“"...till by the end you feel you have lived many lives: which is perhaps the greatest gift a novel can give."”
Ursula K. Le Guin

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

the car gets energized and i get ennervated because wednesday
Wed 2017-01-04 23:43:05 (single post)

I have a new Wednesday routine! It goes like this:

10:00 - Give up on the morning writing shift. Just get the volunteer reading done and uploaded so I can get out of the house. (True fax: I think I forgot to do the actual uploading, I was that much in a hurry to leave. DAMN IT.)

12:30 - Park the Volt at one of the electric vehicle charging stations at Village At The Peaks (used-to-been Twin Peaks Mall). Start that sucker charging. (Current state of car custody: I get the Volt if I promise to charge it, or if I have a Darn Good Reason. Otherwise, I get the Saturn.

12:40 - Ensconce myself at the Village Inn for a long working lunch. (I still think of China Buffet, because I am weak. But Village Inn has actual good food. Also coffee and wi-fi. And a shorter walk from the charging station. And a free slice of pie on Wednesdays. "Even if all you order is a pot of coffee, you get free pie!" Noted.) Get the daily writing tasks done. It's Wednesday, so I don't expect much, but do at least that much, yeah? OK. I did.

3:30 - Walk on over to Cafe of Life and arrive 10 minutes early for my adjustment and traction.

4:20 - Walk on back to the car, which is by now fully charged or almost so. Lament having to use some of that fresh battery capacity on driving home from Longmont.)

Ta-da. The car is charged, I have time to do a little writing, and I get to my appointment early (rather than late, which had been happening recently, because having a car meant the luxury of dribbling out the door at quarter-til-four rather than racing to the bus stop for 3:15). I like it. Let's do this again sometime. (Free pie!)

Derby doings this evening consisted of sitting on the BRAND NEW FLOOR and scraping old tape off the track. Obviously we pulled up the track boundary tape the night we emptied out the barn for subfloor construction, because there was a rope under there, but the rest of the tape we were in too much of a hurry to bother with. (The tape that used to be ten-foot hashmarks is especially hard to remove. The tape that formed our exercise ladder and jump-around crosses was fresher, less skated-upon, and somewhat easier. None of it was easy, though. Razor blades, chisels, paint scrapers, and rubbing alcohol were involved in the process. Which is not yet done.)

You would think this wouldn't be very tiring work, wouldn't you? Just tedious. We were all sitting down to do it, after all. But

  • my back doesn't like hunching over floor work so long, and
  • it was 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the time we were done, and it is possible to get exhausted from being cold.

Mostly I got exhausted waiting for the car to warm up. I was shivering so hard I was out of breath from shivering. I was also irrationally angry--at no one in particular, just generally rageful--that we weren't home already. We got home and I promptly dumped myself in the tub, wasting in hot water all the energy I saved in charging the car. I think. These calculations are not exact.

Meanwhile--

(emotion-wrangling beyond this point - I said I'd warn y'all, so I'm warning y'all)

--apparently all that recent Working Through Childhood Trauma stuff I've been doing lately, here and in my Morning Pages and in my brain when I don't wanna has been chugging away in the background, because I had a dream about it this AM.

In my dream, I was moving into Awful Abusive Asshole Uncle's house. It was empty of everything but furniture. I wasn't inheriting it or anything. It was more like, it was empty, so someone might as well move in, and the rest of the family thought I might as well be the one. Anyway, someone had unpacked a few art canvases that used to be on the walls, abstract multimedia collages as well as portraits. There was a portrait of one of my younger cousins, whom I adore; I wanted to hang it on the wall going up the stair where my memory in the dream told me it used to be, but the nail had been removed and the nail-hole painted over when the house got emptied. I'd have to hammer a nail into that wall myself to do it, but not right now, because I had to go to the bathroom something awful.

