Updates

There’s a cover in progress (Yay! CoveredCreatively rocks, just FYI – Angela always goes the extra mile to make me happy with my covers and this one, even in the draft stages, is making me smile).

Despite the frantic health issues of my father and now my half-Kardashian-esque buttocks, I’ve continued to make progress on it.  Meaning the writing hasn’t stopped these past two weeks.

ghostly figure in dark scary forest  This means September is probably a solid estimate for when it will be released!

Every other project I have is on hold whilst I finish Demonic Dreams.  I can’t leave Aislinn and Gabriel in limbo for too long, I’m getting a couple of messages a week asking me if I killed Gabriel.

I didn’t realize he was a reader favorite, but judging by the questions, he might be.  For the record, I’m okay with that, I happen to really like Gabriel as well.

The Nurse Practitioner Disaster

Normally, it doesn’t bother me to be treated by a nurse practitioner.  However, my ER visit this morning requires some explanation… WARNING: This post will involve some talk about my butt cheeks.  Because the nurse practitioner I saw today made me wonder if I understood medicine more than her – as well as swearing

For the purpose of X-Rays, they made me do a pregnancy test.  Just filling the cup, I knew that I had a UTI.  This is not uncommon for me.  I have them all the time, partly because I have one kidney that seems to leak blood.  Most of my mother’s family has this bleeding kidney issue, so it’s something congenital.

No big deal, my hip still hurts like hell and I know I’m walking out with antibiotics.  So, we do the X-Rays.  The nurse practitioner comes back and says my hip looks perfect.  Not even a trace of arthritis.  For the last 15 years, every time someone has looked at an X-Ray of my right hip, they have told me that I have mild arthritis in it.  But suddenly, it was gone.  Okay, weird, but whatever.

She then tells me that the reason my hip and buttocks are swollen is because of the severe UTI.  Um, huh?  I have a urinary tract infection that has made my butt swell up?  And yes, my right butt cheek is about an inch thicker than my left.  I can tell because the cheeks of my butt have always meet fairly perfectly at the crack, but when I’m lying flat on my back, I feel like I’m leaning to the left and I have at least a hand width’s difference between where my left buttock stops and the right one continues to bulge out.  Again, that’s never been the case in the past.

However, I realize my back is starting to bother me as I lay there.  Maybe the problem is a kidney stone.  She says “yes, a kidney stone would make my butt cheek and hip swell up.”  Um, really?  It never has in the past.

So, we scan for the kidney stone and nope, no stone.  The UTI is making my back hurt.  That I believe.  I still don’t buy that it has made my buttock swell in all directions or that it is causing me extensive pain in my hip and quadricep.  I tell her this.  She leaves the room.  A nurse comes in and says he is going to give me a compazine for nausea.  Excellent because I didn’t eat at all yesterday and Saturday I only ate a taco because I felt sick to my stomach from the pain.

They give me a toradol shot.  I wait an hour or so and the swelling goes down.  I’m actually laying flat on my back.  That’s awesome!  Some of the pain is gone.  The nurse is explains to me that the UTI and injury to my hip are coincidental.  He explains that I have either snapped a tendon, a ligament, or torn a muscle and that arthritis tends to put extra stress on them.  So I tell him that she said my hip X-ray looked perfect, no arthritis.  He nods and says “yeah, arthritis puts stress on the ligaments and tendons surrounding a joint.”  Obviously, since he repeated the arthritis fact, it made me think he disagreed with her interpretation of my X-Ray.  And he doesn’t think a UTI is causing the swelling or the pain.

She comes back in, I ask what to do for the pain.  She says take 800mg of Advil every six hours.  I remind her that I can’t take NSAIDS orally.  She tells me that’s impossible, she gave me a Toradol shot, I have to be able to take NSAIDS.  I point out that NSAIDS cause me terrible stomach pain if I take them orally.  She tells me that if I had problems with NSAIDS, I wouldn’t have been able to take the Toradol shot.

Damn it, the Toradol was a fucking injection!  I didn’t have to drink the shit.  If I take 200mg of Advil, there’s no doubt that I will be back here with extreme stomach pain.  I explain this to her without the swearing and she tells me to “tough it out, a UTI isn’t that painful.”  No, but what about my fucking hip?!  I’m dragging my leg behind me when I walk.

The only thing she wanted to talk about was my UTI.  I got no discharge instructions other than what to do for that.  I had to go home and call my family doctor and talk to the nurse to figure out I should rest it as much as possible and she’d make sure the doctor talked to me tomorrow about the pain management aspect of my hip.

It’s a urinary tract infection, take antibiotics, drink plenty of fluids, urinate as often as possible.  I’m dragging my damn leg when I walk because I feel like I’m being stabbed when I put weight on it and my ass cheek on one side is MASSIVE.  Fix that!  That’s what I came in to have fixed!  For the record, I realize Advil would help with the swelling in my hip and butt.  I still can’t magically take it!  Prescribe some steroids, something easy on the stomach because they tend to make me puke – preferably not prednisone.

This is why everyone thinks I’m a drug seeking patient.  I can’t take NSAIDS orally.  Acetaminophen really isn’t all that great at pain management and it does nothing for swelling and inflammation.  I had to ask for the stupid Toradol shot I got today, twice, despite the obvious swelling in my hip and buttocks because I had a UTI and that was the problem.  WTF?!

My nurse, who I love, made a comment when I was telling her about it and she said “sometimes, no matter how much you explain something, they just don’t get it.”  That is exactly what I dealt with today, she just wasn’t getting it.  Even when I would use little words and short sentences and remove all the sarcasm, humor, and disdain from my voice.  I have never heard of a hip or butt cheek swelling from a UTI.  And lots of people can’t take oral NSAIDS.  My sister can’t.  My father can’t.  Anyone with a stomach ulcer, especially a bleeding ulcer can’t…  Why was that hard for her to understand?

 

What We’ve Got Here Is a Failure To Communicate…

My father has been in the hospital all week with heart problems.  It’s been very stressful.  However, some of the stress could be relieved if people communicated with each other.  My father spent weeks lying to us, telling us nothing was wrong, they were just running some tests, no big deal and then suddenly he’s in the hospital and the doctors are telling us he isn’t going to live.

Wow… Um, that was quite the blindsiding.

My sister, as a matter of trying to cope with this sudden news, goes on social media to express her feelings and suddenly, our father is up in arms about that.  Why is she posting his business?  She really isn’t, she’s trying to express her feelings and deal with the knowledge that we were told he would never walk out of the hospital alive.

I kept mum because my father and I haven’t always been known to get along the greatest.  We have conflicting personalities.  I love him, but can’t always agree to disagree even.

For five days, my father lived simply because norepinephrine exists.  He is doing remarkably better, but I knew that blogging about it would bring down his wrath on my head.  So I kept my mouth shut.

But that’s exactly what I mean… I couldn’t communicate with him, he couldn’t communicate with me.  Most of the time, I think he looks at me and still sees a fragile 10-year-old girl that he has to protect.  For the record, I’m not ten, I’m definitely not fragile at this point, and I prefer to slay my own dragons.

Enough for the night.  Fingers crossed things stay on the improving side.

The Most Important Invention for our Health

It’s surprisingly not WebMD – the site that turns us all into hypochondriacs… it actually has nothing to do with our health, not really.  It’s the vacuum cleaner.

My recent dealings with rodents in the camper has reminded me that the vacuum cleaner is responsible for stopping the spread of most plagues and epidemics in modern history.  How?  It destroys the carriers.  Vacuums remove fleas and lice from our homes.  These parasites are carriers for some of the deadliest plagues in human history.

Furthermore, fleas and lice can transmit illnesses among familie members.  So if you have the flu, you can actually pass it to say a sibling if you get bit by a flea that then bites your sibling and since some transference of blood does occur during this process they can get the virus from the flea.

However, they are better at passing along bacterial infections than they are viruses, which is why Y. Pestis – better known as Bubonic Plague, finds its favorite host is fleas.  It is this transfer of diseases that makes it important for you to keep your pets flea-free.  It isn’t just to sell flea and tick medicine.  Domesticated animals are responsible for hundreds of zoonotic disease transfers to humans every year.  And it isn’t always contact with their blood, saliva, or fecal matter that results in the transfer.  Fleas play a huge role in transferring zoonotic diseases to humans, like Y. Pestis (which is technically a zoonotic disease that originates in small mammals, particularly prairie dogs).

Vacuum cleaners don’t just suck fleas and lice up.  They also kill them.  So vacuuming up fleas means that their corpses end up in the trash.  It is for this reason that vacuum cleaners are the single best modern invention for your health.  It is also why, most zoonotic diseases do not have a long life span in which to mutate.  When you kill off fleas, the heartiest of their hosts, they don’t have the time to mutate to become super contagious (like Bubonic Plague did in the 14th century).

Having worked in epidemiology for a short time, until then, I was like most people and believed diseases like Bubonic plague were a thing of the past.  Now I understand that a single mutation can result in a pandemic.  the first time my boss told me that vacuum cleaners were the reason we rarely dealt with pandemics anymore, I just stared at him like he was crazy.

He wasn’t.  They really are the reason.  We always believe that illnesses are spread through coughing, touching infected persons, etc.  The truth is, our immune system and its defenses are pretty good at weeding out diseases both bacterial and viral in nature.  As with all things, there are exceptions.  As measles begins to make a world-wide comeback, it’s important to remember that some diseases are heartier than others.  For instance, for a long time, the best cure for some infections was to give the patient malaria.  The bacteria and parasites involved with the original infection; like sepsis – which is a parasitic disease – cannot survive the fever that malaria causes.  Syphilis which is bacterial, also cannot survive in the body with malaria – it’s called something like Pyrotherapy or Fevertherapy to introduce a disease that causes a high fever in an attempt to kill off a different illness.  And the man that discovered it, won a nobel prize!

Which means the inventor of the vacuum cleaner should have won a few nobel prizes as well since vacuums are better at killing diseases than Pyrotherapy.  Understandably, no one markets their vacuum cleaners as the best disease killer available, because it would be false advertising… and this is where the vacuum wars break down.  All vacuums remove and kill fleas.  It doesn’t matter if you have a Dyson or a Bissell at this point.  (Please do not vacuum yourself or your pet in an attempt to get rid of fleas, it can be very dangerous to use a vacuum on a living creature)

Getting To Know You… Kinda…

I’m taking one of the Facebook Chain Letter Posts and filling it out here for everyone to read:

1. Who are you named after?

  • Depends on which of my parents you ask.  If you ask my father, I’m named after him and my grandfather.  If you ask my mother, I’m named after my grandfather and the daughter of a woman she worked with that got cancer.

Today.

3. Do you like your handwriting?
I don’t think you can call my writing “hand writing”… Doctors write more legibly.

4. What is your favorite lunch meat?
Turkey

5. Were you in the military?
Nope

6. Favorite non alcoholic beverage?
Coke & Mountain Dew

7. Do you still have your tonsils?
No – but I was 24 before they were removed and it was awful.

8. Would you bungee jump?
I’m mildly afraid of heights and have vertigo… Pretty sure that would kill me.

9. What is your favorite kind of cereal?
Basic 4 or Museli

10. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Nope, not unless there is something wrong with them.

12. Favorite ice cream?
Rocky Road, but I don’t like ice cream much.

13. Favorite all-time TV show?
Death in Paradise, Waiting for God, QI

14. Football or Baseball?
Football – Go chiefs!

15. What color pants are you wearing?
NPurple & black leggings with flowers on them.

16. Last thing you ate?
a Philly cheesesteak

17. What are you listening to?
An air purifier with a UV light that makes an awful humming noise when the UV light is turned on.

18. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
I haven’t a clue.

19. What is your Favorite smell?
Books

20. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
My sister

24. Favorite food to eat?
Fajitas

25. Scary movies or happy endings?
Scary movies

26. Last movie you watched?
John Wick: Chapter 2

27. What color shirt are you wearing?
Black

28. Favorite holiday?
Halloween

29. Beer or Wine?
Wine

30. Night owl or morning person?
Definitely a night owl

31. Favorite day of the week?
Whatever day I am most productive – seriously, a side effect of working from home at a job where I don’t have set hours is that the days of the week have a tendency to run together.

