Writing

Humping your Hot Dragon

Okay, here is another gem I found in my files, I hadn’t dated it but it seems like I wrote this only a few months after my final chemotherapy treatment. I was obviously still in pain and reeling from the side effects of the chemo. Once again I have no recollection of writing this, so, without further ado, here it is in it’s raw form. Here at The Rusty prose, we’re unsure where I was going with this, perhaps I’ll revisit this and turn this into something awesome to read.

 

Humping your Hot Dragon

Hot, it was so hot. He picked up the Dragon which immediately set about blowing balls of fire before them. The dragon was so sick but refused to admit so. They had set out early in the morning to avoid the heat, but the birds had warned the sun so the sun had come up earlier that day and was none too happy about the birds waking it up so early. He had been warned about his sick dragon, but as he usually did when people told him about his sick dragon he just laughed it off.

He had, as was his usual, awoken so early as to be the one to waken the neighbourhood. His neighbours had oft complained that while he liked to get up early, the entire neighbourhood did not share his enthusiasm for his hobby of choice. This morning he awoke with an unusual fear; he had been having the oddest dream about trying to line up two or three islands in an archipelago, but they wouldn’t line up and one of them erupted as in a volcanoes creating a fourth island which still wouldn’t line up properly. He stopped trying to interpret his dream, realizing that the gist of his dream seemed to tell him he was frustrated by something.

He was now a recluse, but I suppose by society’s standards he was a pariah, due to the sick dragon. He didn’t even know he had a dragon, some people tried to point it out to him be he was too preoccupied. He tended to be able to only have on single focus, no multi-tasking for this guy.

When confronted by the yoga team, the dragon changed colour and set about inhaling as much air as possible. Dragons at filtering out the oxygen and hydrogen to use for its flame throwers. The battles were epic, some raging for years, entering different time zones as well as different planes of this world.

All too soon he lost track of the time, this particular trek the they had encountered more of the yoga people, who seemed to be on their side. The anti-yoga people had converged on them and now were using the dragon against him. The heat from the dragon was unbearable, so focused to a fine point as though the dragon was enjoying itself. The yoga crowd had jumped on him and were now trying to pull his head so down and forward so as to be standing with his feet on his own head.

This was a problem he thought would never be solved. It was in his nature to do things the wrong way. The heat had cooled off; Mother Nature abated the wars with her cool marine air. The dragon, now cured, healed and cooled was soon gone, leaving the young man to clean up the mess, explain everything to the authorities, as well as go back to his job.

An Ordeal I would not Wish upon my worst Enemy

I have battled Cancer, I’ve endured Chemotherapy and I’ve suffered the indignities of Surgery and yet I have seen first hand just how fortunate I was to be dealing with my particular ordeal. Cancer was a formidable foe to be certain, warranting the battle of a lifetime. Chemotherapy was an out-worldly experience, one that I would never, ever want to go through again in this lifetime; I found the experience to be horrifying, an encounter which exposed me to be the coward that I am. I had Surgery to reconstruct the humerus on my (left) dominant arm after a cancerous tumor ate into the bone resulting in a fracture. Several horrible elements combined for one hell of an ordeal, though I know for certain many others faced even more horrendous situations and they have a faced it with grace, courage and dignity in their own ways.

One year prior to these events, among other things, I had rekindled my passion for writing and had taken up jotting down notes and ideas on a semi-regular basis. I kept it as a hobby, more or less, writing thoughts and ideas, a little more earnest as time went on, making sure I filled any spare time I had with writing. Soon I was writing on a regular basis, albeit for limited time, again mostly thoughts and ideas, and then short story ideas, and some script and stage play ideas. I submitted a short story based on an actual event, then a short stage play, then a fictional short story, none of which were accepted. I felt as though I was getting somewhere with my writing hobby and was looking for creative writing courses when disaster struck, I broke my writing arm and discovered I had Cancer which turned my life upside down for several years.

I was in no state to write, not of mind or body. Six months after the fracture we got smartphones and so that enabled me to start jotting down ideas, all with my right thumb. When, after a fashion, I could prop myself up I was able to write on paper, again with my non-dominant arm. Not an easy feat, to start to write with ones non-dominant arm, try it for a while. I had the added bonus of dealing with the side effects of the Chemotherapy which gave me a temporary cognitive dysfunction to muddle through. Google ‘Chemo brain’ (or maybe I can link it) for a better idea of what that is, or wait a while because I know I’ll have a whole blog post devoted to chemo brain. It took me well over one full year before I was able to even attempt to write with my left arm again, and I am sure my recovery sped up after that.

Though I survived I don’t like that term, ‘Survivor’ or ‘he was a fighter’, somehow, to me, that implies the poor unfortunate souls who succumbed to this horrid disease were not putting in the same effort; we are all different, our Cancers and treatments differ from person to person. Yes, I survived, a victory for me, but it was a Pyrrhic victory

Working Hard to make Writing my Side Hustle

I am working towards this end. Sorry, this is not a ‘how-to’ blog, right now it’s a ‘how I am currently doing it and here are all my mistakes’ blog. I enjoy writing, as a hobby, and an interest, but now that I am ramping up my writing time, word count and projects, I need to pursue my other interests and hobbies. Soon enough, once I become a millionaire from writing daily fragmented thoughts, I will be able to embrace my other hobbies. So, any minute now, I will become an overnight sensation. As much as I’m happy to have a well paying non-writerly job, I would like to make writing my side hustle.

I am creating a habit of writing daily. I have several writing projects on the go, and now I have this wonderful blog. Thanks to this wonderful blog, I have carved out an extra hour per day, every day, to write. I am currently averaging five hundred words per day in about thirty to forty-five minutes. My typing is improving quite well, though I am making some good spelling mistakes as of late. Writing five hundred words daily has changed my day for me and I feel great that I’m devoting more time to this.

I am a long way from doing anything freelance, so for now I need to take it slow, I am happy enough to keep writing this blog. I am working on a short story that I need to finish the first rewrite. I have a number of Nanowrimo’s sitting in first rough that are on my list of things that need my attention sooner than later. I have a number of poems, two of which I’ve posted on here. Never say never, but I am not yet ready to freelance or anything of the sort, and so, for now, I’m happy with hanging out here at The Rusty Prose.

Life keeps us all busy in one form or another, and I have busied myself right up with tackling all these projects, dealing with a full time non-writerly job, and, of course, life itself. I don’t have kids so I don’t know how parents manage to have any time for themselves. Now that I’ve carved out an extra hour out of my day for writing I’d like to look into carving out more time devoted solely on writing. For now, that will have to be weekends, which are already full and they go by so fast.

I battle fatigue, I work full time, as well as making more time for writing, so I do need to watch that I don’t burn myself out. I have to keep the enjoyment factor in play, the always learning factor is always in play, and, of course, keep on top of the quality. I’ll get my short stories dusted off, edit and rewrite them, then sell them for a million dollars each, that will move this side hustle along pretty good I think. I get tired just thinking of how rich I’ll get with my new side hustle.

My Blog

As I’ve stated, I started this blog as a way to find my voice, but, obviously, that is not the only reason. I like to write and mostly I wrote in my spare time; I needed to ramp that up in terms of making time to write rather than waiting until I had a moment or two here and there. I also needed, or rather, still need to put more words down to get more practice in, as they say in woodworking, to get good you need to make a lot of chips. Well, I suppose this blog is chips.

I will be doing many renovations to The Rusty Prose coming up in the next week or two, I have a long way to go in terms of getting this blog to where I want it. My writing is improving, to a small degree, so my posts will be a little more informative and entertaining. One day, I may even start writing articles and spending more time writing, rewriting, and editing. I’m sure it shows that my posts on here are more like quick sketches, but, again, this is why I started this blog, to grow, learn, and improve.

