Books I have read recently

  • Shirley by Charlotte Bronte — I'm reading a giant biography of the Brontes "Wild Genius on the Moors" By Juliet Barker (amazing!! but I'll post on that when I finish) So I'm reading each novel as it's discussed in the book. I loved Shirley. I have to agree with the critics that it is a slow painful start and it does take about 150 pages till we meet the title character Shirley. But besides that, it is so well written. Caroline Helstone’s angst is beautiful and poignant. And knowing that the last third of the book was written after Emily & Anne died explains so much about the change in the book. Charlotte likes to fix her world by writing about it and in her version the sick heroine recovers where her sisters did not. I definitely recommend Shirley for the Bronte fan. Don’t skip it.
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas --- It took me a couple chapters to really dive in but after that I was in love. I had read somewhere that it was based on Beauty & the Beast, which is great. What I did not know is that it is a retelling of one of my favorite fairytales: East of the Sun, West of the Moon!!! What a treat when I discovered that. I love that story. It's whimsical and the girl saves the day which I love love love. Sarah does a beautiful job of it and I can't wait for the next one!!
  • Miss Buncle’s Book by D. E. Stevenson —What a little treat. My mom gave these books to me for my birthday and there are so much fun. It’s a light easy read and it made me chuckle.
  • Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder— I adore her soul finder books. I’ve been reading them for years. She builds beautiful strong women and sweeping romance. Her magic system is unique and I want to live in her world.
  • The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr and E. B. White — A must read for every writer. Thanks to Stephen King for the recommendation. It has all those little things that I had questions about and answered them quickly and succinctly. It’s not the funnest read but it’s helpful.
  • Click of Titles to go to the book's Amazon page

Thursday, December 6, 2007

"Something to this Curse"

The dramatic epic

Narrated by: Cordelia

Chapter One: Introduction
You may have once imagined what your last thoughts would be before the end of the world and Megan was surprised remembering on reflection that the last words she thought were " But who was that woman?" For all her certainty that the end of the world was surely coming that day , she could not help but feel a little surprise that it did come after all. When the time came she was not sure if she expected herself to be brave or weak for at the exact moment the world ended she felt neither. This may not sound like the end of the world to you but it was as close as Megan had known. But I am jumping ahead of myself. Let me go to the night before the end of the world.

Chapter Two: Twas the night before
The day began as any other. Dear Megan struggled though another day in dental hygiene school but relaxed as she finally reached home. She had many things to do that night and time seemed to slip away until she realized it was nearly 6 o’clock, time to confirm the appointment for her patient the next day. She was not altogether shocked when the phone was not picked up right away but she was a little unnerved. She just made a mental note to call again in a few hours. But before I tell if she ever gets in contact with the patient that night, I should explain Megan’s current position. It is nearly time for Christmas break as she wraps up the semester and everything is lined up ever so nicely. She has one appointment left with each of her patients and then she will pass the semester. So it is rather important for these last two patients to show up (hence Megan’s feeling of being slightly unnerved.) As the night wore one she was unable to contact her Honduran patient and Megan became more than unnerved. This particular patient will not come unless she is called and reminded/ persuaded. The severity of the situation seemed to hit Megan all at once. If this patient did not arrive she would not pass this semester (actually more accurately she would pass the semester on a temporary arrangement). If this patient did not come she would receive an incomplete for the semester and would have 3 chances in the spring semester to redeem herself. This may not sound such a terrible alternative but then you could not possibly understand dental hygiene school, and could not understand why Megan suddenly broke into tears in the middle of a homework assignment.

