On the MFA Treadmill

Here we are again, at the end of the first week of my 4th term in pursuit of my MFA in creative writing. I’m taking two classes this term – “Speculative Fiction I” and “The Publishing Ecosystem.” I think that of the two, I’m going to enjoy Spec Fic I quite a bit more than Publishing for the simple reason that in Spec Fic I I’ll get to write. That class is all about character development and worldbuilding, both things that I thoroughly enjoy. I will have to create an outline by the end of this term, but since I’ve switched which WIP I’m using for my thesis novel, I don’t think it’ll be too much of a problem. The Loneborn already has a reasonably complete outline.

I haven’t done much more than work on what’s required for class this week. It’s been pretty rough for me here at Marcum Manor this week. I didn’t post “Workin’ On It Wednesday” this week because I was soooo sick I didn’t feel much like moving, much less posting on social medial or thinking about what I wanted to write here this week.

I have several medical conditions. I fractured my back in the lumbar area when I was 13, but didn’t realize it until I was about 35 years old. By that point, I had developed degenerative spine disease. Because of that, I have near constant pain in my back as well as severe sciatica that affects my right leg. I also have arthritis in my right knee from years of playing softball, and I have arthritis between C3 and C4, C4 and C5, and C5 and C6. This has affected my right arm and shoulder; I can’t lift my right arm over my head, nor can I use my right arm to lift objects that are heavier than say, 5-10 pounds. Lastly, I’ve been Type II diabetic for almost 20 years now. It’s under control with medication, but the medication I take messes with my stomach so bad that I can’t eat anything. I’ve lost 36 pounds or more (it’s been a couple of months since I weighed myself) in the past 3-4 months or so because of the effects of the medicine.

I’m not asking for pity, just pointing out that I have more than a few challenges to meet and overcome.

On Monday, my body started a particularly bad “flare-up” of stomach issues. By Wednesday (which was the Employee Appreciation Luncheon at my office) I was having trouble just moving around and doing much of anything I was so weak. I went to work on Wednesday, but was back home and back to bed by 10:30 AM. I’ve been fighting it all week, and I’m still not very good, but at least I can function a little bit. I’ve been eating (even though I don’t particularly want to) because even though it doesn’t stick with me, surely I get some nutrition from it…at least I hope…

On a more happy note…I did get my “Mother’s Day” gifts this weekend – Con and I went to Lowe’s and got window planters to attach to my deck railing, and I got herb plants to put in the window boxes for a little herb garden. I wanted to use the second planter box for strawberries, but it seems that I’m a bit late in the season to get strawberries. I have one more place to check for strawberry plants, but I may be out of luck. For our little veg garden I bought tomato plants, cucumber plants, seed potatoes, and seeds for watermelon and corn. I’ve never grown from seeds before, so wish me luck! I also bought myself a wisteria vine because…well, it’s a little bit of New Orleans in my back yard. Still trying to figure out where I want to plant that sucker…

Although I did manage to get my schoolwork done, that’s about the end of it. I haven’t had the thinking capacity to do much more than that – and that goes for this week’s blog post. I apologize that I don’t have something cheery or more enlightening for you guys this week. Cross your fingers that this clears up soon and I’ll be able to think straight enough to give you a little more next Sunday. Until then, take it easy, you guys, and enjoy the week! Send some good vibes and happy thoughts my way, and we’ll be back in the swing of things next week!

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