Achievements

Photo by Perla de los Santos

My brain is operating at slow ME speed today, and that’s no surprise, because I’ve been working it hard to meet an open call deadline.

The open call was at Tor.com, the SFF publisher who were inviting submissions of science fiction and fantasy novellas. The submission window was open from the 1st to the 15th of May, and they announced it in the middle of April.

I didn’t have anything ready to sub, but one of the titles in my ideas file jumped up and down shouting, Me, me, me! It was for an alien invasion story called Quiet Resistance.

All I had was a single-paragraph idea and a small cast of characters, so I had to start from scratch and crack it inside a month. And of course I was still (still am) recovering from a winter of scarily bad health. But I threw myself at it in a nothing ventured, nothing gained frame of mind.

And crack it I did, helped and encouraged by my friend and crit partner Deb McGowan. I submitted it last Friday, four days inside the deadline, and I’m happy with it.

Then, next day, I took part in the international ME Awareness Day. It’s held on 12th May every year, and this was the first time in several years that I was able to participate. Only online, of course. That’s where I live as far as the outside world is concerned. But I wasn’t alone in that, because so many of us #MissingMillions do exist only online for the outside world, when we exist at all.

I took that theme of invisibility and the ME meme Can You See Me? – and wrote a brief explanation beneath a nude selfie.

Eek! I can hear you thinking. WTF, David?

Don’t worry. It’s an arty rear view with my bum in strong shadow. Only my legs are on show, really. It’s still there on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, if you want to read it.

So I posted that and then spent a few hours sharing posts and photographs from other people with ME who were each participating in their own way in our day of awareness.

And then I crashed. No surprise there. It’s Monday now and I’m just surfacing. Carefully. Being as gentle with myself as I often urge my chronically ill friends to be with themselves.

You know what? I’m chuffed to bits with my achievements. The novella subbed and the day of action actioned. Chuffed to bits! 🙂

The plan for 2018

Photo by Bennett DunganI aim to keep going at the speed that will allow me to keep going. Having proved to myself that I can complete one big novel per year despite health hurdles, that’s my benchmark. I’ve submitted 2017’s space opera, and depending on the responses that one receives its sequel is likely to be my big book of 2018.

Also, I’ve teamed up with Holley Trent to co-author a small American town cozy mystery, which promises to be fun.

Once I recover from the relapse that’s sunk me deep since I finished Space Train in October, really recovered that is, I’ll get started.

Hey dude, don’t be afraid.

Photo by Alan KingWow. A month’s gone by since I blogged. Sorry. It’s just been one of those months. My good news is that the hip is healing well. Had to work hard on it and two or three weeks ago if I’d been here you would have heard me crying. But it was worth it, and now I’m very nearly as mobile as I was before the accident.

The not so good news is I’m on the edge of a possible slide into relapse. Not wishing that on myself. It’s just that I know how these things go. This is, after all, my 27th autumn with ME, and probably 25 of them have slid into winter relapses that lasted until spring, or summer, or on three occasions right through the following winter too.

So it’s there. Staring me in the face. Daring me to overdo stuff and bring it on. All I have to measure it with is my productivity. Through August and into September I was averaging 1k Space Train words per evening, 6 or 7 evenings per week. These past two weeks I’ve averaged maybe 5k per week. Only a small dip, but significant when allied with feeling generally shit in that good old ME way.

I’m not afraid. Not stupid, either, so I won’t be challenging the beast. But I’m not afraid of it. Still writing every evening that I can. Still enjoying this novel and aiming to have it finished this year.

Wish me luck! 🙂

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