Tag Archives: nurse

Word Loss: A Great Fear

Since I was a wee child words have been my greatest asset. Word games? All me. Bring it on: Scrabble, Boggle, Words with Friends, even the ever fun family game of Words. I could out talk, and out verbally wit for that matter, just about anyone looking to verbally rumble. Ah, the good ol’ days when the words flowed like a Hawaiian volcano.

Flash forward to 2017 and a 43-year-old writer. A person of words. A person who was  a walking dictionary and thesaurus. Now I struggle for familiar words. The simple everyday words at that. In one story I struggled to recall the word charming. Imagine that. Not some crazy twelve letter twenty-dollar word. I was scrambling in my mind. It sounds like “C’,” like chair, like something yellow-orange (okay, I relate things to colors). It’s a man, like tall man, like that guy from that movie and a chair.

“Loss of words is actually part of the aging process …”

I’m not saying the thought processes of my mind are fluid, but there’s a method to my madness. After finally looking up the name of Cinderella’s dream man, I was able to get the word. Then for ten minutes I shook my head and wondered what the hell was wrong with me. I was worried to the point I was almost physically ill.

This isn’t something new. About five years ago I realized the words were escaping me. A real nightmare for any writer. Since I was twelve I suffered debilitating migraines and was once told, after a brain study, that I had lesions on my brain from the severity of the migraines. My personal research proves this is a possibility, which is why migraine sufferers have a greater chance of having a stroke (sorry, interjecting my medical career there). Back to the point: I wondered if perhaps lesions had anything to do with memory loss.

blurRecently, I spoke with a few other men and women my age and took note that they all searched the vast blue sky for certain words that were “at the tip of their tongue.” After asking if they had more of a difficult time remembering simple words, they all said they did, that sometimes even simple words were a blur. Great!! I mean, not great, but yes. Loss of words is actually a part of the aging process, which is why verbal engagement and mental stimulation is so key as we get older.

I have Thesauraus.com as a favorite on my computer, and such a lifesaver. I try to use new words everyday. I also work to recall a word using any kind of cue I can before looking it up. The computer is  my last resort, though I’ve called in a life line or two.

Me: Dasan, what is that thingy called?
Dasan: What thingy?
Me: You know. You go to someone’s house and you push the thingy so they answer the door. The pushy button thingy?
Dasan: You mean a doorbell?
Me: Awesome. Thanks.

It’s pretty much like that. So when my various writing groups pose the question, “What scares you most as a writer?” My answer is always the same: Losing the words.

What scares you most as a writer? As a writer do you get a little worried about losing words?

Tania L Ramos, RN BSN and author
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NaNoWriMo Hangover

This is the 2nd year of my participation in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I am pleased to report this is my nine-year-old daughter’s first participation in the Young Writer’s NaNoWriMo, and her 1st win. This year we have won together.

Thousands of writers, young and seasoned, participate in NaNoWriMo every November. The quest for adult writers is to hit 50,000 words in 30 days. 50,000 has been deemed the minimal number of words to consider a novel, as opposed to a novelette or a novella. Authors from across the globe do this one month marathon for many reason, and to each their own.

For myself, I’m one of those people who loves a good challenge, but put accolades to be won in front of my nose and the competitor in me grunts and growls all the way to the finish line. I love trinkets, little charms, even digital, that show my accomplishments. A trophy for starting. A trophy for hitting 10,000 words. A little digital sticker for writing a specified amount of days in a row. Yep, those are my motivators. I should’ve been a Girl Scout, I would’ve been awesome.

nano-2016-winner

50,000 words, although technically a novel, has never been enough words for me. I’m usually fetal and crying on the cutting room floor when an editor says 118,000 words is just too much. “B-b-b-but, they are my babies. I can’t just cut 10 to 18 thousand words!” Well, with that bit of information, my NaNoWriMo marathon is only the beginning. But after one month of prep, one month if strict writing and focus, an awful lot of inappropriate words, and sheer seclusion from anything other than fictional characters, I am spent.

Plain and simple, the marathon for two years in a row has turned into the death of two stories. I’m just not fit to go on for another 50,000 (at least) words. Oye vay. Yet, there are those finish liners, those gold medal winners who go on and push forward through to completion. I salute you, and think there should be a digital NaNoWriMo golden book sticker for those writers whom complete NaNoWriMo AND actually keep writing their book to completion. Maybe then I would finish a marathon book. I do love my accomplishment awards.