Chapter three: At peace with the world
The weight of the world seemed so heavy on her little shoulders. Her body shook as tears steamed down her face and she fought for breath. If you have not sobbed recently, I mean heart-wrenching sobbed, then you probably believe that a single tear rolls down your face as it contorts into a frown/snarl. This is half way true. The snarl I believe is always present in a good sob but her eyes sprouted tears like a river delta, tear tracing lining her face everywhere. They tears were so warm on her face, but her heart was breaking within her. She did not stop for some time but held her hand over her mouth to keep others from overhearing. But broken sobs escaped her lips as she half hoped to be caught when she was in such despair. Why such a dramatic response you may wonder. But I must consent she can be a bit dramatic at time but this this even dramatic for her. Megan felt as though she was failing, as though she was incompetent. She was brought back to some the worst moment of her life: being an alternate in the dental hygiene program and failing her practice thus disappointing a women she greatly respected and admired. It is a great shame to be incomplete. You are looked on with such pity and contempt. To know that so many others are fine while your continuation in the program hangs so precariously on the compliance of another. But again I am getting ahead of myself, Megan does not know if her patient will show or not. She finally calmed her breathing and decided that whatever was going to happen would be God’s will.** (whenever I have ** in the story this is a key point to get). This acceptance is a huge jump for Megan, if only you knew. When she failed her practical she was very angry with God for letting her fail. Is he not all powerful? Did he not know how deeply that would hurt her? Did all the prayers prayed on her behalf mean nothing? Unfortunately these were the thoughts are heroine had at that time, but the key is that she did not have them this time so we cannot judge her too harshly. So having resolved herself to trusting that her Beloved would do the right thing, all the while knowing that He could just as easily choose to fail her, she searched for a prayer warrior to beseech her God on her behalf. So she knocked on the door to her sister, Brittany’s room. Brittany was currently on the phone with her boyfriend but as always was quick to give her sister attention. Megan fell on her sister as she explained the situation to the ceiling. Her sister gave her a pat on the head and said that she most surely would pray for her. Her parents came in that night, sensing a distressed child in the air and she explained the situation to the ceiling again. They tried to make plans and assure her that all will be well, Bless their hearts. But Megan’s heart was already breaking and no words could comfort her until tomorrow would arrive and her fate revealed. Megan then decided to ask the Lord herself. I was able to sneak the journal entry of that night. Read with respect please.
The world is closing around me and I can barely breathe! I can’t stop crying. What if she doesn’t come? Please don’t punish me. Forgive me. I can’t even sob. Please Please le her come. Let her remember I need this, really need it. I am humbled.
Help me to accept whatever is coming tomorrow.”

Chapter four: Additional Thanks
I forgot to add in the previous chapter that Megan called her boyfriend, Matt, to alert him to the situation. He was a boy, though could not help but to try to plan with her as well as her parents did. She may have been a little short with him but she just needed a hug and all he could give was words. He is not to be blamed for her discontentment in the least. She bid him goodnight as he assured her of his expected success for her upcoming big day. She shared her plan with one last soul that evening, Jenn Marie. Such a kindred spirit if ever Megan had one. Jenn Marie had no “magic, perfect” words but that in itself was perfect. The best thing she said all night was “ I understand.” How happy Megan was to find a soul that truly understood, did not try to make light of the situation and did not pity her, but stood on equal ground to face the obstacle. Megan asked that I put a special thanks to Jenn Marie in the story and everyone else who listened to Megan’s soul that evening.

Chapter five: Only this morning could follow last night
Megan was awaked by a text message at 8:45, take in mind that morning clinic starts at 8 o’clock. Thankfully, Megan’s important patient was scheduled at 1 o’clock and she had no morning patient. But that is an unnerving way to wake up none the less. Even though Megan had no morning patient, she wanted to go to school to do some charts and stuff. So she rushed to get ready, throwing her hair up in a ponytail (which looked remarkably well).She put on her scrubs and makeup** but Megan did not put on any mascara. To the watchful eye this action could be taken as a sign of lack of faith. Confused? Let me explain. Megan did not put mascara on that morning full expecting to be crying that day, but should Megan not have kept up faith that God would redeemed her and send her patient? Maybe but the facts are she did not put on mascara that morning. She called her patient like a stalker, every hour or so, trying to catch her before 1 o’clock. As the day dragged on there was not word. Lunchtime came and Megan joined her dear friend Leela for lunch and a Coke. This remarkably lifted her spirits ( as indulging in one’s addictions will do). As 1’oclock came and went Megan decided to call her patient from a friend’s phone. A woman answers (did I mention that the patient was from Honduras and speaks mediocre English). This woman who answers the phone speaks English like a white woman.
“Hello this is Megan from … dental clinic is this…?”
“Is she home?”
“She had a dental appointment today”
“Is there any way I can get a hold of her?”
“No, she is unreachable”
“Oh, okay, have a good day.”

