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Brain Explodes

Not only is tax season in full swing, but I've been plane-hopping to Boston to stay with my challenging mother while my father is in the hospital and rehab. He's doing fine. But my mother can't stay alone and she hates the 24 hour aides. So we've been taking turns spending a few days there. I have the last shift from Thurs to Sun of this week. She's a challenge because you never know when she'll have a good day and all her cleverness is in full swing and when she'll have a bad day and fold into herself for hours at a time. She seems quite chipper that my father is on the mend and in the same facility so she can spend time with him. So chipper that she has figured out how to disarm the alarm on their apt door and get out...while her designated family member is sleeping, of course. The aides aren't allowed to sleep and for good reason, obviously.

So I went swinging up to Boston for 3 days, came back for 2 days, and then went to the IMP workshop in Blue Bell, PA for 3 days. There were six of us, but apparently that's enough creative critical mass to make my brain explode. I have 3 nights back home and I'm off to Boston again to babysit my mother through the weekend.

Oh, what? Oh. Yes. Well, I seem to make my own head explode, it isn't anyone's fault but mine. I have to process what was said. But I wanted a workshop where I would work hard and I got one. Mouse King's Revenge has some issues for new readers of the series and while I'm touchier than my cat Goliath about my fairies, nonetheless they told me what I needed to know about what confused them. Most of it would seem to be easy to fix, though I seem to need to add 2 more scenes. As the story is currently sitting at 7.5k, it's going to be longer than the traditional short story unless my big sister Anne can point out places where I can cut and pick up word count (which she claims she can). I keep running Rich Chwedyk's stories through my head and trying to figure out just how much he tells me of what happened in other stories with each new one about his dinosaurs. And he works at novella length, which gives him more room to work. So maybe a story that is so dependent on the two stories that came before simply *has* to have a higher word count. After all, the other two push up close to 7k.

That's where things stand. I still have to go back and work on Mouse King's Tail. But first I need to get through the weekend in Boston and put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

Frog Out

PS: It snowed overnight and the chickens are having none of it.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 22nd, 2011 07:44 pm (UTC)

Schedule yourself a break realsoonnow, OK?

Also. This is not the time to worry about word count. Worry about what the words are. When the story is the shape and size that it needs to be, then see what needs paring. Or not.

Procrustes. Look him up.
Feb. 23rd, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC)
yadda, yadda, yadda, quoting Greek mythology at me. I'm working to keep these to a length that a new voice can sell to a market. Point taken. The story has to be the length it will be, but I also have to make sure it has no flabbiness.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 23rd, 2011 05:44 pm (UTC)
yeah, I think the explosion was a good thing, though my Goliath side says otherwise. This is hopefully the last trip and I can't wait to get through to the other side. Tax season is looking like a reprieve from stress!
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 23rd, 2011 05:44 pm (UTC)
Is Cumin, yes. Doodled in a margin.
Feb. 23rd, 2011 02:22 am (UTC)
Poor Frog! That is rough. My mom had Alzheimer's for about the last 10 years of her life. It started not so bad and got worse so gradually it was hard to notice. First she moved from her own apartment to an assisted living facility; then after about six years she had to move into the Alzheimer's wing. The last two years she barely knew us. She never knew my brother died before she did, which was about the only blessing.

It's always tough to lose loved ones, but losing them a tiny piece at a time is absolutely brutal.

And no matter how tough the writing gets, it's always good to have it.
Feb. 23rd, 2011 05:46 pm (UTC)
I'm ok with the loss of her memory, it's been going on for a while now. It's the challenge of taking care of her when she doesn't have my dad there. But he's well on the mend and she sees him every day now. The trickiest part is the ups and downs. Some days are better than others and you can't tell which is which until you're in it. Thanks for the thoughts. It helps to know that others have been through it.
Feb. 23rd, 2011 03:40 am (UTC)
You have a lot on your plate indeed! You are a good daughter and your mom is lucky to have you. Best wishes on the whole keep-her-in-the-apartment thing. My grandmother never was an escapee, but in assisted living they banned her from calling 911 because she used to doll herself up and call so she could spend the day getting attention at the hospital. I miss her lots.
Feb. 23rd, 2011 05:48 pm (UTC)
What a character! Immortalize her some day, she deserves it. Thanks for your thoughts. I'm hoping she'll do better with me than she did last weekend with my other sister. Some days are just like that. I'm hoping all goes well enough that I can come home a day early.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )