So . . . several weeks ago, I went to the park in St. George with my kids. My kids call it the spinning park. I call it Satan’s playground.
I snapped the ACl in my left knee in half and tore the meniscus while playing at Satan’s playground. What could I have done to snap my ACL in half? Excellent question. What happened was I forgot I was nearly forty years old.
Don’t worry; I remember now.
I jumped off a spinning platform. You know that Newton guy and his three basic laws of motion?
I hate that guy. He was totally right. An object in motion DOES, in fact, want to stay in motion. My body was spinning to the left. I jumped out straight and landed straight so my feet and lower legs were no longer moving in spite of the fact that the rest of body was still in state of spin.
That was when pain unprecedented started.
I said a zillion swear words and screamed bloody murder in a park full of children. Actually I only said one swear word, I just said it a zillion times. I’m awesome like that. I apologized to the kids after, but the damage to their eardrums and fragile psyches was done. Much like my knee, that damage cannot be undone.
So I went to meet with the surgeon, found out how much surgery to get a replacement ACL would cost, and decided I might just want to see if I can live with this. Holy finances Batman! And not just the finances, but the rehabilitation to get the knee back to work after the surgery sounds horrendous, and I’m just not up to any more pain. Plus, I really hate the way your brain fogs and swirls away when you’re going under anesthetics. I may be a crazy writer, but I hate feeling like I’ve lost control of my mind. No surgery for me–at least not until I am sure that’s the best option.
Now, I’m working my knee out and re-learning how to walk. Stairs are a little precarious still, but I went hiking on crutches the other day, so life is almost back to normal. If you can still hike, you can do anything
In other news . . . A couple of years ago Josi Kilpack and I went on a western US book tour together. Not only did we have a blast, and not only did I learn that Josi is an amazing person to put up with me the way she did, but we had a conversation about how much we wished we could have Heather Moore and Annette Lyon with us. From there, Josi came up with the brainchild of all four of us writing a book series together.
We met the ladies for lunch when we got home and pitched the idea to them. We were all on board. And that was the birthplace of the Newport Ladies Book Club. We each wrote from the viewpoint of a different character so in each of the books, you’ll get some of that character’s story, but only by reading all four books will you get the full picture or find out the endings to the other character’s stories. It was great fun to write the books–to get together and discuss the characters, and great fun to read the finished products, because each story is so unique and interesting.
Last week we received news that the series has been accepted by our publishers, and we are now looking forward to the release of the series! My character’s name (and consequently the book title) is Olivia, and I really loved writing her story. but more than that, I loved coming together with these three other women and creating something new. It was a testament to me about how friendships are so important, and how we, as women, all have so much to bring to the table and offer each other. Another thing that struck me is how often people influence our lives and yet have no idea they’ve had any impact at all. There are many women who have been there for me through the years–women who likely don’t know how their few kind words saved me in moments of despair. How I want to say thank you:
To the grandmother who stayed on the phone with me when I was scared late at night and my folks weren’t home yet.
To the mom who drove me on my paper route when it was cold.
To the woman who called me one day and invited me to church even though she’d never met me before and I was just a name on a roll sheet, and in that one moment changed my entire future.
To the girls who got me through the teenage years and as women are helping me get through the old lady years.
To the countless strangers who complimented my hair, or clothes, or worked to make me feel comfortable when I was feeling dowdy, ugly, and out of place.
To the online people who have never even met me and yet who encourage me with their words.
To the lady in the hospital who was unlucky enough to get in the elevator with me when I felt like my life was falling apart, who told me to take the moment to cry out whatever was hurting me so much, but then to move on because life was beautiful if I would only be willing to look at it.
To those blogs I visit online when I just need to laugh because their outlook on everything is awesome.
To the women in my town who showed up en masse on a day where everything else went wrong.
To my sisters of both the natural and in-law variety who love me even when I’m absurd, who make me laugh, and let me cry, and who care so very much.
To my daughter who reminds me of all the beautiful potential in the world.
To the women at Covenant and all the authors who encourage me, inspire me, and stand by me as a writer.
To the three women who were willing to let me write a series with them.
To all those women, THANK YOU!
It’s amazing to me how much we need each other–to support one another, to bear up each other’s burdens, and to simply be kind to one another. it’s amazing to me how often I witness women stepping up to the plate to do what is needed–to hug when needed, to kiss better when needed, and to love everywhere.