Books by Lorie Ann Grover

Books by Lorie Ann Grover
Kirkus Starred Review, Firstborn: "A fantasy that reads like a lost history tome and deftly examines issues of gender...An engrossing story with welcome depths."

Monday, May 15, 2017

Dry Eyes: Solutions, Part One

I've found help, so I'm going to share the steps of care for others living with dry eyes, maybe from Lupus and Sjogren's like me. There's hope. Look!

I've been housebound for weeks as my dry eyes flared. My must-haves: portable humidifiers, safety goggles, preservative free eye drops, and Lacrisert eye inserts. The latter didn't work for me due to side effects. (The same for Restasis and Xidra.) There have been periods where I have no sight.

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Thanks to my rheumatologist, I've found the west coast expert on dry eyes. And he wears bow ties. He's over an hour north, but treatment has begun. I'll post as we work through the stages. First are bandages for my eyes! Bandage Soft Contact Lenses protect the cornea.



These have been fantastic. I only need goggles to ride in the car, and I may be able to resume driving. My only difficulty is extracting them nightly. They adhere like decals. I'm researching techniques to make it easier than working at it for an hour each evening.

Next up will be autologous serum. They will make eye drops from my blood! More soon. But for now, I see you! Back to writing...

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Travel with Lupus and Sjogrens


There is a cost to travel with autoimmune diseases. After my recent trips to Paris and Oman, I've been recovering. I thought to share part of the experience to maybe inform others on the eve of their own jaunt.

Armed with cane, compression socks, scarves, meds, eye drops, eye patch, and goggles, I set out hopeful. On vacation, I take prescription strength NSAIDs which I don't daily take at home. This reduces rheumatoid arthritis joint and lupus tendon inflammation enough to function with more consistency. However, immediately, the airplane flared my Sjogrens, which dried my eyes, despite my safety goggles.


After landing in Paris and acclimating, we were off to tour the city. Hat and scarf and sunglasses were enough to protect me from the sun and wind.  


Eventually, I needed my sun-blocking umbrella, as well.


By the fifth day, my eyes were too dry to function, and my family led me through Montmartre. Apparently, there was graffiti in Sacre Coeur and little quiet dogs in the town. How interesting to listen to the sounds of Paris. 


Thankfully, though, on day six, I had a reprieve and was able to see the Louvre, albeit with my goggles. You do what you have to do.


The next leg of my journey was to Sohar, Oman, where I thought my eyes would recover in the humid desert. They did through the day but dried by night. Thankfully, we found drops at the pharmacy as I couldn't pack enough with the liquid airplane constraint.

I toted my umbrella, swam covered wrist to ankle (there was no chlorine in the pool), and rested on the understanding patience of family and friends.


On my last leg flying home alone, I hoped to be able to see to negotiate the airport. In my goggles, I peeped my way through the Bahrain airport and found I did look like a minion.

I made my way back to Paris and Seattle, but the flight caused a lupus rash on my legs. Thigh high compression socks are now recommended by the doc to fly.


Home again, I'm waiting through the fatigue and lupus flu symptoms, the rash is fading, and I have appointments for my eyes. I'm not able to drive a greater distance, not knowing if I will be able to see when I need to return home. I'm still in goggles and cancelling appointments. There is one new possibility I hope to pursue, which is a scleral contact with refillable chambers. More info here. This will be life changing if I am a candidate.

So that's the physical cost of my last adventure. But I filled my soul and that's true treasure. Here's to your next journey. Prepare, pack, endure the cost, but see what you can when you can. Otherwise, listen. Bon voyage!


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

World Poetry Day



May It Be

Waves uncurling gifts
Words upturning from my soul
Beauty from the deep

Lorie Ann Grover, 2017

Monday, March 13, 2017

Top Shelf: The Magic Words

The Magic Words Cover























"The thing I seek most in fiction is a new reality I can believe in: truth as polished by one particular writer's art." Cheryl B. Klein

Today, I recommend a new work on the craft of writing: The Magic Words, Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults by editor/author Cheryl B. Klein. Through exercise after exercise, the book will walk you through your own work-in-progress.

A lover of lists, Cheryl pulls together and explains key principles of good writing, key themes, plot types, what contributes to talent, characteristics of characters, and even the celestial alignment that may lead to a great novel. Among several structures, you'll be exposed to Freytag's pyramid, bookmapping, the first page/chapter checklist, and the plot checklist.

"The best fiction happens when writers pair their unique worldviews and experience with a story that reaches beyond their singularity."

With helpful examples from novels Cheryl has edited and other middle grade and young adult novels, the reader is able to walk line by line through pieces and learn a myriad of principles and helpful suggestions. Here is your opportunity to peek over the editor's shoulder as she refines a story.

I found the postulate instruction particularly insightful. "The postulates are the core beliefs on which a character has built his entire theory of himself, his relationships with other people, and his place in the world." These are the beliefs driving emotions and behaviors. Love is often involved: what we love in life, and what makes us feel we are worthy of love. Her example:

If I am not _____________ or do not ______________, then no one will love me.
If I am ____________ or do _______________, then everyone will love me.

Answering these questions for your characters, and yourself, will reveal motivations, super intentions, and justifications for actions, thoughts, and emotions. Invaluable.

Treasure this gift. Read it cover to cover and return again and again to sections where your work might need editorial thought. Do the exercises and then return to your novel refreshed. You'll be ready to write your own magic words.

The Magic Words, Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults
by Cheryl B. Klein
W. W. Norton & Company, 2016

Worthy

Worthy