Not quite a blessing in disguise

Last Monday, I walked my dog through our neighborhood just like any other evening. Still tired from my Sunday hike, I considered letting Kula do a few rounds in the yard instead of walking him but then decided to walk anyway.

We were on the last leg of our walk, when I tripped and fell, crashing heavily onto my right hand. I rolled onto my back and lay on the concrete sidewalk for two minutes. Darn it, it hurt. The hand, especially the pinky, swell up; my left palm was bleeding; and my left knee and right hip felt none too good either. Good old Kula stood there patiently until I recovered enough to get back onto my feet and walk home with him.

My hand was not only badly swollen but also had turned blue. Not knowing exactly what to do, I iced the hand and took an Epsom salt bath, soaking my aching body, then went to bed.

Next day, I had it x-rayed, which showed a clear break in the pinky. Off I went to see an orthopedic specialist who put it in a cast, leaving me with thumb, index and middle fingers to use. He said the cast had to stay on for three weeks, a splint after that, and the pinky would take ten weeks to completely heal.


Great! How would I be working on my manuscripts? Surely I can’t type with this. What about my piano lessons and my playing? I was finally getting somewhere with my practicing and now I would have to stop for ten weeks? At the art class on Saturday, how would I hold a brush or a pencil? And how about working with a computer mouse or a stylus?

At first I felt defeated and frustrated, but then I thought that I would not let a little broken finger stop me from doing what I want and need to do. It made me realize how I’ve taken my hands and what they can do for granted.

My left hand is actually quite good in taking over most tasks. Fine motor skills are a problem, but the lefty is catching up fast. It turns out that I can work a mouse just fine with two fingers and my thumb. For now, I’ll be concentrating on playing piano with my left hand, learning new techniques while the right hand takes a break.

Although my broken pinky is not a blessing in disguise, it is a great opportunity to try something different and see things in a different light instead of viewing it as a handicap. In ten weeks, I will probably play a solid left hand on the piano.


Happy New Year Again


Another year gone and much accomplished. I finished, revised, and revised again the sequel to Sophie and the Magic Flower, but I have more work to do. Here is a first look of the cover for Sophie and the Magic Seeds.

The editor just returned the draft to me with lots of suggested changes, which means my original publication date of late spring/early summer 2018 may have been overly optimistic. I’m still aiming for this summer though.

In addition, I will be publishing the journal of a solo motorcycle trip I took in September 1990. It’s been fun to revisit this wonderful trip that took me from Toronto to the Grand Canyon, to Yellowstone National Park and back. Stay tuned for more news on this book as well.

Happy New Year

The new year has begun, and I still have not completed the first draft of my second novel. Call me lazy or something, but it just didn’t happen. I’m still working in the sagging middle of it because the story took twists and turns I hadn’t anticipated. Rather the opposite, I had thought I was almost done, but then the characters went off and did something completely different, and I was stuck going along.

Have you ever gone out with a bunch of friends, and you thought they were going to one place when they were really going somewhere else? And since they were driving their car, you were stuck with them and the only alternative was to walk home by yourself. Well, that seemed to have happened with Sophie and company. Although Sophie and her friends were traveling in a cart pulled by a mule, I still didn’t feel like walking home alone. So, here we are, in the middle of the mountains, and we are lost, and of course, I have to get everybody out of this mess. Good luck, Gabriele. See you in a few months.


Life after NaNoWriMo

Quite frankly, I needed a break after that marathon. My plan was to keep going, but it all didn’t turn out that way. Yesterday, I finally wrote about 300 words. Maybe the four-day break was good, because I had lost one important character in the shuffle, and he started complaining. Then I had a great idea yesterday to put him back in. He’s happy. I’m happy.

I saw that one writer had a final word count of over 170K. He must have written through the whole month without sleep or food; he probably didn’t even go outside. Amazing!

Oh, and my original NaNoWriMo t-shirt has shrunk so much that maybe twelve-year-old Sophie can wear it now. I might display it like a trophy beside the winner’s certificate. Or, I’ll put it away until next year together with the official NaNoWriMo shirts. They’ll be waiting there for me when I get ready for the next writing marathon.

Final Day of NaNoWriMo

Been writing all weekend ’til my fingers started to fray, and I’m finishing NaNoWriMo with 60,815 words. Woohoo!!! When I validated the word count on the official site, it came to 61,034 words though. Fine with me, too. Got my winner’s certificate, and the winner’s t-shirt is on order.

My novel Seed Keeper is more than halfway done. I got as far as Chapter 8 and know already that it won’t be as long as Sophie and the Magic Flower, but that’s okay. Now we’ll see if I can complete it by December 31st.

Happy Thanksgiving

A Wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving to all

Thanks to everyone who has shown support for my journey of 50,000 words and beyond.

Today’s word count is 2,166.

Enjoy the day and eat lots of good food. I will. It’s snowing again and just the perfect day to enjoy a good book or movie, if I’m not too full and sleepy after dinner.

NaNoWriMo Day 23

Did an even 1,800 words today. Seven days left and a bit more than 1,000 words.

The deeper I get into the story, the more great ideas are bubbling up. Although I feel like I’m running out of steam (especially at 4:45 am when that alarm goes off), I’m also getting more immersed and entangled. There are moments when I think I’ll be happy when it’s over, but the momentum is great right now, and I know I’ll keep going.