• Stephen Burckhardt

Getting My Head Back in the Game


So, if you actually regularly read my blogs (I hope there are at least a few of you out there) you know I've been out of sorts for, well, let's be honest, the last year. I missed my personal deadlines for when I wanted to publish books three and four in my serial. I have no excuse, except to say, life happens.

But now I'm finding my way back to sane, or what qualifies as my sane at least. I am still dealing with a lot of stressful things: I have an appointment with a neurosurgeon in a few weeks to see if I need an in office adjustment or another brain surgery (you can guess which one I'm hoping for), we have an immigration appointment for P.R. in February (bureaucracy is so much fun), and Shaggy keeps finding new ways to be sick (this month it's intestinal worms). But I am determined to push through it all and write. The voices of my characters have started sounding off in my head again and they want to be heard.

I think the one change that has really helped my determination is with P.R.'s job. P.R. had been flying out to different parts of the world for work. I spent most of October, November, and half of December home alone with Shaggy. It was almost like I was single again. I did not like it! But things have changed. P.R. is consulting for a new company now and their office happens to actually be in our town. Hallelujah!!!!

This means P.R. gets to be home every night and go to the office every day like a normal person. It's going to be so weird! P.R. will still have to go on the occasional out of town trip to do work on site once in a while at different offices but most days P.R. will work in town.

It's amazing how much this change has improved my mood. I have never thought of myself as a needy person, I have traveled the world alone and was single until I was 46-years-old. But it's as if I just don't function as well when P.R. is not here. I find myself just wanting to curl up with a blanket, a hot tea, and read or Netflix binge until P.R. comes home again.

Now that P.R. has been home a few weeks in a row, I feel much more focused. Though I will admit my brain is not really helping matters much.

I started having a few new symptoms in September (or you could say old symptoms because I had these same problems before my first brain surgery). I have been seeing my neurologist and it turns out the shunt in my head is pulling too much fluid from my brain and it's causing problems. One of the crazy symptoms is an odd balance problem. I can be walking along just fine and then I will slowly start falling over. I was walking home alone from the store the other night and almost fell over in front of an oncoming car. That was a tad unnerving.

Other symptoms have started popping up again too. My vision has gotten worse and I'm losing words and names. To give you an example, I couldn't think of my dog's name the other day. I see him everyday. I say his name several times everyday and yet I still could not remember it when I was talking to P.R.. I was trying to tell P.R. that ___________ had done something cute. I kept looking at __________ trying to remember his name. I knew I knew _________'s name. But my brain just would not fill in that blank for me. I finally had to ask P.R. what _______'s name was. Shaggy!!!!

It is incredibly frustrating when you know you know something but you just can't get your brain to cooperate. I find myself wanting to throw things but, of course, I don't. But you can imagine how something like this might be counterproductive to writing, seeing as how it's made up of words and all. I will persevere!

I have been working on my website. I redesigned the opening page and finally got around to doing the SEO for my site. Tomorrow I'm doing the final work on the new cover art for the book series and posting the new cover art on everything. Monday I plan to reread books one and two and make sure I have all my continuity notes up to date. Then, next Friday (I teach English classes Tuesday through Thursday and don't always have extra time to write on those days, especially now that P.R. is home), I plan to sit down and start writing book three, again.

I had begun writing book three but I think I want to change it a bit from where I had started to take it. I need to introduce some new character who will be important for books four and five.

So there you have it. I'm still crazy but not as much as before. I'm still dealing with stressful distractions but determined to push past them to get back to work. So hang in there a bit longer if you wouldn't mind. I may be slow but I always get where I want to go and a good time is always had by all when I do!

Oh, and Shaggy is feeling much better now too!


Subscribe to Our Newsletter