I realize that I wrote a State of the Ellie in March but then promptly forgot. I’m blaming the stress of March and April. I’m also going to give the universe credit for getting me back into it now by making me hanker for a newsletter. The last two months are sort of a slurry in my brain right now, but I’ll do the best I can in catching you up. As always, any questions, concerns, or funny stories are always welcome in the comments.
I’m hoping you saw the release of Why Did I Write That?! on Wednesday. This project has been a total riot, and it’s possible I might make it a bi-annual thing. Bad poetry is a sort of rallying point for all kinds of people, not just hardcore creatives. Lino thinks I could make a mint; I’m just having a good time reading all the submissions.
It’s possible that, aside from mobility limitations, my biggest annoyance about recovering from surgery is that my work capacity will be significantly reduced. Which is hugely sucky because it means that The Kidnapping (official name still to come), the novel I’ve been collaborating on with Kyeli Smith, won’t be published until July 1. Maybe sooner if we can swing it. All the writing is done; all that’s left is for Kyeli to get her editing pass in and for the design and formatting to be done. I would just like to be lucid before we start telling you guys all about it, so we’re bumping launch until then. Which is a bummer because I’m so damn proud of this book. Patience!
What’s funny is that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Cora Riley. I haven’t talked much about her in public yet because of The Kidnapping and the surgery and whatnot, but I keep getting ideas. It looks like there might be a series and everything – I keep coming up with new plots and visuals. Should everything go swimmingly well with my recovery, I could have the first book done by Christmas. I’ll keep you posted.
Last thing: Is anyone interested in a newsletter devoted to writing/publication updates? This section has gotten rather long, and there’s always fun stuff going on in my writing world. Drop me a note and we’ll see how the wind blows.
So, if you haven’t heard already, I’ll be having major hip surgery on May 16th to correct a cogenital bone problem that’s been hurting me for the last seven years. The short version is that they’re going to dislocate my right hip, fix the labrum, cut out the bony socket in my pelvis, move it, and bolt it into a new angle so it doesn’t rub. Gross, I know.
Recovery is projected to be about six weeks, the same as a normal hip replacement, although it could be more or less, depending on how well I do with physical therapy and narcotics. There’s all these restrictions about bending less than 90 degrees, which turns out to be way more difficult than I expected. Fortunately, Mom and Lino will be with me the first two weeks. (And if you’d like to visit or send presents, that would be great! There’ll be a post forthcoming with details.)
This surgery is technically considered “elective” but to me, it’s a necessary key to freedom. Nearly everything in my life list requires me to not only be mobile but adaptable and pain-free. But I’ve never so much as had dental surgery, so the whole thing is terrifying. I’m worried about narcotics making me loopy, and I certainly have loss-of-control fears. I’m terrified I might accidentally hurt myself and have to do it all over. But – this is my year of being brave. Every shaman must go through gruelling trials to find their power, right?
One of the things on my 30 Before 30 list is to write a poem a day for 30 days. April was also National Poetry Month. I figured that was as good a time as any to check that one off. Rather than just write 30 random poems, though, I added the challenge of writing all of them about my surgery feels. I’m still processing how I feel about the project as a whole – there’s a lot to learn about blogging and poetry there. At the very least, it gave me more respect for people who choose (or are chosen by) poetry as their primary creative outlet.
And, after putting it off for nearly two years, I finally wrote that fan letter to Terry Pratchett. With all the surgery angst in the air, I pushed through the perfectionism and just did it. I realized that if I died on the table (god forbid), I couldn’t spend the rest of my afterlife regretting not writing. The letter is five handwritten pages, half-fangirling and half-serious and half-joking (yes, three halves). I don’t expect him to personally read it, or even have someone read it to him, but knowing I did it is enough to make me feel more connected to one of the best writers of our time.
Usually, I’d also talk about my relationship, spiritual practice, money issues, and all that jazz, but frankly, this is a thousand words already, and there’s not much exciting going on in those areas. Everything’s cool. Maybe I can dish you more drama in June (although it could be late because of surgery brain. You understand.)
What did you do with your April?