🛌The Ruined Week, The Unintentional Hiatus, and the Battling Lawn Mowers🛌

Oh, man, I haven’t written a new post in, what was it? Since a month ago? The last time I wrote you all, I thanked everyone who read my rough draft excerpts from book 2 of my HECCTROSSIPY series. It was so exciting to have others read that bit of Artheena’s story, and give the excerpts Likes and comments. It made my week. 

Unlike in book 1, this teenager from another planet has been growing and maturing through life’s hardships in book 2. Artheena is a character I feel very closely bonded with, and like a stage mom, I’ll do whatever I can to help push her into the spotlight. 

Then the joy of having my excerpts read was struck down by an ass-kicking, digestive flare up that put me in crippling pain. It came on, out of the blue, and forced me to have to stay in bed for almost a whole day, because it hurt to move. This flare up freaked me out, because not only was it nothing like any flare up I’d experienced before, it was the second time I had gotten sick within only two months. I get sick enough to have to stay in bed, maybe once every other year. 

Sure, I’ve had digestive issues through the decades, like a lot of Americans, but they were more of an annoyance than anything that struck fear through my heart. If the old inner food processors got cranky, all it took was a couple anti-acids or pain relievers and a nap, and everything felt back to normal. 

I had talked to doctors about my issues, and gotten examinations, and diagnoses’ with this or that disease. But these health problems would seem to go away sometimes, and I would be blessed with long periods of remission. So I assumed the problems were minor, and nothing to be that concerned about. If I had a flare-up of some sort, I usually had an idea of what I had done to put my insides in a bitchy mood. These recent flare-ups that happened within a couple of months had symptoms that didn’t make sense, and I had no idea what was wrong or what the culprits were. 

When illness struck this past January, the fatigue, the tiredness, the drug-like hazy feeling, and the spastic pains on the right side of my abdomen reminded me of when I got bacterial colitis from eating expired Chinese take-out chili sauce, back in 2019. I believe it was expired, because it was part of a steamed vegetables and rice meal that most likely isn’t a big seller. So the sauce was probably sitting around for a long time, waiting for somebody, anybody to order the meal it comes with. Who the hell gets Chinese take-out, because they have a hankering for Mmmm, Mmmm, MMMM, Mmmm, steamed veggies? 

The day after I ate it, I was working on one of my books, when along came lower abdominal cramping that kept getting worse as it crept further and further up my torso. I managed to tough this out, but other symptoms followed, which we thought could be appendicitis. After going to the emergency room, and getting a diagnosis from one of those iodine scanning machines, ugh, it took a week of strong antibiotics, and practically drowning myself in greek yogurt to make that infection go away. Long story short, the parents and I figured that it had to be the chili sauce that did it. It was the only thing I ate that was out of the norm. I thought the chili peppers in that stuff tasted unusually bitter. 

When I had bacterial colitis-like symptoms for a second time, thankfully they were a lot more mild. Still, it was enough to be unsettling. With this covid thing going on, the last place I wanted to end up in was the hospital. My symptoms also didn’t make sense. There was nothing I ate that was out of the norm. It got me paranoid that my colen might’ve been invaded by one of those newer strains of covid. Whatever it was, fortunately I succeeded in staving it off by getting lots of sleep, and chugging down plenty of fluids. So once again, I assumed that it was no big deal, and I was going to be fine. 

This second flare-up was one hell of a wake-up call. I’ll spare you the gory details, but it got through to me that my health issues were not minor, and I wasn’t going to be fine, if I kept eating whatever I wanted, while sloughing off how it might effect my insides.  . Having no idea what I could’ve done to cause this, made it all the more scary. What I ate, and how much coffee I drank on the day it happened, was no different than on any other day. Taking pain relievers didn’t help nearly as much as they usually did, which was scary too. 

Thank the universe, by the time the pain subsided enough to where it didn’t kill me to get out of bed, it was on the day when I just-so-happened to have an appointment with my primary doctor. Unlike this glossed-over version of my flare-up  that I’m giving all of you, I told the doctor every graphic detail. She set me up with a referral to the Digestive and Liver Center. The problem was coming from my lower G I tract, which had been having sporadic bouts of acting temperamental, over the past four years. I didn’t think I needed to get that part of me examined, because I was nowhere near fifty. Then after this full-force attack happened, I desperately hoped that one of the doctors from the Digestive and Liver Center would be willing to give me a very under-aged colonoscopy. 

