Working while sick

I am apologizing in advance for this very lame blog. Last week I caught a cold and also slipped in the bathroom, jamming my big toe. So I’ve been sniffling and hobbling and generally slow to get things done. I really should have asked on of my fellow Riskies to cover for me today. But it’s too late now, so you’ll have to bear with my ramblings!

Despite the cold I’ve still been trying to partake in National Novel Writing Month. For anyone who hasn’t heard of it, NaNoWriMo poses the challenge of writing at least 50,000 words of a new novel in thirty days. This year about 100,000 people all over the world are participating. I’ve even met some Dutch romance fans who are interested in the Dutch translation of LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE. Though I’m barely hanging in there with wordcount, I’ve had fun so far and gotten some new ideas.

However, yesterday I took the afternoon off writing to concentrate on research. Yes, heavy duty research. I spent a whole couple of hours curled up in bed watching Sharpe’s Revenge. I’ve been working my way through the series as background for my military hero. How I suffer for my craft! I do adore Sharpe, even though he falls in and out of love too quickly to be an ideal romantic hero. I wonder if this is why some of us are writing (or thinking about writing) our own Peninsular war stories?

I haven’t used them this time round, but some of my other favorite ways of salvaging a sick day are rereading Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer and Loretta Chase. Obviously, I study them in order to understand what makes a good comfort read.

Do you have any favorite ways of “working” while sick? What are your comfort reads? If you’ve seen it, what did you think of Sharpe’s Revenge? Of the romantic elements in the series as a whole?


About Elena Greene

Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother's Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING'S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club's award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011. When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.
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18 Responses to Working while sick

  1. Lois says:

    Hope you feel better really soon!! πŸ™‚ Alas, when I’m (really) sick, it tends to be a cold into an asthma attack, and I’m not always in the mood to read or such. . . usually too tired from being up all night. But I did have a tradition as a kid and that’s watching Star Wars (usually Return of the Jedi) when I’m sounding like Vader myself. As I got older, I no longer had as many attacks, but I sometimes would still do the tradition. πŸ˜‰

    But there were times during my first college days that if it wasn’t exactly the worst time breathing, I still had to go in. . . you just can’t always miss days or classes. Pooh.


  2. My comforts when I’m sick include tomato soup and grilled cheese. And my comfort reads are anything light and fluffy. Julia Quinn, Meg Cabot and Jennifer Crusie come to mind or something like Our Tempestuous Day by Carrolly Erickson. I also love watching movies that I adore like Lion in Winter or Dark Victory. Hmm, the Sharpe series. Love Sean Bean but never really got into the series or Hornblower for that matter.

  3. I’ve seen every Sharpe except for that last one they made a coupla years ago. I love Sharpe, he is the model for my not yet written next story (for so many of us, I think).

    When I’m sick, I like to curl up in bed and sleep. It’s one of the few times I can nap without guilt. And I drink lots and lots of tea.

    And Lois, I have asthma, too, but not as bad as it sounds you do. My son got it too, unfortunately,. Nothing’s worse than not breathing.

    I hope you feel better soon, Elena.

  4. Oh, and your sick post is better than most of my feeling okay posts, so don’t worry about that.

    Or maybe I should be worrying because I am so off the cuff most Fridays.

    Oh, well. Two days to plan a topic. Hm.

  5. A whole afternoon of Sharpe movies! You ARE suffering for your craft. πŸ™‚

    I second the lots of tea thing, and tomato soup and grilled cheese. I like to watch stuff like Breakfast at Tiffany’s or Pride and Prejudice. Once I had to write the ending of a book while suffering with flu (deadlines, yuck), and it ended up being some of my best writing in the book. Maybe cold meds are the answer to writers’ block. πŸ™‚

  6. My appreciation of the Sharpe series is well known, though I like the books much better than the movies, even with Sean Bean factored in. They’re just so much richer. (Now, if Sean Bean would come over to my house and read the books to me in that delicious voice of his, THAT would be the best of all possible worlds.)

    One of the main characters in my alternate history WIP bears more than a passing resemblance to Sharpe, I have to admit, though more in circumstances as an officer raised from the ranks and trying to claw his way up in the world than in personality. My guy is much more mellow when he’s not actually in the middle of a battle, and he’s a bookworm and a total one-woman man, at least once he meets the one woman!

  7. Elena, a stubbed toe and a stuffed nose. Yikes, you go all out when you’re sick, don’t you? πŸ™‚ Feel better soon!!!!!!

    When I’m not well, reading is the only thing I like to do. My fav authors, include Julie Garwood, Georgette Heyer, Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, Teresa Medeiros…The list is rather long.

  8. Cara King says:

    When I’m sick, I like to watch Disney animated DVDs, or Shakespeare in Love. But most often, I just stay in bed and sleep.

    Hope you feel better soon, Elena!


