Writing: I’m writing! This weekend I went to two different writing things. The first was on Saturday. The leader of the Nanowrimo group in my region sets up a write-in once a month throughout the year so we can all keep in touch beyond November. Sadly, I’ve missed every single one, until this month.
I thought I would have to drag my friend but he wanted to go as much as I did. Sometimes I need a little push and the fact he wanted to go insured I went. I’m not saying I haven’t wanted to go in the past. In fact I would have loved to go but life conspired against me. Severe back pain, a couple of major surgeries and a hellish recovery put a stop to most of my extracurricular activities.
There was a point where I decided the pain wasn’t going to strip me of my writing anymore. So, in spite of the consequences, I went to my favorite writing spot (I’m there now) and wrote for as long as I could. What ended up happening was I was so sore from my stubbornness that I couldn’t handle much in the way of extra outings. As I eventually joined a new writing group and went to it every Sunday, the write-ins were off the table.
Now, all these months later, I’ve gone through physical therapy and while I’m not in perfect condition, I am much better and more determined than ever.
The result of making up my mind was unexpected: writer’s block. For a while I thought it was more writer’s funk but nope, I was fully blocked. I have a couple of stories completely plotted and the writing part should have been easy but the tank was empty. I did write a bit but it was all crap.
I tried changing projects and it didn’t work. I came up with something new but then stalled quickly. Writing prompts were a bust. Even my well of undeveloped ideas gave me nothing.
The new idea was slowly forming. When I say slow, I mean slug crossed with sloth slow. It will probably be my project for November at this rate.
Then something sparked. Someone in my writing group posted a picture prompt. Within minutes I had the most ridiculous bad story idea. When I say bad, I mean deliberately bad, because it was funny that way, well at least I think so. Click here to read it. It was the first thing I wrote in weeks.
After I was still not coming up with much but tiny ideas were sprouting. I went to the write-in and after bouncing ideas off my friend and listening to suggestions my new story started growing. I’m still not ready to write it but I’ll develop it a bit and shelve it until November.
Yesterday at the writing group meeting the second spark occurred. Someone saved me from having to give the group a picture prompt by offering to post one. I was thrilled because I would have over thought it and agonized about which picture to use. She found a photo and posted it to our Facebook group right away.
I looked at it and was instantly intrigued. I’m not sure how to explain it. It’s a person, somewhat androgynous made of smoke or more accurately: going up in smoke. My muse metaphorically clapped in glee and my first idea formed. Then the second took over. Next the two ideas merged and a story was born. I’ll be working on it today, maybe for several days.
The length of this one is undetermined. At this point I think it will be flash fiction – 500 words or so, but it has the potential to become a longer short story. Perhaps even a novel. It’s hard to know because I’m in love with the idea. For all I know this could be like a rebound relationship after being dumped. People always jump into them and it rarely works out. That’s probably a bad comparison since my muse took me back after dumping me and watching me suffer for a while. Believe me, I appreciate it more than I ever did now!
If the short version of the story doesn’t suck I’ll post it when I’m finished. Wish me luck, I think I might need it this time!
Physical Therapy: Today I told the guy working with me I was done. I’m not giving up, it just isn’t doing anything for me I can’t do on my own. I’ll admit I feel like they were willing to keep me there as long as my insurance paid, which was for an astonishing 30 visits, whether I needed it or not. Don’t get me wrong, it wouldn’t have been bad for me but if it’s not helping then it’s silly to keep milking the insurance.
I said it nicely and the guy was disappointed but understood. He wasn’t my regular therapist but I work with him a lot. He told me he would talk to my therapist and on Wednesday I’ll go in and talk about what exercises I can and can’t do.
Crunches are out of the question and anything requiring I lean back or twist are a no as well. I know I can’t do anything requiring I lift weight over my head, but I can do ones where I pull down. Basically anything forcing me to put a lot of pressure on my lower back needs to be avoided. I’ll bring a notepad and ask a lot of questions.
My biggest concern is I want to tone my arms but some of the best arm exercises affect the back too. I still won’t be able to do a ton of cardio but if I’m patient I can build into it.
I still have pain but not constant. I know what makes me feel better and what doesn’t. Sometimes I might push it too far but I’m learning to live with it. The surgery didn’t completely fix me but it certainly helped. So I’ll figure out what daily life is going to be like now.
Everything Else: There isn’t anything to report. I drew an awesome dragon and I’ll eventually work on coloring it in. I haven’t done any photography related activities since my vacation but I will soon, unless writing takes over (fingers crossed this happens).
I have an abscessed tooth and need a root canal. I was in agony last weekend but they gave me antibiotics so I’m okay now. I’m just waiting on the insurance company to say yes and figure out how much it’s going to cost and how I’m going to pay for it.
If this update had been written while I was still in pain it would have contained a lot more whining.
Shockingly, since I’m a big wimp with pain, I went to my writing group last week even though I was miserable. This new-found determination is disconcerting haha.
I’ll post the story and another update when I have something to report.
Thanks for sharing. I hope things continue to progress for you. Also, hang in there with the tooth pain. It can be a major issue. I applied a few small drops of tea tree oil (pharmaceutical grade) to mine when it was present and it took it away. A little each day helped but the taste is horrendous. Don’t swallow it. I look forward to more of your posts and praying your pain is relieved soon. Have a wonderful day and keep pushing forward
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Is your writing group online? You mentioned posting prompts on Facebook and I thought maybe you go to the group by way of Meet Up or something. There isn’t a group for me to go to in this dinky town so I end up writing emails to two writing friends instead.
It sounds like you’re moving on to really resume your life now. I did the same thing a few years ago when I broke my knee. Of course, not even half as excruciating as low back stuff, but still, the journey back to normalcy is long.
Read your flash fiction about the vampire whose a trickster. I liked the comedy of it.
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It’s a local group but online groups are almost as good at giving one good writer vibes.
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