Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Call (World's Worst Dental Patient--Part 4)

First, I need to thank y’all for leaving ideas for titles for the third Kanner Lake book. I look at all your comments, and you never know which ideas I’ll use. I already incorporated some ideas from the other day, when I asked the question about marketing: “What would you like to see from me?” Jackie and Camy mentioned bookmarks. ValMarie mentioned bookplates. Those comments got me thinking. Hm, one thing I don’t have on my Web site is a “Free Stuff” page. So as of now, I’m officially in the midst of making one happen.

Yesterday (when I should have been plotting, but, oh, well), I created the layouts of bookplates for each of my suspense novels. Each plate will be like a label—that is, peel-off back and stick—and will have a portion of the book’s cover running across the top and my “Seatbelt Suspense” logo on the bottom. Plenty of room in the middle for an autograph. I already have bookmarks for the Hidden Faces series—full color front and back on nice, heavy card stock. Extra gloss on top to fight against fingerprints. These will be the first two things I offer on the “Free Stuff” page. Basically, folks can e-mail my assistant and ask for plates or bookmarks for themselves or friends/family, and she’ll send them along at no cost. I’m hoping in time I’ll be able to add to the list of free items. When this page is up on my site, I’ll let y’all know. If you have other ideas for free stuff (that I can afford), do let me know.

Lynette—I promise to get to your agent question tomorrow.

For today, I told you I’d relate the woes of my call to the dentist, and the oh-so-chipper receptionist who answered. When I told her I needed to schedule my funeral, her response was, “Huh?”

“You know, a funeral. With a casket and such? Do bring lots of flowers. You see, I need two crowns and a big filling, just check my file.”

“Oh, well then, it’s not a funeral!” (Smile, smile in her voice, like she’s talking to a confused child.) “It’s the birth of a new tooth!”

I aimed a Garfield, Why me? look across the office. “Well, sooo glad you see it that way.” Easy for you, Miss I Just Work Here. “Can we just schedule the thing? And don’t forget I’m going for the drug-her-from-here-to-Sunday option.”

“The sedation? O-kaa-ey!”

Brother. Now it sounded like she was planning a jaunt to Disneyland.

“Actually,” she spouted, “you’ll need three appointments.”

I nearly choked. “Three?”

“Uh-huh. First a ten-minute visit just so you can talk to the doctor about the sedation process.”

Sedation process? Just load me up with pills; what’s to talk about?

“Second is the actual procedure.”

“You mean the two hours of Nazi drilling.”

A little chuckle. “The drilling, yes, to prepare the teeth.”

“You know, it’s bad form to be your scariest in the second act. What’s left for the crisis/climax?”

“Um . . . sorry?”

Okay, so she didn’t know who she was talking to. I figured I’d better drop the fictionese. “So, the third visit is?”

“It will be two weeks later. We put the permanent crowns on then.”

“No drilling?”

“No, huh-uh. Nothing hurts in this procedure.”

Note between the lines—“this procedure.”

Thus begins the calendar negotiations. You’d have thought we were trying to schedule a summit of world leaders. My frequent traveler hubby has to drive me to appointment #2, see. Plus pick me up. This is because I will be drugged out of my mind. My dentist has yet to see me loaded with Valium. I can’t take the stuff. I will not rise from his chair for two days. Then I will crawl out. But I am not telling him this. Oh, no. I’d rather die than face that drill sober.

So my favorite receptionist and I run into problems. There are only certain days Mark can take me. And we have to fit the doc’s availability. Then, by the time doc can do the Nazi drill appointment, it’s too late to schedule #3 two weeks later, because I’m already gone to Coeur d’Alene for Christmas. We’re only off by one lousy work day. I try to wheedle Miss Ever So Happy into giving the lab one less day to make the crowns. Kid won’t budge. She might be chipper, but she downright solemn when it comes to playing by the rules. I tell her I have to get this done before Christmas. I can’t bear to procrastinate. The longer I have to wait for this procedure, the longer I will have the night sweats. Better to go under the roto rooter and get the thing done. Miss ESH puts me on hold to talk to doc. She comes back on the line, her voice a little less chipper. I’m thinking her little tete-a-tete with the boss has set her straight on exactly who she’s dealing with. She’s lost a little of her cheer gumption, if you know what I mean.

Miss Once So Happy says she can pull the Drill Death appointment forward one day, giving us two weeks for appointment #3. I am grateful and devastated at the same time. This event is actually going to happen.

“Well, gee, thanks,” I manage. “Do tell the doc hi for me.”

