Germs, Creative Arts, & A Question of Time Management…

So here we are with the kids back in school for all of about two minutes, and already one of them has managed to bring a nasty little batch of germs into the house. By the end of yesterday, everyone but Z was feeling the effects of those invisible little wellness thieves as they worked their way through our systems, toiling ever-so-enthusiastically to turn our house into a quarantine zone.

Okay…

So maybe that’s just a little over dramatic. Perhaps they won’t be calling in the CDC on us anytime soon. It’s just a little bug, after all—or so it feels like at this juncture—but after last year, I got to say that I have my reasons for leaning towards the worst case scenario.

Before the start of kindergarten, K had never really been sick before; a case of the sniffles here or there maybe, but that was about it. Last year, it felt like she was sick constantly.

It started the second week of school, on her first field trip no less. I got a call from her teacher close to the end of the day, while the kids were all being shuttled back to school on buses, letting me know that she wasn’t doing well, and asking if I could come grab her a little early. I geared up and rushed down to the school expecting to find her a little stuffy maybe. What I found instead was a child that barely resembled my own. She was pink with the heat of her fever, barely able to keep her eyes open, terrifyingly miserable, and teary as all hell. That one lasted about a week, and she missed two days of school—keeping in mind that she only went to school Mondays, Wednesdays and alternating Fridays last year, two days seemed like an awful lot.

423996-91c1bb16-5190-11e3-b7b4-89041ea3763dI figured that was probably the worst that she’d have to deal with, what with being such a healthy kid and all, but that was just the beginning. At least once a month thereafter, that poor kid was sick as a dog for at least three or four days at a time before she’d begin to return to her usual pleasant self. Because, yes, when she is sick, she is FAR from pleasant. Some kids are extra sweet when they’re sick—my nephew, who’s quite rambunctious and a little trying on a regular day, becomes the sweetest, most adorable little guy you’ve ever seen when he’s sick. K, on the other hand, sweet as candy on a good day, but she turns into Linda Blair when she’s under the weather. I’m not kidding when I say that Z, A and I all get a little nervous when K starts showing signs of a bug.

I guess (I’ve been told) that this serial-illness thing happens to a lot of kids when they start kindergarten and are exposed to an army of new and exciting germs for the first time, but when your little monkey goes from being a picture of health, to spending many a long, horrible night sweating off a fever, it can feel a little scary. Especially since K, like her dad, tends to run a little hot to begin with. When they actually get sick, their temperatures burst through the roof. Fortunately for Z, he hardly ever gets sick. Unfortunately for Z, when he does, he looks like a plaque victim from a high school history book. And this is just one of the fun things he’s passed down to K through the genes.

A, on the other hand, is more like me in this aspect; she’s always seemed to pick up any little bug she’s come in contact with, but it’s almost never become a cause for alarm. You wouldn’t be able to guess that by the way she moans and wails (especially when getting the wake-up call for school in the mornings), because she tends to be a bit dramatic about such things, but its true. She hasn’t been scary-sick since she got pneumonia when she was two or three years old—that was terrifying!

Anyway, I guess all we can do now is play the waiting game to see how bad this current batch of germs is going to throw our household out of whack. In the meantime, I’ll do my best to dose my clan up with vitamins and electrolytes, and hope for the best.

So, I was thinking…

I’ve been looking over some of my older fiction and poetry lately, and I realized that I’ve shared almost none of it with the people I actually know. Including Z. Since this blog represents the first time I’ve ever opened myself up in this way to those that (for good or bad) know me in the really-real world, I’ve been thinking about sharing a little of that older stuff on here.

It’s still a thought in progress… you’ll know how it turns out when I do.

Poetry is a funny thing for me… I’ve always hated writing it, but now and then I am gripped in an embrace with the medium that won’t let me go. I just scribble out poem after poem (mostly terrible) until the urge sizzles, and then I won’t write another one for months… sometimes even years. And the truth is, I really don’t understand poetry, not in any kind of literary sense. Over the years I’ve shared a lot of it online, and its always been the ones that I least liked that seem to get the best reception, whereas the ones I actually adore, seem to sort of stump people.I don’t get it, but I do find it interesting.

