Bashing Through the Prose, In 100 Days…

I recently tried an accelerated writing program offered by thewritepractice.com. The program is designed to help the aspiring writer complete the first draft of a novel in 100 days. It is aptly named “The 100 Day Book” program, the brainchild of Joe Bunting (not to be confused with the “100 Novels in a Day” program from Bo Junting).

Full disclosure – I didn’t finish a first draft, but I’m still pleased with the overall experience. To finish a draft would’ve been great, but I did come away with several valuable lessons.

First and foremost, I learned that I am what Kurt Vonnegut refers to as a “basher”, as opposed to a “swooper”. Hard as I try, I can’t churn out 800 to 1,000 words a day. The basher

“goes one sentence at a time, getting it exactly right before going on to the next one. When they’re done they’re done.”

The swooper

“write[s] a story quickly, higgledy-piggledy, crinkum-crankum, any which way. Then go over it again painstakingly, fixing everything that is just plain awful or doesn’t work.”

Teh Basher
“Hey Joe, where you going with that hammer in your hand?”

I did have a few breakout sessions where I produced 1,000 words, so I can swoop, but for the most part, I bash. All the same, no matter what your approach, this program provides sage advice, deadlines and a support forum for other aspiring writers to hold you accountable and provide feedback on your writing.

Perhaps the most useful feature of the program is the daily email tips to spark the flame of goodly writing inside the budding writer. Notable examples –

“Today, have a character do something. It can be as small as eating a cookie or as dramatic as drawing a gun on someone. Whatever they do, use it to show us who that character is and make them stick in our minds.”

And

“Open up your book to something you wrote a few days or weeks ago. Glance over it and take a few minutes to laugh. Then, once you’re feeling good about writing again, jump back to today’s scenes and keep writing!”

Uno mas,

“Challenge yourself to write something deliberately bad today. What’s the worst sentence you can imagine? Write it down, and then keep writing.”

 

This last tip is especially meaningful for me. As were all the messages concerning what a pissant perfectionism can be. That was what held me back – the unquenchable desire to be perfect.

Many of the daily emails harped on the myth of perfection. Applying the practice tips from these messages were tools that allowed me to write 1,000 words in one day a few times.

I saved all the emails and plan to revisit them as I do my own thing.

BONUS! A cute lady with a squirrelly last name sends you weekly emails with your progress and other words of encouragement. Perhaps most impressive of all is that both cute, squirrelly last name girl and the Joe himself always responded to my questions and concerns with a genuine, not canned response, and in a timely manner.

And Joe is a good sport, I’d message him on Facebook, starting with “Hey Joe, I heard you shot your lady down” or “Hey Joe, where you gonna run to now?” and he played right along.

I was way short on the word count, but that’s because I need to get over this idea that my writing must be perfect as soon it’s written. I’m happy with every single word that I wrote – wish there were more…

I suppose that’d be a complaint – the program didn’t write a book for me. Writing a book is frickin hard, but this program breaks it into manageable tasks, making the process a more… manageable task.

Another perk was weekly author interviews. I attended a few, and it always got me thinking about my own writing process, but while sitting there listening I was jonesin to write, so I skipped some. Looking back on it, I wish I would’ve sat attentively through all of them, that’s part of the experience that I paid for.

In closing, I’d say this program would benefit any budding writer. You may not finish a book, but you’ll be writing and you’ll gain an understanding of the logistics involved in writing a book. In the end, if my ho-hum attitude toward interviews is any indicator, you get out what you put in.

Doctor Pillow…Talk

The universe has spoken to me once again (for previous occurrences describing words descending upon me from the totality of existence, read HERE and HERE). I’ve experienced a singularity of my present and the experiences HERE chronicled.

You see, I got a comment on the above linked post from a woman whose husband has sustained a brain injury and is contemplating having a Baclofen pump “installed” (for a compendium of my posts concerning the Baclofen pump, direct the graphical representation of your mouse (i.e. “cursor”) HERE and apply pressure to the left button on said mouse). It is to these good people, that I dedicate this entry.

Listen, the battery on my pump was near death, so I had to have the whole pump replaced.

This I did, or rather had done, two days ago. There are a few remarkable occurrences that I would like to relate to you, dear reader.

