"The power of the pen is unknown until you pick it up."

Friday, June 10, 2011

Dream Vacation

A fellow writer and I were exchanging emails and she mentioned another story idea had hit her, but she was reluctant to start on something new until the original novel was finished.  I thought about it, and decided that I don't think it hurts to jot down creative scenes or ideas while they’re fresh on your mind. The way I see it, your creativity has somewhere to go on "vacation" when the side of your brain responsible for editing is on duty.  

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How nearly dying can help your writing:

I rarely get sick, but I periodically develop life-threatening illnesses.  Go figure.  My latest incident was totally unrelated to the others and pretty unexplainable—like all the others.

This is what happened recently:  My husband and I have been getting allergy shots for over a year.  We haven’t gone on a “date” for a while, and thought we could pretend going for shots together was one.  

About 7 minutes after my shot, I started having problems. Since my worst fear in life is being looked at as a Drama Queen I ignored a critical concern.  (Word to the wise: If you’re tongue ever starts itching that is a bad sign.)

Within another minute, I felt a lot worse. You know that icky feeling you get when you have the flu (I haven’t had it in over a decade, so I’m drawing upon memory) It’s that awful feeling you can’t really define what’s wrong, you just feel rotten.  

After letting the staff know I had issues, they got me back into the exam room, but the doctor apparently didn’t know what I meant by “really bad”.  Being the good patient that I am, I very calmly explained, "My throat is closing off.”  “I’m having difficulty swallowing.”  “There’s pressure in my chest making it hard to breath.”  My husband said it was like I was calmly documenting my death.

After a few more questions I started getting annoyed.  I just wanted them to stab me with the epi pen and get it over with.  The weirdest thing was, I knew what was happening could kill me, but I wasn’t afraid of dying.  The doctor and his staff knew what was going on and they took care of it. 

When I say this experience helped my writing, some might think, “Oh, the introspective aspect of nearly dying and wondering what happens in the hereafter, would inspire deep thinking.” 

Well not really.  My husband pampered me and made me go to bed for two days where I happily worked on my story—when I wasn’t comatose on high doses of Benadryl.  

Moral of the story: 
Don’t ever ignore an itchy tongue!  Three minutes is not a long time.  If I had not been at the clinic, this sudden onset could have killed me.  I have an Epipen, but I have never used it before and what if I had been driving when it happened?  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


This could also be an informercial on how NOT to introduce yourself.

While on the plane bound for LDStorymaker’s Writer’s Conference, I was trying to memorize the latest version of my pitch. I was totally engrossed in highlighting the hard parts and…I don’t know maybe I hit the button a little too hard because the pen’s innards launched across the lady sitting next to me and landed beside her husband’s khaki-colored pants leg!

What do you say? “Excuse me, I didn’t intentionally throw green highlighter at you…”

Searching for the pieces turned out to be an icebreaker—no his pants weren’t ruined and yes, I did collect all of the pen’s NINE pieces. The wife and I chatted briefly about our reasons for travel.


Five days later, I’m sitting in the airport waiting to board, and I see the same couple sitting across from me waiting to get on the same plane. We laugh at the irony, and then the husband asks what seat I’m in. I looked and no kidding we were all sitting on the same row again. What are the odds?

This nice couple had another family member with them. They all said they liked suspense novels, which is what I write. Of course I gave them my card and then pulled out the book I was reading; Gregg Luke’s Do No Harm. I told them it was an awesome book and because I’d met Gregg at the conference, I had his bookmark for Bloodborne. I passed it on to them intending to track Gregg down and asking him to send me more.


Am I the only one that would put all of the pen’s NINE pieces into a baggie to take home so their kids, who love to take pens apart, could reassemble them? Should I seek medical attention, or is that okay?