Tag Archives: Camp NaNoWriMo

Memoir Moments: Chemo

Hey all, coming at you with another short piece from my writing class. This one is another true telling, of sorts. It is actually two different events all rolled into one. Names may have been changed to protect identities…

Chemo, yet again. You would think that after five years this would be old hat, but no. The sharp tang of hospital chemical assaults your nose. Nothing like strong chlorine to wake up the senses with a jolt. Glancing around the room you see all the usuals, but in the chair next to your’s is a new face. She seems pretty bubbly, the day is looking up, of course unless she is obnoxiously positive. Man alive can those people grate on your last nerve. Nothing like Sally Positive to really make your skin crawl.
The clicking of IVs echos through the small room. Every week you go in, sit in your designated chair, drink water from the big plastic cup they keep for you, with your name on it in black sharpie on the lid, and wait through your several hours of chemo. Drip, drip, drip, go the IVs. Beep, Beep, Beep, go the monitors. A never ending drone that you eventually learn to tune out. But every week it is like the first time all over again. A cacophony of sound, banging through your head, until you learn to turn it all down and hear what you want to hear.
“Hi there, I’m Becky. What are you in for?” she asked you, beaming.
“Hodgkin’s… some trial drug chemo experience. You know, the one we all sign up for,” you tell her with a laugh. “What about you?”
“Oh, just maintenance Chemo. Ovarian Cancer.” She says, the smile wilting a little.
You can’t help but cringe. Ovarian… that’s a death sentence. Ouch. Of course you would never say such things to her, upbeat, encouraging, positive, that’s how all the strong cancer patients face the day.
“Doesn’t cancer just suck” you say in response. All the fun and we even sign up for this crap” you murmur.
She laughs, “too true.” She glances at your girlfriend and sees the knitting she has pulled out. “Oh that is so fun, what are you creating? Oh, and I didn’t catch your names…”
“I am B, and my girlfriend is SaraBeth.” You answer her.
“I am knitting a shrug” your girlfriend answers. “I mostly make up my own patterns, but this one looked cute, so I thought I would give it a whirl.”
“That is really great! I wish I could do something like that. Bet that will take a while.” Becky says.
“Oh not really, if I don’t finish this today, I will have it done before next week’s Chemo.”
“That would be amazing, you will have to bring it so I can see it! Hey Kelly, I am due back same time next week right?” She asks laughing, knowing the answer is of course yes. “What about you B? Are you due back same time next week?” she asks you.
“It would seem so” you answer, laughing yourself. Something cuts you off though, a tightening in your throat. It would seem that this time things are different. Your girlfriend drops her knitting and gets the nurse over there. Codes are called, the room moving into a flurry of activity. Mere moments, that seem to last an eternity there is a room full of staff, and they are pumping you full of antihistamines. Your veins feel like ice, the room feels too hot to breathe.

Let me know what you think in the comments below! I love to hear from you!

Guest Post – Camp Fail

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Our version of Tetris!

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Hey all, I know I have been gone a few days, sorry about that.  I was out helping my sister move! Lots of work and then no interwebs at the new place!  I am home, but beat, but I have a GREAT post to share with you all!  My great friend and cabin mate, StoryCoat, has some wonderful words for you, so here she is!

Camp Fail

Well, unlike my lovely cabin mate Ravyn, I did not make winner this year at camp. As I packed my proverbial bags to go home I wiped away tears of disdain at my camp fail! I nearly tripped over my lip as I headed out the door and down the trail to get on the last bus leaving camp. The bus for losers.  Ravyn bless her pea pickin’ heart, was long gone in that decked out bus for winners, banners flyin’ the whoops and hollerin’ lasting for miles down the road.
As I boarded the bus I nearly slipped on the puddle of tears dropped by others who failed to get their word count goal. I mounted the steps and stood looking at the bus full of heads hanging low, lower lips flowing over laps touching the floor of the bus. Whimpers coming from the mouths of those who had failed along with me. The bus was full, almost standing room only. (I’m also slow) Then it hit me. My lower lip zapped back up so fast it nearly bruised my teeth! We aren’t losers! We didn’t fail!! Heck! We’re on the bus!! WE ARE ON THE BUS!!! That means we took the time to at least make the effort to try. “WE ARE ON THE BUS!!” I shouted, “WE AIN’T LOSERS, WE ARE TRIERS AND WE TRIED!! WE GAVE IT A SHOT!!”
Then some little green kid looked up with teary eyes and said, “Yeah, but . . . there is no try. There’s only do or don’t do.”
“Okay,” I said. “So everybody who wrote something – anything at all for Camp NaNo raise your hand.” Every hand on the bus when up, including the little green kid’s. “Well then,” I said, “We all done did!! Maybe we didn’t do as much as we planned on doing but we did something which is a damn sight better than the millions who stayed at home doin’ nuthin’ sayin’ ‘oh yeah, dude that Camp NaNo sounds like fun. I’ma do that one of these days.’ By golly, WE got ON the bus, we came, we saw, maybe we didn’t conquer but we did a little bit and now we can go home proud of the fact that despite all the adversity we faced in the month of July, we wrote sumpthin’. Whatever it was, it counted. IT COUNTED PEOPLE!!”

