I’ve been worrying about my latest dental procedure for so long, it’s odd to be on the other side of the experience–and it wasn’t nearly as terrible as previous extractions have been. Except that my niece was kind enough to share her cold virus, and it kicked in about the same time as I was getting used to the new holes in my jaw. While I was right not to count on a lot of time being coherent, I was wrong about the reason. So when I saw this week’s picture on Facebook, I laughed, which was enough reason to share it here.
While I was imagining myself elsewhere, I discovered there’s a hotel in Germany that has tree houses for its guests. Visiting is now on my bucket list–though with the distance to shower and toilet options… I’d be picky about time of year and duration of visit.
Fellow blogger Alicia Anderson wrote another thought-provoking piece this week regarding the subtle differences between complaining, whining, and venting. In circumstances where the status quo is shitty, most of us stop talking about the same old problems on yet a new day, with the unintended consequence that we shut each other out from the experiences we’re suffering. While my affliction over the past month is obviously nothing on hers, it was interesting to note in my life how easily others were able to forget the baseline of pain I was working through–mainly because I was doing what I could and didn’t want to be anyone’s Negative Nelly. It makes for a useful take on the old truism against judging others, as we have no way of knowing what tribulations they suffer.
An article about a woman raised in a fundamentalist cult and The Oatmeal’s recent piece about beliefs pushed that thought further for me. In both cases, perception guided decisions and reactions. In the former, a woman repudiated her family for forcing her into the Quiverfull movement, based on the first step of having read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. In the latter, we’re introduced to our own emotional barometers, the amygdala, which “makes us biologically wired to react to threatening information the same way we’d react to being attacked by a predator.”
It’s ponderous to imagine (and witness!) how experience can calcify thoughts in such a way that we literally can’t accept truth because of our emotional reactions to threats to our core beliefs.
Ironically, during our stay-at-home date night this week, as we were watching Designated Survivor, Kiefer Sutherland’s character trotted out the fallacy about George Washington’s teeth being made of wood–a statement I wouldn’t have laughed at a week ago, not having previously read about that research before The Oatmeal introduced it to me.
Together, all these bits of information provide some interesting fodder for those of us in the business of building characters that somehow need to come to life in someone else’s imagination: What is it that prompts a person to ask for or accept help? What is it that allows a person to imagine they are solely responsible for fixing a given problem? While I completely blew my word count goal this week, producing only 211 new words, my protagonist is at that point in the story where she has to confront who she is and how she’s changed. She has to face her own blind spot and figure out what is actually important to her. So understanding why that’s such a visceral process is helpful to me and has sparked my imagination in ways I hope to actually write this week.
Since my editor’s deadline is next week, I’m down to crunch time.
As a public service announcement, I’m also sharing the link regarding the Google docs phishing scam that has been spreading this week, since many of the authors I know and work with use these Google tools.
For my final weekly goal, somehow I managed to stay over 3,000 steps per day despite the oral surgery and the miserable cold. Part of it may be due to the fact that Tashie is feeling so much better she sits by the front door when the other two go out back to get her own special walk time. I’m beyond grateful that she is healing up so well, so am happy to indulge her request for exclusive treatment.
Given my deadline, we’ll see whether I have the time to blog next week, but if not, the ROW80 group will still be plugging away and reporting. Wish me luck, meantime.