1.          This first point is not particularly remarkable compared to the other two, but deserves to be mentioned – the procedure was performed by the fabulous Dr. Deborah Fisher. She does surgery, pump refills, Botox injections and pain management, all with a very cool South African accent. She is, without a doubt, one of the good ones and one of my favorite people.

2.          The name of the anesthesiologist was, I sh*t you not, Dr. Pillow. Put another way, the man whose responsibility it was to put me to sleep was named “Dr. Pillow”. Dr. Pillow had an assistant named Rip Van Blanket*…twas the darnedest thing that team Pillow/Blanket should manage my sleepy time…

Syringe Doc Pillow Head

3.          True to their names, the Pillow/Blanket duo had me so stupefied that, when I woke up in the recovery room, I could swear I was in a staging area, awaiting the procedure. I was nearly set off when this blue flaming nurse asked me if I wanted something to drink, I had to check myself because I was indignant that this guy was trying to thwart this procedure that I worked so hard to set up by offering me a drink minutes before it was to be performed.

The hoops I had to jump through to get this operation scheduled is a saga worthy of its own post. Moreover, my recovery from this procedure has been much smoother than when I got the first pump. For next time, I’ll give a full summary/timeline of the major events associated with the pump.

That the words on this website have reached but a few people is reason enough to keep it up.

 

FIN

 

@JarrettLWilson

 

*This name is total bullsh*t, his real name was “Todd” or “Bill” or some other such name common to a suburban, middle class white male. He didn’t say his last name, so for purposes of this blog let’s say his last name was “Valium”.

The Hierarchy of Suck and a Two Headed Duck (that rhymes and you know it does)…

“You’re one of the good ones…[insert name]”

       Ren, the comically cantankerous cartoon Chihuahua

Very broadly, there are three types of people – 1. People who suck, 2. People who don’t suck, and 3. The good ones.

The first two are pretty self explanatory – people who don’t rack the 270lbs they just squatted from the Smith machine (seriously you guys, that’s three 45lb plates on each side) are the suckiest of what I will call the “undistinguished suckfaces” – those who suck, but not at a professional, Kathy Griffin level. So that I don’t digress on the sub-hierarchy of suck, I’ll just say that the “undistinguished suckfaces” are but a drop in the bucket of suck (or “sucket” if you will). The middle genus in my criminally simplistic taxonomy of human temperament are those who don’t suck.

The beauty of this type of class of person is that you don’t have to do much to get in, just NOT suck. I’ll put it to you like this, dear readers-

Roughly 3.14 kajillion times a day, we are faced with some choice. It could be as simple as choosing breakfast – Cheerios or leftover Chinese? Or as complex as pressing a button to test a missile, thereby risking the lives of millions of people (if you’re Kim Jong-Un).

In simplest terms, each example contains two or more broad paths. Each path is quite broad with a dizzying circuitry of tributaries and “roads less traveled”. Each path, no matter how broad or narrow, trodden or smooth will do one of two things – 1. Suck , or 2.Not suck. When you reach the threshold of these paths, ask yourself one simple question, will the result of my decision to take this path cause suck for me or anyone else? If the answer is no, go forth onto that path that you won’t suck.

If the answer is yes, ask yourself a follow-up question– will the suck of my decision outweigh the potential positives? If the answer is no, go forth onto that path that you won’t suck.

If the answer is yes, ask yourself a follow-up question– will this decision place the brunt of the suck on someone else? If the answer is no, go forth onto that path that you won’t suck. If the answer is yes, ask yourself a follow-up question– must I take this path to achieve my ends? If the answer is no, go forth onto that path that you won’t suck. If the answer is yes, ask yourself a follow-up ques….

Actually, at that point, it’s best just to forget about your ends and NOT make that decision.

This leads me to the upper echelon of the quality ‘o people structure.

I’ve adopted the term “one of the good ones” to describe these people.  Such people go beyond the requirements of NOT sucking and make things less sucky for others. In short, they suck the sucking out of things that suck. They redeem the ever growing population of the “sucket”.

I’d like to tell you, Internet, about one of the good ones as I rank her. Her name is Kay, this is her likeness as of Christmas 2016 (I think).

