Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Autoimmune Writeritis

Well, my exam looms closer and closer. Yesterday, I was procrastinating in rather fantastic form.

I'm so good at that!

But was I studying about lupus, and many other diseases called "autoimmune diseases" and a post idea popped up, and so here it is.

Autoimmune diseases occur when our bodies produce antibodies to our own tissues. Normally, we're trying to attack the bad stuff outside ourselves (bacteria, viruses).

But occasionally, our bodies get confused and we attack ourselves. These diseases, such as Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Scleroderma...and there are a ton more...can be debilitating and even fatal.

So it brought me to writing again. (Call me obsessive, but whatever. It always seems to come back to writing!)

That little antibody to ourselves could be procrastination. It could be fear; it could be horrific self-flagellation.

When it comes to writing, are you your worst enemy? How?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Malware in Blog, Malware in Body, Malware in Writing...

Hi all!

Munk Davis was so nice as to let me know that the blogroll on the bottom of my blog had malware in it.

I deleted it. Problem solved.

If only every problem was so easy!

In all my frantic studying for the board exam, I keep thinking of how much bad stuff is simply encoded in our genes and meant to be. Alpha-1-Antitrypsin. Huntington's disease. Cystic Fibrosis. Familial Polyposis. And on...and on...

And then I wondered...wouldn't it be so nice to just delete the HTML code for malware in life? The codes that predispose us to severe illnesses, and cancer? Or burnt coffee in the morning, or traffic jams?

Delete, delete, delete.

If only life was like writing. Don't like that paragraph? Delete. Don't like the love interest dying of cancer? Delete.

No wonder we all love writing so much!

Well, on that note, let's all have an ounce of really good dark chocolate and call it a day (well, maybe for you. For me, I'm onto Pulmonary practice questions tonight. *cough* *hack* *wheeze*)

Let's have a look-see at what Zoe Courtman has for this week's Blog Chain on putting yourself in your writing. Go Zoe!

If you didn't get a chance, check out previous posts byDanyelle Leafty, yours truly, and Laura Diamond!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Is Writing Like Riding a Bicycle?

Hey everyone!

I'm taking a little break to ask a question. While in study mode, my brain is trying to remember the differences between CLL, CML, AML, and ALL. But somewhere a little writerly voice inside is whispering, "Did you forget?"

ME: "What? I'm busy. AML has Auer rods. CLL has smudge cells..."

Little Voice: "You know. Did you forget how to write?"

ME: "Hairy cell leukemia has...hairy cells. I'm busy, stop pestering me."

Little Voice: *whimpers*

So I ask you. Have you ever been away from writing long enough that you worried whether or not you could, you know, write again?

Is writing a "use-it-or-lose-it" skill?

Am I doomed?

If you didn't get a chance, check out this week's Blog Chain on putting yourself in your writing. This week is by the fabulous Danyelle Leafty!

Check out my post from last week, and the week before by Laura Diamond. And stay tuned for next week's post by Zoe Courtman!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog: Me, In the Manuscript

First of all, thanks again for all the well-wishes as I continue onward on my trek to pass my recertification boards.

Yes, I am eating chocolate. And yes, I am afraid I have ten new bizarre ailments you probably don't want to know about, thank you very much.

So today I'm up to discuss how I put myself in my writing. This topic was my idea, and I've been sweating over the answer for two weeks because...

I'm ALL OVER, under, sideways, and throughout my stories. Sprinkled in like salt.

My first novel (which is shelved but may someday be reconstituted with better writing and plot work) had an MC that looked like me. Only taller. By one inch.

In my second novel (currently being queried) I decided to truly write a fictional character. In doing so, she ended up with heavy doses of non-Lydia characteristics.

She liked the great outdoors. I do too, but from the other side of a window, sans mosquitos, being gently fanned by indoor A/C.

She likes to shoot guns and eat what she shoots. I like to look at the bunnies and not eat them. No guns involved.

She hates dresses. I kind of like them so long as they expertly camouflage my belly pooch.

The list goes on. She, like the MC in my current WIP-on-hold, possess my likes, dislikes, physical and mental characteristics. Sometimes they're served straight up; sometimes they're with a 180 degree twist. But in one way or another, they are all a part of me.

How deeply embedded are you in your stories?

If you didn't get a chance, check out Laura's post from last week; and stay tuned for more in the coming weeks from Danyelle Leafty and Zoe Courtman!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Medical Mondays: Ondine's Curse

Well. This was inevitable.

I'm trying to keep myself in study mode for my board exams, but I KNEW sooner or later I'd learn something I'd feel compelled to share with you guys.

So I take a brief break from studying nonstop to tell you about a disease called Ondine's Curse (more correctly called Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome).

It's an extremely rare medical condition in which some sufferers can only breath voluntarily.

Meaning...if they fall sleep, they don't breathe enough and can die.

How can that be, you ask? Well, in the congenital form in infants, it can be fatal. It's so rare, doctors don't usually look for it. But in adults, it's caused by an auto accident, stroke, or neurosurgical complication to the centers of the brain that control breathing. They often need to use a ventilator machine to breath at night or an electronic pacer device to zap their diaphragm muscle into helping them breathe. Certain medications can also help.

The name Ondine's Curse comes from a German myth. Ondine was a water nymph in love with a mortal man. She gave up her immortality when she fell in love with him and bore him a child. He had promised, "Every waking breath will be a testament to my love for you."

When he became unfaithful, she cursed him—if he ever fell asleep, his breath would be taken from him and he would die. Eventually, from exhaustion, the man did fall asleep. And he succumbed to the curse.

Please keep in mind this post is for writing purposes only and is not to be construed as medical advice! (See sidebar disclaimer)

If you've got a fictional medical question, let me know! Post below or email me at


This is edited to add...this disease and blog post inspired me to write my first published book, CONTROL. See the tab above on CCHS/Ondine's Curse to learn even more!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog: You, in the Manuscript

Hi all!

This month's topic for the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog is:

What characteristics of yourself have you put into your characters, and why?

This week, Laura Diamond get's first crack at it, and come by next week for my post!