Archive for November 13th, 2011

13th November
written by amber

The Woman in the Next Bed

The woman in the next bed died last night,” my mother told me. I looked at the bed, expecting to see the sheets folded tight and empty, the way I always dreaded finding her bed one day. But Mom’s roommate was there, sleeping and muttering, the way she always did.

“No, Mom, she looks fine.”

“Oh, she looks fine. But she’ll be like the others, roaming around the hallway at night, trying to bite people.”

“Bite people? Mom, what on earth are you talking about?”

I couldn’t get her to stop worrying about Mrs. Dennis being dead and roaming the halls. Was her mind becoming as weak as her body? I decided to arrange an interview with the home’s doctor when I visited next week, to see if Mom needed a higher degree of care.

Instead, I received a phone call on Sunday, asking me to come in the next day for a consultation. “Is something wrong?” I asked, unable to stand the suspense. “Oh no, your mother’s doing very well. In fact, we think she is too…healthy, too well to need everything we have to offer here.”

I was dubious. It wouldn’t be the first time the staff there has had a mix-up, like the way they tried to put Mom in a men’s ward when she first arrived, because her name is Alex(andra), or the time the health worker gave her a ‘routine’ enema for the constipation that was troubling Mrs. Dennis.

But when they took me to see her, it was truly amazing. She was sitting on the bed, wearing street clothing, hair tidy, face made up with a little rouge and lipstick, a bright gleam in her eyes.

I didn’t know what to say, then I noticed Mrs. Dennis’ bed, sheets folded tight and empty. “Oh Mom, did Mrs. Dennis…pass away?”

“No, she went home. And that’s what I’d like to do too.” I was prepared for that. They’d told me they had a waiting list for seniors in far worse shape than Mom. They’d promised that she could come back ‘when the time came.’

And now I have her with me, and she’s mostly quiet, watching TV for hours, or napping. But she does tend to wander around at night, moaning in a sad, unnerving manner. I know she’s my mother, but I’ve taken to locking my bedroom door.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section of any story.

13th November
written by amber

Dear readers –

Many of you from the Edmonton area have been asking when I’ll be bringing Stolen Children, the last book of my trilogy, to your town.

In addition to doing a reading at the Pure Speculation convention, I will also be at Mandolin Books and Coffee Company from 5 – 7:30 p.m. on Monday, November 21. The shop is at 6419 112 Ave NW.

Mandolin sells used books, so they won’t be stocking Stolen Children (yet) but if you aren’t able to come out at that time, you can order any of the novels from Edge Press (see link below) or from the Black Cat Guest Ranch gift shop by contacting me through this website.

13th November
written by amber

Today I’m starting a new category in my posts, so that people have an easy way to ask me questions about my writing.

One thing I’m often asked is about what I write when I sign a book for them. When my first novel was published and I realized I would be signing books, I didn’t know what I should write. Many authors write ‘Best Wishes’ which is simple and fast, but boring. I decided that I would write ‘best wishes’ but in Portuguese, the language spoken in Brazil. The Healer is set in Brazil, so that was fitting.  Com os melhos comprimentos!

For Darkness of the God, I wrote ‘Sastimos’ – meaning good luck in Romany, in appreciation of the gypsies in the novel.

The action in Stolen Children took place in many locales, but I particularly enjoyed the segment in Afghanistan, so in that book I write Jor’ aw Rogh Ose, ‘best wishes’ in Pashto.

If you have any questions about the novels, the Story 365 project or writing in general, just post them in the comments.