Serial Story: Live With Me, Part 1

This serial story is presented in draft (unedited) form. Each installment will be available for one week, and new installments will be posted every Friday. Enjoy!


Live With Me
Part 1

The phone on her desk startled Candace when it rang, jarring her out of a daydream that she had no business having at work. Her client for the hour had cancelled and she’d started catching up on some paperwork, but her mind had drifted to that one day in high school when her whole life had changed.

And a certain tall, wiry basketball player that had managed to give her both  the best and worst five minutes of her teenaged years.

Even though she understood now what had happened on an intellectual level, she still remembered the feeling of betrayal as if it had happened yesterday.

Probably because she’d had a crush on Emmett Archer since the day he’d moved in across the street and winked at her over their shared fence. The day he’d broken her heart was the day she’d learned to listen to her head instead of following her emotions.

It was also the day he’d kissed her. Angels had sung, fireworks had popped, and they’d lived happily ever after.

Or that’s how it went in her daydreams. Too bad things like that didn’t actually happen in real life.

The message light blinked at her, reminding her that she hadn’t actually answered the phone. Rolling her eyes at her own gaff, she pressed the button to get the message.

“Candace? This is Angela Archer, and I’m sorry to bother you while you’re working, but I was hoping you could help me with something. Be a dear and call me back when you get this, please. It is somewhat time sensitive, I’m afraid.”

Candace picked up the phone and dialed the number she knew by heart. Her cheeks heated a little at the timing – daydreaming about Emmett while his mother was on the line.

Emmett had eventually grown up, technically speaking, and gone on to play professional basketball. But his parents had stayed next door to hers. His mother had been Candace’s main source of help and support when her own parents had died in an accident two years before. They’d grown close, and Candace thought of Angela like a second mother. Whatever Angela needed, Candace would make sure she got it.

“Angela? It’s Candace. Are you okay?”

“I’m fine dear – thank you for calling me back. But I do need a favor, and you know I woudn’t ask if it wasn’t important.”

Candace could hear the smile and warmth in the woman’s voice, and it made her smile too.

“Whatever you need, of course. I just have one more appointment for the day, and then I’m all yours.”

“Oh thank you! I knew you’d come through. You have a spare bedroom, don’t you? Would you be willing to rent that out to me for a few weeks? It would really help me a lot…”

Candace frowned. Angela and Gary had always been a solid unit, one of those couples that rarely had problems. She couldn’t image what could possibly drive Angela out of the house.

“Of course you’re welcome to use the spare room. And I couldn’t possibly take your money – stay as long as you’d like. But if you and Gary are having problems, I could recommend a good therapist…”

Angela laughed, not the laugh of someone leaving her husband. More like someone who’d just told a hilarious joke that caught everyone by surprise. Candace sat back in her chair, dread pooling in her stomach as she waited for the punchline. Angela had mentioned Emmett getting hurt, and she’d seen on the news last night that he was being release from the hospital. She’d just forgotten in her fantasy-dream state, or she’d have caught on sooner.

She really needed to stop daydreaming at work.

“The room isn’t for me, honey. I’m sure you remember me telling you about Emmett getting hurt, and now he needs a place to stay where the press won’t think to look for him. Of course I thought of you, and I knew you wouldn’t mind helping out. We really appreciate it. He’s being released this evening, so we’ll have a cab drop him off. Don’t want to chance anyone following us, you know. Thank you again, dear – oh! That’s him on the other line, so I have to go. Talk to you soon!”

The line went dead before Candace could say one word, and she put the receiver down with a thud.

No, no, no. Emmett Archer in her house? Sleeping in her spare bed?

So. Not. Happening.

She picked up the phone and dialed Angela’s number, but no one answered. Of course not. Angela knew that something had happened with Emmett in high school, but Candace hadn’t told her what, and Angela insisted that she should let it go. That she’d be perfect for Emmett. That she’d always hoped Candace and Emmett would get together someday.

The woman just didn’t understand. Candace reached for her purse. She’d go over there and admit her humiliation. Surely Angela would understand why she absolutely did not want to see Emmett.

Ever.

The intercom buzzed. “Ms. Wilson? Your next appointment is here.”

