Saturday, March 10, 2007

Flu and writer's block

Unfortunately, despite the vaccination, I am afraid our little boy has come down with the dreaded flu; even on Motrin, his fever was at 104 this afternoon. Scary. It promises to be a long night, filled with every-three-hour temperature checks and medicine doses. I should have known it was coming; after all, it is spring break. ;)

Before I was aware of the high fever situation, though, my sweet husband kicked me out of the house this morning to go write, and I'm glad he did; I was feeling a bit stuck, which always makes me nervous, but by sitting through it and doing a lot of staring into space (and writing in fits and starts), it finally started flowing again. It's funny; no matter how many times I work through these things, it always comes as a surprise when I sit there and bang my head against the wall and it eventually shakes free. (The writing, I mean, not my head.) My word count is a hair over 26,000 right now, which puts me at approximately 1/3 complete. Which is a good thing, since my dance card is looking rather full right now.

I also spent some time at the allergist's office Friday putting together a calendar for getting the books I'm under contract for finished comfortably. (Thank God I had the laptop with me, or I'd have been forced to read tabloids for forty minutes instead. Hmm. Perhaps I'll leave the laptop home next time.)

Anyway, assuming I did the math right (must recheck this, come to think of it), I was pleased to discover that even writing 4,000 words a week, with a week off for spring break, I will still finish with time to spare. I'll put in a more aggressive weekly goal, but I like having that "minimum" there to make sure that even with a few chaotic, potentially disease-ridden weeks tossed in there -- and, heaven forbid, some rewriting -- I'll still finish with some time to spare. And I won't have to chain myself to a desk to do it. Unless, of course, we get hit by some four-week flu virus or I break both arms and can't type. But that would never happen. Right?

Right? (Please let me be right. Please.)

Anyway, enough of the morbid thoughts, and back to the topic at hand. Okay, I've forgotten the topic at hand. But I will report that this afternoon, to celebrate blasting through another mini-writer's-block, I stopped by the library, where I picked up A Year with the Caliph, a book about a woman who moved to Casablanca (which I subsequently discovered I already own), a book on lighthouses (I'm looking for a good lighthouse story -- if you know of any, please tell me) and a book called Get Out of Your Own Way, which is supposed to help people "reach their full potential," etc. I don't know why I read these books, but I do. Hope springs eternal, I guess? I picked this particular one up because, like most writers, I seem to be my own biggest obstacle some days. I'll let you know how it goes.

I'm off to check on my little boy's temperature again. I hope you all escape the flu, and that you had productive and glorious days!

Oh -- and for some reason, there's a june bug colony on our front yard. The buzzing is so loud it sounds like you're standing next to a bee hive. Very strange -- there are hundreds of them, but only in my yard. I wonder why?


At 11:15 PM, March 10, 2007, Blogger gracesmom48 said...

If his temp gets really high, put him in a lukewarm bathtub. I had to do that with my son when he was around 13 and weighed around 130 lbs! His temp got to over 105 degrees, so I put him in there with his clothes on, he was fighting me and couldn't get them off....that was a long day. The funny thing was he kept yelling, "prepare for battle, prepare for battle" while I was putting into the tub and didn't believe me when I told him about it the next day. That became a family joke and sometimes even now if he gets sick, one of us yells, "prepare for battle".

At 8:50 AM, March 11, 2007, Blogger Christa M. Miller said...

Ugh Karen, sorry you have to deal with this. RSV jacked up both my boys' temps a few weeks ago - even the baby's was 104. :( Tylenol did the trick for him; the older one hates medicine, so we just let it run until it broke that night (he wasn't very uncomfortable).

Hope everyone feels better soon!

At 5:12 AM, March 12, 2007, Anonymous jar said...

Hope your son feels better this morning. I think my 16 year old has the same thing. Came home yesterday from play practice with fever,chills and sore throat.

At 8:16 AM, March 12, 2007, Blogger Karen MacInerney said...


That's just what we did. Kiddo #1 used to spike high fevers accompanied by febrile convulsions (what fun!)... but she never yelled "prepare for battle!"

That is just hilarious. You should write humor columns, Melissa. :)

At 8:18 AM, March 12, 2007, Blogger Karen MacInerney said...


That RSV is scary stuff. Abby used to get it something fierce -- bronchiolitis so bad you could hear her wheezing from two rooms away.

I hope everyone's better now -- it turns out Ian doesn't have flu (we did the swab yesterday), but just a nasty fever virus. Yesterday was much better, and we're hoping he'll be back to 100 percent tomorrow.

Fingers crossed! (For you, too, that RSV doesn't come your way again...)

At 8:20 AM, March 12, 2007, Blogger Karen MacInerney said...


Is it just me, or do these things ALWAYS hit at spring break? It's like clockwork. One of these days when I have an hour or two I'll write about the saga of Spring Break 2005. (I was about to write 2006, but remembered that that was just last year -- all that happened was that Abby threw up all over our tent at 4 a.m. at a campsite on Goose Island. And yes, she managed to hit her brother with it, too.)


Can you say nightmare?

Hope YOUR son is feeling better, too... and that you don't get sick!

At 10:11 PM, March 12, 2007, Blogger gracesmom48 said...

Well, that's a high compliment coming from you Miss Agatha!! The day Erma Bombeck died, Richard said, "Hey I know what you should do for a living now!" A little morbid I thought at the time! About kids getting sick on vacations, Jake ALWAYS got sick when we went to Connecticut and Maine during the summer, so much so that they had a file for him at a pediatrician in CT because he would see him up there every year. When he was a teenager he even landed at the airport in CT one summer with a huge, freakin boil that grew on his face while he was on the airplane coming in from Austin. His little sister named it "Bob".... She's the one who insisted you name your squirrel or otter thing you found in your backyard last week. And by the way, is "Fluffy" still with us?

At 6:40 PM, March 13, 2007, Blogger Karen MacInerney said...

Bob the boil.

Seriously. You'd give Erma a run for her money, Melissa.

And we have a similar file at Park City in Utah. I call it the Spring Break Curse, but two out of the three times we've been up there, Abby's had febrile convulsions. Last time, three out of four of us had an antibiotic-resistant sinus infection. And the day before we left, my hairdresser informed me (at 7 p.m.) that my daughter had given me LICE.

Which, incidentally, is not really where you want to hear that. Not that you ever want to hear that, but sitting in the chair of a chi-chi salon... well, I'm still blushing.

That was the shortest and most expensive haircut I've ever had. :)


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