Incredibly Horrible Malaise Scares Writer Back to Work

The headline says it all…

It had to happen.

After bragging for three years about my relative good health and having extolled the virtues of yearly flu shots, last weekend I was felled by malaise.

Now, my family will say that my “illness” was actually a prolonged hangover (I did drink, not that much. I was happy. My son and his wife were in town, whaddya want me to do? Sit there with an unhappy face?); I also consumed some medium well pork roast and a ton of sauerkraut that spent an afternoon bubbling in a pot along with spare ribs – and ate a deceptively small potato dumpling that probably weighed a pound. (It was my homage to the Bohemian ancestors, again, whaddya want me to do? I don’t make this dinner but on special occasions.) The result: I couldn’t get out of bed Sunday, except to make a mad dash for the bathroom. After several mad dashes, which wore a trough into my carpet, I experienced hot flashes worse than any menopause, accompanied by alternating cold spells where I shivered uncontrollably under layers of blankets.

Obviously, I couldn’t write under these conditions. I couldn’t watch TV (hell, I couldn’t operate the remote), answer the phone, read the paper, drink more than a swallow, or be my usual, charming self to our California company under these conditions. And they were begging me to come downstairs and play Scrabble! I was so ill, even a word game couldn’t rouse me.

As I lay on the floor, wadded up in all the spare bedding in the house, thinking I was going to die, and wondering if I should beg someone to drive me to the local ER, I was hit by sudden panic.

MY BOOKS AREN’T FINISHED YET.

I’m in an online Donald Maass class over at Savvy Author, and I hadn’t completed this week’s homework.

MY BOOKS AREN’T FINISHED YET!!

I’ll be attending the San Francisco Writers Conference in less than two weeks, and was going to firm up my speed dating pitches, but no… been putting it off.

MY BOOKS AREN’T FINISHED YET!!!

I’m trying to finish up an ending for the first novel that makes sense. Gave myself a deadline of the end of January, and it’s still in bits and pieces. And yes, I know it’s February. The EIGHTH.

BUT MY BOOKS AREN’T FINISHED YET.

There’s nothing like a brief recline on the deathbed to get a writer off her fat and lazy posterior.

Monday I felt a little better. Not much. I prescribed myself home made chicken noodle soup (which my husband says was the best I ever made – but he says that every time I make soup) and decided to lay low. Tuesday found me hugely improved. Exhausted but in an upright and locked position.

Today I woke up with more spring than I’ve had in a long time. It’s time to write, people, and the only way I know to get there is to sit down and do it.

Which is where I’m heading after I post this.

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