20160104_181217

I met Kay when she commissioned me to convert some home video tapes (Hi8, I believe) to DVD.

Turns out, Kay and her husband, Dan, are pretty neat, what with their family of ducks, old jukeboxes and antique Japanese gambling machines. To honor her uniqueness, I’m officially declaring her “one of the good ones”, and, like I did with Dr. Shearer HERE, I’m going to conjure an origin story. That is, the story you are about to read is entirely fictitious and any similarity to actual people, places or mystical ducks is purely coincidental (and frickin awesome!). Here we go –

Like horns upon a goat they lay.

High atop Mount Fløyfjellet

Storhorn and Lillehorn sit,

Keeping watch over the islands of Norway.

 

The village elders often say

That between the spires is a connection

To another dimension,

Where mystical creatures live and play.

 

It happened upon a day

There arose a great upset

When village was met

By a bundle so fey.

 

In the mild month of May,

The people of Austvågøya did find

A basket seemingly left behind

Floating in the bay.

 

To their dismay,

A baby they found within;

How could it have been

That a baby should come this way?

 

The village elders did carefully assay

The coming of this child

As if from the wild;

But none could say…

 

… whence her home might lay,

Until Sigurd stood forth,

Pointed to the north

And opened his mouth to say…

 

… “I know from whither this child did stray,

By some folly she was let…

…Out the doorway atop Fløyfjellet

From thither did she come this way.”

 

This he did convey

To the villagers there assembled.

Oh how they stirred and trembled

At the thought of a mystical doorway.

 

With intent to allay,

Sigurd boldly spake,

“On the morrow I shall take…

…this child back that way.”

 

The people thought him fey,

But in his words they found relief

In the face of the belief

A ransom for the child they’d have to pay.

 

And so the next day,

Sigurd set forth

On a journey to the north

That he might defray…

 

… any cost for this child gone astray

And so he climbed high, then higher

To reach the twin spire;

The frame of the dimensional doorway

 

Facing the columns he did say,

An enchantment to lay bare,

Any charm hidden there

And thus show him the way.

 

At that moment darkness overtook day

A glowing portal did appear.

So Sigurd buried his fear

Set on returning the little girl, come what may.

 

So, valiantly he passed through the array;

Like in vacuum his ears did pop,

He spun and wrenched and twisted non-stop.

It felt like the kneading of clay.

 

He peered hither and thither to assay

A scene before him so queer,

Sound but a hollow din, sight but a chromatic smear.

He held aloft the child gone astray…

 

… then opened his mouth to say,

“Behold, I bare a child of your domain,

And I would parley to ease any disdain,

And enmity towards my village by the bay”

 

At that, Sigurd’s eyes met with a curious display;

The sounds of his voice were as ripples on a pond,

Wrinkling and warping the air beyond.

In reply, a surly voice squawked “who are they?”

wp-1499003794572.

 

The words seemed an aural melee

Attacking sight and sound with such force,

Sigurd gleaned the sound’s source

He spied an abomination heading his way.

 

Of all the oddities Sigurd saw that day,

None were so queer as this.

A creature common enough, but grotesquely amiss.

Hark the full tale, ere you gainsay –

 

The creature on its way

Was a duck I tell you,

Not with one head, but with two!

The two heads conversed in a manner so fey…

 

… gouging and pecking away

At the neighboring head

While squawking so loudly as to raise the dead;

Sigurd knew not which head held sway

 

Ere the squawking and pecking would belay

Sigurd spoke this query,

“I’ve wandered far, and am weary.

What of this child, a ward gone astray?”

 

The left head squawked, “SWORD GONE AWAY!?!”

The right head pecked and squawked with derision,

“ NO, YOU DOLT. THAT IS NOT THE QUESTION!”

It squawked what was surely a mainstay…

 

… of the conversation most every day

For it was, the loud squawking and jeering

Resulted in loss of hearing;

Making any message difficult to convey.

 

Sigurd feared there would be no end to the fray,

That his quest had been for nought;

That this child, the realm had already forgot.

He resolved to leave without delay.

 

Sigurd sighed, overcome by dismay.

As before, sounds he made

Were given shape, and in physical form, did pervade

And ripple the air like water in a bay.

 

Upon reaching the creature, the head of gray

Began a raucous declaration,

Squawking “We feel a queer sensation!”

