Everything Update

Medical: I went to the pain management doctor last Tuesday for a consultation. He immediately scheduled me for epidural injections on Friday. I was relieved and terrified. Not really knowing what to expect I imagined giant needles (which they were) and extra pain for a few days (which happened). I also was hopeful these injections would give me temporary pain relief.

My sister-in-law gave a fair description of what it would be like. She said it would feel like there was a brick in my back and the pain would be worse for a 24-48 hours but then the stuff they put in there would spread out and I would feel better. The first part of her description is completely accurate. The pain was massive and there was new pain since the nerves were being pressed. The doctor knew I was going on vacation at the end of the month so he added ‘extra’ steroids. I could be wrong but I think it’s why now, three days later I’m still in pain from it all.

It sounds strange but I can only say I think it’s getting better. The burning spreading out to the sides of my spine is lessened and getting out of bed wasn’t as difficult. The problem is I’m a big baby when it comes to pain so the overriding thing in my head is it still hurts, a lot. So it’s hard to really gauge how much the giant needles jabbed into my back helped. I do have high hopes though.

Personal: I think the real test of how much the procedure will help comes at the end of the month when I go on vacation. We’ll be driving halfway across the country. This is our regularly scheduled trip to visit my husband’s family. Google maps says it’s close to a thirty hour drive. We’ve done it in two days but it will be almost three full days this time. I won’t be doing any of the driving so I’m hoping to get some writing done along the way. We are going to the beach (although since it’s in New Jersey I should be saying the shore). I have an interesting relationship with the shore. I live in west Texas in the middle of the plains so going to the ocean is really cool. I am also a redhead with the requisite pale skin and freckles so in a way sitting outside on the sand in the sun is terrible. Add in these stupid back troubles and I have no clue what to expect this time. I know I’ll get my yearly quota of vitamin D (not really a go outside for recreation kind of person here).

Writing: That brings me to my writing goals for vacation. Since I physically can’t sit on the beach all day, every day for a week but my husband and my in-laws can, I plan to get a lot of writing time in. I’ll have to bully my husband (I know you’re reading this) into staying out when I have to go back indoors, since it’s hard for me to write when he’s around, when anyone else is around actually, but if I don’t make this a working vacation I’ll be bored for most of the week.

I’m in the process of trying to decide what I’ll work on. Part of me says I should stick with my WIP — my fantasy trilogy. Another part of me says nope, need a break from that one. Right now I’m listening to the latter. I’m leaning towards a ghost story that’s been percolating in my head for a while. I plotted it out and have part of a synopsis. I also have written several scenes as they’ve come to me on and off for months. It has a younger protagonist but I’m not sure yet if I would call it YA.

If not that story then there is another which has tried to work its way to the front of the line for a while I could do. It’s a female vigilante story with not one ounce of fantasy or science fiction in it. Years ago I wrote about three-quarters of a suspense novel (that I will finish someday) and I’ve done several flash fiction length short stories not genre based but normally I stick with magic, dragons, quests, good & evil. Branching out into something more mainstream is a little scary. This one is more of a thriller and scares me at times, but it will be written. I’ve also plotted this one out, but I’m not happy with the end of the second act going into the third. Maybe I’ll figure it out during my trip.

I can’t guarantee I’ll want to work on either book so my backup plan is flash fiction — about anything that inspires me. I will be working on my classwork as well so I don’t know how often I’ll be posting on the blog while I’m out of town.

Photography: I do plan to take ridiculous amounts of pictures on the drive so maybe I’ll over post those. Living in an area renowned for being flat, I can’t really pass up the opportunity to take photos in different locations. Mountains, ocean, beach sunsets, forests and hills for crying out loud! We always pass by hundreds of abandoned barns along our route and I want to get closer to a few. My in-laws live in the middle of a forest and we’re going to their house during the second week of our trip so there will be some opportunities there. I’ve heard a bear hanging out near their yard so most of my pictures will be from inside the house once we get there! My husband promised to take me to some interesting locations around the area too so I can’t wait.

Reading: It’s all about Shannara. After watching the first look sneak peek video of the new TV show The Chronicles of Shannara, which almost made me cry, I decided a reread of the novels was necessary. I skipped The Sword of Shannara, because it’s terrible, and opened The Elfstones of Shannara. This is probably the tenth reread so I know what I’m doing. I then read the third book of the trilogy and have started book one of the quad set three hundred years later. I’ll be honest, after a while each trilogy that follows is basically the same story with new characters but I love them anyway. There is always something new or different and it’s a good old-fashioned fantasy adventure, coming of age, good vs. evil, magic tale. I truly hope the new TV series makes it at least through the second set of books.

I downloaded the first book of The Outlander series and Half a King by Joe Abercrombe on my tablet for vacation. Maybe I’ll write some reviews soon.

For the next ten days or so I’ll spend more time organizing and packing than anything else. I have to make up some freezer meals for the rest of the family since they aren’t going with us on vacation. They can fend for themselves but I’d rather they eat more than ramen and chili while I’m gone. Catching up on laundry is a thing (when isn’t it?), and locating things like beach towels not seen in a year and my good travel first aid kit are priorities. I want to squeeze in some writing but don’t know if I can. I might be posting some flash this week. I’m almost finished revising one of the five I wrote recently.

This is random but I tried new Oreo Thins and I might have found my new addiction!

Sidenote: WordPress tells me I’ve used too many passive sentences but since this post is three times the length I meant for it to be I’m leaving it alone!


  1. I have epidurals every few months for my back. My doctor at the hospital is very good. I seldom have pain, but if he does hit a nerve, which can occur, then i does not last. I am ok when back in recovery watd ( from the actual proceedure). This last time, end of April, large nerve pain,which went, but not much help with back pain. Seeing pain nurse mid-August again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m interested in why you think The Sword of Shannara is terrible. I remember a few abandoned attempts to read it, but then one day I picked it up and couldn’t put it down until I was done. But I was much younger then and haven’t tried to read it since, so for all I know, I might not enjoy it nearly as much if I were to read it now.

    I do remember liking Elfstones much, much more. And I never did manage to make it through Wishsong, but I think it’s more because of distractions on my part, rather than anything to do with the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s more that it’s very predictable. It is clearly inspired by Tolkien, too much so. I love Wishsong. I like how everything came together in the end for the siblings. I’ve noticed most of the series by Brooks include duos: Shea and Flick, Brin and Jair, Bek and the Grianne. My favorite by far is Par and Coll in the Heritage of Shannara quad that is set after Wishsong.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, that’s understandable. I’ve certainly read stuff that I felt paid too much homage to Tolkien, rather than trying to do its own thing. Anyway, one of these days I’d like to read Sword and Elfstones again, and then follow that up with Wishsong. It’s been quite a while since I read a lot of high fantasy, so I’m probably overdue 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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