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Goodbye Everyone

My website is up!  My new blog is set up.  Both of which you can see here:  RobinConnelly.com.

I'll know if you leave comments here.  But I hope you'll simply move with me to the new blog. I'll talk to you again. And I'll check on those who I've been following from time-to-time.



So, I'm stuck in book titles again. I don't know why but they're constantly on my mind any more and I probably shouldn't worry about it until I have my book in the shape I want it be in. Book titles are apparently hard for me though. I write Young Adult novels. As such, I doubt I can call my book Ball-Busting Girl.

  • Sour Deeds, Sweet Revenge
Revenge and unpleasant actions fill my novel. Although, I don't think I've ran into a book with this title I don't think it has any real intrigue to it. It would be like calling my novel "Never Retreat, Never Surrender."  I liked the Jean-Claude Van Damme Movie but can never actually remember the title of the movie.  It just never held enough intrigue.

  • Death wish of the headstrong  Or Headstrong Death Wish
My Main Character is very Headstrong and some of her actions suggest she has a Death Wish.  I suppose I could shorten the title more to even Death Wish or Death Wishes.  Death Wish(es) has a lot of potential though I think.  Is the speaker wishing for death?  Someone else's Death? Yes. To both, depending on the circumstance. Though if I go this route maybe it would be better if I went Wishes of Death.

  • The Club
This is the place where a lot of my story takes place.  It's a building my current narrator simply refers to as The Club. And it's easier to imagine then having a book titled Flaitheas Bås. The Club though isn't significant plot-wise to the story. It's just a location where the characters hang out, sleep, eat, etc.  And I'm not sure the place is worthy of a title position.

  • Killing Hope
This one in general seems so cliche I'm not sure why I mentioned it.  After all, isn't the idea for the characters to get to a point of no hope in most books?

  • Future Never Knowing
I'm not sure where this title came from, nor how it relates to my book but, I suppose it is a possibility.

Any suggestions?  Any preferences?  Any likes? How do you come up with titles for your books?

Moving on Out

Some of you already know this, but I thought I'd make an official announcement here. My website is nearly complete and I hope to have the updated design live within the next week, Saturday night is my drop-dead deadline goal. With the new design, I've decided to move to a new blog, which has more features that will help me blog more regularly for free than LiveJournal will allow.

I will post the new blog and my website when everything is up, so you can continue following me if you desire. If you want to follow me but don't want to make a new bookmark for me, you can always follow me on Facebook and Twitter. I announce when a new blog is posted on both of them.

I hope you continue to follow me.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/RobinConnelly
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/robin.b.connelly

Update on My Leg

I do believe I last reported treating for Cellulitis, an infection.  Well, the following week, I had yellow, liquid discharge escaping the incision. I went in to see the doctor and was told I had a Sarcoma. Basically fluid filling up the cavity left behind by the lack of a lipoma.  I find the information fascinating, so I thought others may want to read about it.  I don't consider the information graphic, but I also know some people avoid the description of procedures and body fluids.

Draining the fluid was simple enough. I was given a local.  Then another needle was put in my leg to drain the liquid.  After some squeezing the fluid filled the large syringe.  Believe me it was a large syringe.  Almost the size of a  baby bottle--in thickness--and long.  The liquid which looked yellow as it escaped from my leg, looked a pale brown in the syringe, like iced tea or a really watered down coke.

Afterwards my leg was wrapped  in crepe elastic for compression.  This kind of bandage clings to itself so no tying necessary.  I was told to put a new bandage on it the next day.  Well, the bandage fell off the same day and was already swelling again. After some debating, I went back in a week from the day I had my leg drained, which happens to be Today.  I got to actually see the procedure this time.  Last time I was on my back. And I can provide a lot more details on how the entire process works now.  Highlight to read.

