Nostalgia City Mysteries

Mark S. Bacon

Tag Archives: A Penny Earned

From the annals of modern medicine


Or: writers’ block is a bitch, but I can still talk and read things, like Ruth Myers’ new period PI page-turner.

My thanks to everyone who suggested I obtain a speech-to-text program as a temporary cure for my writers’ block.  I discovered that Microsoft Word has that function built in. I’m actually using it right now.

The program reproduces my words quite accurately. Moving the cursor around, inserting punctuation and deleting words however, is easier said than done. No, I mean it’s harder when said than done.  No that’s not what I mean either.  It’s quicker to make corrections with the keyboard than to speak them, but that exacerbates the as-yet-to-be-fully-diagnosed pain in my right forearm.

The chief suspect appears to be medial epicondylitis,  a form of tendinitis. Ten minutes at the keyboard and mouse makes my arm painful for hours.  Using my laptop and its palm rest, rather than my desktop PC, is marginally less unpleasant. If I stay away from the keyboard entirely the pain seems to hide for hours at a time, sometimes a day.

I can imagine my orthopedist telling me to simply stop writing and I’m good to go.  That would be like telling chronically injured Olympic star Lindsey Vonn to stop skiing.  Wait—she did stop skiing.  It would be like telling Tom Brady—okay stop with the athletic analogies.  (I’m really not saying this. The speech-to-text program must have mutated to AI. I’m switching back to two-finger typing.)

Regardless, I’m a writer. I’m not going to give it up. If I had to choose between painful writing or pain-free lollygagging—well, you know the answer. If you’re following along at home, I have an MRI scheduled soon.  Stay tuned.

Writers write. They also help other writers. Recently I read a new novel by mystery writer M. Ruth Myers. The novel was so new it hadn’t been published yet. I was what’s called a beta-reader.  When I and most writers I know write a book, we want to get feedback before a book is submitted to an editor and published.     Continue Reading →

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