Thursday, July 29, 2021

Why Do I Write?




By Cheryl Oreglia


How do you view your blog? Is it a hobby, art, your passion, or a means to an end? Most fellow bloggers, who have been keeping a blog for a few years, will admit it is stressful, time-consuming, without a lot of rewards. Or is that an unfair statement? I’ve poured my soul into blogs that garner shameful stats, dismal likes, and very few comments.

I have to ask myself on occasion - why do I continue to publish a blog?

Well here are my reasons for continuing to blog despite the stresses and hassles. I’d love for you to add a few of your own.
  1. When I don’t write I feel as if I’ve not exercised my brain, she gets lazy, and after a while, I can’t get her away from the television, or off youtube. When I’ve been working my brain, reading, writing, and synthesizing the material I’m able to think critically and write with ease. But still, I take breaks and send my brain on a mini vacation.
  2. It’s a great outlet for my thoughts and observations on life. I can process my experiences and hopefully, this informs or resonates with others. What I don’t like is spending precious time promoting my work on social media with zero results or obsessing over meaningless stats. But still, I write.
  3. I find it difficult to balance the competing forces in my life which are living, working and writing. When I’m working I’m thinking about the blog and when I’m blogging I’m thinking about my classes, and then my life tries to squeeze itself between me and the keyboard, tempers flare, and at times I’m accused of “sitting on my ass for hours doing nothing.” Which I choose to ignore. Not. The struggle is real but still, I write.
  4. One time I was nominated for a writing award, I got all excited, answered all the questions, followed all the rules, publicized the award as instructed, and then found out it wasn’t really an award at all. It’s what I call the circle jerk, crude, but accurate. The expectation is you are nominated and you go out and nominate others, this is like getting a gold star on your paper, it’s one person’s opinion and meaningless. But still, a small part of me was thrilled “just to be nominated.”
  5. It’s difficult to respect and please those closest to me, the people I interact with on a daily basis, because they end up in the blog, and believe me when I say they’ll let me know if something is inaccurate or exaggerated. Oddly, some of my most popular posts are about my husband, whose only claim to fame and being featured on the blog. On occasion, I admit writing about that exasperating man just to see my stats go up. I’m not proud but still, I write.
  6. I suppose the best part of maintaining a blog is the writing community I’ve come to know and befriend. I have people across the world who I interact with, exchange comments, and enjoy immensely although I’ve never met them in person. Recently one of my writing friends who resides in England is sending me some Yorkshire Tea to try because he’s annoyed with all my references to coffee. I don’t care why, a reader is sending me a gift, and I’m thrilled.
  7. I may have started my blog to establish a platform for this book I’ve yet to write, but it ends up I write because life seems meaningless without exploring my trials and tribulations on paper, and besides, it’s not as if there’s a chance in hell it’ll go viral. One always can hope.

I would love to hear your thoughts about why you write, your frustrations, your successes?





When I’m not writing for Across the Board, I’m Living in the Gap, stop by anytime.

Monday, July 26, 2021

The Stories I Will Never Write

 


As writers, we like to say the hardest part about writing is getting started. Other people might think it’s because we’re out of ideas, that the well is dry. We are Mort Rainey in the beginning of Secret Window before (spoiler) he does some weird shit with corn.

I won’t lie, part of it—a big part—is distraction. It’s almost cruel that the machine that helps us write words faster is the same machine that gives us access to mindless games, videos, and Buzzfeed quizzes. But even the most distractable of us can only watch so many videos of people falling down before we wander grudgingly back to our work-in-progress.

Neil Gaiman once said that everyone is always having ideas, but a writer is a writer because she recognizes when she’s doing it.

I think he’s partly right. I think there’s a small part of our brains that lights up when a passing thought is more than a passing thought. The cogs start to whir, and we get that far-off look in our eyes, the one that makes our significant others, families, and friends concerned we’re having a stroke. Then, not unlike an instance of painful gas, it passes.

Except sometimes, it doesn’t.