I really did, too. I mean, in waking life. I may have mentioned my frustrations with my bladder's suddenly reduced retention at night? At least it didn't start to bother me until time to get up anyway. Nevetheless, I feel like it had dream symbolism too. I would have to hammer my own nail into the wall, but first I would have to process and dispose of some nasty substances. Get it? Get it? OK, well, I do. At least, I'm pretty sure I do. There's probably more to get later. There always is.

Anyway, there was also a portrait of my asshole uncle. And though I recognized that the portrait was gorgeous as a piece of art--just a really fantastic portrait of him standing there on a French Quarter street and everything in vibrant, exaggerated colors and the lines of his face emphasized in a way that showed personality rather than reducing the portrait to a caricature--I could not bring myself to hang it up. I didn't want to look at his face every day.

So I decided I would take one of the empty ottoman/storage chests that was positioned as a footrest in the living room by the big L-shaped couch, and put the painting inside it, face-down, and sprinkle it with salt to neutralize its energy.

That's right. I made up a magic spell in my dream. I haven't made up a magic spell in waking life in years, unless you count the creation of writing-dedicated ritual space I sometimes do with a candle and incense and an Enya CD these days. But I just made one up in my dream.

It's a damn good one, too. Right up there with taking a photo of The Bad Guy and rolling it up and tying it with string and sticking it in the freezer. I may have to do it in waking life. I think I know the item that can stand in for the portrait, too. I just need to find an appropriate storage space.

...So. That's the state of the Niki tonight.

Cover art incorporates public domain photography from Pixabay.com
this fictionette can think of five reasons to stop feeling guilty without even trying hard
Mon 2016-11-28 23:57:55 (single post)
  • 1,133 wds. long

All right, all right, it's up. Finally. The Friday Fictionette nominally for November 25 is "Five Good Reasons" (Patron-only links: ebook | audiobook) and if you're wondering "for what?" the answer is many things. But mainly it's to do with a dental hygienist deciding to save the planet. Yes, this is in fact part of the same continuity as "Please To Confirm Your Appointment with BRIGHT SMILES!" and "An Office In Transition." Because there's dentistry involved, of course.

No one should be surprised that the dang thing didn't go up until today. I'm either on time, or I'm at least three days late. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of in between. And it was the stupidest thing: there were only about 500 words left to write! But the very fact that it was late made them the hardest 500 words ever. It's psychological. It's a reliable effect of being late. Of knowing I'm late and hating it. And of course there's the "It'll be out on Saturday, promise!" post, and then it's not ready for Saturday, so I say "Sorry, but it'll be out on Sunday for sure," and then it isn't, and then I don't say anything at all because I'm feeling too ashamed to show my face.

This is not healthy and I don't like it.

However, there are few better antidotes for a depressive period full of guilt and self-loathing than ROLLER DERBY and by the Gods I have done roller derby today. The kind and generous skaters of the 10th Mountain Roller Dolls invited me to drop in with them, what with my being in town and all, and they arranged to carpool me over, and then they proceeded to kick my butt in the best of all possible ways. They worked me hard, and I felt it, and not just due to an elevation of about 2,500 feet higher than I'm used to. I mean, that's definitely a factor--I was winded hard for pretty much the full two hours, and thank goodness I don't have much in the way of asthma going on--but it doesn't account for how very sore my thighs were when we were done. (Rolling squat warm-ups! All the squats!)

And that is why 1. I rescheduled my Monday home strength training routine to Tuesday this week, and 2. I'm very, very glad of the luxurious in-room spa that is one of this resort's amenities. All the hot water. Yes. And also wine and cheese, because, cheeeeese, wine-not? Ha ha ha geddit? I am funny.