32. Favorite season?
Fall

33.  Any pets?  Kinds?  Names?

One Dog – Lola the Destroyer

34.

Vacation

Vacation was pretty good.  With the exception of the mice which were a huge problem for me.  It’s hard to spend 10 days in a camper with someone though.  There isn’t a lot of room and I don’t sleep well most of the time.  I have issues sleeping on my left side and in the camper, I almost always have to sleep on my left side.

I slept a lot of the way home because I was so tired.  I did play darts for the first time in seven years at the Chicken Coop open – the world’s largest outdoor dart tournament.  That was an interesting experience.  I sucked.  I was throwing my husband’s extra set of darts.

He won the big money draw and a first place trophy.  The first time he’s done either in the 17 years he’s been going.  The best I got was a 16 spot.  I had some great partners in it, but I threw terrible, so it would have been more surprising if we had done better.

No real float trip this year because it rained a ton and the float was miserable, cold, and wet.  I was wetter from the rain than I would have been if I had just jumped into the river.  To illustrate how bad it was, I wore a rain coat on a float trip to try to stay warm.  Then we had to stop at a little store along the shore to buy ponchos for everyone because the rain was giant cold droplets that felt like they were being propelled by a leaf blower straight onto us.

Thankfully, one of the nephew’s had decided to go fishing.  He brought his small boat along.  We hooked up to him and used his trolley motor to get us back faster than normal.  It’s usually an all day trip, but we did it in about 4 hours with the trolley motor.

Got to meet the girlfriend of a friend for the first time.  She was great.  I loved her.  I told my friend if he hurt her, I would probably kill him, slowly and painfully.

We bought a large metal chicken at the charity auction, because everything is chicken themed at the Chicken Coop Open.  We got to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

Overall, it was a de

The Florida Axe Murders – The Reason Marijuana is Illegal in the US

Warning: This post contains controversial material about drugs as well as my opinion…

Victor Licata was a loner.  He was considered nice, but a little strange by those who knew him.  In his twenties, he lived with his parents and siblings in Ybor City, Florida.  His parents owned a local business.  They were well known and well liked.

Therefore, in mid-October when the neighbors realized they hadn’t seen a single person from the Licata family in a couple of days, they reported it to the police.  The police decided to do a welfare check and there was no way they could have prepared for thee scene that greeted them.

Five members of the Licata family had been murdered.  Their hacked up bodies lay strewn about the house.  Poor Victor Licata was found alive, in the bathroom, covered in blood.  None of it his own.

Victor was just 21 when he murdered his family, including a younger brother who wasn’t even 12 years old yet.  He had a history of psychosis and had been institutionalized for bizarre and extreme behavior.  Chances are he was a paranoid schizophrenic who became violent for unknown reasons – he reported hearing voices, he also stated that he had to kill his family to keep them from suffering a worse fate, and he had developed his psychosis in his late teens – until then he was a normal, healthy child – schizophrenia often begins to manifest during mid-to-late teens.

In today’s world, Victor Licata would be pitied as one of the victims of his illness.  However, this happened in 1933.  Prohibition was just starting to fall out of favor.  The media latched onto the Licata murders though.  They were sensational news and to make sure it was even more sensational, they claimed Victor killed his family in a marijuana-fueled rampage.

Even though Prohibition was on it’s way out, marijuana, a substance that had not be illegal during Prohibition suddenly took center stage for those who were still clinging to the laws that had lead to the rise of organized crime and risky moonshine.

The movie Reefer Madness was a take on the Florida Axe Murders.  Several books were written about the dangers of marijuana.  Suddenly, it became the goal of the US government to make marijuana illegal.

Despite the sensationalism of the Licata murders, there was never any evidence that Victor Licata had ever smoked marijuana.  His strange behaviors that would now days get him a mental illness diagnosis were chalked up to marijuana induced psychosis (this isn’t a thing, just FYI).  Thankfully, he did get some justice, a very prominent psychiatrist testified that he was not fit to stand trial and instead of facing the death penalty, he spent the rest of his life in an insane asylum… Some might argue that death would have been more humane, because in the 1930s, we treated mental illness much different than we do now.