Am I the only writer out there that suffers NaNoWriMo hangover? I’d love to hear your comments.

Tania L Ramos RN BSN

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Author Envy

Do you ever get jealous of other writers? Maybe just a bit upset at how fast they have completed a WIP? A little miffed that they are newer at the game than you and have signing dates all lined up? Curious at how they get hundreds of pre-sales?

I consider myself relatively new to the game. My first book was published in 2011, another in 2012, and the last in 2013. Meanwhile, some writers have put out three books in a year. I sit aghast, somewhat perturbed, and play with thoughts of the author sleeping with editors to get ahead of the game. Isn’t that how it works? My name is Tania L Ramos and I suffer from author envy!

In reality, I pray and hope that I’m not the only one who gets these primal emotions when I see Author So-And-So boast over their third published book this year; or over their umpteenth award. I am human, right? I always manage to swallow what’s left of my pride, hit their share button, and give them praise. Deep down I am happy for them, but again, I have to shovel passed my own wounded ego to get there.

What gets me through it all at the end of the day is stark reality: I published three books in three years! There are some people who have been trying to perfect a WIP for ten years. Others are trying to muster the courage to submit a completed manuscript. Some never realize the dream of putting words to paper, and live with that regret forever.

a6As for me:
I published three books in three years!

Tania L Ramos, RN and Author
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Be Still on Amazon (ebook, paper & hard cover)

Is Solitary Confinement Really a Punishment for a Writer?

Taking lessons from life and turning it into an epic tragedy, nitpicking people’s words or actions, people watching, and mindlessly (though not always purposely) wandering off into a make believe world at just one phrase someone speaking said, are all characteristics of a writer.

I’ve been accused of not listening, spacing out, and being aloof, but truth-be-told I’m not doing any of those. Okay, I may have spaced out in geometry, but in my defense it was right after lunch and that teacher had the heaviest Armenian accent I’ve ever heard. I can turn any beautiful story someone tells me into a major episodic horror. And I can take some horror story and twist it into a romance. Its all part of the job. So when a person speaks to me and I “space out” it should be taken as a compliment, that person just inspired my creative process and sent me on a trip to another place all together.

Sometimes I cry in my car, because at times my characters have such deep rooted emotional issues that I feel for their story. At times I laugh, because they have wit and I get the inside jokes. Of course, when I’m sitting at work and break into tears or laughter it can be awkward. These days if I say, “Don’t worry, just talking to the voices in my head,” my coworkers will nod and smile, though I’m not ruling out that they are keeping tabs for my psychological eval.a2

One day a friend said I’m going to get locked up in the nut house, because only a true friend would be that honest. She said I’d get solitary confinement, and that would probably be the worst.
My reply, “Is solitary confinement really a punishment for a writer? If they put me in solitary confinement…the joke would be on them.”
I am never alone!

Tania L Ramos, RN and Author
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Has it Been that Long

Okay, so I wrote out this huge post and my computer did something awful. Next book: When Good Computers Go Bad! So where have I been? In a place where free time no longer exists.

I started my Bachelor’s program in nursing through GCU. It is a rigorous thirteen month course that has occupied every last bit of free time I have had, and has even snuck into my not so free time. By this time next year, and $16k in debt, I will have a BSN and a government loan. Exciting, yes I know.

Any time for writing has been shot out the window, and the rantings of characters has been quickly drowned out by rantings of health care essays and deadlines. But I need some sanity, and the characters of Life by Chance started invading my brain even through medical papers. They were tired of being on the electronic shelf; tired of the promise of fruition; and tired of being unheard.

Blackbird Press and I had gone round and round on publishing prospects. I looked at some indie presses, but most either worked only in press or only in e-books. Some weren’t a right fit, others made me nervous, and still others didn’t offer the variety I desired. We talked about sending out queries to agents, but my time was already being strangled. It looked Life by Chance might spend another bout “shelved.” Then I received an email that Iuniverse was having a 50% off sale, and I thought about it.