All right, so. With the overdue fictionette published, I am DONE WITH GUILT for the week. I intend to make my way over to the library tomorrow to get some writing done and also to check out a book or two. After that, who knows? I am on vacation. Other than holding myself to my writing goals (and planning to attend 10th Mountain's Thursday scrimmage) I am entirely unscheduled. It's glorious.

how much doing stuff makes up for not doing the stuff
Fri 2016-11-25 23:17:35 (single post)

My brief run of on-time Friday Fictionettes has been undone by Thanksgiving plus travel preparations. And it's not even like either factor was particularly extravagant. Thanksgiving consisted of a little skating, a nice lunch at a favorite restaurant, a big long nap, and a bit of hot chocolate in front of the fire. And I'm only traveling about two hours west via Greyhound and the regional transit systems of Denver and Eagle County. Nevertheless, my writing productivity took a hit.

Not that I'm not proud of what I got done today! I got a lot of crap done that needed it, in some cases very badly. All the bills are paid, the physical inbox is empty, the household accounts are reconciled, my filthiest set of bearings is now clean and ready to skate on, and the dome light in the car is no longer dangling like a Christmas tree ornament. That was some very important crap got done. Groceries and prescriptions got gotten. Saturday AM volunteer reading got read, recorded, and uploaded (there won't be time to read it tomorrow morning). Also my suitcase got packed, more or less.

Nevertheless, one important thing didn't get done today, and that was writing. The Friday Fictionette for November 25 was unfortunately no exception. Look for it tomorrow (and I mean tomorrow!).

engage winter mode
Thu 2016-11-17 23:35:29 (single post)

It started snowing today. First snow of the season, at least down here in the (relatively) flats. Finally it really feels like November.

I was lying in bed looking out the window when it began. The linden tree has lost enough of its leaves that I can now reliably see the moon on its way down from zenith, but it still has enough that it's noticeable when any precipitation starts. I may not be able to see the raindrops or the snowflakes, but I can see them hit the leaves and cause them to bounce up and down on their stems. Not all the leaves at once, but one here one second and one there the next. It always takes me a moment, though, to understand what these random explosions of movement outside my window are, or what's causing them. But I get there eventually.

"Oh," I thought, "it's started to snow. Shit, I haven't brought the plants in yet!"

I brought in the plants. Just the ones that are in containers small enough to easily move. The chives, dill, and parsley. The kale in one of the big self-watering containers, hastily transplanted. The shade-tolerant plants from the front porch, which had been moved to the back patio at the end of September to make way for contractors scraping off the old deck coating and applying the new. (It's a little disappointing that now that I theoretically could put all the front porch stuff back out there, I actually can't, because it's snowing.) I also harvested all the cherry tomatoes that were anywhere near ripe and all the San Marzanos of any color and size. (The immediate future holds fried green tomatoes in tempura batter.)

It's fireplace weather now, but we're both too tired from tonight's scrimmage to manage it. (Also, the herbs and kale are on the hearth until I can find them a better arrangement.) No doubt because of the weather, we had only enough people tonight to run four-on-four, with one side having the luxury to sit their fifth skater. We all decided that increasing line-up time to 45 seconds was a good idea, at least for the first half. Very few officials made it out, too, so the skaters had to time their own penalties. We all tried to be gentle with each other emotionally, though not necessarily physically. A lot of learning happened on both the skater and referee sides of the track.

Despite the weather, it seemed relatively warm in the practice space. There will be worse nights, nights when it's painful to take off the outerwear in order to gear up. Tonight wasn't so bad.

I should be happy that it snowed. We've had a dry and extra-long fall. (Say it with me now: "We need the moisture.") But the first snowfall always brings with it a sort of deep and creeping depression for me, like, "Good times are over and everything is going to suck from here on out." It's the bookend paired with the first-rain-of-spring feeling, "Winter's over! Life begins anew! Hooray!" I'm pretty sure I have a little of the seasonal affective disorder going on, but mostly it's just that I don't like snow. I don't like what it does to the roads, or the limitations it puts on outdoor activity. (I dreamed about trail-skating this morning. I woke up to the likelihood of no trail-skating at all until spring. Unfair.) I don't like the cold, or at least the very cold. In that, I remain a southern girl at heart. I haven't truly enjoyed winter since moving away from New Orleans. What I like best is the fall, when the brutal heat of summer has been mitigated by gentle cool-fronts and the leaves turn amazing colors. The colors went on and on this year, but the weather stayed more or less in the summer furnace region right up until, well, now.