As more and more states legalize marijuana, the question has begun to arise about why it was ever illegal in the first place.  It really isn’t any more dangerous than alcohol and it can be beneficial in treating a number of side effects of certain illnesses (ironically, marijuana has been proven to help ease the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia).

This means the poster child for drug-fueled murderous rampages is a myth.  The Florida Axe Murders did manage to get marijuana made illegal, but the man that committed the crimes probably would have benefited from smoking marijuana.

There are serious benefits to legalizing marijuana.  Income for the states as they tax the shit out of it.  New jobs are created because it has to be grown in state, so every state that legalizes it requires growers, dispensaries, regulators, monitors, and a slew of other positions.  Regulations cut down on the problem of marijuana laced with other, much stronger drugs like LSD and cocaine.  States like California and Colorado have reported a decrease in drug related crimes as well as cartel and gang related crimes because these shady criminals are no longer the only available source for getting marijuana.

Much like Prohibition lead to the sudden overwhelming increase of organized crime, making marijuana illegal created another form of criminal and they are just as violent as any mob boss… sometimes more so.  Cartels are ruthless.  And yes, cartels still handle the majority of illegal marijuana in the US.

I am not a marijuana user myself, ironically, one of the conditions it does treat really well is chronic migraines, but the smell triggers migraines for me.  But I’m the exception, not the rule.  I have had a number of doctors over the years tell me that they can’t ethically tell me to smoke marijuana, but that is has been found useful for my condition.

I feel it is time to do away with the myth and deal with the facts.  Marijuana has more beneficial uses than bad side effects.  It is less addictive than narcotics and barbiturates, and has far fewer side effects than NSAIDS like ibuprofen and sodium naproxen.  It can be useful for both physical and mental illnesses.  It also eases chronic pain and counteracts the side effects of some medications (like chemotherapy).  It would even help the chronic pain I suffer from the nerve damage in my SI joints and the arthritis in my hips.  Hell, it would probably help the pain in my hands, which is nerve pain and not arthritis pain…. However, I would need a patch, because as I said, the smell triggers migraines.

Smoking cigarettes is more dangerous and damaging to the body than marijuana and yet, we have all been led to believe that marijuana is a dangerous gateway drug that will lead us to popping pills and snorting lines on toilets in public bathrooms.

There is even evidence that people stoned on marijuana are far less likely to drive a car than people who have been drinking excessively.  Yet, the majority of us, still cling to the myths we’ve been taught about the evils of marijuana… which all stem from a murder case in 1933 that didn’t even have evidence of marijuana use.

This is one of the few things I’m willing to go “all in on”…. We should decriminalize marijuana and make it legal at both a state and federal level.  The benefits to individuals who use it to treat illnesses and to the governments that profit from it and taking away of power from cartels and drug dealers that distribute it far outweigh any supposed dangers marijuana poses.

As a footnote, I will add that marijuana is a gateway drug only because it is taboo.  Outlawing it had the exact same effect as outlawing alcohol.  People still use it, but they have to get it from shady sources and there are plenty of dealers that lace their marijuana with other drugs in an effort to hook users on those drugs, because they are more profitable.  Removing shady dealers and their tainted marijuana would remove the issue of it being a gateway drug.

Conditions that can be helped by marijuana:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Schizophrenia
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Parkinson’s
  • Lou Gehrig’s
  • Huntington’s
  • Chronic pain conditions such as Fibromyalgia, nerve damage, muscle necrosis/atrophy, arthritis, Reflex Sympathetic Disorder (which has been renamed, but I don’t remember to what), diabetes related nerve damage, and I know I’m missing several others
  • Organ illness/Damage – this includes, but is not limited to: kidney disease, pancreatitis, cirrhosis, Irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn’s Disease
  • Migraines – especially chronic migraines, cluster migraines, and non-medication responsive migraines (you want something that works for migraines?  Don’t bother with the Daith piercing, which helps less than 10% of migraine sufferers… marijuana is the better alternative) – pot even works better than Botox
  • Tourette’s Syndrome has been found to be more controllable when the sufferer uses marijuana
  • glaucoma
  • cataracts
  • MS
  • Side effects from medications like chemotherapy and anti-psychotics have been found to be milder in people who use marijuana
  • PTSD
  • Even severe PMS (including menorrhagia – anemia caused by excessive bleeding during menstruation) can be helped by marijuana use
  • Stress induced alopecia
  • Tension headaches
  • chronic back pain related to repetitive strain from manual labor
  • There are hundreds of others, but my brain is tired as are my eyes…

