The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Friday, August 26, 2016

A Serious Warning to Writers... AND Back-of-the-Book Blurb Friday # 23

       A warning to all you writers:  finishing your manuscript can be hazardous to your health.

       I'm serious.

       I've been plagued by severe knee pain for the past week. (And I have a high pain threshold. I gave birth to both my kids at home without any medicinal assistance. I usually CAN handle the pain.)  While some people would take something over-the-counter for it, perhaps ice it or put heat on it, maybe even see a doctor right away, I did nothing... except grit my teeth and continued with work on the third floor and up three flights of stairs if I park on the sidestreet so I don't get as big of an audience as I hunchback my way up the stairs old lady-style and figured it would go away in a few days. 

       It didn't. On Tuesday night, after an evening event at school, I was on the verge of tears as I drove home. Yesterday, finally, I headed to an urgent care center.

       Osteoarthritis. The most common form of arthritis for those over 50, which is strange, because I'm only 37. (Okay. I had to find some reason to laugh hysterically... just a bit of comic relief.) As the doctor spoke to me after x-rays and an examination, the pieces of the puzzle fell into place.

  • I sat for long periods of time in July finishing up my manuscript while I binge-watched Downton Abbey and a few other unmentionable shows now that my students know about my blog.  Apparently arthritis loveslovesloves inactivity.
  • At the end of July, I overdid things when I got my new job and schlepped boxes and boxes of books and tubs of stuff up those three flights of stairs. I didn't fall or pull anything, but I was doing more than I had gotten accustomed to doing. Osteoarthritis can set in after overdoing things.
       So, don't do as I did. Do as I say. Don't sit for long periods of time, hunched over your keyboard and in the writing groove. Get up at regular intervals and move. (I am going to order a Simply Fit Board, from one of the Shark Tank inventors. It's something I'm likely to do... Write for 20 minutes, take a 5 or 10 minute break and use it, which I can do while I'm watching TV, and then go back to writing.)

       I would show you a picture of a normal knee (This your knee) and then a picture of my old-lady knees (This is your knees as slugs) but the second image would be too horrifying...

      So before you move onto the next paragraph, the next chapter--get up and move... 'cause I'm not gonna share my knee brace with you if you get the same prognosis. 

      And now onto writing a book blurb.
  • Look at the photo below. That is the cover of your book.
  • You choose the genre. A love story? A coffeetable book? A historical piece? You decide.
  • Write an enticing blurb--150 words or less. (The title doesn't count in the word count.) Lisa Ricard Claro is the original brains behind this writing exercise. Her third romance book just came out in July (Love to Win) so right now she's pitching a series of historical romances for toddlers, since she read her first gothic romance when she was 10.
  • Include your blurb in a blog post. Include a link to this post. 
  • Link your post to Mr. Linky. Mr. Linky is easy. You don't have to buy him a drink or anything. If you've never done it, you'll be impressed with how simple he is.
  • Check out the other blurb(s). It's interesting to see the different directions writers take, given the same photo.
  • And most importantly, have fun. This is supposed to be enjoyable.
          Here is the photo for this week, and my finished blurb:


The Old Man in the Shoe

Size does matter. At least that’s what Herman thought…

Herman was a never-married man, which made women wary, since he was 58.

It could have been his hairstyle. After all, most people didn’t want to look at an elaborate swirly comb-over on a president or a date’s head. Or it could have been his car.

Herman had a custom-made car and when he was introduced to new acquaintances, he’d laugh and say, “You know what they say about the size of a man’s shoe.” Then he’d pull a photo out of his wallet and show off his car.

But then Herman met the perfect woman for him… the lady of his dreams… his soulmate.

Will they find their own happily-ever-after? Will Herman need a shoehorn if his lady is going to fit into his life?  And does size really matter--when it comes to Herman’s car or his newly-found love? (149 words)

And the above photo is for next week. It's a picture taken by Lynn Obermoeller, who is working on her own book. However, she doesn't need any reminder to keep moving on a regular basis. Lately, she's turned into the incredible shrinking woman...