(Maybe I'm exaggerating. Selection bias is real.)

In any case, the first snowfall has hit and this household is going into winter mode. Right now that means getting in the habit of closing the blinds to keep the windows more insulated at night, and kicking off our shoes by the door so as not to track melting snow across the carpet. Probably also means less assuming that I can bus-and-bike to Longmont, and more frequent negotiations for car custody. What winter mode means for my writing routines I have not yet determined, but I'll be giving it some thought in the coming days. Will let you know when I figure it out.

there is a thing called Death Of The Author but thankfully this ain't it
Sun 2016-10-16 20:52:54 (single post)

Not dead. Not vanished. Just very, very tired. Partially to do with disruption of sleep patterns (such as they were), partially with a surprise accumulation of appointments, and mostly with how after some six weeks off from roller derby practice I've been finding the regular schedule, despite the slightly reduced hours for the off-season, an unexpected challenge.

So last week sort of didn't happen, and this weekend was mostly either 1. derby, or 2. sleeping.

The overdue Friday Fictionette will appear sometime tomorrow, which is to say Monday the 17th. With my apologies.

Hopefully I will not trip over any additional time bombs in the upcoming week. Hopefully all will go according to schedule. Hopefully things will return to normal and possibly better than normal. The associative mental jukebox is now playing Jim Croce's "Tomorrow's Gonna Be a Brighter Day" which isn't an exact match for the situation but that's my brain for you.

So that's about it. Good night, see you tomorrow, etc. & so forth.

advice to alternate universe me
Thu 2016-09-15 23:18:32 (single post)

Note to self: Do not begin Frances Hardinge's Cuckoo Song as bedtime reading because you WILL NOT be able to put the book down (it was almost every bit as good as advertised) unfinished, and a night of only four hours of sleep is not conducive to getting anything productive done the next morning.

Possibly this is a note to an alternate universe version of myself for whom the advice does not yet come too late.

It really was a very good book.

fresh, delicious, destined in part to be my lunch
i should not be complaining about these problems, lots of people might wish to have such problems
Tue 2016-08-02 23:59:59 (single post)

It's Tuesday. Tuesday is CSA day. CSA day used to be Monday, but then Monday became a chiro day and that was just too many errands in one day without guaranteed use of the car. So now it is Tuesday.

Accompanying this post is a picture of the fresh, delicious things that came home with me from The Diaz Farm. The vegetables (rainbow chard, Italian kale, carrots, kohlrabi, a cucumber and a couple of green tomatoes for frying; there was also garlic but I have enough right now) correspond to a small-size share. The bread is an add-on I signed up for, and is delicious. The free-range mixed-flock eggs I buy on an as-needed basis for $5.50. You can also buy duck eggs for a little bit more (the rear six eggs in the picture are duck eggs). They are huge and delicious but a little harder to crack into and I am not always in the mood.

Here is how Tuesday is supposed to go:

  • 9:00-9:30 AM: Writing (morning pages)
  • 9:30-10:00 AM: Breakfast, brush teeth, water plants
  • 10:00 AM-12:00 PM: Writing (freewriting, fictionette, submission proceedures)
  • 12:00-2:00 PM: Bike up to farm for CSA pick-up, make myself some lunch, eat, goof off
  • 2:00-4:00 PM: Writing (current story or novel project)
  • 4:00-5:30 PM: Email and other communications. Dinner. Also pack gear and get dressed for derby
  • 5:30-10:00 PM: All Stars practice (6:30-9:30) and associated travel time
  • 10:00-11:30 PM: Foam roller and at-home traction session
  • 11:30 PM-12:00 AM: Writing (blog post)
  • 12:00-1:00 AM: Goof off a bit, read, whatever. Also get ready for bed.
  • 1:00 AM: Go to sleep.