  9. Hope you feel better soon, Elena. I’m at work surrounded by sneezing people–it’s like being in a pest house–and wondering how long my luck will hold. Sick leave? Ha. Not here.

    I believe in tea and tv.

    Apply three leeches and call on me in the morning…

  10. Tracy Grant says:

    I drink tons of tea with honey when I’m sick (normally I drink it unsweetened with milk). And I curl up in an armchair with comfort reads by Georgette Heyer, Barbara Hambly, and Laurie King, among others. Or I watch videos–totally agree with Cara about “Shakespeare in Love”. Also “An Idea Husband”, “Pride and Prejudice” (various versions), and episodes of “The X-Files” or “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”.

    I love the Sharpe series, both the books and the films. (Definitely some of the inspiration for the Peininsular War flashbacks in ‘Secrets of a Lady”). I like the romantic elements in the series, but I get frustrated by the way the romances don’t last (often, to give Sharpe credit, for reasons beyond his control). I stopped reading the books for a while because I was so upset when Teresa died. I love the Sharpe/Teresa relationship in the fims as well. “Sharpe’s Revenge” is the one with Lucille, right? I liked it both for the story (the aftermath of the war is interesting) and for the romance–next to Teresa, Lucille is my favorite heroine in the series.

  11. Diane Gaston says:

    Elena, you poor thing! I hope hubby and children are doting on you and taking care of all the routine stuff.

    When sick I advocate eating whatever you feel like eating, drinking tea, staying in jammies or comfortable clothes and wrapping up in an afgan or a nice soft blanket. With a cold, my eyes always water too much to read, but this is a great time to watch DVDs.

  12. Diane Gaston says:

    Susan said
    My appreciation of the Sharpe series is well known, though I like the books much better than the movies, even with Sean Bean factored in. They’re just so much richer. (Now, if Sean Bean would come over to my house and read the books to me in that delicious voice of his, THAT would be the best of all possible worlds.)

    Oh, Susan, even better than Sean Bean is listening to the Chivers Audiobook versions of the Sharpe series read by William Gaminara. No one has a sexier voice.

    I listened to almost all the Sharpe books on the Chivers audiotapes. My library had them all, but then when the new book came out, they saved a few pennies and had some boring, ponderous, nasally guy reading and I could not bear it!!

    The books are so much richer than the Sean Bean movies. I love them…as long as William Gaminara narrates.

    Here’s a url to a list:

  13. janegeorge says:

    My feel-better movies are similar, P&P, Sense & Sensibility, You’ve Got Mail. I love the Harry Nilsson soundtrack on that one.

    Jo Beverley is a stand-by comfort read.

    Feel better Elena! In the immortal words of Harry Nilsson, “Put the lime in the coconut…”

  14. Elena Greene says:

    Thanks for all the kind wishes, everyone!

    Yes I am drinking lots of tea with honey in it. But as for my family helping keep the routine going, ha! That’s why Rule #1 for mothers is to never get sick. Rule #2 If you do get sick, see Rule #1. They still need to be fed, homework still has to be done, etc… But at least while they’re at school I can pamper myself.

    As for Sharpe I’m almost scared to admit I’ve read only one of the books. Perhaps his romantic affairs seem too rapid-fire in the films and would make a bit more sense in book form. BTW I almost always read the book before any movie, but with so many in this series I haven’t managed it yet. For research purposes I also wanted some visuals. Yup. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. πŸ™‚

  15. Santa says:

    Sadly, I have not seen Sharpe’s Revenge. I actually ordered BBC-America so I could catch programs like ‘Sharpe’s Revenge’. Have they shown anything that resembles it? Nope!

    What was the question? Ah, yes, things that make me feel better when I am sick. Comfort reads like my Regency trads, re-reading my auto-buys and, yes, mindless hours of TV and movies like P&P. At least until the kids come home….

  16. doglady says:

    Feel better soon, Elena!! I drink gallons of Earl Gray and eat almost anything on an English muffin. I crawl into bed with my three cats and two dogs in my flannel jammies and watch DVDs – everything from Disney to P&P while I read some G. Heyer, Julia Quinn and Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter, anyone?)

  17. Todd says:

    I mostly try to avoid getting sick in the first place, because these days I usually can’t stop working. So I’ve become kind of paranoid about washing my hands if I’m around anyone who’s sick. πŸ™‚ I think people with kids are much worse off, because kids like to swap diseases amongst themselves and then bring them home to share with their parents. πŸ™

    Tea and tomato soup work for me. And I tend to read a lot in bed. But I do that even when I’m healthy, so I don’t know that it counts.

    I like the Sharpe movies, though some of them much better than others; I like the books a lot more, though there are a couple of those that don’t work for me, either. (One of them is Sharpe’s Gold–in fact, neither the book nor the movie work for me, even though they are totally different from each other!) But Sharpe is a great character, and I love the detail that Cornwell brings out in his setting and historical events.


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