We were experiencing some strange times today at The Rusty Prose. I don’t mean to boast, but usually my posts will get anywhere from seven to nine views and maybe five to seven likes, but today, for some unknown reason, I had a low traffic day. So, as a matter of course, I googled the whole situation and came up with the fact that I’ve somehow angered the google gods and am being mercilessly punished and will continue to be punished for all eternity. Personally, I think it was a nice day outside and people were just outside enjoying the sunshine.

I’ve added one hour of writing time to my day. That time is spent writing for my blog, I don’t write and post on the same day, I do at least one rewrite and a whole lot of editing. I’m posting these quick and easy posts to get myself used to putting in that time, I also think about my blog quite often during the day, thinking of ways to improve my posts, the renos I want to do to the blog, and basically getting myself established as a writer and a blogger.

I am spending more time writing and thinking of writing, well, writing and blogging. I have a number of other projects and works in process on the go, but right now I’m focusing on life down here at The Rusty Prose. Once I’m established and writing more quality posts focusing more on quality than quantity then I will make time to sit down to my other projects. Some of which will make great blog posts, that’s another factor in keeping this blog, once I get to sit down to my other projects I will use this blog to hold my self accountable and see these works through to completion.

Climbing the Walls

A Cancerous tumour ate into my Humerus bone causing it to break. This was many years ago, that aspect is well behind me know. I had surgery, there are now two steel plates, several pins, and numerous screws embedded into my Humerus. I underwent a few years of therapy to get my arm back into functionality. I can now make a fist and raise it over my head in triumph.

I spent several months doing yoga. I did the Bikram’s hot yoga. They have several challenges to get people to practice yoga on a daily basis. I took the one hundred day challenge, well, I went one hundred and one days. It’s quite the feat even for a healthy individual. That three months of daily hot yoga practice did wonders for my body, my psyche, and my arm.

After the one hundred day challenge I hit the pool and gym with a personal trainer. We worked together to get my entire body back into shape and to get used to moving around doing different types of exercises. The yoga was fantastic, it also got me moving, worked on my endurance etc, but it’s good to change things up for your mind and body to adapt to new situations. Working with a personal trainer was also beneficial to my over all rehabilitation programme. All the while I was also going through physiotherapy.

During my ordeal, while I was dreaming of being able to become left handed again, to regain the use of my left arm, and to get back to normal I had considered adding rock climbing to my then future rehabilitation programme. I had a bigger, extended vision of my rehab than the people in my life at that time and was told to take it one thing at a time; obviously we do need to take these things slow and one step at a time, but I like to plan ahead. As I was planning and scheming, a local high school opened a climbing gym. It was fate yelling at me loud and clear.

So, a few years later after Chemo, no more Cancer, all healed up, yoga’d and all rehabed, and with my strength and energy building up I took up wall climbing. I love it, it’s fantastic. I’ve been at it for a couple years, I only do it part time as it really takes up a lot of my strength and energy. Yes, it does add strength and energy, but I need to keep it low and slow to give my body time to adapt. There are teen clubs in there, and, in watching them, I’ve gained so much knowledge and have improved greatly. I have a fantastic climbing partner but he’s only available at certain times; he has kids and a life.

Once again we are quite pleased with ourselves here at The Rusty Prose. On day my arm almost falls off, the next thing I know I’m laid up for a long period of time, and now I’m pulling myself up a wall with said arm. Oh, by the way, did I mention my crippling Acrophobia? that’s right fans, I also suffer, and I do suffer, from fear of heights. it’s all about mind over matter. My body doesn’t seem to mind that I’m climbing a wall with an arm that had previously come loose, and my brain doesn’t seem to mind that I willfully clamber twenty feet up into the air. Twenty feet may not seem like much to you, but it’s plenty enough for me. I’ve faced my fears and my so called disability and have conquered them.

I didn’t actually conquer my fear of heights, it’s still there, I’ve found a way to work with it and around it. Believe me, there are moments up on the wall when I freeze up, or, at the very least, question my sanity. I’m not disabled, but my arm sits funny and I don’t have 100% mobility, but my strength is returning. I don’t consider it a disability, especially once I get to the climbing gym. I can’t have a bad day at the climbing gym, the fact that I’m using that arm to pull myself up a wall is quite the victory for me.

