Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sea Change

Yes, I have some new decor thanks to the folks at Jelly Pages. Since the novel I'm working on is nautical by nature, I thought it was time for a seafaring makeover. This format helps me focus on the task at hand, and I hope it puts you, my readers, into a "rudder and tackle" frame of mind- minus the sea sickness of course.

The title of the novel is Good Hope. It chronicles the adventures of Randall Grayson, a modern, middle-aged business man who joins the effort to recreate a historic voyage to the tip of Africa aboard the Elissa, the official Tall Ship of Texas.

The story of Good Hope began as a National Novel Writing Month project back in December 2007. Now, three re-writes later, it is the subject of a Six Month novel writing project that the members of the Humble Fiction Cafe' have selected as our 2009 project. We have specific goals to reach each month, and the intent is to have a finished product available for review on July 4th of this year.

This will pose as a double adventure for me. Good Hope was my first completed novel, but revising it into a manuscript for publication will be a unique experience and no easy task. Secondly, much like my main character, I'm very likely in over my head, but as I persevere I will be able to keep you up to date on the tragedies and triumphs along the way.

It will be an interesting six months, so strap yourselves into your bunks, and get ready to take on water, because this is indeed an adventure of fictional proportions.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Music Update:Takamine Jam

If you've followed the blog, then you may remember the post on Takamine Jam- my project to restore some of my brother's lost music.
Well, the project is finished and all of the cuts from that album are now on my music page. Go on over and listen to the full album! Just click the title of this post, or look in the upper right corner of my main page for a link to my music files.
Stacy and I would love feedback on your favorites, so please post comments.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Resolutely I Hobble

I’ve spent the last six months being afraid of the following: Running, Walking, Stairs, Ladders, Showers, Uneven sidewalks, and movement in general.

What I initially thought was a sprained ankle from jogging last June, turned out to be something more. Tarsal Coalition is the clinical name, but what it means is that two of the bones in my foot began to carry on an illicit relationship and formed a bond of connective tissue between them. So, why is that bad? Well, those bones are supposed to move, fluidly and in harmony with the other bones of the foot. But when those two formed their lusty connection, it created discord among the other bones of my left foot. Not to mention that it was painful.
Very painful.
Constantly painful.

It’s like having two friends in your personal circle of friends who start dating. And if that isn’t bad enough, they constantly remind you that they're dating. They do this by arguing, kissing, crying, shouting and generally changing everyone’s plans and insisting that you listen to one talk about the other unceasingly.
If I subjected you to a continuous source of pain like that, it would force your already occupied mind to pay attention to it, only it, and it would then threaten to take dominance over your life. It’s very similar to the sensation I experience while watching Disney Channel Sitcoms with my daughter. Don’t believe me? How many Hanna Montana products do you have in your house?

I would have been happy to let those two intimate bones in my foot carry on their crush outside of my body, and I'm sure I would've been quite content to start hanging out with a completely different set of feet, but that never worked out. So, I’ve had to learn just how much I previously enjoyed my own freedom, and how inconvenient it is to have that blessed liberty taken from me.

Mainly I missed running. And I’m not talking about marathons here; I mean just the short run it takes to avoid my wife’s very solid shoulder punches.
I couldn’t run across an intersection if a bus was bearing down on me.
I couldn’t catch our runaway puppy who likes to bolt out the front door as soon as he sees a two millimeter gap.
I couldn’t even run to the bathroom, and I found that I could no longer jog passed two houses on my way to the mailbox.

But, instead of complaining, I guess I should be fair, because the Tarsal Coalition did bring me one thing: A cane.

A friend at work, whom I will refer to as “Subordinate” said this to me: “It makes you look distinguished. Sort of like Hugh Laurie in House. Really, man- that cane works for you.”
So I beat him with it.

As he lay dying, I reminded Subordinate that jolly old Hugh Laurie can happily chuck the cane and run off for an abusive game of rugby whenever he bloody well feels like it. I however, had started parking closer to the door at work and home because I wanted to shield the world from my new "distinguished" three-legged walk, and, honestly, because the pain was driving me slightly insane. Besides, have you seen House? He’s a real happy guy, huh?

Speaking of doctors, the treatment for my condition involves taking a very long shiny needle and inserting it deep into the side of my foot and wiggling it around, randomly spewing steroids into the wound, in an effort to break up the connection between the two bones. But like splitting up those two annoying friends I used to hang out with, this will take time. Usually three injections spread out over a period of months.
So far, I’ve had two injections, and I’m very happy to report that I’ve gotten better.

So, here I am, six months after my original injury, and at the start of a new year. The cane (still covered in bits of Subordinate’s hair and skull fragments) is standing in a corner in my bedroom, and I am outside helping my daughter raise the seat on her bike because she got a new pair of long, slender legs for Christmas. At least I think she did, since that seat was just fine three months ago. After I make the adjustment, she starts to ride away, but her foot slips on the pedal and the bike spills her into the driveway. I’m by her side in an instant; helping her up, telling her its okay, and looking at the slivers of peeled-away skin on her leg. As we walk inside the house I step on the uneven threshold of the front door and I feel a sudden hot stab in my foot. Yes, it’s still there, but I just took three quick steps in the driveway and I didn’t even notice.
So, that is what I got for Christmas.
Three quick steps.

I’ll take it. In fact, now that I'm sitting here writing about it, I think it’s one of the best gifts ever.

By the way, Dr. Jason Miller, DPM, is the guy who figured out what was going on with my foot, and he’s the guy working on separating the two bones.
He’s like a podiatrist divorce attorney.

You know, I forgot to send him a Christmas card. Maybe I’ll jog down to the mailbox tonight and drop one in there for him.