Tuesday, June 12, 2007

House of pain

Writing is going well. Nothing to report, still typing away. Also had lots of meetings last week, one for a new TV series I'm helping a company to develop, one for an episode of another potential new series. Lots of cool new stuff maybe happening soon. Got to keep those jobs coming in. In one meeting, they asked what my Who episode was about, but I refused to tell them, have refused to tell *anyone*. It was a BBC meeting too, different department, but I still wouldn't tell them, in case the whole thing was a trap. Just in case, I stabbed them in the head with forks, and leaped out the window to cover my tracks. And then I went and paid a nice lady to hurt me.

Okay, okay, I just wanted to make it sound rude. I actually went for my first ever deep tissue massage, which bloody hurt. I usually write on the sofa, with my laptop, either hunched forward at the table, or leaning back with it on my lap. Neither are much good for my back, and the muscles have been getting knotted up and gnarly for some time now. Combined with the ridiculous amount of work I've been doing, it got to the point where it really hurt if I sat back in a certain way, felt as if a bone had come off or something. So I went to get myself looked at, and pummeled a bit. I knew it would probably hurt. But how bad could it be? It's just someone using their hands to poke and prod my back...

Oh. Jesus. It. Hurt. Partly cause I'm a big wuss, mainly cause my back was trashed. She said the muscles were incredibly knotted and tensed up, which was why she had to be so rough on me. Started with the muscle warmup, rubbing my back, which was perfectly pleasant, lulling me into a false sense of security. Then suddenly her hands transformed into STEEL PIPES, which she pounded into my back. I was yelping in pain, swearing, flinching, at times it felt she was jabbing me with the corner of a wardrobe. It ached for the next day, but felt a lot looser. Feels pretty good today, not sore at all. But she said I'd need to go back regularly, at least once a month, just to keep things loose. And I have to sit properly while typing in future, or... or I don't know, she'll probably smash my face in or something.

The whole time, there was gentle muzak playing in the corner. Now, whenever I hear any of that plnky-plonky stuff, I react like Alex from A Clockwork Orange after he's been through the Ludovico Technique, quivering on the floor. Still, my back feels good, so, you know, swings and roundabouts.

19 comments:

Belzecue said...

James, you should try a beanbag. Make sure it's fairly full, so that it retains a firm shape. For years I wrote at a desk. After recurring back issues I switched to sitting in a beanbag in the loungeroom with the laptop across my thighs. A beanbag lets you get your arms and wrists into whatever angle is most comfortable and ergonomic. You can sit in those things for hours without leg cramp or back stiffness. Getting into and out of the beanbag (after a long time) is the only part you need to be careful with.

I wouldn't go back to the desk if you draped a naked Carmen Electra over it. You listening, Carmen? Yeah, girl. You just got pwned.

Lucy said...

You know what I'm gonna say, don't you? The woman's ace card:

CHILDBIRTH.

Nothing compares my friend in terms of pain, even being poked with steel pipes and the corner of wardrobes. In fact, I would prefer that.

Oli said...

You stabbed them with forks? You've missed a greak opportunity to promote your blog via a serial killer calling card: sporks, James, you should have used sporks.

I have the same back problems, btw, and I only write at evenings and weekends. I think the one thing writers all share is we sit like Golem.

Dom Carver said...

Glad the massage worked, James.

My wife is learning to do it for a living and I have been her guinea pig. I've had a lower back problem for years and she sorted it out in two months. It hasn't bothered me since (except for that pinched nerve the other week, but that was a one off and not related to previous back pain). It's so nice to be pain free at last, after all those years.

When the wife starts her business up, I'll be taking bookings from all you scriptwriters with fucked backs ;-)

Lee said...

I just had one not half an hour ago, and it was bliss, I tell you. Sheer bliss.

And no, not because it was that type of massage.

Lucy said...

Come off it Lee, we know you have no girlfriend and spend all your time ogling Seven of Nine. What other "kind" of massage could it possibly be other than the rooooooooooooooooooooooood one??

Lee said...

You can't rile me, Lucy. I'm too chilled to give a fuck :)

Jason Arnopp said...

Laptop on a bloody sofa? Sweet f**kery-duckery, sir, you've got yourself a one-way ticket to RSI-Ville there, unless you change your ways. And believe you me, RSI-Ville is not a nice place to visit, let alone live. It's a bit like Ipswich.

Dom Carver said...

Ipswich? Don't they force you to eat tripe sandwiches and try and sell you their mother when you visit?

Peter Pan said...

And you actually PAID for this? Sick and wrong.

Blogless Martin said...

I can't sit at a desk for more than two hours without getting back pain, so I write laying down, knees up, with the laptop resting on a laptray.

it's a hard life this writing game, isnt it? ;)

Now if only I could get someone to pay me to do it...

Piers said...

I'm reliably informed that an Aeron Chair will sort out many of your back problems, leading to a life of no-RSI bliss.

Unfortunately they cost seven hundred odd quid.

Maybe next year.

Dan said...

Oh now I'm really looking forward to it...

Currently on my fifth week of physio for the back and the neck and the oooh and the arrgh. The deep tissue sesh is to come, apparently.

Has she done the full cavity search on you? Tell me she's done the full cavity search. That is one of the treatments? Right?

MaBozaAitken said...

A massage with no happy ending? What kind of weirdo are you?

Ruth said...

A question about writing for Dr Who, not back pain.

I hope I can ask this - how much do they dictate the content of the episode? I mean, having seen Saturday's ep (which made me kind of giddy in a joyful way, like a small child), the person who wrote the one set in the boarding school obviously was given the "watch = human" bit. How free are you to incorporate your own ideas for story, characters, scenes, etc.?

Jaded and Cynical said...

And do you write the dialogue, or do the actors make it up as they go along?

Mark C said...

You're not fooling anyone. I'm sure you now have a team of assistants -- someone to do the typing, someone to fluff pillows, someone to feed you grapes (after they've been peeled in the grape-peeling room).

Frances Lynn said...

I sympathise .... my round shoulders are killing me/are hunched up around my neck. Snag is, I can't resist sitting on the edge of my typing chair, my nose practically against the screen on my desktop while I keytap (if the writing is going well). That's why Massages (sports ones are effective) are a temporary relief.


Frances

James Moran said...

Aeron chair would be lovely, but I don't have a desk, or any space for a desk...

Ruth: They give you the basic idea and setup, but it's pretty open for you to bring your own ideas and stuff, which is cool. Human Nature was adapted from Mr Cornell's own book, but I don't know what was kept/changed - I haven't read the original yet, so the watch might have been in there already.

Jaded: Well, basically-- wait a minute! You're joshing with me! You cheeky scamp!