Sunday, July 4, 2010

Great Intentions Laid Waste

by Ben Small

So I figured I had a whole month to work on and hopefully finish Vendetta, the next in my Denton Wright series, this one set in Croatia. Hot to trot to put this one to bed and send it off to my editor, I am itching to get on to the next one, set in Arizona, where there's so much going on one would have to be in a coma not to make a great novel out of it all.

Alas, the month started strong, seventeen pages one day, nineteen two days later, some editing and maybe four pages in between. I wrote Alibi On Ice at my Wisconsin lake cottage and edited most of The Olive Horseshoe there. The laid-back, easy atmosphere, the gentle lake breezes, and maybe a bit of minor yard work during breaks really gets my creative juices racing.

Not this year, though. After my writing marathon, my sinuses kicked in and then blew up, swelling my oversized head until I felt my eyes would pop out. A trip to the Emergency Room helped a bit, at least antibiotic-wise, but the Vicodin did nothing to stop the pounding in my head, nothing to unswell my eyes or bring my ears back to equilibrium. My head in a vice, my forehead became an eight-head.

For three weeks, I pretty much stayed in bed. Only saw my son three times, and then briefly, because I was so dizzy and headachy, I just couldn't stand sound, light or making an effort to be sociable.

And nothing to drink but fruit juice and water for three weeks. That alone would send many people over the edge.

So now, I have one day left, and not a single page advanced since my marathon ended. I plan to spend tomorrow fishing with my son and then taking him to dinner, before leaving early Tuesday morning for the next leg of the trip, visits to friends in Indy and then to see my granddaughter in North Carolina.

Won't get much writing done there...

And the sad thing is the whole novel is in my head. I know every twist and turn Vendetta will take. The only thing worse than having been sick for three weeks is the frustration at not finishing Vendetta as planned.

Frankly, I wish I'd stayed in Arizona, sons and granddaughter and friend visits excepted. And more humidity is on the way.

But at least I'm feeling better...for now. Just my luck, I'll likely get the sinus flip-side when I return to Arizona and dry out.

A warning to anyone who sees me during my journey: If I see or hear a Vuvuzela, I may become violent.

I'm blaming South Africa for my messed-up ears.


Anonymous said...

What rotten luck, Ben! I hope you are feeling up to snuff by now.
Pat Browning

Jean Henry Mead said...

Everything happens for a reason, Ben. Maybe by the time you get around to writing, a better version of Vendetta will emerge. Glad to hear you're getting better.

Jaden Terrell said...

Well, that should take care of all your bad luck for the year. Nothing but good stuff from here on out!