Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Issues...I Always Seem to Have Issues...

So much for not being behind...

I was only temporarily making progress, and have since not achieved much of anything. I couldn't seem to motivate myself to write or even begin to write a short story to post in the "booth" for writing class. I obviously haven't been posting here, nor have I written in my personal hand-written journal more recently than I've posted here.

I was beginning to doubt my desire to write at all, but I believe this lapse in interest was a result of my health and/or medicines I am taking for MS. I lost interest in most everything, not just my writing. I talked with my neurologist's P.A. who said the extra fatigue I've had since starting the Cell Cept is greater than usual but should tone down as my body grows accustomed to the medicine.

This seems to be happening, as I've been able to keep more normal waking hours the last week or two and sleep only at night. I also discussed my change in moods and levels of interest in activities I normally enjoy and he decided that I should go back to the full dose of Effexor, a choice I am less than thrilled with but also ok with as long as it keeps me feeling human and not despondent.

Until I go pick up the new script for Effexor I've been taking the full dose of what I have, which is less than the new script will be for but more than I had been taking as I was trying to phase it out so that I wasn't dependent on mood-altering drugs (as my aunt calls them). I already feel better, happier, and more interested in life in general.

As much as this disease has physically handicapped me I believe the mental strain is tougher than the physical. I'm not fond of being so forgetful of recent events, nor do I like the depression associated with MS or it's treatments. As much as I don't like needing drugs to keep me happy I'll live with them if they give me some of the energy/desire to live as normal of a life as I can. The forgetfulness I suppose everyone gets for one reason or another, sooner or later.

Meanwhile, to see what I can do about my writing. I think perhaps I have blocked the writer in me by being unwilling to produce anything less than brilliant. I'm somewhat comforted by that, as it seems very typical of a writer...

Monday, December 8, 2008



I'm not quite as far behind as I was. I got this week's writing assignment in, caught up on all my critiques, read the story our instructor linked and added to the discussion on it, and went to the hospital for my weekly bloodwork necessary with starting the new med my neurologist prescribed me.

The bloodwork checked out fine and driving was much more agreeable during daylight hours. The short story he asked us to read was very interesting. Not that I can remember what it was about at all now, but I do remember I liked it. I'm not thrilled with my writing assignment but I don't think it's bad either. This week's lecture was on description and we were tasked with recounting a memorable meal and using at least three senses to describe it. I had no particularly memorable meal in mind so I made one up. I even made up a husband and sweet proposal in Venice, Italy to go along with it. Hey it's a fiction class, right? I don't feel guilty about that at all.

Now that I've managed to catch up on a few things I don't see how other people with MS handle kids and work. I rarely leave the house, don't work anymore, and have no children, but even the little things like an online class, a blog, and making something to eat or showering seem exhausting. I can't imagine leaving the house everyday to work or taking care of children, or anyone but me. Me is too much sometimes, let alone worrying about anyone else.

Oh, one last thing. Weeble tagged me for something interesting. I plan to do a post on 21 not so widely known things about myself and pick some other people to tag. Soon. Ish.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

There Once Was a Girl Who Wanted to Write

What the heck happened to that girl anyway? Heh. My writing has all but ceased to exist lately. The holiday wore me out, more so because there was a "yelling at the dog" incident that caused me to only get about 2 hours of sleep for Thanksgiving day. Then I was catching up from that fatigue, got caught up in my online game, and got stuck on an assignment for my writing class.

I always seem to get too overwhelmed to do anything at all when I get really far behind in things. When I want to be all caught up I want to sit down and catch up everything. When there is too much of everything to do I have a terrible habit of just doing nothing. I'm trying to fix this in more of a step by step, one bit at a time manner. I finished the last couple of critiques for last week, late obviously but done at least. I decided to call last week's assignment a bust and just left a note for the instructor apologizing for not getting it done, with an explanation that I couldn't come up with anything interesting within the outlines of the assignment and I wanted to just move on to reading, critique, and writing other things (like this week's assignment) before I got any further behind.

