Tag Archive: pain


The word “Flare” has many meanings such as style, finesse, a signaling device, but for the last two days it’s had a different meaning for me.  Those, like myself, who suffer from Fibromyalgia know it to mean an exacerbation of symptoms.


There is a serious rise in pain and sensitivity levels.  My aches go way beyond the norm.  Even the simplest tasks can set off a pain reaction.  While picking up a cup of tea, I feel my hand ache in ways it shouldn’t.  But I’ll be damned if I let  the pain get in my way, I NEED my morning tea.  But it’s usually one of the earliest signals that tells me I may be in for a bad time.


Fatigue is another major issue.  I feel wrung out and exhausted even after a good night’s sleep.  One would think I’d just completed a marathon instead of just having done a few simple chores around the house.  For the rest of the day I not good for much else.  I feel weak and unsteady.  My hand will tremble with the effort of just picking up an object.


Clumsiness and inability to judge distance or proximity is another issue.  As I leave a room I can clearly see the doorway.  Yet somehow, some way, my shoulder will still manage to hit door, or the doorway itself as I pass through.  Or I will misjudge a table or other object in the room or lying on the floor and trip over it.  Some days it feels like I am trying to navigate a minefield and I’m stepping on every hidden trap.  I’ve been known to trip over my own feet quite often during these episodes.


My head does not feel well either.  It feels stuffed with cotton or wool.  I do not mean in the sense of when you have a cold and your head feels all stuffed up.  No, this is different.  It is difficult to think clearly.  The simplest tasks I’ve done a million times before, I have to sometimes stop and think about how to do.  My flow of creativity becomes a trickle.  Not that I have the energy to actually work on any creative projects.


I am in “Flare” now.  I’ve been able to accomplish very little today.  But I do not seek pity, only understanding.  Fibromyalgia is one of the many “Invisible Illnesses”.  It is with me every day of my life, but to others I look very healthy.  They cannot see the pain I contend with every day.  Most days the levels are very low, and I can overlook or ignore them for the most part.  Other days, I’m more aware of it and just try to watch myself.  But then there are the times like today when all I can do is be gentle and patient with myself because there’s not much else I can do.


Going into “Flare” can be frustrating, especially on those occasions when I had plans to be with family or friends, but must bow out or change what we do at the last minute.  Those who know me best and are aware of my condition are more than understanding.  However, employers, co-workers or strangers are not as understanding.  The world can be vicious without really meaning to be to those with invisible conditions.  Perhaps more patience and empathy is something we all need to have because we don’t know what battles or sufferings other people are going through.  Especially when we can’t see those struggles because they are invisible to us.


How long this particular “Flare” will last, I have no idea.  It may be just today and I will be much better on the morrow.  Or it may decide to stick around for a week or two, possibly a month.  I pray not, because there are things I need and want to get done.  I do not like being tired, sore, clumsy and fuzzy-brained.   But if it does last longer than a couple of days I will be kind and forgiving to myself.  For it will pass, it always does.


I will call it quits here, because I’m feeling very tired just from thinking and typing up this entry.  Yeah, some days it’s that bad., and today is one of them.

Within the last 2 years I’ve taken 5 different dance classes: Ballroom, Jazz, Ballet, Latin and Improvisation.  Plus I intend to take more in the fall over at my college.  Now I do these because dance is well-within the tolerance levels of my Fibromyalgia.  Plus I learn so much more about “Core-Building”, fluid movements, music, etc.  Plus, I enjoy trying all these different styles and seeing how they make me feel body-wise, emotionally and mentally.  Quite frankly I find it all quite stimulating and refreshing.

Now what does all this have to do with bringing characters to life and making them feel more real?  Simple.  To me, a person’s life is the sum total of their experiences both good and bad.  How we react, what choices we make, all of these things shape who we are and who we may yet become.  So if a life is shaped by experiences and how they made you feel, how can your characters be any less human than you or me?  But a character is a made up person with no real past or experiences, EXCEPT for the ones we as writers give them.  In my case, I give some of my own personal life experiences to my various characters.  For instance I’ve given the skill of Ballroom Dance to two of my characters.  I gave them different levels of experience, one was a beginner the other was extremely advanced and taught others.  Now, in no way am I an expert in Ballroom, BUT I knew people who were and was able to get some insights from them.  I transferred SOME of these insights and experiences to the characters.  You’ll note I said SOME of these insights and experiences.  Because unless the main story revolves around Ballroom, why should I bore the reader with pages and pages about that kind of dance?  I give the audience snippets of those insights and the joy and feeling of dance.  Enough let them get more information about this character and what makes them happy and why.

But there are other life experiences I’ve  drawn upon as well.  But I’ve also given my characters experiences from the sad times in my life such as  losing someone close to me.  The pain, the feeling of being lost and confused by the experience of someone no longer being a part of your life.  People can relate to all of this and can feel sorry for or commiserate with the character in these situations.  It makes the reader feel more like the person they’re reading about is more human, like someone they know.