In a manner so fey.

 

The creature’s voice like a woman so gay,

With the occasional raucous “quack”;

Considering the creature, Sigurd turned back…

as he thought Why’d I come this way?

 

Then something happened, he decided to stay,

Just as if he had voiced that question

“I have a suggestion”

Quacked the head of grey.

 

Sigurd’s mind fell into disarray.

It came to Sigurd

That this beastly bird

He should here and now slay.

 

Through some diabolical relay,

They heard the thoughts in Sigurd’s head;

That he would see them dead

Ere they’d had their say.

 

For then they did display,

A visage of death

With fiery breath

And razor sharp talons to flay.

 

Deliver me from this beast I pray

Thought he in desperation

“Leave the child for obliteration?”

Said the beast to Sigurd’s inner mislay

 

“Creature, how is it that you can say

Answers to questions in my head

And to thoughts I haven’t said?

Tell me true, and do not play.”

 

Grey head spoke without delay,

“You know nought of your location,

We know much of your vocation”

Spoke the duck with the head so grey.

 

At this, Sigurd did display…

…a countenance of dither

That he should come hither

And be subject to such play.

 

After some delay,

Sigurd, with his mind clear,

Queried, “what know you of my vocation here?

I ask of you, if I may.”

 

This answer, to Sigurd, they did purvey –

“You seek the repatriation,

Of the youth in your possession.”

They know of the child found by the bay…

Dialectical Menialisms #II: Before and After

We often reckon time in terms of before and/or after some remarkable event. Notable examples include B.C. and A.D., the civil rights act of 1964, the dismantling of the Berlin Wall in 1989; and 9/11 of course.

For me, my Being Until Transformative Trauma, or “BUTT”, includes everything from Thanksgiving Day 1980 (birth day) to around May 23rd, 2009.

Twas on or about that day that a lesion in my brainstem began to leak blood like so much pee-pee from a baby’s untrained bladder.

Life with the Awareness Subsequent a Stroke, or “ASS”, began, as I reckon it, on September 3rd, 2009. I’ve started calling September 3rd my “rebirthday”. This is not to say I strode from the hospital after surgery like so much John Travolta a la Saturday Night Fever. Surgery on the brain bestows no alleviation of symptoms, rather it visits more trauma upon the already sensitive cogitation apparatus. The significance of this event was not the surgery itself, but rather the decision to have surgery.

Now that I think on it, ASS could also be Awareness Subsequent Surgery. Either way, my BUTT had no idea of the impending ASSery.

Reciprocally, any account I…uh…recount, about my BUTT is anecdotal. That is, my ASS tends to glorify my BUTT because I’ve had my ASS for a long time. Therefore, the time of my BUTT has been elevated to the level of golden age, when it may not have been so great. That’s the thing, I try to get my ASS in gear, but my BUTT always gets in the way. In a manner of speaking, my BUTT is a pain in my ASS.

I tell you what though, I recently read Laura Bruno’s BLOG, whose compelling argument for the improvement of life after a catastrophic illness has…uh… compelled me to believe that myself. That is, my BUTT believed that I’d continue on much like I had been. Think about that, Internet; my ASS, your ASS, his ASS, her ASS doesn’t have to be the same or worse than the BUTT. This may seem obvious to you, but this has been a revelation to my ASS.

By comparison, I was a lazy BUTT, but my crazy ASS never rests. I think my BUTT would’ve been fine cruising through life as a spectator, but I’ve a joy joy feeling of significance taking shape in my ASS (relax, I’m not about to take a dump).

I speak, again, of a singularity (mentioned, briefly in the last paragraph HERE. Methinks I’ll be using this term often, so allow me to offer a more complete explanation. Quite simply, a singularity, as I employ the term, is when seemingly unrelated objects and/or events come together in such a way that providence seems not only possible, but probable.

The beauty of a singularity is that it both transcends and affirms one’s faith. Christians may give all credit to God, Muslims to Allah, Jedi to the Force, Donald Trump to money and nonsense (or I guess that would be Money and Nonsense (Monsense?) when they’re deified); but the way I see it, a singularity is simply a sign that there are powerful forces all around us.