I'm still far from caught up. I have less than two weeks to have a project ready for the booth, something I haven't even started, except in my head. I haven't written anything in my personal, hand-written journal in ages. I don't have any specific ideas for this week's homework. I still haven't read the short story we're discussing this week. Well they're discussing it. I'm obviously not since I haven't read it.

However, I feel like I've made a dent in this mountain of writerly things to do. As previously stated, I've finished last week's critiques. I've read this week's lecture. As soon as I hit "publish post" I will have ended the hiatus from this blog.

Tomorrow perhaps I'll read all the work posted so far in the "booth". I think three people already have theirs up. And hopefully the discussion story as well. And I hope I manage to jot down some thoughts in the manual journal as well for crying out loud. I don't know how I let things get so far behind when they're such small and simple things.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Driving Me Mad

For someone who spent so many years on the road you'd think a simple trip to the store would be no big deal.

Well you'd be wrong.

Some nut had to have an accident on the interstate, which, fortunately, was on the opposite side from me on my way to town. But the further I drove the more backed up traffic I saw on the eastbound side. MILES they were just sitting there waiting.

I sat and ate my drive through dinner hoping that would allow time for the road to be cleaned up, and then I continued the last few miles to the pharmacy on city streets. By then it was dark and all the bright lights were bothering my eyes so I was hoping to get out of town and be home soon.

No such luck. Even the back roads were a mess, clogged with traffic trying to avoid the interstate, which was still backed up, even worse now actually since some idiot got into another accident. I say some idiot because the 2nd accident was on the same side of the road as the first and miles behind it where traffic was barely moving. How do you get in an accident when the average speed is .1 mph?

I don't like driving any more, especially at night. It seems like headlights have gotten waaaaay brighter over the years and they make it hard for me to see. I have enough problems as is without glare from super bright lights factored in.

THEN I got lost on the unfamiliar back roads. Yay for living way out in the country, yet not far enough to get away from the traffic. I finally made it home over an hour and a half after I left the pharmacy, a drive that normally takes 20 minutes.

I made an early New Year's Resolution not to drive in the evening again if at all possible. I'll try to get anything I need done, done in the morning or early afternoon. It's enough of a challenge to keep my eyes focused and drive my standard transmission pick up with my clumsy hands and feet without throwing in darkness and bright lights and Friday night traffic and accidents and idiots and and and.

In the daytime it isn't really that bad! Just concentrate on shifting properly, concentrate on keeping the old eyes focused, steer between the lines, easy peasy. But trying to see through blinding headlights and dodge lunatic drivers? No thank you.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

And Then There Were Eight

In loving memory of Ed.

Ed was a good guy. He liked to hang out with several of his best buddies. They traveled together, made money together, and spent all their time together almost from when they were born.

Then one day something came rocketing out of the sky and blew Ed up. We'll miss you Ed.

Tip: If your hands are clumsy and you're storing scissors overhead be sure to verify that they are firmly stored before releasing them. When dropped from a height of approximately 4 feet, if they fall with the sharp end down, they will pierce a can of Dr. Pepper, and it will spew all over the rest of the cans in the case, necessitating a lengthy clean up process and one can only imagine the trauma suffered by the surviving cans.


Okay I'm calm now and everything is straightened out. It seems that the Cellcept, the medicine my doctor wants me to take in addition to my Rebif, is not as expensive as I was told. It IS, but that was the price for 180 pills and I only need 60 for the 1st month, which would be $500. Still expensive but just the one time I can handle it and after a month I'll be well into my insurance coverage, which is through Medicare so has no restrictions on pre-existing conditions.

Also I finally got to talk to the doctor, well his P.A. which is just as good, and he is calling it in for me just for the one month supply instead of the larger dose so that I won't have to pay for it all at once.

Big sigh of relief. I knew things would work out somehow I am just not very good at putting things out of my mind when they can't be resolved immediately. I'm still not happy about the large expense of this month's medicine but like I said, I can handle the amount for one month and I should be able to pick it up later and I think I will treat myself to something yummy for lunch (a little reward to convince myself to get out and pick up the darned stuff).


