I Have a Biopsy in 14.5 Hours

I chipped a tooth a month or so ago. Evelyn and I were eating curried chickpeas and potatoes over brown rice and some of the rice was a little hard. I bit down on a piece of rice, and felt a stabbing pain in my tooth and jaw.

I gave it some time to see if it was just a temporary pain or if I really chipped my tooth. And a week or so later, a small piece of tooth came out of my mouth. So I made an appointment with my dentist to have her look over the tooth, which was cracked, and so was another tooth on that same side.

While she was in there, I had her look at some pain I was having on the other side of my mouth. I was worried that it was a cavity, because it had been so painful for a while, but it turned out to be a big chunk of plaque that was scraping my gums.

While she was there, though, she said that there was a white mark on the side of my tongue. She gave me a whole list of things it could be, including candidiasis, and, well, I do take inhaled steroids and I’m not perfect about rinsing my mouth out. She agreed that was probably what it was and said she’d give me a prescription for nystatin.

Instead of nystatin, though, she referred me to an oral surgeon for a biopsy just in case it’s leukoplakia, because leukoplakia is potentially precancerous.

So. I called the oral surgeon and made the appointment, and it’s set for 2:30 pm this afternoon.

My anxiety leads me to catastrophize, so I half-expect him to take one look at my tongue and ask if I have my affairs in order because my tongue is going to kill me.

So. 14.5 hours to go. My pharmacist’s mother died from cancer, so she is very supportive of me finding out what it is and tackling it. My son has a vested interest in me getting this taken care of, particularly if it is potentially precancerous. I have an even more important interest in getting this taken care of.

I guess we’ll know what we know when we know it.

Oh, and I am taking care of my affairs. I’m doing housekeeping-type chores more than anything else. I’m knuckling down and getting those blankets unraveled so I can make new blankets from them. I’m shredding old junk mail and looking for memorabilia that might be mixed in with it. I’m reading and weeding my book collection (and then cataloguing the ones I’m keeping). Because the surgeon may decide that the white mark isn’t anything to worry about, but 65 people got killed by stray bullets in 2008 (nationwide) and so maybe there’s a stray bullet out there with my name on it. Maybe I’ll get hit in the head by a meteorite. Or maybe I’ll live to a ripe old age and just have less clutter in my life.

Gratuitous Amazon Link time! Today we have Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened, by Allie Brosh. I think I’ve posted this one before, but I love it so much that it’s worth posting again.

Creativity, 4/24/2022

I finished the first “pep talk” of Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo. In it, Faulkner tells us that we don’t need permission to be creators. And I am, of course, already a creator. I knit and I crochet, and (inspired by Micarah Tewers), I’m thinking about getting back into sewing.

And I write. In the back of my head, I’d always planned to become a professional writer pulling down a full-time income. Of course, the way the world fell out, I will need two full-time incomes to have the life I want, but the professional writing thing would certainly work as one of my full-time incomes.

I’ve been toying with several novel ideas and I may put some time in on those as well as the blog. One of them was the gothic novel I talked about earlier this month. I also have a fantasy novel set in a female-dominated world where that is just as out of balance as our more male-oriented one is. The Journey song Wheel in the Sky has long made me think of a different fantasy novel, this one about someone questing for the cure for the illness of the queen of their land.

And then, just yesterday, I had an idea for an inside-out version of Beauty and the Beast, where the prince is cursed and, rather than looking for a way to break the curse, the government just names a regent, locks the prince away, and keeps going. Beauty is the daughter of a foreign dignitary who comes to their country and happens to overhear a conversation in which the regent is hiring someone to kill the prince, who is about to come of age. She decides that she needs to save the prince. Will they fall in love? I guess we’ll see when they finally meet. Will the curse be broken? Maybe. Maybe it’s just that land’s destiny to be ruled by a prince with a curse.

I may continue to massage these in my mind. But for now, I have this blog.

It’s Friday!

I’ve been subscribing to Amazon Prime for video because most of the things I’ve wanted to watch are on there. For example, The Wheel of Time, which I’ve written about here. Also, though, there was Undone and Hunters, which looked very interesting as well.

I think I started with Hunters and then watched Undone. To get my money’s worth, though, I’ve been looking for other things to watch. I’ve watched a few major movies, like Knives Out, some foreign films like The Great Hypnotist (a Chinese movie, and I loved it), and some foreign television series like You Are Wanted, which is from Germany.

Right now, though, my obsession is El Internado: Las Cumbres, which is from Spain and concerns students in a “boarding school” which has dark secrets (also, this season, dark lighting*, which is frustrating to me).

I don’t want to binge things. I know I can watch them again, but I like to savor my television shows. So, to that end, I’ve been watching El Internado one episode per Friday night. And it’s Friday night, so “Yay!”

Today’s Gratuitous Amazon Link will be Streetlights Like Fireworks, by David Pandolfe. Streetlights like Fireworks is a series about family, found and otherwise, teen runaways, and psychic powers. Such a good series. I was very disappointed that he ended with four books. Mr. Pandolfe, if you ever read this, please bring us back to Jack and Lauren’s story!

