It has been over three months since I last posted to my blog. That’s over a quarter of a year! I would like to tell you that this is because I have been absorbed in producing an amazing literary work that will bask in the glow of popular acclaim. Sadly, the truth is more mundane. I’ve had back problems.
I’ve spent most of my working life, and a large chunk of the non-working part, hunched over a computer. Owing to the tardy nature of evolution, the human body is not designed to be put in this position for extended periods of time. Why wasn’t I told? Actually I was but I was too busy writing and didn’t want to be interrupted. The result of all this is that since the beginning of the year I’ve had ongoing back pain that prevents me working at my desk for more than a couple of hours a day.
My initial cunning plan to surmount this problem was to buy a really, really, long pencil and write on my bedroom ceiling while lying in bed. I could then take a photo of the ceiling and scan this into my computer. The problem is that having filled the ceiling you also need a really, really, long eraser to remove the pencil so that you can start again. The alternative of moving bedroom and then moving house once the ceilings are full is alas not practical.
Using Voice Recognition software is a more practical solution and I’ll let you know how I progress with it during the next few months. In addition to this sensible solution, I have also adopted a more romantic strategy: writing poetry.
For the last few months, I’ve been experimenting with telling a story in verse. One of my early efforts, ‘Eleanor and the Dragon’, is available in Free Fiction. I’ve just finished the first draft of a longer verse-story, which will become the first in a series called ‘Haunting Ballads’ that I’m planning to publish.
The reason writing poetry is good for my back is that I’m always having to stop and think to find the right words to advance the story while maintaining the rhythm and rhyme. When this happens, I rise from my chair and pace my study and if it’s a tough nut to crack I’ll even meander through the lounge and gaze out of the kitchen window. All this movement means I’m taking many more breaks from the computer.
I find my poetry requires fewer words but more thought than my prose. In the past I would have seen this as a reason to put poetry on the backburner but at the moment this change of tack suits me.
PS: For fans of my Sinister Sydney series, I have not abandoned it and I will be publishing more of Paul’s adventures at some future date.