Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBT+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Tag: Brotherhood (page 1 of 2)

Nano Winner

I have completed the 50,000 word goal of Nano.

I’ve won in previous years, but this year there’s a big difference. I still love my stories. Previous years, writing the gay romances, I absolutely detested them to the point of not wanting to look at them the moment I reached 50k and had won Nano. This was the same whether or not the project I’d actually worked on throughout the month was complete. I had to set it aside because I absolutely detested it.

I wrote more on TPOM3 than I did on Brotherhood. Part of the reason for it is that I’ve been struggling with the latter’s outline somewhat. The rest is simply because I have quite a number of plot cards done on TPOM3, and I knew I wouldn’t reach 50k before I finished those plot cards.

My problem with Brotherhood is that I need to organize the last plot points before I can finish the outline. I’ve done some math, and if I want the story to come out at 120-150k, I have about 25 plot cards left I can do on it. I’m not sure I can fit everything into it with that few. Now that I’m done with Nano, I can spend a day getting down the remaining plot points in order and work out plot cards for them. I have quite a number of things which must happen before the end of this book.

TPOM3 is a little easier to work with. I’m getting better ideas for what to do with the finale, and I need to work out a syllabary for the language. Then I’ll have to go through both wips, since Bremma is mentioned in Brotherhood, and change the name of the country and whatnot. This is simple and straightforward, so I should be able to get it done if I just focus on it.

To help me with the syllabary, I have Holly Lisle’s Create a Language Clinic book, which I’ll use judiciously. The way she has it worked out, I’m afraid I’ll end up with repetetive languages if I just go through as instructed and do everything as it advises, so I pick and choose the exercises I use to create my languages. This was a great help when I worked out some aspects of a language I created for a Science Fantasy project I’m not sure I’ll get back to, so I can’t see a reason why it won’t help with a syllabary.

Once I have everything done with the Syllabary and a new name for Bremma and Enemy Mage, I should be able to make further progress on TPOM3’s outline. I figure I’ll work the rest of it out, alongside the remainder of Brotherhood‘s outline, so I can pick them up and finish them in one fell swoop later.

For next month, I’m planning on printing out the online instructions for GIMP, a graphics program I hope will enable me to make decent covers. It’s a free program, which is why I got it. I can’t afford Photoshop, though I’d love to be able to buy it and use it. I intend to spend all of December working on GIMP, aside from necessary plotting on my stories. I don’t plan to add new words to my wips next month, but I may if I get desperate. I just want to get to know GIMP well enough to fiddle with it for my covers.

Nano Update 2

It’s nice having a three day weekend. That means there’s a guarantee the VA won’t be open on Monday, which means I have a day to work ahead on Nano. Thank you, whoever in the past suggested creating Veterans’ Day. I need the extra day this weekend, to do laundry and to work ahead on my word count in Nano (LOL).

So far, I’m keeping up fairly well despite all the appointments. I managed to work ahead enough to be able to coast through Thursday and Friday, though I got home early enough Friday to write a bit before bed. Yesterday, I slept in, and today too—must have been catching up on sleep missed due to the early hours rising despite getting to bed by ten each night. Oh, and walking all over the VA Hospital to my appointments and errands.

Yesterday, I did pretty well, getting a decent count of fresh words on TPOM3. Today, however, hasn’t been so easy. I don’t know why, but I had difficulty connecting to both my projects. I know the rewritten wedding scene in Brotherhood is worse than the original, so I may rewrite or try to combine the two scenes from both wips when I do my major edit. I think I’d have felt the new scene was worse than the original even if I’d been feeling more connected to the story. It’s just one of those scenes that’s going to need extra work.

TPOM3 was a bit easier to get into, but the writing of it still felt stilted and awkward. I did manage to do what I needed to with the scene, and it reads very well. It’s a keeper. I left out some things I’d outlined, added several things I didn’t think to outline and probably wouldn’t have been able to fit on the card even if I had, and created a very good scene which pleases me. I’d like to get one more scene on this project, but that relies on me getting a plot card on it, and I’m not sure I have the mental capacity to do so tonight.

