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The Crippling Cold

I’ve been home for over two hours now and I still haven’t managed to warm up. This will be my first autumn and winter since becoming ill that I have been independently active, as in able to get myself around outside. Today I went to a planning meeting with my writing group, the Chester Writers, as we are doing an event at the Chester Literature Festival on Friday, 14 October (I’ll be reading an extract from my memoir). I had to get into town on my mobility scooter and it was raining hard, and very cold. It seems that October has brought the cold weather with it.

Regrowing your nerves is a strange thing. After half a year of constant pain, I now have heightened sensitivity. Since I’ve come off the morphine, my sensation is returning along with my mental aptitude and feeling much more like “me”. My bed is suddenly incredibly uncomfortable, and it seems that I have greater cold sensitivity. Maybe I’ll become more empathetic too.

By the time I got home, the function in my right hand, which is usually stronger, was much worse than in my left. My grip was bad and I’ve struggled to pick things up which would usually not be a problem to me. I think I may have to have a long hot bath before I can finally warm up! I never really thought about the phrase “the crippling cold” before, but I think that this is a phrase that’s going to have greater meaning for me this year. Time to dig out all my handknitted and cosy items.

My creative writing MA starts today. I’ve chosen creative non-fiction as my primary genre, with fiction as my secondary. I’m going to be focusing on life writing and working on my memoir about my illness and recovery. I hope to blog much more, and will be using it as my notebook for my writing and other thoughts. I’m also experimenting with using dictation software, as typing is not an option for me at the moment. Especially with these cold crippled fingers!

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A rainbow of yarn.

Lisa Margreet Payne's photo.

A rainbow of yarn. Each of these remnant balls has a story. I could tell you what I made, who I made it for, if I bought the yarn or if it was gifted. Where I was when I bought it, or was making the item.

So much of my personal history is tied up in these leftover balls of yarn. There are stories of love, birth and death. Illness, wellness and courage. Funny how something that seems so mundane can hold so much meaning.

That’s why I love making things. We, makers, turn time into tangible objects, fused with meaning and memory, using only our hands and, with knitting, sticks and yarn making loops on loops.

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Love Sick in “Out of the Shadows”

Exciting news! My short story, Love Sick, is in “Out of The Shadows,” an anthology of women’s writing, which was published this week.  The anthology features nine stories by women writers, and has been described as “strong writing by strong women”. Perfect for reading in short sittings over the summer and discovering new authors writing about strong female characters in a variety of settings.

Out of the Shadows | A short story anthology by L M Payne and others

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We all met through our membership of ALLi, the Alliance of Independent Authors and are located around the world. After each story you’ll find an author bio so you can read more about each author and find details about how to get hold of more of their work.

It’s available for free on Kobo, and Scribd and will be appearing on other platforms shortly. Alternatively you can drop me an email and let me know if you’d prefer a PDF, epub or mobi file.

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Love Sick (Extract)

by Lisa Payne

The name space on my clinical trial notes says: LB0072415. I rather like that, the random letters and numbers that signify ‘me’. “Hello, I’m LB0072415.” It makes me sound like a spy. Further down the notes, I see myself referred to as ‘Patient A’. Does that mean that I am the first? Is there a long line of letters of the alphabet stretched out behind me? I’m reading all this upside-down while the receptionist checks on her screen for when I’m next due in. We’re not meant to see our notes, I’m not sure why, but they’re always kept just out of sight.

The spot on my upper arm throbs a little where they put the injection in. It doesn’t help that they used the crook of my other arm to take the blood tests from, now both arms are out of action. They usually do the tests in the same arm so that only one arm is affected, but they couldn’t get a vein in it today.

“Happens sometimes, when it’s cold outside.” The nurse had said. “Always try and wrap up warm when you’re coming in for these tests. Makes it a bit easier.”

She looked up then for the first time from her busy-ness around the notes, the form filling, the tourniquet around my forearm, the little tray of swabs and injection needles all lined up with my number on them: LB0072415. She smiled kindly at me for a moment, then picked up the first syringe to fill up with my blood, pre-injection.

I looked away outside of the window while she trilled “Just a little scratch!” I don’t know why they always say that, it doesn’t exactly feel like “a little scratch” when the needle pierces the vein and sucks out the blood.

There was nothing much going on outside of the window, it overlooks a brick wall at the back of the facility. I could see my reflection and that of the nurse absorbed in preparing my next injection faintly revealed in the window like figures in a television medical drama.

I guess we will be part of a medical drama after today, but a real-life one, not a fictional TV special. The press release has been issued and the research team have got interviews lined up all day with all the major news channels. I’ve taken the day off work, although I usually do anyway after the treatment – sometimes it can make you feel a bit funny. I’ve worked out that I can get back home just in time for Dr. Klugsherz’s interview on Radio 4 as long as the tubes are running OK.

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Craftsy Sale Alert!

Just a quick heads up, from tomorrow until Monday (Friday 25 to Monday 28 March 2016), Craftsy are having a sale on all classes to end National Craft Month (or at least it has been in the US). All classes will be $19.99, which is about £14.50 – pretty sweet, if you ask me!

I think I’ll pick up something from my wishlist. At the moment its a toss up between The Classic Tailored Shirt Class * or Handmade Sourdough: From Starter to Baked Loaf *. At the moment the sourdough class is slightly in the lead. I’ve got a lot of sewing projects lined up and it would be nice to get back to baking. Plus, you know, sourdough bread. *Drool*

Craftsy sale classes $19.99

(* Btw. I’m a Craftsy affiliate so if you use my links then I’ll get a small commission. Thank you! but if you’d rather, just go directly to Craftsy.com to get your sale classes.)

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Time to get my read on! There’s only a few days left before the discussion starts in the Goodreads group, Our Shared Shelf.

Goodreads - Our Shared Shelf, March: "All About Love: New Visions" by bell hooks

There are over 100,000 members of the group, so I wonder how cohesive the discussion will be. But I love the idea of so many people’s focused attention on these feminist ideas, possibly being exposed to them for the first time.

Emma Watson’s choices for the books have been really good so far. I only discovered and joined the group a couple of weeks ago, but I definitely want to read Gloria Steinem’s “My Life On The Road”, January’s book. I’ve read Alice Walker’s The Colour Purple again quite recently (February’s book).

If you’re on Goodreads and want to be ‘friends’, then I’m lisamargreet or LM Payne (my author page). 🙂

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