Regular readers will know (don’t try to hide behind the sofa; I know there’s at least four of you) that I am busy finishing Book 2 of The Wild Hunt, Trinity Moon.

What you may not know is that as if MS wasn’t enough fun by itself, I’ve also been diagnosed with gallstones. Honking great gallstones, measuring 1.5cm across. The surgeon I saw at the hospital last Tuesday was quite impressed. I assured him that I do not do things by halves. Neither, it seems, does he.

He wants me to have an MRI scan to check that there’s no small stones (the technical term is gravel, seriously) in my bile duct, before he whips my gall bladder out. Ultrasound, like the one I had a couple of months ago that revealed the pesky stones in the first place, isn’t very good for looking at this because the bile duct lurks behind the bowel, and there’s air in the gut which doesn’t transmit the ultrasound very well. MRI, of course, is like one of Her Majesty’s VAT inspectors: it goes everywhere and sees everything.

Lovely chap, the surgeon. Warm hands, which is always a good sign, and a dry sense of humour. I am not in the least freaked-out by the prospect of any of the upcoming procedures–even if they can’t do a keyhole cholecystectomy and have to do a traditional large-incision, in-up-to-the-elbows job. My heart is plodding along at its regular resting rate of 59bpm and if I was any more laid back I’d be horizontal. So why am I finding it so hard to empty my head of all this health-related stuff and get back to the business of writing?

I’m staring down the barrel of a deadline. I’ve had the first instalment of my advance, so I’m on the company dime, as it were. I want to finish this book so I can make a start on the next one, because I want to find out what happens next. Powerful motivators all. So why can’t I write the last five chapters?

After a bit of a sticky patch I’d been going great guns again, and then WHAM! Straight into a brick wall. I was washing my hair in the shower, like you do, brain idling, and suddenly realised that the last chapter and a half had gone in completely the wrong direction and I didn’t know how to fix it.

Four days later, I still don’t. It’s not writer’s block, because I don’t believe in it, and we all know that stuff we don’t believe in doesn’t exist, like the monster under the bed. It’s an inability to focus.

I’ve turned off my music. I’ve taken myself out into the garden with the laptop, where the wireless doesn’t work reliably enough to allow me to get distracted by email or Facebook or reading other people’s blogs. I’ve even tried going back to pencil and paper to slow my thoughts down, let ideas take root. Nothing doing. Every time I sit down to sort this out my mind is flittering around like a butterfly in a meadow, never settling for more than a few seconds before it’s off to the next flower.


The fact that I’m even blogging about it, instead of solving the problem, is just another example of my distraction. Why find answers when you can futz around talking about the question instead?

Double argh.

This is not a familiar place in which to find myself. I don’t like it. It smells strange and the people talk funny. Get me out of here!