Total wordcount on Brotherhood is over 51,000; total wordcount on TPOM3 is over 15,000; total Nano wordcount rests at over 20,000. I’m a little ahead, which makes me happy.


A few years ago, before 2008, when I first started writing the gay romances, I wrote Fantasy regularly. All the time. It was what I wrote, what I had written for years, since branching away from badly-written Star Trek: The Next Generation pastiches and my first unhappy forays into original Science Fiction stories I discovered I had an anal-retentive and obsessive desire for the technical knowledge to make them “realistic.” I found a freedom—and a challenge to make my worlds logical and rule-abiding—in Fantasy stories which even the handwavium technology of Star Trek couldn’t match.

I loved writing Fantasy.

I have no idea why I segued into gay romances, but I did my best to use them to learn. I taught myself how to power through the middles to the endings and completed more unoutlined gay romance stories than I ever had unoutlined Fantasy stories. I taught myself how to outline, to give myself a better chance at completing the stories I started, with the gay romances, and thus completed even more stories than I ever had before. I taught myself how to cause my characters real conflict, both physical and emotional pain, and how to connect my characters’ actions to their emotions with gay romances. I learned.

My writing is better now than it ever has been before, in spite of the way I destroyed it with my mental illness and trying to force my first Fantasy stories written here in Utah into the mold of a restrictive religion which, while I loved it, did not offer me the freedom to accept myself or, more importantly, my writing, which was, to be honest, my one link to sanity at the time. I wrote myself into my Fantasy and vague attempts at Science Fiction stories as I slid down the slope of Bipolar Disorder into nonfunctionality. Religion pulled me enough out of it, with the half-helpful wrong medication (I’d been misdiagnosed as Schizophrenic), to return to writing, and I proceeded to destroy it on the altar of Catholicism. I still claim a Catholic soul, but my body, my heart, and my mind are still decidedly secular, and since they outnumber my soul by two, I heed their guidance and learned also, through writing the gay romances, that I could heal both myself and my writing without the structure of religion.

Perhaps, in some ways, the gay romances were my psyche’s way of proving to the rest of me that I needed to follow my heart, not my desire for a spiritual home.

With my return to Fantasy, which really hooked me in December of last year, filling me with enthusiasm for and excitement over a brand-new, almost-completely-conceived story, I entered into a whole new world, with a brand new magic system developed from my own search for a spiritual home, and sped through the first book of the trilogy I’d thought up.

I thought I could fit all of TPOM into one book. Ha. The first book is just under 60k, but the second book is longer. Book three may be even longer than book two. And I had great enthusiasm for the whole trilogy up until about the time I started losing my enthusiasm for Brotherhood. So I stopped writing TPOM’s third book, in part because of that, and in part because I needed to figure some things out. However, I never doubted I’d come back to it at some point.

I eventually had to even stop working on Brotherhood because I lost enthusiasm in even it. I’ve explained what I’ve done recently with it, and I have to say, to be completely honest, I was afraid of cutting it. I was half-certain that my lack of interest in my two primary writing projects indicated that I was still trapped in the same rut I’d left when I stopped writing Fantasy earlier. Previously, I’d start Fantasy projects with a great deal of enthusiasm, but I’d get only so far before losing interest in whatever story I was telling. I thought I’d come to that point again with both TPOM and Brotherhood when I realized I no longer felt happy about the latter project and hadn’t touched TPOM in over a month.

