In 2008, cozy mystery, paranormal romance, and inspirational writer Joanne took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. She began by publishing articles and book reviews in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. Learn more about Joanne and her books at her website.
Dealing with my Achilles Tendon
I limped into my doctor’s office and described the muscle spasms in my right calf that had morphed into excruciating ankle pain. While speaking, my mind raced through possible remedies: physiotherapy (my preferred choice) or anti-inflammatory medication (I would grit my teeth and endure the nausea and upset stomach).
“You’re having problems with your Achilles tendon,” he said after inspecting my calf and ankle. “A boot will do the trick.”
“An Air Cast Boot,” he said while writing out a prescription. “You can pick one up at the Home Health Care Center across the street. Wear the boot for four to six weeks and your tendon will be back to normal.”
“What if I just rest and take it easy for a week? Maybe take some Tylenol 3...or something stronger?”
“Do you want to limp for the rest of your life?”
A bit extreme, I thought, but I was in no position to argue. At the Center, I listened as the sales associate explained the boot’s benefits. Wearing it would slowly and safely restore strength in my tendon while keeping the foot and ankle at a constant angle. She also showed me how to inflate and deflate the boot, but my mind was elsewhere.
There was no way I could drive, take the stairs, or walk on uneven terrain wearing that boot. And while I could remove it for showering and sleeping, I would have to wear the boot for at least ten hours a day.
After two days of complaining about my “new” restrictions, I decided to focus on my blessings and emerging positives:
I started with a shift in perspective. In 2004, I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer and had to undergo ten months of grueling treatments. In comparison, wearing an Air Cast Boot for six weeks would be a cakewalk.
The injury was a minor sprain and not one that would require a hard cast and months of physiotherapy.
My extended health benefits covered 80 percent of the boot’s cost.
I was grateful for the elevator in my condo building and the well-maintained grounds that enabled me to walk freely and confidently.
Whenever I ventured outside, I had renewed appreciation for ramps, elevators, automatic doors, and main level entrances.
Wearing a boot slowed me down and made me more mindful of each action taken. If it wasn’t necessary or pleasant, I let it go.
After meeting with a foot specialist, I learned that improper footwear may have contributed to my Achilles tendon problem. I retired my heeled shoes and invested in Clarkes, Trotters, and Etonic running shoes. Whenever I wear my new shoes, I know that my feet and ankles are comfortable and well-supported.
A Season for Killing Blondes
Hours before the opening of her career counseling practice, Gilda Greco discovers the dead body of golden girl Carrie Ann Godfrey, neatly arranged in the dumpster outside her office. Gilda’s life and budding career are stalled as Detective Carlo Fantin, her former high school crush, conducts the investigation.
When three more dead blondes turn up all brutally strangled and deposited near Gilda’s favorite haunts, she is pegged as a prime suspect for the murders. Frustrated by Carlo’s chilly detective persona and the mean girl antics of Carrie Ann’s meddling relatives, Gilda decides to launch her own investigation. She discovers a gaggle of suspects, among them a yoga instructor in need of anger management training, a lecherous photographer, and fourteen ex-boyfriends.
As the puzzle pieces fall into place, shocking revelations emerge, forcing Gilda to confront the envy and deceit she has long overlooked.