Category Archives: Back Pain


Any challenge is a good challenge: whether you win or not, you still learn a lot about yourself, what works for you, what needs to be improved.


In my case, Inktober has proven absolutely excellent for producing sketches without too many problems regarding finish: they are sketches, naturally they can be improved. They are like drafts for writing.

However, Inktober has also shown me (again!) that with my back issues (degenerative disk syndrome, slipped disks, etc) it can be difficult at times to keep the position necessary for drawing, ie. sitting. I can write half lying down, can’t successfully/comfortably draw in that position. Not yet anyway.  So, yes, I missed some days 🙂


I like roses a lot, especially stylized ones. This one was drawn using gold ink by Windsor & Newton (thank you Frankie!), black marker and a fine line unbranded pen.


Let me know what you think! 🙂

#inktober #inktober2017

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Filed under Art, Art Challenge, Back Pain, drawing, Inktober 2017, my art, Sketches

INKTOBER DAY 18: Ink Goblin

You may want to ask, what happened to Days 14 to 17? Well, my back happened. I have some problems with my vertebrae and now and then I overdo it (or not, sometimes it is just a normal movement, like tying your shoelaces, or walking to buy milk), so I lost those days to back pain, painkillers and a mist of aching.


#inktober #inktober2017


I will, at the end of Inktober, catch up with those days.

For now, here is:

INKTOBER DAY 18: the Ink Goblin

Done in pen and China ink and marker, this naughty goblin lives in inkpots and now and then goes on to adventures. He draws each petal carefully, and each pattern opens the way to a new a realm.Ink Goblin 2

Missing a few days was hard, but that’s how it goes, life hits unexpectedly, but one can get back up and pick up from where she left.

As always, if you want to suggest an idea for a prompt, just post it below 🙂

Thanks for following!

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Filed under Art, Art Challenge, Back Pain, drawing, Inktober 2017, invisible illness, my art, Sketches

INKTOBER DAYS 11, 12 & 13

My back is aching these days (I only tried to do some tidying up, not even something fun!) so I’m slower than I would like to be, but! I did find my lovely Intense Black China Ink by Lefranc & Bourgeois, a couple of brushes and my pen nibs.

Expect a lot more sploshes of ink coming your way 🙂

I played around a bit with two of these – can you guess which ones? I let myself enjoy the simple act of dipping the brush in water and ink and then let it interact with the paper. Only once dry, I looked to see what shapes were revealed.

All done in biro and China Ink.

DAY 11: Our shadows grow with us.

Shadows grow


DAY 12: The Silent Dragon.

Silent Dragon

DAY 13: We feel small against Oppression

We are small against oppressive powers

Let me know what you think!

#inktober  #inktober2017


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Filed under Art, Art Challenge, Back Pain, drawing, Inktober 2017, my art, Sketches

Time out for Thoughts is a good thing

Hello all 🙂

A quick update, to say why I was taking time out from blogging:

1) I was busy writing an essay (fingers crossed, not finished yet, but getting there).

2) I have recurrent back pain issues (as you can see in this post) and I had to drastically limit my computer time to the essential.

3) I was overwhelmed by the MNINB April Challenge – in a good way! But I needed the time to reflect on what I’ve learned and the excellent advice received. Besides, so many great people to get to know (on blogs, Twitter, Goodreads, LinkedIn, GooglePlus…). A few groups have formed from the challenge, on Facebook and Goodreads, and these deserve attention, too.

4) I’ve been thinking and planning, as per the advice received in the challenge, about this blog, about myself as a writer, about how to present my content, and what this content might be (the easy and factual answer is: what I’m interested about 😀 Still, to have an editorial plan, a project to follow, is sensible.

5) I went to a workshop which was very interesting and gave me even more ideas about future research and writing possibilities.

In conclusion: taking time out to think is a good thing. It’s proactive, and sometimes it may be better to take a good long look at what you’re doing, have a ‘landscape view’ of it: look at the forest instead of the trees. I’m already seeing the benefits of this thinking time I let myself have (this blog post is one example) and there will be more 🙂

And second: challenge yourself, now and then. Like I did with taking up My Name is Not Bob April Blog Challenge, or participating in a workshop I didn’t think I was qualified enough for. A challenge brings changes and different ways of looking at things, and refreshes you.

Have you taken up any challenges recently? Done anything differently? Are you too looking at your blogging activity and feeling worried or dissatisfied with your approach? Are you planning on doing something different?  Feel free to share 🙂

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Filed under Back Pain, Blogging

MNINB April Platform Challenge Day 17 and 18

The back issues I mentioned in my previous entry on Sartre and Backpain are back with a vengeance – another reminder for all writers out there, and everyone spending long hours sitting: look after your back, stand up and walk regularly, exercise if you can. More on back pain causes, symptoms and treatments on this site: Back Pain Advice.

April 17: take part in a Twitter conversation

I missed the MNINB chat, although I’ve participated to other chats in the past. In part it’s a question of time zones and being asleep when the rest of the world is awake (it feels like it, sometimes).

Anyway, there’ll be other Twitter chats 🙂 I’ll check the #MNINB convo and contribute, if later.

April 18: think about SEO

SEO: Search Engine Optimization. One of those big social networks words! Most important about this task is considering what content (if any) you want to offer and how aligned your blog is to your goal. It’s the biggest question of all (and yes, you can use keywords to make your blog’s content easily found, but that’s more of a technicality).

As I said before, I’m working on an editorial plan for this blog, in order to give myself a schedule for posting and focus on the topics I’m most interested in discussing here. I’m taking my time with it, although it’ll have to be flexible by necessity, because I want to be able to stick with a schedule until the end of this year.

And just like in the social media networks of today, everything is connected (and sometimes illuminated 😉 I need to decide on content in order to find my audience in order to schedule posting in order to use the best keywords in order to be found in order to establish a connection 🙂

Are you struggling with finding your topic? Your target audience? Do you want a target audience? It does sound all very …cold and marketing-speech like.

What I want is to write about the things I’m passionate about, and communicate it to others. There. Much better 🙂

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Sartre and backpain, all in one post!

I was going to write about Health & Safety for Writers at length, since right now the issue is quite relevant to me, and I think many writers take their back’s health for granted. What’s more normal than sitting for hours and hours on end, agonising on that last paragraph, the ideal beginning, the right ending? Well, those hours and hours on our backside make our backside fragile (and probably rotund), with a number of dire consequences looming in the future: from an annoying sore back to the extreme subluxations of slipped (or herniated, or prolapsed) discs (what I have). Sciatica is just the beginning.

Something like this seems to be incredibly useful and beneficial, a ‘zero’ gravity chair where the weight on the back is virtually eliminated:

(and if you know where I can try/find one similar to this one, please let me know)

So, Writers beware: exercise a little, take that walk, watch the diet, keep working your outside shell as you do your brain.

But instead of going on and on about my backpain (ahem), I’ll mention that I made a connection this morning about Sartre, abjection and abhumanity, liminality, Gothic body horror, slime and the appeal of films such as The Blob (1958):

This was a good day.

I’m enjoying writing my ‘Cronenberg-does-Victoriana’* novel (first draft and all that), I’m not enjoying the backpain that comes with it. And it comes full circle (the post).

*D. Bishop says so!


Filed under Back Pain, Writing