Thursday, February 23, 2017
Earlier this week, I stepped off the curb and turned my ankle. It hurt, but I figured I’d walk it off. Then, yesterday when I got up, I couldn’t put weight on my foot. It was all swollen up, so I went to the doctor.
The doctor diagnosed my injury as a mildly sprained ankle. I guess that wasn’t too surprising. Ankle injuries happen a lot. According to the American College of Sports Medicine 25, 000 Americans sprain their ankles each day. What is a sprained ankle? Well, it’s the tearing of the ligaments, those bands of tissue that connect bones and cartilage. Usually people injure the outside ligament when their ankle rolls. That’s what happened to me. My doctor recommended the typical treatment, known as RICE. It is rest, ice, compression and elevation. She told me that I should try to stay off my foot as much as possible. Apply ice during the first day or so after the injury. Consider wrapping my ankle, and sitting in a recliner. Good news though, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons states that, “studies have shown that the sooner you return to activity, the better and typically the faster you will recover.” They advise, “If pain allows, start moving the ankle early.” Cool. I started hobbling around.
Of course, common sense had to be applied as well. Drayer Physical Theory’s blog said that it takes about two to four weeks to “regain full mobility and for the swelling to fully resolve,” when a person has a grade one sprain.
What does this have to do with writing you might ask. Well, first, I can write while I’m applying the RICE treatment and second, this experience gives me fuel for my fiction. As Natalie Goldberg puts it in Writing Down the Bones, “Writers live twice. They go along with their regular life, are as fast as anyone in the grocery store, crossing the street, getting dressed for work in the morning. But there's another part of them that they have been training. The one that lives every second at a time. That sits down and sees their life again and goes over it. Looks at the texture and details.”
What experiences have you had that you want to record sometime? Please share.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
by Eilis Flynn
Back in the mid-1980s, I got a freelance gig, copy editing manuscripts for a famous romance publisher. I was interested, because I’d read romances and I was curious about how the genre was put together and because I’d worked in a couple of male-dominated industries by then, I was also curious about how it had to feel being in a female-dominated one. Afterward, I was inspired, and so I wrote a romance. That was in 1986.
Soon after I finished and sent it in (paper and everything; it was an earlier time), I got a revise and resubmit letter the following year. I didn’t realize that was a good thing (because networking with other like authors was far, far in the future), so I had to think about how to make good on those suggested revisions. Time passed and I had to set that aside—because that was 1987 and Wall Street, where I worked, collapsed (famous stock market crash; you can look it up) and my company collapsed and in one day let go thousands of employees, of which I was one. More time passed—I found a temporary job and then another temporary job and my mother got sick and died and by then, it was 1989 and we moved across the country. By the time I actually revised and resubmitted, several years had gone by and the romance publisher wasn’t interested anymore.
Life went on. I joined Romance Writers of America, wrote other things, and then, a few years ago, I was asked by a digital publisher if I were interested in pitching a story for a graphic novella. I said sure, and trotted out the story I was just telling you about. They said sure, I wrote the script, and it was accepted. A few years passed (yes, more years. Don’t worry, I’ll get to the point sooner or later) and the publisher asked if I were interested in basing a novella on the graphic novella, which was based on the original manuscript. I said sure, I trotted out the original work once again, cut and rewrote (because I’ve been editing, cutting, and revising work for a long time, I can do this without much problem).
The publisher accepted it—but this time, we couldn’t come to terms, and so the newly updated work was back in my hands again—and I knew it was time. So, at LONG, LONG last, the novel, now a novella, is published. It’s titled His 30-Day Guarantee (original title 30-Day Guarantee), and at the moment, it’s only available in digital for Kindle (coming up) and print now from CreateSpace. But I have it in my hands; it’s real; and only THIRTY YEARS after I wrote it!
What’s the moral of this (long-winded) story? Never throw anything away. You just never know.
Over the years, Eilis Flynn has written fiction in the form of comic books, romantic fantasies, urban fantasies, historical fantasies, and short stories. She’s also a professional editor and has been for 40(!) years, working with academia, technology, finance, genre fiction, and comic books. She can be reached at eilisflynn.com.