This is really just venting so feel free to ignore it if you're not in the mood to read an angry woman's ranting.

I am so freaking angry with my neurologist. I didn't get to sleep until around 4 o'clock or 4:30 this morning and I got woke up at 8:30 by my doctor FINALLY returning my call from yesterday morning and because I was SLEEPING and I have MS I couldn't get the phone picked up before he hung up so all I could do was call the office AGAIN where AGAIN no actual person answered so I had to leave a message AGAIN which AS USUAL has not been returned yet so I STILL haven't been able to talk to the EFFING doctor about the matter of the prescription costing FIFTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS and the fact that I am on a FIXED INCOME and can't afford this with no insurance which I CLEARLY STATED more than once when I was in his office to begin with. It makes me SO ANGRY that there isn't even a chance of getting an actual person when I call. I haven't called and gotten anything but the DAMNED MACHINE in over a YEAR. Aside from this I do like my doctor but it is a long long way to drive to see him and it's so freaking hard to talk to anyone on the phone if they send all calls straight to voice mail and don't even return them on the same day. What kind of way is this for a doctor's office to be. I UNDERSTAND that you're busy but does the phone REALLY ring so much that a REAL LIVE PERSON couldn't answer it at least SOMETIMES? No no no. I have to arrange my entire day around YOUR office hours so that I can be available and RIGHT ON TOP OF the phone for EIGHT HOURS a day. Obviously I have MS so I have nothing better to do than sit around for two days and wait for the damned phone to ring. It is SO RIDICULOUS that they are so difficult to actually speak to. Sorry for the rant but I think it made me feel at least a little better to get it off my chest and I had to stop yelling at random to no one in particular because there is someone trying to sleep ten feet away.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tired Tired Tired

Today is going much better than yesterday, tired is all that can describe yesterday. I dreaded doing an entire day out because of how easily I get fatigued. I had an MRI in the morning and an appointment with my neurologist in the afternoon. Mostly what I dreaded was the MRI; I hate those. As it turns out that was the easiest part of the day.

Apparently Mercy Hospital has been so busy in the MRI department that they needed another machine. There wasn't anywhere to put it so what they have is a mobile MRI unit. It's in a sort of fancy trailer at the dock. This made me feel right at home! How many years did I spend in a truck at docks? Heh. I told the lady technician I found that very cool. Also, this newer machine was much roomier and also shorter so you could leave your arms laying at your sides and you didn't have to be so far in. Unbelievably more comfortable and didn't make my back hurt at all, the way MRI's normally do when I lay flat like that.

After the MRI I managed to lose my valet parking ticket (Mercy has free valet parking, which is extremely nice). The valet people found my truck and I drove to the next parking lot and went to see my doctor. He compared yesterday's MRI pictures with the ones from a few months ago and verified that there are new lesions, new activity with the MS. It's not nearly as bad as before, obviously since the symptoms it's causing now are much more minor, but he said he wants to get it under control better and prescribed me a new medicine, an immunosupressing thing like the chemotherapy they did but this is just a pill. Sounded good to me, I like pills better than infusion.

So I went on my merry way, exhausted by now. I get so tired so easily. It's annoying but I figured I'd just call in the prescription to make sure they had it in stock at my pharmacy and then I'd drop it off and grab lunch while I waited. First I dropped the prescription when I was getting my stuff into the truck, then I found one of the pieces of paper, fortunately the one for the actual medicine, so I could call and check on it. Still don't know what happened to the second script with the order for the weekly blood work he wanted done when I start the new medication but whatever, figured I'd deal with that later.

So I called the pharmacy and find out this is going to cost FIFTEEN HUNDRED dollars. WTH. Doc we need to have a chat. I had already told him I still have no insurance until next month. Sigh. However I was so completely wiped out there was no way I could walk back inside and talk to him right then. I just came home and slept for something like 4 hours. That didn't entirely get me feeling rested up but after a good night's sleep I feel much more able to deal with things. I put in a call to the doctor and am still waiting to hear back from him. Chances are they won't call until tomorrow morning but whatever.

I was too tired to really look at the new lecture in my fiction class last night but I read it this morning. I wanted to listen to an audio short story too which was listed in the discussion section by the instructor but it put me to sleep, ha. I'll try it again later, I think my thinking skills are better in the morning really. I'd also like to read the chapter in Gotham's book on writing fiction that involves the same topic as this week's lecture. I think this class is inspiring me more than the first one I took because I am anxious to get started on a short story and maybe something shorter for my grandpa to put in his newsletter, though I'm not sure of exactly what I'm going to do for either project yet.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Random Thingies

Wow has my blog gotten the cold shoulder from me this week. This bad habit of mine, namely forgetting my own blog, can often be attributed to the World of Warcraft, otherwise known as WoW, popular MMORPG, addiction of many, and this week is certainly no exception. They released an expansion pack on November 13th, a sizable addition to the game two years (ish) in the making. When they do these monstrous expansions they add so much new content from new levels to new lands to explore to new items found, earned, and crafted...well it's like a whole new game that provides endless hours and days of fun. So yea...I got caught up in that and the blog got pushed to a back corner of my mind.

Not to be totally discounted as far as reasons things didn't get done, I think there is a good possibility that I'm in the middle of an exacerbation (flareup) of my MS. My balance is more off than ever, my muscles are being contrary and uncoordinated (more so than usual) and some new places (like parts of my face) have decided to be numb and tingly (like my hands and feet always are these days). My neurologist was less than happy to hear about it (and that I didn't tell him sooner but hey it's not like it happened all at once and I didn't think too much of it, every day stuff can happen or unhappen with this wacky medical condition). At any rate he ordered an MRI a.s.a.p. with an appointment to see him right after. Joy. Just can't get enough of being stuffed in an extremely small space and lying perfectly still while my back starts hurting more and more from lying flat while someone takes pictures of my brain with a very very loud machine. Oh yea.

Despite my own blog getting ignored I have been reading other people's. And one I go to often is The Daily Snooze, a blog by someone whom I first found in AOL's J-Land. I go there far more often than he even posts just to listen to the personal radio station he has embedded in his blog. Love it. I like to keep up on good ol' Scalzi as well. Never a shortage of interesting material (and humor) there. That doesn't even come close to my full list of blogs I enjoy but random thingies don't include full anything.

I got a letter from my grandmother the other day and it included a copy of their church newletter, with something I wrote on the front page. I was surprised and proud. It seems that something I printed out and gave to my mother for her friend that expressed interest in seeing the results of my class...well it ended up in the hands of my grandparents who liked it so much they put it in the newsletter. Just wow. Grandma even mentioned that Grandpa is expected to come up with some little story or poem or something once a month for the front page so if I ever had anything else they'd love to see it. Hmmmm. Contemplating doing Grandpa's homework for him, sometimes anyway.

Last thingy for the day is Feedjit. I found this through someone's blog, though God knows whose. I can't remember now (my neurologist tells me this isn't a memory issue so much as faulty processing in my brain...as in stuff comes in and stuff goes out, doesn't always get properly processed and stored for later retrieval). Regardless how it was found, I am liking this feedjit thing very much. It has various things it can show but what I like the most is to see where visitors to my blog are from geographically. Very interesting.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Hello, my name is Xendra. I am an elf and was born in the forest nearly 400 years ago. I don't remember my parents; my earliest memories are of being taught by my elders how to help preserve the balance of nature in our land.

One of the many things they have taught me is how to draw from the earth to cleanse and to heal others. I have also learned to supplement my own abilities by using plants and flowers to create concoctions that will help those who have been injured, or fortify the strength of those who have not been hurt but need help to get them through trials and challenges.

Technically I am not employed, but I make it my job to help any friendly creature who needs it by whatever means that I can. Sometimes I do go on expeditions with others to accomplish greater goals than I can alone. Some of those trips have been highly successful while others have been less so, but always I have pulled through and made it back to my beloved forest where I find peace in the shade of the ancient trees by the still lakes.

