Melina Gunnett

December 18, 2012

The Sun, It Burns!

Filed under: Odd Thoughts — Tags: , , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 11:27 PM


I have seen sunrise three times in the last week and not in my usual way. Normally sunrise is an indicator that I really, really, really should have gone to bed. This week it has been an “Oh my it’s dark outside. Why am I awake? Hey, what is that big blob in the sky…”

It would have been four times, but I’m living in Portland, and having the sun actually visible through the clouds isn’t the norm. I have this concept in the back of my little brain that if I keep trying to be a morning person, some day it will stick. I know I’m just fooling myself, but it is an illusion that I like to hold on to, especially on days when I need to get up and be somewhere.

I try to convince myself that if I get up early, I will go to bed early. It will become a cycle! All I have to do is repeat it enough and it will stick… Not bloody likely!

No, what happens every time I try this is what happened this week. I get up, I come home tired, I pass up on a nap because “I am going to some how drag by butt to bed on time!” Bed time comes… Bed time goes… I’m half zoned out, but have caught enough of a second wind that I can’t go to sleep. No matter what plausible explanations I give myself, for some reason anything before midnight seems more like going to bed in the middle of the day than a reasonable time for sleep.

Whenever I try this experiment the results are much the same as they were this week. I often end up sick and by the end of the week I will inevitably have a migraine. Lack of sleep isn’t the only thing that will set off one of my migraines, but after a few days it is pretty much a guaranteed method.

Apparently negative reinforcement isn’t one of my learning method, because I have repeated this stupid cycle more times than I can count.– and it is stupid, stupid on my part because it is so easy to end. All I have to do is go to sleep.

Enough already. I survived this rounds migraine. I can always hold out hope that I learned something. Tomorrow is another early day. Maybe I’ll manage to sleep tonight.

December 9, 2012

Why it takes forever to write a story.

Filed under: Odd Thoughts — Tags: , , , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 8:47 AM’ve been writing for a while now and every time I sit down to write a story it still amazes me how long it takes. I do have other things going on in my life, so they take up part of my time, but even if I put all those distractions aside, it still takes me a while to write even a short story.

I am pretty good at creating characters and, hopefully fairly good at make them come alive on the page. I am also good at creating concepts, those unique little twists that make a setting or situation interesting. Plot is harder for me and the first place a start to lose hunks of time. I can have the most interesting character in the world, but if they don’t do something, why bother writing about them.

I would love to be one of those writers that just puts words down as they go and lets the characters lead them. Maybe some day I will be, but for now I have to outline my plot ahead of time. If I don’t I will end up with 20 pages about my characters trip to the grocery store and the interesting conversation she had with her friend about the latest pop song on the way. By the time the characters get back from the store they won’t have learned anything, they won’t have accomplished much more than acquiring a carton of ice cream and my reader will be off trying to find the amazing pop song that doesn’t exist on youtube.

Once I finally have a plot, I can start to write. This is the easy part – until I hit X. X can be a location, a name, an object… just about anything. The only thing I can say for certain about X is that it will be something I don’t know about. Most of my work is either science fiction of fantasy, so you would think I could just make something up, but you would be amazed how many times it just doesn’t work like that.

For example, the story I just finished writing was pure fantasy, but it was based it our world. My main character was from the past so modern conveniences, like flush toilets, were new to him, or so I thought. I wanted to take a moment for him to marvel at the differences, so I looked up what plumbing was like in his time. That little scene was deleted. It turns out that plumbing in the far past, at least if you had a bit of money, was almost as good as it is today. The Romans had lead pipes that brought water in to their bathrooms and even hot and cold running water was not unknown in some areas.

Another hour disappeared as I tried to figure out what China would have been called 1000 years ago. By the time he got around to staring out a window, I had to wonder wither or not large sheets of glass were really a new thing. At least in that case it turned that it was. They did have some large sheets of glass, but they were expensive and difficult to make so they were used for mirrors. Windows, if they had glass, used smaller pieces and they usually had small imperfections which caused distortion. What I’m trying to say, is no mater what I end up writing about, it seems like I always end up having to do some type of research. (On the up side, I get to find out all kinds of neat trivia.)