I was afraid cutting Brotherhood wouldn’t work. I feared I’d just be delaying the inevitable. But I made the cut anyway, spent about a day away from the project, then tried working on it . . . and my excitement over it and enthusiasm for it came back. I was amazed. And so very, very happy. It may be, as I said, slow going on Brotherhood, but I’m happy with it again, and that means everything to me. I’m feeling excited over nearly every scene I outline, never mind write, and in the previous version, I wasn’t even feeling enthusiasm for writing the scenes. It just wasn’t there, and I got to the point where forcing the scenes out was the only way they got written before I lost interest in doing even that.

But with the cut, I’ve regained my love of the story. I’m even able to feel enthusiastic about TPOM again, and that I was desperately certain I’d lost interest in for good. I love outlining and writing when nearly every scene is a candybar scene (scenes a writer looks forward to writing with a lot of anticipation), and even those which aren’t such induce a thrill when it comes their turn for me to write them.

I’ve said all year, since my return to Fantasy December 21st of last year, that I’ve found happiness in my writing again (I was so not happy writing gay romances—did so only because those were the only ideas coming to me, and I doubted I’d come up with any new ideas with every new story I conceived). I’ve got my joy back, my confidence back (now I’m certain I’ll get fresh new ideas to write—because they’re Fantasy ideas), and most of all, every bit of fun I missed in writing the gay romances, I’ve rediscovered in my return to writing Fantasy.

Fantasy became my niche in the mid-90’s. Now it’s my home, and I’m glad to be back.

Progress on Brotherhood

I’m glad I cut Brotherhood like I did. It’s opened up a whole new storyline for me. Same basic plot, but I’m taking things a little differently. I’m cutting one side character out (a Priest Doéna befriended), moving Bréyan into her place, and using the whole switch-around to set up the relationship which develops between him and Doéna.

Right now, in terms of outlining, it’s moving slowly. I’m kind of struggling to come up with plot cards, but it’s not because I lack ideas. I have plenty of ideas. It’s sorting them into something I can use, then coming up with a scene combining a couple different plot factors.

I’m having fun, though, and I’m very excited about the story again. It thrills me no end to be making such progress on Brotherhood, even if it’s going slowly.

My original plan with it was to copy and paste scenes I wanted to keep from the original manuscript. It seemed to make sense, as there will be places where the two versions meet. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), I learned how unwise that would likely be the hard way. I came to a spot where there was a scene I really wanted to keep. So I copied it over, rearranging the scenes I already had around it without paying much attention to what I had written. Then, I proceded to rewrite the scene a couple days later, after writing an interim scene.

I’d forgotten I’d already included this particular scene, which was one where Lorien and Necée spend their first period of Visitation Hours together with their respective chaperones—Doéna and the princess’s cousin, Anée.

I didn’t realize my mistake until I read through the wip from beginning to where it ends. Then I tried to cut/paste the scene from the old wip into a workable spot before finally giving up. It just would not fit. I deleted it completely, reread the past few scenes, changed some things which were mentioned previous to when they actually happened, and now have a story I’m well satisfied with.

Sometimes we writers cause ourselves more work than writing needs to be. LOL

Of course, I made the decision to cut the scene immediately after writing the brand new scene (I hadn’t even written the wordcount total for it down, which I should have done). After cutting the scene, I realized my mistake, but had lost only about 208 words in the cut, so just decided to go with it and recorded it on my logsheet. Thus far, the new logsheet I started has more lines used for cuts and totals following them than for actual additions of words I’ve written. Makes me chuckle. My recording of Brotherhood‘s words has not gone well. This set of logsheets was started off with a patch-in of wordcounts because I shredded the 5×8 index card I had the original logs written on before copying the times and chapter counts over to the proper logsheet. That was, I assure you, enough to convince me not to use index cards for makeshift logsheets again.

As for my Nano project, I’m not moving on that. Need to look at it, see if I can get some more plot cards for it before November. I doubt I have enough written on TPOM3 to make it to 50k words, and I’d rather not have to do the outline as I write. Yes, I’ve left it for the last minute, but I’m backbraining a lot of stuff still, so I haven’t been able to make much progress when I have tried.

