Friday, January 1, 2010

A Long December

On August 15, 2009, at the very beginning of a vaccination clinic at my job, I had back-to-back run-ins with an uncooperative table and more uncooperative terrier that resulted in the near-complete tear of the TFCC (triangular fibrocartilage complex: basically the ligament that lets your wrist do wrist stuff) in my right wrist. What followed have been (thus far) 4 months of pain and frustration as far as the injury went, but a unique opportunity to accomplish some things that have been sitting on the back burner for a long time. Worker's Comp can be a nightmare for some people, but for me it's been a real boon. Getting the injury has sucked, and I'm still afraid that I'll have permanent weakness in my dominant hand, but the paid time away from work has opened up the world for me.

In the first month, I managed to finish the 3-credit-hour Math 1101 course that kept me from graduating from UGA back in May 2008 like I was supposed to. I was so discouraged and frustrated at the time, not to mention busy with getting married and finding a job, that I put the class out of my mind for a while. My job didn't require a degree, and the thought of going through it was just exhausting. But I finally registered in February 09 via UGA's Independent Distance Learning program (which was great, btw), which gave me 9 months to complete the course. Needless to say, I had 3 lessons done by the time I got the injury in August. I stuck to it religiously and finished the course in 4 weeks, took the exam, and not only made an A in the class, but managed to graduate from the University of Georgia magna cum laude, albeit in the Winter of 2009. But hey, I did it, right? A lot of folks probably never would have finished that one measly course. I could easily have seen myself not finishing, but I had nothing but time.

It took me about 3 months and 4 doctors before I finally found answers with Dr. Peljovich at the Hand and Upper Extremity Center of Atlana. We tried physical therapy for 5 weeks, but that did nothing, so on December 8th, I had my first surgery. As he suspected, the ligament was torn, but a bit worse than we'd been thinking. He stitched it back together, and I've been in a long-arm cast ever since. That has been a huge adjustment, considering all my hobbies involve my hands, and suddenly I'm basically without function of my dominant arm! I couldn't even shower alone until I figured out an elaborate system involving trash bags and hair ties... I was depressed for a while, mostly just sitting on the couch watching TV. I can't drive, I can barely use the computer, I can't write, and reading is difficult. Christmas was a nice break. Having people around cheered me up a lot, plus it gave me enough books to go ahead and overcome the awkwardness of reading with one hand (it doesn't sound like that big of a deal, but it really is!)

In even better reading news, my husband and in-laws gifted me with my #1 desire for a late graduation present: Amazon's Kindle 2! I was shocked and completely thrilled. I haven't downloaded any ebooks yet; still trying to whittle down the pile of tangible books TBR before I do that, but I've been thinking about what to buy first!

But back to the story...

In November, I participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) for the second time, but this time I won! My manuscript is currently sitting at around 65,000 words (which would be around 275 pages in a paperback novel), but I haven't gotten to finish it yet due to this big blue stifler wrapped around my right arm.

I get the cast removed on January 7th, then have about 3-4 months of physical therapy to go through before I can even think about going back to work, so in the spirit of the end of '09, I've decided to tackle my goals head-on. I have quite a list of resolutions for this year, but at the top of the pile are these:

1. Finish writing Eternal Spring, then buckle down for the overhaul and rewrite. I have to be done with this by June to be sure I can lock in the NaNo winners offer from CreateSpace to get a bound proof copy of my manuscript (in other words, my novel in a REAL book format! wow!)

2. Finish up brainstorming then write my second book for the year, a young adult urban fantasy that's been stewing in my head for quite some time.

I don't have a good history with blogs, but I've surprised myself in the last few months, and keeping up with that momentum, I'm determined to keep up this blog as accountability to myself, plus a nice way to look back over the process of writing these two books.

I'll also most likely talk about books I'm reading and other things that I'm currently in wow over--like Rome, a fantastic HBO series from a few years ago that the husband and I are about to finish. It's amazing, though if you have delicate sensibilities, I wouldn't suggest it.

Typing this much has been a serious hurting on my awkward right arm (I have to hold it at an extremely uncomfortable angle to be able to type), and my poor fingers are swelling, which is the surest sign I've overdone it with ol' righty, so I'll sign off here. No real novel work until my cast is off, but maybe some thoughts before then.

2010, you're mine.

No comments: