Working: Last week I mentioned The Giver, a recent movie and classic book my children read in middle school. Its basic storyline: in order to experience and enjoy all the good and wonder in the world, one must also accept the possibility of evil and pain. Recently I have seen a striking corollary in medicine.
I have cared for patients on both ends of the pain spectrum. One with “paroxysmal extreme pain syndrome” in whom even relatively mild discomfort occurring below the level of her navel could cause her heart to stop. Literally. It could occur even with a large bowel movement. Obviously a devastating disease. On the opposite end is Congenital Insensitivity to Pain, which is exactly what it sounds like. Awesome, right? Wrong! These children can literally chew off their fingers and the end of their tongue. Physical pain serves a purpose, to stop us from doing things injurious to our bodies. That these extremes correspond to a spectrum of circumstances and happiness is a bigger leap.
Living: We had a wonderful partial family reunion at Lake Santa Fe this weekend. Amazing the change in dynamic with just a few missing faces. Dad turns 76 this week. Good thing that’s the new 50. Such an amazing man and father. Sunrise on the dock with family…doesn’t get any better than that…even though the Gators embarrassed themselves in Alabama.
Writing: I met with a local writing pod this week. Each member submits 3500 words every other week for critique. I guess straightforward thrillers must be on the way out, as in both this and my online class everyone else is writing fantasy or another genre with which I am minimally familiar. It’s great to expand my horizons but I think it lessens the value of my comments. I read Stephen King’s On Writing this week and it provided some nice insights. I especially like the idea of just writing and not worrying so much about sticking to my plot outline. Kind of the opposite of K.M. Weiland’s Outlining Your Novel. Maybe I’m somewhere in between. Hopefully when I finish the first draft it will still make sense. I’m having fun trying to make the bad guy “badder.”
Reading: Nearly done with the Art Forger for book club, and another Maisie Dobbs mystery as “research” for my writing 🙂 I’m pleased that my sister enjoyed the first installment of the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series on audiobook during her 12 hours in the car this weekend. I always worry when I recommend something strongly…
Have a wonderful week! At least the Gators can’t lose (they have a bye).