Back in 2010, I was working for Kraft/Nabisco as a merchandiser building displays in grocery stores and stocking shelves.  I managed to get hurt on the job with both a shoulder issue that caused me to sporadically lose control of my right arm (problematic for so many aspects of the job and of life) as well as two discs that were dislodged from their rightful place in my spine and now and forever bulge into my sciatic nerve root.  As someone who doesn’t willingly sit still for more than a few minutes at a time, being medicated and unable to walk more than a block without significantly spiking pain levels proved both challenging and rather disheartening.  I worked hard to manage my pain without medication, but my physical limitations while healing were very hard on my spirit. Some turn to pills. Others turn to alcohol. Still others turn to religion.  I turned to writing.

I don’t pretend that the stories I wrote while healing from my injuries will change anyone’s world. I wrote them to amuse my children who were at that time only six years old and wondering if Mommy was going to get off of the couch and take them out to play.  I wrote them for myself too, as my other creative outlets made my pain levels shoot up and were therefore not an option.  There was something very therapeutic about laying on the couch propped on pillows and typing away.

I don’t look back on the experience as a bad thing. I really enjoyed my job and met lots of really awesome people. If not for the injury, I wouldn’t have started writing stories. I am not an amazing writer, but I do enjoy the process and felt pretty lucky to have had a creative outlet when painting and sculpture weren’t an option. At least through physical therapy, I regained full use of my arm and managed to avoid the surgery that had been recommended. My back will always be an issue, but never an excuse. I hike, walk & explore more now than I ever did then. When I push too hard, I have an amazing acupuncturist in Tim who is willing and able to get my pain in check. I’m lucky! I know many who resigned themselves to ‘old age’ after injury and it broke their spirits. I have a great group of cheerleaders who remind me that I am not done exploring yet. and, I have more stories to tell.

I should note three things about this particular story:

  1. The story is based loosely on aquatic pets we had at the time I wrote this and their names are as they were in real life.
  2. There is at least one part of the story where I gave too much detail.  If you choose to read on, you can decide for yourself which part.
  3. I did have two small publishers interested in this story back in 2013. Both wanted me to illustrate the story, but I was never able to create images that I felt complimented the story. I am not an illustrator in practice. I am not opposed to illustrations for it, but I am not the right person for that job.

If you read on and enjoy it, please consider letting me know and feel free to share.  If you choose to move on without reading, that’s fine by me too.  I know not everyone can make the time. Heck, it took me seven years to put it out here for you all, so I certainly won’t judge you for not making the time now!  And now, with no further ado whatsoever;

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