Even the things I choose to make up can take time though. Every world has its rules. We have the laws of physics and in a fictional magical based world, there are laws to magic. If I’m making up a world I need to know what they are. Does my character need to know spells? Do they need components for these spells? Can they just think about something and make it happen, if so are there limits?

The answer to that last question, by the way, is a resounding YES. There has to be limits. If there are no limits and the character is all powerful then no one can stand against them and there is no story. Even if they appear to be all powerful there has to be a limit, a weakness, of some sort.

Most of the research and much of the world building takes place as I write. Sometimes I will have to adjust the plot to take in facts or ideas I hadn’t considered when I started, but eventually I manage to string it along into a story. Once I have it all written out on the page – I’m still not done.

Next comes the re-write. This is where I go over the story and marvel at what I have written, usually because I can’t believe that I thought that sentence made sense. There are times when I have had to re-write almost every word, not just the ones that I misspelled, mistyped or left out completely. The thesaurus and I have become very good friends. I would say that I am my own worst critic, but I have beta readers for that.

Beta readers are my wonder, patient, friends and acquaintances that, once I have the story in a form I consider readable, do just that. They read the story for me and get back to me with critiques. No mater how many times I go over my own work, there are things I will miss. By the time I finish a story, I know it. I know my characters background, I know the world the live in, and I know how the think. These wonderful people are a fresh pair of eyes that can read the story and let me know if it someone who doesn’t have all that background information can still understand it. – Oh, and if I am really lucky, they will also catch any technical mistakes I may have missed.

Once I have incorporated any changes I want to make based on my beta readers feedback, I do one last read through to make sure I haven’t missed anything, the I am finally done. I have a story ready to send off into the world.

This is why it seems to take forever to write a story. I know there are some authors out there that can pound out a book an a couple of months. When I first started, I thought I might be able to do that too. Now I am happy if I get at least one, well written, short story out a month. I can hope that, as I gain more experience, the processes will go faster. Only time will tell.

December 3, 2012

And another month fades away.

Filed under: Odd Thoughts — Tags: , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 4:02 AM

So, I have flipped the page on another calendar month. Yeah, the first was yesterday, but I had a lot to do in November, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that it spilled over by a day or so. Amazingly enough I actually got most of the things I really wanted to done.

My job, which I took to help organize my time has been taking up more and more of it, but that’s Okay. I love my job and it is keeping me in coffee. Things will calm down on that front in the next week or so, in the mean time it his really helping me learn my way around Portland.

For those of you who don’t know, I am working as a Mad Scientist. Yes, that is actually my job title. I teach fun, amazing science stuff to elementary school kids as part of an after school program and lately I’ve been doing birthday parties on the weekend. I used to work for the same company in Boston and it is one of the best jobs I’ve had. (And I’ve had some pretty amazing jobs). is my day job, by night (or sometimes morning and, occasionally, even during the afternoon) I am a writer. Lately I have been writing a lot of movie reviews – 8 in the past month. Not a bad way to pass the time. I attend free advance screenings and then let the rest of the world know what I think of the movie.

It has been interesting, trying to find the balance between telling the world my opinion of a movie and not giving away so much that it will spoil the movie for others. Deciding wither or not I like a movie is one thing, figuring out why is another. It means that I have to think about and understand why a plot or a character works and where it breaks down. I think the processes is going to make me a better writer as a whole and I plan to continue. To that end I have spun off a new blog REEL SOON which only contains my movie reviews. You can look forward to review for On the Road and Playing for Keeps this week.

Part of being a writer is writing. In spite of my slightly crazy schedule, it has been a fairly good month. One of my pieces, Of Cats and Coins, sold and will be coming out in an anthology next year (I’ll tell you more about it when I have all the dates and details.) and I finished another piece I have been working on and managed to get it out the door before the submission deadline.

