Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Having fun at Unicorn Bell this week...

This week over at Unicorn Bell they are blogging daily prompts to get your writing flowing. Go join in the Round Robin - and have a catch up on the past 2 days combined efforts :) That's all :)

Friday, August 23, 2013

My Lisfranc Injury

As Lisfranc fractures are in the NFL media at the moment I thought I would share what I know. My diary page, My Lisfranc Injury, here goes into more personal detail on how I've been feeling, but this post is more informative.
  • Lisfranc injuries happen to less than 1 in 55,000 breaks! Less than 1% of total breaks worldwide!
  • A LF injury is, simply put, when the metatarsals move, fracture, dislocate or a tear occurs  in the ligament between the first and second MT  You can read much more about the ins and outs of the foot, but that's about it! But let's not under-estimate it, it's probably the worst foot injury you can have next to sticking your foot in a lawn mower!
  • Most people will not 'get it' - they assume it's 'just a broken bone' but actually it means you've screwed up your walking mechanism! The middle of your foot carries all your weight when you stand, walk, jog, run.
  • There are long term implications (further down the bullets) which are generally related to (a) how quickly you're diagnosed (b) how severe the damage is and (c) your age - so not good news for me personally.
  • It's fricking painful! Right up there with childbirth!
  • They're hard to spot on x-rays and approx 20% are not diagnosed immediately. I was caught 4 days post x-ray, but some LF'ers have gone much longer.
  • If you're lucky you might only slightly displace just one, or tear the ligament less than 2mm,which involves Non Weight Bearing (NWB) and gently rehabilitation.
  • More serious injuries involve more than a slight move. I managed to move from my little piggy that stayed at home right through to the one that cried wee wee wee all the way home! And break 4 of the smaller bones. And tear the ligament over 4mm.
  • So an operation becomes essential, usually an ORIF (Open Reduction Internal Fixation) and possibly a fusion. Let's hope you're not as nervous of anaesthetics as I am!
  • Now, depending on the severity, and your own surgeon, how they repair it varies. I have 3 screws and 3 scars. Other LF sufferers have wires, plates, screws that need removing, screws that don't. Go figure.
  • To prevent DVT's you will need to give yourself a daily Fragmin injection for anything up to 4 weeks depending on your health service. But be careful or you end up with some nasty bruises.
  • A plaster cast seems the norm for the first 2 weeks while you pray every day that a wound infection isn't developing under the cast. Then you may, or may not, need stitches out depending on your surgeon.
  • Trying to look after a child with SN when you're immobile and your husband works shifts is an interesting experience. And forget about housework, work, even showering involves imagination!
  • Being forced into lifts/elevators at the hospital when you're claustrophobic is one of the complications you might not consider. Likewise using crutches whilst NBW up 4 flights of a ferry is one for building arm muscles!
  • NWB follows for 6 - 8 weeks, followed by PWB for another 6 weeks, then intensive physio. Make sure your physio is very knowledgeable about your injury!
  • Depending on your health service you may get crutches - kneewalkers - another plaster cast- or a walking boot,
  • You may continue to suffer a lot of pain.
  • Your foot probably will swell most days for many months - that's when you're grateful your doc put you in a walking boot, not a cast!
  • Your foot will continue to go purple for months and months.
  • Your leg will atrophy - I've lost an inch around my leg in only 6 weeks.
  • Your skin will dry so much it's pretty revolting!
  • A second operation may be needed to remove the hardware.
  • I imagine with any break frustration boredom and depression sets in and LF sufferers are no different.
  • You forget what a good nights sleep is like - it's either the pain in the early days, or a plaster cast and cramp. In the last 7 weeks if I've woken up only 3 times I've had a good night :(
  • This one might be TMI - but trust me, you don't want a stomach bug while you're on crutches!
  • It might mess up holiday plans for you and your family, events that mean walking or driving, generally any plans you've made.
  • Once you start FWB you realise that an automatic car would be better! I think it will be at least 6 months from the injury to when I will be able to drive, and I think that's being optimistic.
  • My toes feel like they're rammed between the nail polish toe dividers, whilst at the same time having individual links of wire wrapped round the base of each toe.
  • When I start walking apparently it will probably be like walking on lego pieces that are on fire!
  • There is an 80% chance I will develop arthritis in later life.
  • At some point in the future if the hardwear breaks I will need another operation.
  • What the doctors consider normal recovery and what you might are probably going to be two different things!
  • There may always be some pain - I may have a limp - walking/standing for extended periods of time could be uncomfortable - the nerves may never return to all my toes ( a couple are still numb) - I may have to consider my future career as tutoring and nursery work involves hours of standing.
  • Not working is causing financial implications.
If you're a facebook fan there's a Lisfranc support page -well worth a visit :)
 But don't forget that's the worst scenario! Look after your injury, don't rush healing and keep that foot elevated!
Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Whacky Word Counts Week 2

Writing community ........ What's your take on this?

