Archive for August 28th, 2013

In better news… novel draft complete!

I see that I also have some good news to share which I have not yet blogged. I’m going to a one-week novel critique workshop on the Oregon coast immediately after the Worldcon, for which I just recently finished the first draft of my YA Regency interplanetary airship adventure, currently titled Arabella and the Marsman. This is my fourth completed novel and I feel really, really good about it, though there’s still at least one more edit pass to go before I start submitting it. I’ve already received some very positive feedback on the draft.

This draft took almost two years to write (11/11/11 – 8/4/13, counting from the beginning of the outlining phase) and I have been SO CLOSE to the end for a long time now. When I hit the end of what I thought would be the penultimate chapter, I wrote one perfect, summarizing sentence and I realized that was the end of the book. I had a whole denouement planned out, but it wasn’t necessary. I cried. This was in a coffeeshop in Seattle and I’m pleased to say that Kate and Janna were both there for it.

Sometimes an ending sneaks up on you. This happened to me once before, with the All-Star Zeppelin Adventures story “Love in the Balance,” and I think that’s one of my more powerful endings. We’ll see if people find this one satisfying.

Heading to the airport, en route to Texas for the Worldcon, in just a few minutes! See some of you there.

Kidney stone :-(

On the treadmill at the gym yesterday morning, after working out with my trainer, I had what I thought was a stitch in my side. But it rapidly got worse — a LOT worse, to the point that I had to stop and lie down on the floor, and I also had chills and cold sweats, plus I felt like I really needed to urinate but there was nothing coming out. It was bad enough that I went straight from there to the ER (our nearest ER is, as it happens, less than a mile from the gym) without even showering. Kate met me there.

THIS is what all the fuss was about?The doctor, when he saw me, said “You have that kidney stone look. I can diagnose that from twenty feet away.” They gave me IV saline and morphine, and the pain declined from a 6 to a 3-4 pretty quickly. By the time they wheeled me down to get a CAT scan it had fallen to a dull ache, and I spent the rest of the afternoon half-dozing in the ER bed. After a couple of hours the CAT scan results came back: it was indeed a kidney stone, about 3mm, and it had already passed into my bladder (that, not the morphine, is why the pain went away so completely). They sent me home with a prescription for oxycodone if I needed it, a little strainer, and instructions to drink a heck of a lot of water and strain my pee for the next 24 hours in hopes of catching the stone. The stone came out in my very first pee and it didn’t hurt a bit. I’m going to continue to filter my pee until tomorrow, though, in case there are any other bits to catch.

This all happened instead of a planned lunch date with my friend Shannon. I texted her about it as I was waiting for Kate to pick me up outside the ER, and when I said “This too shall pass,” she replied “Okay you are feeling fine. ;-)”

So the bottom line is that I’m fine now, if a bit achy and woozy, and clear to travel to Texas. The doctor did see some “nodules” in my lungs on the CAT scan and recommended I see my primary doctor for a more thorough lung screen as soon as I get back, but they are very likely nothing to worry about. I also need to take the kidney stone to a urologist for an analysis — knowing the stone’s composition may help me avoid future such experiences, through changes in diet or some such. (The CAT scan showed a second, smaller stone in the kidney, but it might never cause any problems.)

Whee. Also ow.