April 23, 2011

Happy Fifth Blogday, EE!

Happy fifth anniversary online, to the evilest editor I have come across. Wickedly funny.

Join his anniversary party here!

April 22, 2011

A Trip To Las Vegas

One of the first books I built and wrote in fifth grade was a memoir.  What ten year old has enough life to provide a memoir?  Certainly not I, but I had to write something and hadn't yet hit my stride as an author of fiction.  Unfortunately, I hadn't hit my stride with memoir either, so the result is rather... fifth-graderish, I'm afraid.

The cover is lively enough and shows the author's love for the art form known as "scattered stencil in marker." In grade school, I loved all sorts of stencils. I was known to draw big flowcharts just for the sake of using the stencil to draw the little boxes and diamonds and arrows.

All the books show their 33 years. But now you're thinking, "I get the dollar signs. It's Vegas. But what the hell is that brown spot? Did the cat throw up on the book?" It's a cesta.

Cleverly, I hid the fact that this is BOOK ONE in a series.  You have to look inside to find that out, and by this point I've got you 90% hooked.

Because every book needs a Table of Contents, and also at this point I looked ahead and saw just how many freaking blank pages I'd have to fill with something.  Note the use of multiple fonts, either to add spice or to account for my lack of discipline and patience.

Now I'll just let you enjoy the story, and I'll revisit you during the chapter break.  Enjoy!

I get tears in my eyes when I see how, even at such a young age, my writing talent was evident. Clearly I understood the concept behind NaNoWriMo 25 years before Chris Baty ever came up with the idea of going for word count, word count, word count.  A ticket in my name, a ticket in my brother's name, and a ticket in Brian's father's name.  Genius: using 18 words where one would otherwise suffice.

By the way, 1977 had two Tuesday the 27ths.  I believe this one was in December.

Allow me to break in here and point out that my education on gambling was perhaps more advanced than most nine year olds.  Now, also, you understand the jai-alai cesta on the cover.

How many nine year olds know about point spreads?  See what I mean?

Although I knew enough to write "Kelloggs brand cereal," I left out the trademark symbol.

You may think this book ends somewhat abruptly, mid-sentence.  No! We actually played racquetball twice most days when we went to Las Vegas.  Plus, there's a sequel, and clearly I knew enough to end with a cliffhanger.

It is both hilarious and distressing to see what I chose to write about in my book about this trip.  Thirty-five years later, I wish I'd picked other details. The trailer park my mom and stepfather lived in, behind the Frontier Hotel. It's been paved over and is now the back parking lot of the Fashion Show Mall. Instead of which teams won which games, maybe something about MGM's enormous fronton and the unique game of jai-alai, which I came to adore as one of my favorite things in Las Vegas. The Hilton, where my mom worked in the accounting department and where we swam in the pool.  They had thin, smallish pool towels with green stripes down the middle. The breakfast joint we went to, Sambo's, which was not the model of diversity. Desert hikes... all kinds of things.  But cereals?  Which teams won which games?  Sigh.

But... maybe some of that's detailed in BOOK TWO. Stay tuned.

The Author

April 20, 2011

haiku wednesday - the lost week edition

This week's words are cleanse, knead, melt
Wait... where did the past seven days go? BIG apologies to everyone for not getting round to your entries last week. I had meant to, but things got in the way. Kids with track meets, extra meetings at work, blah blah blah. You know all the excuses.

cat's paws knead my back
warm purr, tensions melt away
cleanse me of my day

god's hands knead the Earth
cities melt, crumble to dust
cleanse and start over

cleanse hands; knead warm dough
melt butter; dribble on top
I love your biscuits

April 13, 2011

haiku wednesday - running-out-the-door edition

This week's words are evident, illusion, tragic
Gotta run... trying to do this in five minutes or less...

evident flirting
was my imagination
tragic illusion

his lies: evident
his success: an illusion
her dead end: tragic

no illusion here
doubt not evident madness
tragic, yes, but true

April 12, 2011

elbow pictures

Back in January, I broke my elbow.  Or rather, the hulking, slow, dope of a fullback on the other team slammed me down after I beat him to the ball, and HE broke my elbow.

I would like to say that what follows is not for the faint of heart, but it appears my non-displaced fracture of the radial head is actually pretty wimpy, as broken elbows go.

First, a graphic I sketched with my own crayons right onto your computer monitor (NO, I did NOT steal it off the googles, thankyouverymuch.  Well, OK, maybe just a little.):

The first thing you can tell from this illustration is that I have very neat penmanship with crayons.  The second thing you'll notice is that the radius makes up 33% of the bones in the elbow.  So breaking it is, you know, painful.

I think this is a view of the elbow from the torso side.  That is, something like the photo below, with x-ray quality images of the bones overlaid in a helpful and illustrative manner (that's the purple part... or maybe more of a periwinkle):

So, what broke in my elbow was the radial head, or the lumpy part at the end of the radius.  Here is one of the x-rays taken during the healing process, with the area of the radial head in the red box.  If you look closely, you can see a pale arc through the bone that should not be there.  That's the non-displaced fracture.  The inset enlargement shows it more clearly.

Do not be alarmed!  That is not blood.

So anyway, the big news today is that the doctor (or, Physician's Assistant, I found out later, but either way she is very cute) says that the bone is now healed.  I can return to getting knocked down on the soccer pitch, lifting heavy objects like full bottles of beer, etc.  I get to return for one final x-ray in two months just to be sure it's all good.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my TMI post for the day.  Thank you for reading.