Often I travel alone and have made my way far and wide across our land, learning and growing, and have helped many. I try to avoid unpleasant beings as best I can, or at least I have always aimed for that in the past. Lately, I have found myself entering into more and more situations where there has been strong opposition. Fortunately I have managed to pull through and to enhance my skills in the process.

In the future I hope to continue my travels. However, it grows more and more difficult as ill-willed creatures unite in attempts to take over our peaceful lands and I fear that someday we will not be able to fend them off.

This, of course, is not about me. As much as I've thought it would be fun and interesting to be an elf, I've never been one. This is my first assignment for the new writing course. I felt after I'd turned it in that it lacked detail and that is pretty much what the instructor thought, though he didn't use those exact words. He said that while he thinks it is a very creative bio he is left wanting more, wanting to get more of a sense of who Xendra is and of the world that she lives in. Basically that's what I was thinking when I felt that it lacked detail.

I may try to rewrite this at some point and make it better. For the time being though, I'm putting all of my imagination into my next assignment which involves character. I have two basic characters to pick from and to flesh out and portray to the readers, who will be the entire class this week. Eep. Characters can be fun and interesting and endlessly entertaining. The trick is to get that across in writing. I'm sure (at least pretty sure) that I can do this. I'm just finding this particular assignment more challenging than others. And I'm nervous about posting it for the whole class to see! From reading the bios I feel that this is a group of highly intelligent, highly interesting, highly experienced people. In comparison I feel under-educated, less than extremely interesting, and inexperienced. Again I say eep!

Friday, November 7, 2008


I made up my mind to get my assignment for this week in writing class finished today. I was torn between the idea for a biography of an elf and another idea I had for writing a biography of a cat. The elf won out so I put it down in print. I just hope it's a decent biography.

I felt like it needed a little more detail but I wasn't sure what to put in to make it better. We'll see what the instructor has to say.

I'm a little nervous as in looking at the booth scheduling it seems I'm one of the first that will have to put work in the booth. The longer class works a little different from the 6 week course I took. Instead of one assignment being posted for everyone to see and leave comments on, each student is scheduled to post different assignments there, twice during the 10 course.

If I understand the schedule correctly, it is the very next assignment that I will have to put up for everyone to see and critique. It's not optional as it was in the last class I took. So, yeah. Few butterflies in the tummy over this upcoming assignment.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Ideas from the World Around Me

My new writing class started today and I think I will enjoy it just as much as the first one. Today's lecture was about fiction, literary vs. genre, and about writing what you "know" and getting ideas from all around you. The first assignment is simply to write a 300-400 word fictional biography.

I am finding that, contrary to my own opinion, it's easy to get a multitude of ideas for things to write without ever leaving my own home. I just went over the lecture a short while ago and already I have at least four possible ideas.

I've thought of doing a short biography on an elf, like the ones I play in my online game. I've always found elves to be fascinating creatures. I also had an idea about a tiny hunter, hunting lady bugs. This came from watching one of our cats intently stalking lady bugs in the living room. Other possibilities I've thought of are a small town waitress (an idea that sprang from a game that my mother plays, and that I know a bit about, having lived in small towns and having waited tables myself, though not in those small towns), and a maid. This last idea came simply from picking up a piece of trash and throwing it away, and led to memories of going to a neighbor's home with my grandmother while she cleaned it.

I'm rather amazed with the number of ideas that have popped into my head so quickly without ever going anywhere exciting. All of my ideas do have the element of something I "know" to some extent, whether it be from games, reading, or actually experiencing. And to think that I couldn't think of anything that I "know" besides trucking!

I definitely think I need to finally follow another suggestion from the instructors of both of my writing classes and get a small notebook for jotting down ideas when they come to me. Whether or not I ever use the ideas is not important. Making notes of flitting ideas before they flutter away is.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Ladybuggin' Out

It's feeling even less winter-y and holiday-ish today. Temperatures around here are in the upper 70's to low 80's and are predicted to remain so over the weekend and into next week.

Possibly having something to do with the cold turning back into summertime temperatures, we seem to be overrun with ladybugs. What. On. Earth.