After seeing the doctor, the anticipation of wanting to know what was wrong, and what life changes would I have to make to prevent another body-wracking flare-up, really got to me. Being an anxious personality type, I couldn’t concentrate on that much of anything. I managed to work on HECCTROSSIPy 2 a little bit, but I just couldn’t get into blogging, or participating in anything social media. Even reading was hard to get into. Man, I missed out on so many of your blog posts. It’s going to be fun blog-binging to try to catch up. I’m sorry for not getting on the ball with my re-blogging of Clennel Anthony and Let’s Get Published posts. You guys seem to really enjoy them.

I have enough limitations as it is. I deeply dreaded finding out how much more restricted life was going to have to be. Was I going to have to live off of stuff like, soup and Jell-O for the rest of my life? Was I going to have to do without coffee, my favorite thing in the whole wide world? Even worse, what if the problem was so bad that a strict diet wouldn’t be enough. I shuddered at the thought of having to depend on some awful prescription drugs. Putting up with their gross and annoying side effects, yeesh

These anxious thoughts made it hard enough to stay focussed on things. On top of that, the flare-up was followed by other unsettling symptoms. For example, I would get tired very easily, and had to take two or more naps during the day. My insides ached, but it wasn’t a type of ache I’d ever experienced before. It was dull, but continuous, like my organs’ involuntary muscles could somehow become sore and stiff from exertion, like the voluntary ones. The symptom that scared me the most was, I sometimes couldn’t tell when I was hungry or thirsty. The rest of my body would feel the effects of doing without for so many hours, but the desire for food and water wasn’t there. 

I hate to say it, but the possibility of having cancer crossed my mind. If this were true, I wouldn’t have been shocked. Those of us who graduated from the Florida School for the Deaf and the blind noticed that a startling number of the women who had lived in the Koger Hall dorm during their teenage years, got cancer, or some other incurable illness when they were middle aged. The curse of Koger Hall, it was called. One of my old friends was diagnosed with cancer, when she was only 34. When we got back in touch, after so many years, she was hoping to get some kind of investigation going on, on our old dorm. Something had to be wrong with that building. Maybe it was an overlooked toxin in the tap water. Or it could’ve been a century’s worth of built up negative energy. We Koger Hall girls didn’t have that much of a cozy and loving home-life during our stay there. Whatever the case, she felt that the number of former students who got sick was too many to be a coincidence. She researched her family tree, and found that the only other relative who had cancer was an ancestor’s non-blood-related second husband. This added to her suspicion that there was something dangerous about that building. Sadly, no investigation ever happened, and she passed away less than two years after her diagnoses. Just in case I was next on the Koger Hall curse’s hit list, I prayed that I could at least live long enough to finish writing my series. This made me anxious too. 

When I told the G I specialist every horrific detail about my flare up, he didn’t care that I’m only 41. He decided that I needed to set up an appointment for a colonoscopy, without missing a beat. He didn’t even bother questioning me about my eating habits and lifestyle, or anything like that. This made me awfully nervous. 

When mom and I set up an appointment, I was so eager to get the mystery solved, and start planning how to move forward after diagnosis, that I carelessly chose to be booked for April 5th—The day after Easter! Now Easter was going to be canceled for me, because that day was to be devoted to doing the infamous colonoscopy prep work. AAAAAAHHH!! Once I realized this mistake, I tried to talk the appointments coordinator into rescheduling my appointment to the next closest day, but it was too late. No Easter festivities this year. 

When it was time to do the prep work, oh, man. It was more strict than when my parents had to do it. The prepping started three days before the procedure, instead of just the one. On Friday and Saturday, I had to stick to a geriatric, low-fiber diet of all things mushy, and tons of liquid. When canceled-Easter came, I decided to do nothing that day. There was no point in trying to get anything done, when I would probably be running to the bathroom every other minute. 

I had chicken bouillon broth for breakfast and lunch, and glass after glass of water. I had to take a couple laxatives at 12:00, and drink the first bottle of cozen cleansing solution and an 8 ounce cup of clear liquid at 5:00. The cleansing stuff tasted weird, but not as unbearable as I’d expected. It tasted like a tangy, unsweetened strawberry Insure shake with a hint of medicine funk. After drinking it, I had to drink an 8 ounce cup of clear liquid, every hour until 9:00. While torturing my guts, I spent the day tripping out on music, which made the hours pass quickly. That made getting through the prep work a little easier. 

On Monday, I had to drink the second bottle of the solution with 8 ounces of clear liquid, at 7:00 in the morning. And then drink 8 ounces of liquid every hour until 9:00. After that last drink, I was forbidden to drink anything else until the procedure, which was four hours away. If my mouth got that fermented and gross tasting, there was no better choice but to swish and spit the chemically tap water from the bathroom sink. 