Hobbies or jobs are another way of making your creations seem more like real people.  Their pet peeves at the job.  Annoying co-workers, friends, what they do off the job together.  All of these help make a character seem more like a real person.  Draw from your own life, give bits of your feelings or experiences to your people to make them more than 2-dimensional caricatures from a comic strip.  Remember, your characters are your children, shape them give them life and the audience will appreciate and love them as you do.

This latest installment not only deals with creating characters, but also explains a bit why I haven’t been making as long an entry as I’d like lately.  I hope to do a more proper entry shortly.  Thanks…

A Life Held In Suspension….

Sorry for the long delay in posts everyone.  It hasn’t been on purpose I assure you.  It’s just, this month has been “STRANGE” to say the least.  As I put in the title, my life feels like it’s been suspended and just left hanging on so many fronts that I’ve been almost paralyzed in many respects.  I’ll explain.

At the beginning of the month after just getting over the holidays, I was ordered to be on-call for Jury Duty.  Now this is not a big thing usually.  Here in Santa Cruz, I could walk to the courthouse or drive on a moments notice.  But this wasn’t the case.  Oh no my friends, this Jury Duty summons was for District NOT Municipal Court.  What’s the difference?  I would’ve had to report to a courthouse 45-60 minutes away in San Jose.  You see with District Court, they can choose from a pool of prospective jurors from several nearby counties.  So I was on call for 2 solid weeks wondering and dreading if I was going to be called in.

Now, in addition to waiting and wondering about that, I was also called in for a job interview with the County.  I was excited about this and went in did my best, suit and tie, clean-shaven the works.  I was told I did well and that I would hear something in a few weeks.  Now the training for this position would start on February 6th.  To date I’ve heard….NOTHING!  Now, I am already lined up with college classes that start…you guessed in February 6th!  Some of those classes are in the evening so even if i got this job I could keep a few of them and finally be working.  And so I sit, waiting to find out which path I’m supposed to be following.  I’ve been unemployed for 3 frickin’ years for those who didn’t know and have been living off Pell Grant money along with my wife.  We are also getting support from her folks, God Bless Them!  But it would be nice to stand on our own 2 feet again to an extent.  So this has had me pretty bummed out as well.

On the writing front, I’m still waiting to hear back on my manuscript in New York.  On this front, I’m willing to be more patient and continue waiting because the agent is involved in several new endeavors regarding books and to get on with her would be so bloody worth it.  I have faith in her and will continue to wait, because I’ve seen what she’s got coming and I would love to be a part of it.

On another front, I’ve been trying to get several hundred dollars back from my old health insurers that is owed to me and my wife.  I’ve been calling them since August and every bloody time I call I get the same answer.  “Oh, well it hasn’t been approved, but it was as of today so it should be sent to you in 7-10 business days…”  Can you read a calendar?  I thought you could.  SO CAN I!  Finally, the check supposedly went out last week and we’re still (drum roll) ….waiting for it to arrive.

As a direct result of all this stress and waiting, my writing has suffered a fair amount.  I’ve been doing it, so have no fear.  It just hasn’t been in the volume I originally wanted.  I was hoping to get 2000 words done a day and it’s been more like 500-700.  I’m focusing on book #2 in my mystery/sci-fi/horror works.  It is tentatively titled “THE SHIP” or “THE DEATHSHIP”, I haven’t fully decided between those yet.

Also my health took a bit of hit.  I suffer from several conditions Type 2 Diabetes, Asthma and Fibromyalgia.  The first 2 are under control so no fears on those fronts.  But the Fibro has been rearing its ugly head with a vengeance which has also slowed me down and time in a way.  For those not familiar with it Fibromyalgia is a Neuro-Muscular condition which causes severe pain and aches throughout the body or in specific areas.  There is no surefire cure so a lot of us just have to deal and cope as best we can.  Please don’t send me a bunch of suggestions like diet, exercise, this-that-or the other thing.  I’ve been down those roads and mine doesn’t respond to them.  Everyone is different when it comes to Fibro so please understand why I’m telling you not to send me suggestions.  I have a routine that works for me that usually keeps the pain levels under control and barely noticeable.  HOWEVER… there are times when the condition just goes wild.  These are called FLARE-UPS and can last anywhere from a few days to a number of months.  So far this one seems to be lasting a week or so.  I’m hoping it will calm down soon and not be one of the long-term ones.  Wish me luck.   Anyway, the pain limits some of what I can do which adds to the feeling of having my life held in suspended animation or something.

Now I have been writing and work is progressing, albeit slowly.  I will try to post more often here and soon.  I just thought you should all know what’s been going on and needed to vent a little.  Thanks for your patience and for being good listeners, it’s really appreciated.  In time, when I have the money to spare I might get a small digital camera that also shoots videos and do a little VLOGGING.    If I do that, I will post it on YouTube with a link here.  I’ll be taking you all on tours of where some of the action will be taking place in my novels and what inspired me to use them.  I’ll also be sharing more of my experiences and pitfalls for those who are trying to be writers so hopefully you can avoid making the same mistakes.

Well, that’s all I have for now.  Thanks again and I hope to post more from one of my novels here very soon.  Stay tuned and take care.


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