One of the things I hadn’t taken into account is how much research I end up doing for anything that is set in the real world, fiction or not. I’m beginning to realize that only about 20 percent of my writing time is spent writing, but it is almost midnight here and I have to be up and awake tomorrow, so I think I’ll save that for another post. For now I’m off to bed. I need to dream up my next story. 😉

November 1, 2012

Of Resets and Research

Filed under: Odd Thoughts — Tags: , , , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 3:51 PM


Somehow it always seems like everything hits at once. I stopped burning the candle at both ends a couple of weeks ago. It just seemed a lot easier to toss the whole thing in the fireplace at once and go for a complete melt down. By the end of last week I was certainly feeling like a melted pile of wax.

Half the point of start the new job was to have something to focus my schedule around so that I could be more productive. (The other half is that I simply love working with Mad Science – doing birthday parties and teaching the kids after school.) The last several weeks have been centred around getting my science back on – training, starting classes, working out my schedule – and with all the winter movies coming out, there have been a ton of screenings to attended in the evening.

Fortunately, between Halloween and a teacher work day, my schedule caught a break this week and I’ve had a bit of time to catch up on some much needed sleep. This is good. I was in desperate need of a chance to reset my world, figure out a schedule and re-gear my life around it. I’ve even be threatening to do my laundry and sort through my mail.

Aside form catching up on some of the household tasks I’ve also been working on research for a couple of upcoming stories. Normally I enjoy research, and the research I’ve been doing on the Green Man mythos has been a lot of fun, but the research of the other story has had me pulling my hair out.

The second story I’m working on involves a legal trial. That means digging into law books and trying to make enough sense out of the patch work of laws to figure out what legally defines a person as a person. Strangely, there is a law on the books defining what a monster is, but none defining what a human being is.

In many ways the law hasn’t caught up with some of the stuff science can already do (even if it isn’t ethical), I don’t actually expect there to be laws and precedents for what I’m looking for. If there was, it wouldn’t be speculative fiction, it would be non-fiction. I had been counting, especially on there being a bit more to work with though. There have been several cases defining when companies can be considered persons, and with all the legal cases surrounding abortion, I thought there would be something, somewhere about real people.

There was one – but it was overturned as unconstitutional a few years ago. There is probably something out there somewhere. I just need to find it. At least I finally hunted down a decent legal dictionary. I can’t say I’m entirely looking forward to doing more research, mostly because I feel like I’m out of my depth. Maybe I should hunt around for a nice geeky law student willing to explain to me how anyone ever finds the precedents they are looking for among our mess of legal red tape.

Hmmm… red tape doesn’t seem right. It’s more like masking tape – after it has been thrown, piece by piece, into a room full of cats.

At least this weekend is Orycon. I have an excuse to lay low on the research and enjoy myself at the convention. Next week my schedule clock resets and it will be back into a fairly regular schedule. Get up, take care of errands and tasks, teach a class, do some writing. Well, that’s the plan any way…

October 19, 2012

Time Keeps on Slipping

Filed under: Odd Thoughts — Tags: , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 11:37 PM

While work has only take up a few hours each day and movie screenings a few more, it seems to have made my time vanish. I finally took a step back today and ask myself why. The answer – I’m not organized, so I don’t have a plan to make my time between activities useful. The solution, sit down and program my schedule into my calendar.

It sounds simple, and truthfully it was, but it is amazing how much time I spend trying to remember what goes when so that I don’t miss anything. I literally felt the relief once it was all on the calendar. My phone will now send me alerts so I can spend the rest of my free time getting stuff done instead of sorting through what I should be doing.

I’m hoping this frees up my brain space for more writing time. I only got one story out the door last month, and if I am going to call myself a writer, I need to do more than that. I have several things in my kitty, ready to start pouring out onto paper, so hopefully I will be able to finish up at least one and maybe two more before the month ends.

In the mean time, I’ll have another movie review up tomorrow and I have a couple more schedule for next week.

Oh, and while I’m thinking about time, just a reminder – Here in the US, Day Light Savings time starts up again on Sunday November 3rd. Remember to set your clocks b

September 21, 2012

I am not a number. I am a person.

