• Member Since 17th Mar, 2015
  • offline last seen September 3rd

CoffeeMinion


"Burninating the countryside... burninating the peasants... burninating all the peoples... and their thatched-roof COTTAGES! THATCHED-ROOF COTTAGES!! And the Trogdor comes in the NIIIIGHT!!!"

More Blog Posts195

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Dec
2nd
2020

Pieces of Eight · 6:18am Dec 2nd, 2020

With 2020 drawing to a close, it seems like an opportune time to close the book on a couple other things as well. To wit: my odds-and-ends collection Stuck In The Middle With You, which has heretofore been stuck in perpetual Incomplete status. I've been sitting on eight entries for it forever that will start to trickle out in the next week or so. Four are "Starlight Fixes" chapters that I contributed to Shakespearicles' project a couple years ago; I'm going to include them here as well (as I did with my other contributions) because I thought they were legit funny--and I wrote them, so boo. The other four are Flashfic entries, two of which I still think work, and two of which are mercifully brief. (Hey, if I can't score points on the material, I can at least do it on honesty!)

Speaking of things that have drawn to a close, let's pour one out for my noveling plans in November. I don't regret taking a shot at writing, but I was once again derailed by the bone issue I mentioned a while back. What, you might ask, does an ungainly bone in one's foot have to do with writing? As it turns out, a heck of a lot.


Better medicine than a shotgun blast to the head!

For months, my body has been trying to do something impossible: fix the torn-up region inside my foot where this rogue bone held court.  Thing is, there was no way I could ever repair that damaged tissue on my own, because the bone kept tearing it up. Healing takes energy; coping with an unhealed thing takes adjustment. A lot of my energy and focus turned toward this impossible biological task while trying to maintain a high level of usefulness to work and family amid the curveballs of Covid-world and other issues. I didn't stop because I couldn't stop, and stopping wouldn't have helped much anyway. Yet keeping going didn't help either. There was no way to win.

Last week I got the whole situation fixed.  I'll skip the gory details, but suffice it to say the procedure involved blades, screws, and a whole lot of stuff that needed to be cleared out.  True healing is now possible because someone went in there, excised what couldn't be saved, and bolted the rest together into a firm foundation. And now that I have something to work with, my body is getting right to it.  There's still pain, but it's no longer the kind that hounds me when I just try to sit and concentrate.  There's greater harmony within, as I no longer have so much energy flowing into a repair job that can never end. And it should end. I'm already moving around better than I was before surgery, albeit with less endurance; within a couple months I should truly be back to 100%.

I don't take that as a generalized lesson that cutting things out of life is good. I think it can be, in the sense that pruning a plant can help it grow. But this year has already been chock full of emptiness; of things cut or paused due to safety concerns, concern for others, or as knock-on effects of the above.  Doing less of more is hardly what I want right now. I want to do more. And even though there are heaps of things none of us can (or likely should) do right now, I can at least bring a greater level of focus and thoughtfulness to things I struggled with amid my recent difficulties.

Like writing.

But at the same time, I don't think the kinds of projects that led me to start Stuck In The Middle With You make much sense for me anymore. I've learned the difference between what I want to work on and what I don't, and a fair bit of it boils down to publishing suitability. I just don't see myself wanting to work on dinky little things that can't get their own standalone release. It was great to try to push on that skill for a while, but it's not what I want. I like my stories to have enough meat on their bones that they don't need to come as a multi-pack. Or, put differently: we're serving stouts here, not White Claws.

I know, I know--it's been a while since the tap has served anything. I blame 2020. And I know I have another keg around here somewhere.

Comments ( 3 )

a repair job that can never end.

There is a joke in there about "union labour"...
:derpytongue2:

At any rate glad to hear you are doing better after your operation!

I blame 2020.

Glad to hear you're on the road to recovery, and for many more reasons beyond freeing up energy to write. :yay:

5408501
I watched the first one of those and remarked to myself that it was pretty spot-on, yet it missed a lot that happened since it was made. Then, of course, I watched the second, and all was well. :rainbowlaugh:

Thank you for those. I try not to wish away the days, but for a whole heap of reasons, I will certainly be glad to see 2020 in the rear view mirror.

And thank you for the kind words. If you’re ever in need of a good foot surgeon in the American Midwest, I can recommend a guy. :derpytongue2:

5408535
Thank you as well! I’ve signed up for Jinglemas, perhaps against my better judgment—meaning that I should be back at it soon enough. Though I did contribute a few literary flourishes to some of the last round of Ponest Dungeon edits, so I’m hopefully not starting from absolute zero.

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