Pic of the day: Reboundancy, one of my City of Heroes characters, regenerating after fighting a wicked witch (lower right). Don't worry, we heroes don't kill our enemies. We "defeat" them... in this case evidently by breaking a leg. Ouch, that looks like it would hurt more than my wrist after typing a chapter of novel. And this brings us to today's topic...
I wonder if playing a regenerating character in City of Heroes causes me to regenerate in real life too? After all, body and soul are closely interconnected. On the other hand, I have been playing flying characters in City of Heroes for three years now, and gravity still maintains its grip on my physical body...
A more likely explanation why my wrist and arm feel better this year is that I have been playing less than earlier years. Pretty much any game I play causes some strain on my wrist, although some of them cause less stress than typing. In contrast, dictation does not cause any strain on my wrist that all... at least unless I have to edit heavily. And I now have the best dictation program available, or at least the basic version of it. There are more advanced versions of Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9, but they add more features rather than improve speech recognition as such.
Even though I have this speech recognition software, I still type most of the text of my novel. It seems to me that talking interferes with thinking. It could well be the other way around for most people, who are used to talking much more than they type. Then again, listening to most people when they talk... perhaps not. In any case, you may want to test this for yourself by comparing the entries I dictate with the ones I type. This one, for instance, I am dictating. Sometimes I use both for different parts of a long entry. You can usually recognize them on the errors. If I misspell a word, for instance by transposing two characters, I have surely typed it. On the other hand, if you find a string of words that are spelled correctly but don't make sense in the context, then I have probably dictated and not noticed that my software took liberties with the text.
I have been lucky to not have a strep throat this November, as I had last year. I have tried to act preemptively by keeping quiet when my throat began to become sore, and take some throat lozenges instead. But also, each new and better version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking allows me to speak more quietly. While I can't just whisper, I can speak so softly that it would be hard to hear for someone in the other end of the room. Needless to say, this is not something I usually do in real life.
Still, despite all progress, I am still always on the verge of destroying my hand and arm again. It is perhaps more correct to say that they have never healed completely, and perhaps they never will. Almost every day during the NaNoWriMo I apply some painkiller gel on my wrist and shoulder/neck. This is not so much for the pain as for its anti-inflammatory effect. Perhaps there will come a year when I can write without such aid. Then again, perhaps not. I'm not young anymore, and having spent so many years damaging that arm, it may take even longer to heal it. One can always hope, though. And play a regenerating character in City of Heroes... carefully, very carefully.
Visit the archive page for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.