Shingles and pneumonia and thrombophlebitis…oh my!

Music at the moment: ‘Release Me’ by Two Steps From Hell. Damn, if this doesn’t make me want to run up a hill with a sword screaming “Winterfell!”

Dammit. And I promised myself I wouldn’t let my blog go stale this year. BUT! I have physical ailments to blame, ha! Not my fault. See, every so often my body does this thing where the self-destruct mechanism gets tripped. Then I have to do a manual reboot, with defragging and…long story short, it’s tedious and I’m kinda really sick of it.

Seriously though, for a while there I felt like I should’ve been quarantined. My only social interaction lately has been with ER nurses and doctors. It all started with a small (but no less painful) shingles lesion on my back, followed a week later by fevers spiking at 104.6 and numb fingers (pneumonia doesn’t play fair.) Rib-shattering coughing that lasted for hours…then days. Fluid in my lung. And an IV site that became inflamed after a CT scan, leaving me with swollen, rope-like veins that radiated out from my left elbow.

Can we just pretend the last three weeks didn’t happen? That’d be great.

Sadly, the trident of illnesses I was struck with has left me less than eager to write my own stuff. Oh, Infernal. Thou hath dwindled from a fearsome conflagration to a few twinkling embers. All I’ve managed since my last post is two and a half pages, and that didn’t happen until last night.

I will say this though, being the sickest I’ve been in ten years allowed me to rediscover a guilty pleasure: completely losing myself in a book for hours on end. I finally found my copy of A Game of Thrones. I’ve been anxious to watch the show for a few years now (you could hardly walk a few feet on the Exhibit Hall floor of SDCC [San Diego Comic Con for you lay people] in 2014 and 2015 without seeing a GoT booth. The poster for the newest season alone took up half the Sails Pavilion.) but I was absolutely determined to read the series first. As many of my friends are fans of it, I risk spoilers every day, but finally, I dove in.

I tore through the first book in two days. Granted, all I was doing between drug-induced naps was taking more drugs, but I could not put the monster down. Now I’m 3/4 of the way through A Clash of Kings. Being laid up for this long reminds me just how much I enjoyed vacations from school. All the reading (…and writing…) I used to do…who needs a paying job? Anyhow. I’ve turned the reading of Martin’s Game of Thrones into a study of point of view technique. As a writer, I honestly can’t remember if I’ve ever attempted more than two points of view within the same narrative thread.

And this guy writes – wait, I actually have to open my Kindle app and count – one sec –

Ten! Ten?! TEN!!!

Ten different points of view. (As of Clash of Kings. I expect more of course.)

Is he mad?!

And just what can we learn from this, my fellow writers? Regardless of your feelings towards the genre, you have to admit…somehow or another, Martin pulls it off. (And of course I know he’s not the first, or even the best, to pull off such a populated storyline, he just happens to be the most recent author I’ve read.) This says nothing of the finesse required to get the pacing just right, what with juggling so many characters.

With that in mind, I turned to my own work with a freshly critical eye. Perhaps it has gone stale because the two characters I’m playing with – Eric and Alexis – can only take it so far. Another point of view is needed. And another point of view equates to another set of desires, another set of goals, another closet full of secrets, another heart full of dreams…and fears. And when those goals and fears and secrets and desires clash with those of another…


The plot thickens. Time to return it to low heat, and let it simmer.

– &i

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