Chapter 6: End of the world begin
Megan walked back inside the waiting room (she had taken the call outside). She glanced around fully expecting to notice some change now that the world was over. But everyone seemed to carry on as usual. She checked the corners and roof of the room looking for cracks. For surely the outer world should show some signs of brokenness like her heart. But no, all was as it was. For a moment Megan entertained the idea of pretending that the world had not ended, that nothing had happened. Clearly no one could tell from the external that she was breaking. But they would have to find out eventually. Megan handed Leela’s phone back and shook her head “She’s not coming” Leela only looked at her with eyes of a kindred spirit, knowing that no words could help and that Megan was not looking for anything but the sympathy that is passed between eyes. Before I continue I should explain that Megan’s instructor for that day was Mrs. Clark. A more kind, lovely mother hen could not be asked for from a group of dental hygiene students. She is always just but cares so much for each students and wishes them only the best. Megan knew that the first thing she must do was find Mrs. Clark. Thankfully Mrs. Clark was in her office and not in clinic. (Secretly in her heart Megan was glad that she was not one of those girls who frequently cried in clinic) She found Mrs. Clark and said
“I was just looking for you”
“Oh are you mine? Is your patient here?”
“Yes, I was going to have Difficult but she.. isn’t.. coming”
“Did you need her”
Megan barely managed a nod before her lips betrayed her and began to quiver. She rose her hand to cover the weakness. But Mrs. Clark, having encountered such situations many times before simply brought Megan into a hug. Megan tried to stop the sobs but being under Mrs. Clark’s wing seemed to empty her of reserve. The whole time this was going one she kept saying “It’ going to be ok. You’ll be alright.” Megan finally pulled back trying to muster up some dignity. Mrs. Clark then asked some question Megan could not recall afterwards and they began to form a plan. Megan tried to stop crying and rose her hand to cover her traitorous frown. Megan then nodded as they departed to check screening to see if any new patients has arrive that Megan might be able to start. But before Megan returned to clinic she went to the ladies room. Megan was now glad that she did not wear mascara that morning. Her eyes began to water again as she remembered the situation but she took a couple deep breathes. Megan then wiped her eyes with a paper towel and ** began the process of turn her frown into a smile. Oh how tired that smile must be. How often it is forced out when there is not happiness in Megan’s heart.

Chapter Seven: To face the world and not belong
Megan reentered clinic, the tracks of her tears not hidden half so well as she would like. She went to screening to she if any prospective patients had arrived who would be will to stay for a cleaning. As Megan approached the girl who was doing screening, dear Holly, she said
“Is there anyone being screened today?”
“Why do you need someone?”
Megan’s lips quivered again as she whispered “yes” but she was certain tears would not betray her again. Holly nodded, ignoring the moment of weakness. Megan decided that leave clinic emotionally and harden her heart to whatever came of that cursed day. The screened patient turned out to be a Difficult who needed x-rays. This sunk Megan’s heart lower is such a thing was possible. Megan’s x-ray average was a precarious 86% just passing. She took the x-rays with the help of Mrs. Clark who was as eager as Megan for success. Megan began scaling and thankfully the tartar came off easily. She only cleaned 4 teeth though. She would be incomplete. Mrs. Clark appeared to noticed Megan’s icy demeanor but she could not open herself up to feelings at the moment but tried to convey to Mrs. Clark her gratitude for all her help and understanding. Megan did a great job on x-rays and cleaned the 4 teeth she had time for immaculately. Mrs. Clark expressed several times how well Megan did that day. But she had checked out of clinic long ago and passed as through a daze. She cleaned her unit and those around her were kind enough to let her be if they did know the full situation.