Hm. Written out like that, it sounds like a mercilessly busy schedule... except for the, y'know, 5-hour work day with the 2-hour lunch break. OK, it actually sounds like a really cushy job. AND I STILL CAN'T SEEM TO STICK TO THE SCHEDULE.

Problem the first: It really requires that I get up on time. That did not happen this morning. Possibly because I was unable to get to sleep until about 3:00 AM; my upper back was giving me grief again.

Problem the second: Once things start getting late, it's almost impossible to steal time from the rest of the schedule. If the morning writing shift gets cut short by an hour, then I just end my lunch break at 1:00 instead of 2:00, right? Except I cannot whittle "bike up to farm for CSA pick-up, make myself lunch, eat" down to one hour, even if I excise the "goofing off" part. Which for some reason I find myself practically unable to do. At least I wound up making my lunch so filling (big salad featuring today's veg and last week's mixed greens; far too much French toast made with heel of last week's bread) that I would up not needing dinner, so I could write right up to 5:00 PM. Cooking and eating takes up time, y'all.

Problem the third: There is a reason I only expect half an hour of writing after derby. If I lose some of my writing time to, er, "activity creep," well, it's going to be damn hard to extract that work out of myself after three hours of skating hard and turning left. Not to mention plyometric conditioning. The body has sucked all the carbs out of the system and the brain has no fuel to go on. Also I'm now a little sore from the foam roller and traction stuff.

(At-home traction involves lying on the ground with my neck supported by a triangular plastic device that looks a lot like a hands-free book holder. The head is allowed to loll back, creating the curve which we are trying to train the spine to achieve. The first sessions are short, but one increases the time as one grows accustomed to the experience. Ice on the neck and upper back after the session is recommended.)

But I am determined to see how far into August I can get with a perfect record of "perfect days," which is to say, days on which I've successfully checked off every item on my Dailies list in Habitica. And so, having only done three hours of writing rather than four and a half before derby, I return to my desk, determined to reach my goal no matter how tired I am. DETERMINED.

So. When this blog post is done, I'm going back to the embarrassingly belated July 22 Friday Fictionette. It's almost ready. The text is all done and the Audiofictionette is recorded. I just need to create the cover art, compile the .pdf and .epub, put the teaser excerpt together for release on Patreon and on this-here blog, and put everything up where you can see it. I expect I'll get some way into some of that tonight and, if I am very fortunate, publish the whole shebang tomorrow.

However, tomorrow is full of things--obligations as well as options--and I'm a little worried about getting everything done.

I can at least solve one problem by GETTING UP ON TIME, DRAT YOU. Do it!

just when you figure things out they give you more things to figure out
Mon 2016-08-01 23:16:18 (single post)

I am late with all the things. All the Fictionette things, certainly. The astute and observant will have noticed that the July 22 edition still hasn't been posted, and as for the Fictionette Artifacts, I'm afraid the June mailings will just have to be sent in the same envelope as those for July. I'm dreadfully sorry. Hopefully this will be the week that I manage to get everything under control.

Which would be great, because over the past few weeks I have been having a hard time finding both time and energy to get stuff done.

I really thought I was going to have more time and energy to spare. My derby schedule has changed; as of the results of mid-year tryouts a couple weeks ago, I'm a full A-team member rather than being an A/B crossover, so I'm only attending one team's practices rather than two. That theoretically gives me back Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons.

Except, for one thing, I've been sticking around after All Stars practice on Sundays anyway. The first week it was because Papa Whiskey stuck around to help the Bombshells coach during their practice from 1 to 4; it was just simplest from a transportation perspective for me to stick around too. (I fetched us lunch and then volunteered my services as a non-skating official during B/C scrimmage. HOW DO JAM TIMERS MAKE IT LOOK SO EASY?!) The second week it was because I'd signed up to participate in our presentation at the Boulder County Fair, where we demonstrated Roller Derby As She Is Played These Days to curious fairgoers. (I wound up holding the microphone and explaining Derby 101 to the audience multiple times.)