For example, the (initial) topic of this post is before and after or b & a. These two letters, over the course of the yarn I’ve here spun, have taken on new meaning. In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m talking about BUTT and ASS. Does this mean the powerful forces have conspired for me to tell you all about my BUTT and ASS? That question is irrelevant. I believe it to be true and as WI Thomas said, “If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences”. At this moment that means that I believe powerful forces are aligning behind me, so from my point of view, it’s true. If it’s true, it must also be true that you, dear reader, were meant to read and comment and get off your BUTT, get your ASS in gear (I realize that some of you don’t have an ASS or a BUTT as I use them here, but you know what I mean), and experience the turning of the gears of life.

OK, I’ve put my ASS into this entry. Better quit while I’m ahead.
FIN
@JarrettLWilson

Dialectical Menialism #1 – Left vs. Right

Hello Internet!

I recently found myself balancing precariously on but a sliver of rational thought. In the chasm to my right, there was a tool essential to my progress, but I would be forced to use my weak left side. The mire on my left was more easily traversed, but I’d have to go back for the tool.

What feat of daring do was I engaged in, you ask? Surely you were braving the French Alps and came to a narrow path between a sheer precipice and a murky bog, or some other such harrowing errand (harranding?), you boisterously assert.

No no. Nothing so Indiana Jones-like. I was engaged in battle with a stair replicating mechanism. It was diabolical, Internet! I’d take a step, thinking I had bested the confounded contraption (contrountion?) and ascended as far as I could, when with methodical regularity, a new stair appeared in its place. I stared in wonder at this expert of the terraced walking surface. I bestowed the name “Stair Master” on this austere device.

Just as “StairMaster” conspired to produce an endless staircase, my forehead unleashed a torrent of perspiration. Being subject to gravity, my sweat fell onto this machine, giving it a briny glaze peppered with pooled workout juice hither and thither.

This microcosm of the water cycle produced enough moisture to require the courtesy of a disinfecting wipe-down.

I concluded that “StairMaster” could and would continue the onslaught of steps indefinitely. I ceased my fruitless ascent and fetched a disposable rag bathed in a solution to hastily dispatch any microbes that had taken up residence in the juice of my labors.

I was thrust into the balancing act recounted previously when I returned to the machine. You see, to the right of the machine was my water bottle (the “tool”); but this approach also meant that I’d have to use my left arm to clean the machine, and AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FO’ DAT!

The left approach was not wrought with perils so…uhh…perilous to the neurologically unbalanced, but I’d have to backtrack for my water bottle.

These are the things I think about. You might see the intense focus on my face and think he looks pretty smart; I bet he’s thinking up some solution to social inequality or a better way to dispose of old VHS tapes, or some other high minded notion. Well, dear reader, you’d have given me too much credit. At any given moment, two likely inane, inconsequential concepts are throwing down in an epic battle for a piece of Jarrett’s grey matter.

In this case, the combatants are the left vs. the right. In the future, you might see form vs. function, quantity vs. quality, nature vs. nurture, etc. (vs. and so on).

This is all to say that this will be the first entry in a blog series I call “Dialectical Menialism”, which is a play on Karl Marx’s “dialectical materialism”, or the idea that history propagates because people fight over stuff. “Dialectical” in that most of the time the conflict is between two parties (i.e. good vs. evil, bourgeois vs. the proletariat, aristocracy vs. peasants, cats vs. dogs, Coke vs. Pepsi, and so on).

Slide1

“Menialism” isn’t actually a word. The roots are menial or “lacking interest or dignity” (thanks be to Merriam and/or Webster), and ism.

Adding ism to a word turns it into “an oppressive and especially discriminatory attitude or belief” (thanks be to Webster and/or Merriam. How come Merriam always gets to go first?). Ergo, “menialism” is “an oppressive and especially discriminatory attitude or belief [that is] lacking interest or dignity”.

So, “Dialectical Menialism” is a high stakes battle for supreme obscurity (sobscremicy? Obscuracy?) regarding my disposition.

Next time – an examination of my Being Until a Transformative Trauma versus life After a Sinister Sickness. I’ll tell you about my BUTT, then move on to my ASS. I tell ya, the whole thing really stinks! Bwahaha! Have I gone too fart?

