Writing a Thing in November… But Starting Early Chapter 1 Sneaky Peek

A few years back I attempted the nanowri..thingy… (NaNoWriMo) where you try to write an insane amount of words in a month alongside your standard job, social stuff and life. I failed with the dismal failure of anyone attempting to fit in an extra 50’000 words in 30 days who also teaches and hurts their fingers when they type too much (ha! The irony of my blog).

Ever since, its been bugging me that I never did get around to writing anything more interesting than a book on programming, and recently I’ve had some lovely comments about my blog. So… I decided to create something. I suck at fiction, I just don’t have the creativity for it and on top of that, I can’t keep up with someone else’s plot let alone my own. So instead I’ve decided to make use of my current glut of inner monologue that’s making it online, gather up my research and write a book about EDS. Not a preachy self help book, not a lengthy medical journal, but a slightly helpful whilst attempting dry humour type of book. When I was pregnant with Beanpole, the best book I had was one written by someone who came across as terrified and clueless as I felt and yet provided me some hints as to where to look for proper information and reassured me that being crap at pregnancy was not unusual. I’d love to have a book to walk me through dealing with this diagnosis from someone who can simultaneously laugh about their toe trying to fall off and assure me that the pain I’m feeling is actually ok. And as I’m breaking all of the NaNoWriMo rules, I’m setting my own time limits and will self publish.

The idea came to me on the way home from work a few weeks ago. There is so much stuff to learn about EDS when you get a diagnosis, and the places to learn it from are either a bit vague or terrifyingly high brow. Frankly, I’m on too many painkillers to cope with anything more than a pop up book…. hang on… we’re onto something here…

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce: “The Ehlers Danlos Pop Out Book”

Well it made me laugh. And I’m allowed to be cheesy, it’s my book. I’d genuinely love it to be an actual pop up book, but apparently, unless you can fund a full 10’000 copy print run and get them shipped in from China, there’s little hope of that happening.

I’m not putting all of the insides on here, but I thought that each time I completed a chapter, I’d reward myself my publishing a sneaky peek on here for you to see. Chapters aren’t actually being written in any form of order. Instead, I’m picking up a topic as and when I either find some interesting research or my own symptoms flare.

So Sneaky Peek 1 is here, and it’s all about poop 😉

If you’re a parent, ask yourself, “When did I last have a conversation with my child(ren) about how often they should poo and what it should look like?”. I’m not talking about the “oh hell, get your hand OUT of your nappy! No! Not on the wall!!”, conversation, but a how to keep yourself healthy talk. Chances are, either not at all, or only if they were ill. And yet, as we get older, we are meant to be on the lookout for any signs of unusual activity. Most of us are woefully ill prepared for adult pooping habits.

So it came as a bit of a shock to me, once I started researching more about this zebra that it actually isn’t normal to not poop for days. Most people don’t feel constipated at least once a week. It isn’t normal for bouts of constipation to be relieved by a day of mega diarrhea. Not pooping for a week is a bad thing. I’m 35. This info could have been rather useful at… Ooh I don’t know… age 10?

I promise there is more than 2 paragraphs to this. Honest!

643 / 10000 words.
6% done.

Too Much Structured Time?

According to a recent report, kids are spending too much time attached to technology or in structured activities.

I submit this in response.

This mornings activity is a few hours of soft play whilst I sit happily knitting. BeanPole has her own ideas about what she wants to do this morning, and not even 40+ screaming kids is going to interfere with her enjoyment of dragons!


Please don’t wake me, no don’t shake me….

On tucking my little people into their beds, I felt a pang of jealousy. Not for their sweet innocence, not for their love of all things Narnia (or banarnia as they’ve decided it is), not even for their array of funky onsies. I was jealous of them being tucked up in bed with a book. Being warm and snugly, and ready for sleep. At best, I not very good at autumn weather (shocking at winter) – I’m a summer girl and these dark, damp days are just not my thing.

So, against all grown up dictation that 8pm is way too early for sleep, I’ve thumbed my nose to the world, curled up in bed and selected a good book.

I’m putting money on the germs making a virusey appearance in the next few days.

On High Brow Literature?

The first rule about book club is, you ought to actually read the books.

I try. I really do. It’s just my brain is wonky and starts making the characters real. And then I want to kick their backsides for being wet and wimpy.

There have been several books though that have had me laying on a pile of blankets like the Neverending Story.


In most cases, people have disagreed with me on whether these books should ever have been published in the first place. The women in book club are awesome people, and it’s for that reason that I have stuck with it. The books that have caused the most controversy have been some of the best I have read in years. They are hard work and quite often have content that looks at the more unpleasant side of life (the red tent is a novel not to be read after eating!). But they make me think. More recently, I have snuck off into the naughty corner to read other books like The Psychopath Test (Jon Ronson), The Antidote (Oliver Burkeman) and my latest It’s Not Rocket Science (Ben Miller) which looks at all the exciting bits of science. I added to this Things I want to Punch in The Face (Jennifer Worick) for a bit of a giggle.

In the eyes of book club, I am a literary hussy. I keep giving myself to the boy books and ignoring my prim girly books that I should in fact be reading.

This month I made it my mission to actually read Bread, Jam and a Borrowed Pram. It was a good story, and historically it seemed quite accurate, but I couldn’t help feel that there was a distinctly girly gloss over it. While it was not ‘chick lit’ (which makes me want to gouge out my eyes with spoons), it left me feeling blah. I’d burn a bra in support of the women in this book, except I like my bras, and they don’t come cheap…

Despite the cleavage and heels, when it comes to my brain, I’m not only a nerd, but a bit of a boy. I do feel the need to trip up the whimsical heroin and let the zombies eat her, because I’m questing for the sci-fi sword, or learning about how cool it is to blow stuff up. There’s a world of adventure out there.

I am Finn, and LSH is my Jake.