Filed under: Odd Thoughts — Tags: , , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 3:50 AM

Or I would like to think so, but government agencies have a way of making me wonder.  I as I indicated yesterday, the last couple of days my life have been spent trying to get my driver’s license and car plates transferred to Oregon. I have traveled a lot and lived in several states and I just want to say – Congratulations Oregon! Your motor vehicle processes is the worst I have ever had to deal with.

The first thing I did, before I even left the house, was look at the DMV website.  It didn’t help much. Oh, all the information I needed was there if I had only known which menu to drill down in order to find it. I’m usually fairly good at hunting down the link I need, but this time I failed spectacularly.

Unless you need to register a car or get an Oregon driver’s license, the rest of this post probably won’t be of any use to you.

Getting a driver’s license:

 The first thing you need to know is that a valid driver’s license form another state is NOT a valid form of identification at the Oregon DMV. You need a certified birth certificate, a passport, or a ID issued by homeland security. Oh – tribal ID is also accepted IF you are from one of about a dozen tribes they count.

 Once you have proven who you are, the next step is to prove that you live in Oregon. This isn’t too difficult, they will accept a bill or other piece of mail sent to your Oregon address – as long as it was originally sent there. (Forwarded mail doesn’t count). So, while you are expected to transfer your ID as soon as you move to Oregon, they basically won’t let you until your mail catches up with you.

 Those were the only two things I really needed in order to be eligible to take the written test. Of course being allowed to take the test is another matter.  While the DMV is open until 5pm, they stop offering the test at 4pm, which means you need to be in line to get your number around 2pm.  If your number isn’t called in time, you are out of luck. The first day it took nearly two hours for them to get to my number, the second day only about a hour. I suspect it is just luck of the draw.

Oh – If you don’t already have a license from another state, you will need to take the driving test in addition to the written knowledge test. This means making a reservation, probably a couple of weeks in advance.

Registering my car:

Where to start… The answer would be NOT AT THE DMV. Unless you enjoy spending time waiting in lines at government agencies, if you live in the Portland or Medford areas, you need to start at the DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality). You need to have a certificate from them saying your car meets emission standards.

 Even if you don’t live in one of those two areas, the DMV still isn’t where you will want to start.  First you need to go get insurance on the car. In Oregon you are required to have insurance on a vehicle in order to register it. Likewise, you supposed to have a valid registration in order to insure a vehicle. How do you get around this lovely legal conundrum? The answer is, the insurance companies kind of cheat. At least the one I ended up going with did. Even though I had valid plates from another state, they couldn’t use those to insure me in Oregon. They know the government isn’t going to cave in, so they have to. I was able to get insurance on my car using the VIN number as ID.

 (Just to be on the safe side I’m going to go in next week and make sure they have the new plates on file.  I don’t want to risk the insurance company refusing to pay out if I get in an accident just because the information is missing.)

 Once you get past those two things, the rest is actually fairly straight forward. Just bring your title with the DEQ certificate and proof of insurance to the DMV. Oh, you will need proof of your address for this too. So this is one more thing that will have to wait until your mail reaches you.


Now that I’ve written it out, the process doesn’t seem that hard. It just took me most of two days because, every I got to the DMV, they sent me off for something else I needed. Hopefully this will prevent someone else from having to go through the same problems I did.

Oh, one more thing — bring lots of cash.  They don’t take credit or debit cards.

September 7, 2012

One Thing Leads to Another

Filed under: Odd Thoughts — Tags: , , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 8:01 AM

So, 2,000 dollars later, my car is now fit and ready to roll. I hadn’t planned on spending that much money, but it is a New England car. As anyone from that part of the country knows, that means years of road salt assaulting its undercarriage. I had to replace most of the exhaust system and the entire rust-coated brake system.

I briefly thought about just replacing the car, but after doing a quick search for cars in a comparable price range I gave up on the idea. At least, after spending the money, I know that my car is now in good order and should last me several more years. For $2,000 dollars all I would be able to buy is someone else’s problem, which I would probably have to put in more money to fix anyway. Besides, I like my car.

