I have no idea where I’ve been but obviously not here. And the odd thing is my return has not been goaded so much by guilt as by pull. A good thing, I’d say.
Please forgive any repeats on literary or writing updates, not looking back to check. Maybe I’ve been in some monster wave pushed back by the death of Tula. I don’t know. Whatever. So, to date:
I finally finished the rewrite of the rewrite of the cleanup of “Last House.” Actually send off a query to an agent. And yes, “a” is the right word. Only one? Yep, and it exhausted me. Maybe now I can get some more queries out as the time has come to assume that one as a reject. I’ve also sent “Redemption” (short story) off to a couple of places. I’ve reread & tinkered with “Byrne Road” and have come to the conclusion that it likely just belongs in the trash. *sigh* and huh. I don’t know. Maybe another read down the road. We’ll see. I’m not really a short-story writer. Sometimes I’m just moved. I am mentally and in dreams working on a very strangely different follow-up to The Fat Man. That is indeed working bytheway. Not all writing work has to do with the physical act. And I do have a few words on pages.
As for the rest of the world of mine?
My daughter got married. I didn’t know this was going to happen and I wasn’t invited. She told me when she came here to help me get my garage in order (a two person job). After the fact. *Tilt* I’m still numb I believe. I don’t know. To another woman, which is fine—just dropped in here for clarity. I’m glad they are together and that she has someone in her life. I do not know where that leaves me if it does and if anywhere. I feel like a stranger looking in through the window, the window to their house. They are still definitely moving to Portugal and the date keeps getting moved up. I don’t know if I’m going or not.
I told you that I got another cat—Baby Z, or Zeus. But I hadn’t updated with information. That was almost a year ago and now. Yes, now. His prior owner wants him back. He is a purebred Bengal. He is very chatty and knows lots of words. He also got very sick at one point as he was making crystals in his urine and almost died. Surgery was involved. Now he is on a special diet. I don’t know how all of this is going to work out. She (the prior owner) is coming over on Saturday to see him. So much for me depends upon his reaction to her. He called out “MA!” for a long time after she left him here, but then he stopped. I’ve been trying to get him to say “mama” for me. Sometimes he utters a soft “mummm.” I don’t know if that’s it or not. He is very clever and smart, currently learning how to walk with a leash.
I haven’t been swimming much at all. Just now & again with all of the silly medical tests I’ve been going through. (Good excuse.) I have grown extraordinarily annoyed with them as nothing has produced any results. Nothing has been identified as causal to the bouts of pericardial effusion. But they have let up and as I don’t know anything more, I am discontinuing any further testing. And here we go, yep! “It is what it is.” All of this to say that I’ve got my swimming suit on and am going to the pool today. Shortly.
So there you have it. And as the mice say….That’s the wayyyyyyy things are…
So much has been happening that it has been difficult to even attempt a sort-through to post. Indeed, where to begin.
First, I had another (twice now) trip to the hospital—pericardial effusion—wherein the people all thought it was a heart attack. It wasn’t. Either time. But apparently all of the medical paraphernalia thinks I am so they go with that rather than my insistence “I’m not having a heart attack!” *sigh* So. Now they have to find the cause of my attacks which are painful beyond belief.
In the operating room: The most exciting part of the whole thing is that I coded—yes, died!—and that’s where it got interesting rather than just painful. It was no big deal at all and there were no lights and out-of-body experiences or awareness or floating. Nothing. A great big huge black nothing.
Just before the Black in a millisecond I had an awareness something was happening and a wondrous peace wherein nothing mattered and then… Another second and I woke up, knew I had been “somewhere” and asked what happened. They said I coded twice (wrong count, only one, extended) and they had to resuscitate me. So while trying to “save my life”—in a non-heart attack—they almost killed me.
It is impossible to describe because the observer, and all consciousness was gone. As soon as we say nothing—we have something. It is an experience that can only be experienced. I do think that I stayed in my body because I wasn’t gone long enough. It was less than a minute. Perhaps it takes longer for the full-death experience.
It should be noted that this was Not a heart attack. It was Not heart failure. It was that my heart stopped. Those are all different things. Apparently the heart stopped due to the dye they were inserting into my veins to find the blockage (there was none) that was causing the heart attack that wasn’t.
Meanwhile. During and after recovery I’ve been doing a rewrite of a novel I wrote a while back called “Last House.” I was always fond of it and thought it should have another look through. I also wrote a short story and entered it in a couple of contests. That’s in addition to the family history I pluck away at and photos with comments I send to the family.
And the Snow! We’ve had a couple of snow storms that have been just glorious. The dog and I go out at all hours to play and enjoy. Especially deep into the night when no one else is around. It’s so incredibly joyous with mounds of white and blowing wind and the silence and the glory! Watching a black dog jump and run against all of this becomes a thing of the Spirit. Other worlds hover about, waver in the light that suddenly glints against the sweeping snow.
writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The
job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped
sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the
contents of your mind, your heart, your soul.” — Meg Rosoff
“In the end, writing is like a prison, an island from which you will never be released but which is a kind of paradise: the solitude, the thoughts, the incredible joy of putting into words the essence of what you for the moment understand and with your whole heart want to believe.”
via Counterpoint Press
I didn’t mean to write about him, even think about him. —He was a hero of mine until I came to realize some things: what I really liked was the prose. Some of it just breathtaking. It was not about the plot or the story. And he died too late to circumvent the last novel. I don’t know if the prose came to life further into All That Is, I turned away before I could say one way or another. And he personally failed me. (I always take my writers personally.) — But I happened across “Why I Write” in Lit Hub and so I came to be here once more. So there’s the quote and there’s the photo, of a much younger Salter than the one we buried. Indeed. It is for the moment what you understand, and believe.