Back pain + head cold ≠ writing

Sorry I haven’t written lately, although I’m happy that my last post was a somewhat philosophical one, rather than the detailed description of how I turned over in bed last night. This week has been frustrating. I was finally feeling good and energized by sleeping well, and then this thing derailed me. My house is disgusting. I’m running out of clean clothes. I’m assuming my neighbors are planning an intervention over my front lawn, if I don’t get out there and mow soon. It’s unfortunate that the most visible grass at the curb also seems to grow the fastest. And is the hilliest, most difficult area to push a mower through.

I made it to my last french classes, zoned but present. I think now I can at least puzzle out the meanings of many french sentences, which is a lot more than I could do seven weeks ago. I still can’t seem to conjure up the names of numbers past “dix” for some reason. When I’m asked to do so, it’s like the stimulus for White Noise to turn on in my head, complete with all the ‘q’s and ‘k’s found in your typical static:

Professeur Lyndsey: “Quel âge avez-vous?

Étudiante Me: “uhhhh … uhhhh … I should know this … 4qkqqkkqcat … cat … quat …quatro … no that’s spanish … catorze? no … umm: un, deux, trois, quatre … quatre … yeah, I think that’s it … quatre-3? quatre-trois? no, no, that’s four-three. What’s forty? uhhhh … qkqqqkkqkkquatresoin … quatresois … deux … dooo … duhhhh … I should know this! … uhhh ….. uhhh … !

I’ve also signed up for the June Purge, as in playwrightpurge, as in the yahoo group I’ve been a member of for the past two or so years. The first year the purge yielded me a very finely received Short Story for my creative writing class  … the second year yielded about two days of attempts before I flipped out on my husband and told him I wanted a separation and he jumped out of the car in the middle of Waukesha and started walking home. End of Purge, beginning of Figuring Out Where My Life Was Going To Go Now. (Apparently, it wasn’t going to change much, except for the better. For awhile, at least. More on that another time. Maybe.)

So, Day One of this purge found a most unexpected opportunity: a 5pm submission deadline for a Very Short Play Project (my words) at Indiana University Bloomington. I read about the opportunity at around 10 am -ish. Right away I got an idea, so I (stiffly, painfully) sat down and started writing, and (with a lot of interruptions, as illustrated by these parentheses) I wrote a 4-page play called HELL (interrupted by a chiropractor appointment) and submitted it one minute before the deadline. (I’m assuming their 5 pm is EST, which meant 4 pm for me, and with a 2:15 dr. appt. it was rough but I wasn’t going to miss this chance.) I didn’t even think about whether it was “good,” or formatted perfectly, or whether it got hung up on internet traffic and missed the deadline or anything like that. I did MY part, which was write it and submit it (my first submission to anything outside my own school, btw!!) and I did my best in the time I had, so YAY ME!!!!!  HUGE personal step. 

I received confirmation of receipt the next morning, so I know they got it in time for consideration. I didn’t have the guts to re-read it after I’d submitted it until late the next day. I discovered a formatting error (glaring, once you see it, but perhaps forgivable? I used the word SCENE rather than the word PLACE for some unknowable reason) and I admit the story is fairly simple, although quite graphically covering a rarely-talked-about-in-public-yet-nearly-universal complaint. I suspect the plot device may be one that is too common, as well. BUT, that’s not the point. I don’t much care if it is produced. In fact, I’d be astounded if they use it. The point is, I wrote it and I submitted it and I didn’t have time to chicken out first!

Okay, so I’m committed to this purge and I wrote the first day. Yay me. Day Two didn’t go so well. I was in tears for much of the morning, with severe back pain from lying in bed, while a brand new head-cold came a’knockin’, complete with fever, which pretty much condemned me to bed. A catch-22. When I finally did stand up, I nearly passed out. You know how you get that loud buzzing in your ears as a warning that you’d better lay back down again pronto! Well I couldn’t lay back down, I had a chiropractor to get to. So I gave in and called for help: my friend Bethanie who I’ve given lots of help to in the past, and I finally called in a favor of my own. So she came and picked me up and took me to the chiro, who worked magic on me, and then she hijacked me back to her house to pick up her kids and then downtown (“no time to drop you off!”) for errands and dinner. But amazingly, after the chiro I felt tons better. My lower back “crackled” at some point, not as eventful as a “crack” but still noticeable, and after that I had no more spasms the rest of the day. So, actually had a really nice dinner out. Although I felt like I looked like they’d just picked me up from the Assisted Living Home, with my sweatpants and t-shirt and very visible dorky socks and unstyled hair. Anyone reading this blog who also dined at Bayou on Tuesday evening, I apologize profusely for the sight I must have subjected you to.

A side note: my chiro scared me with the words, “I’ve seen people come in with ruptured discs from sneezing. If you do get sick, do everything you can to keep yourself from coughing or sneezing.” And so I have. I think this is the first head cold I’ve ever had that I’ve gotten through without sneezing once. I did not know it could be done. 

Aaaaand we come to today. My back crackling like popcorn, I’m drippy and watery but NOT SNEEZING.  😀 I didn’t get anything written on my intended Purge project, The Opera, but I did get this blog post written, so I guess I can report that I wrote. HA. Lots of people report emails and blog posts, so now I’m one of them. Of course, lots of people report stunningly fantastic projects completed as well … Maureen is on chapter 26 of her YA novel … Mark at CBS is taking a break from full-length plays and tv writing to give his best “novice” attempt at a children’s play … lots of people writing monologues and press releases and organizing their many submissions and completed works, so I feel like such a noobie in this group. But they say anyone is welcome, so here I am. Writing. Yay. 

Maybe tomorrow I organize the structure of Le Opéra.

Je n’aime pas être malade.


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