So last week I was moaning about freebie word count websites on the web. If you remember one had counted 809 words and another had come up with 822. Quite a huge difference for the same writing. And if it was for a piece of work that had a maximum word count of 500 - eek!

As I said I would, I reverted to good old tallies of ten and came to 809 - hmmm, plot thickens.

Then Jeff, who is not a writer, wondered if it could be it doesn't recognise, well 'doesn't' is actually a good example. We disagreed, I argued that once the letter had been removed and an apostrophe added it became 1 word. He felt that doesn't/ wouldn't/ couldn't etc was still 2 words. I checked out his hypotheses anyway and there was exactly 13. Go Jeff!

But then he added a really valid comment, "What about your competitions, how do they add the words?"

So, I'm throwing it out to the writing community ...... Comments please :)

Doesn't = 1 word
Doesn't = 2 words

Monday, August 19, 2013

Crafty Monday

Before my foot injury I was making like mad for a craft fair - so might as well share :) Scheduling this post while we travel home, 7 years and I'm getting to grips with blogger LOL

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Last Sunday Roundup in France

Have managed to draft most of Book 2.
Gone back to book 1 and tweaking it, trying to cut out some bits that when you read it sound like fillers, and add some more action - description - more interesting words! I read somewhere about QueryCon at the end of the month, so thought I'd try and fix it before then.

This week we have been to Monflanquin, a small bastide that once a year 
turns its whole commune into how it was in medieval times, 1300's, when it was first built, 
which was fab. Joshua also deserves a medal for pushing the wheelchair around 
- as you can image being a bastide it was built on the top of a hill!

James had his 18th birthday and we all went for a meal, Jeff chose frogs legs - bleurgh, why would you?
Everyone except Ella and me went canoeing on the Dordogne 
and then visited this little village called Domme. 
Canoeing would have been a pretty stoopid thing for either of us to do 
and the village was even more steep than Monflanquin, 
so I bet Joshua was pleased I didn't go with them LOL
And Saturday night Ashton joined in her first weener roast!
Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Free-for-All is Jeff and Ella having fun!

I love these photos. So much of our time with Ella is simply hard work, but then moments like these just make me melt :)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Whacky Word Counts Week 1

As I had hoped, staying at my brother's in France has helped with the old writing vibes :) The second novella is almost done, with 5 days still left to look at the third in the series, so really pleased with that.


This week I also wrote a short story for the Red, White and Blue makes Purple Blogfest. The story line was easy and I initially used pen and paper. I tend to always write like that. When I was doing my teaching degree my tutor tried to stop me working that way, rightly pointing out that I am literally doubling up on my work when I then convert it to the computer. I don't know if it's just because I have a pen and ink (yep, proper ink) fetish or because I'm from a generation when everything was written not processed? But whatever the reason I feel my inspiration flows better when faced with a notepad and ink. I digress - again. So I worked out roughly where 500 words should be on the paper and scribbled away. Typed up the short story straight onto the blog post. Then copied and pasted into a freebie word count website and it said 807. Oops was my first thought. And maybe it's wrong was my second. I opened an alternative freebie word count and it said 822! So, obviously I need to cull come words- okay over 300! - but how can the supposed same operation give a 15 word count difference! Looks like I'm back to fingers and tallies!

Next week Part 2 :)
Monday, August 12, 2013

Rare Red Rainbow?

I know I don't normally post on Tuesday's, but this is the first time I have ever seen this :) What do you get when you cross a red sunset with rain? A red rainbow! The photo doesn't really do it justice, it was different shades of red, but that's what happens when you let your husband use your camera! LOL

Bargains in France and upcycling

We went to the charity shop we found last year just before we left, and I enjoyed it just as much as last time.Will definitely be back before we leave ..........
 12" wooden mill, average £15 plus ......80p!
 Lovely tea set for next years celebrations £4.30
 This is a set of 3 dinner plates and 2 tea plates for just over £2. 
I'm going to buy the cake stand struts and make 2 cake stands for next year :)
I love this piece. It's actually supposed to have a lid but it was missing so only 80p! 
I plan to use it for a flower display. I saw something on TV the other day. 
You make a criss cross pattern with sellotape and that holds the flowers upright and in place :)

Just loved these bottles, they were my most expensive buy at £8.00 for 5. 
There were loads, but I thought 5 different sizes all set together
with small flowers would look fab - think I'm right LOL!
Sunday, August 11, 2013

Week Two Recouping in SW France

Before I go into photo mode can I just say thanks to all my followers - over 50 - yay! From only 6 in April to over 50 in August, feeling the love :)

Jeff took Joshua and Ashton to Penne D'Agenais. I went last year and going in a wheelchair, 
well, let's say, medieval villages weren't built with wheelchairs in mind ;)
 And I know I'm biased, but hasn't Josh grown into a handsome man - 
can't believe out of all the modelling agencies he contacted none of them signed him up!
Jeff, me, Ella, Joshua and Ashton went for a meal out to Buffalo Grill. 
Benjamin and James decided to stay home and have homemade spaghetti! 
Joshua, bless him, paid for him and Ashton, so it was a bit like a date for them with 3 chaperones LOL
Had the most amazing storm Wednesday night, went on for about 6 hours going round and round. 
Obviously no-one stayed in the tent, but the next morning we had to go and repair all the damage!
Chilling by the pool
Visiting a Brocante in a little village called Dausse
Laterz xx
Friday, August 09, 2013

Red, White & Blue make Purple Blogfest

but I've copied the info here too, cos I'm nice like that :)
Join in - you know you want to - and it's all for a good cause!

