This post has been a long time in coming. The reason I have been away from my blog for so long is that I appear to have developed a repetitive strain injury. I haven’t wanted to use my hands for writing blog posts when I can barely use them for writing stories. Why am I wasting these words on a blog post, then? I got a copy of Dragon dictation on an education discount and it runs (barely, sub optimally) on my laptop. It’s better than nothing.

The good news is, I managed to complete my submission for novel workshop. The bad news is, I hurt myself pretty badly in doing so. My right Pinkie no longer bends very well, and it hurts when I use it to type anything. I’ ve been using this bizarre, contorted typing method involving using my index finger to do the work of my wounded Pinkie finger, and that’ s making my wrist hurt, and I pretty much feel like I can’ t win.

This is a whole lot of whining. At least technology like Dragon exists, and once I learn how to use it a bit more effectively, I’m hopeful that will change my life. I’m only 31; my body shouldn’t be breaking this badly just yet. I’m a little concerned about what the technology change is going to mean process wise for my writing, but it’s not like I have much choice in the matter. I’m still planning on attending the novel workshop, but my critiques will be shorter and I’m unlikely to be marking up pages with my usual thoroughness. Hopefully my Clarionmates will vouch for me that I’ m typically a conscientious critiquer; I hate how everything has become just a little bit more difficult, difficult enough to make everything I do sub par.

Add to this that I have two new course preparations for the fall semester, one of which is a class taught partly online, and I’m absolutely terrified that I won’t be able to get everything done thanks to this injury. I’ve made an appointment to see a doctor, but the likeliest scenario is repetitive strain, in which case all I can do is not use it. I’m a writer, a graduate student, and teacher; telling me not to type, to not use my hands, is like telling a fish not to swim.

Apparently my similes are crappier on Dragon. Apologies. I can’t predict how the next few months will look. There’s a chance I’ll be blogging more as I learn how to use this software; there’s a chance I’ll be blogging less, because if it winds up being usable for my writing, I’ll still be trying to balance writing blog posts with writing stories. Still, the fact I’m able to write this blog post gives me hope. Interesting fact: Dragon can still understand what you’re saying through pathetic tears of frustration. Also it thinks the sound of a person blowing her nose is the letter I.

If I’m late returning an email or behind on a deadline, please know I’ m terribly sorry and that I’ m trying to get my feet (or at least my hands) underneath me after what has been, given that it’s still my dissertation leave, a devastating setback.

Enough whining. I’m going to try writing a story on this thing, and then we’ll know exactly how screwed I am. Although if it goes anything like writing this blog post, I’m going to be okay. Turtle slow, but okay. Sigh.