Sometimes that passing thought is enough to make me dig through my purse for a receipt and a pen (because though I own more than a dozen tiny notebooks purchased specifically for instances like this, they somehow never end up where they’re supposed to be) and scribble down what I can before the light dims. They’re good, these ideas, really good. I smirk to myself as I write a line of dialogue or a quirky personality trait, and it’s like I can see the story spread out in front of me like the road I’m supposed to be paying attention to. It’s clear and right and if only I had more paper I could get more of this down and then—and then!—I would write this story.

You’ve probably already guessed that I don’t, in fact, write those stories. Those sharp pricks of inspiration, here and gone as quick as you like, aren’t the jab of mojo I think they are.

But aren’t these flashes, these self-congratulatory sparks, the things we’re supposed to be on the look out for? Were we lied to?

I have a theory.

Inspiration as we’ve been taught to view it isn’t inspiration at all. Inspiration—the spark, the clear vision, the rush to the desk, pen in hand—isn’t a call to adventure. It’s more like an inside joke.

Stick with me. It’ll make sense. Probably.

You know that face you make when inspiration strikes? When you get an idea? How the corner of your mouth twitches upward into a conspiratorial half-smile? That’s not a Eureka face. That’s a remember-that-time? face. It’s the face you make when you remember a bit of trouble you got into (and, really, aren’t all stories about a bit of trouble you once got into?) These moments of “inspiration” never come to fruition. Why? Because, in our minds—in my mind—it’s already happened. I see the story clearly because, in a deep corner of my mind, I’m remembering the story. And, as we all know from sitting around a Thanksgiving dinner table with chatty Uncle Ron after he’s had a few, a story re-told out of nostalgia carries the weight of “You had to be there.”

The receipts get thrown away, the spark dissipates. More wasted ideas, you think.

But an idea is never wasted. It sits in the back of your mind with all the others, a campfire of little sparks. And when the flames burned down and all that’s left are the embers, one will roll away, warm and glowing. You’ll carefully pick it up, examine it, and find something new. A story you’ve never told yourself. Yet.   

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Everyone's a Critic: Dealing with Bad Reviews

 


Everyone has dealt with a critic in one aspect or another. You can't please everyone, and sometimes your particular creation just doesn't sync with a person's individual tastes. Does it necessarily mean you're bad at what you do? No, but it can give you some pointers to further improve your craft.

One of the biggest criticisms I have gotten on my writing was on prose, grammar, and long-windedness. At first, it was a little disheartening to see, but after having some time to consider it, I've kept it in the back of my mind for future works. Even the best editors don't catch everything, so it's important to review your work a million times over, and have more than one person read it before it goes to publication. It's easy to miss things when you're overly familiar with your own writing. So yes, these criticisms have helped me improve over the years.

Sometimes though, you get reviews that trash your writing simply because they just didn't like it, or had some kind of personal problem with you. My worst review on Amazon, titled 'Be Careful what your Children read', says:

"New Age Writers, like Eppley, want to indoctrinate your children into their politics. If you don't want your children raised with that much hate, check out the writers and books first."

This review flat out made me laugh. There's nothing political or hateful in the book this person was commenting on. My guess is this person must have a personal problem with me, or saw some comment I made online that they didn't like and thought they'd "teach me a lesson" by trashing my book. You're going to get those type of comments sometimes if you make a big enough impact. I see it as a badge of honor. I actually pissed someone off enough that they felt the need to look me up and talk smack. I did it! My first hater!

That being said, the bad reviews I really dislike are the ones that are just one star with no comment. Hey, help me out here. What is it about the book you didn't like? Help me improve. Those types of reviews are pretty much better left ignored.

Pay attention to the good reviews too! Don't let a few haters bring you down. Read what those who liked your book have to say. Are they all liking it for similar reasons? There you go, you found what your readers like. Stick to it! Pat yourself on the back. It's okay to feel pride about something you worked hard on getting through to the audience.

In short, my main message here is this. You could be the best writer in the world and someone out there is still going to hate it. The important things to focus on are improvement based on honest feedback, and the love of the craft. If you liked it enough that you felt it deserved being published, other people are going to like it too.

