Last post I hinted that I was busy with a bunch of personal stuff that was keeping me away from blogging and writing and all other creative endeavours. I have been tied up lately with a ton of problems but out of the chaos I have managed to get a lot of work done. Oh, and Hurricane Patricia turned out to be not much of a storm.
The main issue that has been making life crazy for the last few weeks is that the health issues that I battled with in 2014 have returned. Anyone who follows my blog or has read Mexican Mutts, Tequila Pups and Chili Dogs might remember that I suffered from Bladder Cancer and had two operations and underwent 4 rounds of chemotherapy.
Three weeks ago I went from a routine check-up … well, It’s routine for me. Medieval torture for the rest of the world. It involves entering the bladder via fiber-optic camera and taking a look around. Well they discovered a ‘suspicious’ area which could be anything. Could be another tumour, could be nothing. But I have to get it taken care of.
Regardless, it has been discovered very, very early. The previous growth that they hacked out of my bladder with a laser, much in the style of a miniature Luke Skywalker doing battle with Darth Cancer, was about 5 centimeters. This is barely a zit at under 1 centimeter. So no major worries. As far as the other worries related to cancer, it is almost unthinkable that something so small could be more than Level 1 Cancer so if the pathology report stays true to the prediction (or even better, if it turns out to be nothing) then no chemotherapy.
My big problem was I no longer had health insurance so I had to run around getting coverage. This due to the fact that the SOB’s that I used to work for fired me without justification and aside from not paying me the severance due me, also left me with no coverage. Nice. That’s now taken care of and I have an appointment tomorrow to get the process underway. I hope they operate within the next few weeks.
Nuff said about that nasty business. Meanwhile I have been struggling with both a writer’s and reader’s block. Couldn’t get started on my next novel (or novella … we’ll see how big the story becomes) and I couldn’t find a damn thing to read.
I finally got my hands on ‘100 Years of Solitude’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and not only is it just a wonderfull book, but it inspired a whole new direction with the project I am trying to write. I now know EXACTLY where my story is going, what will happen, who the characters are, what the motivation is and where the conflict is. I also know that I need just a few small details to tie it all together.
That said, my new challenge is to get the first draft written. I expect to take a week or so off work to recover from the procedure (I’m not calling it an operation since it’s not much more than getting a pimple lanced) so I intend to write the entire first draft within that time. My word count per day has to fall into the 6000 word range in order to achieve my goal.
In the end, I still believe in my process. I am not a great believer in the ‘write everyday’ mentality. I believe in writing when inspired and when the story is ready to be told. Think of it like biology. If either one of my parents had combined their dna with any other person, I wouldn’t be here now. And it had to be that egg and that sperm at that very moment. Life is a delicate thing. Same for my story. I want to tell it at the precise moment it is ready to be born, not before and not after.
Well, the idea has gelled 95% … of course that last 5 percent is BIG. A lot can happen there. I feel confident that this time I will tell the story exactly how I envision it and get the elements together in the best possible combination. My previous books had a few aread that could have been handled better. Maybe it’s just that I’m over critical of my own work but this time I expect to NAIL IT!
Just as a teaser, the story first came to me after watching that old kid’s movie ‘Benji’ on Youtube. The story will incorporate a bit of my version of Magical Realism as is common to a lot of Latin American writers. Not as freaky and artsy as they tend to get but it will entertain the idea that there is Magic around us and that Dogs are a part of that Magic.
The story revolves around the daily migration of a stray dog in the city and his interactions with the people that he comes in contact with. Each character has his own story and his own relationship with the dog. I call him Sammi.
I’m still working on a title. For the moment I am calling it
The Story of Sammi’s Secret Scheme
A Week in a Stray Dog’s LIfe
I need to work on that but that more or less gives you an idea.
So I’ll report when I know more.
For those of you who hear the word ‘Cancer’ and automatically go into panic mode, I can tell you that I will be fine. There is an old Mexican expression that goes ‘Mala Hierba nunca muere.’ I’m sure that applies to me.
David Gordon Burke
Find my books here.