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I dig that slug reading a book, even if that is one of my least favorite creatures on earth. What does it have to do with brain surgery? Not much, I suppose, but see how absorbed it is in that book?

That’s how absorbed I am in writing my newest manuscript. And I think the reason I’m so absorbed in it is because I’ve scheduled brain surgery for November 14th. I finished another draft of Poverty Island on Sept. 16th, and sent it off for an agent’s review. So, that I wouldn’t check my email incessantly, I decided to outline my next book. By Sept. 28th, I had an outline done and 11 pages drafted. The fact that I even did an outline is a Sparks-Mugele miracle. As of today, just three weeks later, I’ve written 160 pages–over half the manuscript. I think I’ll have an entire draft done by my surgery date, just three weeks away.

Here’s why I’m going under the knife, if you missed that post.

Brain surgery! Crazy right? Turns out that even non-dying people have it sometimes.

Still, with great surgery comes great recovery. I’m supposed to take six weeks to recover. And six weeks is the perfect rest-time for a first draft too. So, we will rest together, giving each other plenty of room to stretch out–no touching. That only leads to revising, and that’s right out.

There’s also just something reassuring about having a complete first draft before having surgery. I mean, it’s BRAIN surgery. What if I forget where I was trying to go by the time I can write again? What if I come out with the ability to do high math (I keep hoping) but can no longer think up neat angsty fiction for teenagers?

Here’s another thing: having a doctor for a husband may lead you to think I have all this reassuring inside info about the surgery itself and what I should actually be worried about, but no. The extent to which Josh’s inside knowledge played a role was as follows:

Me: I’ll be at Methodist. You had a neurosurgery rotation there, right?

Josh: Yes.

Me: So, which doctor should I use?

Josh: Well, I couldn’t tell you who’s a good surgeon, but I could tell you who’s not an asshole.

So, it’s good to know my doctor’s not an asshole, at least. You may have noticed this non-assholian surgery happens on the day before my birthday. So, after about 12 hours of surgery, I’ll be turning 38 in the ICU. Am I bitter? Not one bit.

If you wondered what the best gift I could ever receive for my birthday was, I’d say, read this post. But, since I’ve already received that gift, I’d say having this surgery. To be honest, I think I’ve hid my pain pretty well from the world outside of Josh, Eleanor, and Magnolia. So, it may seem drastic and terribly unpleasant to think of me having surgery so near my birthday. But, trust me, it’s a gift.

Now, back to writing!