No, in fact, the anemia did not kill me

I’ve been back from writer’s camp in Florida for exactly 72 hours  and so have been able to gauge whether the massive doses of iron I’ve been taking have actually done me any good.  I had to wait to get home to do that because it’s utterly useless to try to figure out if the iron is making you peppy when you are in a setting that would make anyone feel remarkably cheery and alert, because in that setting you don’t have to (a) cook, (b) pick up dirty shorts that have been thrown so they  land precisely NEXT TO the laundry basket, or (c) tell people (aka teenagers) to get off Facebook.  In that setting — New Smyrna Beach, Florida, in fact, where I’ve been for the month of October, more or less — you can’t feel tired.  Well, you can, but that’s only because you stayed up until really late drinking tall gin and tonics and that doesn’t count as tired.  That activity falls under the heading of “Fun Things I Did at Writer’s Camp.”

Anyway, I made it home after a night of doing Fun Things At Writer’s Camp, and unpacked.  And then I dealt with a number of ordinarily exhausting events, including finding out that some friend of my kids knows the password to my itunes account and has been ordering things like DOOM! version 1.0, apparently under the illusion that I’d think maybe I’D ordered that and just, well, you know, forgotten about it.  Also, I made it through a Halloween weekend distinguished chiefly by how much my children would prefer it if I wasn’t around them while they roamed the streets of Berkeley.  I’ve also confronted the fact that in my absence at least one child managed to go without eating a single piece of fruit for three weeks (and no, it wasn’t the child who has refused all his life to eat fruit on the theory that he could eat vegetables and leave the fruit eating to his twin and by some magical twin science thing they’d get the nutritional benefits of both, as though they were still in the womb, which they aren’t:  see above, regarding not wanting me to follow them around on Halloween).  Sound tiring?  I know.

The take home here:  I’m actually kind of energetic.  The iron pills are working.

How have you been?

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28 thoughts on “No, in fact, the anemia did not kill me

  1. I adore writing retreats just for that reason: The world goes away, you can drink in the evenings with aplomb, and so much creativity just explodes. Glad you’re starting to feel better, and I can’t wait to hear more about how your work went over the three weeks!

  2. I’d like to go on a writing retreat someday. And then I wouldn’t because I fear being around so many talented writers. I’d probably just retreat into a corner at the retreat, feeling like I don’t belong or something…I’m glad you’re feeling okay, though. And isn’t it weird, the things that happen at home while you’re away…?

  3. Mari, It IS weird! Like, for starters, how YOU HAD A BABY WHILE I WAS GONE!!!! And she’s so cute. And Mimi: best name ever. Congratulations. Never fear being around talented writers. It is incredibly inspiring and people were all very kind, even though I was, as William puts it, the worst person there. (He asked me: “So, mom, are you the BEST person, or the worst person?” Me: Worst, totally. But that’s good.) I mean, it’s not really true that you’re the best, the worst, or somewhere in between. The truth is, you’re a writer, and that’s what counts.

    Genie, exactly. aplombly drinking. I want to eat indian food soon. okay? When you finish all your dancing and leaving the country activities.

  4. I’d definitely love to do the writing retreat too. Though I’d probably act exactly like Mari. Three weeks to do nothing but write! Thing I’ll be retired before that happens!

    Halloween was actually fun this year! It was fun last year apart from the two hours of tantrums before hand. This year, it went amazingly smoothly. Of course, they spent the following day with sugar generated tummy aches…

  5. Welcome back! Please tell us more about the retreat. I remember how much writing I did on my retreat in Berlin last year, so I can imagine how productive three weeks must have been.

    Sorry to hear about the misdemeanours – though on the scale of 0 to Very Bad, they aren’t too awful really, are they? Apart from that friend – I’d be tempted to ban him!

  6. Welcome back! A month of writers’ retreat sounds like heaven to me but not a heaven that I, alas, am going to be allowed access to here in the UK. Sigh. When I stop feeling jealous I will be thrilled to think that the iron pills and the focus are both pepping you up. 🙂

  7. Wow, the writing retreat sounded great. I’m planning a two-week retreat (probably by myself but good opportunity to get work done) at the start of Feb. Can’t wait.

  8. Welcome back! I’ve missed your blog. I attended an artist’s retreat this summer and it was bliss. I wrote almost fifteen thousand words in a week, and I still had time to be sociable. We drank bourbon instead of Gin and Tonic, but then we were in Santa Fe instead of Florida. Here’s to time away (he says, lifting his coffee mug because it’s early).

  9. Oh what fun! And what a beautiful place to be on retreat. I’m trying to participate in NaNoWriMo this month, but so far, having been flummoxed by the flu, the only retreating I’ve done has been to my bed and few words have been written. If iron pills were writing pills, I’d be taking them!

  10. Welcome back! The retreat sounds marvellous. I almost wish I was a writer so I had the excuse to do something like that! Glad to hear that the iron pills are working, anaemia is so tiring. Isn’t it lovely when the iron tablets kick in and you get a sudden jolt of vitality?

  11. Becky, You’ve just reminded me that it’s important to choose avocations and vocations at least in part because they let us do things we like to do!!