Once the draining needle is in, it takes some squeezing  and manipulating to get the fluid to fill the needle.  Or it did this time around.  Fortunately, I couldn't feel the squeezing...  Then it just seemed to squirt inside without a problem, quickly filling the needle. My leg deflated like a balloon, looking normal--which I haven't seen in a long time... At least 4 years.  The liquid was a different color--yellow, almost the color of urine.  Apparently this is a good sign.  It means healing has taken place and blood wasn't in the mixture this time. A lot of it, I'm told is protein.

It was wrapped up in the same elastic wrapping as last time and tomorrow I'm supposed to change the bandage.  Then I should be fine.  It is possible fluid will fill the cavity again. In fact a small amount is expected. And even if I get a large amount of fluid in my leg, I'd be fine if I didn't go in to get it drained.  I would just need to endure the tenderness that occurs until my body reabsorbed the nutrients. The incision has healed enough where the fluid shouldn't be able to burst through now.  Of course, if it becomes tender again, I can always come back in to get my leg drained if I want to.

Hopefully my medical adventures with my leg are over.


Weird Fact #57

Elvis Presley was a martial artist

Writing classes: which to choose

Looking into writing classes again. Unfortunately I don't imagine I can afford to take all of the classes. I'm struggling to decide on which classes I should take and thought I'd ask what order of importance would you put these in for yourself.  Or if you're someone who wouldn't be interested in them, maybe put them in the order you think I should put them in.  1, being the #1 class I should focus on.

These are listed in order of start date.

I look forward to your responses.  Also, if you're interested, you can find these classes and more at http://www.savvyauthors.com/vb/workshoplist.php

Ground Breaking - A Different Sort of Worldbuilding and Character Development
April 16 to May 6, $25

Instructor: Marcy Weydemuller. The reality of our world, its emotional resonance and unique atmosphere, will be found in the details. Either we see it though the familiarity and ordinariness of our main character, or we see its strangeness through her confusion or entrancement. So it’s important for us to know the details ourselves. Just as we can walk around our homes in the dark, knowing exactly where we are, so must our characters. What is real to them needs to be real to us. This provides authentic atmosphere, tone and mood. But it doesn’t mean we need to invent everything. In this four-week workshop we’ll break ground to create our unique setting.

Course Overview

1. Mapmaking

2. Landscape

3. Landmarks

4. Territory

5. Sensory Influence

6. Local

7. Dangers

8. Secrets

Pacing Your Novel
April 23 to April 29, $25

Instructor: Becky Martinez. Getting your novel to flow sometimes seems like an impossible task. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Learn easy steps that you can apply to almost any story to go between action scenes and slower reflective scenes. Find ways to keep increasing the tension throughout your story so that you get rid of the sagging middle and learn how to keep those hooks grabbing your readers along the way. Get some simple suggestions including a look at how a story board can help and a way to devise one easily, even for the author who likes to write by the seat of the pants.

An Editor's Wish List
April 30 to May 13, $25

Instructor: Kathy Cottrell. Do you want to know what an editor really wants?  Join Kathy Cottrell, Senior Editor for the Wild Rose Press, as she shares her years of experience working in the trenches with both fledgling and experienced authors and explains how to turn an ordinary submission into something that brings an editor up out of her chair.

Setting as Character
April 30 to May 27, $30

Instructor: Devon Ellington. How do you create a convincing setting?  Whether you’re setting your story in a real location or a fantastical one, it’s the same on the page as in life:  Location, location, location!  Spend a month with Devon Ellington learning how to craft believable settings as compelling as your characters in both naturalistic and fantastic ways.  There will be short term assignments and long-term assignments over the term of the course, so be prepared to work on more than one project at a time.


My Lipoma, Surgery and Infection

For those who don't know and for those who simply wanted more details, I had a lipoma removed from my leg on Friday. A lipoma is a tumor made out of fat, almost always benign. Since you can get a lipoma if you're barbie thin or Oreo fat, it's believed people get lipomas from either genetics or trauma, though that's only speculation at this time. For me, it could be either.

