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Author Jody Klaire dropped by to be awesome and give away a free e-book! Drop your name in the comment space below to enter to win an e-book copy of Best Maid Plans. We’ll do the drawing on Friday, June 30.
Today I’m in pain. It’s one of those mean wisdom-tooth nagging pains that won’t quit no matter how much you try to ignore it. It makes it really hard to concentrate; doubly hard to concentrate enough to work, and kinda makes me a bit grumpy!
It’s funny how people don’t really rate pain unless they’ve been through it. I mean, being a female, I definitely rate period pain so I am always happy to show any fellow sufferers the places to massage that get rid of it in seconds, last hours and just involves touch. My osteopath showed it to me and it’s been around since the 1920s (Chapman’s reflexes if you’re interested) and, although I can’t really tell you if the other places work, that particular one does!
I’m incredibly lucky because many people in my position are in pain all the time and need high doses of really mean pain killers to get them through the day. By way of previous conditions, I can’t feel certain types of pain and, wow, am I thankful for it.
Hopefully that bit hasn’t made you melancholy because, whether it’s a British thing or universal, one can find fun in such situations—in other words, I’ve learned to laugh at myself.
I’m a big girl, for instance, when it comes to spiders, so the other night I was out for the count and felt something tickling my arm. I peeked open an eye and a HUGE black spider happily danced up and down while poking its tongue out at me… or maybe I was half-asleep but either way I flew out of bed—hitting the handrail to help me get up, the dog crate (which was empty) sliced my foot on the door, my leg on the edge, clattered into the wardrobe, smacked my shoulder on the doorframe and only then was I conscious enough to realise I was standing upright and I should really be holding onto the door because standing isn’t exactly a familiar concept for me.
Fergus, my trusty golden assistance dog, rolled over and showed me his belly while I tried to figure out why I was in the doorway, why my foot was bleeding (it was LOADS… honest) and why my heartrate sounded like it was performing high-speed drumming exercises. Em, at this point, had hurdled beds, had one hand on her mobile and the other waving at me asking where the fire was… and would I sit down before I passed out. (I use a wheelchair.)
Hmm… I was sure there’d been a spider but it wasn’t on the bed now. Had I imagined it? I looked to Fergus but he yawned and rolled over. Em was on spider-hunt, with mobile torch, bed hair and a pillow (not sure how the pillow would help but there you go) while I found my chair and stared at the battle scars… one sliced up ankle and toe. Considering I’d just been through three ops in the past few months, you’d think a mere scratch would be nothing but nope. It stung and, somehow, only with suitable medical assistance of a local anaesthetic and plaster did I feel better. I think I may have had ice too.
Fergus ushered me back to bed and the spider hunt had been unsuccessful. Em thought I was crazier than she normally does and Fergus snorted his agreement. I lay back on the pillows only to hear Em squeal like the big girl she is. The spider was on the ceiling acting very smug and waving its front legs at us.
As my heart was still recovering from the first ambush, and my foot was blue (slightly dramatic as it’s always blue or purple, my limbs do like to be colourful) I couldn’t help much as Em tried balancing on the bed, spider/bug catcher in one hand and a very cool pointed finger thing from the local fire brigade in the other. She’s not vertically blessed and so it took tip-toes, a lot of pillows and muttering—she works better when she mutters—but the spider, shocked from being shrieked at by two overgrown wimps, happily sat in the catcher and awaited rescue to more sane pastures (Pedro, our cute statue in the garden.)
I’m sporting a lovely big bruise on my ankle, which is a badge of honour. More so because before my operations, I wouldn’t have been able to get up. Okay, it wasn’t technically walking, more clattering into objects with body parts and I’d stunned the spider while giving my heart a workout it probably wasn’t very happy with. Ah well.
Em and I watched Fergus trot into his crate as if to survey the damage and huff out a breath, then turned to each other and laughed. I mean I really laughed, a deep one right from my stomach that hurt my ribs, made it hard to breathe and felt oh so good.
I’m in pain today because physically throwing myself across a room wasn’t very good for me but it doesn’t matter. A year ago, I couldn’t have gotten up because I had sleep paralysis. It’s intermittent now but seems to respond well to spider alarms. My foot is hurting but I can feel it when I couldn’t before.
That’s because I write books, and those books gave me the income to be able to get the right help. In particular La Vie En Bleu which is about love, laughter and France and Aeron’s Above and Beyond Series. Because readers gave me a chance, they inadvertently gave me the ability to help myself.
Best Maid Plans was originally planned to celebrate marriage equality, just a small novella but the idea grew and somehow managed to include golf, Monaco and a country estate in Wales. I wrote it at a time when I wasn’t doing very well, when I was very sick yet I opened up every smile, every bit of laughter I could and filled the pages with it. Then I typeset it; painted, graphically enhanced and created the cover, the spine, the back; every single piece of it is my work. It’s my first independent novel and that’s incredibly scary.
I’m not sure if readers will rate me writing another romance, will trust me to tell them another story, will take the time to let me give them a laugh, a smile and maybe entertain them for a while.
Either way, like my throbbing foot, Best Maid Plans was worth the pain and I hope it gives you as much laughter and joy. Now, I’d better go give Fergus a belly rub or he’ll sit on my bad toe!