Closing her eyes, Candace took a deep breath and let it out. Clients. Work. Right.

Opening her eyes, she put her purse back in it’s place under her desk and took another calming breath. She would just have to find Angela right after work. There would still be time. She could still fix this.

Clearing her mind and looking at her client’s file for a moment to refocus herself, she pressed the intercom button.

“Send her in, Sarah.”

Sixty minutes. She could continue to freak out in exactly sixty minutes.


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On Reading, Writing, & A New Serial Story…

Happy(?) Monday!

First up, the Jasmine plant I bought a couple weeks ago and was worried about killing? As I was doing my weekly “plant check” on Sunday, I noticed that the new vines have flower buds. How cool is that? A good sign, methinks…

I’ve also been reading more again…thank goodness. On the rare occasions that my life gets really hectic, I have no mental energy left for much of anything – even reading. But things are evening out again, and I’ve been reading more regularly, and I have some books I’m excited to recommend. So look for the return of the weekly reading post coming this Wednesday.

In writing news – I finished a draft this weekend! Woohoo! It’s an upper middle grade adventure story that I wrote for submission to Black Wolf Print, a brand new small press just opening up this year. It’s book one of five (or six, maybe), and it was a challenge all the way through because it was completely out of my normal comfort zone. But I think it turned out well, and I’m looking forward to continuing the story in the next book (not until sometime next fall – I have a lot of other books to write before I get back to this series!).

I’ve been beta testing a new writing program for a few days, and I really like it so far. It’s called Shaxpir (shakes-peer), and while a lot of features are still in development, I can see this replacing both Scrivener and Evernote for my writing needs (I’ll still need Evernote for a host of other things, of course). We’ll see, but so far, I’m excited about it.

It’s kind of funny, but while I move deeper into technology for my writing needs, at the day job, I’m actually moving back to more…traditional project management methods. Just Friday, I asked my boss for a whiteboard and markers, because I need a place to write things out and color code and do it all by hand just for that better memory recall and the constant visual reminders. I don’t know how it will work, exactly, but I think it’s gonna be good. I’m excited about that too, in a different way altogether.

And last but not least, I’ll be starting a new serial novel here on the blog on Friday. Yes, I know…not going to do them anymore, etc, but…it’s my blog, and I can change my mind if I want to. And I do. So if you’re interested, check back Friday for the first chapter of Live With Me – second book in the Be With Me series. Wanna read the first book? Sleep With Me is available in digital and print formats at your favorite online retailers. A great summer read, if I do say so myself.

And for those of you who follow my alter-egos, keep an eye on those blogs too. Similar announcements are coming…

That’s it for now…here’s to a hopefully productive and spring-like week for all of us!


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On Jasmine, Change Cycles, & Spoiled Wine…

A couple of weeks ago, I found two jasmine vines at the grocery store (in the plant department, of course). I love jasmine, but I tend to have a hard time growing it as a houseplant. Most of the time, that stops me from buying, but there were only two, and it’s pretty rare to find it around here at all, and in a moment of weakness, I brought one home.

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Jasmine plant with dying leaves & new shoots.

I wasn’t really all that surprised when leaves started to shrivel up and die, even though I paid pretty close attention to it and took care not to over-water it or let it dry out. I figured that would happen, but it did kind of bum me out that it happened so quickly. Still, I kept it, because sometimes plants go through an adjustment period where they act like they’re gonna die and then spring back to life just because their environment changed.

Sure enough, a couple days later, I spotted new vines coming up among the dying ones. And this week as I was doing my Sunday “plant check”, I noticed that the new vines don’t seem to be dying. Yet.

I don’t really consider this “pessimism” – more just “realism”. I’ve killed enough of these plants to know that the chances of keeping one alive long-term aren’t good. At the same time, my naturally optimistic nature really, really wants to believe that this time, this one will be “the one” that I grow into a beautiful, healthy, strong jasmine vine that will eventually bloom and set off my allergies like crazy (life tends to balance like that…).

The whole changing of the leaves/out with the old/in with the new is relevant in many ways to my life right now, from the day job, to the writing, and a bunch of matching internal philosophical upheaval. Things and thoughts evolving and sometimes even going in directions I didn’t really see coming. With the changes come many decisions to make and…”things” that must be dealt with. It’s normally a stressful time, and there’s really no way out but through.

