Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Busy Days by Bonnie Le Hamilton

Konnie and I have talked about how our lives are different a lot, and I know I’ve told a lot of people I’m glad I’m not Konnie with all she has to do, because it always sounds like way more than I can handle. Then Monday came along. And I mean this past Monday.

I had a doctor’s appointment that morning and left my apartment around ten A.M. After my appointment with the doctor, I went to the lab, and from there I went to pick up my sister-in-law for her doctor’s appointment.

By the time she was done, it was lunchtime so I invited my sister-in-law out to lunch, afterwards, I took her home and hurried over to the store where I got my walker, because they finally had the part to fix the seat.

Next was my appointment with the physical therapist.

I returned home around five P.M.

Not as bad as the days when my sister-in-law and I spent the day running errands together, but I was still beat. And Konnie has days like this just about every day of the week. It’s a wonder she ever gets some writing done at all. I haven’t managed much of anything since I started going to physical therapy, well actually before that.

As I said last time, it’s been an awful last couple of months, and things are not getting any better.

But it got me wondering about stories that have characters doing a bunch of things in what the writer says is a single day and making me wonder if they have the timing right. Sometimes it seems like there is too much happening for it to be in a single day. Or am I the only one who feels that way?

We have to remember there are only finite hours in a day, even if we are writing fiction. And there’s only so much a person can accomplish in a day, no matter how hard they try. It takes time to drive to a different location, it takes to get something to eat, and eat it, and it takes time to do little incidentals like heed the call nature, all of which detracts from getting things done.

It also takes time for a washer or a dryer or a dishwasher to do their job. You need to consider how long it will take, which I know isn’t easy.

I myself have a scene where the heroine is cleaning the house, and planning for lunch and dinner. But in my case, I considered how long the washer, dryer, and dishwasher would take, as well as a slow cooker, and how much else a body can do while those appliances are working. And at the end of that morning, I have her husband comment on how amazed he is over how much she got done in just a few short hours.

But, not everybody is all that organized, and I could have easily thrown in a kid or two to make it interesting, or harder for her do what she did.

Anyway, do you ever feel a writer has the characters accomplishing too much in a single day? Or do you sometimes have to pare back what you have your character accomplishing?


Happy writing everyone! :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Bad Day by Konnie Enos

Did you ever have one of those days? You know the kind where either nothing seems to go right or you just can’t seem to get enough energy to tackle the day, or its one disaster after another. Yeah, that kind of day.
Well that was yesterday for me.
It started out as a perfectly normal day around here. Bright and early, before the sun even got up. Then my oldest son complained of stomach pains whenever he moved.
Okay, so maybe he wasn’t going to school and I would be calling the doctor.
I got his brother to school, then his sister to her school, I even managed to call the doctor then my other daughter came into my bedroom with a look of sheer panic on her face trying to get her dad’s attention.
I asked, “What’s wrong?”
“Gunner’s bleeding.”
“What? Bring him here, let me see.”
She called him in and he calmly jumped up on my bed like there was nothing wrong but I easily spotted the gaping gash in his side. I’m sure I yelled, because unlike my daughter who’d been standing right next to him, I was able to get my husband’s attention from across the room.
While I quickly texted Gunner’s Mom (said daughter that I took to school), Dad found his leash and loaded him in the car. We were out the door in minutes.
Of course my daughter was still in class and didn’t get the message until class got out. Normally she’d text me to let me know she was ready to be picked up. This time she called, right as the vet came into the exam room, which set me flying across town to pick her up.
Then there was the mad scramble to figure out how we were going to cover this.
We finally got home from the vets and I had about half an hour before I had to take my son to his appointment. Mind you, I don’t normally take naps, but yesterday, at that time, it was rest or not drive my son to his appointment.
After his appointment I had about an hour before we had to pick up Gunner (after his surgery). You got it, I laid down again.
Not that I got much rest.
My husband laid in bed with me and seemed to think it was a perfect occasion to talk. All my kids (at least the ones who live with me) were home and they each had something they desperately needed to tell me, at least once each. I think one daughter came in at least three times. Then there was the fact that the few times I’d been online yesterday my sister had not been so she hadn’t seen me all day so she called to make sure I was all right.
“Yeah, can I go back to sleep?”
“Okay, maybe if you get some rest I won’t have to take another nap.”
“Don’t count on it, nobody will leave me alone.”
She finally said she was going to go take another nap.
I finally got up to go pick up Gunner, trying to beat the clock because the normal Tuesday night activity for our boys had been moved from the usual seven o’clock time up to six.
Yeah, that’s about the time we got home, but I don’t think my son, the healthy one, even noticed or cared that we didn’t take him.
Now today, I feel sick. That could explain my lethargy yesterday.
Here’s hoping today's a better day.

Smile. Make the day a brighter day.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Bad Nights by Bonnie Le Hamilton

Have you ever had one of those nights where you just can’t get to sleep because you can’t get comfortable? Well, I hate those kinds of nights.