*They tell me that Netflix has a way to compensate for dark scenes like these, but Amazon Prime doesn’t. Get with the program Amazon Prime!

I’m Not Sure What I’m Doing Right Now

I’ve been just. Meh.

I’m cleaning and working on my wardrobe a bit. I’ve bought some books on the creative process that I’m going to start working my way through in hopes that —

Okay. I’m not sure that Alex is going to think of this but here goes. I had an aunt and have a cousin who were both members of the La Leche League, a group dedicated to breastfeeding babies. I didn’t know of any members of the LLL here in San Antonio or anything, but I bought a book called So That’s What They’re For! (Germane Amazon Link!) and would sit there and read it over and over while nursing Alex. It was a bit of work getting established but I successfully nursed him until he was six months old. It wasn’t completely exclusive — we had to supplement with formula for a couple of weeks — but it worked.

And now I’m wondering if I could use these books the same way.

I mean, I can’t literally read while I’m writing. I’m good, but I’m not that good. But I’m wondering if I could open, say, Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo in one window and just flip back and forth whenever I begin to bog down in my writing.

Can’t hurt, right?

Anyway, I have been cleaning a lot. I didn’t really want a house. That was Thomas’s dream. But I have one now and I need to get this place under control. I’m getting rid of a decade worth of old junk mail and preparing a bunch of beautiful stuffed animals for donation. I’m hoping the Children’s Shelter can take them. I’d love for them to find homes with children who love them.

They’re all in like-new condition, but since they’re old, I’m sure there are dust mites and things in them. So, since the CDC says freezing can kill dust mites, I’m putting them in the freezer for 24 hours, then I’m putting them in my trunk, since I have a dark blue car, it will make them hot enough to kill any dust mites still left after freezing. Then I’m going to pop them in the dryer on fluff, which should remove the tiny corpses of the dust mites, put the stuffed animals in a box, and take them to the shelter.

I have three totes of stuffed animals that I’m going to treat this way. I’m not doing this with all of them, but if I can’t remember where the animal came from, it’s going to find a new human who will.

I’ve been downsizing my book collection, as well. I am rereading all of my books and selling the ones I don’t think I’ll read again to Half-Price Books. Hopefully I’ll have them narrowed down to a reasonable number someday. Maybe.

Gothic Romance Novels

I went through an extended gothic romance novel phase in my adolescence and young adulthood. In fact, gothic romance in the Victoria Holt mold has long been one of my go-tos when I think about writing a novel.

I had a novel that started out as Dark Shadows fanfic “plot bunny” bopping around in my head for a long time. And Dark Shadows definitely is gothic romance. I mean, you have the ingenue, the creepy mansion, the secrets, the handsome men with secrets, the whole nine yards.

I guess I need to give you a basic outline for Dark Shadows. The basic introductory plot of Dark Shadows is that young ingenue Victoria Winters is hired to become the governess of incorrigible David Collins in Collinsport, Maine. Victoria was a foundling raised in an orphanage in New York City. She was found outside the gate with a note saying, “Her name is Victoria. I cannot care for her.”

Victoria looks a lot like the mistress of Collinwood, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard and also like the daughter of the butler, Hanscomb. The daughter’s name, Betty, is a nickname for Elizabeth.

In my big fanfiction universe that I was writing, it was going to turn out that Elizabeth, Betty, and Victoria all had the same father — Jamison Collins. Jamison had a childhood crush on a maid named Beth, and so he names his daughters after her. This is why Victoria’s mother took her away and specified that her name was Victoria; to save her from becoming a Liz or a Lisa or Bess or whatever.

I need to get back to that story someday.

In my novel idea, though, the Elizabeth character was the mother of the Victoria character. She sent “Victoria” away in a failed attempt to break a family curse. The curse involves the eldest daughters in an unbroken line and by sending her eldest daughter away, “Elizabeth” figured that there would be no one to serve the monster in their cellar or whatever once she died and the curse would end.

The curse somehow drew “Victoria” back to “Collinwood,” and so “Elizabeth” and “Victoria” have to actually break the curse by action rather than inaction.

I may actually write the plot but leave the romance part out of it. Is there such a thing as an “aromance novel”? I’m not aromantic, but doing a bait-and-switch where the “Victoria” character decides to reject both potential romantic interests, saying that she wants to be unattached and work on herself and actually mean it.

The perfect ending would be for “Victoria” to go back to school with a view towards becoming something befitting the heroine of a gothic romance but also a growth industry, so not a nurse practitioner or a computer programmer.

Or maybe nurse practitioner would be a good fit for “Victoria.” I mean, it’s not really gothic, but it could be a good way for the residents of “Collinwood” to reconnect with the people of “Collinsport.”

Hm. I never thought about that. In fact, maybe that’s how “Victoria” breaks the curse — with her interest in science, or medicine, or helping people.

The more I think about this, the more I like it. How do I emphasize the aromantic aspect? I guess that’ll come to me later.

I’d like to do a Germane Amazon Link, but I cannot figure out how to search my Read Books for the tag “gothic.”

Okay. Now I’ve figured it out, I cannot find anything that I’ve read that makes the list other than Mexican Gothic, so I guess that’s my link for today. Fortunately, I love that book! 💖