic iodine something or other - and the most peculiar sensation hits me.

No, not the light in the distance (just the overhead florescent) but my bladder all of a sudden feels hot. Strange, very strange.

I’m fed through the unit as it whirs at top speed. In the torus, then out of the torus.

I picture Homer Simpson taking a bite out of it. I does resemble a rather large white powder donut.

Nurse comes back. Pops out the IV. I’m free to go.

As a bonus - I didn’t die!

A parting word of advice to all you youngins out there. Eat lots of fibre, drink lots of water and stay the hell away from crap food.

Your innards will love you and you may never have to have a CT scan.

For me - the beginning - of the rest of my goo food life.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

strange days ahead

Well, as I wrote last post that I was not going to do it - well, now I am.

NaNoWriMo 2007 here I come. You can hunt me down on the site as "nyarlwriter" if you wish.

Yes, I am crazy in the head - but so are the other 80,000 or so people who are going to attempt this month of mayhem and word wacking come November 1st.

50,000 words in 30 days, or 1,667 words a day for 30 days, or about 8 pages of double spaced type in Times New Roman . . .

And I have no idea what I’m going to write.

I’m going to let the morning of November 1st surprise me.

This goes against every writer instinct I have. I need to plot and plan and know what is going to happen and what is going on.

So, just spewing down a huge story as fast as my Grade 13 typing class has prepared me for (years ago when Grade 13 wasn’t going anywhere) and telling the inner critic to STFU so I can get her, I mean, the words out unedited . . . (Okay, 10 points if you got the Wonderfalls title reference . . .) has me more than a little rattled.

But, I’m sort of excited about the attempt as well. I mean it’s the journey, isn’t it?

Right, am I right? (20 point if you got the Peanuts reference . . .)

So there you have it.

Another writer tossing his brain into the shark pool to see if it can swim.


And two other DVD things of note. If you have ever wanted the complete X-Files series or the complete Angel series - Go to Amazon dot ca and do it right now.

Amazon (evil incarnate, well not as bad as Wal-Mart) dot ca has the complete Angel series in the special slimline box for only 97 bucks - include tax and you are at 110. This will be delivered in Canada anywhere for free and works out to 22 bucks a season or 1 dollar and episode. You can’t get a coffee for a dollar anymore so this is great and yeah, I did order it.

The complete X-Files is on for 239. This is not quite as good a deal but still works out to about 30 bucks a season tax included delivered to your Canadian home.

So, to wrap up, every morning in November I will be creating my masterba . . ., um, masterpiece, and then each November evening I get to watch and Angel episode. Angel is supposed to be good, isn’t it?

Until Monday where I will begin to panic about NaNoWriMo.

And oh, yes, this will mean a delay in my current novel, but I’m hoping the brain drain of 30 days of writing will make my latest Sci-Fi novel fly from the neurons and onto the screen afterwards without all the agonizing.

At least that is the theory.

I love theories - it’s that practical bit of making them happen that gives me troubles.

Monday, October 15, 2007

fallout and fallin

So far the writing plan is a success.

I read chapter 1 (of 18) on reading night to the group and now it’s time to work on chapter 2 before the second Saturday in November.

Almost interested in NaNo, but I think it would be more of a distraction than a benefit.

No offense to those who partake. I just think for me (it is all about me after all) it would not work.

This concludes the Fallin part of the post.


Fallout 3 now has trailers to view, screenshots and a whole lot of “I gotta play this when it launches”.

And it launches March of next year.

I do anticipate it. Much.

And to show my appreciation, I’m playing (when I get a spare moment) Fallout - the original.

This is kind of like if another Trek show were to be debuting and you went back and watched all the “Classic” Bones, Kirk, other guy, Star Trek episodes.

Or, maybe that is not exactly like it.

Because didn’t Enterprise s(h)orta kill the Enterprise?

and would we really want another Trek show?

Anyhow, -

- if you have played Fallout 1 and Fallout 2, then you know you are going to get Fallout 3 and love it.

Even though it is a first person perspective game like Oblivion. Is this a good thing? Or a bad thing?

For me - I don’t really care. Getting to tangle with raiders, radscorpions and robots is reward good enough for me whatever the interface.

And this, I’m afraid, concludes the Fallout portion of the broadcast . . .

Bring on the Ron Perlman voice-over in March 2008 -

“War . . . War never changes.”

Monday, October 01, 2007

the blank page before me . . .

. . . lies open like a wound void of blood, still and sterile, echoing the tortures of ages past and ages to come . . .

. . . or something.

Hard to get started this morning. May be due to my daughter being dog sick the night before and me getting about three hours of sleep. At least I hope that’s it.

Or could be “Lord of the Rings” soundtrack playing in the background.

Or hot coffee burning my mouth.

Or three million angels dancing on the head of a pin. I wonder if they are all vampires? . . .

So, as for the update, all is going very well with only a slight modification. Instead of “end of the month” (and all that implies), I’m shooting for “before next reading night” which suits me better.

That means I still have two weeks to polish off my first draft of chapter 1 (of 18) of my new Sci-Fi thriller. And I even have a working, printed first version to mull over and massage this week.

More next week then on how it’s going.


A few things of note -

- if you have cash to burn that is. Absolute Sandman Vol. 2 is out this month as well as Donaldson’s “Fatal Revenant”, the second part to his “Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant”.

And today marks a milestone for me. It was exactly 7 years ago today when I made the ultimate decision - escape from Cube-Catraz. So what this means is, as of today I have 6 years left in my sentence . . .

. . .or less, depending on good behaviour and other things. Still, that to me is real progress and the ten watt bulb looks to have been replaced by a twenty five. Sweet!

Of course it may just be that the trip to our nation’s capital this weekend had me looking at the soon to be stunning display of fall tree colouring. You forget sometimes, pounding the man-made environment, just what natural beauty is all about. So get out in the country this month and behold nature’s wondrous display. No pressure though.

And this weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving. WooHoo! A four day get-out-of-hell free pass and, as an added bonus - Thanksgiving dinner with some friends again. Yes, you heard me - friends - not relatives. That I am looking forward too.

And I will try for, after next week’s update, to have the trip to the hospital fo a scan tale complete so you can relive (vicariously) the suffering I endured to find out I have mild bowel problem. Must have been the almost twenty years of crap I was fed in Corporate Ville backing up the system.

Oh well, enjoy the fall colours (if you are in that part of the world) and I’ll spew forth some more next week and let you know how goes the novel grind.

I’m still undecided as to whether I should post my new novel up here or not. Maybe the first three chapters or something? Not sure.

the blank page before me. . .