Then again, I’ve been really into Brotherhood the past weeks, so I may switch my Nano project over to that and go rebel—add 50k words to what I have already. It’s just moving too slowly for me to have much confidence I’ll be able to keep up with Nano if I use it.

Oh, well. I’ll get something going.

Made the Cut

This isn’t “made the cut” as in “got selected.” This is “made the cut” as in, I did finally cut Brotherhood back to the last point where I felt really good about the story. I’ve referenced it on Twitter a little the past few days.

Basically, I took the story back to the point where Doéna and Lorien are introduced to Evening Court. This was the point where the story started to get bloated and long-winded. I had to change a few things in the preceding scenes to make things gel with the new plot cards I developed from that point.

Getting the original plot cards up to the point where I cut was relatively easy. Since I use Scrivener, I simply opened the old outline in the left side of the screen and, after discovering the “Duplicate” option by right-clicking, I copied the card, closed it for further editing since the new card is open for editing, and moved it over to the new outline and put it where it belonged. Did this with about 15 or 16 scenes. I’m now up to a total of about 20 plot cards, only a few of them new.

From here, I hope to write richer scenes with more happening in them. This is requiring more thought prior to writing out the plot cards. I’m having to dredge up what I know of the story’s future events from my mind and may resort to the original manuscript to keep track of things, if I just don’t go through it and make notes from it at some point.

There are several things I need to set up, not the least of which is Karé’s influence in Court. I’m beginning to think he’s learned how to function in the Imperial Court—it makes no sense for him not to be smart enough to have figured things out. That won’t mean he still won’t try to force my MCs into rash actions, it’ll just mean he’ll have a firmer connection to Court and the influence he claims he actually has. Another thing I need to work on is making Lorien less easy to deal with. I don’t want to fiddle with his cooperativeness too much, but I do need to have him act less willing to do so more often; his reluctance will definitely color how Doéna responds to Bréyan’s advances, and I need to make that situation more intense for Doéna. What I had in the previous manuscript kind of fell flat. I also need to make the whole marriage between Lorien and Necée more difficult for Doéna to deal with—mainly due to the couple’s reluctance to cooperate with each other, and I think I’m going to change things a little, so Doéna doesn’t realize the princess’s perfidy until he’s told by someone. I may still have the Empress, Necée’s mother, do this, but it may make more sense for someone else, possibly even Karé, just to insert doubt, to do this.

Overall, I feel much better about Brotherhood now. I feel more confident in the story, and I like what I have better. I’m glad I cut it even though it wasn’t finished. It’ll be better this new way I’m writing it.

On Brotherhood

Brotherhood is incomplete.

It is also too long, and bloated, and needs a word loss plan. I’ve been spending today reading a different project, set on a completely different world, so I would not start tearing apart what I have of Brotherhood to rework it. I’d far rather finish it and get at least one other person’s opinion on whether or not it’s bloated and needs to lose words. I know, as written, about the first quarter is good; it’s a pretty straightforward line for the characters, taking them from their homeland to the Capitol of the Empire. The ending quarter should be decent as well, as I have a clear idea of what needs to happen. It’s the middle two quarters which need the shrinkage.

There are a few problems with the middle. I seem to have written one event per scene in the middle portions. I think I can combine a lot of these one-offs. I also lose track—for thousands of words—of important subplots; for instance, Karé, an antagonist, makes few appearances throughout the two middle portions, and he needs to make more. I also think I need to bring Doéna’s realization of Karé’s “influence” in earlier. I need to make Doéna more active—not calling Karé in challenge, but doing more acting instead of simply reacting to what Karé says and does to him. I need to get Doéna into unarmed self-defense training much, much earlier, and have Karé take risks in his threats—and be more threatening. I may give Karé something of a party of allies in the Imperial Court to complicate things.

