Finally, the phone company and my computer cooperate to let me get back online for a decent amount of time, but my favorite chat turned quiet and deserted. It's not one of the busy nights this time of night (though some nights it is). I had most of Wednesday offline but though the main cable outside still has a truck parked over it and lights indicating the phone company folks are working after dark, sometimes it comes clear for reasonable stretches of time. My computer's going on the fritz though.

So what does this situation of absolute panic do to me? Eeeeg... about 19,600 words worth of a new novel while I ruminate and slowly pick over and over the new front end of Rites of Chavateykar, another tiny bit of which came into focus today during First Day Covers. I did eleven sketches of Madison and they came out well, by the way. And during it I realized that if the bridegroom gets his head cut off by demon worshipers before you're a thousand words into the book and the temple needs to be consecrated with the new priestess's virgin blood decorously obtained by said bridegroom getting to go into the temple with blue face paint and symbolize the god... being happy being basically all the god wants out of him, like, enjoy the honeymoon... then the two children playing in the heartbreaking 600 word first scene are not brother and sister. She's the priestess's sister all right. He's just her friend, best friend through age group and he's practically a little Linus, the brief head dip into him was awed reverence at his friend's new Acolyte status inherited from shortly to be doomed sister. It ties in tightly with the middle, because those kids will survive. So that they need to be rescued and after that rescue wind up moving to the village that got saved, which will become biracial - and those two will be the survivors who grow up to maintain the human traditions of Chavateykar. The implication's clear. Er, not till after puberty at least, even in a medieval context. They're not nobles, they've got a few years to wait. But that fit and made the premise tighter and sharpened the focus on the main conflict. Chavateykar as character will have a greater role in the book protecting the children including that pious little boy. Unfortunately he's a bit tied up fighting a demon and would much rather be comforting a little boy.

New book, yet untitled: Misfit mages prepare for a time mission to save their commander's wife and they are all in way over their heads on cosmic stuff.

Not the greatest hook line yet, but then I haven't gone far enough into it to know which cosmic stuff they're going to trip on along the way to saving the commander's wife and he is rather sympathetic. I don't even know if it'll have the comedic irony that they go to those lengths to rescue an extremely annoying person they're stuck with for comic relief just because she's that loved. I don't know if they'll succeed. I just know that's what he wants and I can see the lengths he's gone through to get the means already and that he does have ethics, he's got a lot of character. Means is an MC who has a time travel talent - but does not have the backup of a vast alien Empire's time service behind him, these are the amateurs and they are doing it for love and if they get nothing else out of it, they get each other or at least the ones who survive the book do.

It's been fun to write and I did something sensible with it - since the computer now goes black at random intervals and sometimes does this repeatedly after rebooting, I printed out what I got done with it and will keep running hard copy in case it crashes completely and I have to make a lot of phone calls and barter arrangements for parts and get it working again. That means if I'm locked in my skull in my room I've still got this escape book - and got the rewrite - and got the means to be patient and think of solutions instead of pure panic over it. I did ten chapters of Blood Junkie longhand in a hospital, it's better to do that in my own apartment in all those spiral bound notebooks with the good pen if it comes to that. Which I hope it won't, gods do I hope it doesn't come to that.

I need to research my Polynesian Mythology presentation tomorrow, it's time and I'm really looking forward to reading all the material. And then writing up a little essaylet that I can copy paste into the screen, this one's going to be fun to do. This is the type of thing that gave rise to a couple of very common words and concepts almost all fantasy writers and game designers use: Tabu and Mana.

Liquid magic and living gods...

Robert and Ari >^..^<


Reprieved, though I threw my back in it because I hadn't recovered from the great Wal Mart expedition yet. Still have the tooth. Got the X rays done and that stuff taken care of. Wound up with a referral to an oral surgeon who DOES both take Medicaid and use nitrous, so it's not going to be that bad once I do go. I'm so glad it wasn't worst case - and so glad that I did manage to talk myself down before going in because I did manage to keep my dignity. I didn't actually lose it. I sat in the chair sweating and shaking but that was about all. This is a personal victory. This means something, making it through it that far. Turns out it's about what I thought it was and they're going to extract it and then it's about over with except go on brushing with baking soda and peroxide to kick down the gum disease and get the cleaning done - which is something I would rather do up at the dentist who's got nitrous, because that is sometimes as painful or more painful than drilling depending on where they drill and who's doing it.

So that's over with at least for now. And maybe I can get some energy back if I sit still long enough and eat something and wake up. :)

Robert and Ari >^..^<
First scene of the rewrite done, almost 700 words. Scene change because it's a point of view change. Short, characterizes a couple of children, who are about to be betrayed when that kindly old deaf man *isn't* and slips away... to report to his masters. Swift shocker. I think I like this new opener. The kids will live. It'll be rough but they tie back in to the middle of the book in several ways.

