Thursday, July 7, 2016

State Of Play.

So it's been six weeks.

Six weeks since the surgery that turned my life sideways. I was going to say upside down, but that sorta seems overly dramatic and not altogether justified. 

Or maybe it's just me being uncomfortable with the significance of all of this. 

So where am I at?

I still can't talk with any decent quality. I'm good for a few rasping sentences but I'm stuffed after about an hour a day and then I just can't make it work. Which presents a problem because, before all of this surgery, I committed to an author talk at a suburban library here in Adelaide later this month. I still want to do it so I've been resting my voice as much as is humanly possible and I've been working on my exercises three and four times a day in order to stretch the muscles in my throat because I really want to do it. I feel as though I need to do it. 

(Week 3. Would you wanna kiss this??)

My throat hurts like a mother f***er - all the time. 

I saw my surgeon earlier this week and he passed his camera down into the area where he operated. While it's healing, it's become inflamed and hyper sensitive due to some reflux I've developed. I'm now popping Somac daily (a protein pump inhibitor) to address the reflux and I'm swallowing Gaviscon four times a day. The Gaviscon is a thick cement like liquid - that tastes awful - which coats my throat and protects it against acids my natural desire to actually fucking speak.

It's ironic that the exercises I'm supposed to be doing are actually contributing to all of this. 

Oh - and I think I'm addicted to coedine.

I'm popping Panadiene like a junkie - well it feels that way - even though I'm actually sticking to the requisite recommended dosing of 6 hourly. The pain has localized itself to my throat, in the vicinity of my voice box - what's left of it and it feels like razor blades everytime I so much as swallow my own saliva. You would be amazed just how active the tissues and muscles of the throat are, even when you aren't doing anything. It's nigh on impossible to get any respite from it. And, of course, as all knowledgeable persons would know, Panadiene plays havoc with one's bowels. I am so constipated that I've added several classifications to the Bristol Stool Scale. Our toilet has become the equivalent of a missile testing range when I'm in there. It's hazardous.

I hate eating. 

I don't enjoy food at all right now. Between the pain from my still healing palate and my throat, meals are just a chore. It all tastes like metal and flesh. I approach the act of swallowing solid food with dread so much so that I'm starting to avoid them altogether. 

But it has done wonders for my waist line. I've dropped 5kgs in the past month and I'm still shedding.

Suck on that Michelle Bridges!!

I'm back at work. 

Because I do night duty, I can avoid talking for the most part outside of handover and introductions to my patients. They have been very understanding and have kinda dug having a largely mute ICU Nurse caring for them. My colleagues have been hugely supportive and somehow make it work so that I can work. 

(Walhalla - where I want to set my new novel.)

But I'm sinking into a state of functioning depression. 

I want my life back. Beyond waking and doing what I have to do to make it through each day, I'm not motivated. I am trying to write. I've largely mapped out a new novel but it all feels like a chore right now and I don't enjoy it and that's dangerous for a writer. I don't get out much. I clock watch a lot, waiting for the next time where I can pop some pills or drink some cement to ease my dysfunctional throat. It all weighs heavily on my mental well being. At the moment, life consists of just getting through and I want to do more than just fucking get through...

You know...?


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Dying For It - A Preview Of Eat, Pray, Die by Chelsea Field.

Eat, Pray, Die (An Eat, Pray, Die Humorous Mystery, #1)Eat, Pray, Die by Chelsea Field

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Being an undercover poison taster for the rich and famous might sound glamorous, but for Isobel Avery it means stomaching bad clients and even worse coffee.

The one side of the job that lives up to expectations is the money. Which is just as
well for Izzy, since she needs an awful lot of it. Who knew when she made a lifelong commitment to a man that it would be one year living with him and the rest of her life paying for it.

But even her scoundrel ex-husband doesn’t look so bad compared to her new client. He’s competent, condescending, and annoyingly attractive, and Izzy doesn’t know whether to sleep with him or poison him herself. Throw in a loan-shark, a nosy neighbor, and a murder attempt, and Izzy will have her work cut out for her

Eat, Pray, Die is a sexy and stylish mystery/thriller with no shortage of smart dialogue and taut action scenes combined with an engaging and involving mystery from the get go.

Chelsea Field's protagonist, Isobel Avery, is a classic fish out of water heroine - an attractive and plucky young Australian who navigates her way through the highly polished chintz of LA's celebrity obsessed culture in the role of a poison taster to the rich and famous. Working for a shadowy agency, Isobel is hired as a "Shade" by wealthy clients who are targeted by enemies by way of poisoning and it is her job to neutralise any threats by tasting their food.

When one of her colleagues falls victim to a particularly dangerous poison, Isobel is paired with the enigmatic - and decidedly "rugged" - operative Connor and together they embark on a desperate race against the clock to uncover an enemy who is determined to foil them. Isobel Avery is appealing wide eyed and, perhaps overwhelmed by the responsibilities she has taken on, but she is also resourceful, with a keen eye and an analytical mind and it doesn't take long for her to embrace her role of investigator with gusto.

Paired with her foil in Connor, I couldn't help but imagine Mad Men's John Ham in the role. There's a satisfying tension between the two and I found their story trajectory really engaging.
Field's writing style is highly polished and she posits some really clever ideas - particularly around the whole celebrity poisons industry. The need to have an agency dedicated to the protection of high profile figures from competitors is fascinating and it offers a unique insight into a world that I found utterly convincing and more than just a little scary. Her grasp of the mystery elements kept me guessing and problem solving which is the mark of a really great piece of genre fiction.

Field visualises the high gloss world of L.A. brilliantly, making the scenes immediately accessible and she finesses her narrative with sensory detail that drew me into the world and kept me there. Her supporting cast are all well drawn and I never knew, from one page to the next just which of them might be the prime antagonist.

Above all, Eat, Pray, Die moves fast. It's an entertaining ride from beginning to end and I enjoyed the heck out of it.

(image credit: Chelsea Field).

Adelaide based author Chelsea Field has lived an exciting life for an introvert.

She’s fallen off a galloping racehorse, faced down dozens of Australia’s most dangerous animals (including vicious roosters, for those of you who’ve read
EAT, PRAY, DIE), and while she’s never sold buns or coffee for a living like her protagonist, she’s consumed plenty of both.

Yes, all of those points are about animals or food. I told you she’s an introvert.

After writing a romantic comedy (no, you can’t read it) where the hero was a photographer from Burnside and then meeting and marrying a photographer from Burnside a few years later, she’s a little worried her writing has weird prophetic fate-like powers. So she makes sure nothing too bad ever happens to her characters, just in case life decides to imitate fiction again.

Purchase Eat, Pray, Die here.

Connect with Chelsea Field here.

Chelsea Field on Amazon here.

View all my Goodreads reviews.