    Dear Ms. HMS, It WAS divine! I’ve never done anything quite like that. I can see why the writing residency was invented though. (actually, all arts residencies.) You can get a lot done and you come home totally inspired. Glad to hear all is well at the Havens. xo

    Oh Cam! I’m so sorry to hear about the flu. That’s no fun. I think there’s a lot of energy around the whole nano thing, which is good, but it’s also important to respect your own body’s rhythms and needs and not let any sort of guilt or let down creep into the month!!

    Dorothy, I spent a lot of time thinking, “is it the iron supplements or the daily meals I don’t have to cook or clean up.” Toss up, I’d say. But here at home, I continue to feel energetic, so hurray for supplements!

    Dear Ingrid, The thing that’s wonderful about the Atlantic Center for the Arts is that the residencies are multidisciplinary — ours had photographers and composers, which made for a wonderful and interesting mix. I think you’d enjoy something like that.

    Ben, 15,000 words in one week! wow. That is so great. Congrats!!! I’m immediately hitting the bourbon.

    That’s a very sound plan, Pete. I can’t wait to hear how it goes.

    Thank you Gail! i’m looking forward to seeing you again soon. there’s a story I want to finish, and I want you to read…… And i have been so out of touch about everyone’s work. Looking forward to catching up.

    Lilian, It was quite extraordinary how my husband and our amazing friend, Aurelia, just took things over and made them happen while I was gone. But this is way easier with teens than with little ones. Soon!

    dear Jacob, I like the whole idea of doing things with aplomb. Someday, we will have a drink and demonstrate the aplombness with which we approach life.

    Hello Pauline — I’ve been missing you! It’s lovely to be back, although every once in a while (like now, when it started to pour outside) I think, “why can’t life be that leisurely all the time?” But it can’t, and that must not only be handled, but also somehow embraced.

    Hi Charlotte, I have PICTURES! I’ll post some next. I remember your Berlin trip — such a good idea. I’m looking forward to visiting your web and finding out how your book’s coming along.

    Dear Dad (who writes, not my own!), I’m glad to hear that. I’m still eating my kids’ halloween candy. I wish I wasn’t the one who hides it for them. I hate knowing how to break into it.

    Darling litlove, I would like to point out that there were at least THREE european artists at the retreat in Florida. So, give it some though, okay?

  12. Welcome back! It sounds like it was a wonderful and very-needed retreat. I can’t wait to hear more (so I can live vicariously through you). And I think you’ve created a new formula that ought to be tested on a regular basis: iron pills + month-long retreat = strength and humor to deal with teenage boys.

  13. I suffer from anemia too. I hate that tired feeling I get which means it’s time for more iron pills. I remember the sudden energy and life you get…..hmm, maybe I need to start taking mine too. so i fully sympathize/understand!

    Then I read about your writing retreat, 3 WEEKS!!! OMG that sounds like heaven! In my head I fantasize about taking leave from work so I can get back to writing again, and a three week long trip away from kids is so fabulous….I’m so glad you had a good time, and that you wrote and stayed up for good reasons like books and writing. I love this post, Word Lily!!

    and then your kids, I had to laugh. My eldest turned 21 on Hallowe’en, left for a party and we didn’t see him for a week (he was at his dad’s in the end). the other two kids are too little to give me grief on Hallowe’en yet, they still run and give me hugs when they see me. I’m savouring this time! I know what’s coming up! Sometime in their twenties I think boys start talking to us like people again. I think. Or they get married and suddenly we’re ok to be around.

  14. Oh geez, I’ve spent all this time worrying — first you mention anemia, then you disappear for a month! I’d forgotten all about your writer’s camp! So glad the iron’s working, the retreat was fulfilling, and you’re back — welcome home! xo

  15. There are writers’ retreats? Really? Places where people go and just write? That’s an astonishment.

    (Insert five minute break here)

    Oh, my gosh. I just googled “writers retreat”. It’s not a thing, it’s an industry! Well, it’s terrific you got to go – it sounds marvelous. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, and even happier that you’re feeling a bit peppier now that you’re home.

    I’m just delighted to have YOU back, and know where you’ve been. Like mariegauthier, I had no idea you were off to somewhere, and was a little concerned.

    I still can’t get over those retreats. I think I’m doing good to carve out three hours by telling Mom I’m going to the bookstore, turning off the cellphone and ignoring the cat stares!

  16. Hi Eoin, I’m so glad you stopped by! Hello to you too. I like reading your tweets, by the way — it’s really fun to know what’s happening in Dublin.

    Hey Nova — That’s so sweet. And, in fact, I did manage to drag myself out of the fallen world that is post-writing residency life, and post something. That makes two blog posts in November!

    Dear Ms. Shoreacres, It’s a wonderful institution, the writing residency. There are famous ones (McDowell, Yaddo) and less famous ones, but they have in common the nurturing of artists. One thing I was so impressed by was how dedicated the staff at the Atlantic Center for the Arts was to this notion that artists need time away from the concerns of everyday life to make things of beauty. But, like you, I’m pretty happy with three hour blocks of time — having written a novel in thirty minute increments on the train, three hours is heaven!

    Hey Marie — It’s funny, but it never occurs to me that anyone might wonder where on earth the blog posts have gone! Next time I go away, I’ll post a little status thing.

    Dear Susan, Thank you for that vision of The Future! I’m glad you located the 21 year old. xoxoxo

    Emily, That is, indeed, the formula!

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