On June 30th, the last day of the sale, I made the call and chose to go with Iuniverse. I used them for Be Still so I’m familiar with the process; I know what is important and what isn’t. Of course my only complaint is the low royalty payout and the timeliness of the payout, but all-in-all it isn’t breaking the bank. My spirit is renewed! Yay. If all goes well, Life by Chance should be out by the holidays.

While I haven’t spent much time promoting the book these past few months, except in blurbs on social media, the artist has been promoting the art work. “Life by Chance” has been accepted into several mainstream contests, and was displayed at an art show in Hollywood, CA. It is currently a submission in the Bombay Sapphire art contest, and has received honorable mentions in other events.

Tania L Ramos, RN and author

"Life by Chance" Artist: Mariano Daniel

“Life by Chance” Artist: Mariano Daniel

The Antibiotic Trial

Ever hear the phrase, if it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all? Man oh man  has that been my week. How about the expression, when it rains it pours? Add that to my week and you get some fun, sad, and interesting tales. All of which will be incorporated into my writings for public musings.

First off: Last week I woke up feeling not quite right. I figured it was stress from not having steady hours at work and losing lots of pay. So I wake up with that, “something’s not quite right” feeling. The one where nothing is really wrong, but you just have this inkling…maybe its women’s intuition, but whatever it was landed me on my butt, back down on jagged rocks, sun trying to melt my face, as I vomited then proceeded to pass out. It felt like my heart was racing at a thousand miles a minute, but when the boyfriend (EMT/Firefighter) took my pulse it was slow and irregular. BLAH!! I don’t have time for that crap.

Second off: I went from having zero hours at work (as in: zip, zilch, nada, time to sell the farm) last week, to being triple booked this week. Pssst…that’s the when it rains it pours part. I took a new job, which makes this position #4 (ED nurse, PACU nurse, GI nurse, and ED nurse at a new facility). I was also offered a position at a place I was at before. Can you say, “Feast or famine?”

My life has become one big giant cliche of sayings.

Third off: After speaking with a doctor, he says, “Did you know if you had some kind of infection that you didn’t know about (given I had a high leukocyte count), that it can affect your heart?” Um, yeppers, I’m a nurse. Hello? I knew this . . . I just chose to put it somewhere in the back of my head. And so comes to next saying: Nurses and doctors make the worst patients. To that, I digress! I’m a freaking amazing patient. The best patient ever. I’m so stupendously amazing that I voluntarily stay out of the ER and doctor’s offices–even after passing out and having some phantom arrhythmia.

I’m living the cliches. I love my life. Because there are few Nurses and doctors who make the worst patients, especially during a time when it rains it pours, and still survive during the feast or famine, because–after all–if wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.

On a side note: Always read the warnings on your antibiotics! Mine have basically given me permission to have visual and audio hallucinations (as if I needed antibiotics for that little talent), but it also gives me permission to essentially go postal and be able to ride the Antibiotic Defense all the way to trial. Just saying, if the Twinkie defense stands up, so does the Antibiotic one.

Tania L Ramos, RN and Author on Day #2 of Cootie Killers.

medicated

 

Question: If I already have voices in my head, does the medication give my voices the ability to hear voices in their head?

“What You Do For a Living” Living?

Among my many titles are: mother, nurse, It Works! distributor, chauffeur, grammar Nazi, water pitcher refiller, travel liason, pillow, ATM machine, grocer, and keeper of the electricity (AKA: light Nazi). And those are only the top listed ones. As such, when I meet someone new and they ask what I do for a living I’ve always answered, “I’m a registered nurse.” But a few days ago, in a Tums overdose, someone online asked what I did for a living, and my calcium carbonated mind decided to analyze the question?

I carry many roles, yes, but what do I do for a living? was the question. I decided to look it up and here is what I got.

liv·ing

  [liv-ing]  
noun
11. the act or condition of a person or thing that lives
12. the means of maintaining life; livelihood
13. a particular manner, state, or status of life

The one that really stood out was under noun #12. The means of maintaining life. So I thusly looked up life. There are innumerable entries for that one (25 under noun).  The one that stood out was bibliography.
So to rephrase the question; what do you do for a living, I give you this question: What is your means of maintaining your bibliography?

I write!

Live_To_Write_by_BakingSkoda
Ummm . . . and think too much sometimes.
Tania L Ramos, RN and Author Maintaining her Bibliogrpahy
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