Unfortunately, the cost put quite a dent in my savings. I decided, now that my book is done, it is time for me to look for a job. Well, a part time job anyway. I still want to have time to write, but I am more productive when I have a structured activity to play my week around. It might as well be something that pays.

My first call was to Mad Science of Portland. I worked for them in Boston and loved it. I’ve had some pretty fun jobs over the years; I worked briefly as a clown, ran lights for a theater company and worked as a disk jockey back in the old days, you know, when DJs actually had some control over what they played. Mad Scientist beats them all.

Not only is in amazingly cool to be able to put “Mad Scientist” down as my job title on forms, the job was fun. I didn’t just get to go talk to kids about science, we got to play with things. Scientists really do have the coolest toys. How many other jobs let you drive around with a Vandergraph generator in the trunk of your car?

That call made, I poked around Cragislist to see if there were any jobs I could do that actually involved writing. Surprisingly, there were several listings. I’ll look into a few more of them tomorrow, but I already sent in an application for one. It doesn’t pay a whole lot, about a penny a word, but it would involve writing various types of articles for… well I’m not sure exactly where they are for. It seems to be a clearing house for places that need articles on “X subject”.

As part of the application process they ask for a sample article to be written on, of all things, wine, wine-tasting, or wine-making. Me being me, my mind immediately went for mead. I could have easily pounded out 400 words on how to make mead, but they wanted the article to be based on a current news article found on the web. Lucky for me Chicago is have a Honey Festival this weekend, which they are conveniently launching with a Mead tasting dinner.

Of course I don’t live anywhere near Chicago, but now my mind is stuck on mead. I was happy to find that we do have a semi-local brewery that makes mead, but, with a little more research, I also found that Portland sports a wide assortment of home-brewing supply stores. I’m sure most, if not all of them specialize in beer brewing – Portlandians lover their beer – but I bet I can can purchase the supplies I need to brew some mead too.

Actually, I already have some of the supplies. While I severely pared down my personal possessions when I moved out west last year, I kept some of the more expensive pieces like my corker. I suspect I can get back up and running for around $50 plus the cost of honey.

Now all I have to do is decide wither I am going to be fiscally responsible and wait until I get some paid work, or run by one of the stores this weekend. Of course, if I start a batch now, maybe it will be done in time to celebrate my first paycheck. So I guess the only real question that remains what type of mead I want to make.

August 27, 2012

The End

Filed under: Odd Thoughts — Tags: , , , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 10:28 PM

It was Oscar Wilde who famously said “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life”. For the last few weeks my art – my writing – has been doing its best to be the exception that proves the rule. By now anyone who has been following me knows that I have been having difficulty finishing up tasks. My book, it seems, was having the same problem.

I had originally wanted to have it completed before my move. I worked on it and had the story done, but in desperate need of editing. The life struck with a vengeance. I’ve been pecking away at the editing and, with the help of a few beta readers, managed to get it mostly done by the end of July.

I had hoped, even with the move, tot get it out the door to the publisher by the 1st of August. I almost made it, there were still a few things I felt needed re-working and I needed one last chapter to wrap things up a bit.

The editing I was able to finish up, the last chapter… let’s just say, it was definitely the most difficult chapter in the book. The rest of the story just flowed. I knew what I wanted to happen, I had a time line that it needed to fit and characters. I didn’t get the whole story sent to me in a dream or everything, but what needed to happen next was always, well, what needed to happen next. It worked.

The last chapter didn’t need to happen next. I wasn’t even sure it needed to happen at all and the harder I tried to make something fit, the more I wondered if I should just leave things as they were. I probably would have given up, but I trust the people I had beta reading for me.

It took me almost two weeks to find a thread in the story that had been left hanging. Actually there are a couple, but I deliberately left them hanging – literary fringe that I will use to weave the sequel, which is already half written in my mind. Even once I had my thread I still struggled. I wanted to make the chapter a wrap up, not a new adventure.