By now, I was really feeling the effects of going without a decent meal all weekend. Purging my insides probably added to the blah, tired and lazy feeling. I spent that morning laying in bed, and dozing in and out of watching murder investigation shows. I felt so starved and drained of energy, yuck, I couldn’t wait to get the procedure done and over with. 

When it finally happened, it was so quick and painless that there’s nothing to write about it. I was knocked out the whole time anyway. The anesthesia they used was so fast acting, I don’t remember falling asleep or waking up. It was like a time lapse. One minute, the nurse was giving me anesthesia, and I was telling him that I could taste it in the back of my mouth. The next minute, they were unhooking me from the I V bag and other stuff, and telling me that I was done. It was the after-effects that I never would’ve expected. 

When one of them asked me how I was feeling, I remember saying, “I feel like I’m about to shit the bed.” Little did I know, they pumped my intestines full of gas to stretch them out, so they could maneuver the camera in them. A fart explosion escaped that sounded like an elephant sitting on a bus-sized whoopie cushion. I apologized, but the nurse told me that I needed to let that gas out. 

He was right. When I tried to hold it in, it hurt like hell. So there was no better choice but to let it rrrrrRRRRRIP in front of a bunch of total strangers. It was so embarrassing! I was in this big, open room with a dozen or so other patients, and there were doctors and nurses and technicians milling about. The only means of privacy were hospital curtain partitions, which of course have no sound proofing quality. I couldn’t believe one single human ass could blap at such a high decibel level. It sounded like Harley Davidsons and battling lawn mowers! Nobody laughed but me. Then I was embarrassed about laughing at my own farts, like a ten-year-old. 

In the end, the colonoscopy result was, I have a severe case of diverticulosis. A case that would be more likely seen in someone twice my age, who eats lots of egg Mcmuffins and Wonder Bread. I wasn’t expecting the results to be a clean bill of health, but this was shocking and pretty scary, because it didn’t make sense. I eat a high fiber diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. The parents and I rarely eat processed fast food, and the household is about 90% junk-food free. Even our choices of snack foods are multi grain this, and veggie chip that. The doctor sent me home with some articles about how to live with the disease, and keep it under control. I was at least happy to know what the problem was, and start planning the new life changes that had to be made, but it was still a mystery how my insides got that damaged in the first place. 

I could blame the curse of Koger Hall for adding me to the list of girls who had gotten incurable diseases in their middle age, but there’s a more realistic reason for why it happened. 

I need to work on my anger management. When it comes to dealing with anger, resentment, hatred, animosity, and other negative emotions, instead of losing my temper, like a lot of people with anger management problems, I bottle things up as tightly as possible. My anger is too controlled and repressed. It’s a known fact that bottling up negative emotions could cause health problems. By undermining all the other digestive issues I’ve had through the years, while continuing to tightly restrain all my negative emotions, I pretty much mutilated my own insides. Realizing this was the mother of all holy shit wake-up calls. Now I’m a million percent willing to do everything the doctor says, and I’ll never undermine my health again. 

Since getting diagnosed, I changed my eating habits, and cut wwwaaayyy back on caffeine. I take a fiber supplement too, and eat plenty of high quality Greek yogurt. Most importantly of all, I keep an anger management journal. Every time something pisses me off or is annoying, or if I have a dark thought, I go to my room, and type about it in the journal. It’s probably not as effective of an anger outlet as using a punching bag, or going to a rag room, but it works for me. Writing down all the negative thoughts and emotions does give some feeling of release, and amazingly, it does reduce ruminations. 

so far. The tiredness and inner soreness, and all the other unsettling symptoms have gone away, and it really feels like I have the disease under control. Now that life is back to normal again, it’s time to get back on track with NO PICTURES ALLOWED, and catching up with all of you! 

Love you all! Post you again soon!  

Plot Structure Formula: Craft an Engaging Story

By Cristia HJ Who said a writer’s job is easy-peasy? Well, it’s far from being a stress-free task, especially if we want to entertain our readers in …

Plot Structure Formula: Craft an Engaging Story

💘🧧THANK YOU NOTE🧧💘

Thanks to all of you who had read my rough draft excerpts to the second novel in my YA/sci-fi series, HECCTROSSIPY  book 2  The Will of the Dark Creator. Your likes and your feedback means the world, the galaxy, and the universe to me! 

I’ve never been employed. As a person who is both blind, and has confused, haywire sensory perception, it’s been an impossible journey trying to get into the workforce. It’s my dream to one day be able to make a living writing novels and children’s books. Yeah, I know this sounds delusional, knowing how the book business is these days, but I have iron clad faith in God that this dream is possible. 