One of those complications, I think, needs to be Karé betraying the fact of Doéna’s true birth status. I think it needs to come in earlier, and I think it needs to color the way the Courtiers behave toward Doéna and his prince to some extent. I’ll give them allies who won’t care, but I think I need to add some conflict—or at least some difficulty—to their relations with at least some of the nobles in the Court.

As it is, Brotherhood looks like it’ll come out to about 120-150k words as is. I would like to cut this by at least 30k in the reworking of it. Ideally, I’d like to bring it down to around 100k. I think this is possible in a rewrite from the point where Doéna and his prince arrive at the Capitol.

I’d really rather not cut the beginning quarter out, because it gives what I think is necessary background (the process Doéna’s prince goes through in becoming the “responsible” person he acts like for most of the remainder of the book), and also think it’s necessary to illustrate the depth of the brotherhood between the two. I think without those two things set up in the beginning, Lorien’s behavior would be unbelievable to some extent, especially when things get very difficult for him and he begins to revert to immature behavior. I want readers to see the full spectrum of Lorien’s changes of character, from the day he receives word of his impending marriage to the end of the book. I also think I need to have the depth of Doéna’s brotherhood with his prince shown to make his very real concerns about Lorien’s likely reaction to certain things understandable.

I know the rewrite will alter the ending somewhat, so I’ll probably do an outline from the point where I cut the book through the ending. But that will come after I’ve finished the project and gotten a second opinion.

Writing Downswings

One of the really great things about my bipolar disorder is the writing downswings it causes. /sarcasm

Actually, sarcasm aside, it does serve a purpose. It keeps me from getting burnt out on what I’m writing and enables my subconscious mind to catch up to what my conscious mind has been doing with my writing. I just wish it wouldn’t happen. There are times I wish I was more like average writers, whose minds generally don’t go on hiatus in the middles of projects.

Usually I have this wish when I’m in the middle of a writing downswing. Like I am now.

I’m kind of glad this one’s happening now, and I’m hoping it won’t last more than a week or two longer. I’ve been struggling getting plot cards on both my current projects since the fifth of this month, and it’s now the fourteenth. That’s nine days. As writing downswings go, this isn’t too bad yet. I’d like to be back to creating by the twenty-fifth, so I’m “willing” to hang out doing nothing on my writing for about another ten or so days.

With any luck, I won’t come back into writing focused on the other genre I spent a small number of years writing. Gay romances. Nothing wrong with them, except I spent the entire time writing them full of anxiety. I was afraid of so many things, not the least of which was that I was going to completely run out of ideas to write. No matter now many new ideas I got, I had that fear. I also hated writing them, I was just so desperate to write anything I wrote them. They weren’t as fun as Fantasy is for me. Neither were they challenging; I love the fact I have to keep an eye on making my worldbuilding and magic systems consistent in Fantasy. I also don’t doubt the ideas; I’m much more confident I’ll get fresh, new, fun to write ideas when I’m writing Fantasy.

I simply love writing Fantasy, and I think it shows.

Even when I was writing the gay romances, I got writing downswings. They were just more frequent, and, in some ways, more traumatizing. Probably because I wasn’t writing what I really wanted to write—but I just wasn’t getting any Fantasy ideas. I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t find any joy in the gay romances, but I don’t want to go back to that, even on a temporary basis. When I swung back into Fantasy writing last year in the middle of December (after a Nano where I forced out Yet Another Gay Romance via outline), it was a great relief. I was happy again.

This year, since starting writing Fantasy again, I’ve had one downswing. Sometime early in the year. At the end of May, before which I segued into writing the gay romances again. On June first, however, I was back into Unsought Gifts, the first book of my Power of Music trilogy. And Fantasy’s all I’ve written since then.

