Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Feeling Better, Canine Good Citizens and Literary Value

Hurrah! I think I am starting to recover from this. I also think that stopping all the darn drugs is making me recover faster. There was one for not being able to breathe, one for antibiotics, one for the cough and one to stop me throwing up as the first three made me so sick.

A nurse friend remarked that she thought it odd that they gave me Vicaden, as it is addictive, and I said HELLO??? No danger there. Let's see? What did I enjoy more? Throwing up? Nightmares? Shaking? People do that for FUN???? Sigh. Had it not been for the fact that I would shortly develop "illness" that would cause me to need whisky on a daily basis, I would have been much better off with a shot of scotch in a mug of herb tea. Ease the breathing and coughs and send me to sleep.

One weird thing, you know how the drug ads on TV must list the side effects, which they do in haste at the end of the beautiful ad? Well, in the mist of my illness, I heard the strangest one of all. We will call it New Wonder Drug, or NWD for short. I can't remember what it was meant to be FOR, but at the end of the general "May cause weakness, dizziness, heart trouble, nausea ect...They said "In certain circumstances may cause DEATH" and then "A certain percentage of some studies indicate that some people may be helped by NWD" (actual words, wrote 'em down)

Hello? IS there any indication that this NWD actually HELPS any condition? I am not a paranoid person, but I am starting to SUSPECT SOMETHING, as Pooh said of the Bees,
in regards to big drug companies...

Cabal, the Pipe Wielding Dog, had his first day in the Canine Good Citizen class tonight. (go ahead, snicker) I did explain to him yesterday that tripping on the Tire Jump and knocking it into my Boss, knocking him out, and bloodying his nose was NOT Good Citizen behaviour, and he said he was sorry. He did great tonight tho. The wonders of the cooked chicken treats in my pocket, I am thinking.

I got myself into a Thing the other day. A Nice Lady from a Literary Magazine that I cannot remember the name of, asked Boss if he would write some non-fiction for them. Boss cannot take anything more on, but I said "Hi, non-fiction? I'm your women" Great, says the Nice Lady, send it on over.

Oh. Says I. What do you want. Here is what the Nice Lady told me...

I'm not looking for any special topic; We have a very broad aesthetic. I guess our only real "requirement" is that it have a measure of literary value. That sounds kind of stuffy, but we like to publish essays that are more than anecdotes or experiences, essays that expand beyond themselves. We've published funny essays, ones that break your heart, some that really stir up discussions. I'm glad you're still interested in sending some work this way!

Hmmm...I think my essays are rather fun, like "Top Ten Things Never to Send Your Favourite Writer" or " Day in the Life of a Personal Assistant" or "How I survived One Day in Therapy" or even "Owning Bengals: What the Internet won't tell you" but, one wonders, do they have Literary Value? How does one tell?

Is it like when you go to a big bookstore and they have a Literature section and a Fiction section. Does anyone know what the difference is? I can't seem to figure it out. I know there is sci-fi, fantasy, romance, mystery, but many novels that might be in any of them end up in Literature. And Vi's versa. All very confusing.

I would like to write something that has Literary Value. I think the Book Malena and I are working on has Literary Value, in that people will read it and it will make them dream, and happy, and see things they would not have seen, had we not written it. But again, who can say?

I would like to write something for these people, as I have quite enjoyed corresponding with this Nice Lady. (She is a one of us) but what, one wonders.....

What?

Love and Mysteries,
Lorraine

30 Comments:

At 10:43 PM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

The mind boggles... (even if, for a magazine blurb, it was fairly decent. I plan to make a collection of those I see on line. Some blurbs are positively frightening not to mention cryptic...)
I should think that your essay about what NOT to send to your favourite author would have per definition a literary value.

I knew you felt better when reading you had been doing stunts for Prince over at Malena's.
So good for that and boooo to excessive medicines. Especially those that may cause death or may help sick people. I think that's about the spectrum covered. One could even argue that dead people have been helped since they won't be suffering from anything anymore. But it's a tad extreme.
And I agree, some nice alcohol in a cup of tea would have done wonders as well. Too bad you could not indulge (otherwise I would have sent you some of the liqueur I make with the verbena leaves I brought you - my best remedy against cold).

Don't over work yourself yet. Take care. Apply more kitty love and warm tea.

 
At 12:23 AM , OpenID kali-licious said...

Vikodin contains codeine..sounds like you have a sensitivity there. Definitely not fun at all.

My current favorite of the wacky disclaimers on drug ads is the one for ambien that states that "eating and driving while not completely awake are possible." Scary!

I wish I knew what "literary value" meant. Maybe I don't know because I've never taken college English?
I like your definition though, and can't wait to see what you ladies have come up with.

I'm sure Cabal is a Canine Good Citizen, if a bit of an over-enthusiastic one (and what dog wouldn't do anything for treats?;)

 
At 3:14 AM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

Let's see how many different, plausible ways we can spell Vicodin. ^_^

It doesn't bring the nausea for everyone, but for those it does -- yeesh -- look out. I often find that I recover faster my descreasing my meds more rapidly than the doctor prescribed.

Some of those drug ad disclaimers are just ridiculous. I like the ones where they admit that the drug was only SLIGHTLY more effective than a placebo. Or the few for really (IMHO, comparitively) low priority issues, like overly dry nostrils, which warn "May cause blood clots and subsequent mortality."

Of course, due to the legal requirements, the alternative are those disclaimer-free ads that never tell you what the drug is for, just show elderly people leaping happily through verdant fields and couples in seperate bath tubs (also, for some reason, in the middle of fields) casting smoldering glances at each other.

I am glad to hear that Cabal is penitent.

The Literary Lady's guidelines seem a bit, shall we say, broad and abstract. I'd go with "Day in the Life" or maybe "One Day in Therapy".

After earlier deciding not to, a cascade of factors smoothing the way have conspired to get me to NYC this Friday to see your Boss. Fate has not yet produced a hotel room for the night, but it won't be the first time I suppressed by natural shyness in order to chat up random con-goers and ask if I can crash on their floor. Adventure!

 
At 3:15 AM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

Hey, blogger claims I posted at pi! Cool.

 
At 4:06 AM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

Is that an attempt at having dark circles under your eyes to match those that Neil might be (or not) exhibiting?
This is not entirely reasonable, Dan.
(but understandable, oh so understandable)

 
At 4:11 AM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

I thought about dressing up as a werepanda, but thought others might not be as tickled by the idea as I.

 
At 4:30 AM , Blogger ivenotime said...

Glad you're feeling better! ugh - vicodin is nasty, nasty stuff - I'd rather be in pain than take that. Drug ads - have you seen the one that says it may cause lymphoma? A rather scary thought, not sure anyone could persuade me to take that drug.
I like your day in the life essay - its fun to get a peek into other's lives. I agree the "literary value" phrase seems a bit vague tho.

 
At 4:30 AM , Blogger ivenotime said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7:39 AM , OpenID pantagruel said...

Very, very glad to hear you're recovering. :)

Drugs are interesting things. My favorite doctor ever (a brilliant man, who'd first gone to law school at Harvard, then decided he didn't like the sort of people that went into law, and went to medical school at Harvard; and he was an ex-sabre fencer -- my kind of man), once told me that there are no such things as 'side effects.' Rather, a drug does any number of things, some good, but most vile -- and we take it for the one or two good things it does that we need, and put up with all its other effects. I most definitely agree.

I think a certain percentage of people may well be helped by NWD's side effect of death. Boy, do I ever have a list...

So Pipe-Wielding Dog is in a good citizen class... heh. I have this vision of him in the middle of one of those clubs like Rotary, or the Elks -- how long until Dog will be on a parade float with dozens of balding men on the 4th of July?

As for the difference between 'fiction' and 'literature,' and how you tell if something's got literary value -- well, the answer depends on the audience and current critical fashion. That usually means someone's read too much Harold Bloom.

I suspect it's their way of weeding out maudlin stories about the day someone's pet hamster died. What I think the Nice Lady means is that she's looking for an essay that manages to reflect on the human condition, reveal a universal truth through one person's experience, or, you know, just manage to write something that will get you canonized and right up there with the literary giants of history.

So, if, say, you wanted to send her the essay on Things Not To Send Your Favorite Writer, you might add a subtle bit about how in everyone's gifts, no matter how bizarre, you see the very human need to make connections, however vague, with someone we admire, and why that is. I haven't read the other two essays you mentioned, so am at a bit of a loss about how to tweak those to fit Nice Lady's requirements.

If you would like some help, I'd be happy to offer up ideas or be another set of eyes for you.

 
At 8:48 AM , Blogger Kitty Cat said...

my vote? therapy essay! i re-read that just last night, in fact, when i was cleaning out the tax drawer...or should i say tax CLOSET>
Quiche, go for it, girl.
xoxo

 
At 11:49 AM , Blogger LaM said...

Thanks All of You!

I liked the comment about "there are no side effects, it does what it does...."

I think I will send her all of them, and see if any of them have Literary Merit......

 
At 12:46 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Hmmph. I want to be me again.

I sent her all three, and we will SEE about this Literary Value. I ought to have said, as was suggested " Of course, it is a truly deep and meaningful thing to send your favorite writer...."

 
At 12:47 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

And no tax talk, Kitty! I SO have to get them done on time this year....

Oh. Damm.