In the end, finish up the book came down to the same thing it did in my real life, sitting my but in the chair and doing it. It took a couple of days of false starts and re-writes, but eventually the words landed on the page in an order I could live with. Best ending ever? Doubtful, but it was an ending and the book finally went into the (e)mail to the publisher.

I missed all my other self-fabricated deadlines, but I made my final firm dead line. The book had to be finished by my birthday or put on the shelf. I managed to send it off the day before, leaving me the chance to relax and enjoy the day guilt free.

Now I should have time to move on to the other projects that have cluttering up my desktop and start hacking down my “to be read” pile. I suppose it is time for another ‘to-do’ list, as I am sure there are things I have been letting slip while I worked on this. Hopefully Mr. Wilde will prove correct and I can find a way to tie up the loose ends in my life and get them finished as I did with the book.

August 14, 2012

Procrastination – It’s Making Me Wait.

Filed under: Odd Thoughts — Tags: , , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 9:03 PM

Sometimes my ability to procrastinate even amazes me. I can understand wanting to to put off things I don’t really want to do. Even if I know the task won’t go a way, there is always the chance something might happen that will make it irrelevant. Maybe a stray asteroid will hit the planet or something. It happens all the time in the movies.

What really amazes me is my ability to put off doing things I enjoy. These would be things like watching a movie, hanging out with friends, or reading a book. You know, the types of things I want to do before that hypothetical asteroid hits.

Instead I have been filling my days with things that are neither important nor all that fun. It really is possible to kill an entire afternoon playing Facebook games, I don’t recommend it, but it does make time pass. With the amount of time I have wasted over the last week I could have easily finished 3 or 4 of the books in my to be read pile.

I’ve been blaming other things of course; first my back and then the heat (this week has been a scorcher and we don’t have air-conditioning). It is easy to find excuses. Some of them are even legitimate, but not the real truth.

I’ve been trying to get down to the real truth, the real reason why I have been procrastinating on so many things. I suspect it will take many years of therapy before I figure it all out, but there are a few clues I’ve put together.

Penny jarI know that I have trouble finishing things. It doesn’t matter what the thing is, let’s say today’s task is counting pennies in a jar. Some of the tasks I have been putting off really aren’t much more difficult to do and probably wouldn’t take much more time. Sow why do I have so much trouble getting those pennies counted?

It feels good to finish something. To be able to look at that jar of pennies and say “I know there are 274 pennies in there because I counted them!” There is always a moment of elation at finishing a task, but with the elations comes a bit of guilt. Why, who knows? I’m not even sure it matters, because the elation doesn’t stay around all that long before fear starts to sink in.

Why does fear set in after a task? It doesn’t always. Sometimes I can just check it off and call it good, but not always. Sometimes the questions start up first: Did I do it right? Is there really 274 pennies or did I miscount? What if one of the was Canadian? I am sure that fear of failure has something to do with my procrastination.

The other side of that coin is fear of Success. That small feeling of elation, do I really deserve it? I mean, anyone could have done it and probably even done it more efficiently. Now that I have counted the pennies, are people going to expect me to keep track of them forever? If I did do it well are they now going to expect me to keep track of the nickels, dimes and quarters too? How do I manage expectations, including my own?

All of this means I have probably spent too much time contemplating why I procrastinate so much. As I said, I could keep a therapist busy for years sorting out the reasons behind my idiosyncrasies. The main reason I have been trying to figure out why I procrastinate is so that I can get over it and just get things done so I can enjoy life. So far that hasn’t helped much.

The only thing that I have found that works for me is to make a list of the things I need to do and not let myself go to bed until I cross at least one thing off that list. Sometimes this cuts into my sleep a bit, but slowly things have been getting done. The next step is to convince myself to cross one of those items off my list as the FIRST thing I do every day. That way I can start doing the things I enjoy without feeling guilty.

It really doesn’t take more effort to do things in the morning than it does at night, just more will power.

August 2, 2012

This Week has been a Pain in the Back.

Filed under: Odd Thoughts — Tags: , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 10:51 PM

I am sitting here at my desk listening to NPR discuss the benefits of procrastination in the background. An interesting discussion, but not one I agree with. I tend to procrastinate enough naturally, deliberate procrastination on my part would just be bad. I would never get anything done.

