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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Under the Influence

I spent a couple of weeks in October high on prescription drugs…and NOT by choice, mind you.  I had delusions of catching up on some much needed rest and relaxation (book in hand, natch) during my convalescence from stomach and esophageal surgery, even packed a couple of books to take to the hospital.  What a joke!

I’d never had an overnight stay in the hospital outside of various and sundried child births, and I tricked myself into thinking of it as a mini vacay of sorts.  Boy was I wrong!  24 hours as a human porcupine that somehow swallowed an entire paper towel tube decoupaged with glass shards doesn’t make for an eager reader…or lucid one for that matter.

Little Sister braved the horror known as a “Semi-Private” room with me until we were allowed to make a break for it at 5:30 a.m. the morning after my surgery.  Naturally, I was ever so much more comfortable at home in my own bed.  The following ten days of a liquid diet and more meds left me nearly twenty pounds lighter; but I ask who among you would have the energy or fortitude to hold even a paperback when you’re living on beef broth and liquid Lortab?  It was terrible…even if I was thinner for a few days.

I’m back on the good stuff now:  meats of all varieties and generally anything that will not fit through a straw.  I have been restored to good health and am incredibly grateful. 

In the last couple of weeks I’ve finished Polly Shulman’s The Grimm Legacy about a girl who gets a job at a NYC library that houses objects like Snow White’s stepmother’s mirror, a cloak of invisibility and other magical relics that can be borrowed by patrons.  An adventure ensues when objects from the collection, known as the Grimm Legacy, start to go missing.  I highly recommend the book to young readers and adults alike.  Ms. Shulman actually spent a couple of her teenage years as a Page in a NYC library and lends much expertise to the story.

I’ve also been reading R. Martin’s Introrse for an upcoming author interview.  The book is sophisticated science fiction and it’s taking me some time to get my head around it.  There are aspects of the work...threads of the story…that remind me of Star Wars and I’m enjoying those.  I’ll have more to say on the book and its author in an upcoming post.

I’ve begun The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.  I ordered the title from Amazon after hearing an interview with the author on NPR.  The book has a gorgeously crafted cover and is just another example of a book I knew I was going to love with one look.  The story follows two star-crossed young magicians that compete in a deadly battle of magic within the setting of a mysterious circus.  Magicians are the new witches, wizards, vampires and werewolves, people.  You heard it here first!

On the writing front:  I’ve joined a local critique group.  There are some really gifted poets, storytellers and writers among them.  I’m really looking forward to working with the group, sharing all that I’ve learned in the last couple of years, and picking up some new techniques and advice.

November is NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month.  Everyone has a story to tell…why not get it down on paper?  For info, please visit, where you can sign up and track your progress as you complete a novel during the month of November.