And Then 2018 Ended

You may have noticed a lack of blog posts this year–as in two posts on January 1st and a total of one posts for the next 11 months… :/ My lack of posting might be because of a near death experience. And life in general, like odd writing-related jobs and the constant bombardment of college course work. I don’t have a new story for you today sadly, but I will tell you about my insane year if you care to read.

Fiction hasn’t worked for me this year. I think Mr. Muse left on vacation last winter, lost his passport, and hasn’t found a way back into the country since. Not that I had much time to give him between school and work.

Though I didn’t complete any fictional stories this year, I found another inspiration. I felt the urge to collect family stories from my parents, grandparents, and any ancestors who left behind some sort of record. I started by writing down the stories I already knew. Then I asked my mom about her childhood and asked my grandma what she new about her parents.

In February, my younger brother left to Canada to serve as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Right before my brother got his assignment, he said he wanted to serve somewhere cold. Careful what you wish for.

Other than my brother heading off on his mission, spring turn into summer like any normal year. Then I nearly died.

As school bled into summer, I spent my mornings working in a university garden and the hot afternoons helping a client with her children’s novel. I rented a bike to ride between home and the garden. I took extra care on the steep slopes I had to travel, stopping to walk my bike when the hills turned to near vertical drops.

One afternoon while walking home, a bit dehydrated from gardening into the early afternoon, I mounted my bike once the hill leveled out to a reasonable riding slope. The gravity still pulled me downhill without the need to peddle, but I felt I had the bike under control.

I don’t know if I hit some gravel or a pothole, or even just a rock in the wrong spot of the road, but suddenly my handlebars no long steered my bike. I flipped over the front wheel. The bike somersaulted after me.

Next time I write a story where the hero’s trusted time-machine dumps him into a herd of stampeding triceratops, I’ll tell you what that felt like.

The diagnoses: Shattered elbow, fractured skull, stitches, bruised ribs, sprained wrist, black eye, and more abrasions than I care to count. The emergency room tech realigned my arm, but I still needed a surgery to reconstruct the elbow. I spent the next couple months living off pain meds and hospital visits. I got elbow surgery a couple weeks after the crash. Now that I have a metal plate screwed into my elbow, I’d like official acceptance into the Secret Earth Alliance of Cyborgs.

While bed-bound (well, more like couch-bound) I found plenty of time to watch Netflix and reruns of Babylon 5. I also decided to take my family history project a bit more seriously.

Through events that I can only describe as miracles, one family story after another fell into my lap. My great-great-grandpa, a baker during the Great Depression, handed out loaves of bread to hungry children on their way to school. My great-grandma left behind an autobiography, all about her childhood and how her 5-year-old self entertained her sisters’ boyfriends by pointing out her sisters’ favorite underwear in the Sear’s catalog. I read stories of faith from ancestors who crossed the Atlantic over the past 500 years, hoping for a better life in the New World. I’ve seen with new eyes the challenges my parents struggled through, and love them all the more because of it.

I knew these stories before, but they never felt so real.

Thankfully, most of my injuries healed by fall semester. I wound up in classes using calculus techniques that I forgot existed and in a technical writing class. I dreaded stepping into a classroom that dared teach a subject as stuffy as “technical writing”. But the class surprised me. I actually enjoyed myself, and I became a better writer because of it. Try spending four months writing with zero “you”s or “I”s, zero figures of speech, zero contractions, and absolutely no emotionally charged words–all while holding up verdict that all passives must die. The student of technical writing seeks creativity in unprecedented places.

Also, if you want a 4-page essay on the mathematics of spacecraft dynamics, I’ve gotcha covered.

I’m still planning on a novel. And of course I’ll let you know about any short stories or other writing tidbits. With 2019 comes new goals and new adventures (hopefully of a less-deadly sort).

Y’all keep writing. I’ll keep writing. And for Pete’s sake someone find Mr. Muse’s passport.

 

4 Comments

Filed under Notes from the Author

4 responses to “And Then 2018 Ended

  1. Amber

    Loved reading about your year. You have talent, keep writing! And I’m glad you survived!

  2. Did you know that Grandma D used to say for Pete’s sake all the time? If I close my eyes I can hear her saying it in that certain tone of voice.

  3. Glad to have you back! And happy to hear you’re mostly recovered. Hope to read some of your work soon. :D

  4. Tessa Wilson

    Oh my goodness! I’m so glad you are okay now. I really enjoy reading your posts. Keep them coming!

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