I've found them on the table, on my clothes, on the ceiling. They're congregated on the front door and windows in dozens. I'm not sure I've ever seen so many ladybugs in one place in my life.

Aside from investigative procedures involving the dramatically increased ladybug population, it's been a quiet day today. The family are all off doing their own things, namely hunting and gambling. The cats and I have been relaxing.

I had intentions of finishing up my copying and saving of old journal entries from my original blog, Movin' On, before AOL closes them down completely. Today was the deadline to save the old blogs there, but I'm not very inclined to make the effort now. I have gazillions of photos saved on disk and photos bring back the memories as well as, if not better than, old blog entries. Besides, I don't think I should focus so much on the past. I don't want to forget the experiences I had driving cross country for all those years, but I don't know if I want to try so hard to keep the memories so fresh.

The years I spent driving over-the-road were, I believe, the best years of my life. I was young, and healthy, and adventurous, and full of life. Life has changed now, and there isn't anything I can do to change it back, nor am I sure I would want it back just as it was. That was a lifestyle that, while wonderful in it's own way, was also hard on a person.

Changes happen, and even when they aren't exactly as you'd planned, nothing is all bad. Focusing on the good things that can't be anymore steals away from the time you could be using to focus on what is good now and to find new good things.

So I think I'll just keep what I already have saved from Movin' On, along with my gazillions of pictures, and let the rest go.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What's on my Mind

I promised myself I would write in this blog more like I used to write in my original blog years ago when I first started blogging. So far I feel like I'm not quite sticking to that deal. Almost. I have managed to sit down and put something in here more than once a week usually. Still, as someone trying to get back into writing, I expect more from myself.

I think the problem is a lack of things to say that I feel will be interesting to anyone. Well, I will just have to write about whatever is on my mind, and if it bores people to sleep then they probably needed a nap anyway and I've done them some good one way or another.

Christmas is what's on my mind today. Last year by this time I had ordered most of my gifts for people. This year I don't even have the first clue of the first thing to get for the first person on my list. I don't even have a list of people I want to give gifts for that matter. Hell I don't even know what I want for myself.

I watched Santa Clause 3 earlier, hoping to capture the holiday spirit, at least enough to give this year's gifts more thought. I put in a little thought but I haven't come up with more than a few small things I wouldn't mind getting as gifts. I still don't have any ideas for my family. And I still don't feel very Christmas-y.

Maybe it would help if it didn't feel like summer outside today.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I really need/want to customize the look of this blog. I've played with it before but couldn't settle on any changes.

On the one hand, I like customizing the look of my blogs and think this one especially needs it, because of the name. Individualisticity isn't an actual word, but it is my own creation having to do with individuality. A blog with a name based on individuality shouldn't be using a generic layout, am I right?

On the other hand, I really like this particular layout. The blues and green and cream seem comforting and soothing to me.

Well, we'll see what happens. Someday I may change it. I've always liked new and interesting changes in my life. I'm sure the same will be true in my blog.

I've been catching up on other people's blogs today. Bloglines and I have had our disagreements but overall I'd say I quite like this method of keeping up with blogs.

I also tried to print out the lectures from my creative writing course this morning. I found them very interesting and would like to keep copies for future reference. The problem is, of the two printers in our house, neither has a sufficient supply of ink and/or paper. Le sigh.

Fortunately the class doesn't officially end until Tuesday and we are supposed to have an additional two weeks after that to print out anything we need to.

I gave it a good try anyway, and caught up on blog reading, so at least I feel like I've accomplished something. I've been feeling very lazy again lately, like I should be doing more, though I'm not sure what it is that I'm supposed to be achieving. I've just had the feeling that I should be doing something and I haven't been.

Yesterday this feeling (along with my sense of decency and cleanliness) prompted me to get this house straightened up before my mother returned from her vacation. My stepdad, God bless his untidy soul, is quite possibly the world's most accomplished slob. He rarely puts trash in the trash can, or dirty dishes in the sink, or refolds blankets once he's used them, or, or, or... I always forget until I try to do things just how much ordinary things wear me out now. I didn't do a lot, by my standards, but it was enough to completely and thouroughly wear me out to the point of falling asleep at 5 o'clock in the evening.