This current cycle of change seems different though, somehow. It’s still a bit stressful and I’ve fallen way behind, but mentally I feel like I’m keeping things in better perspective, which is helping me to cope in a healthier, more “zen” manner. Yes, I still feel the stress, but there’s this underlying calm as well that keeps me focused on what could be if I can hang in there and get to the other side. Change will never be my friend…I love stability and routines far too much for that. But at this particular point in my life, I feel like I’m able to embrace this time for what it is: a period of transition that will eventually yield to a positive outcome.

Or so I hope, anyways.

Unlike the wine we bought a few weeks ago to restock our wine cooler. I left the box of several bottles on the dining room table, because I hadn’t gotten around to adding them to my stock list yet. I finally got them added and we opened one up last week and…it was horrible. Another and another and another and…you get the idea. All different wines and labels, all apparently ruined by sitting for a week in the hot sun that comes in my southern dining room window.

Mea culpa. Needless to say, we went and bought yet another “stock” for the cooler this weekend, and I got them cataloged and into the cooler post haste. Often my laziness leads to more efficient means of doing things, but in this case, it just led to a bunch of spoiled wine. A sad, somewhat expensive lesson to learn, but I won’t be lazy putting the wine away again!

I know I’ve been skimping on the blog posts lately, and it’s because every spare moment I get lately, I’ve been spending either recovering from a mentally exhausting day, or working on drafts (sometimes both). Things are settling down a bit though, and I’m hopeful that this week I’ll have more mental energy to spare, which will enable me to get back on the blogging wagon, so to speak. I hope. If that does happen, watch for a special announcement coming this Friday (if you don’t see it, you can safely assume I’m just brain-dead again this week – it’ll happen eventually!).


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On Problem Solving & The Magic of Showers…

Believe it or not, I’m glad it’s Monday (yes, it’s 12:30am as I write this, but still…Monday). I know, I know. It’s completely preposterous, but Mondays are actually rarely bad for me (Tuesdays are generally my “bad” day of the week), and I solved a programming problem in my head while in the shower on Sunday, and I’m excited to get back to work and see if my solution will hold up in a test. Excited, I tell you. It’s a most frustrating/perplexing problem I’ve been trying to solve.

The thing is, the solution was right there the whole time (as they generally are). Staring me right in the face and waiting for that “ah-ha!” moment to finally kick in (after which the solution laughs and points and makes fun of how long it took me to find it). But I’ve found that there are several things that have to be in place before that ah-ha moment can happen:

– The mind has to be relaxed
– The actual root of the problem must be discovered
– The problem has to be examined from all sides, not just one or two

In my case, I had to get away from my normal work environment (hence my mind chewing on it this weekend). It’s been a bit more stressful than usual lately, and I just needed to be away and without pressure for a little while. I also had to “lead” myself into finding the root of the problem. There were many symptoms masking it, but when I finally did find the actual root cause of my problems, that’s what pointed me toward the proper perspective to attack the problem from.

Once I switched perspectives, the solution I needed suddenly just popped right into my head. And it was so simple that I actually spent quite a bit of time thinking about all the potential reasons it wouldn’t work because it just seemed so easy.

We shall see after I’m able to set up a test, but I’m very, very optimistic.

The million dollar question here is: If I hadn’t taken a shower yesterday, how long would it have been before I came to this solution? Not that it really matters, but…I’m willing to contend that the shower was integral to finding the solution when and how I did.

Because showers are magical, of course.


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On Life, Writing, & Pressure Valves…

Before I forget, I need to announce the winners of the Flame & Stone Newsletter Prize Packages (this month’s newsletter should be in your inbox by now):

Congratulations to
Lorraine Richmond & Dolly Garland!

You’ll both be hearing from me by email this evening, ladies. Thanks for being subscribers! :-)

There’s a BeauTEAful Summer Tea-Themed prize package up for grab next month, and it’s only for newsletter subscribers. If you’re not signed up, what are you waiting for?

