Friday, October 8, 2010

My Apologies!

Well, the secret is out, if it ever was a secret to begin with.  I make mistakes.  Yes, I'll cheerfully admit it.  I make mistakes.  Some of them are doozies, like the last (deleted) post, in which I told you how to grow and prepare Chinese Cabbage.

It's a pretty good recipe, too.

But it has no place in a writing blog.  It belongs on my "growing and cooking" blog,  I'll try not to have that happen again.  No promises, but I'll do my best.

While we're just talking, I want to tell you about a terrific site called ""  It's fun and interesting, and I urge you--especially if you're a new writer--to hop over there and get involved. 

There are stories already running to which you can add your own segment, if you like; an area called "Open Water," where you can post your original story; and lots more interesting and fun places where writers can flex their creative muscles and intersct with colleagues.  I've mposted numerous times.

If you're fishing for a welcoming place to drop a writing "hook" or toss your bait on open water, don't miss "" In fact, as soon as you've finished reading this entry, go over there and check it out!  It's great!

BTW, this writer receives nothing for mentioning this except the gracious gift of having Skipper--Open Water's WebMaster-- mention my writers' course on Talebait.  She needn't have offered; for I would have told you how good it was, anyway.  But you can bet I took her up on it!

Another great place for writers is the Fiction Writers' Guild. It's a Linked-In Group, and lots of writers--from professionals to brand-new beginners--all interact and comment on the samples posted.  Any writer would do well to check it out.  Go thou and do likewise.   ;-)

Now for a hard right-hand turn:

I finally broke down and went to the dentist’s office yesterday. He’s a new dentist--for me, at least-- a fine young man who met all my requirements: he had to have graduated from Baylor Dental School, he had to be intelligent, and his office had to accept my insurance.

This young man fit all the parameters, and he was polite and kind as well. He was obviously not from the States, but not to worry. Baylor liked him; why shouldn’t I?

He did a thorough exam of my mouth, while I tried to explain to him—past his whole fist and three or four pounds of metal--that I was going to be teaching, so any extensive repairs were out of the question for the time being. He smiled and inserted an anchor chain complete with anchor, and two rubber tires.  Truck sized rubber tires.  It took him a while.

When the examinatin was finsihed, we consulted together and finally settled on a root canal.  Not happily, but we settled.  Anything is better than a toothache when you’re standing in front of an audience trying to wax lyrical about writing.

I asked him whether it would be painful, and he quickly assured me it would not. “Your mouse,” he said. “will be numb. Rearry.” That one took me a minute to work out. My mouse’s rear would be numb? At last I got it.

“Oh, you mean, I won’t feel anything,” I suggested.

“Yes. Your mouse will be numb. Unfeering. No sensation.”

I liked the juxtaposition of “root canal” with the concept of “no sensation.”

“You’re saying I won’t feel the root canal at all.” He grinned reassuringly.

“Not until rater. Your whole mouse,” he reiterated, “will be numb.”

Okay, that’s fine with me. I’d just as soon have a numb mouse than not, when I’m up for a root canal. (I’d like to go numb all over when something painful is being done to me, but they don’t have shots for that yet.) Like many writers, including, I’m told, the great James Agee himself, I always put off going to the dentist as long as possible.

I understand from what I have read about Agee that he put off the dental visit a bit long, but then, his mouse probably didn't go numb.

And yes, I know that the American Dental community recommends twice-yearly checkups, but I keep telling myself I’m really, really busy. I am busy, as a matter of fact. I’ve got all these kids and grandchildren. I’ve got my writing, the coaching, the teaching, the cooking, the cleaning out of nail holes with a pin, whipping up great art with discarded tin foil…

Okay, I admit it: I also don’t like to go to the dentist.

But I reassure myself that I have some discipline. After all, I don’t like to go to the dentist, but I went, nevertheless. That says something about courage, determination, and fortitude; and, incidentally, the fact that I couldn’t stand another second having half my face throbbing until it fell off. Especially in front of an audience.

Well, I went and I’m glad. It’s all going to turn out fine.

According to my dentist, I’ll go in there, open wide, and two hours later, I’ll come out with a completed root canal, a follow-up appointment on a (happily) distant date, and a very numb mouse.

You’ve got to admit, it can’t hardly get any better than that.

More next time.

Lang out.

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