Writing When Under The Weather

I haven’t felt well in awhile. The specialist I saw over a week ago told me to put down the thing that was bothering me most. I put down the neck pain I’ve had since at least June. When I saw my primary care physician in June, she told me to use a heating pad on it. She didn’t get up from her laptop to examine me, but said to just use a heating pad.

So there I was in the “specialist’s” office and she thought I’d been referred for one problem, and I thought I’d been referred for another and I finally told her what was really needing attention was the pain in my neck. I’d had it for over two months.

So she got up . . . yes, by God! the specialist actually got up and felt of my neck. Then she looked in my ear. Then she told me I had something in my ear and she was going to prescribe ear drops. Hallaleuah! (I bet I spelled that wrong. I don’t care.)

She said to use Peroxide drops in it a few times daily until I could get those ear drops. She was going to call the prescription in that afternoon.

The next morning I called the pharmacy to see if they had my prescription ready. No. They had to special order those ear drops and they would not be in until day after tomorrow. Oh, and did I know that since my insurance had expired (better it, than me!) that the ear drops would cost $356? No. I did not know that. I called another drugstore that said they could get the drops cheaper, but they’d have to special order them too. They were sure theirs would cost less. When they texted me, theirs cost more. They still are telling me they’re ready for pickup, but they’re not offering to lower the price.

So I called the specialist’s office and I emailed my regular doctor. One of them called in a lower priced ear drop prescription. It was only $189. I got back on the phone and on the computer and let them all know that was STILL too high!!!

Today I got an email from the drugstore telling me my prescription was ready. I also got an email from my doctor saying she had called in an oral antibiotic and it was lower in price than the ear drops. It was and I could afford it, so I went and picked it up. I think I feel better, but not great.

I wanted to make my second video and I just haven’t felt well enough. I did the practice one. Maybe tomorrow, if I feel better I’ll make it.

I did send a letter to a magazine editor about an article in the magazine that I wanted to comment on. I gave my sixteen year old dog a birthday party yesterday. So I’ve done a few things. When I sit down to write, all I can think about is how bad my ear hurts and wonder if I’ll lose my hearing and will I care, if I do, because most noise aggravates me.

But mostly for the last ten days, I’ve sat here dropping Peroxide in my ear and wishing it and my neck would stop hurting. My neck did get better, but it still hurt. My ear makes me think Van Gogh may have had a reason for loping his ear off. I just don’t have anyone to mail mine to.



I believe the first thing I ever had published was a letter to the editor of my small town newspaper. I was a child and someone ran over my cat and didn’t stop. I was so angry ! (and hurt) and those feelings came out in my letter. I was told by an adult in the house to send it, if I wanted to, but no one would publish that. I stubbornly stuck a stamp on it and sent it off and a few days later we read that letter in the Letters to the Editor section. It made me feel better and I hoped whoever hit my cat felt bad after they read it.

Yesterday I got my Sept/Oct issue of Poets and Writers Magazine. I read something in it that made me angry. I just fired off a letter to that editor and we’ll see if it gets published. I imagine they have many, many comments to choose from, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I sent it.

I went ahead and put it in my “submissions” folder as well. I see that’s a thin folder right now. I need to submit more.


Another time I wrote a letter to the editor of the Durham NC newspaper in reply to their article about why teachers are leaving public schools. I was fired up that day too, as I was one of the teachers who was resigning. I showed that letter to my middle son who said, “send it”. And that day, like today, all it took was a push of a button (key) to send it on its way.

I got a call from that editor who said they’d received my letter and would like to use it as a “guest column”. Was that all right with me? And could I come in and have a headshot done? I said it was fine, and I’d recently had the picture that is posted on this blog taken, so I sent that to them.

I kept watching for the column, but the school secretary saw it that morning before I did. She came running into my classroom and showed it to me. She was surprised. She asked if I wrote that??? I told her, yes, I did. (I also used it when I filed for unemployment. Yes, I quit, but I quit for cause. It was one of my pieces of evidence.)

But you never know when or what you will get published until you write it and send it off.




I want a website. I’d planned to hire a professional to design it. I just saw an ad on facebook about WordPress websites. Premium. I want to check out that possibility.

I have all these ideas and I work on each one, bouncing from one to the other. All can be linked to a website and I think I will try to make one. If I can’t do it, I can still hire a professional.


