Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Fuzzy Logic

As y’all know, I had foot surgery on Valentine’s Day and I had to spend the first seven to ten days in bed with the foot elevated. I still have to keep it elevated but not as much. It lets me know when it needs rest.

This is your foot. The big toe is called the hallux and this photo shows a normal metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, which is where the big toe meets the foot.

This was my foot. I had arthritis in the MTP joint. Those red things are osteophytes, or bone spurs, that form in a degenerating joint. Additionally, I had a bone chip because I broke my big toe about a decade ago, though I didn't know it until the x-ray showed the chip. Surprise!

I'll spare you the surgical photos. Suffice it to say I have about a three inch scar on the top of my foot, but it's a nice scar. My orthopedic surgeon is also a good seamstress. He cleaned out all the osteophytes, removed the bone chip and shaved a little off the bone on both sides of the MTP joint.

My plan was to get lots of writing done. After all, between my AlphaSmart and my laptop, I had easy access to a keyboard of some ilk.

This is your brain.

This is your brain on prescription pain pills.

What I didn’t plan on was being under the influence of Lortabs for ten days. Writing while life is all fuzzy around the edges just isn’t fun. Or productive. Or smart. I gave it a couple tries and everything was garbage. Of course, everyone always says “You can fix garbage, but you can’t fix a blank page.” But it was just too difficult to even try to create the garbage, plus is was really bad, stinky been-in-the-dumpster-for-a-month garbage. So for ten days I did nothing much but watch television shows and movies (thanks Smarty Pants for the bag of DVDs you loaned me). I’ve seen lots of true crime shows, medical programs and discovered “My Big Redneck Wedding.” I’ve never seen bridesmaids wear camouflage before or have the bride mud wrestle in her wedding gown.

I did manage to write a short story two days before my surgery, but it was based around a true situation I was very familiar with, so I didn’t have to create the whole thing from scratch. I knew the plot and the characters; it was mostly a matter of putting the story on paper. And the morning of my surgery (I didn't have to report in until 12:30 PM) I wrote a short feature article and submitted it. The subject matter was #1 son’s birth, so again, I was very familiar with the story and just had to put it into words.

Since I stopped taking the pain pills, I’ve been trying to make up for lost time. I’ve written two short features (again based on my own experiences) and yesterday I FINALLY finished a story I started about a year ago. It was based around a one thousand word writing challenge I did back in June 2005. You never know when something that’s been hanging around on your hard drive will come in handy.

I’m rather proud of myself. I’ve submitted 11241 words since February 13. I have another story in progress (I started it last year too and got stumped with it but now I think I have it all sorted out) and I also began plotting a May-December romance story Monday night. I wrote about two pages of it because I had some dialogue in my head that I wanted on paper before I forgot it.

It feels really nice to be back in the driver's seat (literally and figuratively) and have all the cylinders firing again. I just wish I didn’t have this one bad tire. But this too shall pass.

However, after reading yesterday's wonderful blog by Carla Cassidy, I realize I don't sacrifice enough. Even without pain pills, I watch three episodes of American Idol, one episode of Survivor and one episode of Celebrity Apprentice each week. Sunday night I got hooked on Oprah Winfrey's The Big Give, and Dancing with the Stars begins again on March 17. Maybe I can write a story about a singer/dancer who's marooned on an island with Donald Trump after his chopper crashes while they're looking for a total stranger whose life they'll change with money from Oprah. Yeah, that's the ticket.

What have you done lately that you’re proud of? Are you upset that YauMan was voted off so early? Does David Archuleta rock or what? And what's up with Omarosa? I'd have fired her on week one.

P.S. Yesterday's winner of Carla Cassidy's newest releast is LauraP. Please email Smarty Pants with your name and snail mail info to claim your prize.


Barbara Vey said...

Yesterday I finished my 6 week maintenance part of the Weight Watchers program and am finally a lifetime member. I'll never have to pay again as long as I keep the weight off. And I plan to!!

I love watching The Biggest Loser and tonight is the finale of Project Runway. I can waste time with the best of them. :)

Problem Child said...

I don't watch much new TV, but I'm hooked on reruns. There's just something addictive about ten-year old episodes of Law and Order.


I'm working though... And after three foot surgeries, I can relate to PM's pain and the fuzziness caused by Loratabs. It's much harder to work with a foot elevated than folks would think.

Homer Hickam said...

PM - Glad the toe is some better. Ibuprofen worked for me after a couple of days (daze). Get off those drugs, lady! They're for sissies.

As for the amazing Carla Cassidy, don't compare! We write as we're supposed to, not as we wish. I've written ten books, well into the eleventh. Nine of them have been since 1997. Quality, not quantity, for some of us. Harper Lee wrote... one. ONE! So did Margaret Mitchell. Of course, she got run over by a taxi cab before she could try another but top GWTW? Not bloody likely.

Still on the Red Helmet tour. The novel is selling very, very well which pleases the publisher and, well, me, too. One thing that made me angry, however, is that last week I was the victim of an internet fraud where I was quoted saying some very sexist and racist things about the Presidential candidates. All a rotten, dirty lie, of course, but the old saying, a lie goes around the world while the truth is still pulling on her boots is all too true.

Off to LA tomorrow to talk to some movie producers about Red Helmet. We'll see. I never get my hopes up when dealing with Hollywood.

Oh, one more thing. Go here:

This is a Sci-Fi contest that someone sent to me. No way do I have time (or interest since SF Is not my thing) but wouldn't it fun to write a romance set on the moon? Try it out! 

