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  • Writer's pictureClaire Hamilton

Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

Save Ferris? Hell, since I wrote last, It could have been, “Save Claire?”

No, no one saw me pass out in an ice cream shop. thank the gods. But a lot of living happened since I last wrote, and none of it what I would have chosen. Still, I am here and slogging through.

I’d been coping with nagging, constant pain since the early part of the ‘00’s, and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia (AKA “sucks to be you, now grab onto your big girl panties and get on with it, Claire.”) Recently, I was reevaluated by a new group of doctors and a host of new diagnoses were given, including advanced degenerative spinal arthritis and bilateral torn labrums necessitating total hip replacement in the future. Hell, I didn’t even know what a labrum was and thought my doctor had said “torn labia”. You never saw a woman cross her legs so fast in all your days… When the doctor stopped laughing, she explained that this was an injury that runners often encountered. I was quick to retort I ran errands, sometimes to the bathroom, and out of money, time, patience, and ideas—but that was the extent of running I did—there had to be a mistake! I was too young for all of this! But the MRIs and the rest of the imaging was irrefutable.

So while I am holding out for some Tony Stark/Iron Man level hips, I am gamely going to physical therapy and hobbling about on a cane. All the “grabbing onto my big girl panties” mentality had actually made my condition worse, so I am moving a lot slower and doing a lot less. Does it gripe me off? Yes, something fierce. And it cuts down on my writing time like you wouldn’t believe. No more running in and out of the grocery store—in fact, no running in and out of anywhere. Eh, it could be worse.

A lot of doctors appointments and waiting in line at the pharmacy and physical therapy appointments and slow, slow exercising and just…going through the motions of adjusting to a new normal and losing a beloved dog to old age and what? Here we are. Writing stalled. And I look up and wonder where my writing has gone, and my spark. And then I remember this…

Ah, Ferris, how right you are. Even if I am not moving as quickly as I would like, life itself is not pausing and it is clipping right along. And I do not want to lose any more time. I have pages upon pages of research notes. (Because I am one of those types that truly enjoy research. Even if I am writing fiction, I demand verisimilitude. My historical fiction will fit seamlessly into historical fact, I demand it of myself. I write the books I would want to read, and nothing jars me more than reading anachromisms. My current project spans centuries and I will have accuracy in plague-ridden Marseilles as much as I will post-Katrina New Orleans.) Now that I have the Department of Backstory locked down…it’s time to produce. Because life is moving fast, and like Ferris says, pay attention, I am going to get so lost in the minutiae I am going to miss the opportunity to live my dreams.

What can I say? I’m proud member of Generation X.

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