As I write, the oppressive heat and humidity of July in this city situated by a big lake has lifted momentarily – but a few days earlier as I tried to work on an outline for my novel – it was scorching. Inside my head, I was feverish – wrestling with choices for the direction my story was going to take. First I had to figure out my main character’s origins. If only it was so easy! I had a small reprieve from struggle when I visited my osteopath. He’s a gentle man who twists and bends my body like a pretzel and luckily has an office with air conditioning.
Like so many people who use a computer for a living, I’ve developed RSI aka Repetitive Strain Injury that gradually leaves my body as stiff and unyielding as a cement block. My shoulders and arms ache and tingle and the muscles in my back seize up. If I had the ability to unsnap certain parts of my body and replace them with spares – like a Lego model, it would be a relief. But unfortunately, I’m no cyborg or plastic brick so that’s just not going to happen.
Instead I lie on a massage table and endure being bent and pulled one way and the other. But that day, rather than concentrating on my body’s sensations, I decided to use that time to work out my writing problem. It was a little like astral projection. I rose out of my sore body and dropped into the futuristic world of my character and tried a few ideas out.
As I left my osteopath’s office, a blast of heat and humidity slapped me in the face the moment I was street level, but I was nonetheless feeling lighter in body and a bit lighter in spirit. I had managed to make a decision about my character’s origins and that was going to help where I take the story. Or where it takes me… Continue reading