Okay! Here it is. I will be hosting a blogfest/contest on September 2, 2013. Why so much time? For you to write a fabulous story of course! All the stories entered will be complied into an anthology ebook that will be available on Kindle- all proceeds to go to Operation Purple, a great organization that sends children of our military to summer camp, free of charge.  And if that's not incentive enough, this is also a contest. One randomly chosen entry will win a $50.00 amazon gift card, as well as a signed copy of my book, The Newstead Project. 

I'm not going to be picking the winner based on the story- too hard for me to choose! Instead I'll be using a tally system. The more tallies you get, the more chances you have to win. 

Here's how it works: 

1. Sign up on the Linky below to enter - 1 tally with your name on it goes in a hat. Yes, a literal hat. 
2. Post a short story of 500 words or less on your site on September 2, 2013, with a military theme, good for 10 tallies
3. Post about this blogfest/contest on your blog sometime in the next week. - 1 tally
4. On September 2, visit those who have posted stories and leave a comment on their sites- 1 tally
5. On September 2, mention this blog- 1 tally
Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group August

Insecurities are clambering all the way to the surface at the moment. I entered the Write Club this year and 'nearly all submissions received at least one vote' so then of course I worry, am I the one that didn't get any at all? Is my writing that bad? Okay, so it was my first ever competition but still ........... I know I don't handle rejection well, it's a major flaw in my make-up, but it's been hanging around for 50 years so can't see me overcoming that any time soon. Despite the fact that I once owned a really successful business I have a very low self-confidence, which I think feeds into the rejection thing.

But, one of my strengths is the ability to fall down and get back up again. And if you're a regular reader you'll know that life sure does like to knock me down *rolls eyes*  I believe this is the expression I've used on more than one occasion ......
Image from  Spiritually Thinking here
So I'm sitting on my brother's terrace enjoying the French sunshine and finishing my second novella in the Legacy series, even though I've only sold less than ten copies of the first and have had 2 rejections. Onwards and upwards :) ETA The last post is a short clip from the first novella, and I had my first comment on it from a non-family/friend ..... made my day :)

Now, seeing as I'm still non-weight bearing stuck sitting I'm going to see how many more of  the ISWG blogs I can hit - I could be gone a while LOL
Sunday, August 04, 2013

Excerpt from Legacy Stirs

Today's offering is slightly different from what I had originally mentioned yesterday. Instead it's a clip from my first Novella, hope you enjoy it :)

"Morgan’s body has finally beaten her mind and as she agrees her legs buckle under her body and she falls, turning her fragile body into a broken rag doll. I catch her before she crashes to the ground and sweep her up in my arms. Then the pain hits. My whole body wants to stop. I can sense every muscle, bone, organ, telling me they’ve had enough and rest is what they want. But rest is not an option, and I force my body towards the search of an ambulance. I look around and the impact of the fire itself finally hits me. I had been so wrapped up in my own drama, our own bubble of events, that I had been completely oblivious to the bigger picture, to the catastrophe unfolding. As I took it all in, I began to understand the level of the disaster. The nightclub, the whole building, was in flames. The noises we had heard in our corridor was the fire greedily consuming everything it could, until it had become this monster, roaring, hissing, crackling, in front of me. The dark night sky had created a backdrop to show the beauty of such a dangerous creation. How often in nature the most beautiful things are the most dangerous. The colours, a hundred different shades of reds, oranges and yellows, were stunning, flickering and twisting against a diamond backdrop, creating this treacherous beauty. From the corner of my eye I could see the flashing of the emergency services lights. I slowly turn my head to take in once more the fire engines and ambulance crews, too many to count. And then us. People like me, that had been in there. Dirty. Tired. Crying. And an overwhelming sense of grief. But little noise, disturbingly little noise for the chaos. And no Katie."
Saturday, August 03, 2013

South West France is Good for the Soul

So, a few photos today and tomorrow a little bit of writing that I've been working on for book two :) I know it's not following my schedule, but hey - it's the holidays :)
Relaxing on the terrace - Tick
Writing - Tick    (OK, Ella is drawing, but I didn't take a photo of me writing!)
Crafting a few keyrings - Tick
Sunshine - Tick
Sleeping - Not so Much!