my memoir

I have been working on Night Dogs as my primary fiction piece. It’s coming along slowly now. This seems to be the way of storytelling. An idea appears, details gel and I write like gangbusters and then it slows as the story starts to demand sturdier legs to stand on. However, this is probably the best story of this length I have ever written and I know it has novel potential. My goal is to finish it in May and workshop it via a writing course I am going to be taking at the university this June.

Which leaves my regular readers wondering about the memoir? Well, maybe you aren’t. I haven’t forgotten it. Ideas about what to do with the rough draft swirl, recede before morphing into something tangible.

It’s hard to pick up again because it was hard to write. Deliberately picking at emotional scars is not my idea of something that is good for a person, but I want to finish it. It’s just not going to be quite the memoir it started out to be.

I have come to realize that the story of my loss and widowhood is not a story that would strike a cord with too many people. And, that the loss was not mine. It was Will’s loss. He died. Too young and too horrifically. All I lost was the option to live a life I thought I was supposed to live, however, that life was never mine to live. It was not a part of the great overall scheme of things for me. My loss was insignificant compared to his.

No, the story is in accepting and rebuilding because how many people really and truly do that?

And it’s Rob’s story too, so I have been in semi-discussions with him about writing his story as it overlaps with mine. He is warming to the idea, but regardless, we wouldn’t start on it until summer. So that is where that is.

I continue fitfully at 50 Something Moms. I have two short works I want to finish this spring that have promise, and then there are the boxes in the basement with half-finished or simply outlines ideas that I need to go through.

And thus I end my state of the writing address, dear readers.

During my downtime this week, I ran across the new trailer for the upcoming Star Trek prequel. Very cool. The dry and dustbowly Iowa landscape seems to indicate the “reimagined” landscape of Kirk’s boyhood did not escape the whole global warming thing, and I am having a bit of trouble with Winona Ryder as Spock’s mother. Otherwise, I am totally there in May 2009.

I ordered up John Updike’s sequel to the Witches of Eastwick, which I will have to read as well because I don’t think I did. I just saw the movie – which is dated now. The sequel is about old widowed witches. Hmmm. Are there any other kind?

My week did not go precisely as planned. I started off with high hopes but was felled by infection coupled with a reaction to the medication the doctor prescribed. I had to visit the walk-in clinic. An experience that is probably on par with the kind of medicine uninsured, or crappily insured, Americans receive. I was not one of those people. I had really good insurance and a regular doctor. I never had to sit for three hours to see a doctor for as many minutes.

We have a doctor here but he was at a convention and gone for the week. He has no partner in his practice and given the medical profession shortage up here, there is no one who he can find to back him up. Another hunt for a regular family doctor is necessary but might prove fruitless. Canadians all have access but sometimes there is nothing to access and we have to queue up for what there is.

The Walk-In Clinic has a very small waiting area that holds about thirty people and on a Monday it is wall to wall. One of the Doctors on call that day was Shelley’s old doctor and though she agreed to take BabyD and I as patients, I have never once seen her. She keeps very limited hours and seems to have a roster of people who take precedence over others. On Monday, her patients were jumping the queue all over the place and the rest of us had to wait for Dr. A. He is a nice young man who still looks 19 or so and I usually see him when I am forced to use the clinic. He at least speaks English I can understand which can’t be said of all of the practitioners there.

The worst thing about the wait were two women who talked non-stop, and loudly, about things no one should casually be blithering in a waiting room full of sick strangers. They started with a lengthy discussion about their educational backgrounds and as it turned out – neither of them have an education. In their late twenties to early thirties, they were both still working on high school equivalencies, but they had a lot to say about the high school program for drop outs and most of it focused on the fact that there were just too many losers clogging up the works for the rest of them to get through. From there we were treated to a far too detailed stroll down pregnancy lane.

“I had this pain. Like round ligament but worse and it felt like a bladder infection but Dr. C told me, after I pee’d in the cup, that I didn’t have one.”

“So what was it?”

“Oh, I don’t know. It just went away after a couple of days and then I went into labor.”

“Vaginally or c-section? I wanted a c-section but they wouldn’t give me one even though it took hours and hours to push that kid out.”

“Oh, I wanted vaginal, but my first was a c and so you can rupture you know if you try to go vag.”

And on and on. Eventually I knew that one of the women was raising a step-child who was sitting right next to her when she confided – to the whole room,

“You can raise them up from scratch properly but when you get them older, there is so much damage to correct.”

They were both married to men capable of knocking them up from a distance of several feet using only their penetrating eyesight. Perhaps they were closet super heroes?

Mercifully one of them was called into the back exam rooms after nearly 45 minutes of far more information than even a blogger like me wanted to be privy to. If only I had a device to knock out obnoxious conversations like Unbearable’s cell phone jammer. I think they are called “ice-picks” and it’s probably illegal to lobotomize total strangers in a waiting room although I doubt anyone would have lifted a finger to stop me. The whole room let out a collective sigh of relief when that air pollution ceased.

I fell behind one day on the memoir, but I was already over 30,000 words and confident I could make it up. I am at the place where I am writing about meeting Rob and our developing friendship. It’s funny to think that we have known each other for two years now. The time has gone by so quickly.

In some ways the memoir just flows like rain water down the eaves until I stop and remember I am referencing real people, most of whom are still alive and might read what I am writing. Did I mention that DNOS is reading my blog now? It’s a good thing my need to write takes precedence over my sense of decorum is all I can say.

And so another week is at an end and you, dear readers, are updated.