Like Magic

So it’s been crazy this last week.

I started NaNoWriMo.

The basement smells like Axe, so I can’t go down there to hide and write. On top of all of that, I’ve had the flu, hubby passed his written FAA exam, one of my NaNo friends finally, after 29 hours of labor, gave birth this morning at 1:45 am and I was miserable that I could not be at the hospital with her because I’m contagious. She texted me frequently and sounded so scared, but I know that I was scared too when I was having my first child, I did my best to keep her calm via text message and be supportive. I’m surprised that no one took her phone away from her. I just wish I could have been there to hold her hand. I hope she knows that I was there in spirit.

This gal amazes me. I can’t believe she’s still intending on participating in NaNo this year, but she has done it every year for the last three at least. She said she wasn’t going to stop now.

Talk about dedication. I admire that. She is so brave and so strong. I just know that she and her newborn son are going to have a wonderful life.

To make matters more interesting, because it really DOES get more interesting, Lucy’s due for chemo next week. We’re expecting snow soon and I’m going to have to talk to the doctors and find out if it’s possible to make arrangements for someone here to give Lucy her final dose of vinblastine safely, if we have a snow storm that I can’t drive through. I wonder if the risk of that is even worth the benefits of the final dose of chemo at this point. If an unqualified doctor doses vinblastine improperly, it could cause tissue damage to Lucy’s leg.

I think I would rather skip the dose and risk having cancer show up sooner. I can’t imagine how excruciating it would be to have pain in your leg like Dr. House, but I suspect that’s about the size of what would happen if someone missed the vein. I know they make doggie vicodin, but unfortunately, I don’t see a large market for cool canes for dogs. Lucy would be missing out on a critical piece of attire.

We may be able to fly Lucy to Pullman for that last dose if it snows bad enough. Hubby’s flight instructor has offered to ride along with him if he rents the plane. That seems a bit over the top to me, to rent a plane to take Lucy to Pullman for chemo. I think they just want to make the flight because hubby needs the hours and are trying to come up with excuses to fly.

As if they need to come up with excuses. I’m so exhausted right now, they could tell me it was kumquat season and I’d buy it.

I’ve pulled more than one late night to get some writing in. I haven’t stayed up past midnight to work on insane amounts of writing material since um… 2008. Last year’s NaNo, I paced myself and just barely made the goal. This year though, my goal is not 50,000 words. It’s to get the majority of the frame work for a COMPLETE story down. 50,000 words is actually only about 150 pages of material. It is not enough for a novel. It’s enough for half of a really short one.

Through all of this, Lucy and Mugen have been my writing companions. They have taken up the banner for Reilly, who sat quietly at my side during 2008, gently nudging his nose into my armpit when I would get tired. Reilly was the best writing companion a girl could ever have. He was quietly vigilant and his support and his love for me just flowed out of his eyes when I looked at him. I knew he wanted me to do it. I knew that he believed in me. He stood beside me during my first NaNo and got me through it. I had the confidence to do it because he was with me.

Lucy and Mugen are taking turns splitting up the job this year. Last year, Mugen was more of a distraction than a help and Lucy wasn’t sure that she actually liked me yet. She liked my husband pretty well, so I flew solo for most of the 2009 NaNo season. It was rough because that novel was so intensely personal to me. It was all about Reilly. Reilly was with me in spirit as I wrote, and I spent most of last year crying as I typed.

This year is different though. This year, I’m not alone. It took some time, and my husband had to have more than one conversation with Mugen about how he had very big shoes to fill. As it turns out, it took two dogs to fill those shoes. They were just too massive for one dog to fill alone. He was just too good. I still miss Reilly every single day, but it’s hard to focus on the loss when a beautiful blonde barks at you at 7 am.

See, Lucy takes the early morning shift.

Lucy takes her job, very, very seriously.

If Lucy does not manage to wake me up by barking at my head, she moves around to the other side of the bed to wake up my hubby. When she does this, I’m sure she’s channeling Reilly’s spirit. Reilly never barked at us, but he would pace from one side of the bed to the other, shoving his nose under our hands until he’d managed to wiggle his head up under the sheets so he could put his cold nose in someone’s armpit. This was very effective for him.

Lucy finds barking works best for her because my hubby wakes up and says, “LUCY! What is the problem girl?” and then he scratches behind her ears and falls back to sleep. Him shouting “LUCY!” is what wakes me up. After Lucy has had her morning ear scratch from my hubby, she comes over to my side of the bed and barks until I move from a laying down position, to a sitting position.

This is when she knows her efforts have met with a measure of success. She then relaxes and takes a seat on her dog bed and wiggles until I grab my fuzzy red bath robe and head down the stairs with her then I open the back door and send her outside to play while I make some coffee or tea.

After she comes back in, she barks at me until I’m awake enough to remember that she should be getting her pills BEFORE breakfast and not after, so then I give her her pills and she settles down for a nap on the sofa, on the complete opposite end of the house from where I write.

She only sleeps there until I start typing. Once she hears my fingers hit the keyboard, she relocates and lays down in the floor underneath my dining room table where I am trying desperately to come up with something more substantial than the bad 1990’s anthem for clinical depression that’s been playing over and over in my head for the last fifteen minutes. And then, when she puts her nose over the top of my foot, I swear it’s like magic.

My muse wakes up and we begin to dance.

My NaNoWriMo Word Count as of this morning, is 16,536. What’s yours?