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! 🙂

I was interviewed about life with severe ME

Photo by Rob PotterLast week, Emma over at Not Just Tired interviewed me about my life with severe ME.

“My main symptom is and has always been pain. It’s constant. The best I can hope for is that it doesn’t get worse than bad. Bad is bearable. Unfortunately it’s often worse than bad, and sometimes it’s unbearable. In February and March for example this year it was unbearable for 8 weeks without a minute’s relief. Difficult to describe what it’s like existing inside of those long episodes without getting darker than I’m comfortable sharing here.”

Interview: An insight into life with severe ME

Like a happy promise to myself

Photo by Rutger GeleijnseFebruary and March were hell. Unbearable pain without relief. Lots of you already know this from FB and Twitter and Instagram so I won’t bore anyone, but it was hell and I’m very glad I’m through it. In recovery from that now, which involves 20 hours a day in bed and 16 of them uncomfortably unconscious. No writing as such, but the heartening thing is that this past week or so my creative button is pressing itself on three different projects.

I’m also heartened, ish, in an odd way, about being frustrated suddenly that I haven’t been able to do a minute of preparation on either of the two books I intend to release this year. All ducks are lined up except for the pre-formatting work. You know, tidying everything up before I send them to be professionaly formatted. That’s still a mountain too high in my current state of health, but the fact that I’m suddenly itching to get it done is like a happy promise.

But mostly what I want to do is decide which one of two SF novels I want to write this year, and dive enthusiastically into that story. Keep jumping back and forth from one to the other. I expect I’ll know the answer when I realise that I’m writing one of them. 🙂

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