Chapter Eight: On the long drive home
Megan noticed that she had missed many calls from her concerned family but a key thing to understand about Megan is that the more she is hurting the less she wants to talk and the more she wants to retreat. The more Megan is hurt the more she wants to be alone. So she told her family that her patient did not show and that she was on her way. She conveyed the same message to Matt who was so wonderful and told her to call later if she wanted to talk. He was sensitive to her directing of the conversation and did not push while she was in such a tender place. She drove home in the depths of despair only able to relieve her burdened soul with tears every so often. But oh who can understand the depths of her broken heart. Those in clinic who had overheard the situation looked at her with pity and Megan hated pity and in their eyes she read the thoughts “ Thanks God that’s not me”. Megan did not despise them for their feelings for had she not felt that way when others before her had been incomplete? Megan came home ate dinner and shared little with her family who did not pry understanding the depths of her pain. She would have loved to curl into bed and go to sleep but as always there is work to be done and if Megan is anything she is responsible. So she finally went to bed around midnight empty and heartbroken.

Chapter Nine: Are you okay?
That question. Megan could not answer it honestly. Not she is not okay, not she is not fine. A night of sleep has not changed anything, it has only had time to sink in and become real. So Thursday began and ended with nothing to report, but Megan is not yet “fine” or “O.K.” She only hopes that over Christmas she will have time to become so. And this is where I leave you faithful reader who has read this epic. I named it so on purpose to warn you. But I hope it was entertaining and broken up enough. I bid you goodnight, and ask forgiveness. Megan does not mean to be rude or try to push you away. She is only coping in the best way she knows. But even now rare moment make her laugh and she almost feels a traitor to the mourning she is supposed to be doing. But writing this epic has helped her to face it and hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Chapter Ten: The Curse of the President
So there is is this curse. every class president has failed the program. At least for the past 4 years. For real

Chapter Eleven : The happy part
It is so like me to leave out the best part of the story. The patient Megan screened agreed to come back in January for her first 3 appointments. I don't feel so down today. It helped me to write it all out, and it turned out to be such a grand story I think.


Brittnee said...

This is Earth shattering.
I’d give anything to give you the biggest hug and alleviate some heartache. But it’s good to be reassured that you have many-a-kindred spirits there to lend hugs.

I knew today was horrible. I felt it. The entire world was in a funk and right fully so. I can’t find anything to say other than I am truly, truly sorry. And if it’s of any consolation Ill mourn this season along with you.

I hope you know all that you are. You’re wonderful, and brilliant and a success in every way. There are 900 things to do on your daily agenda and you take everything in strides. You touch everyone you have relations with and in turn are dearly loved, my friend. You are so much more than any adjective/ potential job description/grade/title imaginable! Please try to keep breathing.


p.s. your epic was perfect; written more eloquently than Francine herself. I wanted to read something before bed but nothing would feed the funk. Thank you for being miserable with me!

Brittnee said...

i meant that last sentence in the most sarcastic ( and probably not the smartest) of ways.

Megan said...

The last sentence was lovely. It is nice to share a miserable moment with a friend, if only for a moment.

Brittt said...

oh mae mae, I wish I would've dropped the phone immediately with the sixth sense of a sister/life partner in need. I love you meggie and I'm so bad at understanding.... if anything, that let me know what you go through and how that insanely intricate mind of yours works. I finally understand and I'm so happy. Like our brother, I wanna take away some of the burden and pain and all I can do is just pray. Yes, prayer is powerful but it doesn't make things instantly better... most of the time. Wake me up, sit on me, throw my phone from my face if you ever need to talk or cry or just sit with someone. I adore you dear anne shirley!

Anonymous said...

cordelia all i have to say is that to be in the depths of despair is to turn your back on God. Dear Murilla........what I would give for your practical outlook on life. Unfortunately we are far too emotional and dramatic for her kind of logic.

Megan said...

Oh my dearest N'yder. Thank you for noticing the narrator. I miss you. Merry Christmas.