Now to answer the question I’m sure is on everyone’s mind…

Yes, yes we did get the new dishwasher. And installed it over the course of two nights. And about 20 minutes of my Saturday too, finishing up the hose & electrical box hangings. Which sounds far more interesting than it actually was.

Life sort of took a not-so-unexpected-yet-still-unwelcome turn last week, leaving me very little energy (mental or physical) at the end of each day. It’s a temporary situation as they generally are – things always tend to find a way to come back to some sort of balance eventually. The annoying thing about being worn down that far is that there’s no room for anything else until the mind’s had a chance to rest. Including writing.

I get crabby when I don’t write, and not just because between that cold I had and these “things” going on, I’m extremely behind on several deadlines at this point. I know it all sounds like excuses because they do to me too, but that doesn’t solve the issue of just having no brain power left to do one more thing. Doesn’t make it any less frustrating either.

But the main reason I get crabby when I don’t write is that writing is an outlet for me. It’s like a pressure-valve, and when the pressure builds up too high, it gets rather uncomfortable. Even worse, when it’s been a few days since the valve has been open, it gets cold and hard to open at all.

And last week, I barely got a chance to even look at the valve, much less open it. (Okay, that got a little weird. Sorry.)

Anyways, my main goal for this week is to make a point to “release the pressure” at least once a day, regardless of the chaos that the next five days are very likely to bring. Of course surprises will happen, and there’s nothing I can do about that except to just deal with them one-by-one and hope there aren’t too many left to be sprung. But the more organized I am, and the clearer picture I have of what needs to be done when, the better I can deal with curve-balls, and that’s what determines how much mental energy I have left at the end of the day.

As you might imagine, I’ve been prioritizing and scheduling all weekend long in the hopes of getting out in front of things this week. My control-freak nature freaking right out. Don’t mind her. She does that occasionally…

Actually, she’s been screaming at me for the last 15 minutes that I really need to go to bed and get some sleep so I can roll with whatever happens.

She’s always a pain in the butt, but sometimes she’s right…

I wish you a non-chaotic, boring week. Or if you happen to run into chaos, by all means, feel free to keep her/him/it/whatever…I certainly don’t need her back.


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On Housekeeping, Dishes, & the Power of Three…

I dusted and mopped this weekend.

I know, I know – you’re all thinking, “Seriously? That’s all you’ve got? It’s like saying the sky is blue or grass is green (or brown, or white depending on where you are)!”

And you’d be right, except for the fact that those things “you” listed are true all of the time, and I can’t even tell you the last time I mopped the hard floors or dusted. I only dusted part of the TV stand, but I tell you what – there was probably a thick enough layer to measure with a ruler.

I may have mopped the floors twice since we moved in. Ten years ago.

Now that you all know I’m a total slob and never want to visit, here’s the thing. Last weekend, I felt like crap, and hubby had the flu, and the whole house was just…not well. I had no motivation to do anything, much less housework. So nothing got done – not even the weekly vacuuming, which is basically what keeps us both breathing through our respective allergies during the week. Today (yesterday, Sunday, whatever), I actually felt good for the first time in two weeks, and I finally managed to get the housecleaning done, including mopping and a little dusting. It’s a red-letter day, people. Cause for celebration!! << See that? Two exclamation points, even…

Know what else is cause for celebration? There’s a new dishwasher on the way, and it should be in town by Tuesday. Thank God (and my husband), because I’m really sick of doing dishes by hand. It even has a dedicated silverware rack at the top! Seriously cool – I can’t wait to get it!

3BagsOn a completely different subject, I got recently is a new “laptop” bag. Finding the right bag to carry my Alphasmart (and/or a smaller laptop, when I upgrade) has been an ongoing battle since last December. I decided back then that I didn’t want to have to carry two bags to work anymore – I wanted to consolidate my drinks/breakfast/snacks into a bag big enough to carry my Alphasmart for writing on breaks or whenever going somewhere it’s common to have to wait. And I also wanted it to be large enough to carry a smaller laptop, because I’m thinking of “upgrading” my big, heavy one to something smaller and more portable later this year.

