Sunday, January 13, 2013

thank God for take-out

What will I do? I can't tear myself away from the book I'm reading (The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins)...

...and I can't tear myself away from the yet-to-be-titled book I'm writing. We may never eat again! I say that because I just bought four new books and downloaded Les Miserables onto my Kindle, and that alone will take me years to get through!

Plus...I have a number of other witing projects I want to tackle. We're doomed! Thank God for take-out!

So with this in mind...I thought I would share my writing "bucket list" with you:

My current WIP takes place in a remote village in Africa, Dr. Ian McAndrew's birth place. His missionary aunt begs him to return just once before she dies. Something scares her.

There, he uncovers a sex tourism ring at a nearby safari resort that trades in orphans. Outraged, he pledges to shut the place down.The operation is clothed in secrecy and denied by the child victims and villagers alike for reasons he can't understand. The truth surfaces just as he is ready to give up and head for home. Will he stay to take on the powerful and coldblooded Isaya Mumbasi or will he turn his back on his people once and for all?

I am also collecting my thoughts for a memoir of illness and healing. Exactly sixty years ago, my brother and I were hospitalized at the same time, in the same place, with the same illness--rheumatic fever.

Buffalo Women's and Chidren's Hospital

I recovered uneventfully and, for whatever reason, went on to pursue the study of medicine. But my brother didn't fare so well. He nearly died in the hospital. Then he spent two years in bed at home in recovery. That experience haunted him in ways too unspeakably sad to describe. The point is that I never knew that. We grew up together and maintained a solid sibling bond...but until about 10 years ago, I never knew what demons followed him through life. When we first spoke about it, I cried for days. I still do. I spent a lifetime pursuing the study of medicine while he spent a lifetime in search of healing.

I'd also like to carve out the time for the 2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge in April...

...with a series of posts entitled, "maybe...maybe not", exporing why, as a cradle Catholic, I continue to have such trouble accepting formal theology and committing to the doctrine of the church. So. Much. Trouble. Hence, my interest in "The God Delusion."

There is a another story I feel needs to be told. It unfolded at the time of the G8 summit meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica back in 1999. As I understand it, the city officials regarded the street people to be a national embarrassment, given the arrival of international dignitaries and the press. In an effort to eliminate the homeless and mentally handicapped from the streets, 36 of them were rounded up and bussed to the edge of a bauxite lake in the mountains where they were abandonned to fend for themselves.

(Bauxite lakes are shallow lakes that contain the toxic residual from aluminum refining. The water in them is poisonous. When these lakes dry up, the red dust that remains is picked up by the wind and deposited overland. The high incidence of asthma in these "red dirt regions" is attributed to inhaling the dust. It stains skin and clothing. Jamaicans blame the dust for crop failure, cancer and other medical conditions.) The point is that nine of the people died. One gentleman broke his leg running to the edge of the water, officials having promised a new home to the first one to reach the water. The then-mayor of Montego sought to prosecute the men who master-minded the operation both because of the deaths that occurred and because such forced relocation was illegal. Her life was threatened and she eventually fled the country. I came across this story when I worked at an orphanage in Jamaica that, to my horror, was surrounded by red dirt not far from one of these defunct red lakes.

And, finally, should I live to be 120...I would like to write about what I refer to as "The Final Common Pathway"...

...those neural connections and neurophysiologic processes that explain how divergent therapies can be equally effective against certain illnesses...therapies such as accupuncture, aromatherapy, reflexology, meditation, hypnosis, and placebo, among many others. What is the final common pathway through which each of them exerts its healing effects? Especially that placebo thing...

Oh...and I still want to do a major rewrite of my first novel, The Bandaged least enough to make it self-publishable.

Thats all.

 For now.

What about you? Do you have stories waiting in line for your attention? Do you ever feel as though you're running out of time?
"The great thing about getting older
is that you don't lose
all the other ages you've been."
--Madeleine L'Engle--
This week I'll be preparing for the arctic blast we expect at the end of this exceptionally mild week. It is winter, is it not? 


  1. So little time, so many words.

  2. My life seems so dull compared to yours. I hope you keep working on all those goals.


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