Stay weird.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Write Selfishly

Hey everyone! Mary here, and once again I've been doing way too much thinking about writing and what it means to me. I think it's because I'm in a weird spot in my writing "career" (if you can call it that). I'm not a wet-behind-the-ears newbie -- it's been 9 years since I got my first publishing contract -- and I'm not an established author with a gazillion contracts and deadlines to fulfill. My last book through a publisher was released over two years ago (still one of my personal faves, check it out if you like warrior girls and China-inspired steampunk fantasies), and my last indie novel came out nearly a year ago (pretty proud of how that trilogy turned out too, here's a convenient link if you like sweet romances set in sci-fi dystopias).

What's next? I have no friggin' clue. I've still got a bunch of sequels to my other two indie series that I want to release, but I haven't been able to sit down and write them yet. Meanwhile, I've had two new manuscripts perish in submissions hell. I'm currently working on yet another, but I have absolutely no idea if it has a chance at finding a home or if it's too weird for "the market" and will be considered dead-on-arrival. Part of me is tempted to simply indie publish one of those perished-in-submissions-hell manuscripts, but with two open indie series already in the works, that feels like overkill.

It's weird not knowing what my next novel release will be. Sure, I've got short stories in various anthologies on the horizon, but it's not quite the same, mostly because I still consider myself a novelist first.

Come to think of it, though, I did find myself similarly adrift once before. It was late 2016 (oh, 2016, you hell year, you), and my then-agent had just (very politely) told me she hated my latest manuscript. In 2015, I'd completed my first trilogy, so that was done, and meanwhile, a small press that was supposed to have released one of my books in 2014 had yet to show any sign of completing the editing process. I had nothing else on the shelf... in a desperate attempt to salvage my relationship with that agent, I pitched and then wrote about 50 pages of two new manuscripts, telling her I'd work on whichever she liked better. She hated them both. So we broke up, business-ly speaking.

In hindsight, though, I hate those two manuscripts too. Because the last manuscript that went out on submission (what would eventually be indie published as Starswept) was deemed "unmarketable" by traditional publishers, I thought I had to try something completely different. If sweet YA sci-fi romances weren't going to sell because the market was too saturated, why not try magical realism or hard sci-fi? Much fewer of those out there.

The answer: because I don't like writing magical realism or hard sci-fi. Let's face it: I don't do literary. I'm a genre writer through and through - I've literally written pulp.

After losing my first agent, my original plan was to force myself to finish one of those two manuscripts anyway. But in early 2017, angry at the world for a lot of reasons, I suddenly got it in my head that "f*** it, I'm gonna write a Chinese steampunk fantasy about an unapologetically rage-y warrior girl." 

Reader, that book wrote itself. It was kind of weird. While my previous books had taken tons of planning and hemming and hawing, this one I dove head-first into with only the sketchiest of outlines. It only took a month to write the entire first half (which, considering it wasn't NaNo and no one was making me do this, is pretty fast for me). 

That's the book that became Stronger than a Bronze Dragon. And I think the reason it went so well for me is because, for the first time in a while, I was writing selfishly. In other words, I was writing for me. No imagined audience, no "market participants," no vain effort to jump onto a trend, no attempts to pander to a stranger's manuscript wish list. I don't think that's why it's the one that got traditionally published -- I think I was accidentally trendy because non-Western fantasies were suddenly popular -- and ultimately, the fact that it ended up with a contract isn't what matters.

It's the book that got me out of my rut and made me remember why I liked writing -- for its own sake, because it's fun, because I want to.

We've written on this blog before about how publishing is like a bad significant other. One feature of bad relationships is when one party calls the other selfish for daring to think about themselves. It can be easy, as a writer, to fall into the trap of wanting to please everyone but yourself. The fickle "market" and all those whose salaries depend on it. The strong-opinioned reviewer, whether professional or on Amazon/Goodreads. The gatekeepers -- real or imagined -- whose endless expectations and demands coalesce into a chaotic brain-sludge of criteria that make you wonder how any books satisfy them.

But sometimes, we need to be a little bit selfish. Because sometimes, no one's going to look out for us but ourselves.

