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Friday, August 23, 2013

Living Like My Characters

A strange thing happened to me last week. Actually, a lot of really bad stuff happened within the span of five days. The more that was thrown at me, the more frustrated and overwhelmed I became. And I realized that all the trouble I throw at my characters can be truly difficult to handle. Not bad enough that the heroine's granny was kidnapped. Then they learn she doesn't have her heart medicine with her. Then the hero is roughed up when he tries to chase a bad guy. Then his place is ransacked. And so on and so on. But it's obstacles that bring out the changes that point us toward our happy ever after. Er -- our characters, that is.

First, my normally super healthy husband had to be rushed to the hospital with horrible abdominal pain we later learned was kidney stones. The ER took three hours to see him. Did I mention he was writhing in agony on the floor? After spending all night and half the next day in the ER, we came home to a broken air conditioner unit. We live in Florida. So think about Florida in August with no AC. For four days before the repair people could get the cool going again. And of course, it was no easy fix. We needed a new unit. Days later we discovered a leak in the ceiling that ended up being a roof leak that necessitated a new roof. In the course of four days, we had to spend $15,000 on our house. The very next day, I backed into a very expensive convertible in a parking lot. Yup - add that to the total.

When I took a moment to stand back and think about all we'd been through, I realized someone upstairs was doing to me what I do to my heroes and heroines. I throw all the crap I can at them. They always come out the other side better human beings. So that's my challenge. But when someone you love is ill, your priorities have a way of realigning themselves. The money is just money. The car is merely a car. See that -- I've changed through my obstacle course. And my hubby is fine now. Life is good.


Rita said...

In the last week I replaced an irrigation pump, a pool pump, a water heater and my stove is acting wonky. I realized my friends Alzheimer's is once again getting worse and experienced a betrayal. I am forever grateful I have a pool and the funds to pay for the repairs. The other two I will be sad about for a very long time. I don’t think what we experience defines us. I think how we handle it does. I remember this when writing characters.

Elise Warner said...

We use the things that happen to us in life--a way to survive. Sometimes we can laugh about it. I'm so glad your hubby is all right--the emergency room of a hospital is an experience that can be frightening.
Rita: Alzheimers is horrendous--my husband is a victim. A woman in my support group has been able to write about her experience with it--I'm still trying to get a grip.

Wynter Daniels said...

I feel your pain, Rita. And I totally agree - the proof is in how we handle stressful situations.

Wynter Daniels said...

Thank you, Elise. We're very thankful my husband is okay. My heart goes out to you. Writing can be great therapy, but it can also be too painful when fresh.

Anne Marie Becker said...

So glad to hear hubby is fine! So, so hard to watch someone you love in pain and feel helpless about it. :(

"But when someone you love is ill, your priorities have a way of realigning themselves." - very well said.

Hope things are smooth sailing for a while!!

Marcelle Dubé said...

Wynter, glad you survived your week from hell and that your husband is better. So, do you feel a little guilty about what you've done to your characters now?

Rita and Elise, I'm so sorry you're going through these bad situations. I know there's nothing you can do other than endure, but just know that we're on the sidelines, lending you strength and cheering you on.

Ana Barrons said...

Wynter, I'm so glad your husband is okay! I've taken my husband to the ER several times and as frightening as it is I guess I'm lucky to live so close to a great hospital. And Elise, I'm so sorry to hear you and your husband are dealing with such a terrible disease. Writing can be a great catalyst for dealing with tough life situations, can't it?

Wynter Daniels said...

Thanks, Anne Marie. I'm praying for smooth seas!

Marcelle - no guilt whatsoever;-)

Ana - I never thought of that. I take for granted how close we are to a really good hospital with a level II trauma center.

Shelley Munro said...

Wynter, i'm glad your husband is doing okay now. My Dad had kidney stones. Not very pleasant!!

Wynter Daniels said...

Thanks, Shelley. Not pleasant at all!

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