Dangers of Marijuana Usage:

  • Driving under the influence (just like alcohol or some legal medications)
  • Weight gain
  • Weight loss (believe it or not, some people have the exact opposite reaction and instead of getting the munchies, they can’t eat after using it)
  • Non-Addiction Dependency – this is caused by the brain reacting to the fact that is has been relieved of whatever is troubling it. The brain then believes it must have the substance to ward off the problem.  However, this can happen with ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, vitamins, and anything else we use to make ourselves healthy.  Your friend who pops a couple of Advil every day, is suffering from non-addiction dependency.  They take it as a preventative measure, not to actually treat something they are suffering from right that moment.  My father had this problem for years with aspirin.

Ok, I am climbing off my soap box.

Leave it to me

So, the edits are back on Flawless Dreams and I desperately need to work on it.  But leave it to me to catch some strange ass virus that attacks the sinuses, optical nerves, and then moves lower.  Essentially, I got a few more days before this virus moves south in my body.  Until then, I have a sinus headache like you can’t even begin to imagine, a swollen ear because yeah, it attacked that too, I can barely see – this totally sucks and leads to very boring days where I can’t work, play video games, enjoy a book, or even watch TV.  Because that’s the kind of luck I have.

The virus is airborne and highly contagious.  The ER doctor I spoke with last night (my second trip to the ER in 3 days), told me that it enters through the nasal passages and attacks this system first, but it is a systemic virus…  I’ll know it’s about done when my vision returns but my digestive tract is torn to shreds.  To here him tell it, I’m going to need to set up shop in my bathroom because it will be vacating the building via both exits.

That sounds joyous.

I haven’t decided which part of this is worse: the massive headache, unbelievable facial pain that prevents me from chewing food without serious narcotics, being mostly blind, or to know that the end is signalled by the return of my sight just in time for extreme diarrhea and vomiting.

It is a variation on RSV which is normally respiratory and very dangerous to children.  He was pretty sure I should ask my friends and see which of their kids have been sick.

And I have exposed the 10 month old great nephew because I thought it was extreme allergies.  So, we’ll all be keeping an eye on him.

I was told it lasts between 7 and 10 days.  It started Sunday morning, just in time to ruin Mother’s day for my Mom & MIL.  Then my husband’s birthday on Monday.  I’m hoping like hell it is closer to that 7 day mark than the 10 day mark.

There are two silver linings to this though:

  1. He said it wasn’t the worst virus going around.
  2. I am learning to use the dictation system on both my phone and laptop with some proficiency.  Not being able to see requires one to learn to use dictation.  I’ve even managed to figure out that Siri will read my text messages to me.

And I’m not totally blind, there are just giant black spots in my vision.  To read anything, I have to have it about an inch from my face and cover one eye so I don’t have double the black spots.

Please Stop Telling Me To Procreate

As a 36-year-old female who is now married, but has been in a relationship with the same man for 9 years almost, people like to ask me when we are going to start having kids.  They also like to remind me that I’m not getting any younger and I should hurry.

I know in their minds, they are only stating the obvious course of human nature… People grow up, fall in love, have kids, grow old, have grandkids, etc.  And reminding them that I don’t want children is a little like slapping them in the face.  Or at least, that’s the look I usually get along with a weird sucking in of breath like I just committed treason.

It isn’t entirely their fault.  Society has programed us to believe that everyone, especially women, want children.  When that isn’t the case, no one is quite sure how to react. I even read an article recently about how Millennials are misplacing their maternal instincts onto their pets.

Let me help with this misconception, since I am a woman who has never wanted children.

