Friday, November 29, 2013

Crazy cab drivers and match “editor” making

Going on residency interviews is like going on a tour of America  in a way. You  get to meet different individuals from varied back grounds,  from fourth year medical students to foreign medical graduates fresh out of medical school or those that have been practicing for a while to the person that sits next to you on plane, bus, train. It’s actually a lot of fun. I met the craziest cab driver during my last trip.
My interview was in Philadelphia which I have to say is a city that is rough around the edges but I digress. I took the bus instead of driving because I didnt want to drive at night and I wasn’t sure Anastasia (my fiery red car) could handle the journey.  When I got to the bus station I immediately made a beeline for the parked cabs. I wasn’t going to mess with  the subway because I did that when I interviewed in NYC.  Let me just say that was a bad mistake.
I spotted one “Nigerian uncle” looking cab driver and reasoned that a fellow Nigerian would be “safe” and I could  “sweet talk” him to taking a lower cab fare. I approached him and show him my friends address on my phone and he says confidently that he knows the address.
I get into the cab and settle comfortably in the back seat hoping to take in the sights of Philly as he drives through the city. Well, the drive was anything but relaxing   First he drove like he was car racing AND also cursed out other drivers on the road too. I held on to dear life in the backseat praying that we got to my friend’s house quickly and safely. Then he stops in a seedy looking neighborhood and ask to see the address again. When I show him he tells me that place doesn’t exist here and he really doesn’t know that address.
I had many choices
a.       Unleash the dragon, take off my Christianity jacket and demand to know             why he told me he knows an address that he clearly has no idea about.
b.      Keep Christianity jacket on and calmly try to figure out the address with him
Since mama didn’t raise no fool and he was a little crazy plus  choice A could result in me being kicked out of the cab in the a seedy neighborhood in a city I was unfamiliar with I called my friend so I could clarify the address.
Then he insists on speaking to my friend and grabs my phone from me. My friend clarifies the address for him and he realizes we are all the way across town from where my friend’s apartment is.
He reacts my cursing profusely with some very interesting words then before I can stop him he tells my friend on the phone to “help him out” and add some more money to the agreed fare price because getting me to my friend’s apartment would take twice the time he calculated.
 He then curses out my friend on the phone for not agreeing to add some more money to the agreed fare price. At this point I just want to get to my friend’s apartment safely because he threatens to drop me off in the seedy neighborhood.
I just kept calm because he obviously had a few loose screws and getting all “kanyed up” (I love that it’s a new word I have come up with) would just escalate the situation. Anyway, I thank Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit that he took me to my friend’s apartment in one piece.
With all that craziness with work and interviews going on I haven’t had much time to devote to the major developmental editing for my book.   I am working but not as fast as I would like too.  I am currently looking for an editor. After I really thought about it, researched it, analyzed and prayed about it, it would really be ill-advised to publish without a professional editor who has worked on novels before. I am not a grammar mafia, punctuation and grammar is not my strongest point . I am just a story teller.  I think I have met someone I really like but I don’t want to rush into the “relationship.”  Keep fingers crossed for me that I make the right decision. But I am excited yall! I can’t believe I am actually going to publish a book people may actually read J
Hope everyone had a great thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Just a spoonful of passion please