This is where the Power of Three comes in. I don’t know why…maybe it was my art professor drilling the whole “odd is good, threes are artistic” thing into my head, but I’ve noticed my subconscious is a bit obsessed with sets of threes. I tried three cases for my Note/cell before settling on one I like, the draft I’m currently editing is full of threes (3 minutes, 30 minutes, 3 hours, 3 days, 3 months), and it took me three tries to find the perfect new bag that is *just* the right size and shape to hold everything I need it to.

The Big Green Bag was first, but it’s not balanced right, it’s just a tad bit too tall, and the straps are too short. Not long after I got it, I tweaked my shoulder pretty badly with it (don’t ask) – an injury that took around 6 weeks to fully recover from. It would be nice for traveling, but that’s about it.

The Red Book Bag was next, and it’s a little smaller, and has a nice long cross-body strap, but the outsides are hard (like, um, a hardcover book), and I’m not really a cross-body strap girl, so carrying it was unwieldy and uncomfortable. Good novelty bag for certain situations, but there are no outer pockets either, which was a huge turn-off.

Finally, the Peacock Bag – which is perfect. There are three compartments and another padded compartment inside the center one meant for a laptop. It’s not too big, but just big enough to fit what I need it to, and functionally, it’s comfortable enough to carry as a large purse when I’m not using it for work. It has a nice long shoulder strap that’s very adjustable, two shorter handles and plenty of outside and inside pockets for…stuff. Found it on ebay for a total steal – still more than I wanted to pay, but it’s full hand-painted leather, and I plan to use it for many years to come.

Goldilocks and her Three Bears have nothin’ on me…

Actually, now that I think about it, the new dishwasher will be my third in this house. Here’s hoping it’s perfect and will run for many, many years. Or more than three, at least…


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On Contests, Appliances & Trudging Along…

First, the good stuff (okay, it’s advertising, but indulge me for a few minutes, K?). You already know that the digital version of Flame & Stone is on sale all month for 99 cents. Everywhere. And you know that there are contests running on both Booklikes and Library Thing to win free copies. There was a quick contest last week to win an audiobook version on Booklikes, and that contest is over, but there’s another audiobook giveaway running on Library Thing, and that one’s open until Thursday (I’d link to it directly, but I’m not sure how – if you go search this month’s Audio giveaways at the link above, it’s pretty easy to find).

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If you like Audiobooks, you may or may not be aware of a new email service called Audiobook Blast. It will send you announcements of free and sale-priced audiobooks once weekly, in whatever genres you choose, so go sign up! Flame & Stone will be listed there…tomorrow, so you could get a free audio copy there…

But wait! There’s more!

The print version is *finally* done and available now, and you can sign up to win one of 5 signed copies on Goodreads!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Flame & Stone by Jamie DeBree

Flame & Stone

by Jamie DeBree

Giveaway ends March 29, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Or, if you want to win a set of all three versions (print, digital and audio) plus some cool gargoyle-themed swag, simply sign up for my newsletter anytime between now and Sunday, March 29th. Current newsletter subscribers are already signed up, and if you join them, you too will have a change to win one of two F&S prize packages! Winners will be announced in the newsletter that will be sent out on March 30th, with a mention on the blog as well.

So there you go. A ton of different ways to get yourself a free or sale-priced copy, in a myriad of formats, but only for this month, so get it now!

In other news, my dishwasher is broken again, and our attempt to fix it this weekend was a failure (probably because what we tried to fix, and what is broken are two different things, but it was worth the try, I suppose). This is the third or fourth time we’ve pulled it out to work on it, so needless to say, I need a new dishwasher.

The plan was to go pick one up and install it this weekend (you know, since we’re so good at pulling it/reinstalling it now), but just before we were going to leave on Saturday, hubby got attacked (rather violently) with the flu. And he was down all weekend with that, poor guy.

Just to add insult to injury, my head cold got worse again on Sunday, and between the two of us, we had no motivation for anything, really. And my new eyeglass prescription got screwed up Friday (or rather, one of the new lenses is scratched badly), and the scratched lens is bothering my eye quite a bit (new lenses are ordered and should be here soon), which makes computer work…uncomfortable. So it’s been a long few days, and I’m honestly just as happy that the weekend is behind us. Aside from having to do dishes by hand all week. I’m sure I’ve mentioned just how much I love doing that (not).