It isn’t the expense of having a child.  It isn’t the time and I’m a selfish person and willing to admit that.  It isn’t the possibility that I will pass along my bad genes and my child will be physically or mentally ill.  It isn’t even the fear that I would be a bad parent. And  I do not misplace my maternal instincts onto Lola the Destroyer.

The simple truth is, I do not want children because I do not want children.  Yep.  It’s that simple.  Some people don’t want dogs or cats or gas-guzzling cars or knockoff shoes or to work in an office and when those people say they don’t want those things, everyone just nods their heads and accepts it.  But not wanting children seems to require a reason.  I make shit up if I have to, usually I talk about my health and infertility issues… However, the real reason I don’t want children is because I don’t want children.

The majority of the time, I don’t even like children.  How’s that for being brutally honest?  I can hang out with Jude the Great Nephew all day, but I’m just as happy when mommy picks him up as I am when he wants to give me a kiss.

It’s not even a lack of maternal instinct, which I do indeed have, although I will tell people I don’t.  I love when Jude wants hugs and kisses, I like to play with him, I don’t mind feeding him, when he’s sick I worry.  When he conks his little head, I have a moment when my heart stops while I check on him.  I hate when he cries because he’s sad or hungry or hurt himself.  I have all of those reactions, just like a person who wants kids would have.

It doesn’t mean I secretly want them.  It doesn’t mean that I have buried my desire for children into my subconscious because I do have fertility issues, which is the other thing everyone latches onto.

However, it is not a mental illness.  It’s not about what I would be exchanging in my life.  It’s not about my fertility issues.  My subconscious doesn’t secretly yearn for me to be a mother.  I do not want children because I just do not want children.  And I am aware I just repeated myself verbatim from above, but I get so tired of being asked why I don’t want children and then prodded when I give an answer that I feel this needs to be repeated.

There are probably hundreds of thousands of women out there just like me.  There isn’t any real reason they don’t want children, they just don’t.  I actually know 3 other than myself.  They also can’t give you a real reason for why they don’t want kids.  They can make shit up, like I do, but the truth comes down to that one piece of information that every thinks is crazy…

They don’t want kids because they don’t want kids.

God forbid one of us says that out loud though.  Other people look at us like we sprouted a second head.  Most of the time, I think they would feel better if they heard me say I was a deranged psychopath that had murdered thirty people and they were next on my list.

Surprisingly, the world isn’t going to end because I don’t have children.  My parents are grandparents and now great grandparents.  My husband’s parents are grandparents with the possibility of becoming great grandparents any day (their grandson is also an adult who is married).  Neither of our parents are missing out on anything and if they were, they could always adopt a dog to misplace their maternal instincts on…

And knowing that I don’t want children, it makes sense to not have them.  Would I resent them?  Would I be emotionally disconnected from them?  Would they grow up knowing that I actually hadn’t intended to ever give birth to them?  What kind of life is that for a child?

To me, it makes more sense to not have children, no excuses needed, because I know that I don’t want them.  Society needs to progress a little and finally come to the realization that not every woman on the planet wants to be a mother.  Also, if you don’t want to be a mother, you are not missing out on the joys of motherhood.  Quite the opposite actually; if you don’t want kids, but have one, that takes a psychological toll on a person that is hard to explain, but makes motherhood more like a claustrophobic cage that they can’t escape from.

So let’s start the movement to change minds, attitudes, and social norms.  The next time you hear a woman or a man for that matter, say they don’t want kids, don’t fall into the trap of asking why and pointing out all they are missing.  Just accept that they don’t want children and they may not have a reason for it and the world is not going to end as a result.  Their parents have learned to accept the fact that Child X isn’t going to give them grandchildren and they have found other outlets for that…. whether it be a favorite niece’s child or a dog or a pumpkin they named Sam (which might in fact be crazy).

Besides, there are 8 billion people on this planet, many of whom need love, attention, and families.  Those of us who are not procreating are allowing space for those forgotten souls to find someone to love them… even if it means our parents treat them like grandchildren.  I know because my father is a collector of lost and forgotten souls.  With me not having children, he has the time and the capabilities of helping those lost and forgotten souls with their needs; whether that means being a father or grandfather figure to them or being their friend.