On Pain.

This post is mostly about having to endure different types of pain, I will get into the specifics at a later date as I need to go through all my notes and files. I have bits and pieces scattered here and there, we really could use a good assistant or two over here at The Rusty Prose. So, for now, you get fragments of pain.

I suppose I could have told this story from the beginning, but I can think of these posts as Prefaces and the like. Besides, it’s my blog and I’ll transgress if I want to. A little anticipation never hurt anyone, and today we’re talking about the pain, man. Soon enough we will get to the beginning.

During my Cancer ordeal the pain was intense, incredible and excruciating on so many levels; as a result I tend to feel and experience pain on a much different plane now. The pain was all encompassing, only to be surpassed, or exacerbated by the horrors of Chemotherapy. There was the tumour which slowly ate into my Humerus bone until it shattered one fine morning. Next we add in all the various tests, needles, and biopsies; the muscle cramping and neuropathy were there for the comic relief.

On the gorgeous and hot morning of July 19 2011 As I was getting ready for my dentist appointment to finish the second phase of a root canal when my left (dominant) arm went into a muscle spasm and broke seemingly on it’s own. YOUCH!!! And WTF!?!

My arm had been sore and aching for several weeks prior, but I had been much busier than usual and thought I was over exerting myself and had strained my triceps and biceps muscle. It’s called a ‘Pathological Fracture’ when a bone breaks for no known cause but shows to have a hidden medical reason; the cancer caused a tumour to eat into my bone, the bone fractured into the tumour and through the remaining weakened bone.

Then I lay prone for five weeks while I waited for the proper diagnosis. They knew it was Cancer, it just took a long while for them to pinpoint the actual type. NHL; non Hodgkins Lymphoma. They wouldn’t operate until they could be certain they didn’t have to amputate, or that I was going to be around long enough to warrant the procedure. I lay prone on the couch for five weeks in agony.

The reconstructive surgery took away some of the pain, then it brought along some new one’s. I had steel plates, pins and screws into my bones and the tumour in the bone. Yeah, that was a whole new level of pain my good friends. Nothing else mattered at that point. Then I had to lay prone for another five weeks in agony while we waited for the screws to set, and for the chemo to kick in. Then came the cramping and neuropathy, which feels like when your arm or leg fall asleep except this is all over your body and comes on much more gorilla like.

For my second Chemotherapy session, the nurses could not get the needle into my vein, so they went and got a nurse from somewhere else and pulled the curtain around us. They explained they have a procedure to get the needle into my vein but it’s quite painful. She looked me in the eye and said, ready? Though it wasn’t so much a question as a command. Then as quick as she could, she slammed it into the outside of my thumb down to my wrist. Sorry, not into the joint but along the wrist below the thumb, apparently there’s also a nerve which runs along that part of the vein. Freaking ouch!

Next came the PICC line, basically it’s like a catheter but they run it through your veins. Mine went all the way to my heart, I don’t know if they all do, but mine sure did and I could feel it knocking onto my heart on occasion. That is an odd pain sensation, but it’s also eerie.

Then I got myself a frozen shoulder, more pain, more cramping, then a nice long needle inserted into my ball socket. Ouch

The bulk of the intense pain was during the initial seven months of my ordeal. Then came two years of rehabilitation. Physiotherapy therapy. Two years of rehabilitation of my arm and frozen shoulder. It took me almost two full years before I was able to make a fist or raise may hand over my head, took longer before I was able to make a fist and raise that over my head without grimacing in pain.

All the deep tissue work to reanimate my atrophied muscle was an excruciatingly painful experience that we at the rusty prose would not wish upon anyone.

I view and feel pain much different now.

Did you hear that?

Sheep mowing the fields.

Frogs mucking out horses stalls.

Old dog day at the Vets.

Rabbits harvesting new asparagus sprouts.

Hummingbirds selling flowers on the roadside.

