December 25, 2007 at 7:38 pm 18 comments

It started with one whopper of virus, that turned into pneumonia, then morphed into bronchitus and ultimately slid into a sinus infection.  I lost eight pounds…of snot.  In 49 years I don’t remember ever being that sick.  Once the fever passed and I could get up and get dressed without immediately needing a nap or spending an hour hacking up a lung…I found I couldn’t write anything.  Answering an e-mail took half the day. Attempts at a chapter, story or post resulted in hours of staring at a page as blank as my mind.  So I walked away (metaphorically), in search of some kind of balance for my life.  I can’t keep all the plates spinning anymore, I don’t even want to.

It started with passing our Thanksgiving  celebration off to my two oldest daughters.  One has a big house, both can cook.  They took the torch willingly and did a great job.  I divied up my Christmas decorations…there isn’t room in a three bedroom apartment for 2,500 square feet of Christmas.  I kept the Santa collection, of course, it was the first and will be the last.  I only baked two kinds of cookies for the holidays, our two favorites.  I trained my replacement at work on almost everything I do, and narrowed my day job down to a manageable roar.  But I still couldn’t write.  Plots upon plots played out in my dreams, disappearing like mist the minute I opened my eyes. 

At the end of November me and my grandgirls Jazz and Bri, started rehearsals for the community theater’s angel tree production.  They sang in the children’s choir and I actually had three lines this year (a step up from third bush behind the outhouse).  We raised many thousands of dollars for the Salvation Army, enough for more than 60 kids to have presents that wouldn’t have had, and money for the food bank.  And somewhere in that rush of rehearsals and performances, a spark of a story emerged – scribbled on the back of my script between acts at our second show.  By the time we wrapped, I felt like I was thinking again, and words were getting on paper. 

Last night our family gathered for our Christmas celebration.  Today my kids with children will celebrate with their other families and my single kids will drift over later this afternoon.  Its quiet, and very peaceful here in my home office, except for the fidgeting and grumbling from the cast of my newest book who are anxiously waiting for me to finish this so they can tell me their stories. 

Merry Christmas everyone!  Thank you so much for dropping by and letting me know you were thinking about me during my long absence. 


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

The Collective Short Story Going on Strike

18 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Hayden  |  December 25, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    Merry Christmas, Kat, glad to see you back. When someone as prolific as you goes radio silent, there’s always room for worry.

    Sounds to me like you’re doing all of the right things – the first, most important step being the acknowledgment that just maybe you don’t still WANT to do it all… everything in it’s time. Sounds like a serious case of exhaustion, and an important re-ranking of priorities.

    Congrats on your community theatre involvement – I remember last years stories!

    Best wishes and a shower of blessings for you and yours…

  • 2. Hayden  |  December 25, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    thinking again about this – it seems that the traditions we create are always additive, so by the time we hit middle age we’re loaded with so many wonderful routines that the collective weight is impossible to maintain!

  • 3. Mr. Fabulous  |  December 25, 2007 at 9:56 pm

    Welcome back my friend. I am glad you have found a balance, glad you are feeling better, and glad you are writing again.

    Merry Christmas!

  • 4. Jerry  |  December 25, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    Dear Kathy – I stumbled across your blog a few days ago and spent some time reading. You really are an outstanding writer! I was sorry to hear about Neil’s dad and that things weren’t going well between you. Hopefully things will work out for you. You guys have a lot to build on. You have a beautiful family and I can’t get over the two oldest girls. They definitely have their mother’s good looks. My best to you and your family. I hope you feel better soon.

    Have a Merry Christmas and a great New Year!


  • 5. QuillDancer  |  December 25, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    Merry Christmas, Kat. Here’s wishing you a happy, healthy, joyful, word-filled fresh start on next year. May all you touch be blessed. May your family be filled with joy. May the next year bring you much love and happiness.

  • 6. Jamaican Dawta  |  December 26, 2007 at 1:46 am

    So glad to have you back. Missed you much.

    Merry Christmas to you and the rest of the family. Wishing you all a fantastic and blessed 2008!

  • 7. Dave  |  December 26, 2007 at 4:56 am

    phew…. its so good to have ya back Kat. I shall call of the rescue party.

  • 8. katcampbell  |  December 26, 2007 at 8:05 am

    Thanks everybody!

    Jerry! Wow, what a surprise…you don’t think you’re gonna just get to drop in and disappear again do you? What’s up with your life?!

  • 9. Linda  |  December 26, 2007 at 8:30 am

    Yay, you’re back! I am with you on the sickness. In the last month our family has had a nasty stomach virus, pink eye (some of us twice) and now awful colds that border on something more sinister. Thankfully, dispite all of the illnesses we were able to pull off a beautiful Christmas.

    Merry Christmas, Kat!!

  • 10. Dave M  |  December 26, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    Merry Christmas Kat, and like the rest, very pleased to see you back. Lets hope the New Year brings whatever you wish for.

    Loads of nasty bugs doing the rounds here too, so I hope you have seen them off completely. A very fit friend of mine had pneumonia recently and it laid her low, so I can understand how much effort it took to do things. It’s horrible.

    Looking forward to reading your posts again. Take care of yourself Kat.

  • 11. Janet  |  December 26, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    I’m glad you’re feeling better! You sure have been busy when you weren’t sick. Merry Christmas (a day late)!

  • 12. rel  |  December 26, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    Girl you had me worried to death. I thought that maybe you har moved to venus!
    Glad you’re mended!
    Merry Christmas.

  • 13. hammer  |  December 27, 2007 at 8:33 am

    Damn, take care of yourself. It’s been a month since my pnemonia and I’m still not 100%

    Don’t push yourself.

  • 14. Barb  |  December 27, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    Well Santa was kind to me, I got more than my normal wishes this year MY FRIEND is in her way back YAHOO.
    hugs and all that stuff
    Lu Ya.

  • 15. Zhadi  |  December 28, 2007 at 12:01 am

    Kat, I’m so glad you’re feeling better! I’ve been hit with bugs like that and it’s no fun and kind of scary. I need to get you a copy of my book now that you can read again!

    Stay healthy!!!!

  • 16. katherine.  |  December 28, 2007 at 3:22 am

    you’ve been busy…good to see you again…

  • 17. Tim_Id  |  December 28, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    Glad you are feeling better Kat and happy holidays!

  • 18. guyana-gyal  |  January 4, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    Gosh Kat, that sounds like me in April, it was terrible. I sure missed you even though I didn’t say so, I checked often and thought you’d quit blogging.


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The free-lance writer is the person who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps. (Robert Benchley)

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Shortly after I learned to use a spoon, I learned to use a pencil. Crippled by shyness as a child, I found that the things I couldn't say out loud, I could say with a pen, and then a typewriter. The shyness was overcome with education and age...but the need to write has never left me.

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