Of course, something like that can be good fodder for a book, but in reality, it’s annoying. Especially since, I hate taking pills. I drove my stepmother up the wall with my refusal to take anything. Every time I complained about any old ache, she’d ask if I’d taken anything for it. And, generally, I hadn’t, and you should have seen her face the one time I had.

That time she ran to the phone to make me an appointment with the doctor.

Yeah, I don’t take pain meds unless I’m in a lot of pain. Well, actually, I’ve gotten better about taking them since that incident, but still, I tend to wait longer to take them than most people would, so anyway. I took some pain meds last night, so I could get to sleep. Enough said.

But it also means I was up late, and ended sleeping in. What a way to start the day, behind already! Which is something that would make a good story, but only if the person has a lot more on their plate than I do, because I don’t need to be out the door until ten o’clock. To be a really good story, the person sleeping in has to have like kids, and a job, and --- oh wait, I think what I’m describing is that story about the Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Day.

Then again, that is a good story, and there are only so many stories, it’s in the telling that makes it unique. :)


Happy writing everyone! :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Computers and Sciatica by BonnieLe Hamilton


Okay, here’s the deal, Konnie’s having computer issues, so you’re stuck with me another week, and I haven’t got much to say about being mirror twins or about writing because the only thing I’ve been dealing with is my sciatica. And if you’ve never been to the emergency room, simply because you were in so much pain you couldn’t move without bawling, then you don’t know how bad sciatica can get it.

Honestly, I’d had it happen to me back in my college days and that was a walk in the park compared to what I’m going through now. I can barely walk, with my walker. Getting into my car was another issue.

Of course, that wouldn’t be problem if I didn’t live alone. If someone lived with me, or if I had children, I could get to the car, and sit down, while whomever lived with me could put my walker in the car, and when I got to where I was going, that person could get my walker out for me.

Konnie doesn’t live alone. If this were happening to her, she’d have people to wait on her, so she wouldn’t have to keep getting up to fix meals or get water. She’d only have to get up to use the restroom, or go to bed. I don’t have that option.

Sometimes living alone stinks.

On the other hand, maybe I can use this experience in a story someday. Then again, there are things I’ve experienced that I’ve never been able to figure out how to put into a story. Thought about it though.

Are there things you’ve experienced that you’ve never been able to insert into a story you’re writing?

Happy writing everyone. :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Mirror Opposites

Ever since Konnie visited me last month, all my friends have been commenting on how much alike we are, and it got me thinking about how, being a mirror twin is more about how much we are opposites then about how much we are alike. The definition of mirror twins is after all, “mirror opposites.”

Yes, we look alike but we are different. Though I admit those differences are things that most people don’t notice. I think it might have something to do with how most people depend too heavily on sight, or maybe don’t utilize it enough, maybe a mix of both. Because honestly, people fixate on our face, and don’t see anything else.

Like we dress differently. Oh, we both dress modestly, but we do have different tastes.

Our hair is also different lengths, well it is now, and really for a lot of our lives, just that we can’t ever seem to agree. Though well, technically, this last time I cut mine off, it started with the doctor shaving half my head.

(Let’s just say, he got it all, and leave it at that.)

But beyond that, people do change their hairstyles over time and we’ve gone from me having the shorter hair to me having longer hair and back again, several times. That has annoyed a few people over the years, those few who depended on our hair length to tell us apart.

And that is because too many depend on what they see, and not on what their other senses tell them, like the fact that Konnie is a soprano and I’m an alto. Although to be honest, our blind counselor in high school knew that about us, and still had to depend on our hair length to figure out which was which. And boy was he annoyed when Konnie chopped her hair off!

Anyway, we are different, in a lot of ways, because, after all, we are “mirror opposites.”


Happy writing everyone! :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Reading and Living by Konnie Enos

In recent weeks I’ve seen articles about how reading is good for your longevity. Then today I found a list of five suggested books to read this summer and noticed something. Two were plays, two had already been made into movies and the last one; it was about how the internet is making us dumb.
I have in fact heard on several occasions the idea that in the age of instant everything, including answers, we’re becoming dumber. People want instant answers, knowledge, information, satisfaction. It’s becoming an epidemic of a total lack of patience.
Why wait to learn reading, writing, math, when the answers are right at your fingertips on the internet. Why bother to even retain any facts because you can just look it up again online.
When I was in school they at least attempted to teach us how to convert from our system of measuring to the metric system and back again. Who even remembers any of that? Just look up a conversion chart online.
My sister has a book with a perpetual calendar in it, but why bother looking things up in that. Just find the chart online. Let the computer algorithm find the date information you need in a matter of seconds.
Nowadays there is an app for just about everything, even finding trivia.
The problem with all this is it does make us dumber. We stop reading the books. We stop retaining information. We stop learning.
In Ally Condie’s “Matched” dystopia series she creates a world where people are so dependent on the information on the internet that they can’t even write. They don’t even know how to form letters. They don’t compose so much as a note without plagiarizing from what they find online. They literally just copy and paste words and phrases into the order they want to use. When the leading lady learns to actually write her own name, it’s a new thing to her.
You would think something like this was farfetched, but in this day and age, it really isn’t. We are really almost there.
Today’s kids have little time for patience.
They don’t understand waiting for anything, least of all information.
They’ve never had to wait for the slow churn of an ice cream machine to enjoy that cool confection.
They’ve never had to entertain themselves for an entire long, hot summer day with nothing but a park, and maybe a swimming pool, or a bike.
They’ve never had to get themselves across town without a parent to drive them, so it was either hoof it or bike it. No matter how long it took.
This Pok√©mon Go craze was intended to get people out and walking around, but there is apparently ways to get around that. My boys are playing it. My son has figured out how to convince the app he’s gone places like France, Britain, Brazil and Seattle. All yesterday, while sitting in his bed on his computer.
Kids want instant gratification without the effort to earn it.
Personally, I hope that being a reader thing includes reading WIP’s, because I don’t get a lot of time to actually read books nowadays between writing and you know, that busy mom thing I do every day.
I think we need to do better teaching that patience is a virtue and anything worth having is worth working for.
Maybe we need to turn off the tech more. (I say as I type on my computer with five internet tabs open.)
Smile. Make the day a brighter day.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Making it Worse by Bonnie Le Hamilton