So write selfishly. At the end of the day, all we really have are our manuscripts. Write what you love, and understand that though it's natural to want more, it has to be enough because nothing else is guaranteed.

Basically this whole ramble is me justifying the super-weird definitely-too-long probably-unmarketable hopeless opus I'm preparing to send off soon. Nobody asked for it, and most likely nobody will want it, but hey, I had a blast writing it.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Members Only: Join a writing organization

 Hello, readers! 

At least once a quarter, I stand on top of the bleachers and shout into the gymnasium about the importance, nay, the necessity of writers joining writing organizations. 

Writing is a lonely endeavor, and I don't care how introverted you think you are, writers need camaraderie. And help. And scrolling through writing forums is only going to give you so much. These organizations benefit authors in so many ways. I can only speak for my favorite group, Sisters in Crime, but we offer educational opportunities by the buttload (professional term). Webinars and podcasts--we got 'em. Craft. Marketing. Publishing advice. Amazon ads. Editing. We have a webinar for that. And if we don't, we even give grants to help our members take classes. Want to network? Actually chat with people again? Most writer organizations have regional chapters with virtual events, and almost of them have conferences for writers to network, present, and learn. Some organizations also offer mentorship programs and awards.

Membership dues are typically low. Some may be tiered based on publishing status, but don't sweat that. And don't wait until you publish something to join. Pre-published writers have the most to gain from these organizations. The educational opportunities alone are worth the cost of membership.

And there is an organization for every genre. Historical Novel Society. International Thriller Writers. Horror Writers of America. Western Writers of America. Mystery Writers of America. Romance Writers of America. All the Of Americas

There may even be smaller, more regional ones. For example, PennWriters is an group for writers living in Pennsylvania. And just with some googling, I found an organization called Women Who Write, a group in New Jersey. So if a big group feels intimidating, try checking out smaller groups or writing circles.

These groups need young blood, so don't be shy, pay the dues and get involved. Take a webinar. Attend an event and volunteer. It may just be the best thing for your career.

Monday, July 12, 2021

I Got Injected Where the Pigs Poop and It’s Filling Me With Hope for the Future

P.T. Phronk
A post by P.T. Phronk,
of Forest City Pulp fame
I got my second COVID vaccine yesterday, so this post might be a literal fever dream. Sorry.

It’s become almost cliché to say this, but do you ever snap back to reality and realize how weird things have become? Yesterday, I went to the place where my city’s annual fair is usually held. I passed the grounds where I’d normally be eating deep-fried-bacon-wrapped-Snickers then letting rickety carnival rides spin me around until I barf. I entered the “agriplex,” where I’d normally be watching chicks hatching from eggs, smelling pig shit, and letting scorpions crawl on me at the bug exhibit.

Except now, there hasn’t been a fair in two years because a deadly pandemic still makes gathering in large crowds a bad idea. No greasy foods, no rides, and the building that was previously full of chickens, pigs, and creepy-crawlies has been converted into a mass vaccination center.

In the exact place where I came face to face with the biggest horse I’d ever seen, a doctor injected a snippet of genetic material into my arm, where it will hijack my cells to create harmless replicas of a deadly virus, so that my other cells can recognize it and fight it if they ever come across the real thing. This is happening inside of me right now, and giving me a nasty headache, but it’s a good sort of hurt, like feeling pleasantly queasy after surviving a few flips through the air in a carnival ride. Totally worth it.

I hope the whirlwind of 2020 and 2021 will act like a vaccine for humanity. It seemed slow at the time, but I think history will show that 2 years is a pretty good pace for upending how we interact with each other and developing entirely new technology to inject into our arms and (hopefully) eliminate COVID as a worldwide threat. We learned that we are capable of fighting this one. Bigger threats are coming, as this summer’s extreme weather and wildfires are giving us a taste of, but with this vaccine swimming in my aching body, I have a bit more hope that humanity’s immune system will be able to face them.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Interviewing Author Erika Lucke Dean about Kindle Vella from Amazon

  

www.karissalaurel.com

I've invited my friend and fellow Red Adept Publishing author, Erica Lucke Dean, to talk with me about a new story platform from Amazon called "Kindle Vella" that is launching next week. Erica and I will both be sharing new stories on the platform (in Erica's case, two stories!), and today I'm going to pick her brain about it a bit.

