A while back I got the Postal Service’s Everything Will Change Live DVD. I’ve never seen Postal Service before. I had seen Death Cab for Cutie at an outdoor show in Chicago in 2004 when they released Transatlanticism. I still wear that t-shirt, but it wasn’t the same.
I mainlined Give Up after a college breakup, and I stuffed Ben Gibbard’s voice* into my head the entire summer between college and grad school.
I adored both of those albums. I still do.
I love the way they can both still reach straight down into me and pull new shit out. There’s comfort in albums like that.
I just put it on to watch again and, understandably, it’s amplifying all the good stuff in my life.
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I got a poop transplant. The third c. diff infection made me fail the prednisone, which technically meant my colitis was being classified as having failed traditional therapies and therefore the next step was immunosuppressant therapy. My doctor and I brought up the poop transplant idea simultaneously, then she talked to a few people, made a few calls and three weeks later I was up on the table being introduced to a bottle of poop from MIT’s OpenBiome project.
Go over there and read about it. And here. I am so grateful for what they’re doing because it seems to have worked. And no surprises there.** This treatment has over a 90% success rate.
They knocked me out, repoopulated me and sent me home with no antibiotics and no steroids. It’s been three weeks and no sign of further infection. No flare up symptoms. Things are even better than they had been before I got the colitis diagnosis.
The only thing I’m disappointed about is that my superpowers haven’t emerged.
But seriously. This has been such a fucking relief. I’m slowly starting to relax and I’m starting to think I might actually be back to having a relatively normal life again.
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Which also means that I’ve been getting some writing done. Rainforest Writer’s Retreat came and went again this year. Despite getting some pretty awful news right before heading up to Seattle, I got to see lots of people I care deeply about and writer friends I don’t see often enough and quietly type beside them for five days.
I finished edits on a story I’m actually pretty proud of about cognitive neuroscience in an homage to Hitchcock thrillers.
I wrote a mash note to my partner for her birthday.
I reworked the outline for the novel, which fixed some problems with the opening third of the book, and rewrote the opening scene (and actually wound up making me really excited about the book again).
Since then, I sent that thriller short story out and wrote a flash piece about antibiotic resistance and sushi. I sent that one out too.
Now I’m working on a love story about death. You can probably guess what’s been on my mind lately. It’s weird to be neck deep in both at the same time. I really like this story idea and I don’t want to fuck it up.
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I hope there comes a day with writing when I don’t fuck up the thing that exists in my head by putting it down on paper. I wonder if that’s even possible.
I am getting a little bit better at focusing my first drafts. Before I would throw everything that I could possibly think of that was thematically or emotionally or intellectually related to the general feeling I was trying to capture with the story.
I think that’s where the impossible comes in. You can never capture the full beauty of an amorphous emotional state. It’s layers upon layers of memories, hopes, fears, feelings. Stacks of different versions of yourself, superimposed into a single blurred form. Once you start teasing it out and making it linear, you lose it.
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Thankfully we’ve still got music for that.