Thursday, November 27, 2008

Writing Prometheus

For sometime I have been pondering on how to portray Prometheus. He is a God after all. And who knows what they are? To make such a figure grounded and believable will be tricky.

Technically, I have decided to approach him as if he were me. Don't worry this is not delusions of grandeur. What I mean is, an author. In a way I am a god to the characters in the book. Like Prometheus I create them and decide there fate. Prometheus is therefore the embodiment of me in the book. He would be able to do all the things that I can in a book. Alter scenes, people, things, himself. This echos the ability gods have in myths to transform. He also knows the plot. (He's not called, forethought, for nothing)

Of course there must be limits to these powers. When a character in a book begins to get a life of its own, even the author is limited by what you can do with them, because they have there own momentum. They can even alter the expected outcome. Prometheus will also be limited by his his damaged liver and lack of energy.

Does this make sense?

As for Prometheus's character I need to do more reading I feel. However there are characteristics which are already evident to me. Arrogant, mischievous, loving, burdened, selfless. (How you can be arrogant and selfless I don't know yet he does display both traits. He wants to be the Alpha God; hence the antagonism with Zeus, But will endure incredible sacrifice for Man.)

Anyway these are my thoughts so far. More to come

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Week 10

As week nine comes to a close I can congratulate myself for enduring a fifth of my treatment. Things have certainly settled down since the beginning. My nausea is almost gone, the tiredness bottomed out, and mentally I seem to be coping. I just wish each day, each week, would be more predictable, but that now seems unlikely.

Last week I suffered with aches and pains in my bones. Very flu like. This had not been much of a problem before. The sore throat I have had for weeks is getting worse including ulcers. In fact the whole of my ears, nose and throat are unwell. I sneeze all the time. And all the nose blowing has now led to nose bleeds. All of this I can cope with if I have some energy occasionally. I have not been very good keeping up with my factor 8 injections to stop my bleeding. Not that I am doing a great deal of running around to encourage bleeds. In fact I cannot think of a single bleed since starting treatment, which has got to be good news.

The family seem to have come to terms with it all very well too. We have had our tough moments, and yet, in some strange way, the process is making us even closer.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Introducing Heather Clay

It has occurred to me that Prometheus, possibly more than any mythic figure, represents Life. Specifically Human Life. Having considered this whilst pondering on what the theme of my book should be, I have concluded it too should be about Life. Quite a challenge.

At last I have chosen a name for the female character. I decided my initial ideas were too prosaic, too mannered. She represents all of us. Human beings that is. So I felt she needed a more ordinary name. Hence my decision to call her, Heather.

As for the surname Clay - that's what we are meant to have been moulded from before being given the breath of life.

Heather is a medic in her troop. Though slight in build she is wiry, resilient, bright and bold.

I have also been toying with titles for the book. Such as:
The Spark. A Life of Its Own. and Prometheus Found.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Not Dead Yet!

Apologise for the last entry seeming so dark. In fact I was not feeling down or anything morbid, I was genuinely interested in whether this experience of ebbing away had a parallel during death. Thanks for kind words.

As I have been unable to write with any focus, I have been concentrating on thinking and imagining my stories. Two days ago I, at last, cracked the ending of, Mr. Reed. It had been vexing me for sometime. Suddenly a simple solution totally in character, and plot, came to me. Now all I need is to write it!

Regarding Prometheus. I am itching to write something. I have scenes in my head I would love to put onto paper. In particular the moment when the soldier's find Prometheus. I keep thinking what a strange thing it would be for a female soldier to discover this massive god lying there naked. When I consider how I would feel if I came across goddess lying naked before me my imagination naturally goes into overdrive. Despite the oddness of the situation there would have to be some kind of sexual tension there for the woman. This perfect specimen of manliness is also in distress, he needs her help. So, she would also feel compassion for him and be protective.

Then I need to consider how would the male troop members react? Rude jokes, black humour. Taking the Mick out of the woman. Despite any japes they would have to be practical. They are on a mission after all and have to work out a way of releasing Prometheus. Will they believe him when he tells them a giant eagle will be coming soon?

As you can see it is all ripe with possibilities.

I have decided to do it in third person. I do not have the confidence to write from either Prometheus or the woman's voice. How to begin the book is proving more elusive. I want to set up the rocky terrain, the weather, the atmosphere. Give a little background to the characters in the troop etc. But I don't want it to feel like all I'm trying to do is get to the discovery of Prometheus. The initial journey has got to have merit within itself. Despite having done little research on Prometheus and female soldiers. I think I may try a few sketches and see where it takes me.

