Every year, I'm either on call for Christmas or Thanksgiving. This year, it's Christmas. My colleagues have bailed out of town, and I don't blame them. But for a sold 11 days, yours truly is it if you're sick or pregnant or have an impacted piece of steak in your esophagus. And here's what happens….
On the twelfth day of Christmas my call group gave to me….
12) Twelve refill requests (at 3pm on Christmas Eve, appreciate y'all planning ahead, there, folks)
11) Eleven blue haired ladies (but they're super cute and smell like White Shoulders and like to give hugs)
10) Ten lice-a-leaping
9) Nine (million) sperm-a-swimming (hey, bro, congrats!)
8) Eight teens-a-smoking
7) Seven social nightmares (nursing home placement on Christmas Eve or a Pop Drop, anyone?)*
6) Six Percocet honeys**
5) Five requests for the "fat pill" (ba DUM dum dum) ***
4) Four spewing kids
3) Three STD's
2) Two "emergency" scopes****
1) And a drug seeker in a nut tree….
Every single item contains true material, I am sad to say.
Don't try to sing the song, it won't match up well, my apologies. This author is a little punchy tonight. Writing deadlines + being on call and hospital calling for pediatric admissions = challenges in time management.
Therefore, I'm rewarding myself with yet another list. And a Skinny Cow treat. Just because.
On the twelfth day of Christmas my editor gave to me….
12) Twelve dangling participles (Hurrying to complete the second edit, my computer locked up.)
11) Eleven instances of "look" (Thanks to Gwen Hayes, for pointing out 150 instances of that word in my very first manuscript!! Don't worry, that hot mess got shredded.)
10) Ten adverbs maximum. ("If you see an adverb, kill it" -- Mark Twain)
9) Nine passive verbs. (We were happy.)
8) Eight character arcs (How many journeys do these people need to travel?)
7) Seven hanging participles (Where are those phrases at?)
6) Six new Swedish curse words (very useful for international travel!)
5) FIVE SENSES USED! (ba DUM dum dum…)
4) Four turning points
3) Three comments to "repurpose the sex scene" (Is that like eco-friendly recycling?) (Thanks Julie Sturgeon)
2) Two tortured souls (well-adjusted characters need not apply)
1) And a crazy writer in a nut tree! Yahoo!
Ok, maybe I'm not that bad with the procrastinating.
But I tell you what, my warm-up to writing or editing will put a national league pitcher's pre-pitch ritual to shame.
#1) Get in comfy clothes. Sorry, but business clothes are for the office, comfy clothes are for writing romance. It doesn't make the work produced less legit, just much more comfortable.
#2) Check Twitter, my latest obsession.
#3) If on my day off during the week, the next step is to log onto the medical record software and clear out any urgent patient messages or prescriptions, or put out fires or help get folks the care they need that cannot wait until tomorrow.
#4) If on a weekend day, calculate how long someone will go from 2-3 centimeters to ready to push. That's how long I have to write, barring unforeseen intra-partum emergencies.
#5) Check email.
#6) Just realized bladder is 1/10th full, should go empty it.
#7) Repeat steps 2-6 at least twice.
#8) Hubby is either home or comes home. Conversation ensues, normally about sports.
#9) Think about writing goal for the day.
#10) Respond to texts from office staff regarding a patient with (insert urgent problem here). Reply or call as indicated. Or respond to phone calls from hospital, same concept.
#11) Go back to thinking about the goal for the day.
#12) Repeat steps 2-6 again. Look at watch to calculate how much time is left in the day. Should I get on the treadmill now or later? When to eat? What about that patient in labor, when do I need to go check on her? These are big decisions.
#13) Oooh, shiny object! Twitter blinked with a new tweet, must see.
So I'm not allowed to show the cover for Immortal Flame, first book in the Hell to Pay series. Yet.
In the meantime, I will simply comment on how fabulous and hunk-o-yummy it is.
My professional (non-writing) reputation involves keeping my mouth tightly shut, so no problem there. HIPPA compliant to a fault. And there were palpitations when I looked at the Immortal Flame cover, so that counts as a medical condition. Thus, lips sealed.
But the other aspect of that professional rep is that I stay exceptionally calm in the center of all everloving hell breaking loose. When I'm super passionate and energized, 99% of the time it's about saving lives, patient care, quality, etc.. It doesn't help to panic or get flustered.
Not this time!
Oh man, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan never ever gets old. It's got the perfect plot: aging Captain Kirk vs. aging Ricardo Montalban, ensemble cast with a perfect blend of serious and silly, the theme of playing God with life and death, and the theme that the needs of the good outweigh the needs of the few. Oh, and several whopping dollops of hubris.
And who isn't impressed with Montalban's creepy, lightly oiled chest and awesome geriatric-mullet? Dude, he was 61 when he did this film. Not bad, Ricardo. Stayin' fit, there.
Not to be outdone by William Shatner's (Kirk) awesome hairpiece and visible man-girdle seen beneath the santa-claus red polyester double knit Starfleet uniforms. And who decided said uniform pants would look better with the pant legs tucked INTO the boots? A 23rd century fashion genius, that's who.
The doctor, Bones, does nothing but stand on the bridge and say pithy things like "Dammit Jim, (insert grousing item here)."
Really, the best best line ever in this movie is the most impossible to deliver. And Montalban does it in accented fabulousness as he commits 100% to his crazy character: "He tasks me. He tasks me and I shall have him! I'll chase him 'round the moons of Nibia and 'round the Antares Maelstrom and 'round perdition's flames before I give him up!" (Anyone read Moby Dick? This is an awesome allusion.)
The whole thing is a study in fatal flaws. Khan: focus on revenge. Kirk: reliance on the belief that he is invincible.
So remember: Don't maroon a genetically-altered, long-lived evil genius with a long time to fester about the wrongs done to him, and then return to said maroon location thinking you'll get away unscathed. Worms in the ears, anyone?
As a last parting comment, I shall simply leave you with: "KHAAAAAAAAN!"
Author, daydreamer, and practitioner of trying very hard to duct tape folks together and help when I can.
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