Since my blog is not anonymous, I am restrained by what I can share about residency interviews.  But two words I can use to characterize the last place I interviewed with are cool and passionless.  Cool as in “chill” meet in the lobby at 8 :30 am type of chill. The stricter programs have us showing up for interviews at 6:45. Passionless as in everyone seemed to like the program but seemed not to care one way or the other if the applicants liked the program.  The program director did not speak to us even though he had time to “yell at his residents” ( his words not mine) and  the chief resident could not be bothered to sell the program to us and we( the applicants) were left to our own devices.  If you are not excited about your program why should I be? Needless to say, we (applicants) really bonded. I got to learn that the Indian education system is similar to the Nigerian educational system and the difference between medical school gunners and snipers (I have to somehow work that into the series BTW) J
The “passionless” interview got me thinking about how important it is to fight to hold on the passion you once had for your dreams. Disappointment, rejection, criticism,  delay , failure and a harsh terrain can kill passion for any dream.   Trust me I have been there. My atypical transition to residency has been a rough time for me and I almost did not want to publish my book.  Sometimes I felt the dream dying inside of me as my passion died.  But I had to go back to why I started writing and the very “specific” girl God directed me to speak to through my writing.
Self-publishing a book is much harder than I thought. It’s a lot of hard work;  it’s a lot of hustling, it’s almost like starting a small business.   I am responsible for the writing, editing, packaging, formatting my book for multiple platforms AND marketing my book. Its not easy work and I have made the decision to enjoy every grimey part of it and keep my “passion” while I am at it. While I don’t want to allow my emotions to rule over me, I really want to make sure I am enjoying what I am doing. If I am not enjoying it,   I analyze my actions and think of ways to make it better.  I made the hard decision to remove a character and release her as a novella later. She never really was connected to the other four characters and I am never quite comfortable with her story line. I tell ya even the Holy Spirit nudged me gently in my heart to remove her and modify her during the earlier days of writing the book.
But did I listen. Nope.
I was too  lazy to remove her and have to change the whole story. Plus I like her. She is very fiery and is like me in many ways. But alas I am an indie author and can do whatever I want. I will just release her and all her fiery glory in a novella. 
Even in medicine I know everyone goes through the “Why did I do this to myself breakdown.”   Here, you tend to focus on the negatives of a medical career by comparing yourself to peers who are making more money than you and have more free time, gripe about the thankless social work aspect of medicine, the hierarchical hazing etc. … If you want to complain about medicine the list can be endless. These breakdowns usually come around exam studying time, step 1, night float rotations and when financial aid shows you the 150,000 or more you owe for your education.   J  During these times, I go back to why I choose medicine as a profession and hold on to the “fuzzy” help those in need feelings I had in undergrad.
The point I am trying to make is that
Passion is the fan to the flames of your destiny ( let me not swagger-jack, I think my pastor said that once) . Do everything possible to keep it alive.

Until then be B.A.D.D, bad like that 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The tale of two cities

I've always felt like  I had  two sides of me, two cities  or two husbands ( * keep dreaming gal*)   one I know like the back of my hand, one that is demanding, one that is safe. The other one I don't really know, I flirted with him when I was younger, forgot we ever dated, one I am wary of, one I don't really know.

This one this unfamiliar one is the "One" I feel God is leading me to. I could be wrong. It doesn't fit. It doesn't look right. I wasn't trained to write. I didn't go to any writing class. I don't even have confidence in myself yet I have decided to stick with "him".

The familiar one has been my life. my goal, my obsession for twenty years of my life. Medicine is what I know. Medicine is comfortable. Medicine is home.

I will always call myself the unlikely almost unwilling writer. I often ask myself why I am doing this. I don't feel confident. Beta readers have not fallen in love with the book like I imagined and reimagined in my head. Yet I am running blind. I am still working on the novel,  revamping story arcs, povs ,  removing an entire character and looking for a line editor. Still,  its out of my comfort zone.

But the beauty of this is,  I am taking a leap of faith, the same leap of faith I took when I left my life in Chicago Illinois and moved to Washington DC for medical school. No plan, no real understanding of who God was but I read Hebrews 11 verse 1 and with no clear plan and  I leapt.

I am leaping again trusting He will catch me before I fall

Medical Residency Interview number four on Monday!

Until next time folks, be B. A.D.D, bad like that

Sunday, November 3, 2013

On half baked cookies and interview experiences reloaded

No one likes a half baked cookie. I especially don't because I love food and no one messes up with my food. Similarly  I was going to publish my book as a half baked cookie. I removed the timer because its not plausible to publish a book that I would be confident of in that time frame .

I wonder how many things that I am  waiting on God for that is half baked and I insist that I am  ready and want it now. Maybe the cookie is still half baked and its simply not time yet.

 Going through the beta reading process, I realized that I needed to remove a  whole character and change the point of view. I needed to pause.  My tentative date for release is March 31st because its Match month in March -the month  I will find out where I will be spending the next three years of my life!

I went for my second interview last week and I learned
1. There's nothing new under sun, interviews are pretty much the same and since I did this whole dance two years ago , there really isn't anything new I could get asked.

2.  Medical personnel ( medical students, residents etc)  love food- there was a skinny girl that surpassed even me. If I tell you I love food, I do. Everyone in med school knew I loved it, I could sniff out free food like a dog, everyone at work knows I love food.  I am ALWAYS first to get free  food and when there's food at church I am always first in line.

 I feel its a crime against humanity when I don't get to indulge in free food.

Anyway this girl was not shy, while I held myself back since I didn't want to look like a foodie during this interview, this girl was busy packing food for takeaway. She called it "one for the road' No one had to tell me twice, I was right behind her packing food. *covers head in shame*
And for the interview, I actually liked the school I went to.
The people there seemed genuinely happy and that is so important in residency.

Until next time folks, be B. A.D.D, bad like that