I've had the lipoma for about 4 years. It was on my left leg, just below my knee. I first noticed it in college and it was relatively small at the time. I was told that if it got bigger or started to hurt to have a doctor look at it again.  Well, it seemed to double its size overnight in March so I made an appointment. It was big enough, and tender frequently enough that my doctor sent me to a surgeon.

The surgery went well, successful by all accounts.  The lipoma, once removed, was about the size of two golf balls. I was released the same day and never really suffered pain.  I have a prescription pain killer but I've only used it as a precaution at night. I went to a RWA meeting on Saturday and had a blast there. On Sunday I had Easter dinner with my family. I was set to go back to work on Monday. Around 10pm, while I was getting settled in for the night, I looked at my leg. It was red, like a sun burn. Around my incision the redness was about as long and wide as my hand. It also ran down my leg, becoming narrower as it climbed down. It stopped almost at my ankle.  The red emitted heat, again, like a sun burn.  Swelling had been a minimum until then. At that point the entire incision area was swollen--badly.

I called the post-surgery hotline the hospital has. Answered a few questions that the nurse had and was advised to go to the emergency room.  At the hospital I was told it was infected--something called Cellulitis.  It sounds like it's at the very beginning of the infection and it doesn't hurt.  They prescribed me antibiotics and gave me a pack of papers on what Cellulitis is and how to treat it.   The definition of Cellulitis on the pack is as follows:

Cellulitis is an infection of the tissue under the skin. It is caused by bacteria that enters the body through cuts or sores. Cellulitis most commonly occurs on the arms or lower legs. It cannot spread to others. If it is not treated, the bacteria may enter the blood stream and cause blood poisoning.

My leg still doesn't hurt, but it does have a tendency to feel hot, especially when I put hot packs over the site like I was told. So far, no one seems too concerned about it but they do want me to keep a close eye on the area and watch for other symptoms that may appear---and will indicate that the infection is worse, like a temperature over 101.5° F. At the hospital they outlined the redness with a pen on my leg and told me if the redness spread outside the lines to come back into the hospital.  I still have the pretty outline. After taking two pills, my leg does look better.  The red isn't nearly as dark and hasn't gone past the lines, but nor has the red receded away from the lines, but I'm sure that'll take time, certainly more than 16 hours.

So far, I'm doing fine.
Questions? Post in comments. I'll answer ASAP.

Weird Fact #54--56

#54   In Gabon Culture, Children born within marriage belong to their fathers; women are expected to have children before marrying so they will still have something should the couple separate.

#55    The Mosuo people of China practice a form of courtship and sexual interaction anthropologists have called walking marriage, which consists basically of women being completely free to sleep with whomever they like, with children being cared for by the woman's family -- her brothers being paternal figures. Biological paternity is a non-issue. Every night is seen as an independent event, with no expectation of permanence or even continuity.

Read more: Culture of Gabon - history, people, clothing, traditions, women, beliefs, food, customs, family http://www.everyculture.com/Cr-Ga/Gabon.html#b#ixzz1r306tubL

#56    Among the Canela, "Virginity loss is only the first step into full marriage for a woman." There are several other steps needed before the Canela society considers a couple to by truly married, including the young woman's gaining social acceptance through her service in a "festival men's society," which includes sequential sex with fifteen to twenty members (no pun intended) and "the mother in law's receipt of meat earned by the bride through extramarital sex" on a festival day.

Got that? Part of the marrying process is group sex followed by a gift to the mother-in-law-to-be of meat gained in exchange for sexual shenanigans with men other than the husband-to-be.

Weird Fact #53--Origin of X and O

'X' Equals a Kiss

Xs and Os have been around for a long time. Traditionally they have meant kisses and hugs at the bottom of a letter (or e-mail, in today’s world). A letter with an X standing for a kiss has been recorded as far back as 1765. The X represents two people kissing each other, while the O symbolizes the arms of people hugging.

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