I realize that "fatigue" is a part of Multiple Sclerosis, but seriously? A little cleaning and straightening and taking out trash and I'm napping for hours? Double le sigh.

Oh well. I'm not going to let it bother me too much. It beats the hell out of the months when I was so tired and weak I couldn't even manage a trip to the kitchen to make a sandwich. If I don't return to that point again I'll be perfectly happy with nap taking after every chore.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Odds and Ends

I have really not been doing well at keeping up with my blog this last week or so. The same is true for the journal I started writing in at the suggestion of my writing instructor. I'm not even sure why. I haven't been busy in the least. I have felt very strange though. I can't exactly describe the feeling. The best I can come up with is that I feel sort of lost and aimless.

I'm not sure but I think there's a chance it's just wintertime blues. I've noticed these in the past but was usually too busy to pay much attention. I'd just turn up the radio and keep driving and they'd eventually go away. I wonder if that was something I loved about driving. Going 70mph along the highway most of life's problems seem remote, as if you can leave them behind and they can't keep up with you.

My last assignment for the creative writing class is due before next Tuesday. This one can be submitted to the "booth" where it is available for other students to critique, instead of being visible only to the teacher as all the other assignments have been. I'm still trying to decide which past assignment I want to rewrite for this. (That's what we're to do this week, take past work from the class and make it better using what we've learned.) I'm interested to read and critique what others have written as well. Then at the beginning of November I'll start another class, this one a bit more in depth.

I didn't sign up for the second one until I'd been at the first one for a few weeks, so I could get a feel for how useful the classes were and see how much I enjoyed them. I've liked the creative writing course very much so I'm following it up with a Fiction 1 course, that deals with writing short works of fiction. I find it highly amusing that one of the last suggestions of the instructor of my current class was to start a weblog. Heh. Little ahead of things there!

Aside from writing class, I haven't been doing much of anything. I feel as if I *should* be doing something, but I'm not sure what and the effort of doing anything seems too much. Also, my balance and double vision seem worse lately. I'm not sure what to think of that. Problems with my vision have come and gone, come and gone, ever since the onset of this blasted disease. I'm assuming the double vision will straighten out again, as it did before, and haven't bothered to talk to my neurologist about it yet since it's only slightly worse and even when it was far more horrible he told me there isn't much that can be done except to just wait it out and perform surgery if it never clears up.

As far as the balance goes, I wonder if I just haven't been up and around enough lately. As much time as I spend on the computer and reading or watching movies maybe my body just forgot what little it did remember about how to walk without falling over. Speaking of that, I did actually lose my balance to the point of falling the other day. I think I scared my poor cat to death. He bolted from the kitchen as if someone had set his tail on fire. That was a huge help in glossing over the soreness in my knees from falling and the embarrassment of having fallen in the first place. He looked so funny when frightened that all I could do was laugh. I'd highly recommend cat-therapy to other MS patients.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I still haven't finished the assignment that was due by today. I've been so distracted by my online game, World of Warcraft. There is a huge patch to the game today which is causing issues (normal for big patch days). It's to add in a lot of the content for the expansion coming out next month. At this point I can't even get into the game but I'm looking at it as a blessing in disguise and using the time to try and get some other things done.

It's still irritating though. It's hard to wait for things you're excited about, no matter how old and grown up you get. I actually did get "some" things accomplished today while the WoW servers were down. I wrote in my journal, a habit I've been trying to get into at the suggestion from the writing class. I finished a short story I was reading from a book the writing school published and reccomended reading for the class that starts next month. I did something else that I can't remember the nature of at the moment. (I'm very forgetful these days. My neurologist says that's common in people with MS.)

I need to finish that assignment and read this week's lecture but I can't focus right now. Hmph. I guess I'll just go relax. Or something.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Writer's Block

I have another writing assignment due before Tuesday, and I've been somewhat stumped all week as to what I will write. I simply have to take a single sentence provided to me and begin a short story with it.

