Wednesday, May 11, 2005

How I Got Here, Part 50

Sheesh, we’ve hit the big 5-O.

Ron, forgot to tell you yesterday—yay that you’re coming to the ACFW Conference! Y’all other writers out there—if you wanna hit The Premier Fiction Conference, you need to be heading to Nashville in September. For more info you can check out ACFW’s Web site (link on the left). Besides, where else can y’all BGs see your BGer emcee?

Okay, to our NES. It’s fall 2002. I’ve learned I don’t have MS, but don’t know what I do have.

I’ve also learned it could be fun to strangle a certain nurse.

A strange thing shortly after those Nazi tests. The symptoms fell away, and I returned to normal. Just like that, after almost two months.

It was a good thing, too, because I was scheduled to teach at, and emcee, the first annual ACFW (then ACRW) conference—in Texas that year. I was elated to be able to do that, and by then I was even running again, although not yet back to five miles. So what the heck happened to me anyway?

Also that fall Dread Champion was released. By that time I’d grown more used to holding the first copy of a new book in my hand, but it still was a major excitement to see it. Still is. By then it had been eighteen months since my first novel was published, and with Dread Champion’s release I'd now had five books published in that time—four novels plus Getting Into Character. Copies of my books on the stands sitting on my office partition now equaled about nine, including the two versions of A Question of Innocence (one in German) and German volumes of Cast a Road Before Me and Eyes of Elisha. Other foreign translations had sold. For example Eyes of Elisha was also being translated into Dutch and Afrikaans. These versions were yet to be published. All in all, that partition was filling up quite nicely.

I remained fairly healthy in October, except for one week of some returned symptoms. Also, I couldn’t run very well. My knees hurt a lot, slowing me often to a walk. In November and December I was also pretty well, again except for one week each month. Hm, are we seeing a pattern here?

Meanwhile, believe it or not, negotiations still continued on my Zondervan contract. There was no doubt it would be signed, but sheesh, it was taking a long time. Wonderful Jane was plugging away it, watching out for my best interests. As it would turn out, I wouldn’t actually sign the contract until the beginning months of 2003. Still, I was planning out the first book, reading up on the field of forensic art. I would start writing in January.

We spent Christmas in our Idaho home, and it was glorious. Snow on the evergreens, on the lake. I was healthy, and our family was able to enjoy Christmas together, happily, for the first time in years. That holiday was so wonderful that I thought: nothing else is going to happen now. After some mighty dark years, everything around me seemed quiet and was working with precision. My career was going well, and I was about to start writing the first book in a seven-book contract. In short, I knew how I’d be spending my work time for the next 3 ½ years.

After New Years Day we returned to California. The next day Mark and I went running. Well, I tried to run anyway. It wasn’t working well at all. My knees hurt so much.

That would be my last run for a long time.

Read Part 51


Becky said...

Wow, I had no idea symptoms came and went like that. How frightening that must have been to have something mysterious going wrong, something the docs couldn't figure out.

D. Gudger said...

Mystery illnesses are the worst!

How exciting to know your writing career is fairly set for several years. I can only dream . . .

C.J. Darlington said...

Just got back from a business trip in New England and had to catch up on what I missed first thing! Wow. You've dealt with some tough stuff, Brandilyn. I'm very glad to know this story has a happy ending, but it's hard reading about your suffering.