“Oh, I certainly will. He’ll be sooo happy to see you.”

My, my, what is this I detect? A hint of sarcasm? Huh-uh, that’s my turf. “He sure will be. He’s always thrilled to see me, I can tell you. Don’t know what he would do without me to brighten his days.”

“Yes. Ha-ha-ha.” The laugh comes out a little sick-sounding. Poor gal’s sorry excuse for sarcasm proved no match for mine.

I hung up the phone thinking Miss Once So Happy is no doubt planning on being violently ill on the days I grace the office.

Death By Drilling is Friday, Dec. 2. I have less than a month to live and blog. Better make the most of my posts.

Read Part 5


Pammer said...

I'll have to mark that on my calander for praying extra hard for you. Peace, especially. (Valium is good, I took it to do an MRI and I don't remember much for the rest of the day, lol but I think my fil had to carry me out.)

I love the cover. I would pick up and read ANY book you wrote. All I have to see is your name, because I have come to expect superior storytelling with an awesome Christian thread woven in....and to need to sleep with my nightlight for several nights in a row. :0)

I was thinking of titles, I like the color Indigo and it would be cool if you could use Aurora in your title (it means first light of day). Some color names I like (I take titles seriously) are Ebony, Alabaster, Scarlet, Emerald, and Azure. Another time frame is Meridian.

Just a few more ideas to throw into the thinking pot. :0)

Have fun.

Domino said...

Enjoy the dentist appointments! You'd really throw them off if you showed up with a sucker for the dentist and Miss Ever So. That would turn the tables since dentists used to give suckers to kids after an appointment. Plus, it's not a bad idea to put them all in a good mood right before they climb into your mouth.

I'm not much into pain myself, so I understand wanting drugs. But be careful! My very sweet mom lovingly and accidentally overdrugged me with the prescribed pain killer when the wisdom tooth extraction numbing wore off. I felt okay, but was freaked out by their faces when my parents looked at me and then at each other. I spilled water just holding the glass still.

But I'm okay now. I think.

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

I think you need to add a Miss-Ever-So-Happy to your list of victims, suspects, or red-herrings in one of you upcomming KL books. You have her pegged to a T. Very, very funny stuff.

I love the colors Pammer mentioned. I think the nature item should be a bit more contrasting for book 3. I mean the violet dawn and coral moon fit without seeming too threatening. Maybe you want to keep the whole series that way, but I was thinking along the line of Scarlet Thorn.

Just brainstorming.


Lynette Eason said...

I love the dentist saga. You've GOT to fit that in a story somewhere...and definitely make the dentist the bad guy with a drill. Now would be "soul grinding", nails on the blackboard grating stuff. A good title might be: "Tails from the Drill side" or "As the Drill Turns" or "Drilled to Death"...hehehe.

Does Ms. ESH read your blog???

Dec. 2nd, huh? I'll put you on the prayer list. Your dental experiences are sooooo much like mine. When I had my wisdom teeth pulled (uh huh, all four at the same time), I woke up signing - yes, ASL - asking if they could hurry it up and get done! I was too high to realize that I couldn't talk because my mouth was stuffed with gauze and I had slept through the entire procedure! But I lived, though I very much doubted that I would at the time, and you will too.

Remember, "Where we are weak, He is strong." Um..."Though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear nothing because You are right beside me." and ..."I can do all things through Him." I'm paraphrasing here as I don't have the time to look up the exact words...but you get the idea. Oh, yeah...and my personal fave, "And this too shall pass!"

Suggestion: Take index cards with scripture verses on them - don't trust that your memory will work at this point in time - and pull them out to study them whenever you feel just hold them in your hand, you probably won't want to jar the hand drilling on you while you search your pockets for the cards...then again, hopefully you'll be too drunk to need them....hehehehehe.


Lynette Eason

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

I'll mark the calendar and pray for you. Sorry I can't feel your pain but I've never been there, although my husband has. There is so much metal in his mouth that he sets off detectors in airports :-)

I like the idea of working the dentist story into a book. You could write him standing on the arms of the chair with drill in hand and a maniacal look, cackling, "I'm going to get you, my pretty!"

C.J. Darlington said...

Lynette - the dentist being the bad guy with the drill would be too obvious! ;-) Definitely the happy dental assistant has to be the bad one. The one holding your hand, calming and reassuring ...

One thing I heard someone say recently really helped me about dread. When you dread something, you're living the thing you dread over and over again. So instead of dealing with one unpleasant thing (which probably won't be as bad as we originally imagine), we get to live that thing ten times! Kinda makes you think, huh?