Karissa: Welcome, Erica! Tell us what you know about Kindle Vella.

Erica Lucke Dean: Kindle Vella is a new and exciting platform for serial fiction. I don’t honestly know much more about it yet, but I can’t wait to share my two paranormal/urban fantasy romance stories!

Karissa: What the heck is "serial fiction"? I mean... *I* know what it is, since I've been working on getting my story ready for this. But for those who aren't familiar with this kind of platform, can you explain it some?

Erica: Basically it means the stories will be doled out in episodes much like your favorite TV show. Bite-sized pieces of delicious fiction to snack on in our busy days.

Karissa: So… is it like Netflix? If I love your story can I just sit down and binge the whole thing in one day?

Erica: In theory, you totally could. But some stories (mine included) will premier new episodes on a weekly basis. Once they’re all finished, someone could binge the whole thing.

Karissa: So, let’s say I'm totally interested in this idea. How do I access these episodes?

Erica: Vella will be launching their new reading app for iOS and on Amazon dot com next week, and readers will be able to start feeding their cravings for hot new stories as early as launch day!

Karissa: What about an app for Android, or the Kindle Fire? Do we know anything about that yet?

Erica: Not yet as far as I know but that would be a huge lost opportunity if they didn’t.

Karissa: I agree. I gotta believe Amazon is cooking up something more behind the scenes. But from what I can tell now, this is all very experimental. Although, it’s not an entirely unique concept. Platforms similar to Vella already exist at Wattpad and Radish.

So, moving on… these episodes, I’m guessing it’s like Netflix. There’s a subscription fee or something right? We’re not giving these stories away for free are we?

Erica: Sadly, no. But Amazon has come up with an entirely new way to purchase stories… tokens! Just like at a video game arcade, you’ll purchase bundles of tokens and each story will cost a few tokens, depending on the length of the episode. It’s pretty awesome, and I’m excited to see how it plays out

Karissa: Alright, so if I'm going to pay money, these stories better be pretty good. Tell me what your stories are about.

Erica: Tales of the Day Walkers is a modern vampire story with a bit of a twisted love triangle, and a quest of a missing amulet. Eve Versus the Apocalypse is about a college color guard fighting her way to safety after a hostile alien invasion. Both feature hefty doses of romance and some kick ass women!

Karissa: Okay, those *do* sound interesting, but… for now my options are to read this on my phone or on my computer. Old farts like me can have trouble reading things on a screen for long stints of time. Maybe this isn't for me?

Erica: As I said before, each episode is meant to be a bite-sized snack. A little like the old Flash Gordon serials from when our parents were kids. Most episodes will be around 1500 words, coming at you at least once a week… sometimes twice a week!

Karissa: For those who aren’t familiar with wordcounts, 1,500 words really is snack size. In this industry, that’s usually considered “flash” fiction length. It's a length optimized for short stints of reading, and, I hope, not too much eye strain. I do happen to know episodes are allowed to be longer than that, but most of us at Red Adept Publishing have been urged to go with shorter episode lengths and I think that's a smart approach, especially considering these are really meant to be read on your phone or mobile device.

Thanks to Erica for hanging out for a minute and talking with me about this exciting and uncertain new opportunity. I'm glad I have author friends like you to talk to about this since it's so new and we don't know quite what to expect. I'm looking forward to it, but I'm also a little nervous.

Here are some more details on our stories, which we're hoping, fingers crossed, will be available next week! 

Follow Erica on Instagram or Facebook to find out about new episodes as they release.

When everyone she cares about is killed in an alien invasion, college color guard Eve uses her skills with a saber to battle her way through the changing landscape. Faced with monsters of more than one kind, Eve isn’t sure who to trust. After running into a group of survivors, she must decide if a new alliance with the dangerously sexy Archer is worth the risk. His offer of protection is tempting, but if she agrees to join him, her life may not be the only thing on the line.