What I’m really hoping is that this year is an example of a trend with Fantasy writing. That it’ll be something I’ll spend more time writing, that I won’t have as many writing downswings with it, that my confidence level and joy in it will fuel the fires of inspiration enough to prevent too many severe writing downswings. After the hell of last year where I didn’t make substantial progress on anything unless I had an outline and was participating in some sort of mass writing event (Julno, Nano), and where I was absolutely miserable and depressed with what I was writing, I really want my return to Fantasy to be something of if not unalloyed goodness, at least something I can count on to keep me going.

And I’ll say this. I’ve written a couple scenes on Brotherhood since the downswing began. The outline makes it easy. I mean that. It’s easy to write outlined Fantasy scenes, even in a downswing. Every gay romance scene I forced out last year was forced. I had to work to write them, and I felt disconnected from the writing, and I was always surprised at how well the scenes turned out. I’ve had none of that on the scenes I’ve written in Brotherhood since the downswing began. My only issue is that I’m not coming up with plot cards because of the lack of muse, I guess you could say, induced by the writing downswing.

I think last year was my rock-bottom in writing. I was miserable and spent most of the year in a writing downswing. It was depressing, not just figuratively but literally as well. This year has been the complete opposite. I’m happy. I’m enjoying writing like I used to. I have my confidence back—and that is a great thing. It feels wonderful.

So I think I can weather this and other writing downswings as long as I can feel confident I’ll be returning to Fantasy following it, and I do.

Writing Habits

One of my writing habits known among my writer friends at Forward Motion for Writers is the logsheet I keep. Call me anal-retentive, call me OCD, I keep a record of the dates, times, and amount of words I write during any particular writing session.

Brotherhood Logsheet

The logsheet I’m currently using for Brotherhood.

The picture is page two of my current logsheet for Brotherhood. As you can see, if you look at the very bottom, I’m almost done with the actual writing log entries on this page. The asterisks going down the right-hand sides of the first and fourth columns are chapter indicators; chapter count is on the first line in the Notes section—that set of 20+ tally marks. I’m keeping all of Brotherhood in one file and copy-pasting the different sections or books of the series into their own files as I finish them, but not marking them on the logsheet, primarily because I didn’t find the cut between the first two books until recently. The times listed are beginning and ending times—I try to start on any given five-minute mark—and I list them in military time because it’s less confusing to me than writing AM and PM after the times, particularly since I sometimes stay up all night and write in the wee hours. As I currently write, each set of times and the total (small) wordcount following indicate one scene written.

On the right, in the Notes section, you’ll see all my notes, including a total from two scenes written on the very top line, continued from the first page. In fact, this story has overrun the allotted notes section, and you can see where I’ve written more in around the outlines of the actual log area. I expect I’ll be dropping a few of these notes on the next logsheet; I generally copy all notes which remain pertinent from logsheet to logsheet so I don’t have to constantly shuffle through them to remember things. If you look close, you’ll even see the notes I’ve made in pencil on the bottom left and near the top left side, which are my “bookmarks” for read-throughs of Brotherhood and TPOM.

Most of the notes I keep on the logsheets are interim notes. There because I need them during a certain period of writing or to carry me through a number of scenes. There are some on this sheet, though, which I’ll be transferring to my permanent note files for the Empire Brotherhood is set in. The note on Pelau, beginning in the lower-left corner, for instance. That’s an important thing which may have some bearing on other stories in the world and location, because I do have lots of other stories planned for this world. I’ll also include the note about the Imperial Coat of Arms being a red hind rampant, because that may come up at some other point. I don’t, however, expect to put these notes in until I’m done the project and go through all the logsheets for this story. For now, it’s easy enough to use them for reference if necessary.

And so many paper clips? I use them to keep the pages from curling up at the bottom, which drives me batty.

Nano and Chemo

This entry is part 05 of 44 in the series Breast Cancer Posts

For the past few years, I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month (Nano, where I can be found as Ashe Elton Parker with The Power of Music 3 listed as my project), which happens each November. A few weeks ago, I wasn’t certain I’d be participating due in part to the cancer treatments I’ll be undergoing during that month and in part to the fact I didn’t know what project I’d be writing for November. I wanted something I could either prepare quickly or which was already somewhat prepared and only needed finishing-up in the way of outlining so I could hopefully work in the word count around my chemotherapy treatment visits up at the VA.

