The Memory Project
Off the top of my head, natural (Johnny Ketchum)

TMP: Sleeping Monsters
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I had a lot of jobs in my teens -- lifeguard, swimming instructor, Swiss Colony cheese pusher, factory worker (two days) -- but, mostly, I babysat. I had a regular gig my first two years in college, sitting with the precocious daughter of a journalism prof. When she was awake, I was expected (quite rightly) to play with her. And I did. We read books, we took walks. But when I was very, very tired, as college students often seem to be, we played a game called Sleeping Monsters. I was the mother monster, whose job was to lie on the sofa. My charge was the baby monster, who ventured to the edge of our cave and reported back excitedly that people were outside, looking for us. "Shhh, baby monster," I would say. "Let's lie quietly until they go away."

Hey, last I heard, my young charge graduated from Penn with honors, so I clearly didn't do any lasting damage.

And now it's time to play again, for real. At least for a little while. Yep, my arm hurts. Again. It's been hurting off and on for about two months. Roughly, I figured out, since I purchased a new computer and got wireless. I had clung to dial-up for years, on the very correct assumption that I spent less time on line. But now, with wireless, it's just too darn easy. And fast! So even if I limit myself to an hour at a time, there are so many more clicks, so much more mouse hand. Granted, I can move the mouse to my left side, but all that's going to do is allow my left arm to reach the pain level in my right arm.

Now, my arm doesn't hurt most of the time. It does, however, have moments of stabbing pain every now and then. Trying to open the dryer door, for example. I ended up on the laundry room floor, almost in tears, when my hand slipped and my arm snapped back. Things like that. I screamed in yoga class last week, which seriously harshed everybody's mellow. Now I wear one of those rubber bracelets -- not a yellow BE STRONG, but a red HOTEL MONTELEONE -- to remind me to use my left arm when possible, especially when opening doors.

You might ask now: Laura, why are you typing? Because typing's okay. It's mousing, I think, that caused my old nemesis to resurface. So I have to pull back from the Internet for a while, limit my online activity to what is strictly necessary. Which means less activity here.

Of course, the upside is that I'm reading so much more. I'm on my fourth novel (Intuition) this week, having already read The Tenth Circle, The Blonde and The Grave Tattoo. And, again, writing doesn't hurt. Lots of pauses and my set-up is ergonomically sound.

[A brief tanget about The Blonde and The Grave Tattoo. They are two of the best books I've ever read, in totally different ways. Coming soon to a bookstore near you.]

So as I disappear for a while, good thoughts to all of you. And if I'm a little slower on the e-mail reply, bear with me. Also, some random comments to those with blogs I used to read regularly, but will now have to go cold turkey on.

John R.: You are clearly unique in not lying about your height, a problem endemic among men under five-foot-nine. I know this because I am exactly five-foot-nine and I am always meeting men who insist that I am five-foot-ten or five-foot-eleven because THEY are five-foot-nine.

Bryon and Dave W.: You ony have to be right once. Bryon, ask Dave for the full story behind this.

Joe W.: I'm so proud of you!

Jim W: The Storm will pass.

Cornelia: Knock 'em dead.

Annie: I'm coming to the Skokie library. Details tk.

Bianca: I'll be signing in Rehoboth and Bethany, too. Again, details tk.

Nancy N.: I'll use one of my rationed clicks to read the Nall files once a week.

Duane: Would it kill you not to write such a good book?

Christin: Are you sure you want to take the rap for being Duane's wardrobe consultant?

Sarah: I don't about you, but I'm so glad that ITW was formed. At last, male writers are getting some recognition.

Barbara: Keep keeping me honest. Or, at the very least, less typo challenged.

Keith: Keep me in the loop.

Everyone else: Keep writing and reading and remembering. I'll try to update this site every 2-4 weeks. But I'll otherwise be missing. No more Mystery Circus for me. No popping up in Sarah's comments section.

Now, back to reading.

xxoo, ll

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