Just the Tip

Those of you who know me in person (or follow me on other social media) know that my husband Gary had a rather dreadful, freak accident this past summer. I didn’t want to write about it until the legal liability was all figured out.

zombiefinger02_zombiekingI’m not going into the details, but Gary was sitting in a folding chair that suddenly collapsed, caught his finger, and sheared off his fingertip. Like. Cleanly sliced through his actual fingertip including bone, which then flew across the room. He had to have a “revision amputation” the next day, where they removed more tissue and bone in order to close the wound and allow it to heal. He lost almost all the distal metatarsal.

We both cope with things by drawing upon dark, dark humor. I immediately imagined a zombie fingertip scritch-scritch-hopping along on its nail. The zombie fingertip would commit crimes, leaving Gary’s fingerprint behind, so that everyone would think he was a master criminal! But it would really just be his zombie fingertip, framing him! But who would believe that? Because there’s no such thing as a zombie fingertip!


Just two more things to say:

1) I am sure losing a fingertip in any way is a horrible experience. But if you’re using a chainsaw or log splitter or hedge trimmer or axe or giant knife, I do think–after you’ve gotten over the shock and the medical necessities–you might think, Well, that sucked, but I always knew sharp things can do that. But…losing a fingertip while SITTING IN THE CHAIR? It’s the kind of thing that causes you to have no faith in the logical nature of the universe. Or in the use of chairs.

2) If you’ve kind of blocked the word “amputation” from your mind and been thinking LA LA LA LA CUT OFF FINGERTIP LA LA LA, when the doctor comes in and starts talking about “revision amputation” this and “revision amputation” that, you kind of want to puke at first. I wanted to beg the doctor to start saying, “When I go in and clean that up.” Because the word amputation is just not a word you want to actually hear a doctor say.



Image: https://brainzzzorgtfo.wordpress.com/2011/09/18/zombie-fingers/
Chris Zombie King

On to Round Two!

My “Fifty Thousand Batmans” story got me through to round 2 of the NYC Short Story Challenge. Woot!

This round will bring a new prompt, to arrive Thursday, 3/29 at 11 pm CST. Genre, character, subject. Stories are due Sunday, 4/1 by 11 pm CST and can be no longer than 2000 words.

What genre will I get?

What crazy prompts will I write about?

Stay tuned to find out! 🙂 I’m pleased to continue with the contest and I hope my creative abilities don’t fail me now.

I should get the judges feedback on my round 1 story soon–I’d be happy to share those comments if any of you other writers-types would be interested?


Ten Stages of Writing Your Novel

  1. Wow! I have a really great idea. This idea is fantastic. This is going to be amazing. How has no one written this novel before? It’s brilliant. This will be brilliant
  2. I’m so impressed with myself. Look at all the words I’ve written! Words, words, and more words!
  3. Um. I’m not sure what happens next and how my plot gets from point A to point B. I’m gonna figure it out, though.
  4. Wow. The messy middle of this book is truly a messy middle. Um. This is a total mess. I’m not sure how I’m going to wrap it up. How can I possible get to the ending I need?
  5. Oh! That’s how it can resolve! Huh, look at that! Wow, I have a draft. I have an entire draft of the novel. I am amazing. I am a writer.
  6. Okay, time to edit. Oh. Oh, wow. Oh no. What the hell? This is complete and utter shit. This book sucks. It makes no sense. I can drive a truck through that plot hole. What is my character doing here? Why would she even do that? My prose is the most hackneyed of awful prose there ever was. Why did I write this? How could I write 70k of the most awful prose in the history of prose? I can’t fix this. I should delete it. No, I should print it out and burn it and bury the ashes. OMG. I cannot ever let anyone read this.
  7. All right, let’s think. Surely there’s salvageable stuff here. Hmm. Crap. There’s not. It’s still shit.
  8. Self, this is a first draft and not a final masterpiece. Give this a chance. Hmm. Haha, oh, look, that bit’s actually kind of funny. And, wow, did I write that? I love that paragraph. And look at that part–that doesn’t make sense, but what if I tweak it a little this way and I tweak that part a little the other way and I add this section here. Yeah. Huh. Yeah. This might work.
  9. Okay, now I’ve reworked the whole thing. I can’t believe the editing and re-writing have taken three times as long as the actual drafting. Maybe I need just one or two more run-throughs, just in case.
  10. You know what? This doesn’t suck. This actually turned out kind of almost pretty okay. I think I’m ready to get feedback from some other folks. I think they might even kind of like it. I kind of like it! I really think I do. You did a decent job on this, self.


Coming next: The Ten Stages of Getting Critique on Your Novel Draft

Old vintage typewriter

You Know What’s Stressful?

Buying a house. And, I bet, selling a house, but we’re not to that point yet.kevin-home-alone-zoom-fcf5c0ff-7273-43ee-a991-7ec9ac0b81c6

We had one house fall through in January after the inspection. It turns out that seller had a “friend” put on a new roof two years ago. As you might guess, said roof needs to be completely torn off and redone, per the inspector and a roofing company. Seller insisted it was fine, so we couldn’t come to terms.

Now we’re in the midst of dealing with a second house. We’re at the point where we’ve started to wonder: Why the hell did we decide we wanted to move? Like…how much time and energy and effort and money is this going to cost? Do we want to trade the problems we know with Current House for the problems we will inevitably discover with Future House? Whose idea was this? Yeah, we think we love Future House, but is this just infatuation that will wear off soon and leave us longing for steady old reliable Current House?

Gary wishes for some spice (a la Dune) so we could see the branching future and know for certain if Future House should be OUR future house. I alternate between ecstatic excitement and panicked uncertainty.

636080863092287060-thinkstockphotos-517934076Will this house actually go through? Will we move? If you ask us in two years, will we be glad we moved? Will it be home or will it be a money pit?
home-sweet-homeSeriously. If anyone has a crystal ball sitting around and has a clear answer one way or the other? Let me know.

Everyone says, “Go with your gut.” What if your gut says “WOO HOO I LOVE IT!” half the time and “OMG, is this a terrible mistake?” the other half? Anyone out there have really great advice on buying and selling houses?

Anyway, that’s the big stuff that’s going on for us right now. We’re getting some estimates on things brought up in the inspection report. Then we’ll negotiate and see what happens. And then, if all goes well, I guess we’re moving. And THEN comes the part where we have to sell Current House.

This past weekend, Gary and I had a lovely getaway to Nashville, TN. He had his routine neurologist appointment today (Monday), so we decided to make a weekend of it instead of driving down and back in one day–it’s nearly 3 hours each way. I’m so glad we did! Sometimes you just need to get away to a nice, clean hotel where you don’t have to worry about any household chores and you can eat lovely food and hang out with your loved one and read books and just luxuriate in time together. ❤

I’m still not 100% sure if we’re making the right decision by moving–really, if someone has a certain answer? Let me know?–but I do know that home is wherever my family is and my family can find happiness and joy in any house.

I’ll focus on that.