Short stories, on the other hand, are always fun, though some of mine are a little twisted and could possibly lead to my being committed. That’s okay… a vacation doesn’t sound all that terrible to me.

I kind of like the idea of sharing some of it on here, because it’s a way of making this space truly mine—kind of like Oz whizzing on the fence is about him marking his territory, creative writing feels like my own personal graffiti tag—and it seems like a healthy thing to do. Y’know, sharing. One of the things that most worries me about sharing some of the old stuff on here though, is that I might end up stuck in that waltz with poetry again, and I just don’t have the time for it right now, because I have other things on my plate.

Speaking of time…

I’d really like to know how “normal” people manage it, because I never seem to have nearly enough hours in the day. Beyond juggling the kids and the house and the dog, cooking, cleaning, and finding time for the Z-man, I usually like to squirrel at least a few hours away for me-related stuffs too…

I love to read. In an average month, I will greedily gobble up anywhere from five to ten books. My preference for genre tends to lean to the horror and supernatural side of things, but I’ll read pretty much anything I can get my hands on. Hell, if ever I’m suffering from a shortage of new books to keep myself occupied (which hasn’t actually happened in a very long time) I will re-read every book on my shelves. If I get even more desperate than that, you might find me standing in the pantry reading the backs of packaging—It’s amazing what you can find out about the food you eat when you actually read those labels. Amazingly scary sometimes, too.

I’m currently in the middle of a great trilogy (Scott Sigler’s Infected series) and I’d really like to finish it up, but I just haven’t been able to find the time for that either. In fact, since I started this blog I think I’ve only finished one, maybe two novels.

Part of that is because there’s so much more than just writing when it comes to blogging. There was all the early set up, and there’s my constant need to continuously change things that were just fine before I started messing with them. There’s the fact that the images I create for these posts take me about twice as long as the writing, and then there’s the distraction of other people’s blogs—there are so many great posts out there just waiting for me to stumble upon them!

And, as if blogging isn’t a big enough distraction on its own, there’s also my long-standing dream of being a published novelist…

I have been working on the same series since 2012, though other than A, no one has ever read a single word of it. I’ve been working up to that, and recently I made a pretty bold promise to suck it up, and share the first book… like really soon. Strangely enough, rather than feeling an excess of nerves over this promise, I’m actually kind of looking forward to finally getting a little feedback, since the lack of feedback is a big part of what (I feel) has been holding me up.

Right after I made that promise, I felt the series start to “tug” at me again. Major relief, since I haven’t felt that in some time, and I was beginning to worry that I was losing the thread. Over the long weekend, I logged in as many as 30 hours reading and working on my series, which as I’m sure you can guess, pretty much threw any other plans right out the window.

Like so many things with me, I go though these obsessive bouts with my writing where nearly everything else gets slid over to the back burner so that I can burn away countless hours at my keyboard, slamming out word after word after word. I love being in these stages; I rarely feel more in sync with myself than when I’m spinning a long, detailed tale; but it can be a little trying for my family I think, since when I’m in one of these phases, I tend to stay up too late, wake up too early, and drink way, way, way too much coffee. Furthermore, I’m pleasant as a peach when the writing’s going well—when I’m pleased with the way the story is coming together, or proud of my own cleverness—but if (when) the story should turn on me, I develop the sulky, self-deprecating personality of your average emo teenager.

I’ve been lucky enough to have been blessed with a family that seems to understand this about me—or if not entirely understand, at least they’re willing to patiently put up with it—which says to me that I’m lucky enough. Unfortunately though, when I’m going through these bouts of obsessiveness with my writing, my already shoddy time management skills pretty much disintegrate altogether. Forget reading other people’s work at all, I’m lucky if I manage to keep the house from falling down around my ears, and dinner on the table.

Which reminds me…

This was supposed to be a drive bye blogging—just a quick in and out so I could get back to my book—so it’s time for me to mosey.

 

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