When vampire Amelia’s estranged husband, Lucian, shows up unannounced after two decades, trouble isn’t far behind. For reasons he’s reluctant to disclose, Lucian is searching for the centuries-old amulet he gave her as a wedding gift, and he’s not leaving without it. Amelia must protect herself and her human companion, Elijah, from Lucian’s wrath while unraveling the mystery of his sudden ability to walk in the daylight. Dealing with his jealousy on an empty stomach is a whole different story…

Follow me, Karissa, on Instagram or Twitter to find out about new episodes and new releases in my Vella story, Serendipity at the End of the World:

Serendipity Blite and her sister, Bloom, use their unique talents to survive in the apocalyptic aftermath of the Dead Disease. When Bloom is kidnapped, Sera forms a specialized team to retrieve her. Attempting a rescue mission in an undead-infested city might be suicidal, but Sera is determined to get her sister back. After an unfortunate accident sets Sera teetering on the edge of death, she must fight to save her own life because surviving could mean finding family, love, and possibly a cure.


 

Monday, July 5, 2021

Google Search: Don Sakers

 amazon.com/author/kozeniewski

Another quality post brought to you by Steve!

Hey, everybody.

It's my turn to do a Google Search report, and this month I'm going to encourage you all to search for author, reviewer, and all-around good guy Don Sakers.


I was sorry to hear that Don passed away recently of a heart attack.  My deepest sympathies go out to his husband and family.  This is one of those instances, I suppose, of not really appreciating what you have until it's gone.

I knew Don for about eight years.  We met at the final Darkover Convention in 2013, and I've seen him four or five times a year at conventions ever since.  I had the pleasure of sitting on many, many panels with him and he was always a warm, intelligent, and thoughtful contributor.  I wouldn't say we were close friends.  I'm not sure we ever had dinner together.  But Don was always a bright spot in my life.  Every time I saw him I immediately felt better about whatever convention I was at.  "At least Don's here," I've thought to myself on many, many occasions.

Don did not suffer foolishness easily.  I always admired that while he was kind, friendly, and jovial in real life, he was a true intellectual, and routinely eviscerated every dumb idea or opinion he came across on Facebook or his blog.  It was that quality, probably, which made the organizers of Chessiecon assign him to the Turkey Awards, where he and I for eight years evaluated the most deliberately terrible samples of writing humanity could produce.  And Don inevitably and immediately rose to Shakespearean levels of criticism on even the most Randian bit of prose.

Don did a lot for me personally.  He reviewed two of my novels in "Analog," which has always been a career highlight for me.  And he did quite a bit for me personally.  I remember, for instance, sitting on a panel alongside Don and a particularly self-important jackass of an author.  After suffering an hour of abuse at this person's hands, Don immediately came up to me afterwards to make sure if I was all right.

I guess I'll close with one of my favorite memories of Don.  We were on a panel together once discussing canonicity.  To illustrate a point, I went around the room and asked everyone who their favorite Batman actor was.  (I think this was around the time Ben Affleck had just been cast.)  There were Christian Bales, Michael Keatons, even a stray Kevin Conroy.  When I got to Don he, of course, replied, "I still love the '60s version with Adam West."  And that was Don all over: knowledgeable, kooky, humorous, unexpected.  I will miss him sorely on the convention circuit.  But I'm going to try to get to know Don a little better now that he's passed by digging into his massive body of work, and I highly recommend you all do the same.

Take care, everybody.  Hug your loved ones tonight.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Silver Linings


By Cheryl Oreglia


I’m finding it difficult to breathe, let alone write, and tomorrow doesn’t look good either. Recently, some very unfortunate events took place, one of which resulted in the cracking of my favorite ribs. I’m not sure how many ribs I have but it feels as if I broke them all or at least the one Adam gave me. 


I discovered that I don’t do pain well, in fact, I’m rather cranky about the whole sordid ordeal. As Shebani notes, “I had to get an ice pack because I pulled a muscle glaring at you.”


