Wednesday, May 1, 2013

How to Get Out of Bed

I know what you’re thinking.

But if you ever come down (heaven forbid) with a full-blown case of sciatica like I’ve had for the last several weeks, you’ll realize how difficult getting out of bed can be.

Lying in bed is fine. In fact, it’s the only place you can be comfortable, since sciatica makes both standing and sitting painful. The problem comes when you just really have to get up—usually to use the bathroom, though eating breakfast before lunchtime is also a consideration.

So there you are with a full bladder and empty stomach, lying flat on your back on a memory foam mattress that has formed to the shape of your body, holding you like a warm hug—and creating a valley you must somehow climb out of. Here goes:

1.     Slowly, without using your right hip or leg, roll out of the body-shaped indentation in your bed and over onto your stomach. The might require several attempts. Tighten every muscle in your body, because when you finally make it, you’ll be lying on your full bladder.  No! Not your glutes!

2.     Massage the spasms out of your hip.

3.     Carefully slide your left leg off the edge of the bed, groping with your foot for your clogs.

4.     Slip your left foot into the left clog.

5.     Slide the right half of your body toward the edge of the bed. Do NOT use the muscles on the right side of your body.

6.     Grit your teeth and pull your right leg off the bed, because now you have to use those spasmed glutes to lower your right foot to the floor and slip it into your right clog.

7.     Use your nightstand to push yourself to a standing position.  Take your cane, stored nearby over night, and hobble to the bathroom, praying you make it in time.

8.     Say a prayer of thanks that Hubby is an early riser, because you know how ridiculous you must look, and anyone who laughed would have to die. 

      With any kind of luck, you can get to breakfast before ten. 

      Now, How to Climb the Stairs…. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Writing the Dream, Living the Dream

Anyone who’s read about my novel, “When the Moon Is Gibbous and Waxing,” knows how important dreams are to my writing. The entire first scene is a nightmare I had many years ago. It made me think about stereotyping, passing judgment, love, forgiveness, and the nature of evil. Eventually the main character walked into my head, introduced herself, and demanded I write her story.

Now I’m working on a sweet romance that came to me in another dream. I know the dream was the result of something my mother said to me about a week before she died and is based on an event in her life. But then it took off in a new and strange direction. I parked it in the back of my head. Then a couple of weeks ago, I dreamed the title and couldn’t put it off any longer. It’s about half done, I think.

I keep a notebook of plot ideas. Sometimes an idea can come from a casual comment. Repeating the  quote usually attributed to Mark Twain, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it,” and running across a verse in the Bible about where to find God led to a trilogy of novelettes I’m now writing. (Book one finished, book two started.) So although I also get ideas from things I read in newspapers and books, most of them come from dreams.  Dreams are a vital part of my writing process.

I also find it interesting that allowing my dream room to grow into a published novel led to the fulfillment of another long-standing dream. I was at a mystery writers and readers conference in Chicago last month. My novel had just become available in paperback, and I’d furnished copies to the bookstore. I stopped by to check on sales, and a total stranger walked up and asked me to autograph a copy she’d just bought.

Dreams don't get much better than that.