Wednesday, June 16, 2010

couldn't do this without you...

About two and a half weeks ago, I spent a weekend grading papers--book reports mostly--on my dining room table.  For like eight hours each day, I sat at that table and graded, wrote comments on papers, punched numbers into the calculator, and entered grades on my laptop, which was sitting off to one side.

At the same time at school, I was putting together a slideshow for our eighth grade graduation, sorting and sizing hundreds of photos and placing them in the slide show.

My wrist started to ache.  Then my elbow, my entire shoulder.  I wore a brace on my wrist for several nights, then full time as it didn't improve.  I tried an elbow brace, and still it ached.  Finally, I got into the doctor and went to physical therapy, where she stretched my neck out and POOF! pain was gone.  For two weeks, I had been thinking I had a sore arm, and I actually had a pain in the neck. 

While I was in too much pain to write, I did some beta reading and also read through the first 40k of my Cassandra WIP, which I haven't been working on since I put it aside to begin agent edits on KtMS.  And I found it actually helpful, if frustrating, to be injured while reading--to have actual physical pain every time I reached to correct something, to make an edit.  Editing at the sentence level, at the paragraph level, is an important step in the manuscript's development, but sometimes you can get caught up in the little fixes that you miss the actual source of the problem, which is that whole scene should probably either disappear or be completely rewritten, and this other character's motivations are all stemming from the previous scene, and now this one is inconsistent and really, the whole story should begin about thirty pages in anyway...

Anyway, this post is to say thanks to everyone who helped me out in the last couple of weeks--entering grades for me, finishing the slideshow, cleaning my classroom, taking down chairs so I could have conferences...

...and on the metaphorical side of the post, I'd like to say thanks to everyone who has helped with my book that is currently on sub with editors.  You know who you are, and you are so many, wonderful people.  Thanks for helping me find the source of the weaknesses and thanks for encouraging me when I didn't really see the point of continuing.  My dharma girls have come a long way from their beginnings, and who knows what's next?

And now I should probably go back to drafting Cassandra!  Can I get to 44k today?

photo credit David Hoole Photography, 2010 


Kristan said...

I'm NOT an RSI expert, but I do suffer from it occasionally. Have you tried any preventative warmups?

That's my alma mater's page for RSI exercises. I do JUST the wrist one and find that it makes a lot of difference. (Wonder how much better it would be if I did them all... shhh.) That exercise has kept me from having to wear a brace for over 9 months.

But maybe you already do stuff. Either way, yay for the people who help(ed) you, and yay for writing!

Lisa said...

I am so excited to see how things go as your book and manuscript move through the stages toward publication! How is your summer?

elissa said...

Kristan, thanks for the link! I've been doing some neck stretches and shoulder stretches, and so far the pain seems to be staying away!

Lisa, hey! :) My summer is going great, and I'm so excited about the news I'll be able to share soon (I hope)! *holds breath*