You shoulda been there to hear all those long faces zapping back up to where they belonged. Even the little green guy got happy! The shouts of joy echoed for miles and miles. Sometimes it’s not whether you win or lose. Sometimes all that matters is that you made the effort!
Thanks, StoryCoat, for those amazing words of truth!  So long as you have even one word, it is one more word than you had before setting out on this Camp experience!  How about everyone else? Was camp a fail? Or did you manage to do “something”?

Camp Followup!

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I did it!!! I don’t know how I pulled it off, but somehow or another, I pulled off my word count by the skin of my teeth!  The amazing 6k day was the best.  It was like, all of a sudden, the words were just flying out.  I don’t know what happened to make the flood gates open, but I am so glad they did!

What I am most excited about, however, is that I managed to get some words and ideas put down in the scenes that I have avoided.  Which was actually my goal for Camp more than words were!  I am really excited to sit down and actually get worked through Mo Thuras now, seeing as I almost have a complete story to work with!  It is so exciting to see this story rolling together!

How did camp go for you?  Did you manage to reach your word count goal?  If you didn’t get your word count goal did you manage to reach any of your writerly goals?  Did you at least manage some words?!?

Letters from Camp: Last Letter!

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I can’t believe it, today is my last letter from camp.  I was going to tell you all about this great holiday that happens to be today, Uncommon Instrument Awareness Day, but… I am all sad.  I can’t believe that today is the last day of camp.  I have to tell ya though… I had a six thousand word day on Wednesday!!!  I couldn’t believe it!  I was super excited about that!

Oh, and about that Uncommon Instrument Awareness Day… well, not many people know this, but I play the harp!  I was going to post this great picture of my harp for you all, but I am away from home and I totally forgot to take a picture before I left.  But I might just add one in later, when I get home next week!  I also play the penny whistle and accordion!  I have a real love for different instruments and if I could have one of everything I totally would.  Someday I want to have a full size floor harp, a violin and I would like to also learn to play the bagpipes!

What about you?  Do you play any interesting instruments?  Share  unique fact about yourself with us!

Letters from Camp: Paperback Book Day, “Squee”

Camp-Participant-2015-Twitter-ProfileLet’s be honest here people… If you are a reader (and of course that is a big assumption on my part, but if you are following my blog I gotta believe you have some kind of like/passion/love for the written word) any time you walk into a bookstore, it is almost as if you are a 14-year old fangirl/boy!

I know that when I am around books, I am all like:

“my precious”

Well, today is going to be a rush, I am going to be gone for another weekend… You know, at that party camp!  (Ok, maybe it is just my sisters house, but still!)  So, since I am so behind and Camp ends in just a couple days, I am going to shoot for getting finished today and tomorrow morning!  Let’s see if I can!!!

What about you? Do you have that same response to books?!? What makes you “squee” like a little teenage fan?

Letters from Camp: International Tiger Day!

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Lions and tigers and bears, nope just tigers!  Today is International Tiger Day, and seeing as I love all the big cats, I thought I would share this grand day with you, along with some images from one of my dear friends and an amazing photographer!  Please check out her site and buy some prints!!!

Lunasa Photography: T&D's Cats of the World &emdash; T&D's Cats of the World

Lunasa Photography: T&D's Cats of the World &emdash; T&D's Cats of the World

Lunasa Photography: T&D's Cats of the World &emdash; T&D's Cats of the WorldLunasa Photography: T&D's Cats of the World &emdash; T&D's Cats of the World

Lunasa Photography: T&D's Cats of the World &emdash; T&D's Cats of the World

Lunasa Photography: T&D's Cats of the World &emdash; T&D's Cats of the World

Letters from Camp: One Day, at NaNo Camp…

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First a quick update… I have to say I sadly did not manage my 5k day, but I did manage over 1k!  So that is something, there is still hope! I know that I can do it! Maybe tomorrow I will hammer out enough to get more caught up!  Now, here is an idea that was tossed at me, and this is my attempt. I know that there could be more, and that this can become “something” so let me have it!

camp_nano_logoThis one time at NaNo camp, there was this inappropriate comma! And don’t get me started on the ellipses, stuck where one should never go. The fragments that leave you hanging! Feeling oh so unfulfilled! Or the sentences that seem to go on and on and on and on. The repetition, same words, phrases, and the like, abusing our minds in a manner most unbecoming!  And what is with that exclamation point, or is it mark… really, why can’t it stick with the point!  I have ta say… really and truly, why can one never get what should be where?!?

I have a few ideas for adding in the dash, question mark, colon, those could all be added, and I would like to think up a few more different grammatical type things.  Maybe even create a second little story! What do you think?!?  What more does it need? What would you want to see in there?