Thursday, January 10, 2019

How Do You Do It? Writing When Life Throws You Curves.

Happy New Year everyone. My new year started out on a sour note. My husband underwent another health crisis and ended up spending the night in the hospital...again. On January 2, he went in for a minor outpatient procedure that turned into something else. The something else has been addressed, and now he has to go back tomorrow (Jan. 9) for the minor procedure. If you are interested in a summary of events, I wrote about it on my own web site, here, but for this entry, suffice it to say that he’s okay and feels fine. Let’s hope it stays that way and the rest of the year is dandy.

As you probably know, we’ve been dealing with my husband’s health problems for ten years. This is why I am hesitant to sign up for conferences or long book tours that take me away from home for any length of time. In fact, I don’t know why I bother making plans at all. Things tend to happen fast with him, and I’ve had to cancel out of more than one thing at the very last minute. Not only is this expensive, since most of the time a conference won’t refund your money at the last minute for any reason, but it’s also not good public relations. I don’t care how compelling your reason is, if you arranged to speak at someone’s event and then leave them holding the bag when it’s too late for them to find another speaker, they are NOT going to be happy about it.

Of course, any Zen master would tell you that making plans is what leads to misery in the first place and you should simply be surprised by every moment as it occurs.  By that criterion I am the luckiest creature on earth.

After this latest medical event, another author friend of mine asked me how I manage to get any writing done when stuff like this happens. He has his own techniques for dealing with unforeseen events. As for me, I have no particular plan. I just keep slogging. It depends on how serious the crisis is. When horrible things are in progress, I mostly cope by doing crossword puzzles. Writing does not occur. When the crisis is past and we’re in the long, quiet, getting-over-it period, I do the best I can, depending on how much nursing duty I have at the time. Writing can be a nice distraction.

A major part of one of my novels, Crying Blood, was written while I was keeping vigil during one of Don’s longer hospital stays after major surgery. The book turned out very well, in fact ... if you like dark novels full of dread, that is.

One bit of good news: I'm excited to share that Forty Dead Men, my 10th Alafair Tucker Mystery, has been named one of Barnes and Noble's 20 Favorite Indie books of 2018! So that’s nice!

Check out the complete list here.

Thursday update: Don had his delayed kidney stone removal yesterday and the doc said all went well. We're home now. Tired, but unbowed. After a week of serious meds and cardiac consultations, Don's blood pressure was as low a 25 year old man's--until the minute we went back to the hospital yesterday morning, when it shot right back up. Fortunately, the anesthesiologist was a cardiac specialist and brought it down for the operation. Don has serious White Coat syndrome. He used to be pretty sanguine about these things. I guess that a dozen surgeries and countless "procedures" in ten years will do that to you.


Arthur Kerns said...

Hang in there Donis. Hope your husband gets a break from all his medical issues.

Aline Templeton said...

So sorry to hear about the renewed problems. I do hope things will go better as the year goes on. And congratulation on your Barnes and Noble success!

Donis Casey said...

Thanks, Art and Aline!

Sybil Johnson said...

Congrats on the Barnes and Noble nod. I hope the rest of the year goes smoothly for you.

Donis Casey said...

Me, too, Sybil!

Donna S said...

Wonderful that Barnes and Noble recognized your book.

You are the third person, including myself, who had a hubby with medical problems to start the new year. Let's hope we got rid of the bad stuff early.

Donis Casey said...

Hope everything worked out for you, Donna!

Rick Blechta said...

Best to you and Don!

If he has a serious case of white coat syndrome as you're suggesting, he might be interested in listening to a fantastic CBC radio show called White Coat, Black Art hosted by an actual emergency room doctor. It's fascinating and I guarantee he'll be feeling more self-assured in no time!


Donis Casey said...

Thanks, Rick! Will do.