Hey all! I haven’t disappeared from the internet completely (despite the temptation!). I’m planning some HUGE changes here at melindamusil.com. It’s seriously insane around here!
Of course, I spent most of the month of June traveling. I went to Europe with my family – specifically the Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, and France. I saw a LOT and had a great time. I love the chance to see another part of the world with such a unique and different history and culture.
Incidentally, we flew with the Delta/KLM/Air France alliance, and they were FANTASTIC. Their technology, in particular, was great. Delta offers wi-fi on all their flights, but because it cost extra, I did not use it. However, I could check Delta’s website and information about our connecting flights for free (through my ipad), and that was a fantastic tool. They also had USB charging ports on all the international flights. I wasn’t expecting that, and so my electronics were completely charged before the flight, so I didn’t need to use that port. If I’d known to expect it, that would’ve saved me from some frantic searching for a power outlet at JFK airport!
They also had plenty of charging ports at every airport, so it wasn’t too difficult to find an outlet and I mostly didn’t have to fight other travelers for it. Through their iPhone app, I could scan the tags we’d received when we checked our luggage, and the app would tell me where the bag was located. Hugely reassuring! Plus they responded to a mid-vacation tweet within TEN MINUTES! If you can’t tell, I was pretty blown away by it.
Anyway. I’m home now, and back to writing. There is so much work to do, but I’m looking forward to the changes I will unfold on this website. It’s going to be wonderful!
I have an acquaintance whose mother had a liver transplant several years ago. It was a long and painful process for both her and her family, because she was a newly naturalized citizen of the United States. She had immigrated to the United States illegally and was able to become a citizen through an immigration attorney and a program during the Reagan administration. She had also just escaped a domestic violence situation. Her insurance was quite poor, and it was only through the hard work of several doctors and nurses that she was able to qualify for the transplant list, and later for a transplanted liver.
How do you value the patients in a situation like this? Should she have been barred from the transplant list because she was previously an illegal immigrant, or because she had poor insurance? Because she was a mother, should she have been more qualified than the next guy? Should she have been more or less qualified because she had been in a domestic violence situation?
I don’t think there’s an answer. There’s a reason we have the rules, and it’s a slippery slope if we start comparing the value of transplant recipients. All I can say is, sign your donor card, donate your organs, and maybe there will be one less death because of your gift.
Lately there’s been a lot of news about a ten-year-old girl in Philly who needs a lung transplant due to cystic fibrosis, but couldn’t be placed on the list of adult lung donations due to her age. (Today a judge issued a temporary order allowing her to be placed on that list.) It’s a terrible, tragic story, with a very high chance that the little girl may die. But something that no one seems to mention:
Regardless of what list she’s on, if this little girl gets a pair of lungs, that means at least two other people will die – the lung donor, and the next person on the list who ALSO needs lungs but won’t get them.
I think we need to remember the next guy. He/she may be a parent with a large family. He/she may be a doctor who is busy curing cancer. He/she may be another child who would grow up to become the doctor who cures cancer. Is her life more valuable than the next guy’s? How can we decide which of these patients is the most worthy of a transplant?
I’m not saying it is wrong for this girl to get a lung transplant, but as long as there is a shortage of donor organs, there are no winners. Someone out there who needs a lung transplant will die waiting for their organs. If it’s not this little girl, it will be someone else.
Intriguing. The guys at Google have created an $82 million private airport in San Jose, California that will serve the private aircraft of Silicon Valley execs. I’m fascinated because I’ve often wondered if private airports would be better designed or more secure than the current public designs. I don’t know if they would be, but I do think it’s a fascinating area of discussion. Everything from the security to the pickup/dropoff areas (for things like a car service st petersburg) could potentially be improved. Of course, a private airport could also be worse than a public airport. There are just so many possible changes that could take place, both good and bad, and I don’t know if we could anticipate all of the possible ripple effects.
