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Day Fourteen, Diazepam and Scarlett Johansson

OMG like….WTF…

Yeah I’m thirty-eight so best not go with the text speak. Thank you to David Schleicher for covering the blog while I wept like a baby on the sofa from excruciating shoulder pain. Honestly, I turned into Roy for a few days and in the space of about a week I visited a Chinese acupuncture / massage lady who took great delight in stabbing me repeatedly in the neck with really sharp needles and then proceeded to dig her elbows into my shoulder and back.

After that I saw a physiotherapist who tried to show me the latest wrestling moves by launching me round his treatment room while doing his best impersonation of an unarmed and very angry Dave.

Then I gave up on alternative therapy and went for good old fashioned hard drugs, namely Diazepam.

Whoa! Have you ever taken Diazepam? I’m a big girls blouse when it comes to medication and get fretful even taking Paracetamol, so something as strong as Diazepam had a very marked effect.

All my own fault of course. Hours spent sitting at my dining room table evilly jabbing away at the keyboard, then walking three huge dogs with a combined weight of over 100kilos who are determined to remove my arms from my body. Then of course there is the gym. The good old gym where something magical happens that makes my mind think I’m still twenty-five and can leap around like I’m competing on Ninja Warrior.

I was on my own in there as I tend to go during the afternoon when the place is quiet. Had a nice run and started playing about with all the different machines, one thing led to another and I was trying to lift things that were really far too heavy for me.

Got up the next morning and couldn’t move. Full on “Roy” panic and obviously I was dying, clearly I was dying, I mean pain doesn’t exist like that unless your body is slowly slicing itself into two parts does it?

The Chinese lady helped a bit, then the physiotherapist did a bit more and I felt better, better enough to take one of my dogs out to try ball throwing. The first under-arm throw went about five feet which prompted the dog to just stare at me with an expression of what the fuck was that?

Second throw a bit further but he still wasn’t impressed and only got it back when I refused to go after it. A few minutes later and I’m trying to launch the tennis ball at the moon.

Got up the next morning and couldn’t move, Roy was eclipsed by Reggie in full on panic mixed with Paco from his early days, of course I was dying again, I mean surely pain doesn’t exist like that unless death is imminent…

Decided this definitely needed a visit to the out of hours GP service at the hospital, so I duly called my mother and begged her to drive me as I couldn’t move. By the time we got there I was writing my will and trying to phone the editor to dictate the foreword that should go in the book. RR Haywood was so brave that even in his final death throes he called thinking of the readers…such a brave man.

I mean obviously I was on my way out, surely pain like that doesn’t exist unless….yeah we been there.

After begging every member of uniformed staff for drugs, which was the receptionist, the cleaners, the two men pushing an empty hospital bed and the really nice lady behind the coffee counter I finally got taken into an examination room.

Now, people keep going on about broken Britain and how shit the NHS is. Not so, it was fantastic. The nurse was lovely, taking into account I was clearly dying as surely pain like that doesn’t exist….anyway, she was very nice. The Doctor was awesome in that blunt, to-the-point let’s not fuck about and waste each other’s time­ kind of way that I actually deeply respect. ‘I’m dying.’ ‘You’ve hurt your shoulder.’ ‘I’m dying.’ ‘Go have an X-ray.’ ‘Don’t waste the radiation Doc, save it for those that will live.’ ‘Be quiet and go with the X-ray lady.’ At this point it is worth mentioning the haircut. This is truthful and my dear old mother who took me to the hospital will testify to it.

On waking up with the painful shoulder and the obvious fact that I was dying, for some delirious reason I decided I needed to cut my hair. Use clippers you see, quick once over on grade two and job done. Truly, I have no idea as to why I made that decision at that time. I can only put it down to being delirious at the prospect of my swiftly approaching demise from the planet and wishing to go out looking half-tidy for a change.

But being right handed, and it being my right shoulder that was bad, I didn’t get to finish the haircut but rather, got halfway before I realised what I was doing and that in actual fact, it was causing me a great deal of pain. So I gave up.