Second Video has had trial run done. It lasted 5 minutes. The first video was a long 15 minutes, and some of the comments I got were to make the first one into 3 short ones. Well, let’s see if anyone is watching before I do all that.

I have the third one outlined.

I procrastinated on making this second one because my editor is not available until after Sunday night.

My oldest son is coming by tomorrow, I think.

Tuesday will be when I make the next video and then I will nag, nag, nag my editor to edit it faster than last time. (My editor is my youngest son.)


I saw that specialist doctor last Friday – day before yesterday. Basically there is nothing she can do for my condition and she explained why. She also encouraged me to get that test done that I canceled. Uh . . . I don’t know how much longer I’ll be on this earth, but I’m tired of spending time with doctors. The test she wants me to have takes two days to prepare for, and then there’s the day of the test and I will be put to sleep. That’s a risk right there with my lungs . . . The funny thing is I was nagged since April to get in and see that specialist and while I did like her (I don’t like most doctors), she can’t do anything to help me, so what was the big deal about going to see her??? Sometimes things don’t make sense to me and aren’t logical.


She did check my severe neck pain that I’ve had. I told my regular doctor in June and she said to use a heating pad on it. She didn’t get up from her laptop to check it. She just said to use a heating pad. So I did until the heat index got up to 106 here for several days in a row and then I was hot enough that I couldn’t stand the thought of a heating pad on my neck. But this specialist didn’t once touch a computer. She talked to me and examined me. She says I have an ear infection and called in ear drops. Neither drugstore will have the ear drops until Monday. It doesn’t matter. they cost over $300 and that’s a lot of money in my world. The specialist did say to use Peroxide in my ear until I got the drops. One drugstore said they would call the doctor Monday to see if a cheaper ear drop would work. The Peroxide has helped a lot with the neck pain. Isn’t that something? Something in someone’s ear can cause neck pain? It was so bad that I wouldn’t park where I’d have to back out because it hurt to turn my neck. The specialist said if it wasn’t better by the time I saw the regular doctor next month to tell her to do a neck x-ray. She said she was putting it in her notes. They share notes. On the computer.



Video Was Published Today

Why am I so shy about publishing the link to it here? It’s on Youtube. It’s not exactly what I wanted, but it’s my first one, so I’m trying to excuse the errors.

The picture I use here was taken just eleven years ago. Men were still “hitting on me” then, and I was too busy to notice them.

Now I have aged (and not all that well) and boy, I look different. Should I change my photo on here to a more current one? Even then, the last year and a half of disability has changed my appearance from even the most recent photos.

In late April 2015, I had to quit my job . . . or go out on medical leave. I had hoped to go back this year, but was not able. I’m a school teacher and loved working with the struggling readers. All that most of them needed was for me to figure out the missing puzzle piece. They had missed one or more reading concepts and as soon as I figured out what each one had missed, I was able to teach that to them and then they’d work their way up to the reading level the rest of the class was on; I’d dismiss them from my classes, and replace them with another struggling reader.

I’ve missed them. I’ve missed the challenge.

When my youngest son was in 8th grade, for various reasons, I decided to homeschool him. It was not easy because I was still working 8 hours a day (or more) and had to prepare lessons for him. I couldn’t find a good curriculum, so I tried to design my own. He had some good lessons that year. Once we went on a “field trip” to hear the author of Ender’s Game speak. That author’s name is Orson Scott Card.  I’ll never forget that evening. But still, I struggled, even as a trained school teacher, to teach him the concepts the 8th grade required.

After that year, I looked at writing for Homeschooling Magazines, but was surprised to read that they didn’t want anyone to tell them HOW to teach. They wanted articles about what it was like to be a homeschooling parent.

Somewhere along the way, I did read that the hardest thing a homeschool parent taught was Reading. I wanted to tell them that there are teachers out there who also lack knowledge in how to teach reading. I’ve studied general teaching at ECU. I earned a certification in Reading Recovery from NC Central in Durham. I got a Masters Degree in Language and Literacy Education from UNCW. My biggest problem is ignoring the teacher’s manual and using what I’ve learned over the years.

I decided to make a series of videos to show parents, or anyone else who wanted to know, how I teach reading. I pull a little from this and a little from that and use different skills and techniques I’ve learned through the years.

So my disabled self sat down a couple weeks ago and made my first video on how to teach reading. The first one is about letters and sounds, which is the basis for most of the other techniques.

