Writing, like pulling teeth; Photography; Expat Life; Family and Friends

sunset-1“Like pulling teeth,” an expression whose origins are buried in the misty past. But, it’s been very appropriate in my case when it comes to writing on a few occasions. I lost count long ago at the number of times I have set at my computer screen, a blank expression on my face, brainchristmas-tree-3 cells locked in a battle to get the words out to make a simple sentence. When it happens, I try all the tricks I have stored in my little magic bag. A long walk, a visit to a part, hauling me laptop down to the coffee shop, and pulling up and reading a couple of chapters on a book written by my favorite author (John Sanford) are a few I have tried at one time or another.

christmas-treeI’ve heard other writers say that just typing nonsense helps them to get started. That’s not one of the tricks in my bag. I tried it once but all that came out were sentences from the dimension that Mister Mxyzptlk lives in. In other words, a lot of consonants and a few vowels that would have confused christmas-tree-2Superman himself. What I can say is, try everything you can think of; a few words are better than none. In the end, if it’s not there, it’s not there; take a nap.

I’ve finished chapter 28 and only have a paragraph or two before 29 will be finished on my latest book. Progress has been normal for me, I’ve done better but also done worse. I still feel that I’m only three or four 2016122216livinginperuflowers-005chapter away from finishing. The murderer has just confessed but there’s still a few things to clean up and a nice surprise ending. I’m also leaving a path for a few more books in case this one sells well and receives good reviews.

I’m still managing to get out for my photo walks through the neighborhood. The people have started to get used to me and I’m now getting a lot of hellos and a couple of people have started pointing out new things that have appeared since my last visit to theirpink-rose-white-wall area. The wide variety of flowers planted here seem to bloom year-round and there is enough variety to keep any photographer busy. I’m still trying to get around to doing some studio work. The stall is the fact that I haven’t come up with any interesting subjects.

For my part, I’ve spent a lot of time this past week trying to get my left hand back in shape after the cast removal. The hand is still swollen somewhat and although I’ve 2016122216livinginperuflowers-007made some progress in mobility and flexibility, it’s slow going. I realize it’s only been a week but patience is not one of my stronger virtues. I do have this sinking feeling that the hand will never regain full mobility. It will be one more week until I need to hire a physical therapist to work with me. I’m hoping that I can find a competent one that speaks enough English to 2016122216livinginperuflowers-017get me through the treatments. My fault here, I should be trying to learn Spanish to a fuller extent.

The friends and family section will be short this week. I didn’t make it to a single meeting or party. I did have cocktails on the patio with Mona and Kelly. It was actually in their living room since winter has set in in Southern Illinois. With the holidays 2016122216livinginperuflowers-019coming up, they have lots of family stuff going on, are saddened at the poor performance of SIU’s basketball team this year, and due to circumstances beyond their control they are having a tough time scheduling their annual trip to Cocumel. My friends Azzad, Natalie and their daughter Nadia are busy packing up to head back to South Africa at the end of the month. So many people will miss them here in Lima. Kathy is still enjoying 2016122216livinginperuflowers-026her art classes with Ada. She is working on a portrait of her poodle Suzie who passed into doggie heaven a few years back. Steve is doing well. He passed all his classes with excellent grades but is now on summer break. As far as I know everyone else is doing fine.

Well, that’s another post under the belt. I’m wishing all of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, a Festive Yule or Litha, a somber Mawlid an Nabi, and a Celebratory Zarathosht Dios. Remember to get up and get out during the holidays, exercise body and mind.

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