This was the result of a boating mishap, or should I say extreme sophomoric activity with a boat, which flung me into the air, and down upon the projected knee of said driver. My husband. Yes, it’s been a hellacious week for all concerned. As Tobe Hanson says, “almost all accidents and injuries happen when an individual is not being present and not paying attention to what they are doing.”

The problem with rib injuries is you can never find a comfortable position to rest and recover. If I’m standing, sitting, or lying down I’m in pain. I just want to cry all the time. Is that weird?


I didn’t think so. 


Recently a friend recommended CBD lotion and apparently it is miraculous? And here I’ve been depending on Tylenol and ice?  I’ll be on the hunt for some miracle lotion this afternoon. Seriously, I would hand over any password, trade secret, or treasure map (if I had one) if you promised me relief. What happened to my moral standards?


They broke.  


What I’m finding out about myself as I struggle through the day is I have very little patience for discomfort and my own inability to accomplish even the most basic tasks. I’m used to doing what needs to be done, no whining, or asking for help. I’d rather pull out my fingernails one by one than ask for help. I really am my own worst enemy and maybe it’s time to adjust these self-limiting beliefs. 


There may or may not be a few lessons embedded in this whole ordeal if I’m willing to look beyond the pain and into the validity of the experience. Which I’m not, but for the purposes of this blog, I’m willing to stretch myself. 


1. I’m human, I break, and as I age I’m becoming more and more brittle both physically and mentally. That’s even more painful to write. Slowing down and taking a few precautions might be sage advice to my future self, not just me, but my husband included. We no longer bounce when thrown to the ground so acknowledging the laws of gravity might be a good place to start. Mistakes are costly at any age but they build equity as we age.


2. Our bodies are miraculous, much more intelligent than I give her credit for, she heals without my input or assistance. It might feel as if I will never exist without pain but I need to trust my body and what it’s telling me, “slow the hell down, take it easy, let someone else do the cooking, cleaning, and shopping,” without feeling guilt or total defeat. When you slow down you also tend to see a lot more so maybe this is a good time to be observant.


3. I have to find my inner strength, this means stop whining, moaning, and looking as if death is just around the corner. I really don’t want to be dragging everyone around me into this vortex of suffering and pain (my husband excluded). There’s nothing they can to do relieve the pain so they end up feeling exasperated and that’s extremely unfair of me.


“Do not complain to others of a wound that is hurting you; The wound will only hurt the one who is injured. Complaining to others will only add to your pain.” Nadine Sadaka Boulos


4. This is a good time to get to know not only my injuries but my body as well. I’m sure there’s a lot I can learn about promoting healing from a quick google search. And then take the time and initiative to care for my injury properly and with patience. What a concept. 


“In rehabilitation, there is no elevator. You have to take every step meaning one step at a time.” Joerg Teichmann


5. Learning to control my fears because at this point I think I might never want to get in a boat again. That’s not going to work with my family and our lifestyle. So I’m going to have to overcome my own anxiety and trust others can and will deliver me safely from one point to the next. Although there will be no more goosing the engine when I’m on board and I’ll have to be clear about my boundaries. 


6. That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Without a doubt, our injuries change us and influence our character. I’ve suffered and overcome dog bites, motorcycle accidents, burns, broken bones, four pregnancies (although not officially an injury but nonetheless painful), and sprang ankles. I am who I am today because I was able to persevere through the experience and trust me when I claim these misfortunes have informed my character in ways I am only beginning to understand. 


I read somewhere not to say “why is this happening to me, but what am I supposed to be learning from this injury that has befallen me?”


I could be learning to ask for help, that I’m not invincible, and I'm really interdependent as opposed to independent. Without this kind of opposition, I might not recognize my full potential, push myself, or strive to be more even under extreme duress. 


When we are at the lowest points in our life is where we can learn the most about ourselves. I can look for the silver lining, dig a little deeper for inner strength, and become a better person for the experience. “Your attitude will either make or break you, we cannot change fate and the tragedies that enter our lives but we can choose how we want them to change us," says Nikki Rowe.


When I'm not writing for Across the Board, I'm Living in the Gap, drop by anytime.


Please leave a few comments on how you heal after an injury or any other sage advice when suffering an ailment.

 
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