"Chris began to question the wisdom of this trip."

Chris can be male or female and can be on any sort of trip I decide. I was originally trying to structure the whole story in my head but wasn't getting anywhere that way. I finally decided to just free write, start writing without knowing where it was going. That seems to be helping but I think I got too caught up in the quality of the words I put down. So...the words just stopped coming out.

I have a friend advising me to just write some kind of crap and worry about revising it later. Actually, that's good advice. You don't get anything written by trying to make it come out perfect the first time. Sigh. I suppose I'll go back to my story and try to finish it.

I find it amusingly odd that I'm writing about writer's block. Heh.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Creative Writing Production

When I originally told (in my old blog) of the creative writing class I am taking, some interest was expressed in seeing what I produced from it. The first assignment we had was the most interesting to me, so far.

"Assignment #1

Start with this title: The Window

Then, using this title, begin writing something. You may write about something true, something made up, or something halfway in-between. Up to you."

I thought I'd post the results of that assignment. It isn't an entire story, because the assignments are supposed to be kept to 500 words or less. Rather, it's the beginning of a story I may later finish, I haven't decided that yet.

The Window

I love looking out my window. I see the most wonderful things there. Today the sky is blue and the sun is shining.. It sparkles on the waves crashing onto the beach. The sand looks so soft that I long to feel it under my feet and between my toes. Seagulls float through the air, their wings spread wide. Palm fronds wave lazily in the breezes off the ocean.

The beach isn't too crowded, but a few people have spread towels to lay on and set up umbrellas for shade. A little girl wanders away from a young couple, ringlets of golden hair cascading down her head. She's unsteady on her feet and her bottom falls to the sand not far from her parents.

The young man scoops her up and takes her to the edge of the water, holding her up so that she can safely splash and play. It reminds me of beautiful days at the beach with my own parents. I remember those times as if they were just yesterday.

As I sit, looking out over paradise, I hear footsteps from someone entering the room behind me.

“Good morning Mrs. Driscoll. Are you alright dear?” She says to me.

I recognize the voice as belonging to Nurse Watkins. “I'm fine.” I tell her, never taking my gaze away from my window. More footsteps sound behind me, someone else approaching. They're quiet for awhile, until the newcomer, a young nurse's aid whose voice I also recognize, speaks.

“Nurse Watkins, why do you think she spends so many hours staring at that wall?”

The nurse doesn't answer for several moments. Finally she replies, “I don't think she's staring at the wall at all.”

I can hear their footsteps receding then, as they leave me alone with my view.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Fresh Start

So. Evicted from AOL Journals due to their closure. Well, so long J-land. I choose to see this as a new beginning rather than the end of an era.

For those of you that I've met and grown to love through AOL's J-land, welcome to my new pad! For those who have no clue who I am, RUN! Run away fast before you get sucked into my insanity!

Still here? Well good, I do love a brave soul.

I don't feel like getting too lengthy with my first entry here so I think a brief introduction will do.

I'm a young (*cough* 30-something is still young, right?) female who drove a truck (as in 18-wheeler) over the road for 8 years. I made good friends, had a lot of fun, and saw a lot of our country (and some of Canada as well). A few years ago, that part of my life came to a screeching halt with the fast and furious onset of Multiple Sclerosis. MS isn't always as disabling as mine has been but I suppose it isn't so surprising that my case has been so aggressive. I've never really been the sort of person to slowly wade into the shallows. I'm more like the person who takes a running leap right into the deep end. Why would I expect things to be any different with this disease, right?

It took me a long time to get some sort of handle on my life again after MS turned it upside down. I'm finally feeling somewhat like my old self again. My health is somewhat stabilized. I've got a modest but livable income. I feel able to take care of myself. I'm still staying with family, but believe I'll finally be able to get a place of my own again next year. Best of all, I'm taking writing classes online.

Writing is something I've always liked to do. There never seemed to be time for writing or classes with the hectic work hours of an over the road driver. Now I have time. Every cloud has a silver lining, or so they say. Time to write is part of the silver lining I've found in MS's upheaval of my life.