 

#fartjokes

 

FIN

 

@JarrettLWilson

 

 

It’s Good to be Alive

Wonderful MeHappEaster, interwebs! Or happy Easter if you’re not into the whole brevity thing. I come to you today because my heart has been stirred. I frequently listen to NPR via the NPR One app. A featured story today was that of widowed parents of young children. Rather, the widows did the talking, but the subject was more centered on how the children will turn out and how to best remember the child’s father (listen to it HERE).

This topic really resonates with me. You see, I nearly died (more details HERE). I’m not fond of saying that. It’s too dramatic and it smacks of hyperbole.

Still, I suppose I’ve come closer to meeting the reaper than most. At the time, I had a two year old daughter at home. By the expert skill of Dr. Jonathan White and the loving support of my now ex wife Jessica and my parents, I persist in respirating, masticating, cogitating, pontificating, etceterating, and most importantly, continue participating in the upbringating of my daughter(ating…).

It is altogether fitting and proper (thank you, Mr. Lincoln) that I would choose this day to blog on this topic. On more than one occasion (such as HERE and HERE) I’ve asserted the notion that, in a figurative way, Jarrett Wilson died from a brain hemorrhage in May of 2009. He was given new life in September of that same confounded year. The resurrection thing is the only similarity between me and Jesus; I have trouble enough walking on land, I can only change water into Crystal Light or coffee and my dad, as cool as he is, is not God.

I think I’m digressing here. What I’d like to relate to you, dear reader, is that I’m glad to be alive. I think I’ve said that before and I try to give the impression that I’m grateful, but sometimes, it just needs to be declared.

To be sure, being alive is hard sometimes. On the other hand, life is beautiful – there are beautiful people everywhere, the way they comb their hair, it makes me want to say… it’s a beautiful world… it’s a beautiful world…

That said, there are a lot of things that suck, another way to say it would be there are a lot of things that suck because of stuff I did. I let these things occupy too much CRAM (read more HERE). For today at least, I’m going to revel in the singularity of each moment. A singularity in that each moment is a culmination of a heartbeat, a breath of sweet, sweet air, some thought to move us about the day and being with good people. 🍻

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

Rhyme Time: Get a Job(s)

slide2
Teaching aboard the Millennium Falcon. Obi-Wan isn’t pictured, he had to go to the bathroom. The sign with the rooster reads “this isn’t the rooster you’re looking for”

My injourney

has led me

To many

Ways to make a penny.

 

My preservation,

Indeed, my continuation,

Rests on many a vocation.

A patched together living in summation

 

The latest of these

I do with ease,

Lounging in my jammies

Teaching English to Chinese…

 

…Children. Thanks to the internet,

I don’t get wet,

Or take a jet.

I Haven’t even been to China, yet.

 

Pronunciation and grammar are my trade;

American dollars are what I’m paid.

Fortunately, I don’t have to grade…

…Papers, and the lessons are already made.

 

I simply report to the designated digital place

With a smile on my face,

Speak at a slow pace,

And keep a clean workspace

 

“No, not ‘parsent’

“It’s pronounced ‘parent’

Don’t worry about your accent

I know what you meant

 

This pedagogical enterprise

Supplements my daytime guise

Where I mesmerize

Teach and civilize…

 

…local students at the secondary age

In order to engage

Them with sage

Advice for life on the world’s stage.

 

These jobs offer little remuneration,

But, keep in mind, monetization

Isn’t the only form of “job well done” dispensation,

Much of my efforts are met with adulation.

 

Indeed, the compensation is sufficient

For spiritual nourishment,

But the commercial payment

Won’t even cover rent.

 

Such is the way

I earn my pay

Allowing me to stay

Productive and bizzay (busy)

 

Life doesn’t stop because of brain injury.

I’ve still got to get out and feed the monkey.

I just never imagined I’d be

So busy…

 

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

The More You Know…

 

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I’ve started substitute teaching. You probably remember crusty, old geezers teaching your class when one of your teachers was gone. These fossils were fond of telling students that they don’t know what hard work is, that they had to recite the pledge of allegiance in Greek and had to learn math with an abacus.

