My blog today is flu-written. No, I did not say flea-ridden. Flea-ridden is what happens when you saddle a flea and ride it. Flu-written means you wrote something while coughing your head off and wishing you’d gotten the influenza vaccination last fall. You know—the shot that the CDC now thinks was for the wrong viral strain.
Since some of you may actually be coughing and hacking yourself, I thought I’d share a list of items that make it easier to write while dying of the flu.
- Laptop computer. Lie on the couch and prop your laptop on your knees. In your weakened condition, you would slide onto the floor if you tried to sit at a desk, anyway. Play a few computer games to sharpen your mind for writing.
- Kleenex. The closer the box sits, the quicker you stop drips. For ease of use, place the box on your forehead. Expect that in your hazy condition, the trashcan will appear farther away than it actually is, so save your energy and drop the used tissues on the floor. When your spouse asks about the three-foot deep layer of wadded Kleenex, blame the kids. If he/she notices Gorg, the Barbarian Warrior, is loaded on your laptop and asks why, say you’re doing research.
- Motrin. The bigger the better—a giant, 5000 mg tablet would definitely stop the ache in your joints—but then, it might be tough to get that down your sore throat. Try dipping it in honey first.
- Cough medicine. The kind whose label warns of a visit by drug enforcement officers if you tell anyone it's in the house. Take a tablespoon or six and watch how quickly your cough stops. Lick the drip on the edge of the bottle, just to insure you’ve had enough. You might see pretty lights and feel like taking a nap. Gorg, the Barbarian, may jump off the screen and actually speak to you. Don’t worry; it’s just the effects of the flu. Take a few more tablespoons of cough syrup to counteract it.
- Ice cream. Ignore your doctor’s orders to avoid sugar because it inhibits healing. What does he know? His thirty years of study at the Stevens-Henager College of Origami hasn’t made him any smarter than you. Consume a gallon or two of Ben and Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk—just to prove him wrong and cheer you up.
- Thermometer. This is the most important item in your flu-fighting arsenal. Take your temperature every few minutes. If it shows normal, run it under really hot water to kill the germs. Then look at it again. See? You’ve got a temperature of 210 degrees! It’s a wonder you even have the strength to wad up Kleenex. If your spouse asks you to fix supper or take out the trash, reply with a racking cough and the words, “But, I’m a sickie with a fever.” Your partner needs to understand you’re far too weak to do anything but sit and chat with Gorg, the Barbarian.
I hope these tips have helped. I’m sure I could think of more, but the thermometer shows I’m running a temperature, so I can’t do work of any kind. Besides, it’s been five minutes since my last dose of cough syrup and I’d better take a cup or two.
Aaahh, that’s better.
Oh, and one more thing. Before I leave to get a gallon of ice cream from the freezer ... Gorg, the Barbarian, says to tell you hello.
(Disclaimer: This blog is all in fun. Do not consume large amounts of Motrin or cough syrup, no matter how bad your symptoms. But hey, the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream might be okay.)
What books C.L. recommends:
Life is Like Riding a Unicycle by Shirley Bahlmann
Publishing Secrets by LDS Storymakers (BJ Rowley and others)
Writing for Story: Craft Secrets of Dramatic Nonfiction by Jon Franklin
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Rennie Browne & Dave King
C.L.’s other work:
Ensign Magazine, Dec 2007-Q&A
2007 League of Utah Writer's Award-Historical Fiction