Feeling very brittle  at the moment.  Today's much anticipated surgery fell through.  I can't think of anything new to say, but here is a flash piece I wrote a few years back when I had my first run in with MRSA and medically necessary plastic surgery gone bad.



Did the plastic surgeon know how she felt when he touched her face? How she fought not to squirm in the exam chair. Until. The. Last. Moment? The doctor expressed a stream of pus from her right eyelid, and the orgasm rolled over her like a freight train. She bit through her bottom lip to keep quiet.

The doctor finished draining the abscess then stepped away from the examination chair, frowning at his handiwork. He stripped off the purple nitrile gloves. “I’m really sorry that hurt. Infections like this aren’t common after surgery, but we’ll take care of you. I’ll have Tanya do the IV and we’ll start you on antibiotics. You’re in good hands.” One of those good hands squeezed her shoulder before he headed out of the room, calling for the nurse.

She floated in a pool of warm, luxuriant pus. Two solid infections, though only one abscess. Too bad. With a sigh, she got up and grabbed her purse. She pulled a gauze compress out of her wallet, tore off the paper, and rubbed the small square over the counters and sink, inside the lip of the orange biohazard container. Dabbed it over the dirty compresses and tools still on the examination tray. She tucked the damp compress back into her purse, and made herself comfortable in the chair to wait.

She was scheduled for carpal tunnel surgery on her left hand at the end of next month. She couldn’t wait.


As I write this, it is 2:38AM, Tuesday, and I should have been asleep five hours ago.  Instead, I'm flirting with insomnia, rather, it's flirting with me and I wish it would go the hell away and let me sleep.

What do I do when I can't sleep?  Drink cocoa (don't have any), read comics (did that), maybe play a hand or two of solitaire (won both).  Beyond that. . .I think.  I can't help it, I'm a writer.  Ze Frank should do a "True Facts About Writers" video because thinking is how writers do.  Tell him I said so.

Where was I?  Right.  When I can't sleep, I think, and late night thoughts are perhaps the oddest.  Take those bits and bobs we don't often share with others, not out of any need for secrecy, but because we simply don't think about sharing.  Such as:

  •  I like peanut butter on hotdogs.  And hamburgers.  Not with any other condiment.  That would be weird.
  •  After a shower, I use a Q-Tip to dry the inside of I my belly button.
  • I am often held hostage by the sound of rain on a windshield.  One of the best sounds for napping.
  • I once made chocolate/roasted garlic fudge.  Didn't have much of a garlic taste the first day, but after that. . .*swoon*.  No one else liked it.  More for me.
  • I enjoy watching items decay, wear away, crumble.  A candle lit and left burning until the wick dies is a thing of beauty.
  • I am not afraid of heights.  I am afraid of falling.
  • I killed my mother.
  • I like hearing movie spoilers.
  • Sometimes when swimming in the ocean, I forget I can't breathe water.
  • Yes, I really do like chocolate that much.



I have a complicated relationship with cancer.  Then again, who doesn't?  It's not like you can take cancer out of an evening, drinks, dinner, maybe a movie, and then head home for one of those intense discussions that leaves you alone, tearful, and brooding for the rest of the night.  Not that kind of complicated.

Cancer is one of the few diseases to have wormed its way into common English parlance.  A person or situation is malignant.  Someone's behavior is ...continue reading Another Word For Fear

I love stories (I'm a writer, part of the job), audio fiction in particular.  While I appreciate radio dramas and podcast plays, I have a particular fondness for audio productions of written work.  There is a certain comfort in hearing "Once upon a time..." and "He said" and "She gripped the fighter's" that never fails to capture my imagination.  Podcasts are shorter than audio books (another love of mine), and are the perfect bite-sized chunk of fiction to fill an afternoon of errands or housework, or the stillness of bedtime.

Fast forward to July 2011 and ...continue reading HEAR THAT?

Home again, home again, jiggedy jog. . .

In our last adventure our heroine started her new blog while sequestered at the Centrum Artist's Program at Fort Worden in Port Townsend, WA.  There, in the company of the splendiferous Cat Rambo (writer, philosopher, and generally perky morning person), our heroine hoped to conquer many words and thereby make the world a brighter place.

And it turned out pretty well!

I arrived on the ...continue reading Retreat From The Retreat


Hi-ho!  And welcome again to The Muppet -

Oops...  That's not right

Hello, and welcome to my new website!

If you don't already know me, allow me a brief introduction.  My name is Sandra Odell, and I am a smart mouth, troublemaker who writes, advocates, and eats chocolate.  Not necessarily in that order.  In 2010 I attended Clarion West, and in 2012 Hydra House Books released my holiday short story collection THE TWELVE WAYS OF CHRISTMAS.  I am represented by Caitlin MacDonald of the Donald Maass Literary Agency.  Um...what else?

Did I mention I like chocolate?


...continue reading It’s Time To Get Things Started