A Twist in the Tale

The beautiful thing about genre, is the reader has an idea of what to expect going in. Buy a romance and two people are going to fall in love. The requisite for a thriller is action, intrigue and pace, pace, pace. If you’re reader of Epic Fantasy like me, you’d expect your hero to complete the quest, not wander off citing personal issues. The problem is, life is often not so clear cut.

I set out on a personal mission to write every day this month with the gang at NaNoWriMo and to send a postcard to you, my blog family, every day during November.  You may have noticed that November didn’t finish on the 15th this year (the day of my last post) – but sadly my NaNo adventure did.

A dear, close family member has alzheimer’s disease. This year has been particularly difficult in many ways as the disease has progressed. It’s heartbreaking to see someone you love fade away before your eyes and not be able to do anything about it.

For me writing has been a lifeline during this time. When I’m writing epic fantasy, I’m in control of the world. I know the good guys will overcome in the end. No matter what I throw at my main characters they will eventually pull through.

However this week, this determined heroine abandoned her quest because something else was more important. We almost lost our loved one. Thankfully after a harrowing time she is improving slowly, – but while she is still in hospital, I haven’t got the heart for NaNo.

Journeys rarely go as planned. But even if the blogs are a little less frequent, and the story of my heart takes a little longer to tell, I hope you’ll stick with me. The tale isn’t over yet…

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16 thoughts on “A Twist in the Tale

  1. Raewyn I am so sorry to hear about your loved one. I have come to terms with the fact that I fear loss of control over my life, even my loved one’s lives to a degree and I am not sure I would cope very well in your situation. You are brave sharing it here though and I wish you and your family all the best. Use your writing to its full advantage and lose yourself once in a while. They do say it is a form of therapy…

    1. It really is an awful disease, and something you wouldn’t wish on anyone. But it’s amazing how you can cope when you haven’t got a choice. Especially if you focus on the blessing of being with that person rather than the devastation of the disease. I agree writing has been a form of therapy! Thanks so much for your support.

  2. Hugs to you, Raewyn. The realities of life suck and often push everything else to the side. Take the time you need, find your strength wherever it lies. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  3. I lost a dear uncle to Alzheimer’s. It is indeed a heart wrenching journey for family and friends. My heart goes out to you and yours. As a writer you have an opportunity to honor this loved one by writing down the essence of who they were before their illness. Interview their friends and other family members. You will laugh and cry and be amazed at the things you learn. Then, of course, you will want to share as only you can in your unique voice. Accept what they still have to give and try not to let the rest crush you. And remember, we, your online buds, are here to listen whenever you need to vent. God Bless

    1. Thanks so much Crystal. Actually because of the nature of the disease we have been speaking a lot with family members and friends of the family about her early life. It’s a lovely idea to write it down in a meaningful way – I’d love my children to really understand who their Gran was before she became ill. Your support means a lot. Thank you.

  4. I was wondering if something was wrong and I’m very sorry to hear it was the case… Don’t worry about blogging and writing and spend time with your loved ones, we’ll still be here whenever you’re ready to share your epic adventures with us again. Love and hugs from England.

    1. Yes it felt like we’d fallen off the face of the earth for a while. Things are settling down now, although it’s still a bit of a waiting game. Thanks so much for your support though, I really appreciate it!

  5. What I would do, and I hope it doesn’t sound insensitive, is try to capitalize on my feelings. Do your best to record them in words while they’re strong. Exploit them as a resource. “Sublimate” them into your writing. Like someone said above, it may also make you feel better.

    1. Thanks Susan. You just have to deal with whatever life brings, whether it’s easy or not – even if it takes a long time. Although it’s surprising how much you can cope with when you’re dealing with someone you love.

  6. Somehow I missed this post until just now. =0( I hope your family member is steadily improving and will be with you in the most complete sense of the word for years to come. The nice thing about writing: it waits very patiently.

    1. Thanks ReGi – things are settling down. At least the life threatening infection has, but the alzheimers is making recovery difficult. It’s honestly been a hard road, but I’m grateful we’re able to support her (my mother-in-law) through this hard season.

      1. Three of my family members have been hit by Alzheimer’s and I worked on an Alzheimer’s wing very briefly. I’m sure you guys have been through some very difficult times. Big hugs to you!

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