My head hurts… no, really

I’ve been plagued by constant headaches for four weeks. My doctor assures me they are most likely “tension headaches”. What could I be tense about?

I have started both stories. I have planned the first few chapters of each, done a little research, and written an opening paragraph for each. Here are the first drafts (subject to change at whim):

Blood. It smelled like the promise of something thrilling, as much as it smelled like the thrumming end of the adventure. It smelled like her father when he came home from battle, even though he had bathed before he took her in his arms. Still the metal tang of it lingered in his hair and beard, and, as she smashed her skinny, child’s body against his thundering chest in welcome, he smelled to her only of good things.


Beattie Blaxland had dreams. Big dreams. Fashions and fabrics, riches and respect. In her bed, rolled out on the floor of her parents’ room in their finger-chilling tenement flat, she imagined in vivid, yearning detail a future version of herself: poised, proud, almost regal. She had never imagined—nor believed it possible—that she would find herself pregnant to her married lover at the age of only eighteen.

Apart from the fact that they both start with “B”, they don’t really have much in common, do they? So far it’s not hard work because I’m not really taking it seriously. My friend, writer Grace Dugan, who is studying medicine, showed me how to find my “blind spot”. You hold your index finger in front of you and look straight ahead. Then, as you move your finger outwards, you eventually hit an area that your eye can’t see. Your finger disappears. Well, that’s where all my writing problems are at the moment, safely tucked away in my blind spot. It’s quite nice; like being drunk on champagne. Quite nice except for the headaches, that is.

5 thoughts on “My head hurts… no, really

  1. Hi Kim,

    I’m intrigued by both, and wonder how you will stop either one once they take hold? I get a real visceral feel from the first one.

    Re: headaches – have you had your eyes checked of late. It can be a sign of strain when headaches don’t abate. Just a thought.


  2. Hi Kim

    I read Gold Dust over Christmas. It was fantastic and had me on the edge of my seat. Very hard to put down at times. I cried, I cheered, I was almost too freaked out at times to read on. (I won’t say in what places as I don’t want to give out spoilers)
    How exciting to see the tiny seeds of what will one day be another book on the shelf. I’m not going to comment on which I think has more energy as I could be totally wrong! I know the ‘winning’ story will get its fangs into you. I had a similar dilemma with a crime book I’ve been wanting to write for years and Poets Cottage.I began them both and showed them to David and Selwa and they both chose the one they liked the best. Poets Cottage!
    As for the headaches, you know what my opinion will be. Your body is giving you a clear message! You need to listen and chill a bit in 2009. I’m not saying stop writing but cut back a little or a lot. We will still be waiting to read your books.
    Yes, this is your year to take up knitting, meditation and relax. xxx

  3. For those of you who were losing sleep over my headaches, you’ll be pleased to know that a visit to an optometrist today has confirmed the source of the problem largely as eyestrain and NOT writer’s block (“not even a little bit”). I now have funky pink reading glasses, which I shall wave about imperiously for emphasis when I teach.

  4. Okay, I took it for granted you had already had your eyes checked when I replied. Have you tried the Bates eye exercises Kim? The trouble with glasses is that your eyes will weaken more through wearing them. I have glasses as well for eyestrain but not hot pink or sexy ones! Mine are a bit Nana. Get the Bates book and give your eyes a workout! I don’t know if I agree a hundred per cent with the Bates stuff but it does make my eyes feel more rested when I do them.

  5. The best bit about getting back from holidays is catching up on everything you’ve missed… Call me a Daddy’s girl, but when blood smells only of good things, I’m in! Can’t wait to read more of that one. 🙂

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