  1. Don't just grin and bear it, girl!

    1. Shay--You may not really know me well, but hopefully you know that I am NOT going gently into that dark night (of decrepitude).
      I'm going to rage and rage...

  2. Arthur Ritis is a friend of mine - maybe not a friend, now that I think about it. I do notice an increase in pain when a low pressure system is upon I'm now no different than my own grandparents, who complained of joint pain when the weather changed.

    1. Kim--Oh, I hadn't even thought of how often I will now be able to say, "A storm is coming," because of my knees. Thanks. ;(

  3. Welcome to the club! The club of people who must rock back-and-forth before waging a war against gravity to arise from a sitting position. Sorry to hear about your pain. I, too, have a high pain tolerance. Even though I was a pansy who birthed both my boys in a hospital, there was no epidural love for me. And the nurses attending me pre- and post-op for gallbladder removal spoke of my incredible fortitude.

    This knee pain, though, has driven me to my knees! It became quite severe last fall, even though I am only a mere 38 years old! Heh, heh! I hope you find something that works for you to alleviate the discomfort.

    Looks like we took the same course again on this week's blurb. I whipped mine up last night. Were you burning the 9:00 o'clock oil? Were we visited by the same muse?

    1. No, I was writing it at 5 this morning.

      Probably when we turn 40 things will start looking up... or drooping even lower.

  4. I am so sorry you have had such pain! At least you got some answers!

  5. I'm sorry you are dealing with that nasty arthritis! Keep moving but don't over do - what? Crazy doctors. I think they will find true love! I mean, who can resist a man with a big...shoe..Right?

  6. At 40 (cough, cough) I, too, am not going silent into the night! A recent bone density test confirmed osteoporosis and my doc prescribed a "Boniva" type pill that has joint pain as a side-effect (go figure)! I thought that doing stairs daily would strengthen me...not! I agree that we sit for too long, so I get up frequently... and having an overactive bladder, as well as, a 12 yr old dog with an overactive bladder, has helped. Both the dog & I take supplements for the joints. Love the picture of a man and his shoe! I think that they will find their way to a happy long as her shoe is compatible with his! Great post!

    1. No Excuses--I could cough cough about 40 and also cough cough about 50.

      Osteoporosis. I had better got get that diagnosis next, considering the amount of milk I've swilled all my life.

      Dogs... They're the best. I hope you have a few more good years with your 12-year old (unless it's a tiny dog, and then you probably have more than a few years left).

      Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Being a sucker for romance, I love your blurb, though I think the lady of his dreams is really his sole-mate. ;)

    So sorry about the OA. In between writing romance novels for toddlers and touring the globe---cough, cough---I type medical transcription. One of my docs is an orthopedist who treats a lot of people with OA, and you are absolutely correct that inactivity plays a big role. While it may hurt to be active, it will hurt more in the long run to be inactive. Your doctor may have already recommended therapy, specifically quad strengthening exercises, which build the muscle around the knees and offer natural support. The exercise board you've pictured here may help with that. Let us know how it works.

  8. Oops, forgot to mention that if it becomes a quality of life issue and/or the OTC meds don't work well, ask if you're a candidate for either steroid injections or viscosupplementation. This is delivered in a series of shots to the knee and is often covered by insurance. For some folks it offers months, and sometimes years, of pain-free relief.

    1. Lisa--

      I have a specialist's appointment on the 12th. He's supposedly really good. Thanks for the ray of hope. I need something glimmering in front of me to latch onto...

      (And is there anything you do NOT do? With your medical field expertise, have you ever thought of writing something that leans towards that field?)

  9. You are so right! When I've been sitting too much, my lower hip aches like the devil. If I get up and move periodically, it doesn't. Aches and pains are an occupational hazard for a writer. Hope you get relief soon!

    Critter Alley


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