These were both very fun things! But they were, nonetheless, things.

Meanwhile, I've also been spending a good deal of time at Cafe of Life. Turns out my back problems have a lot to do with the proper curve which my spine has not got. In an attempt to train it to have one, I'm undergoing adjustments and traction sessions thrice weekly. It's only about half an hour each visit, but it's also about a 40-minute commute each way by bus and bike, and it's a non-trivial interruption of my work-a-day schedule. And while the chiro sessions are having immediate positive effects (less pain all day! easier getting to sleep!), they are also having immediate exhausting effects, such that I come home ready for a nap.

And then there's the foam roller. I've been reintroducing the foam roller to my life. I ought never to have let it fall out of my life. The foam roller does wonders for the knee twinges, muscle cramps, and stiff ankles to which an athletic lifestyle is prone. It also runs away with another half hour from my evenings.

It's the same problem as always: Getting the writing done requires consciously devising, then sticking to, a specific schedule in which to do it. Which I had! Only now I have to change it to accommodate all these other changes. Gah.

It can be done! I hope to have good things to report tomorrow. And also a criminally belated Friday Fictionette to post. Again, sorry.

you know what else lack of sleep is bad for writing performance that's what
Fri 2016-06-17 00:31:33 (single post)

My sleep cycle is all messed up. (Yes, this will be a complaining, lamenting, and whining sort of post. It happens.) I'm having trouble getting to sleep at all, is the problem. It's kind of a big problem.

There are any number of causes, or rather factors, all working together in a horrible tag-teaming conspiracy. There's the constant tension in my shoulders that makes it hard to get comfortable and relax. There's the irritating need to visit the bathroom every half hour despite having consumed no liquids since toothbrush-o-clock. Also despite having a heroic daytime capacity to go without a trip to the toilet for hours. Even during roller derby scrimmage hours. But the moment I try to go to sleep, bam, it's constant potty emergency. It's uncanny. It's ridiculous. And of course that's when our neighbors on the other side of the bedroom wall will decide it's time to crank the stereo. Or the mysterious Two O' Clock Overhead Furniture Moving Or Whatever The Hell The Banging Is will commence. (Seriously, I have no idea what it is or where it's coming from. Our upstairs neighbor is an elderly lady whom I just can't see dragging large objects around the house late at night.) Oh, and then the brain weasels will start their little dance. "Hey! Hey! So that dream you had last night, the one you're thinking about now, did you notice that one person in it played a big part in your Worst Memory of 2015? Let's rerun that classic, K? Let's rerun it a lot."

The result is no sleep until two o'clock, three o'clock, or even bat o'clock, whenever the hell that is. I don't know because by then I refuse to look at the clock. Bat o'clock is loud. Those little critters have piercing voices. One of them likes to swoop right in close along the back side of the building. But worse than bat o'clock is bird o'clock. I typically love the sound of birds outside my window, but when I hear them at the first glimmerings of dawn it is the sound of despair. It means there's only some three hours before my alarm clock goes off.

So of course I don't get up when my alarm goes off. I go back to sleep, telling myself it's just a couple more hours. But of course it winds up being eleven, noon, or later before I manage to get up. If it's the only solid sleep I'm going to get, I'd better get it. I'm going to roller derby that evening. I can't afford to coast on fumes. Lack of sleep is bad for sports performance. Poor sports performance, at this level of play, in this sport (on wheels!), can actually mean injury. I do not want to get injured, so when I fail to sleep through the night, I allow myself to sleep right through til noon.

So my usable hours of the day shrink to something like noon until five-thirty, and it's not like writing's the only thing I need to stuff in there. And it's not like I'm going to get any work done after roller derby (blog posts like this one excepted). By then I have no brain remaining to write with and no body remaining to be upright in. So I think, hell with it, I'm going to sleep early. And I go to bed early, yes, but then I stare at the inside of my eyelids for hours. And then I sleep very late the next morning, which does not help get the message across to my body that I want it relaxed and unconscious between the hours of midnight and eight thirty.