Smarty Pants said...

I have no idea what a Yauman is or what any of those other questions mean. Sorry. Like Barbara, I'm all about Project Runway ending tonight. ANTM is starting up again, I think they rushed it because the last one only ended a few weeks ago (cause of the strike, I guess).

I need to watch Biggest Loser so I can get fired up about losing weight again. I'm not very fired up right now.

Angel said...

I'm excited about the 25 pages I wrote in the last 2 days. Hopefully I can keep that up and meet my deadline.

I've weaned myself off a lot of tv. But if I have time I watch movies. Luckily, the kinds I watch can't be viewed until after the kids go to bed (get your mind out of the gutter! I mean horror/action movies!). :) So I still have some time to work because I have no choice. :)


Kathy said...

I'm so glad the doctor got your toe out of the red, PM! Even though you didn't show us the real deal, it still looks horrible and painful. Keep getting well. :-)

Way to go, Barbara! You rock!!

Great to see you here today, Mr. Hickham! You're an inspiration. Good luck in Hollywood with Red Helmet!! Travel safe.

25 pages in two days...holy cow! That's fantastic, Danniele. Great job!

(Sick teens are going back to school today. Yay!)

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Hugs, PM. But it sounds like you've gotten a lot done this month! Yay!

I don't watch a lot of TV, but hubby likes to watch AI, so we watch that. And we always record Bourdain. Love to watch him travel and eat. I get in the mood for decorating, so watch HGTV, and I'm getting somewhat addicted to TruTV and those Forensic Files. But I go all day without watching TV. It's a weekend and sometime evening thing.

David Archuleta is amazing, but I really love David Cook's rocker voice. I thought he nailed Hello. It was awesome. Then again, not that you can tell by looking at me, I love hard rock. :)

Hugs, Homer, on the rumors. :( Politics make my blood boil on an ordinary day. I can't imagine what it would be like to have false and bigoted things attributed to me. Good luck with Hollywood!

Danniele, awesome on the 25 pages! That rocks!!

Barbara, congratulations! Weight loss is a great, healthy, life-altering accomplishment.

I guess what I'm proud of getting done is two entries to the HP contest, my revised winning entry in the Gotcha out the door to the editor, the revisions making sense (even if I hate doing them), and the ideas flowing for three new stories. I feel like I'm writing a lot and moving forward. :)

Instigator said...

I'm glad your toe is doing better, PM! We've missed you!

Hello, my name is Kira and I'm a TVaholic. I'll watch just about anything (besides sports. Unless it's the Superbowl but that involves food so it doesn't really count).

I find myself wasting time watching the stupidest things. Most of the time I'd prefer to be writing but I'm so picky about my environment that I can't. I can't write at work (can revise there though). Can't write while the kids are running around because I get distracted. So I start watching something waiting for those peaceful moments but then I'm hooked on whatever I'm watching. Sigh. However, I broke the cycle last night. Instead of turning on the TV I did an exercise tape. And then when I had time to write I actually did. (So I guess that's what I'm proud of).


Playground Monitor said...

Aw heck, Homer. I have a very high pain tolerance. I gave birth twice with no pain killers. No epidural, no Demerol, no nothing. So when I ask for pain pills, you know I'm hurting. Anyway, I've been off them since February 22. I only take Aleve once in a while.

Good luck on the Hollywood deal. And I hate to hear that such a nice guy as you had such an ugly thing happen. Some people simply have nothing better to do than start rumors. Of course, I could point them to some terrific TV shows to keep them occupied. Being a couch potato is better than being a troublemaker.


Playground Monitor said...

Yay Barbara! You are an inspiration to many. You rock, lady. And I can't wait to see you again in San Francisco.


Playground Monitor said...

25 pages! Yippee!

I wrote 3 yesterday, but then I have #2 son home from grad school on spring break and we spent a lot of time talking. He bought himself a new laptop and we worked on setting that up. And he told me about the A's he's been making and how the university's men's and women's track teams both win the Southern Conference Indoor Track titles. Go Catamounts!


Homer Hickam said...

OK, I should have known that your pain tolerance is high! Being a man, mine (so Linda tells me) is incredibly low. I sprung my back the other day and have been limping around like that fella who hung out in the bell tower of the Notre Dame cathedral. Well, it hurts!

As for TV, I love Survivor! I even applied to be on the show but was told since I knew so many folks at CBS, I was ineligible. I sulked for more than a little while on that one.

Linda and I also don't miss an episode of Top Chef, Project Runway, and The Apprentice. I detest The Great Race because they spend so much time in airports which I also detest. My favorite cable fiction show is Big Love. I adore the middle sister wife! I guess it's her long hair and grannie dresses. Wowza!

So there you go.

H3 (Hickam, not Hickham - sigh)

Rhonda Nelson said...

Chiming in late today, but better late than never I hope. :-)

PM--glad to hear that your foot is getting better. Can't take Loratab. It's always made me deathly ill.

As for TV, I am *so* stuck on the Britcoms lately. I'm on Season 3 of The Vicar of Dibley. Love it! Also don't miss AI and Lost. Love both of those shows.

Angel, you rock! Way to go!

Lynn, I love David Cook! He's my favorite.

Homer, sorry about those rumors. Unfortunately that's the sort of thing that just blows the heck out of my creativity.

Barbara, HUGE congrats on your weight loss. Alas, I have many pounds to lose before Nationals...

Kathy said...

Yikes, I'm quite red in the face! I'm so sorry I misspelled your name.

I salute you, Mr. Hickam. :-) Please forgive me.