Post 53 / Hour 60: I Lied. (But I’m Awake.)
By Dave Fox
It’s a sunny Monday morning now in Singapore, and apparently, I lied to you last night. In Hour 52, I posted what was intended to be a temporary message – a short contest update. And, I wrote, “This is not my official hour 52 post. I’m not getting that lame! Watch this page for something more substantial when I’m awake.”
At the time I wrote it, the rest of the message seemed a little too lame to qualify as one of my 100 hours’ content. But then, after five hours of rest, I awoke with a pathetic array of writing-induced aches and pains, and thought, “Wait a minute! I’ve gone out of my way to not cut corners on a couple of notably unlame occasions.” I realized, if I’m going to get through this, it’s time to cut a few corners. So that original post for hour 52 is boring, and we all need to be at peace with that. It’s staying.
Here is my biggest challenge this morning: I can no longer type.
I was fascinated to discover last night you actually can develop blisters from too much typing. Sure, I’ll bask in the bragging rights on that one. I’ve got a red puffy spot on the skin surrounding my right thumbnail now, where, every time I hit the space bar, a quick twinge of pain shoots through me.
That’s a little bit much though, I suppose. It’s too bad I’m not single because if that’s not a brilliant pickup line, I don’t know what is:
“Hey baby, wanna see my writer’s scar?”
That’s as bad as things were last night. But when I woke up this morning, my other hand was in sadder shape. Remember, in Hour 38, I mentioned I used to suffer from chronic tendinitis? Man, is it back with a vengeance this morning! And, “Hey baby, wanna see my tendinitis?” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
I’ve found a solution for this. Something I didn’t want to resort to, because I find it changes my creative process as a writer, but I have no choice this morning. I’m not typing this article. I have instead captured a rare tropical bird and attempted to train it to peck out my dictation.
Unfortunately, this technique didn’t work very well, and my keyboard was getting pretty disgusting. So I have moved on to dictation software. I’m not typing this. I’m speaking it.
One of you suggested this yesterday, and I thank you for the idea. I’ve actually been using this software for a few years. I find it works great for certain things, such as inserting comments into the writing critiques I do. For humor writing, my thoughts flow better when I type. The brain just works in a different way when one speaks versus typing.
Dictation software also has its shortcomings. It doesn’t get everything right. For example, I had to correct one above misunderstanding twice:
- a quick change of pain
- a quick teenage of pain
- a quick twinge of pain
I must now carefully proofread everything before posting it. But at this stage in the game, careful proofreading is temporarily not part of my repertoire. But hey, I’ll say it again: I’m not quite ready to throw in the towel yet. If things I type don’t make sense, blame my dictation software. Or a long list of other possibilities.
I will confess, I woke up several hours ago, needing to forward the contest#3 entries to our judges, Matt and Deb Preston (which, for mysterious reasons, my dictation software just interpreted as, “Matt and Stephanie Preston”). At that moment in time, my body was demanding I quit this self-abuse. But after two more hours of sleep, and 90 minutes of self-indulgent whining, I’m feeling much better now.
Two logistical notes:
1) To those of you who entered The Contest Number Three, the results will be a little delayed. I was supposed to wake up at 5:30 AM, Singapore time, to forward the entries to Matt and Deb in England. Waking up at 5:30, I thought, would be easy. It’s when my wife wakes up for work, and I usually at least roll over. But this morning, I didn’t roll. She, not knowing I had important sleep deprivation to attend to, tiptoed quietly, trying not to disturb me. By the time I did finally send the entries to Matt and Deb, it was late at night in England, and I haven’t heard from them. So I assume they are now in a deep slumber, which is where I should be too.
2) Having just slept for several hours, I am now behind again in my hourly posts. Four hours ago, when I woke up the first time, evil, negative thoughts were dancing in my head, telling me these 100 posts are not going to happen. Whether that’s true or not remains to be seen. But when I’m in ketchup mode – stupid dictation software! – but when I’m in catch-up mode, it gets confusing as to what time it is. So from here on out, when I’m behind, I’m going to note both the real our hour and the post number in the title.
As you may recall (or, seriously, may not care about), my original plan was to pre-write around 50 of these blog entries, affording me the luxury of sleep. But life got busy in the three weeks leading up to this cheap and tawdry publicity stunt, so it’s been a constant scramble to pull material together.
And that scramble continues!
Many thanks to all of you who have entered our third flash humor writing contest. Coming up within the hour, in post 54: The topic for our fourth and final contest.
To those of you in places where it’s still Sunday night, savor the rest of the weekend! Here in Singapore, 13 hours ahead of Eastern time in North America, I’m blogging from the future. I regret to inform you, this Monday morning is kind of a bitch.