Now wasn't that a cheery blog to set before the king? :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Back To The Sea

Been a tougher week than I had hoped. After the usual bad days (Mon-Tue) I expected to bounce back. On Wednesday, though a little dazed, I did manage to do a few things. Yet since Thursday I have had precious little energy. I am sleeping a great deal. Once, I would have become negative about this, but now I see it as a potentially good thing. My body is clearly still fighting the dreaded virus.

That said, the psychological challenges are hard. As I have discussed before, not being able to 'do' gives one's ego a real bashing. No bad thing one might immediately think, but the issue goes deeper. If one does not have the energy to invest in displaying one's personality, what do you become? You are like a wave at the end of its ebb; sinking back into the sea. I wonder if this is what dying feels like?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Purge

I have not mentioned the result of my 4 week test. My viral load has dropped from 4.6 million to 1.8 million. This is good news. The challenge now is to get it down to 0 by my 12 week test. This was one of the reasons why I was determined to up my treatment regime.

I have been wondering how the interferon actually eliminates the virus and actually gets it out of the body. I presume the virus is removed from the body either whole or broken up somehow. It makes me realise that this is a purge. Last week my nurse was saying that the virus is not just in the liver but everywhere in the body. This I suspected. This is why the treatment is so long, to ensure the interferon kills every last virus in every cell that it can, because if there is any left it will simply multiply and return. So it is clear to me that I have to help this killing and purging process. It seemed evident to me that my quest to feel “back to normal” while on the drugs was wrong thinking. The body is going into a particular “abnormal” mode, in order to eliminate the virus - as with flu. This process needs to be embraced. Also I need to aid the interferon getting to every cell of my body so it can do its stuff. This is why I must not put too much additional pressure on my liver by consuming too much crap. Keep relaxed. Do not overuse my precious energy. Exercise and massage to get the blood moving into the cells. Saunas and skin brushing to help the skin eliminate toxins. Well, that’s the idea. Lets see if my legendary procrastination will rear its ugly head.

The French Trip

Just got back from La Belle France. Hence three new posts. Wish I had read Chris's comments on previous post before leaving. Explanation will beome clear when you read the following log I made during the trip.


Arrived in France Thursday after a very pleasant journey. My fears of coping seemed to have been premature. Tired but happy I begin to unpack. It is then I discovered I had forgotten my Interferon injection pen. I couldn’t believe it. I searched through my case over and over - no, it was not there. As the medication has to be in the fridge I knew I had to leave it till the last minute to pack. Even so, to have left it completely is ridiculous. It is naturally important to keep the Hep C treatment as consistent as possible. I began to beat myself up with admonishment, aware this is going to have consequences. I speak to L. She tries to calm me down and promises to post the pen. I found it hard to get to sleep.

Today, Friday, has not turned out how I had hoped. Instead of visiting the local supermarket and mooching around I have to drag my Mum and B to the local hospital. L spoke to St Thomas’s Haemo centre in London and they said they would try to fax a prescription to the hospital here in Montmorrilion. All went well. I received a letter explaining all. The hospital said the pharmacy in the town would have the medication. It was lunch by this time and the pharmacies were closed. So off to Hyper U for shopping and a pancake. After lunch we visit three chemists. None of them had the medication. I was not surprised; its hardly paracetamol. One of them was kind enough to let me know that if they did have it, it would cost 222 euros. Certainly gave my French a good work out.

We went back to the hospital. They now explain it cannot be got in Montmorrilion and that I will need to visit the nearest city hospital in Poitiers. By this time I am stressed and weepy over the whole ordeal and cannot bear the thought of anymore driving. I will have to wait for the Interferon Pen L sent to arrive. Even though it has been sent next day delivery (£35 !) they don’t think it will arrive till Tuesday. This is not good news as it will mean, not only that the medication will be late, but I will now be in the middle of my worst reaction days when we are travelling back to Blighty.

The thing that upsets me the most, is the amount of work I have caused others. Particularly L.
Oddly, despite this trauma, the usual side effects are minimal. I am actually feeling quite human. This may simply be adrenaline, I am not sure.


Went for Sunday lunch at a local restaurant. It lasted three hours, which was an hour too long for me. The noise etc started getting to me. Had a nice time overall though my main meal was odd. It was Roasted Biche (Doe a deer) covered in brown spicy sauce which bore a remarkable resemblance to HP sauce. I wont try that again.

Monday Morning

The medication arrived at 10am. Hooray. I have my injection straight away - only 12 hours late. Much relieved, I spend the day in bed resting. Mum and B look after me. Got up at sunset and went for a lovely walk with Mum. It was all misty and moody. Hope you like the pics.

Sad to Leave France. Everyone who lives in our little hamlet is so friendly and kind. Trip home was tough. Mum and I both suffering with colds. L suprised me by meeting us at our arrival in London which was great.