A Writer A-Hobbled


So, the book is on other desks.  The long blizzardy winter is over.  The sun is out and a soft wind is blowing through the pines.   I’d sorely love to be out there, testing myself on a nice long run on the Santa Fe trail.

But somehow, I hobbled myself.  It might be a torn meniscus.  Probably, according to my massage guy, who gave the standard warning that he’s not licensed to diagnose.  But he sees a lot of injury.   

How did I do it, you ask?  Running through the trees?  Hiking some glorious mountain? Nay, nay….

Getting out of the car in high heels that I wore to dinner for Christopher Robin’s birthday Friday night.  How ignoble! 

How annoying!

I am NOT a happy writer today.  I’m lonely without the book, which is one of those things you learn to live with, but never quite get used to.   It’s spring.  I am an outdoor girl and I’d like to garden, walk, run, dance on the trails. 

Instead, I’m stuck propping the knee up and hoping it will be the kind of tear that resolves itself.  (Nay, believing that.  Honestly, after all the reading I’ve done, it seems pretty positive.  It’s not terribly painful. The swelling is mild. Etc.)  Reading the literally hundreds of responses to what I thought was a fairly straightforward call to check out the RITA finalists when they’re announced this week.  Wondering what the next projects will be. 

My dad used to sing a song to us when we were whiny like this–I can’t remember it all, but it had something to do with eating worms.  I can’t feast if I can’t run, but maybe a movie is in order. (And I hear Bonnie Raitt singing, "poor poor pitiful me….")

What do you do when you’re whiny and pathetic?  How do you cheer yourself up?

12 thoughts on “A Writer A-Hobbled

  1. Andrea

    Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I’ll go eat worms….

    I eat a lot of something I really want – some warm comfort food thing delivered to the door, often, and read magazines in bed or on the couch with a blanket and background music. I do it for hours, as long as it takes for me to feel taken-care of.

    Feel better!

  2. Tracy

    I find a good movie or a book (depending how miserable I am — sometimes, when I’m really miserable, I’m too lazy for a book) and curl up on the couch with my favorite blanket, a ton of pillows, and something hot (or cold, depending on the season). Then, I stay there until I can’t take myself anymore and it’s time to get moving again.

    Unfortunately, this can take anywhere from a couple of hours to — well — let’s just say a very long time!

  3. I’m a Virgo through and through. I don’t even allow myself a decent wallow before I’m scolding myself that there are far worse things in the world, etc., etc., really this is just a blip, not worthy of this kind of drama, etc.,, etc. It’s a wonder, really, that the husband doesn’t throttle me.

    However, when it’s really dire– he brings me cheesecake. One of the funniest instances of this was a couple of years ago, when I’d received a particularly painful rejection on a project I loved, so he stopped by Cheesecake Factory on his way home from work and brought me a slice of White Chocolate Raspberry cheesecake. And he encouraged me to whine and wallow and not beat myself up over the need to do so.

    As irony would have it, the very next night, my agent called to tell me an editor was very interested in a different project and it looked like a sale was imminent. And I looked at my husband and said, “Why on earth did I eat the cheesecake LAST night? Now what am I going to do?”

    He pulled out the Häagen-Dazs.

  4. Now that you mention ...

    Your father’s version:

    “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I’m gonna eat some worms,
    Big fat juicy ones, long skinny slimy ones,
    I’m gonna eat some worms.
    Pop their heads off, suck tgheir juices out, throw their skins away,
    Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I’m gonna eat some worms.”

    Feel better?

  5. MelissaB

    Barbara, what an awful time to be laid up with such lovely weather outside. I’m sorry to hear it.

    Well, as shallow as it might sound, I often console myself with a little web-based retail therapy. A new pair of anti-high heels might be just the thing! (Have you every tried Keen shoes? They have just about every flavor of them at Zappos.com.)

    You could also consider cleaning out your kitchen junk drawer. Just thinking about that activity usually convinces I can find something much more fun to do with myself. : )


  6. Thanks for the sympathy and the words to the song.

    And well, I bet cleaning the kitchen drawers could make me count my blessings.

    Seriously? I went to the grocery store and there was a soldier. Badly burned (healed now), no hair anymore, one leg gone. And he was bopping around the store like, you know, everything is fine.


  7. Mel

    The oz version of this is
    Nobody likes me
    Everybody hates me
    I’m going to eat some wo-or-orms
    Big fat hairy ones
    Long thin slimy ones
    Itsy bitsy fuzzy wuzzy wo-or-orms.

    Poor knee. Not what you need in post book slump. I say buy books. And eat chocolate.

  8. Chocolate is always a good idea.

    Books, too, come to that.

  9. Hello, Barbara, et al.! I saw my name on your blog, I think you may have a character in your current work with named Elena, so of course I had to come throw in my two cents.
    I have found a new way to cheer myself up this spring. And contrary to most, if not all, of my other cheering things (which would be shopping, shopping, more shopping, and then buying everything on my watchlist at eBay), it doesn’t cost a cent. Our back yard is long and deep, completely fenced in, a basketball goal near the back fence. You can barely see the house from back there. The kids and I moved a wrought iron table and chairs back there under a big tree and pretty much every day ever since I have spent at least a few minutes sitting out there.

    I call it “the Bahamas” 🙂

  10. Elena, you’re right. The main character in the MIP (manuscript in progress)is an Elena.

    I love the sound of your Bahamas.

  11. I canNOT wait to read your wip…The Goddesses of Kitchen Avenue is my favorite of your books, but I love all of your Barbara Samuels titles and look forward to reading your Ruth Wind line as well. Due to budgetary constraints, 99.9% of my books come from the library, but when I recieved a Barnes & Noble gift card last year for my birthday, I bought 3 of your titles!

  12. Oh, bless you, bless you, Elena.

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