Last week, I had a dispute with an apple and a fruit knife, which I definitely didn’t win, though I like to think the apple came out worst, given that it ended up not only cut up, but covered in my blood. I didn’t end up covered in apple blood, ha ha. Anyway, I ended up having surgery on a severed tendon, which will take 12 weeks for me to recover from. In the meantime, I will be writing using this word recognition software, which is actually pretty good, aside from the fact that every time I want to use the word Apple it capitalises Apple so you may think that I attacked the well-known computer company with a fruit knife if I am too lazy to go back and change it. It also has a weird tendency to add letters to the end of sentences that I have not put there. I suspect it is trying to communicate with me. I’m like that girl in Electric Dreams, computers find me irresistible. I smell of data pheromones.
Wrestling with dictation software is the least of my worries. Living without a left hand is pretty tricky, even if you are right handed. The strangest things are almost impossible. Like hanging a heavy coat on a coat hanger. Or washing your hands. or, especially, washing your right arm. I don’t think I’m going to be able to wash my right arm for three months. If we run into each other, best stand to the left of me. Then, there are the minor triumphs. Putting on a bra. Peeling a carrot. Dancing gangland style, and if you knew how long I tried to get it to spell that correctly, I think you’d just feel embarrassed for me, frankly. Also, I haven’t actually managed to Dansk Enron style (oh, that’s even better). That’s just wishful thinking. Though, if this hand injury doesn’t clear up, I may choose that as my Paralympic event for Rio.
It’s a pain, literally and figuratively. Having said that, I’m quite excited by the idea of dictating my novel. I have no idea if it’ll work. But the idea of writing in a completely new way is appealing, and rare. I wrote stories by hand at school, but for longer pieces I used a typewriter, and since graduating I have always used a computer. Composing out loud, even this blog post, feels completely different. It worked for Milton, and he wasn’t averse to the odd bit of updating mythology himself. And I’ve always felt that my writing style and my speaking style are quite similar. And nobody’s ever accused me of not liking the sound of my invoice – oh, I just can’t resist these typos. My own voice, obviously, though who doesn’t like issuing a tasty invoice from time to time. Maybe I’ll discover a whole new way of writing. Or maybe I won’t, but knowing I can at least try makes me feel less helpless. And failing that, there’s always pens.