Freestyle July

I don’t know about where you are, but in Colorado it’s been storming daily. We’re still in a drought (and now experiencing flash floods), but the rainfall is making me giddy-giddy. Especially when I have run-ins with this dude outside my apartment after a downpour:

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In other totally non-important news, two weeks ago my wrist pain grew to such an unmanageable place I had to stop writing. Typing evoked tears. The dull nearly-numb throb spread to my shoulder and neck. I had a final paper due. I had (have) a book to rewrite. I had words I needed to share with the internet.

I’ve been wearing wrist braces to bed since I was seventeen. I’ve been typing all day, every day since I was thirteen (which was the age I identified myself a writer). I’m no novice to the pain, but never before has it been so severe that I actually couldn’t finish the sentence I was writing.

In the last few months, several people have urged me to splurge on ergonomic keyboard. I resisted for money reasons and for space reasons (I work on a laptop and my home desk is rather itty bitty), as well as out of fear that a special keyboard would slow down my writing by forcing me to relearn how to type. (Not the case. It took me twenty minutes and I was clacking away again as if I were on a standard Mac).

My wrists are my life. I survive because of the written (typed) word. My imagination is most free when my fingers are moving. Typing is how I make my money and (partially) how I’m earning my degree. If I’m already suffering, if carpal tunnel is already a problem, why not do something about it now?

So, two weeks ago, after a salt bath in which I bemoaned the fact that my flow of thought had been interrupted and thus my Friday night had dissolved into meaningless rubbish, I gave in and ordered a ergonomic keyboard.

After some research, I settled on the Kinesis Freestyle 2. It’s intimidating and split and weird and bloody pricey but the reviews were fabulous and for good reason. I love this thing. I’m typing on this thing. I’m faster on this thing than on my old thing. And, maybe it’s all in my mind (I don’t think so), but after only one solid week of usage, my pain has already decreased (less scrunching, more space, more breathing for my bones). I have yet to have a train of thought interrupted by wrist pain. It’s marvelous.

And, bonus points? The keyboard(s) is light enough to be portable and shoved into my backpack for a meander over to campus.

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July thus far has been wonky. Celebrated 4th of July inside with my Canadian pal and red wine. Finished an independent study that challenged me far more than it should have. Am revising a rewritten version of the book I wrote when I was fourteen. Working in a writing center as a tutor where I have to tutor. Tomorrow going to a buddy’s wedding, a buddy I’ve known since I was fifteen. Makes my head hurt. And I’m (finally) in my last summer class, my final course of the 2012-13 year–a writing workshop that is forcing me to produce new material when all I want (and should do at this moment in time) is work on the old. But then, new words are always a blessing a disguise, in my experience at least.

A lot of time alone. A lot of time in empty silent rooms. A lot of time feeling like I’m still fourteen (working with characters I created at the age probably doesn’t help). A lot of time wondering where I’ll be this time next year, once I have my degree.

I don’t know. I’m thinking this time, this particular July, is kind of sweet.