By Sharon May
Don’t mean to be morbid, but, inevitably, I will die, and I worry I won’t attain my writing goals. Health and age are bummers. What can be done about that? Write as quick as hell, I figure.
Whenever I write with intensity, I have an emergency, often medical. I have been writing with constant pain in my right wrist for four years. After three surgeries, it may be gone. Success? Not so fast, my gremlins remind me.
Almost recovered from December’s surgery, I hurt my right hand. Don’t have a clue how, but I severely bruised the hand, which has a metal plate from knuckle to arm, so as to prevent the wrist from bending. Did it in my sleep by turning over on the hand or sleeping on it, the ER doctor thinks. Bruising is temporary, but I lost a week’s worth of writing.
I also ruptured a tendon in my right ring finger. Not a clue what I was doing in my sleep. Air typing maybe? The tendon can be fixed with surgery. Not doing that since I have the ability to push down on the keyboard. Can’t lift the finger up completely, but how necessary is that? The finger hurts when typing. Fortunately, not yet enough to stop me.
The injury has me thinking of a time to come when I could be incapable of typing. I considered that a possibility with the second surgery. I bought a version of Dragon Speak, which I used during my recovery. After that, I drifted away from it. Time to wake up the dragon.
If you have ever used this program, you know there is a learning curve for both user and program. I had to set up the program for my hillbilly accent. Note: that wasn’t a choice in the program, and I selected southern English. Not quite the same. Also, had to learn commands to punctuate, set up a page, format numbers, and so on. Had to speak slowly to match the computer’s speed, which is a bit of a problem as I apparently think and speak faster than it interprets. There was always a rather long lapse between my speaking and the words appearing on the screen.
The program has to learn as well. Recognizing accents and enunciations is important, and sometimes the program doesn’t get it. One time, I said “initiation,” but “consideration” appeared. Not even close. Then there is the lexicon of Appalachia with lots of archaic words and unique idioms rarely in the program’s dictionary. For example, I had to add “quare.” I understand all of this will get quicker with experience but it does take time from writing. Remember, time is the big worry.
As you know, time flies by. Seems to move faster every year. In retrospect, I would have treated my writing with more urgency. Can’t change that. But I can devote my time to writing now, as well as find assistive technology to keep me on track.