Now is the time…

Late in the month, it seems like almost everyone suddenly wakes up and realizes that the deadlines that seemed so very far away are now, like, almost here, man.  Cue panic.  Cue sudden uptick in workload for yours truly.  The problem is that I’m exactly like everyone else.  I’ve been noodling over several pieces of writing and now the deadline is like, almost here, man!

Now is when the marathon of writing becomes a sprint. Just how fast can fingers type?  We’re about to find out.

Now is also about the time when back pain and carpal tunnel set in.  Time to start juicing writers!  No, I mean literal juicing.  It’s important to stay hydrated – prevents muscle spasms.  Although, I personally prefer copious amounts of tea, liberally applied, at regular intervals.

Now is the time when the tiny proto-human you’ve been carefully nurturing like a hot house bloom looks up from a coloring book and says, “Sorry mom, work. Four more minutes.”  Gee, wonder where she got that?

Now is the time that my face looks like this:

stressed face

So wish me luck as I sprint to the end of the month.  And wish my family luck as they get abandoned for fake people that I made up.



Originally published on the Stiletto Gang 05.25.16

Personal Fitness

Originally published at the Stiletto Gang on 05.11.16

I’m going to let you in on a secret – writing is not for wussies. It’s for old people.

Or at least it makes you feel old. Carpal tunnel. Eye twitches and strains. Aching neck, sore back. The human body was not designed to spend hours sitting at a computer, and the hours compound into stiff muscles that have forgotten how to move. Walking into the kitchen after a prolonged bout of editing, I look like I’ve escaped from the neighborhood old-person jail… er… assisted living facility. I imagine that back when writers were churning out novels by quill and candlelight that it wasn’t any better. But at least back then we were likely to die by forty anyway and probably needed to worry more about childbirth and dental hygiene than whether or not our wrists were a tad achy.

I could trot out some line about suffering for my art, but the truth is, I do many things to combat the muscular stress of sitting and writing. First of all, I got married and had a kid. Although, maybe that wasn’t quite my intended outcome when I started down the aisle, it has to be said that nothing curtails long hours at a computer like a toddler. However, the things I intentionally do to keep myself from becoming Quasimodo include walking / jogging, stretching and keeping up on my martial arts training. And then I whine and complain until my husband gives me a neck rub. And then when all else fails I break down and pay for a massage.

Below are the most common stretches I do for my wrists. These drawings were actually produced by one of my former employers – Visual Health Information. They produce drawings for physical therapists and others to give to patients. I have found all of these to be very helpful for my extended typing lifestyle.