So we’re trudging along over here, trying desperately to get well and stay well so we can take care of things like broken dishwashers, roofing estimates, basic household chores, and writing, which I am so far behind on it’s shameful.

But! There is always something positive to focus on, so let’s end on a positive note or several, shall we?

– Once we get a new dishwasher, I shouldn’t have issues with it for a good 2-3 years, at least.
– New lenses only take a couple of days, so I should be seeing better by Weds.
– I’m 9 days into this cold, and the average cold takes around 14 days to “beat”, so I’m over half-done with it.
– I’m making good progress on my first knitted sock
– We had pie for Pi Day this weekend. Pie is good.

Onward and (hopefully) upward!


 

On Cold Care, DST, &…Um…

My husband’s cold finally caught me this weekend. I mean, I knew it was gaining on me last week, and then I got super-stressed due to some things at work not going the way they should have, and that seems to have been the final straw in my immune system, so to speak.

Stress kills, people. Not that I’m going to die from a cold, but you know what I mean. Om…

In any case, while we all know there’s not much you can do to get rid of a cold aside from letting the immune system do it’s thing, I’ve pretty much thrown as much “military aid” at my white-cell troops as I possibly can this weekend, including but not limited to: coconut oil, salt, citrus extract, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, fresh ginger, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, honey, pineapple, chia seed, various teas/tisanes, blueberries and of course, wine/alcohol. Got some extra sleep too, despite the whole DST debacle (which is going to hurt a lot more when I have to get up for work in 6 hours or so).

Yes, I think it’s helping – I do feel better. No, I have no idea *what* is helping. That’s the thing about a scattershot approach – there’s really no way to tell. But honestly, I don’t care, as long as my soldiers have what they need to do their job and defeat the enemy as quickly as possible.  I have things to do, people to hide from, books to write! And a stupid time change to recover from…

I hate Daylight Saving Time. It even sounds/looks stupid, which is why everyone adds an “s” to “Saving” without even thinking about it. And that’s all I’ll say about that.

Believe it or not, I had a whole blog post planned out for this week that did not center around “things which may or may not help you recover from a cold”. It might have even been somewhat witty. And I’m pretty sure I was going to explain why my blogging for the rest of the week has been so lax lately.

But it’s midnight, and if I’m not asleep by 12:30am, there’s no way I’ll make it to work tomorrow, what with this cold and all. And with my eyes as they are, even if I wasn’t sick, shorting myself on sleep now seems to make the surface of my eyes feel like shards of glass when I blink. Not fun.

So, to bed, and I may or may not get any other blogging done this week, depending. Hopefully by next week I’ll feel better and can come up with something far, far more interesting to post about (shouldn’t be hard, eh?).

Be well, dear readers…


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On Contests, Sight, & Almond Milk…

Before I forget (because I have a tendency to do so), I have a few sale & contest announcements for this month (it won’t take long, I promise):

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– The digital version of Flame & Stone is just .99 for the month of March (woohoo!)
– There’s a contest to win free copies running now on LibraryThing
- There’s another contest to win free copies running now on BookLikes
- The print version should be done by the end of the week, and then there will be a contest for signed print copies on Goodreads, as well as LibraryThing & BookLikes.
– Giveaways for the audio version should be up on LibraryThing & BookLikes before the end of the month.

So…lots of chances to win free copies, or you can buy a copy cheap for this month only.

Fun Fact: As of this blog post, the audiobook has outsold the ebook by a wide margin. Odd, but hey, I’m all about variety here, and I’m just as happy with people listening as reading. Thank you! And I’m sure our excellent narrator, Kevin Clay, would extend his thanks as well.

 

Now, on to other things…

I finally went to the eye doc last week, and found out why my eyes have been watering pretty much non-stop all winter, making it difficult both to write and work, as I stare at a screen all day & most nights. Apparently I have a “genetic corneal degeneration” – an inherited disease of the cornea that causes not only the excessive watering, but also the extreme sensitivity to light that I have off and on and other uncomfortable symptoms. Unfortunately, my doc didn’t say which kind I have, and a quick internet search reveals that there are quite a few (though many are very rare, or only appear in children, so I can pretty much rule those out, I think).  In any case, while it will probably cycle through good/bad times, unless it’s one specific type, it’s pretty much assured to just keep getting worse as I age. There’s a good chance I’ll need corneal transplants when I’m older. Joke’s on me for being so blase (I have no idea how to put the accent over the “e” there) about turning 40, eh?

I have another appt. next week to see if the steroid/antibiotic eyedrops the doc prescribed are working (feels like they are – no more watering, and no more soreness/pressure – yay!), and probably to get a new lens prescription because eyes that aren’t inflamed see differently, of course.

You know how life tends to force you to confront your worst fears at some point in time, whether you want to or not? Well, aside from general anesthesia, the thing that scares me most in life is losing my eyesight. I love to read. I enjoy my coding/web job. I love watching squirrels chase each other around our roof, and flowers in the garden, and big trees and beautiful houses. I love art – paintings and sculptures. I love a sunny spring day, fall leaves, and blankets of snow. Love those first roses of summer…

Technology these days is such that a blind or very low-vision person can get along far better than they used to, and I’m quite sure I could adapt, if necessary. But I don’t want to. Hopefully, I won’t have to, but of course my mind always jumps to the worse possible outcome. Luckily, rather than getting too mopey or depressed, I start planning for what might happen, in hopes that it won’t. Thwarting the universe, so to speak. Unfortunately, that’s distracted me a lot for the past week, but it’ll calm down, especially when I have more information on what the exact disease I have is, and can gather more information about what happens next.

And just like that, another book idea is born…

Last but not least…almond milk. Clearly I’ve been watching far too many vegan cooking shows on our local PBS Create channel, because while doing my grocery shopping for the week, I picked up a half-gallon of Almond Milk to try. Unsweetened.

It sucks.

Sugar, anyone?


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On Personalities, Postcards & Kongos…

A few weeks back, some Facebook friends were discussing…well, something to do with personalities, and one of them posted a link that describes the INTJ Meyers-Briggs personality type (which is my personality) rather perfectly. It’s rather long and runs several pages (menu on the right side), which I expect exactly no one to read all of (heck, I was getting bored going through them myself toward the end), but even if you only read the first overview page, you’ll have a pretty good understanding of how I think and see the world.

If you do dig a bit further into the profile, you’ll also see why I sometimes seem very cold, insensitive, and/or brutally direct, especially to those gentler, more feeling souls out there. I tend to drive those with more “feeling” personality types nutty in short order. I do try to soften that side of myself when I can, but…I can’t always. I’m really not the person people want to come to for sympathy most days – I’m that really annoying person who will tell you to buck up and deal with whatever it is you’re dealing with. I’m also the person who will find you a million solutions to your problem rather than just listening patiently while you spill your heart out. I try to moderate that too…but it’s much harder, as I just naturally have a very low tolerance for wallowing in any sort of sub-par situation without at least trying to figure out how to fix it (preferably with backup plans for when Plan A doesn’t work). I just…can’t, really.

But, if you need a problem solved, or a process analyzed and streamlined, I’m totally your girl. My mind *loves* that sort of thing with a passion (I might grumble a bit, but it’s for show most of the time – I love problem-solving).

We all have our strengths & weaknesses, of course. And true to my curious and analytical nature, I’m always interested to know what other people’s personality types are, because unlike a lot of INTJ’s, I’ve always been interested in other people and what makes them tick – just like another “problem” or puzzle to be solved, really. This is also why, if you have an interesting enough story to tell, I might just shut up about those million ways to fix your problems and just listen. Sort of like a sociology project.

So if you’re so inclined, feel free to leave your personality type in the comments, and link to the profile (you can take the test on that site if you don’t know what yours is). I really am interested to know what makes you tick…

France1a

On a completely different subject, you may or may not remember that I’ve started a postcard swap. The first one arrived late last week from France, sporting a lovely turtle stamp, and beautiful images from where the sender lives. I’m sending out the return card this week! Fun stuff…and plenty of time to participate in the next one, if you want (hint, hint).

France1b

Finally, an earworm for your Monday morning. I’ve recently “discovered” The Kongos (well, actually, I’ve been enjoying their music for awhile now, I just finally looked up their name and bought an album). My late night listening for your enjoyment:

Have a great day!


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