COVID

I had COVID. Seeing those words feels strange. After almost 3 years of the pandemic, I felt lucky that neither my husband nor I had had the virus and I became complacent. It is human nature to believe that if something good happens to you that is a reflection of your strength, ability and intelligence. You caused the promotion. Your brilliance got you a book contract.

When bad things happen and they always do, one is less likely to attribute the occurrence to personal shortcomings. A bad thing feels like bad luck. The reality is that life is overwhelmingly random and to a great extent, we can’t control what happens to us, we can only control our reactions.

Having COVID has been one of the worst experiences of my life. I have rarely been so sick. Not only did I  feel terrible – my skin hurt to the touch and I was chilled to the bone – but the virus  put me in a very dark place emotionally and psychologically. I was in a deep hole that I didn’t see any way out of. I could not remember what my “normal” life consisted of. I had no awareness of how I could resume it.

Luckily, as the illness cleared, so did my mood. I am incredibly grateful for that. I am also so glad I had five doses of vaccine and was able to take Paxlovid. I am sure I would have been hospitalized without that.

New Skates

Today I’m going to pick up my new skates. I bought my current skates about ten years ago online. At that time I didn’t skate as much as I do now and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. From my teenage years  to my forties, I had a pair of skates that my parents probably bought for me when I stopped growing. As I have mentioned in other posts, I skated with my father and siblings for many years when I was a child. In my forties I skated with my children and wanted a new pair. I bought them at a local athletic supply store.

Ten years ago, I looked at what size those skates were and then I bought the same size from the online store. Everyone in my club uses the same person for skate sharpening and fitting and buying skates –  George from Skatesport in West Springfield, MA. 10 years ago, my new skates came with the blades unsharpened so I took them to George for sharpening.

The first time  I put them on and started skating, I realized they were probably too big. I bought my shoe size. Skate sizing is usually one size down. I have a size 10 foot, narrow so I should have bought size 9 skates. I unfortunately bought size 10 skates. Because the skates have been sharpened, I couldn’t return them.

Today, looking back on this experience,  I realize one option would have been to try to sell the new skates and buy another pair of skates that fit properly.  However this is where my personality and a big streak of cheapness came in. That possibility didn’t even occur to me. Instead,  I kept the skates, getting George to fix the insoles for a better fit. I’ve skated with them all these years.

About six months ago my coach said she thought that I needed to get a new pair of skates. This made me very nervous, but I have taken the leap or maybe I should say jump  so I have a skating pun in this post. The new skates cost considerably more than that pair I bought 10 years ago online but I have realized that you get what you pay for.

10 years ago when I bought  my current skates and skated on them for the first time, I didn’t have a clue what to do. My feet felt completely different in them and I had to adjust, which took a while. I’m worried about the same thing happening this time and that the adjustment might even be longer because of course I am 10 years older. It is possible if I want to look at this from a glass half full perspective that because these skates will fit so much better – they are a size and a half smaller and in a narrow width –  that the adjustment will take less time.

I will probably skate with them for the first time on Wednesday February 15. I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

New Year News, Belatedly

I have been late in posting my plans for the new year – a month late , in fact. My main, overriding goal for 2023 is to get a book contract. In my quest to achieve that, I decided to take a class on Submission that Writer’s Digest University was offering.

I thought the class could help me develop my book proposal, so it is more appealing.  One of the class exercises has been to find books that I could use as “comps”, comparable titles, to convince an agent or publisher that my book has marketability.

The teacher set criteria for our choices which were books published two years ago or earlier and having at least 5,000 ratings on Amazon. That ratings number seems astronomical to me since I have seven ratings for Brewing Battles. Don’t judge.

I did find three books that fit the teachers’ rules and when I revise my book proposal I plan to use them.  One is Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez. I am interested in this book because the misogyny that underpins scientific research is the same  misogyny the women I write about faced.

Aside from trying to get Dames, Dishes, and Degrees published, I plan to continue with my other activities – skating, swimming, recorder, and my  Jane Austen book club. I am also trying as hard as possible to stay away from Facebook and Twitter.

If it is not too late to offer, I wish everyone a happy, healthy, New Year!