Horse manure. Fresh mowed grass. Dying cedar. Thirsty ferns

Ash from the wood stove.

A pile of Wool blankets.

Boots and heavy coats.

Finches and twigs.

New born Twin Fawns.

Open windows and doors. laughter. Socks and light frocks. Smiles.

Ducks tending gardens.

Ravens cleaning house.

Daffodils passing the torch.

Sleeping Fungi.

Sodden moss.

Abandoned wood piles. Burbling water. Leaves unfurling. Wispy clouds.

 

I was not made to devour my fellow man.

I was not put upon this earth to devour my fellow man. It is not in my nature to bend these men to my will.

I am not here to throw them to the ground. These men were not placed here for me to pay for my sins.

We cannot be among others in this state. We do not do these things for our own enjoyment.

All that I can see, in nature, in the trees, I am welcomed into the fold that is the cold ground and the sopping moss.

One only has to look into their favorite mirror to see what is familiar, what is known and what defines oneself.

What are our choices when our mirror reflects an altered vision of ourselves? When we build ourselves, we use our body, our mind, our chemistry, and our biology.

Who do we become when we’ve had our chemistry, our biology, or our specter altered?

What is our recourse when our bodies betray us?

I did invite death in for tea, she refused me. She surveyed my garden but would not enter my parlour.

Death is not a sadist, she is an empath and we love her in her shrouds of deep longing.

We do not deserve her love, we will pine and yearn, but we are not for her.

She will live in my garden, courting mother nature.

These yearnings for solitude will empower the soul. These longings will drive you far.

What your soul has seen, what it is seeing at this moment, your moment, would only serve to drive men mad.

I am a man, I need to be a man. Do we continue to connect the then with the now? When we lose touch with nature what is it we are striving for, what is pushing us forward?

I see us, in nature, and I see us in nature. We reflect our nature back at ourselves, and we enjoy it to be there, to comfort us.

We cannot walk among the trees, breathe of them, see them, and not be part of them. We have lost when they are no longer our friends.

These men, and I am a man, these men, who will not commune with nature, have lost.

I do not wish for the light, I wish for darkness. I am allowed darkness, I am allowed to sleep, allowed to wake, allowed to live for an eternity.

I am no longer my worst enemy, as it is, that is who I am now. We are not looking for that light.

I will leave myself here, where I am, where others would like to lead. We have lost our reference point, I would prefer not one man follows where I may be set to lead.

These things may last, and they will last for many.

I would not know how to die. I know I have a place, in the forest, a place I can see from my chair.

They are not dead out there, they are not waiting for me.

I continue and I will continue on.

Writer’s block

Good day ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a very special edition of today’s blog entry.

Warning

There may be some disturbing scenes in here. No animals were harmed during the writing of this tome.

Today, at my non-writerly job at the salt mines, it was while I was getting a tremendous flogging from one of my superiors when I came up with a fantastic idea for today’s blog. I thought about that shiny new idea right up to the public shaming which was when I came up with a couple other great ideas to add. As the day wore on and the humiliation and degradation from the gallery of hypocrites and cowards progressed, and continued much longer than normal, I ruminated on these ideas as though they would be a substitute for the random cancelling of all eating for the day.

Walking home along the trail of Rage and Flatulence I had to stop to allow people, who walk much slower than I, to proceed ahead of me. My one hour walk home will now take two hours. The man behind me wants to walk much quicker than the woman in front of me and now I have odd pains in my neck and my bum. The longer trip gives me more time to rethink my blog entry idea for today. Soon I am close to home and I am able to get out of the fray. They all look upon me with envy as I enter my hovel, I’m the one with the open pit toilet inside my hovel, that’s right my open pit toilet is inside.

Once inside my hovel I am so cold and hungry. I light the cat on fire and stuff it into a small tin box. That starts to warm my hovel and soon enough I can put some potatoes into the box. I go out to get another cat. I can see some people are still walking home while I am at home already, using my toilet, burning the cats and making potatoes. I throw rocks at them, that’s what happens when you’re late. I finish throwing rocks, I go back inside to commence with the excessive drinking and swearing.