Night before last, I started making progress on TPOM3’s outline once more. I’ve also got ideas for how to handle the big major conflict that’s supposed to happen in it, which was primarily what I needed in order to continue with the outline. Now that I have those bits, I can finish the outline, hopefully before the end of October, and be ready to jump into Nano on November first. I’m not sure I’ll be sitting up ’til midnight to start progress on it, but I’ll definitely be doing my best to get words later on that day.

I expect to be starting chemotherapy up at the VA sometime either in late October or early November, so this will have some effect on my writing. I won’t know for sure the start date until the 17th of this month, when I see the Oncologist again. By that time, I’ll have seen my surgeon again and I hope I’ll have my drainage system removed then. Since I expect to be taking weekday-daily trips up to the VA, for two or three weeks in a row for the chemo, I’m kind of hoping they have at least a place where I can hook up my laptop so I can work on my writing. If they don’t, I’ll probably just read, or I may start working on another story I plan to write after Brotherhood is finished.

Results of Surgery

This entry is part 04 of 44 in the series Breast Cancer Posts

What, you may ask, did this surgery get me?  Well!  Here is where I tell you.

First and foremost, it means that all the cancer is now hopefully removed from my body.  I now have bandages over my right breast and under my arm due to this.  The ones under my arm are more annoying.  It feels like they’ve bunched up in one spot and are digging in now.  I’ll be glad to get these things taken off tomorrow.  My breast has had little discomfort from its surgical wound.

In addition to all these bandages, I now have a nifty little drainage system.  This includes a tube sutured into place in the wound under my arm, which extends to about hip-length, with a bulb attached to it.  As demonstrated by the nurse in recovery, emptying the bulb involves squeezing it viciously until all liquid is expelled.  She left the bulb squeezed almost flat, but I don’t do that. It seems to need to be somewhat squeezed, or it doesn’t draw the fluid, but if it’s squeezed too much, it needs to be emptied more frequently.  I think I’ve got a nice compromise with it right now.  The fluid it collects is a combination of secretions to the missing lymph nodes and blood, though there seems to be much less of the latter now.  I won’t tell you what it looks like to me (it might make you too sick to eat).  I’m to keep track of how much fluid comes out of this bulb, so I squeeze the contents into a little urine-sample cup to get the measurement and write it down before dumping the fluid in the toilet to flush away.  Simple, if a little gross.

I spent most of yesterday in bed, thanks in part to the trauma of the surgery itself.  For me, part of the surgery included them putting a tube down my throat so I could breathe because I have acid reflux.  This has left me with a phlegmy cough which produces very little.  Thankfully, they put the tube down while I was asleep, or I would have had much to try to say.

The rest of the reason why I spent yesterday in bed is because of the painkillers my surgeon prescribed. A  combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. I took one of these at 8PM and another at about midnight on Monday night, and they knocked me out for the rest of the following day. Not again.  I do not like spending the day in bed.  I finally made myself get up a little before I wrote/posted yesterday’s post here, and I did not get any fiction writing at all done.  In comparison, today I got up around nine thirty, washed dishes, got a plot card on Brotherhood, took a nap from noon to two, and got up to cook a late lunch; this is more like a typical day for me, though my naps usually aren’t quite so long.

I haven’t showered since Sunday night.  Kind of not supposed to until the bandages come off, and Mom couldn’t make it out today to help me remove them—I definitely want help on the underarm ones due to the tubing.  And showering will be a challenge.  I’m not to get the area under my arm wet.  Either way, tomorrow night (if Mom’s able to make it), the rest of my body will be clean, and I’m really looking forward to that.

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