Windows in My Brain

I used to crow hop, but only a little. Not like some of the girls who played when I did, one of them in the same fast pitch organization as I was. I mean, the umpires watched for that, so when I did my warm up pitches between innings, my coaches always reminded me to drag my toe so they would see the mark in the dirt.

Still, I’m right-handed, so I pushed off with my right foot and stepped with my left.

What am I talking about? Well, this is just one of the eleventy-gazillion things that races through my head when I’m lying awake on the couch in the middle of the night. What did I do to my foot? Why, in my mid…ok, mid-to-late forties…am I suffering from severe arthritis in my foot? By the way, I’m not lying awake because the pain from the fusion done last Tuesday is horrible. I’m awake because insomnia is my new best friend. Maybe because I’m in my mid-to-late forties, who knows?

I don’t want to believe that my body is just breaking down, not like this. It’s not, really. The truth is that I have no grace and often trip on air or painted lines in parking lots or fall down just enough steps to make something hurt, but never badly enough to see a doctor.

Really, it doesn’t matter what I did to my foot. So maybe we should close that browser window and move to the next open window in my brain…

It’s really, really cold out right now. Well, most of you guys know that better than I do. I’ve only been out of the house twice in the last nine days. But it’s cold, and my mom likes to wander around by herself, and she wanders too far now and then and gets a little lost. I worry that if she decides to wander off right now…Sometimes I think I’m just always holding my breath, waiting for the phone to ring. That’s just my latest worry with her. You should see me freeze when my phone does ring…

Hart to Hart…Robert Wagner and Stephanie Powers. Anyone remember that show? Do you remember the dog’s name??!! I used to watch it with my grandma on my dad’s side. It’s on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel now in those long, dark hours when most of my world is sleeping. I’ve been watching it this past week. Yep. Pass the crackers; it’s super cheesy. But I like it. The night I found it on TV, I just sort of puffed up with this sweet, wistful feeling. It reminded me of my grandma—she’s been gone since 2009—which made me feel good, because we were close, and made me sad…because we were close.

A side note before we close that window…Stephanie Powers—in that show—makes me think of my mom, when she was younger and healthy and happy: she’s very pretty, and my mom was, too. Still is in my eyes, but I miss that healthy and happy mom.

There’s always a browser window open with thoughts of my kids. Worrying about them being out in the cold weather. Driving in any winter weather. Getting their assignments turned in. If they’re happy. Why is Lexie’s wrist bothering her so much again suddenly? The golf injury is years old. What will Jimmy declare as a major? I think he should look into history or political science. No, it’s okay, I don’t tell him that. I tell him he would do well in either field of study, but I know it’s his decision to make, not mine.

Writing. Even though I just finished a rough draft of book three in my trilogy, I’m already looking to the next thing. Yep, of course book three needs edits—but I always give myself a short break from a manuscript before diving back in to edit. I’m in the middle of writing another romance, and I am feeling pressure to get it finished. I wrote a dark women’s fiction novel while writing book three, and I am reworking the ending in my head, so I can rewrite it and start edits. I’m itching to start something else, because that’s not enough. My mind keeps tugging me back to women’s fiction. I have about five books going in my head right now. Just trying to decide what to jump into. Or if I’m going to just open a new file to a blank page and write whatever comes to mind…That’s how the Lorelei Bluffs series started.

I hired someone to proofread my old books for typos and some formatting issues. She’s very efficient, and I feel guilty lying there in the dark, thinking that I haven’t started on those fixes. I haven’t made any progress on building a newsletter list. I’m not doing enough promotion. I want to plan the release party for book three of the Mississippi Queen trilogy. I want to make it huge and awesome, because of course, I want to sell books. But mostly because I’m a writer and writers thrive on telling stories that people want to read. I want readers and I want to talk about books and…

Right about here, I close all the windows and turn my iPad on again to read more, thinking for sure that will make me sleepy. It doesn’t.

As soon as I put my iPad down, changing my mind, thinking I should turn it off and get some sleep, a browser window pops open in my head about this blog. It’s been far too long since I posted something new…but what to write about…

I can’t believe it’s been 30 years since I played fast pitch…Wish I could claim some sexy fast pitch accident that would make me sound tough and badass (for the record, I was, back in the day) but more than likely, it might have started with a bad…tripping, ankle twisting….incident in St. Paul, Minnesota 20 years ago…And the fall down the last couple of steps at The Tilted Kilt (no longer The Tilted Kilt) here in town was probably the final blow. It was such a graceful fall, too, like a slow-motion genuflect.

My foot starts feeling a little stiff, and I feel tingles of claustrophobia. This is my first experience in a cast. Totally underestimated the pain involved in this surgery. It’s okay, though. I had to do it. I can’t drag that foot around for the rest of my life, always limping, fighting chronic pain. We have another big year of traveling planned, so this was a good time to do the procedure…Napa! Rhode Island! New York…Hmm…RWA…business casual. I won’t be wearing heels again—at least not this summer. But I don’t want to be the woman who has to wear orthopedic shoes. I have some really cool new tennis shoes—three pairs! But…I can’t wear those with dresses or capris…Birkenstocks, I guess…

Why can’t I sleep?? Is this how it’s going to be now? What comes on when Hart to Hart is over? Will I be awake? Six weeks of this? Six weeks of being in a cast and being immobile? I hate being helpless. I’m missing a trip to New Orleans this weekend. No way I could handle it right now, but I hate that I’m missing that trip.

Maybe I should read more. My stomach is growling. Good grief, I’m hungry. WHY am I hungry? I’ve been eating right, making good food choices. I ate a good dinner….Remember the time we were playing Rock Island? I was a freshman. Their pitcher was so good. She was tall, and she had long hair and this crazy windup that was pretty good at making batters (okay—me) nervous. She nailed me in the left knee. Bruises. Old aches and pains. But…I don’t think I can claim my foot issue is due to an old softball injury.

Full circle. Ten or 12 times…I’m still awake…By the way, Jonathon and Jennifer Hart’s dog’s name was Freeway…