Have you ever had one of those days when everything thing seems to go wrong? Well I’m having one of those months, and I think it might be two months.

All my problems actually started on June 24th. I know the exact date because on June 24th I had to drive all the way into I.F. to the airport to pick up Konnie, who was flying in to spend a couple of week with me over our birthday.

Or maybe everything started the day before when I got that call from the doctor’s office, saying the lab test came back and he needed to see me as soon as possible. Dang, yeah that didn’t help any.

But the next day with a bit of a limp, it wasn’t easy getting to the airport at all, but I managed, thanks to having a walker. Getting to my doctor’s office later that day wasn’t any easier because my limp had gotten a little worse, and my left ear was bothering me, that cough I’d developed wasn’t any fun either.

Anyway, long story short, along with having to change some of my regular medications, my doctor informed me my sciatica was acting up, I had a mild cold, and an ear infection. Oh swell. At least Konnie was around to help me while I spent a few days trying to stay off my leg as much as possible, but well, when things on that front got better, I suffered a small accident.

It was nothing major. I have one of those store-bought reusable plastic water bottles, 24 ounces. And I put it, full on my padded footstool while I turned to sit on the couch. I’d barely managed that when my bottle tumbled off the footstool and landed hard on my shin. I even remember telling Konnie I was going to have an almighty bruise on my shin in a day or two.

The only other problem I noted during those last few days Konnie was visiting was that while I had finished the antibiotics, my ear still was “clogged” to the point I couldn’t hear out of it. I made another appointment with my doctor.

Between making that appointment, and it actually happening, I took Konnie back to the airport, even though I was again limping. For some reason my bad ankle was acting up again. Or at least that’s what I thought, until I saw my doctor.

I must point out at this time, that I should have noticed there was only a barely discernable discoloration on my shin, and not the almighty bruise I expected. It hadn’t dawned on me that could be a problem, but it turns out, my shin didn’t bruise all that much because the blood was pooling in my foot and he instructed me to spend the next two weeks with my ankle elevated above my heart!
Do you have any idea how hard that is?

Well let me tell you, it isn’t comfortable to do while sitting up. Promise. But the hazards of lying in bed for two weeks aren’t so fun either, especially when my favored pastime is sitting on my computer, writing. Where do you put a computer while your in bed?

The easy answer is on a bed tray designed for a computer. I don’t own a bed tray of any sort. I grabbed my reader and a pile of books, and despite getting some time to read, I went a little stir crazy. I think the biggest part was that despite living so far apart, Konnie and I usually connect every day, online. We talk in AIM all the time, which of course we couldn’t do while I couldn’t get on my computer.

And believe me I did try, but the only place I could put this thing was on my stomach, and putting this big heavy thing on my belly made me feel like I was about to lose it, if you know what I mean. I couldn’t do it for very long, and I frankly avoided it as much as I could.

Then my ankle started to feel better, I was starting to think I would be able to make my brother-in-law’s wedding even though it fell the day before I was supposed to be up and about again, but well, the day before the wedding my hip went out. Or rather, I should say, my sciatica reared it is ugly head again.

Only this time, after 2 weeks of not sleeping on my side (the best position for my back problems) I was now in a lot more pain than any other time my sciatica had acted up. I, in fact, ended up in the emergency room one night simply because my pain was so bad I couldn’t manage to get myself into my bedroom, let alone my bed.
And, just as I am starting to see improvement on that front, just as the new month has barely started, what happens? For the first time in months, I get cramps. Here I hadn’t done anything more than spotting, if at all, since before Christmas, and suddenly, well until this ends, messes will happen, and I hate this.

And I’m beginning to wonder if someone upstairs is trying to keep me home bound for a reason.

But at least it got me thinking about how in writing we’re supposed to think of the worst thing that could possibly happen, and make it worse. Every time someone has told me this, I have always thought how could you possibly make the worst thing to happen worse? Now I know.

Why did I have to learn this the hard way?


Happy writing everyone!