State of the Beecroft, update
So, I have finished the first draft of Blue Eyed Stranger. Which only convinces me that I was right to think that I can’t write contemporaries. That is, I clearly can write contemporaries because now I’ve written two of them – Shining in the Sun and Blue Eyed Stranger. But in both cases the struggle was epic. I don’t know how long it’s taken me to get these 37K words, but the mental wear and tear was considerable.
However, that might be health related. Last Monday I had the interesting experience of being carried off to hospital in an ambulance with suspected heart failure. (Pain in my chest under my breastbone, which got worse when I walked and stopped me from breathing.) I’d been feeling dodgy for a week before this and it had got to the stage where I was sincerely worried that something serious was going on. So when I phoned NHS Direct and they sent an ambulance, I wasn’t really surprised.
After an evening spent in hospital, however, it turns out that my EEG is very healthy, my blood tests rule out heart failure and gall bladder problems and an embolism on the lung. (“I’ve got swollen ankles,” I say, because they ballooned unexpectedly that very evening. “What’s that about?” “Normally that’s a sign of heart failure, but in your case we can rule that out.” “Why?” I want to say, “why can we rule it out when I’ve got all the symptoms?” but I don’t ask, because they seem so certain about it. The swollen ankles worry me, but I let it go.)
They confessed themselves baffled. Said it might be ‘a muscular problem’ and told me to go home, rest and take ibuprofen. Which is pretty much all I’ve been doing since, other than a little light Stargate fannishness.
The ride in the ambulance struck me as good research, though. I’d never been in the back of one of those things before, and I’m sure it will come in handy for a murder mystery or something further down the line.
If I’m late in answering an email, or haven’t been around as much as you might expect, I apologise. I’m still feeling dodgy, just with much less dramatic reason to, and I’ve only just started to pick up writing again. Other things may take a little longer to get back up to normal, and I wish I knew what it was, so that I would know how long it was likely to continue. But a general lack of heart failure is a thing I am not complaining about, though the possibility was quite a scare.
Anyway, to get back to my point, I really don’t think I’m going to write contemporary again. It’s just not me.