I take out my quill, scrolls and ink. I sit down to more alcohol and begin to write, but instead of writing I sit and stare out the window. I look around my hovel and make plans for cleaning and decorating, I stare out the window some more. My hourglass is running and will empty soon; I will need to go to bed so I can rest up for tomorrows rancid shift at the salt mines. I look at the blank paper and I freeze, I cannot move or think. I forgot about all my ideas that I had been thinking of at the salt mines.

I cry: writer’s block! That’s right folks, looks as though we have ourselves a good old case of writer’s block here at The Rusty Prose.

I told myself to write it out anyway. So I did, and I could not get through a single sentence

I didn’t forget, I just couldn’t formulate one idea I had into a cohesive sentence. I convinced myself to write through it but nothing was working, I guess I wasn’t feeling it, or wasn’t ready to tell that particular story, either way, it was was a struggle. I tried, one sentence after another came out like mud, they were horrible and hideous, I had to turn away.

Well, this was my way of bashing my way through a writer’s block. It may not be pretty but it’s better than the dribble I was putting out, or the blank page I stared at for what seemed like an eternity. I had to admit defeat and tell myself that it wasn’t working, so then I changed my plans all together and tried something different. Sorry if this too made your eyes bleed but this is one of the reasons I started a blog, to ramp up my creative energy.

If it happens again I will turn it into an opportunity to practice my poetry.

When I awake

I need to gather up two or three obscure items, I need to align them, but I can’t quite connect them. I have to gather up two or three obscure items, I need to align them, I cannot get them aligned, I gather them up but cannot get them aligned. I get anxious, but just a little, I need to get them aligned but they won’t go. I get more anxious, then I calm myself down. I try again, this time getting frustrated, no more anxiety, just frustration. Frustration soon turns to annoyance and irritability. Irritable.

I heave a sigh, I am not anxious, I am not frustrated, I am awake. I was dreaming.

I fall back asleep, only to have the same dream loop itself, I then run through the cycle of frustration and annoyance, I realize I am now wide awake. I do not look at the clock, I don’t want to know. But I have to take a guess, have I been asleep long, a couple of hours, a few hours? Do I have two hours or will my alarm go off in two minutes? Why am I awake? Stop thinking, go back to sleep. I am warm, I am safe, I am dry, I am alone.

Oh, that’s why I’m awake, I have to pee.

I have a night light, it is so dark here, I don’t want to turn on the lights, don’t look at the clock, go straight back to bed. Warm, dry, safe, alone. Awake, awake and listening; Ravens, Owls, Eagles, Osprey. Listen for distant highway noise. Is that the twelve-thirty traffic? The two-thirty crew? The three-thirty trucks?

Roll over, snug up the blankets, find the nice spot on my lumpy mattress. Go back to sleep, no thoughts, dark, warm, sleep. Awake, wide awake, listening. No traffic yet. Which traffic will it be? No thinking, go back to sleep. Roll over again, snug up the blankets, stretch, long deep breath, go back to sleep.

Getting darker, warmer, I feel heavy. I am falling asleep, my eyes rolling back into my skull. No thinking, warm, dark, heavy, falling asleep.

Blammo, my alarm sounds four bells! My eyes crank forward, pain, I blurt out an expletive. That’s right my alarm is set for four AM, but I wake up so much earlier than that.

Wow, now I want to make my alarm sound like ‘Blammo’. I’ll have to look into that. Maybe order a special Rusty Prose Blammo alarm maker of some sort.

I jump out of bed immediately, I don’t want to loll about in bed, I need to get up to get ready for work, but first things first. I am creating, or rather, instilling a habit in myself to write for a half hour after getting out of bed. Just another SMART goal to get me through my days. After I write for a half hour, which, by the way, I can now type out five hundred legible words in thirty minutes which is a vast improvement on myself. I go and have a cold shower. Yes, you heard right, this is how I start my day. Well, this is within the first hour of my day.

Yes we are quite proud of ourselves here at The Rusty Prose.