“Cut a good story anywhere, and it will bleed.”
Anton Chekhov

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

The creepy thing reaching across the book is actually a very cute beanie frog on page-weight duty.
please excuse fleur from class today, she got all used up this weekend
Mon 2015-01-12 23:53:32 (in context)
  • 1,070 words (if poetry, lines) long

I'm very sorry. The Friday Fictionette went up on Saturday morning instead of Friday afternoon. It did, however, go up, so you can now read the excerpt here or, if you feel like chucking a buck in my direction, downloading the whole thing as a PDF. It's called "Three Reasons to Be Afraid of the Dark," and it's about a wizard.

Not that it's an excuse... well, it is an excuse. I am full of excuses. But it's a good excuse. I just had a ridiculously big roller derby weekend, this weekend. First, there was the annual Black & Blue Ball on Friday, for which outfits needed to be assembled, gifts needed to be packaged, and pot-luck contributions needed to be arranged. Then, at last, it was time to actually go to the event. Basically, it was tons of the sort of fun that swallows up a whole day. There is always a price to be paid for fun.

Speaking of paying the price, I'm eternally grateful to our Events Committee for putting on the Ball in the first place. For them, it was everyone's fun that took up probably weeks of their spare time and energy. So. A toast!

Saturday, our league hosted a mix-up bout tournament. That's another event that takes a huge helping out of everyone's lives to make happen. And this one I feel like I can speak to with a little authority, since I'm on the Bout Production Committee. I don't feel like I near hardly pulled my own weight there, though; next bout I hope to be of more help. We set up the venue starting at 1:30, the coaches checked in at 4:30, my team started warming up at 5:15, the venue was done and cleaned up by 9:45 or so, and we were at the afterparty until 11:00. So that was Saturday.

I would have been more cheerful about the whole thing if I weren't done and out of the tournament by about 6:20. My third or maybe fourth time out on the track, I managed to sprain my knee, and that was it. The only time I hit the track after that was to join my team for their consolation/congratulation laps. Otherwise, I was sitting down with ice on my knee, or very carefully floating around the venue, keeping my left leg as stationary as possible while propelling or stopping with my right. It sounds stupid that I didn't immediately take my gear off, but, oddly enough, skating was easier on the injured joint than walking was.

And of course Sunday morning I could barely put on my own shoes. The knee didn't want to bend enough to get the foot into arm's reach.

I whine, I complain, but in reality, I'm very lucky. Three seasons of roller derby, and my worst injuries have been sprains. I know at least three skaters who are out with broken ankles at various stages of recovery, and one who tore an ACL on a skiing trip not two weeks after passing her minimum skills test. She was looking forward to trying out for the travel teams, but now she's out for at least six months. It's heartbreaking. A sprained knee? That's nothing. The timing was disappointing (seriously, knee, couldn't you have waited until the last ten minutes of our final bout instead of the first ten minutes of our first? sheesh), but I'll probably be back in action in just a few weeks. I'm very, very lucky.

And I benefit from having gone through the exact same injury two years ago. I'm not going to keep reinjuring myself for two months before taking it seriously. I'm taking it seriously right now. I'm taking it to the doctor on Wednesday, I'm pulling out my old physical therapy instructions and doing the exercises, I'm borrowing a knee brace from a league mate--all the good things.

Speaking of lucky, on Sunday we got to lay track in our brand new practice location. We have been on month-to-month leases for years, and 2014 found us homeless not once but twice. But now one of our very own skaters has offered to be our landlord. She's given us half her huge barn to convert into track space, and we're happy to pool our resources and put in the sweat equity to do it. The dirt floor got pounded flat and covered with plastic last week, and yesterday we assembled the sport court and taped the track boundaries. Today another crew from the league came in to take care of a few remaining tasks. Tomorrow night we'll have our first practice there. (Which I will probably miss, thanks to the sprained knee. Drat.)

I was on the track laying crew yesterday. Wouldn't miss it for the world. Sure, my left knee was stiff and swollen, sure, I was hobbling a bit, but as long as I moved slowly and carefully I was able to cary sport court tile around and lay it in place. I was even able to very carefully stomp the tooth-in-loop connections down with my right heel.

I won't say it didn't hurt my heart not to be one of the first people skating on the track. But seeing people skating on it Sunday afternoon gave my heart a lot more joy than pain.

Today? Pfeh. I have been absolutely useless today. I was owed an absolutely useless day, darn it, and I darn well took it. So there.

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