Tomorrow, thankfully, I have a night off. No roller derby, no nothing. Theoretically I should be able to afford to drag myself out of bed at eight thirty regardless of how well I sleep tonight. Which is what I intend to do. Just reset the daily sleep cycle. If I only get three hours sleep, well, that should make it easier to get to sleep tomorrow night, right? Just get more exhausted, that'll do it, right?

I'm pretty exhausted right now. Scrimmage was absurdly successful--this whole week of roller derby practice has been fantastic; I feel like I leveled up--but it was the usual amount of hard work with the usual allotment of physical blows (I owe y'all a picture of my arms, they are multicolored) and an unusual amount of brain-melting heat. I should have no trouble getting sleepy, right? Plus I have avoided caffeine since about five this afternoon. I have taken the foam roller to the tense spots in my back. I took a couple Tylenol in hopes of reducing the background level of soreness. I am even drinking chamomile tea. I do not like chamomile tea, but I am drinking it.

Wish me luck.

Kerosene lamp: public domain. Bonfire: CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons. Click through for excerpt and cover art attributions.
the weekly beat-downs are no excuse, i recognize this
Sun 2016-06-12 00:24:06 (single post)

No, I am not going to start calling them "Saturday Fictionettes." For one thing, if I did that, I'd probably wind up posting them no sooner than the following Monday, knowing me. Anyway, here's yesterday's offering, bite-sized and a day late. It's called "Maggie, Queen of Darkness," and it comes with a content note for death-by-fire and suicide. Things got dark in this one, OK? It happens. Although, now that I think of it, it would fit seamlessly into the tradition of superhero origin stories, posthumous (cf. Spawn). But that's a novel waiting to happen. For now all you get is a scene.

Last week I had a valid, if vague, excuse for being late and generally unproductive. This week I got nothing. Bad habits come back quick; good habits take a lot of work. I'm working on it.

Well, possibly there's the fact that this week was more exhausting than most on the roller derby front. I was in four, count 'em, four interleague scrimmages between Tuesday and Thursday, and I was kind of fighting with a deeply bruised hip since Sunday. There is, I'm afraid, no good story behind the deeply bruised hip. I hit a patch of dust on the track, wiped out, and landed hard, instantly raising a thick lump of owie and also causing apparent sciatic nerve panic along the entire length of my left leg. I took myself out of practice and limped the rest of the weekend. I also limped most of Friday since I fell on it several times Thursday evening, thanks to RMRG's fantastic offensive blocking. Also my crappy luck--it didn't seem to matter where or how or in what direction I got hit, I still fell smack on the owie part. It's like owie parts have magnets in them that draw them with great force toward the nearest convenient object of blunt force trauma, i.e. the ground. Owie parts are in cahoots with gravity. I am outnumbered. Unfair.

Now, the bruises like leopard spots covering both upper arms, those probably have good stories. Problem is, I can't remember which one came from which hit, or indeed individual hits at all. Some of the bruises are probably from my teammates' fingers. We hold on tight to each other in our defensive walls.

Thing is, though, I don't like making that my excuse for not getting writing done. Down that path, derby eats writing all up. I am convinced, I insist, I demand that my derby life and my writing life coexist. I mean, yes, I volunteer for an athletic beat-down three nights a week and twice on Sundays, but I'm not the only one, and if some of my league-mates manage all that and some combination of full time employment, school, and child care, you'd think I could pull off a measly 20 hours of writing each week. Especially considering I needn't leave the house nor even the bed to do said writing, right?

Right, so. It's gone midnight and I should be in bed. Tomorrow's my day for double beat-downs and the schedule starts early. Rock on with your bad selves and see you on Monday. (And I mean it this time.)

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