Welcome to 2011. A lot of people I know were happy to see the back of 2010. I know how they feel; I finished the year with what my doc called a “humdinger” of a case of pneumonia, which put me in the hospital for 4 days right after Thanksgiving and wiped me out for the holidays. Writing helped get me through it; I live-tweeted my way through the worst of it and worked on a story (“Cutting-Edge Imaging Helps Scholars Reveal Rare 8th-Century Manuscript”) from my hospital bed.
If live-tweeting a case of pneumonia sounds a little…odd, consider this. When you’re sick and in a hospital, you have almost no control over anything. People wake you up at all hours to stick needles in you and take your temperature and your blood pressure. You can’t count on your body to do what it normally does. Writing even 140 characters and sending them out there reminds you that you still exist in some recognizable, independent way. (It also gets you nice sympathetic notes from friends and readers. Much appreciated.) As for the story, it turned out better than I had any right to expect, considering I wrote it with a fever north of 102 degrees.
Being really sick makes you think. I’ll spare you the cliches about What Really Matters, but you get the idea. I am appreciating normal life–the morning cup of tea, the unruliness of living with small children–more than I have in a while. My aspirations for 2011: better health and good writing. That includes more fiction and more blogging, which I haven’t had much energy for lately. In the next few days, this site will go offline temporarily so we can refresh the design. Stay tuned and enjoy the beginning of the new year. It’s good to be here.