 
At 12:57 PM , Blogger Kitty Cat said...

ok, a couple things, my FabLo!!
1. what Prince movie!!?? i didn't KNOW this!
2. get a ticket and fly out to meet me for the Voltaire show tomorrow night, we are on guestlist for Knitting Factory. OK? Ok.
3. look at my new blog, you kicked my butt into gear on the Neverwear stuff & Danth & Malena helped tremendously....new Graveyard Book mousepad out and new blog up...
http://kittysneverwear.blogspot.com/
thanks for the love.

 
At 1:55 PM , Blogger ariandalen said...

I've taken Vicodin several times, but never for bronchitis. Usually for an absessed tooth. It doesn't even make me sleepy; well, at least not at the base dosage. I don't get nightmares from taking it either. Yes, I'm one of those people with a drug resistant system. Sometimes it sucks. Good thing I also have a high pain threshold.

Glad to hear you're health is getting better.

 
At 2:42 PM , Blogger ariandalen said...

"Your" health, even. ::sigh:: That's what I get for changing the sentence in a hurry.

 
At 3:36 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Kitty, I was in Prince's second movie. Kid you not. Hey, I was young, and poor.

Tempting on the Voltaire thing. I actually COULD fly out for it. Hmmmmm. Boss gone, no gigs....

I have already COMMENTED on your blog, how's that for good????

Ariandalen, you make me laugh. WIsh I could take things, heck ADVIL makes me wonky...

 
At 4:50 PM , Blogger Malena said...

verbena leaves? spaced law send me the recipe!

Ok, I have read EVERYONE's comments and I must say, you are a chatty bunch. I see we all agree we hate taking RX unless we have no other option. Good sign.

Yes EVERYONE go check out my blog. I did one about the NEVERWEAR store. I'm having fun teaching Kitty web design and she teaches me about jewelry design. We're crafty.
Love you all!

 
At 4:51 PM , Blogger Malena said...

Fablo, let me know what they say about your work. You have a LOT of good writing. Don't let the bengal keeper fool you, she can write GREAT fantasy too. I've read it, I know!

 
At 5:19 PM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

Pardon me. I'm just sitting here with MY MIND BLOWN OUT by the thought of Lorraine in a Prince movie.

I'm seeing the Boss on Friday! *happy dance* Don't worry, Lorraine et Cat, I'll take good care of him, make sure he eats, and keep pipe-weilding dogs at bay.

 
At 5:52 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

The Verbena leaves make great tea. SPacelaw brought me some when she came. I want to grow them, wonder if we can?

Dan, have a great time with Panda Eyes, and give us a complete report!

( and yes, Prince movie. $75 a day and food. We stood in the studio and waved our arms while he played. Mostly we had fun hanging out on the lawn having a party)

The Nice Lady has not yet written back telling me how wonderful I am. May change her name to The Just OK Lady.....

 
At 6:28 PM , Blogger Yoga Gal said...

So pleased to read that you are feeling so much better! I know how painful your illness is. Give yourself a pat on the back for not drinking for heavy spirits aren't good with antibiotics. I was wondering how Cabal was feeling for hurting his master. I know it was just an awaful accident! It could had been far worst, the poor Boss could had lost an eye! Still, happy to know that you were with the Boss at the time. All your essay ideas sounded very interesting, then you are a very interesting lady!

 
At 1:54 AM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

La verveine (verbena) suffers for temperature below 5 degrees celcius, so I think you would have problems, unless you keep it in a pot inside your house, of course.

My verbena bushes were growing wild last autumn so I had to prune them drastically. As a result I ended up with a few bottles of liquor and lots of dried leaved for tea. Right now, the shoots are coming out again. I hear them grumbling about the crazy spring weather...

 
At 7:18 AM , OpenID pantagruel said...

Boo to the Just OK Lady for not getting back to you.

Where is your therapy essay? Now I am curious.

 
At 7:36 AM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

What is your e-mail, Pantagruel, I will send it to you....

 
At 7:38 AM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

I would love to read it too, if I may be so bold.

 
At 8:12 AM , Blogger ivenotime said...

me too! if that is ok...

 
At 9:51 AM , Blogger ariandalen said...

::lining up behind Pantagruel, Dan, and Sue:: Me, too!

Or should that be, "Me, four!"

 
At 10:21 AM , Blogger ivenotime said...

oh, and Dan - have a great time in NY! you will have no problem finding a place to crash i am sure - and i am envious of your boldness. wow, just read what is in the vip gift bag.....cking wallet......sigh....

 
At 2:52 PM , OpenID pantagruel said...

Oh, heh, I came back and checked comments *after* you went and posted it.

But in case you ever need it for telling me how many drinks I'm supposed to have for you and Malena, it's vtrullin@pantagruel.net.

 

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