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Monday, January 05, 2009

Life smarts (update on Colleen's broken wing)

When asked what on earth would tempt an intelligent woman to hop on her son's skateboard on New Year's Eve, Colleen's been quipping, "I realized I hadn't done anything incredibly stupid in 2008. This was my last chance." The resulting broken elbow and wrecked shoulder are no joke. It's every writer's nightmare: a typing handicap.

Colleen called me less than 24 hours after this spectacular ass-over-tea-kettle flying-Walenda-meets-driveway event, and she'd already ordered Dragon Naturally Speaking, a voice recognition software that's gotten great reviews. (Colleen promises to update us on how that works out for her.) She's a "life goes on" kind of person who knows that writing is not about typing and falling is all about getting up again. She's got a book under contract, deadlines looming, bloggery to be blogged and stories to be told. Braced by a healthy dose of Darvocet, she showed up at a North Houston chapter of the RWA on Saturday to give a scheduled talk on critique group dynamics. I am struggling to swallow the word...plucky. Gotta love her.

After a weekend of stout drugs and the love of a good fireman, Colleen's off to the orthopedic surgeon today to find out exactly how long she'll be trying to write around her broken wing. I'll update as soon as I hear from her. I'll also be reminding her often over the next few months, as difficult as they might be, that living life, attempting to fly, daring to try -- that is the antithesis of stupid. Adventure is the only sensible use of a human life. Sometimes pain is the price of our ticket to ride, and as the story unfolds, it's worth it. (And yes, this is all easy for me to say since I can still sleep on either side and type with both hands.)

Since the rest of us don't get to be on drugs today, I'll leave you with this Mister Mister moment from the days of our youth, when we sailed the suburbs on neon skateboards, unbroken and indestructible, our bangs feathered like a Flock of Seagulls on the breeze.
"Take these broken wings and learn to fly again,
learn to live so free.
When we hear the voices sing
the book of love will open up and let us in..."

12 comments:

Elen Grey said...

Thank you for the Colleen post, Joni.

Colleen - Thinking of you loudly and may your recovery period go well. All best.

Colleen Thompson said...

thanks for the positive thoughts, joni & elen. the news from the ortho was pretty positive, although the shoulder's sweliing still has to go down before i'm sure that i won't need surgery.

special thanks, joni, for keeping me from beating myself up about it. i was pretty embarrassed.

Cindy Holby said...

Hugs Colleen. Hate to admit it but it sounds like something I would do. And yay to you for living adventurously.

Christie Craig said...

Heal quickly, Colleen.

And never stop enjoying life.

CC

Natale Stenzel said...

I dunno, Colleen. I think I'd rather have everyone know I'd injured myself doing something adventurous like skateboarding than, say, falling off a curb. Now *that* would be embarrassing. (Not that I'd know anything about that, of course:P.)

My sympathies on the busted wing. Hope you heal quickly and smoothly!

Colleen Thompson said...

Thanks for stopping by, Christie, Cindy, and Natale. If I ever need a new pen name, I'm thinking of Grace Highflyer. :)

mamele said...

Ooh, child! Things are gonna get easier!
Ooh, child! Things are gonna get brighter!

Couldn't resist. Feel better soon, Colleen. Ow.

C.L. Wilson said...

Holy cow, Colleen! My son got a rip-stick skateboard this christmas, but I know myself too well to put wheels under my feet any time soon! :D

Hope you get well soon.

Suzan Harden said...

So what color of cast did you get? If black, you'll need a silver Sharpie for people to sign it. (Which unfortunately I learned over Thanksgiving Break when my kid broke his arm.)

Word Verification - microrov

A mini Mars lander?

EmilyBryan said...

Oh, Colleen! I'm sorry I didn't know about your accident. Good news on the no surgery and may I join you in a hearty "Thank God for pain meds!"

I'm interested to hear how your Dragon Naturally Speaking goes. I've heard you have to "train" the program. Hmmmm . . .

To a committed technophobe, them's fightin' words.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

thanks for all the good wishes, ladies. will let you know about Dragon.

no cast for me, suzan, just a long splint and wrap, which makes it easier to scratch those pesky itches.

wordtryst said...

Hope your elbow is good as new stat, Colleen. And yes, we'd really like to know how that VR software works!

Liane Spicer
Leisure Ladies