Surprisingly, procrastination isn’t the reason why I am writing a blog post on Thursday instead of Monday this week. I was actually having a pretty good week last week. Completing one item on my to-do list each day instead of being overwhelmed by the list seems to be the way to go. After having competed my item for the day, I often managed to tick of two or three more just because I was already up and doing things.

This worked well throughout the week until Thursday when I pulled an item off the list bigger than I could handle by myself. unfortunately I mean that literally. I moved the livingroom furniture around by myself and hurt my back.

This isn’t the first time I have hurt my back and I doubt it will be the last. It did leave me flat on my back Friday, unable to do anything. Saturday was more of the same. It should have been better by then, at least enough for me to get up and move around a bit. By Sunday I knew I was in trouble.

My roommate had been trying to get me to go to the chiropractor since Friday, at this point I caved. I was not convinced the chiropractor was the best choice, but I needed to do something. I couldn’t even sit up, let alone work at my desk. I promised that come Monday morning, unless I was magically healed, I would go.

I guess I wasn’t a good little girl because the back fairy didn’t show up and sprinkle star-dust on my back making in better. I had to go to the chiropractor. Before I could do that, I had to first get down to the car. Two flights of stairs later, I was pretty much in tears.

Normally climbing into a car is just something one does, you don’t really think about how you do it. I certainly never really thought about how much bending and twisting is involved. Let’s just say it was a challenge, as I rather shed the memory the and leave the pain behind like the slough of a snake.

I made it the chiropractor not once, but twice that day. My roommate bribed me with a chunky monkey shake to hang in for the second trip. The results of the x-rays were pretty persuasive too. I had twisted one of my disks far enough out of alignment that even I could see the problem.

He tried to adjust my back, but it wasn’t going. I had another appointment on Tuesday morning and he tried again without much luck. Each visit he hooked me up to a different contraption, all of which were supposed to loosen up my back and allow for adjustment, but that magic *pop* back into place never came.   I was starting to do feel better by Wednesday, even without that magic *pop*, but I was still a long way from mobile. I suspect switching to ice instead of hot showers had more to do with my improvement than anything else. (For the record, I HATE putting ice on injuries. Ice is cold. I do not like cold.) Either way I made it to the chiropractor on Wednesday with hardly a whimper or moan.

My roommate really should be eligible for sainthood after this week. I normally have a fairly high tolerance for background pain. Once I get past that tolerance, all bets are off. The overall pain had been overwhelming for days and when I made any sudden movements – just Yowie! I spent most of the week hiding in bed away from everyone. She was the poor stooge that got sent in to lure me out. It probably would have been safer to just put police tape across my room until I either healed up or passed away.
Wednesday was the turn around. The first thing he did when I went in was strap me into a harness. You know, the kind you see on TV when the hook somebody up to fly across the stage or do acrobatics. Once I was securely in and my weight lifted off of my back the put me on a treadmill and had me walk. If I hadn’t been hurting, it would have been fun.

Once I had walked what felt like a marathon, but was actually only a quarter of a mile, the took me off and sent me back downstairs and laid me out on a table. Then came the part I hated the most. The part where he tries to twist my spine back into its orignal shape. This time, instead of just a shot of instant pain searing through me, I heard a pop. That amazing pop I had been waiting for.

All the pain didn’t magically vanish, but I could move again.

So today I start over on my list. First off, is this entry, now four days overdue. I can still only sit up a half hour or so at a time, but at least I can sit at my desk and type. Tomorrow I have a follow-up with the chiropractor to make sure everything stayed where it belonged. I’m still not sure that a regular doctor, which would have come with pain meds and muscle relaxants, would not have been a better choice, but that is something I can think on between now and next time I have a back problem.

On the up side, with all that down time, I did finally get a chance to read a couple of the books that had been on the top of my pile. Maybe tomorrow I’ll see about writing up a review or two. I can afford to add a few more things on to my to-do list now that I can start working my way down it again.

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