I was not happy with how tired and old I looked. I was not able to superimpose the websites I wanted to send viewers to, if they wanted to buy or print out the materials I was using. the top of my head was cut off in part of the video. My son helped me edit it so that the um’s and pauses were cut out. As bad as it looks to me now, it looked worse.

Tomorrow I am going to take the giant leap and post it on this blog. I’ve already sent it to five friends and asked for criticism. All I got was false praise and “it looks good”. Well, maybe someone on here will be more honest. But before you tell me I’m no longer easy on the eyes, let me tell you, I already know that.

Don’t Help

If someone wants to be a writer and asks you to help them do that, don’t waste your time. What they’re truly saying is that they want an editor to come by their house (at the writer’s convenience) and look at all the wonderful things they’ve written and write them a big, fat check to buy it.

They do not want advice or suggestions or anything else you may have learned over the years while you lived your own struggle to become a writer.

Don’t waste your time. You will regret it and that is time lost that you could use to benefit your own writing endeavors.

Is It Friday?

I think it is Friday, August 12. I haven’t written this week because I’ve been sick. A dental appointment Monday seems to have caused some stomach issues and I haven’t cared much about writing. I just want to quit being sick.

I did get my video uploaded, but it’s not ready for public view yet.

This was a wasted week. I don’t even care; I felt so bad at times that death seemed attractive. I hate being sick. I absolutely hate it.

Reminder to Self re/Ads

It’s Sunday . . . I don’t usually blog on Sunday, but I had this idea I want to be sure I make a note of . . .

If my Reading Video Series is aimed at homeschooling parents, who might want a little guidance teaching reading, are there advertisements in home-schooling magazines? If so, I want to buy an ad to direct them to my Reading Videos.

I have looked at Home-Schooling magazines in the past. I home-schooled my youngest son when he was in 8th grade. I scrambled to find materials and curriculum to cover what he should learn that year. I would have appreciated an 8th grade teacher who could have steered me right to it. However, in looking at the magazines and looking in the Writers Market, the magazines said they didn’t want articles from teachers telling how to teach. I think what they were seeking were articles about other home-schooling parents. I really can’t remember clearly. That was a long time ago. I haven’t looked lately. I need to check those mags out.

Anyway, I also can’t remember if there were ads in those magazines. If so, I want to buy one, once my videos are up and available.

My son has said for youtube, if someone hasn’t accessed your site in the last two weeks, it won’t bring it up in their “feed”. He thinks I should make more than one video each week, but it is not easy making them. I want them done well, so I am going to take my time and make one per week.

I have plans for Monday and Tuesday of the upcoming week. I’ve already outlined my second video, so I’ll do a practice one on Wednesday and after looking at it for what needs improvement, I’ll do the real one on Thursday. The first one needs to be uploaded by Wednesday. My son has it now and says he has a couple more edits to do . . . if he doesn’t upload it by Wed., I will.


August 5, Friday

My youngest son spent this morning editing my video. He thinks, for the first one, this will be ok. He saw that I look “scalped” in some of the frames as it was too low to get the top of my head in it . . . but I really don’t want to do it over and for the most part, it shows the materials and the methods I was trying to share just as it is.

Now he wants the website addresses that I am including in the video so people can find the materials I used, if they want to.

He said it’s about 15 minutes long, which is about how long I wanted it to be.

I’m already planning the second video, so if someone wants to do more in one day, they can do two videos at the time, although if the child is very young, I wouldn’t. Children can only absorb so much information at a time, and I go over four different activities in the first video.

I’m keeping notes and I may write this up as a book, as well, although for me, watching someone do something on a video is more easy to understand than reading it in a book.

I hope to post the link to the video on this website within a week. I haven’t seen the edited version and might as well wait until he includes the website addresses before I watch it.

This is my son, who has lived in Asia for five years. While he was there, he was on some of their TV programs. He gave me some tips on how to improve my next video, but he agrees, this one is done and let’s move on.


August 4, Thursday

I just finished making my first video to show how to teach reading. I am making the videos with home-schooling parents in mind, but anyone who wants tips on how to teach reading can use them.

The video still needs editing. I was not happy with the fact that the very top of my head is cut off in some of the screen shots, but I had the camera set to show what I was holding up. When my son helps me edit the video, we’ll decide if I need to remake it. I think, for what it is, it looks fine. I’ll post the link on this blog when it’s uploaded to youtube.