There was a time when I thought that joining the writing Community would be like throwing myself into an infinite battlefield where competition is fierce, and artistic egos may clash. Boy, was I a big-time ignoramus for making that judgmental assumption! 

We authors and aspiring authors are all aiming for the same dream—to write books, and have them sell. However, those among the writing community are the least ego-clashing group of people I ever got to know. We support each other, rather than compete against one another. The help we give to one another, whether it’s beta reading, feedback, sharing writing knowledge and links to helpful resources, or promoting each other’s books on social media, the writing community represents the good side of humanity. It’s like a positive, brilliant light that outshines the darkness and conflict among the rest of the world. 

I know that I have a long way to go, and hundreds, maybe thousands of hours of hard work and perseverance ahead of me, before my writing career starts heating up. But your willingness to take the time to read and respond to my novel excerpts is like the sparks of hope that could help build things up to a steadily rising smolder. 

Once again… 

Thank you! 

Love you all, post you soon! 

Coming up is another enlightening re-blog of the latest Let’s Get Published post…    

Excerpt 3, the final excerpt of my WIP (The Will of the Dark Creator)

Artheena and dad put Olzenbeth and the lamp down, for a split moment, so they could take off their shirts. They tied the shirt ties around their heads, securing the fronts of the shirts over their mouths and noses. The fabric was soaking wet, and gritty with dirt, which made the shirts feel like an uncomfortably suffocating source of face protection. But it was better than suffocating to death, by breathing in more dirt. Olzenbeth’s shirt was buried beneath her swaddle of vines, but her long stripes of hair blew freely. Artheena grabbed Olzenbeth’s hair, and quickly tied as much of it around her face as she could. Then they got up and started walking again. Their eyes gushed with tears, from all the dirt. The bright lightning helped them see where they were going, but they still had to blink wildly, to keep the tears from blurring their vision. Once their eyes cleared up enough, they ducked into the wind, and forced their legs to run. The wind had grown so powerful, it was like trying to run through mud. Kicking the debris out of their path felt more like shoving aside piles of bricks. Artheena’s lungs felt as scorching hot as the lightning, because they couldn’t perform their natural function of breathing heavily from the exertion, when she had her wet, muddy shirt clinging to her nose and mouth. If it wasn’t for her strong and desperate will to live, and make it back to the house, she would’ve passed out. She and dad kept their minds so focussed on making it past the storm, they paid no attention to how painfully their muscles burned, or how the bright lightning hurt their eyes, or any other tormenting discomfort. More ice cold, hissing columns of Jyoseppy’s spit poured down on them, but they eventually got accustomed to the abuse.  

The hot and cold in balanced winds began to intermingle together, making the vervetts’ skin perspire and get goosebumps, at the same time. The storm’s hellish screams grew to such a deafening, shrill pitch, Artheena feared her eardrums might shatter. 

Torn off pieces of trees, dislodged teppid stone tree garlands, small clay plant pots, and all kinds of other objects flew at them. They did their best to jump and dodge out of the way, but getting out of the path of one large piece of debris often caused them to get pelted by another. Dirt poured over them, like dark rain, constantly blurring their vision with tears, as they ran through whirling gusts of it. 

Artheena worried about Olzenbeth, who wasn’t able to dodge the flying debris. She could tell by the way dad ducked forward and sideways, that he was doing all he could to protect Olzenbeth from getting pelted. Artheena wanted so much to glance over at the vine-bound bundle, but if she so much as turned her head, she might miss the chance to dodge an object that could crack her skull, or impale her ear. They had to stay focussed on looking ahead, and go, go, go. 

Then a bolt of blue lightning, that was brighter than the sun, instantly blinded them. 

“I CAN’T SEE!” dad shouted in Artheena’s ear. 

“NEITHER CAN I!” she shouted back. Through the roaring screams of wind, they could barely make out the vowels and consonance of each other’s words. 

The two pitches of thunder were followed by a third and higher pitch. To us, it would sound like the trumpeting of angry elephants over amplified radio static. Artheena felt her scalp tingle, and her hair writhe, as the air grew more electrically charged. The smell of metal and ozone seeped through her face covering, like a direct death threat. “Juummeelllliiccaa hheellpp!” she cried out in pure terror, her cry reduced to just an inaudible vibration through her sodden shirt. There was no possible way they were going to live through this.   

“Go here”“Go here.”“Go here.” said the nearby plants and trees, kindly offering to guide Artheena to the house. Thankfully, the wind and thunder didn’t drown out her telepathic inner hearing.. 

