It’s been one of those days where you find you’ve taken two steps forward and three steps back – then fell backasswards off of a cliff. Want to come to my Pity Party, anyone?
- I’ve had a stroke. Can’t remember squat, like:
*how to type
*how to use a pencil
*how to spell
*how to walk
*how to talk
*how to dress myself
****how to finish the novel I was in the middle of when I had this blasted TIA, which was a hard won, one-third of the way to completion.
I seem to have gotten lost somewhere, those parts of me that make me – ME. I do know who I am. It’s locating me inside of this dumfuggled, scrambled, crambled, muddled, fuddled and befuddled, addled, dizzy, woozy, muzzy, groggy, foggy, dopey and dazed brain of mine that causes me such agitation.
It’s so frustrating. I get flashes of the whole the snapshot of what “Me” entails. Then it’s gone.
I know the basics: I’m married – and of a necessity, due to my limitations, separated from my spouse. I know I’m an ordained minister, an arm chair philosopher and a student of Nature and that I maintain websites connected to THOSE parts of me (which are woefully out of date).
I also know that I cannot pursue any religious ministry because my filters
are all out of kilter and “the ‘f’ bomb” slips out every now and again, along with certain other, less shocking profanities. In any case, no longer clergy material.
But I AM still a writer, damnit.
At least, I think so.
“I think, therefore I am…”, or so the saying goes. So, yes, damnit…STILL A WRITER!
You just watch – – I’ll come away from this experiece with all sorts of creations under my belt (Good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise!)
Folded Dreams, a follow-up novel to my venture into the world of self-publishing, managed to get to about 45% edit-worthy completion. I wasn’t completely satisfied with my work at that point, but I was proud to have at least made it that far! And then, as often happens of course, I hit an annoying bout of writer’s block – so I pouted for a few days, then decided I’d really show my Muse how childish an old fossil can get, and “cut off my nose just to spite my own face”…
Translation: I did what I believe a serious writer should never do for more than a few days at a time – I took a stupid vacation from writing. A couple of weeks should do it, I thought to myself. Just two weeks.
That was about the end of November or first of December, 2016.
As fate would have it (or “Never Disrespect Your Muse”), on the 8th of December I had a pretty serious stroke. Not a “major stroke”, mind (the kind that leaves one totally blind and unable to control one’s bodily functions), but bad enough to have to start from scratch to re-develop the ability to walk and use the muscles on the whole right side of my body to cough and spit toothpaste into a sink, and the dexterity I needed to dress and to even simply keyboard.
Writer’s block just became very real and much more complicated than ever, indeed.
It was necessary for me to leave my home and move in with one of my children; but I was determined to be ready when my muse again visited me, so I had my computer and flash drive book files brought over here to my son’s house.
A couple of weeks ago, I woke up with the urge to write. I thought about perhaps starting that book on stroke recovery which my therapists at Brooks Hospital had suggested. But, no – I wanted to get crackin’ on my novel again. After all, it’s nearly a year over-due for publish.
I plugged my flash drive into my lap top and began reading the existing chapters to the novel, “Folded Dreams”, you know, to refresh my memory as to where I was heading with the story. I really enjoyed re-reading what I’d written so far, mostly because I didn’t “recognize” it…
In fact, I had forgotten nearly the entire thing. Gone. Just. Like. That.
Since that day, I’ve pondered the story, pounded my brain and perused all of my files on story-line notes and research to find anything I recognize. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. the only ‘discovery’ I’ve made is the continued enjoyment of reading a story which, each time I open it, seems like the first time reading someone else’s work. You see, I only vaguely remember having read it at all, no matter how many times I may have done so…that’s how Swiss-cheesey my brain is.
I don’t know how long this phase of recovery will last. I would like to believe it is only temporary, even if ‘temporary’ lasts for a long time yet. All I know is that THIS is true writer’s block, the likes of which can discourage me to the point of throwing in the towel…for good and ever.
But I won’t, even if I have to change the plot to include the protagonist having a stroke and losing herself completely.
Take THAT, Writer’s Block!!
It’s not a word which requires a definition. And nor does it usually call for an example for explanation, being sufficiently self-explanatory, ya’ know? Still, if you think about it, could you actually define ‘useless’, without looking it up in your Funk & Wagnell’s?
See that picture up there? That’s pretty much what I feel like at this stage of recovery from this damnable stroke. Useless.
“A picture is worth a thousand words.”
(wonder if i could incorporate this into my novel Waking Up Dead! – that is, if i ever stop being so USELESS!!!)
Eyeballs are pretty much a necessity to me…especially for their ability to see. Don’t get me wrong – I am well aware that there are many people whose eyeballs do not function and not a day goes by anymore that I don’t pray that I will be able to develop their skills if my eyeballs continue to degrade and betray me.
About a year ago I started seeing ‘chains’ at the outer circle of my vision. From there I’ve developed ‘leopard spots’ and intermittent grey, blank spots, mostly when my eyeballs are hit directly with light. Sun, sitting under a lamp where the bare bulb is not hidden by the shade…a bright internet page – it makes no difference what lumens, my eyeballs rebel.
That’s why I’ve not been online lately, except after days of protecting my eyeballs, and then for only a few minutes. Still unsure the exact cause because I’ve not sorted medical insurance yet – so I ask for a few good thoughts and prayers for my poor eyeballs, if you would be so kind, that they won’t completely betray me – well, at least til I’m finished with Folded Dreams. After that, I’ll be happy to start practicing alternative methods of writing and finishing my other books!
Things are dragging a bit with Folded Dreams – not because the ideas aren’t there, but because I can’t seem to find the places the notions belong! Writing a novel can be, at best, tricky and at worst, discouraging. My experience at this stage of the game includes both – and every emotional thing in between.
I’ve received an awful lot of encouragement from so many people, both readers and writers alike, and wonderful ideas on how to get back on track. There’s timelines, rough notes, “just write” (which actually works, by the way!) and the advice of saving editing until last. That’s the one that I have trouble with – that’s the one that takes up the time and puts me into a deep, blue funk.
But I plod along, hoping to catch a bit of inspiration here and there – something that will replace that 15W bulb in my brain with a bright, strobing 150W, 1 million candle power lantern which will flare into life over my grey matter and kick start me into a flurry of productivity.
Folded Dreams will still not likely be finished before Christmas, but a novel takes time, doesn’t it? especially if you want it to be good. Which I do. Maybe I’ll have something else ready by then, though. Who knows? Stranger things have happened!
(By the way, I’ve finished with my review on M Press of Ire, by Roger Moore. This book is the original to “The Empress of Ireland“, which is now available on Amazon both in print and on Kindle. Read the review. Get the book!!