Apparently I’m Normal

Sometime between this week and last I put my back out. And I feel so sorry for myself.

You don’t even understand.

Because my back isn’t just a bit sore.

It’s not something I can take medication for and it goes away in a bit.

No, I actually put my back out.

And apparently this is normal.

The pain kind of built and built until one day when my alarm went off I found I couldn’t sit up. (That’ll learn me never to try becoming a morning person again.) After a couple failed (and painful) attempts I opted to barrel role out of bed. And I did it pretty effectively too, seeing as how I got out of bed and didn’t fall.

From there it has been a downhill slide. The day was horrible and I couldn’t sit down at work. The plus side of that is my desk is high enough to stand at so it wasn’t weird.

The next day my arm went numb. Like, my entire arm.

Think of it folks. I’m a writer. Now I can’t sit and I can’t use one of my arms.

How am I supposed to do my job?

So there was that.

And also there was the confusion over why my body was rejecting me.

So I went to the walk-in clinic. I explained what was happening, the doctor felt a few places in my back and referred me to a massage therapist. He didn’t seem phased about my arm, even though I repeated myself just in case he didn’t catch it the first time around.

Then I called the therapist. After explaining my story I was informed since it was a long weekend I would have to wait five days before I could get in.

Again with the non-concern!

Eyes brimming with tears I booked the appointment and then called every other massage therapist I could get a number for. Over and over I got the “long weekend story” yadda yadda until finally three hours later I got a call back from someone who could take me if I left right away.

“How close are you to the clinic?”

Honestly? I didn’t even know who was calling. The clinic? No clue. So I clarified.

“Uh…in Abbotsford?”

“No Coquitlam.

CRAP!

“Well, pretty far. Like 30 minutes or more”

“Leave now.”

And you know what? I was so desperate I did. I drove 40 minutes to someone who would see me despite the “long weekend.” Someone who thought my arm going numb was cause for at least some concern.

But still, it felt a bit crazy.

Anyway, now the long weekend is over and I did survive. But it has been one of those ones I’d rather not remember. My body hates me, my arm is still tingly, and I’m so far behind in my work I’m sweating just thinking about it.

Funny thing is, apparently most of my issue isn’t my work posture but my stress level.

So I’ve had a lot to think about while stuck lying on heating pads on the floor.

Nativity Nostalgia

card-gift-tags

My latest crafty enterprise has been trying to figure out useful ways to reuse cards once they’re written on. I thought I would be able to come up with a couple ideas but in reality it was difficult. I went round and round and round…nothing really struck my fancy.

In the end I came up with four alright ideas and submitted my blog about reusing used cards over at UsedEverywhere.

And then my mom emailed me. She remembered our family nativity scene was handmade from used cards. And then she found it in the crawlspace and sent me a photo.

Wow. Now that’s a great idea!

used-card-nativity

I had enough time to plug the card-nativity into the post and I think it saved the blog.

Anyway, the more I think about and remember our old nativity I wonder if I ever knew it was made from cards…I don’t think so. If I did, I didn’t care. I liked that it was shiny, and that the windows were a bit fuzzy. Also I liked that we were allowed to play with it—within reason of course.

I like how kids don’t care about things being fancy. It’s all in the details. Texture, glitter, expressions on faces.

Seems like an important realization.

Blog Tour-Gilbert Morris

Gilbert Morris

I’ve never participated in a blog tour before, but I’m intrigued by the idea. I mean, does anyone even do the physical book signing book tour thing anymore?

Actually I know they do but I think the whole idea of a virtual book tour is fantastic. So today is my day to highlight Gilbert Morris and his new book The River Rose.

This is the tour part. For the book part, see my review of The River Rose.

Mr. Morris, you used to record your stories and then had them transcribed. Are you still using this technique?

Yes, I do dictate all my books. I take the outline and the list of characters, and put each chapter on a cassette. Then I have a lady take the tapes, type them out, and send them to me. Of course, when I get the hard copy, that’s usually when the hard work of revision rears its ugly head! My daughter Lynn, who has written some fine novels, helps me with this stage, for which I am profoundly grateful.

What fascinates you most about 1850s Mississippi?

It was a dramatic time in American history. The Civil War, the rise of modern transportation, the beginning of our industrial growth.

How did you decide to set your story on a steamer?

When I was a boy, I lived for a time in Helena, Arkansas. The river then was still thick with the sternwheelers, and I would sit for hours on the bank of the river and watch them, and riding on one was a thrill.

When you’re writing a series such as the Water Wheel series, how do you decide which characters to carry over into the sequels?

I usually make this decision before I begin the first novel in the series. Some generational sagas lend themselves to stepping from one book to another, others I like to confine to one book. I have a signed a contract to do a trilogy about San Francisco in the 1850s. That opens up the door for a family to go through (1) the gold rush of 1849, (2) the rise of rich people and how they are brought down, and (3) the earthquake and how the family survives and strengthens.

Do you have a long-term plan for your novel writing?

I am working on three series at the present time. One will deal with the men and women who serve in different branches of the service. Another is the second novel about a young woman, Jordan Lee, who serves in the military, then in the House of Representatives. The work I most enjoy is a series of mysteries featuring a man and a woman—and two cats. I’ve written three of these, and have had a blast! They are my favourite novels. The next one will be entitled Desperate Housecats. And no, I will never retire!

Ways to connect with Gilbert Morris:

DIY T-Shirt Jewelry (Installment #1)

For a while I’ve wanted (desperately at times) to upcycle my old dingy clothes into something more useful. Something like jewelry.

Actually first I wanted to make a rug but I’m still too intimidated by the whole “rug thing” to get very far.

Anyway, so back to the jewelry. I did it.

And it worked out really well!

Here is my write-up on DIY T-shirt jewelry. Although I did simplify it quite a bit so I wouldn’t, you know, confuse people.

Because all the directions I saw leading up to this point were tres confusing.

This DIY fabric bracelet is inspired by my niece, who brought finger knitting home from school and taught me something new.

However, she was just making long, senseless chains and when lack purpose I just don’t know what to do…I need a finished product!

Anyway, so the bracelet turned out pretty good.


This necklace was more of an afterthought.

I had a stretchy turtleneck thing that I hated wearing. Hated! And I saw an idea somewhere (definitely on Pinterest but I don’t know if it was there first or not) for creating a necklace out of an old T-shirt by cutting it into loops and affixing them at the back.

It was super simple and since my T-shirt was striped it wasn’t even difficult to cut in straight lines. (Bonus.) So all in all it was a nice little project.

However, I still haven’t figured out how to wear it.

Anyway, so if you have a bunch of old T-shirts or need a little fabric project to do with those who are able to finger knit, there you go.

Have at ‘er.

Finding Excitement in the Every Day

Ever since I acknowledged my severe lack of note-taking of late I’ve really been trying to do better.

Finding Excitement in the Every Day

And I have been. I keep a notepad by my computer (with a pen) and whenever I have a thought I write it down on my “blogs to write” list.

And yet, I come to take a look at it when “it’s time” and I think man these ideas suck.

Mostly I guess it’s because there’s nothing much happening in my life. I mean, there’s the usual but it’s so…every day.

Perhaps my goal should be to find interesting stories in the dailyness of life. Because finding stories in new and exciting places is so easy.

Finding good stories when life is boring is…well now that’s a challenge!