Scarlett Johansson was the radiologist on duty in my local hospital that day, no idea why. Maybe she was researching a part for a movie, of course it wasn’t really Scarlett Johansson. The radiologist made Ms Johansson look like a decaying zombie by comparison.

I couldn’t stand up straight and the only comfortable position was sort of hunched to the right with my right arm curled up in front of me but raised up a bit. Wearing a hospital gown. With half a shaved head. While Scarlett Johansson X-rayed my shoulder three times. ‘I write books.’ ‘That’s nice, stand there please.’ ‘Really I do, like real books.’ ‘I’m sure you do, just move to the right please.’ ‘Yeah zombie books.’ ‘You don’t say, turn round please…oh they didn’t tie the string up on the gown, here let me…’ ‘Ahhh no! I’m an author and everything and I’ve got puppies and I tried to shave my head but it didn’t work….I think I’m dying.’ ‘Hmmm, of course, all done, take care now.’

Five minutes later the Doctor is back telling me the X-ray was fine and forcing me to take lots of big pills. Like he actually strapped me down and forced them into my mouth while I struggled heroically to break free and rescue Scarlett from the evil Nazi doctors.

That didn’t happen. I took the Diazepam and went home, sleeping and dribbling in my mother’s car until we got to my house where she told me to cut my hair properly next time and “try wearing matching socks Richard”.

So David Schleicher stepped in to cover a blog entry for me.Really cool guy and if you haven’t read his books Dead Life Book One and Two then I would urge you to do so, they are very good.

While I was out of it, Brimmers; that being the nickname for the editor Rachael Brimstone, got Day Fourteen finished off, and from here on she shall always be known as Brimmers.

Brimmers got the book done and I released it late last night, that being Friday night or more precisely 3am on Saturday morning, not that I’ve got OCD with stuff like that, really I haven’t.

Ahem, but the book is flying out and as of 9pm on Saturday evening it was ranked number one in the Occult chart and Number two in the horror chart which is just staggering. Really, no sarcasm here and nothing but absolute sincerity, I am truly staggered and honoured that so many people are downloading it.

We’ve also got the second compilation book out, aptly named er…The Undead The Second Week. I was going to go with The Next Seven Days which is a way cooler title but would fuck everything up for the seven days after that, what would that be called? The Next Seven Days After the Last Seven Days or OtherWise Known As Week Three. Not catchy, not catchy at all and I don’t think even Eddy the illustrator with his fingers of magic could make that title fit (he probably could, very magical is our Eddy the illustrator, trained at Hogwarts dontchaknow).

Right, so to celebrate the release of Day Fourteen which is a milestone of epicness seeing as how The Undead has now reached a million words!

The “new book release competition” shall be held, yeah I’m great with titles, really great. The prize this time is a bumper box of goodies.

A signed copy of every book. Day One through to Day Fourteen, all pristine from the printers and each one signed by me, plus the usual goodies like mugs, pens and cool stuff, maybe a mousemat too (very exciting!)

And all sent at my expense to a UK address of your choosing, (he adds quickly, deeply worried that someone from Australia will win).

The following line has to be added and finished to the review:

“Lions and tigers and bears ….** **”

Any four or five star review that has the whole completed line within the review text will be entered into a draw, namely the woolly dog walking hat.

Day Fourteen is a big book so we’ll give it a month.

May I ask a favour? Indie authors live by reviews, they are the only real way we’ll ever stand a chance of getting noticed by agents and publishers. The second compilation has been released and needs reviews and I would be most humbly obliged if any of you get a few spare minutes to post one on there.

Lastly, thank you for the amazing comments and replies I got from the debate of whether to re-write Day One or not. The over-whelming response was to leave it alone but get it edited and proof-read. I was half-way through writing the new one when the responses started flooding in so I’ve left it half completed.

Thank you, it shall stay as it is. Brimmers the editor will do some work instead to get rid of the typo’s and errors and sort those pesky little commas out.

I really hope you enjoy Day Fourteen and please let me know what you think.

Take care

RR Haywood


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