Thursday, April 18, 2013

I Am Broken

So, things have been pretty quiet here on the blog. I meant to have more contests through out the week and more prizes and more fun and a book review for When the Butterflies Came, but pain kept me from hobbling out to my shed/writing room and since my laptop is out there, things didn’t get done. If you read my April 8th post, you know of my injury (but I’ll go into more detail later in case you don’t). I suppose I could have made hubby or one of the kids venture into my space and bring my laptop to me, but with the pain I’ve been in, I just wanted to lay in bed and let the meds do their thing.

This is my left leg (yes, I have very white skin and need to see some sun, but just concentrate on the bruising and swelling and ignore the rest):


I do have an ankle bone, but the swelling makes it look like I don’t. This picture is almost two weeks after the initial incident. What incident? Why the one where I slammed my leg into my dresser. Now that doesn’t mean I took it off of my body and repeatedly banged it on the dresser (get that image out of your mind if you can). No, I was running from my youngest daughter after waking her by tossing stuffed animals onto her until she was buried under a mass of fluffy furry things (it’s a game we sometimes play to keep her from being cranky in the mornings before school). She erupts from the burial and gives chase. I run to my bedroom where I jump onto my bed before she can get to me. We’ve done it many times before.

Unfortunately, hubby left his laptop and iPad on his side of the bed (nearest the door) so I couldn’t jump onto the bed like I usually do—well, at least not without the risk of breaking his electronics or hurting my self (ironic?). I could have hurried to my side of the bed, but my daughter was almost upon me. So when I reached the foot of the bed, I took my leap. My ankle veered off course. Really it should have followed the rest of my body’s trajectory, but for some reason it didn’t (which I’m sure wasn’t my fault—okay it probably was). My leg banged into the dresser. This caused massive pain and much crying and a little bit of blood (those aren’t razor cuts on my leg, but rather they are scabs from the healing scrapes where the dresser bit me).

After hobbling to take the kids to school, I went to Urgent Care. They took some x-rays and said it wasn’t broken and sent me on my way with an air cast and some crutches.

I wasn’t able to use the crutches because I’m a weakling and don’t have the upper body strength for it (my arms almost hurt worse than my leg—yeah, I need to do some weight lifting or something). So I spent a week limping around when I had to, but spending most of my time in bed with my leg propped up and some ice—which also hurt (even running my hand down my leg hurt). I’m not a wimp, mind you. I have a pretty high pain tolerance, but this H-U-R-T. So I limped back to Urgent Care last Thursday. They said I should follow up with my Dr. because it “might” be broken after all (hairline fracture). So I set up an appointment and went yesterday (it takes a while to get an appointment with my Dr. sometimes).

And now I have this new stylish footwear:


I’ve been booted. This new footwear will be part of my wardrobe for the next four weeks.

As I said, being absent from the blog during the contest was not my intention. And because I didn’t get to do all the fun things I wanted to, I’m going to extend the contest so I can have the chance to do what I want. And since this is my blog—well, I can.

So the blog contest will be extended through April 30th. That gives me time next week to do all the fun things I wanted to do (and still time to prop my leg up and ice it to reduce the massive swelling that gives me an elephant ankle).

Now I’m going to hobble into the house to grab some lunch and get back out here for some writing time before the day gets away from me (it’s on the run and I’m falling behind).

Write on!

Monday, April 08, 2013

Monday’s Muse

See, I didn’t abandon the blog completely even though Holly Root and Barbara Poelle said I could.

I was going to post a contest today, but I’m not quite ready with all the pictures I need. First of all, I injured my ankle on Thursday (“it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt”—truer words were never spoken). According to the x-rays (yes, it hurt enough that I went for x-rays), nothing is broken—just severely bruised (they called it acute bruising, but there’s nothing cute about it). They gave me an air cast (a brace that has inflatable things on each side for support—it’s weird and probably alien made) and told me to stay off of it for the next 2-3 days. So I did—mostly. I was a good girl and propped it up and wore the wrap and the cast, but they also gave me crutches.

Yeah. In case you weren’t aware of it, using crutches takes upper body strength. And I learned just how little I had. *sigh* My arms ached within minutes of crutch use. No kidding. And every time I used them my poor arms burned and begged. And I was huffing and puffing like I was going to blow down the little pigs’ houses (like I had enough breath left for that?). So I gave up the crutches, spent most of my time in bed, and hobbled/hopped whenever I needed to walk anywhere. In spite of my walking on it, it’s doing much better today. So why no contest?

Things got crazy with J’s online school today and I haven’t had time to take pictures (yes, I need pictures of the prizes to entice and excite—I hope they will anyway). I’m going to take pictures now though and should be all ready for contest posting tomorrow morning. YAY!

Okay, enough about that. This is supposed to be a Monday’s Muse post. Let’s get to it.

As many of you know, I’ve been taking some classes from Joyce Sweeney. It’s a ten week course and today was lesson nine. I’m sad that there’s only one more week to go, but I’ve learned so much I’ll probably need another ten weeks to absorb it all and get my notes typed up.

In addition to the course by Joyce, I’ve also been studying some books on writing. Right now I’m reading James Scott Bell. And I’m amazed. It’s crazy that after almost eleven years of writing, I’m still learning new things about the craft. It’s true that you never stop learning. And some of the things I thought I knew, I realize I wasn’t as knowledgeable as I thought.

For example, at the beginning of the class with Joyce, she had us grade ourselves (A-D) on these novel elements: Plot, Voice, Structure, Concept.

I gave myself the following scores :

Plot- B

Voice- B

Structure- C

Concept- D

Okay, so I have a big ego. Winking smile

After taking the course and learning about each of these four elements, I’d rate myself thusly:

Plot- C

Voice- B

Structure- D

Concept- B

I always thought I was pretty good at plot, but I discovered it’s one of my weakest areas. Yikes. There’s a lot more that goes into plotting that I realized. And for some reason I had it in my head that plotting and structure were basically the same. Yeah. WRONG. Joyce said structure is the vehicle that carries the reader through the story and plot is the road the structure travels upon. Who knew (probably you, but it was news to me)?

So now my eyes are open and I’m moving forward armed with knowledge and Joyce’s awesome plot clock. I so wish I could share that with you! It changed the way I’ll plot forever. But it’s her secret weapon and she only shares it with those who take her class. Sorry. No, truly, I am!

All this knowledge won’t guarantee me a perfect novel with amazing sales, but it sure has improved the way I write and even the way I think about writing. With what I’ve learned from these newest founts of knowledge, I’ve come up with some new methods.

Two of my favorites are my book planner and my scene planner. These will be huge in helping me organize my structure and make sure my novel is delivering the emotion it needs (did you know that structure is what delivers the emotion? I didn’t). Once I get the planners typed up, I’ll share them with you.

I’m excited about writing again and can see ways to revise my past work and write future work that I never before imagined.

Hope things are going well for all of you! See you tomorrow for the contest posting (seriously, it will be here).

Write on!