Tag Archives: M.E.

Best Laid Plans: A Personal Update, and a Micro-Fic Story

The title of this micro-fic piece is apt, because my best-laid plans have not turned out as I’d thought they would! December was a challenging month for me in terms of pacing (something which is essential for people with #spoonie health conditions) but I’d expected that after some rest, I’d be ‘back to work’ in early January, as usual. I was looking forward to getting back into things!

The Universe has had other plans. 🙂 My health has forced me to make rest and recovery my primary ‘task’ for the time being. Although this means that working on new scenes for our third novel is pretty much ‘on hold’ for the moment, I have been able to write small unrelated pieces now and then. (Phew!)

While I’m really missing working on the magic of Lazuli Portals 3 (and finding out what happens to Keira and Jason and co. in chapter 27 and beyond!) I have made my peace with it. For those of you who are impatiently waiting for LP3 to be finished, I will return to it as soon as I am able, I promise!

Meanwhile, I’m also having a go at being more laid back about blogging and social media, trying to find a manageable balance. 🙂 ‘Balance’ is a theme which recurs over and over in my life, so I clearly need more practice at it lol.

The tiny story which follows is a piece I wrote many months ago in response to the image, specifically to be shared on the blog. I’m still not sure how I feel about it, but we hope you enjoy it! 🙂




The warning is there, plain to see; I made sure the cleaner left the bollard in open view. According to the steady red light, the security camera is on, so everything will be documented.

All I need to do is to make it look natural: let my feet slide from under my weight, land awkwardly, making sure I break a bone or two.

That should keep me out of the surgical unit for a few months. I need the break (pardon the pun). Maybe the time off will stop the shaking, the trembling in my fingers when I lift the scalpel. The responsibility over life … the damage I might do … I just can’t …

Deep breath. It’s all down to me, now.

But something curdles in my belly. I know this is wrong. It’s fraud, isn’t it? My mother would turn in her grave if she knew what I was up to. I’m sure she’s keeping an eye on me.

And what about me? I’m a good person; that’s why I became a surgeon. My vocation is to help others to heal; to cure, wherever possible. And here I am about to injure myself, deliberately, and to cause hassle and difficulty for others, to apportion blame to the blameless.

I can feel Mum at my shoulder, her flinty eyes ashamed of me, her disappointment like a shadow veiling my eyes.

I swallow, and turn away from the pool and its slick tile surround.

It’s time to own what’s happening to me. To deal with it in the right way. To talk to my boss and seek her help; Shelley will know what to do.

The dark weight which has been plaguing me lightens, the threads of it unwinding and weakening.

My mind is consumed with how to broach this with Shelley, how to tell her that I don’t have the courage anymore.

It’ll be hard to share this with her. Of all the people at the hospital, Shelley is the one with whom I feel the strongest connection. Maybe it’s because she’s so full of life and fun? Because she’s so different from my mother? And now I have to tell her of this weakness, this flaw.

My nape turns ice-cold, prickly, as though there is a mass of energy there. It seems to push at me, nudging me forward. Against my will, I step onto the damp tile, moving closer to the pool.

“No,” I state to the empty room. There is a rough shove at my back and I stumble awkwardly, slipping on the tile. I fall onto the bollard, and my leg twists horribly beneath me. I cry out, my darkening vision pinpricked by silver stars.

Silent words flow into my ear. “Be careful what you wish for, son.”

[463 words – copyright Joanna Gawn;

image by artur84, via FreeDigitalPhotos.Net]


Forward Momentum: A Springboard

Image credit 'twobee' FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image credit ‘twobee’ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The last time I (Joanna) put a good slice of time into writing Mosaic of Light, the next book in The Lazuli Portals series, was 10 February.

Shocking, isn’t it?

The thing is, Ron and I were channelling most of our energies into getting ready to launch The House of the Stormwind and other short stories. We had blog posts and Newsletters to write, edit and schedule for publication. We had a Facebook Event to create, tweets to write, extracts of the stories to choose. There was proofreading, cover designing, document uploading, blurb writing, checking everything. I had a video reading to do for YouTube – that took more takes than I care to remember! Then there were changes to the website (new webpage, revised homepage) to get ready. And, as we are a partnership, all this needed to be discussed and agreed!

We were ready several weeks before launch (12 March.) Hooray! 🙂

And then I got sick. ‘Just’ a cold virus. But I have a health condition called M.E., and it didn’t play nicely with the cold virus at all. I was in bed, feeling very poorly indeed, for over 2 weeks. And very tired after that, with a cough which would have made a video reading impossible! It’s a good job we were so well-prepared for the online book launch – which I carried out from my bed!

So that’s our explanation for the lack of progress on our work-in-progress. Of course, on top of writing the book, we maintain this blog, our Creations newsletters, and write short stories for our fortnightly(ish) Writers’ Circle. Some of our earlier stories made it into The House of the Stormwind. I’m currently adapting one recent 1000-word story into something longer; it is a magical Young Adult (YA) tale that was far too constrained by the 1000-word limit! Short stories give us variety in our writing life, and are often impatiently waiting to burst free onto the page (regardless of anything else I’m doing at the time lol).

But I can promise you – we can promise you – Mosaic of Light is not forgotten. Tomorrow is a bank holiday in the U.K. so I am taking a break from Twitter and Facebook and my other business as a Reiki Master/practitioner. I am “going undercover” to work on new scenes and/or old issues that need resolving (writing a story with parallel worlds and spiritual growth gives rise to complexities you’d never dream of!) And I’m hoping that time investment will act as a firm springboard (it is Spring, isn’t it?) so that I can regain some forward momentum – and dive back into the magic and the lovelight, and the lessons that Keira and Co. are learning.

I’ve written this piece because we’re often asked, “How’s the next book going? When will it be ready? Please make it soon!” and we want to be realistic about what we can do, and the progress we can make. Having M.E. means I really do have to go with the flow of the energy I have (or, more often, do not have), and live my life in balance.

That’s why, although The Lazuli Portals is a business, we do not put ourselves under pressure to ‘get it done’ or ‘work all hours’. We want to keep it fun, we want to remain passionate about writing and storytelling, and we want to be healthy, too. 🙂 This approach works for us, and will hopefully ensure that we can continue to write for many, many years to come. 🙂

Do you put yourself under pressure to achieve? To be ‘as good as everyone else’? Could you have more fun, more laughter, more light in your life by being kinder to yourself and releasing some of that? Leave us a comment if you’d like! 🙂