“THE GARDENS WILL GUIDE US!” she shouted in dad’s ear, and then pulled him in the direction that the gardens lead her. Unfortunately, she had to leave Mell May’s lamp behind, in order to follow their lead. She quickly shoved the lamp beneath a cluster of dense shrubs, and had to just have faith that it wouldn’t get lost in the chaos, in case Mell May wanted it back. 

 “Go here.”“Go here.”“Go here.”… With her freed hand, Artheena felt for each plant and tree, as they spoke, following their trail. The plants’ and trees’ calmness made her feel a little confident that they could make it out of the storm, but not confident enough. “Please, Jumellica, let us live through this! Please, Jumellica, let us live through this! Please, Jumellica! Please, Jumellica! Please!” she could only feel herself crying out loud, as she followed her garden friends’ lead, trembling all over. She thought that the hallucination of the skullvick attacking Mell May was the scariest experience in her life, but that seemed like a blissful thought projection Fantasy, compared to this. 

As the plants and trees guided her, they told her when to duck down from the path of a thrown object, or which direction to jump out of its way. “GET DOWN!… LEFT!… RIGHT!… BACK AWAY!… DOWN!…” she strained to scream in dad’s ear, which was awfully difficult, when she just wanted to scream in fear. Despite her friends’ guidance, no longer being able to see what the storm was throwing at them made this living nightmare all the more petrifying. 

Through the deafening wind and three monstrous pitches of thunder, Artheena could faintly hear the crashing and banging of even larger objects being thrown. Bigger plant pots with plants in them, stone statuettes, and unfamiliar feeling pieces of furniture were dropped in the trudging vervetts’ path. Artheena screamed in horrified grief, forgetting to help dad dodge from debris for a moment, when her foot collided with a furry leg and fluffy tail of a small animal that lay smashed beneath a statuette. She could only hope to Jumellica that it wasn’t one of her friends. She had to not worry about it and pull herself together, and continue helping dad. Or else his and Olzenbeth’s brains would be smashed next.     

“Good-bye, Artheena! I love you!” called out an ancient tree, from further out in the yard. The tree was a few hundred years old, and had lived through a thousand or so summer storms. Now too brittled with age, it gave way to the merciless wind. Loud snapping and popping—much like the sound of Earth’s gunshots—pierced through the wind and thunder, as the storm tore Artheena’s dear old tree friend apart. Grief stabbed through her already-pain-wracked chest, but there was no time to cry.  

“I CAN SEE AGAIN! HA HA!” Burjiss rejoiced in his daughter’s ear. “WE’RE ALMOST TO THE DECK!” 

“DAD! KEEP YOUR EYES CLOSED!” said Artheena. “YOU DON’T WANT TO BE BLINDED BY BLUE LIGHTNING AGAIN!” Intensely bright purple flashes behind her closed eyelids, let Artheena know that her vision had returned too. 

They both jumped and shouted with joy, when their feet bumped into the edge of the pool deck. However, there were no plants on or around the deck, to guide them across it. They opened their eyes, just a crack, and ran across it as fast as the wind would allow them. Through her slits of vision, Artheena could see that the deck barely glowed underneath so much dirt and debris. The swimming pool was even more of a mess, looking more like an over-sized mound of yard compost. 

Before they reached the back door, three columns of Jyoseppy’s spit—one after another—crashed over them, like a frigid waterfall. All three of them screamed from the coldness. But then they were glad that the powerful blasts of rain washed away most of the dirt and debris off of them, before they came into the house. 

“We’re home! We made it!” Artheena shouted, rejoicingly, as they burst through the back door. 

“Praise Jumellica!” shouted dad, They jumped up and down, whooping and dancing. Burjiss tossed the bundle of Olzenbeth into the air, and caught her, before setting her down against the wall. 

Tabatha and Willberry bounded into the kitchen, clapping and cheering until the four of them came together in a group hug. 

Once in the house, Artheena realized that her hearing was a little off. Everything sounded a little muffled, like they were under water, but she wasn’t bothered by this. She was just so ecstatic to be alive, and hugging her parents and brother again. Surviving through that storm was the best miracle she could ever ask for. There was no better place in the world than being safely back home with her family. The kitchen’s bright lighting and clean smell seemed more warm and welcoming than ever, as though its comforting qualities were enhanced by Jumellica’s love. 

Artheena felt no reason to complain, if her hearing impairment might be permanent. She was thankful that she could still here her loved ones’ happy voices—and Willberry’s rude outburst of roaring laughter, when he noticed poor Olzenbeth.

Thank you so much for reading the 3 excerpts of chapter 20❤️ Hopefully book 2 will be out this summer. Love you all! Post you soon!