I didn’t get much work done today. I spent most of the day cleaning my house and getting ready for a garage sale later this week. (On the upside, I now have half as many clothes in my closet. Hooray for actually being able to fit clothes back in the closet after I do laundry!)
Now I’m staring at a blank Google Doc page and struggling to keep my story moving. I’m working on a pretty intense scene, around the climax of the story. There’s a lot happening, but there are also a lot of details that need to be correct. My characters are injured, seriously enough to hamper their mobility, but at the same time I don’t want them to have any long-term disabilities as a result. Not to mention, I need to describe the experience of the injuries with more than just clinical terms.
Anyway. I’m also looking into new themes for this website. (As usual, I suppose – to some extent I’m ALWAYS looking for new themes for this site.) I have an idea for creating a series of non-fiction short stories or vignettes especially for you, my darling audience, and exclusive to this website. The first series will likely be a revamped discussion of my car accident. It shall be outstanding!
Tomorrow there’s a big picnic at my church. I actually don’t know very much about it except that there is free food, and since they’re calling it a “picnic” I assume that it will be outside. They’re also opening up the newly-remodeled high school area, and who knows what the high school kids will be doing to show it off – I wouldn’t be surprised if they set up karaoke machines or something. High school kids are a bit nuts like that. The worship director is really skilled at event production so I am sure it will go well regardless of what they are doing.
My introverted self is not really looking forward to it, but I know it will be a great opportunity for “people watching” and studying possible character traits that I can use for my stories. There is a very real chance that I will position myself in some quiet corner and absorb myself in taking notes about (and possibly photographs of) the people around me using my iPhone. Since I don’t get out very much during the week, these are my opportunities to observe the ways people interact. The next scene I’m writing will involve a pretty large crowd, so I plan to use tomorrow’s crowd as inspiration.
You’d think I have something to say, but I don’t.
I could write about how much I have come to adore cloud-based writing tools. Lately I’ve been using Google Drive/Docs, though Yarny is also a good solution. It has made it so easy to move between my computer, my iPad, and my iPhone. Not to mention, saving my work in the Cloud takes away a lot of the stress of running backups. (Note: Even if you write in the cloud, you should still run periodic backups just in case! I just feel like, by saving in the cloud, I don’t need to run DAILY backups!)
I could also write about how I’m planning to change my theme on this website. Possibly on all my websites. I have a vision of what I’d like to create, but just need to find enough time to complete it.
But the honest truth is, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks positively obsessed with my writing. I’ve been writing every spare minute imaginable. I’ve been adjusting scenes, writing the same scene over and over, changing my characters. I’ve been writing until two or three a.m., then getting up early in the morning to continue writing. To say I’ve been preoccupied would be an understatement.
I do love it. Even with all the obsession and all the preoccupation, I truly have the best job in the world.
I’ve spent the day banging my head against the table. Writing is such a two-steps-forward-one-step-back job.
The weather today is HOT. I believe the high was 92 degrees Fahrenheit. Ole!
I’ve held off all spring on putting away my blankets and winter clothes, as the weather has yo-yo’ed so dramatically! Just 10 days ago, I was wearing long sleeves and long pants in a cold snap! However, now that it hit 92, and given that my house is a crazy mix of winter supplies and summer supplies, I’m doing it. The blankets are in the dryer right now (I probably need to go get them soon!). I sorted out all my summer clothes and winter clothes, and the winter clothes – long sleeves, sweatshirts, embroidered shirts – are now safely stashed in the back of the closet. The summer clothes – tank tops, shirts with t shirt printing, shorts – are in the dresser drawers.
Now let’s just hope it’s here to stay!
I turned 30 years old last week.
I should probably have some words of wisdom to share, but I don’t. Instead, I will share this, a list of 30 things turning 30 this year. You can add “Melinda” as number 31.
This paragraph is from an article on Foxnews.com’s story about the Boston Marathon bomber, specifically about how no cemeteries will accept the body of Tamerlen Tsarnaev.
Glad I’m not that attorney!