I don’t deal well with frustration. I only have a few emotional enemies, and that is at the very top of the list. Not many things can reduce me to a fussy pole of unproductivity quite like frustration.
Being a visually disabled writer is interesting, to say the least. I used to do pretty well in the typing department, doing upwards of 60 wpm. I enjoyed typing, and could get my thoughts on the page pretty quickly once I had figured out what those thoughts would be. Writing was fun, and I just knew the the next Great American Novel was only a few quick keystrokes away.
But then I was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, and for my vision, it was all downhill from there . My 20-40 vision went into the triple digits, and then started fading altogether. Later on, I developed glaucoma and ischermia, neither of which I found amusing. Two months ago I learned that I now have macular degeneration. Fortunately, the shots that I’m already getting in my eyes are the same ones used to treat md, so at least I’m hot having to deal with more shots.
My vision loss has really changed the actual act of writing for me. When I write, I sit on my couch with my laptop on the coffee table in front of me. When I am seated in the “proper” position to type, I’m too far from the screen to read what I’m writing or to see if there are any mistakes. So I lean forward until my chin is over the outside edge of the laptop, at archaic point I can read what’s on the screen, provided the font is large and bold. But typing in that positioning is hard to do and impossible to do quickly. So I prop my chin on my left hand and do the hunt and peck thing with my right. So much for 60 words per minute.
Needless to say, what used to be a quick and easy process is now anything but. Add in the fact that my characters tend to be downright bossy when it comes to how they are written, and it tends to get pretty ugly around here.
Which brings me back to the topic of how frustration is absolutely not my friend. But…..chocolate is. We’re actually much more than friends, having been in a long-term relationship for the past few decades. Chocolate is by far my favorite snack, and it’s always what I reach for when I need to slow things down and step away from life for a while. There’s just something about chocolate’s rich flavor and silky texture that lets me trade whatever trauma drama I’m involved in for a few minutes of delicious relaxation. Frustration happens, but chocolate usually helps me get to the other side without tearing my hair out.
And if that doesn’t work, I throw things. I actually have fairly gook aim for an almost blind girl. So far, I’ve managed to avoid breaking the TV, which is a good things. I suppose I should admit that I’m talking about the current TV. The last TV didn’t fare quite as well. But in my defense, I’d been having a fairly aggressive go-round with Decker, the main character in the Drill series. I knew exactly where he “needed” to go but he didn’t agree and the battle began. After four days of 24/7 writer’s block, I was a bit testy, to say the least.
Since then, I’ve removed anything heavy from within grabbing distance of my place on the couch, I rolled six pairs of socks, and put them in a box on the floor where they are easily accessible should the need arise. My aim is still off, more times than not, but I no longer break things, and the cats have learned to duck. I recently purchased the Dragon software, which is really helping with my writing, and I keep the chocolate bowl full. So as long as I stay on Decker’s good side, everything is more or less okay.
A brutal experience transforms an unproven young tough into a ruthless killing machine. For 15 years he waited, building his body into an unstoppable weapon so that vengeance would be had through the strength of his will and the power of his hands.
Rhani D’Chae is a visually impaired writer, reader, and lover of cats. She is currently working on teh second book in the Drill series, about an repentant enforcer and the violent life that he leads.