We are not freaks.  We can’t explain why we don’t want children and that should be okay.  We are tired of making shit up to end the barrage of questions that come from the statement “we aren’t having children.”  We just want to live our lives and be accepted despite that one tiny detail that makes everyone’s heads explode when they hear it.  But it takes understanding to make changes and no one has even started to try and understand this phenomenon.  Instead, they want to label us as damaged or mentally ill when we aren’t.  In other words, we should not be defined by our want to not procreate and we should not be ridiculed, pressured, or considered freaks for it.

*Side Note: I knew before I was seven that I didn’t want children.  Most people thought it was a phase and I’d grow out of it.  When I didn’t, then it was because there was something mentally wrong with me that kept me from wanting kids.  The truth was, I had spent all day at daycare with little babies and kids younger than me and it was like a lightbulb going on in my head… I did not want to live the life of a parent. Thoughts of having my own children have never filled me with joy and having a baby is not going to cure that.

When It Flows

Recently someone asked me how I wrote my books.  I took a while to think about this and finally came up with an answer: I have no idea.  Weird, right?

Writing is a mystery to me.  It just happens.  Sometimes I can force it to happen, but I can tell when I do.  The best novels I have written are the ones that just happened.  They started with a single word and just flowed…

When this happens, I can write a book very quickly.  Fortified Dreams is one example; I wrote it in less than two weeks.  Elysium Dreams was written in just under three weeks. The most impressive though for me, personally, is Dark Cotillion.  I wrote it during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, which is November), 120,000 words in one month.

Books where I have to force the story along not only take longer, but they tend to be shorter in word counts.  The average novel is 60,000 words.  I always try to make a Dreams novel that length, sometimes though, it’s hard.  The story just doesn’t flow from me and I have to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what is going on.

Then there are the weird books; Cannibal Dreams falls into this category.  It started okay, I had to force the first several chapters though and then it hit a snag and Patterson showed up.  Once Patterson arrived in the story, it started to flow and was written without any more problems.

I’ve often told people that I don’t control my characters.  This is weird, but it’s also true.  I can’t force Aislinn Cain to do anything… In my head, she’s her own person and as a result, she does her own thing.  People who know me personally have trouble separating me from the characters as they read, but to me, the characters are people that live in my head.  It’s like hearing voices and having imaginary friends, but without the need of psychiatric treatment.

If I have to force a book, it’s because my brain is at war with my imagination.  My brain wants one thing to happen, while my imagination is telling a completely different story.  This disconnect is weird and it’s even weirder as I write it.  It just feels unnatural and occasionally leads to writer’s block.

I had this problem big time with Innocent Dreams.  The original chapters are still there, but the story isn’t.  It literally goes nowhere for eight full chapters.  Even the two killer chapters are a disaster.  It’s why I never published it; I never finished it and I never figured out what was going on in it.

I don’t plot out a story ahead of time.  I try and try and try to do that, because I’ve been told repeatedly that it makes for good stories.  But it never works.  Someone always goes way off script.  The last book that I used the pre-writing plotting for was awful.  I’m surprised people still buy the books that came after it.  It is among my least favorite books I have ever published.

They have a term for how I write; pantser.  I just get an idea and run with it, no plotting or planning.  For D&R, it’s a killer, possibly more.  For Dysfunctional Chronicles, it’s a situation.  For the Death Demon Trilogy it’s the knowledge that someone made a poor decision and years later, it has to be rectified.

This makes it nearly impossible to describe the plot of a book before I have completely written it.  It also makes writing difficult for me sometimes because when I force a book to happen, the story doesn’t reveal itself to me, I have to search for it.

It also means that sometimes, I go long stretches without writing much.  I don’t like the disconnected feeling when I can’t see the story unfolding because my brain and imagination are warring with each other.  However, it never stops me completely.  The ideas are always flowing.  Most get rejected, but every so often, one gets latched onto and becomes a book.

Which is why I tell people I don’t know how to write a book, for me, it just happens or it doesn’t and I struggle to figure it out.  It’s a strange position to be in.

C Patt

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