 

Whatever the case, there was always the assumption that, like teaching vampires who only came out during the school day, subs didn’t have an everyday normal life; when the school day was over they’d retreat to the school basement to read the textbooks for enjoyment before using them as a bed to sleep on until they were called to action again.

 

My point is that, with a single day substitute, there isn’t really a chance to get to know the sub.

 

I typically sub at the school where I once taught and assisted librarily, so I know most of the teachers and they know of my condition. Given enough notice, I’ll offer to give a presentation to the kiddos about me. This way the teacher doesn’t have to prepare as much and the students get first-hand knowledge of why I am the way I am. I’ve posted a version of this presentation before (LINK), but it was a raggedy old PowerPoint.

 

AND THEN…last summer – I went to a writer’s conference to pitch my memoir. I wanted to stand out, so I put together a presentation. I had just given the students a crash course in PowerPoint presentations and Prezi, so I thought I’d give that a try. I didn’t get a book deal >:(, but my presentation was pretty sweet. Find it HERE

 

AND THEN…a new school year started and the sub jobs came pouring in. So far, I’ve presented to about 250 seventh graders, most of the eighth graders saw it last year.

 

AND THEN…my younger sister, a Latin teacher (She teaches Latin, she’s not a teacher who is Latin, no one is or really has been since the Roman empire), asked me to come talk to one of her classes. I thought that this nexus of presentation opportunities called for a revamped presentation.

 

AND THEN…I combined the raggedy PowerPoint with the fresh, shiny Prezi to create a PreziPoint (PowerPrezi?). The svelte can be viewed in all its smoothly transitioning glory HERE. Or, for your convenience, I’ve reproduced the presentation here in slideshow form.

 

AND THEN…actually, ‘AND THEN…’ doesn’t work here, but I’m nothing if not consistent, the frames with a 🌟 in the lower right corner were adapted from the original PowerPoint. This means that the ones without a star make up the original Prezi.

 

AND THEN… If you don’t notice, apart from the book excerpts, it rhymes! Isn’t that delicious?

 

AND THEN…FIN

 

AND THEN…@JarrettLWilson

 

A Picture is Worth a Thousand…Pictures…

All Done…or 93 pictures if you’re the GIF above. By that reckoning, if a picture is truly worth 1,000 words, that GIF is a tidy package of 93,000 words. Add to that the words you’re reading, and you have the world’s longest blog post. Honestly, I almost could’ve written 93,000 words in the time it took to make this GIF.

While I explain what it is, I’ll explain how it was made. I have the MRI images for most of my scans, in total I found/used eight sets of scans. Then, I made some pictures with my webcam of my profile and the top of my freakishly large head. If my math is correct, that makes 8+1 = 9 sets of images. Each set has roughly 10 pictures – including multiples of the original and duplicates of the fading shots. The sequence of the scans is chronological (For instance, a scan from 2010 would come after a scan from 2009, a scan done in May of some year will come before a scan…scanned in September of that same year…and so on).

The images are labeled with the reason for and date of the scan. I’d only point out the first scan from May, 2009 showing a big blob of white stuff just below the very center of my brain profile and slightly off center looking at the top. It’s almost as if someone tried to white it out. Really, it’s blood, the doctor injects you with the air from inside a blacklight, then your blood glows white.

The magnetic manipulation of the various cells and particles that form a mass called “Jarrett” (Magnetic), and the clicking and knocking noises (Resonance) labored to produce this Image a few days after the hemorrhage.

The magnets and sounds continued their unlikely coupling through my skull on August 15, 2016, one day before my appointment with my neurosurgeon (I verbally sparred with both the doctor’s office and the insurance company for a month and had to reschedule twice, but that’s a different story altogether).

On the last MRI image, notice all the white out has been removed. When looking down from the top of my head, the “cavern” that the cavernous malformation called home is still a dark hole. I can only speculate that this is why I forget stuff almost as quickly as it pops into my head, it gets sucked into this vortex of blackest black, of darkest dark, of ebon opacity, of obsidian obscurity, etc.

Anyway, this GIF sums up seven years of the physiological side of brain injury recovery. I’ll stop writing now as this post has now reached a staggering 93,443 words.

This is all to say that my latest scans show no activity, and my recovery continues.

FIN (93,460 words if counting the number)

@JarrettLWilson (93,468)

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