Back At The Keyboard Post-Concussion


Two years, one month, and two weeks post-concussion, I am joyfully back to the keyboard. My characters have returned. They ‘peer over my shoulders’ and make observations that amuse, disturb, irritate, surprise and satisfy me. I had missed them and feared that their absence over the past two years was permanent.

When I resumed writing in October 2015, it was to assess whether I could still string words together. I could. With much effort. The posts I did were descriptions under the guise of theatre reviews. They were an intentional test of my ability to remember, assimilate and make sense of the productions I was seeing. Straight-forward productions were relatively easy to review; they took a few hours to write up. Others like If/Then were challenging. And some, like the the brilliant Broadway production of A Curious Incident of The Dog In The Nighttime, were impossible.

In the spring of 2016 I resumed work on my manuscript; I had last touched it in December 2014. To my great sadness, all I could do was edit… and edit… and edit some more. My characters had gone AWOL, and  I had no idea how to create bridging chapters from where I had left off  to the last chapter. I had written that chapter about two and a half years ago when I had determined that the manuscript was at the one-third point.

This past November, twenty-three months post-concussion, my characters, along with my memory, began to return. I’m more than relieved; I’m ecstatic. Over the next many months, creative rather than descriptive writing will be my focus . Please know, that the absence of new posts on this site will mean that I’m happily absorbed with, and distracted by, the process of story-making.  Signing off for now…

Bonnie Lendrum is the author of Autumn’s Grace, the story of how one family manages the experience of palliative care with hope and humor despite sibling conflicts, generational pulls and career demands.

Give It A Rest!

X-country skiing Eastern Townships

The winter months have traditionally been my time to write. I hunker down, throw on a cape, steep tea, and spend hours at my computer. The next day I re-write everything from the day before, and then begin anew. The process goes on for months and I love it. Inevitably, the first signs of spring provoke anxiety. Lengthening days mean the garden will soon be in bud, and the competition for writing time will begin. Weeds will sprout. I will fret. And then I will succumb. Weeding, seeding, tilling, dead-heading, and mowing will prevail through the summer months until October when I put the gardens to bed for another year.

This spring however is different. A concussion in early December de-railed any plans to complete my current manuscript. In fact, I have spent this winter not writing and not reading. The experience has been akin to a forced withdrawal which may explain why this spring, instead of  trepidation I’m sensing anticipation. The garden, I am thinking, will become an extension of my physio-occupational therapy…snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, walking, yoga, mending, and cooking. The time I spend getting my fingernails and knees dirty will be additional time for my brain to heal. At some point during my excavations I hope my characters will “join” me. In previous years they have been at the edge of my consciousness …always. Listening. Observing. Developing. However for the past few months they have been noticeably truant. I suspect their absence has been my brain’s way of saying “Give it a rest, why don’t ya?” And so I will continue to do just that, while I listen, observe, heal….and wait.