If I didn't have to go to the dentist in about... three hours is when I leave... it would be a glorious night. But fears are starting to overwhelm me and I am starting to take them apart into their separate elements because I do not have time ... to desensitize ... it's today. It's today. I am on Welfare pending Social Security. I do not know if this dentist uses nitrous, which used to be a personal boundary and a simple way of dealing with the phobia. I do not have a choice in who to see. She's a woman. Most things that wouldn't matter, but psychologically women are sometimes very cruel when men are afraid. Personally, I have reasons, individual reasons to fear being helpless with a sadistic woman, especially a patronizing one - and a significant number of people who deal with the poor are very patronizing.

Most of all my best defense against anything is blocked in the dentist's chair. I have no words to defend myself and have to put up with whatever happens, I do not have my greatest strength available. I have survived more dangerous situations on my ability to communicate in words than I really want to count. I have dealt with murderous crazies, an addict in New Orleans, situations like that, because I could perceive and I could communicate and I knew what to say. But communicating in silence is a whole nother level.The physical helplessness and my best defense unusable, while someone's torturing me physically? This is starting to make sense - and being able to make sense of it and identify what all the stressors are has a lot to do with my being able to build up something within my mind to at least hold on to a little of my dignity when I have to walk in and face that stranger who is going to do painful things to me and remove a tooth that I do actually use to chew food. Only half of it's gone. I nursed it along for a couple of years in the shelter, the last time I tried to face up to this and finally have it out, I went and they had double booked the appointment. The dentist didn't even take X rays. If I don't go now, I will get the abscess coming back, the one I needed to take antibiotics for a couple of times.

It has to be done and that much of it I do know.

The waiting and not knowing if there's going to be adequate anesthesia, that's hard. I can do that. I can accept that it's hard. I can sit here and fight it. That's easier taking it apart that way because at least facing it that way I'm not also swallowing this shame - at feeling the fear at all. Recursive, but sometimes, it has happened more than once, they bully and laugh at you for your fears or put you down for your fears. I have not had good experiences with them in the past, except one - and that was so different because I chose him from his ad. His ad was hilarious. "We cater to cowards." Full of gags about dentists and fear of dentists and exaggerated reassurances and advertised the use of nitrous. I dared make the appointment. His receptionist was kind. He was hilarious. He had me at ease in about twenty seconds on the phone with the same running gags assuring me that I was by no means the worst coward he ever had. He joked around that he only went through dental school so he could sell drugs legally. Then I actually had the nitrous - and his stream of jokes to keep me distracted and laughing and enough anesthesia I didn't feel a thing. I went back to him every month through all the different holes and cavities I had, I actually maintained my teeth well when I was up in Chicago and the man's prices were even reasonable. But I could have canceled out at any time and I could have gone to someone else and I didn't have to put up with it if he'd been a jerk.

That's what this is. That's what's so rough about it, a lot of what's so rough about it. It would have been nice to hold out even one more year. To get the money to get it taken care of in a way that isn't just going to leave one of those 'you are dirt poor' holes in my mouth without a bridge, seriously reducing my ability to chew food. I've lost other molars. I know root canals hurt more - they're sort of legendary for that. But you get something after that, the tooth replaced, your mouth whole again after all the healing's done. Pain's temporary and there's a result, not a permanent loss of capacity.

So it's a matter of overcoming myself, because if she's one of the bad ones, I don't want to give her an inch. I don't want to give her anything. Least of all the satisfaction of a squirming victim and the knowledge she managed to hurt me. Time for the shelter level of internal armor.

I can accept that this is hard. I can accept this dentist is just who she is, not prejudge at all, take the other factors into account and - expect nothing. Just have no expectations. I was terrified when I met the good dentist and for an ironic twist, I was the only white patient he had! We joked about that and it changed and a line went down - I raved about him to everyone at work and that included everything.

Most of all, hang on to something inside myself not to let them win. I've been through worse and this is not that long. If she isn't good, it's once, that's it, and never again that one for anything. I may not be able to walk out on this in the middle if she goes over the top, but I do not have to return if she's one of the sadists. Just get home, deal with the loss myself and - if she's good, go back to her. I do not have to trust. I just have to go through with it, she's not going to blow my brains out, just pull a tooth. That helped put it in perspective. Comparing this situation to 'crazed drug addict who might try to kill me' or the homicidal psychotic in the room next to mine, it helps, there's a limit to what she can do. Words, pain, clumsiness. We both know that's what it's about, an extraction, she can't jerk any other teeth.

I have to do this and get it over with, that's all.

And when I have sold some novels I will never have to do that again, and just take whatever I can get and whatever humiliation they care to dish out on top of it. No. When I have sold some novels, it's look for an ad like the Chicago fellow and call around till I find the right one.

It's not even that long now. Not with what I'm doing. I will crawl out of this pit and I will not have to put up with that kind of treatment indefinitely.

Enough. I'll kill the time trying to write.

Robert and Ari >^..^<