(This was posted on Writers Who Kill January 5th, repeated here today because, well, it seemed like a good idea.) (Hey, if there can be a 12 days of Christmas, there can be a few extra of New Year's. That's what I think.)
If you want to get a whole lot of responses online, just post that you’re sick and feeling lousy. I did that recently and was astonished at how many other people seem to have the same lingering malady that I’ve had for most of December. I’m writing this the end of December and am not really feeling very much better. (I’m seeing the doctor again in a few days, though.) ((See my update at the end, please!))
However, my horoscope the day I’m writing this, December 31st, gives me hope.
Priorities and fantasies. Hm, this assumes they’re wildly different. But bringing them together sounds like a good thing, right?
One priority is to get healthy. Another is to meet my upcoming deadlines. Maybe my priority is to get things published and my fantasy is to sell a million of each short story and novel. Yes, bringing them together would be a very good thing! Especially since I have a new series starting in March and have high hopes, even fantasy aspirations.
Since I started this essay with the health thing, I should relate it to my writing.
That’s easy. It’s all material! I haven’t used this awful malady (coughing, runny nose, no energy) yet, but you can bet I will. My characters do end up suffering whatever I’ve recently gone through, somehow.
I had a horrible cold when I wrote the short story “Handbaskets, Drawers, and a Killer Cold” so my main character, a Chicago cop, did too. I felt so awful when I wrote it, but I think I put a lot of realism into it because it was nominated for Best Short Story Agatha Award that year (2009).
Another time I stubbed my toe. Actually, I broke it and it gave me all kinds of problems. So my character, stubbed her toe, too, and it gave her lots of problems.
The cold theme came up again for a character. She had my cold, of course. This was Chase Oliver in the third Fat Cat book, FAT CAT TAKES THE CAKE. I was able to play it for comedy this time, rather than misery, as in the above short story. Everyone she knew let her know exactly what she should do for her malady, and some of the advice conflicted. (That’s actually based on my experiences, too.)
Anyway, I HOPE everyone who has been suffering through this month-long upper respiratory yuck is soon (or already) fine and that 2020 will prove to be a much better year for all of us.