I’ve missed this blog and I’ve missed all of you so much. Saying my life hasn’t gone according to plan these last nine months should be the definition of an understatement. Actually, it’s a long story. The kind of story with many twists and turns that teaches people something. I’ve decided that I’d like to share it with all of you and I hope you’ll find it worthy of reading.
After spending eight months in a rehabilitation facility for my lumbar fracture, I was beyond ready to try something new. I was ready to test my body and my endurance for pain. I wasn’t sure if my body was ready for this or what to expect, but I was ready to go home.
But first, there was Once Upon a Book Author Signing to attend.
The plan was this: I would take a leave of absence for the weekend (instead of a full discharge) allowing the facility to get my paperwork in order, come back and be discharged to go home sometime during the following week. So on Thursday, the day before I was due at the signing, I struggled getting into my wheelchair and I struggled getting into our van. There was a tremendous amount of swearing, sweating and crying (from both me, my grandpa and my best friend) but somehow we manage. However, we’ve gone far beyond our original departure time and we’re supposed to stop at home and do this again twice over. I still have to pack, am severely lacking in physical hygiene and am beginning to doubt my physical endurance so it’s decided that Grandpa and best friend will pack my things and load the van while I stay inside of it. After that, we drive straight to the signing venue which is only about an hour and a half away.
All through the drive I’m in pain and feeling shame and embarrassment over my behavior. I have anxiety (as in the diagnosed disorder kind) and too many stressors compiled into the kind of meltdown I hate having and hate even more for others to witness. I wanted to evaporate into the air and disappear. But fate or fortune was on our side and we make it. We’re at our hotel. Everything was going to be fine.
If this were a movie the voice narrator would’ve just said, “but everything was not going to be fine.” Or in writer terms, life was about to throw me a huge plot twist. When I went to transfer (a term used to describe how a person in a wheelchair moves their body from one place to another) from my seat in our van to my wheelchair, the chair wheeled back and I fell. Again. Luckily, it was inside the van this time, between my seat and the door and since Grandpa and my best friend had a hold of me under my arms it was a slow fall. The problem was that with all the transferring I’d already done I was exhausted and in too much pain to get back in my seat.
At a loss for what to do, Grandpa suggested we sleep in the van and if my pain was still too much we could go to the hospital in the morning. I’m not a person who accepts failure easily, and to make it all the way there and have to leave? That felt like failure. I would miss the signing and the ball. I was even going to miss a special award nominees book signing at the local Barnes and Noble. My embarrassment and shame returned tenfold. I cried and spent most of the night agonizing over what to do. Yet, I know my body and by morning I had to admit that something was still wrong and I needed to go the hospital. And I did. However, something incredible happened first.
I waited until Stacey (Rourke), the event creator and organizer of Once Upon a Book, showed up the next morning to tell her what was going on. Also, I had encouraged my friends to stay and go to the event without me and they wanted permission to sell books at my table in my absence. (Yes, I have the best friends in the world!) Stacey agreed (because she’s awesome,) I pre-signed some books, and got ready to say my goodbyes. That’s when Stacey handed me a white cardboard box.
“What’s in it?” I asked her.
“I guess you’re just going to have to open it and find out.”
Inside was an award for Bodacious Book Blurb for The Desiccated – Part 1. If there was ever a time when I could have exploded from too much emotion that would’ve been the moment. I felt elated at receiving the award. I also felt disappointment because I was going to miss the award ceremony and seeing all of my author friends. I was even missing a fun weekend with my best friends. Still, I also felt proud that my book meant enough to people for it to have won. I’m still so thankful to everyone who voted.
I stayed in the hospital for three days and decided to try some at home rehabilitation instead of going back to the facility. That was about a month ago and while I am ecstatic and so pleased to be home, I still have a long way to go in my recovery. I have been home for about a month and we are still having some issues, mostly with pain management.
“What about your writing?”
Well I’m currently working on three different manuscripts (which includes The Desiccated – Part 2.) Sometimes life makes it difficult for me to focus on my work but I’m doing the best I can. When I hit a block on one project I will switch to writing on another one. The Desiccated -part 2 has been my most difficult project and I think there’s a reason for that. Writing about Lia and all of her struggles has always put me in an emotional mindset of her character that’s similar to my own. It’s hard for me to think about her emotions and thoughts, not see my own flaws. But I’m working on it.
I’ve even finished the outline for another project of mine called Darkness and Delirium. I have posted the cover reveal on Facebook and Instagram but I’ve neglected to do it here. Hopefully, I can do that soon. The third project will remain nameless for now. anyway, you can see that I’m keeping myself busy.
I know that I said this story is the kind of story that teaches people’s things but I’m not sure what I am supposed to have learned from all this yet. I don’t feel like I have triumphed over anything, but if my life is any indication I have hope that I will. I still believe something good will come from all of this. Maybe I don’t believe it today. Maybe I won’t believe it tomorrow. But the logical part of my brain says that all of this will be okay. That I will be okay. Until then, I remain a work in progress. Until then, I write.