~Sniffle sniffle, ah-choo, cough, hack, wheeze, sniffle sniffle~
This has been my life the last couple weeks.
I call it the Creeping Crud. Or the Lucas Pederson. (Sorry, inside joke to one of my friends. He’ll know what I’m talking about and probably get a good laugh out of it.)
This cold, allergy or whatever it is came at both a lousy time and a somewhat good time. Yeah, contradicting, I know. But, hear me out.
Wait, before I go there, let me give you a little back story to this.
The weekend before Thanksgiving we came home after my son’s final flag football game to find a little kitten in our yard. It took off running and got itself stuck between our privacy fence and the neighbor’s fence. We tried to entice it out with a bit of food–it was scrawny and looked like it hadn’t eaten in a very long time (even though the kitten couldn’t have been much over six weeks old, if that).
Throughout the day, my kids kept watch for the thing, fretting over it all the while. Then later that night it ended up in our house. This, after me saying, ‘No, we will not have another cat.’
Yeah, we know who won that little battle, don’t we?
My wife fell in love with it and the rest is history. So, now we have a new pet–a little kitten named Mia.
However, since that day I have been sick. I blame the kitten. I say I am allergic to the little thing (which, by the way, I have dubbed Hellspawn). My wife says for me to get over it. I’m not winning this battle and that’s not the way it’s supposed to be.
[[Side note: I grew up around cats. I have one appropriately named Pouncer. He’s eleven or twelve now. I’ve never been allergic to cats. However, the Hellspawn must have some special dander or maybe it’s Cat Scratch Fever, since the demon scratched me when I tried to pick it up. End side note.]]
Now that I have you completely sympathetic to my plight (yeah, right) I will get on to the real story at hand. This Creeping Crud (or Lucas Pederson. Take your choice.), complete with the sniffles, sneezing, coughing, heavy chest, headache, watery eyes and just overall blahness, has stuck with me now for 13 days. I hate it. One minute I feel okay, the next minute I want to stick a hot poker up my nose. It truly sucks.
Sleeping in bed is next to impossible, so the recliner has become my friend–oh, yes, it has. I have sneezed so many different ways that I can’t even begin to count them. My ribs hurt from all of the ah-choo’s and hacking I’ve done. I am tired of wiping my *^%$ nose. Thankfully, it’s not the other end running…
So, the timing sucks with Thanksgiving and my son’s birthday and my daughter’s drama group’s performance coming up and the parade and… oh yeah, work… But, it’s also kind of beneficial that it happened when it did. You see, I’ve been working on this series of stories titled Dredging Up Memories.
[[Side note: Shameless plug. You can find Dredging Up Memories at Tales of the Zombie Wars. Just follow the link and enjoy. End Side note.]]
In the current installment, my main character gets sick and thinks he is dying. He fears he will become one of the zombies that have plagued the world. I’m not going to tell you what happens, but being sick has helped me write some of the symptoms for my main character. It has helped me to write a more believable sickness into the story.
And that’s really what this blog is about.
To be good writers, we have to draw on life. To tell good stories, we have to make them as believable as possible–even stories with zombies in them. By drawing from the Creeping Crud that has kicked my tail end the last two weeks gives my main character’s sickness more depth. It makes it more believable.
That’s what we writers need to do with all of our characters: draw off of real life and put them in situations that the readers can believe. Rich characters with depth to them make for great stories, believable stories; stories you like or hate because of the main character was either loveable or detestable.
So, while I have suffered from this sickness, I have also paid a lot of attention to how my body feels. That way I can get it right on paper when I write about it.
To go with this, the little Hellspawn has, well, spawned a story idea as well, so I guess that’s one thing good about the kitten that my family loves.
I said all that in hopes of impressing upon you the importance of paying attention to your surroundings, your body, the weather, the way the world is, people and so on. If you know about the world, if you know about people and if you know about feelings, then you should be able to write an engaging tale. It’s our jobs, as writers, to tell stories in a way that makes our readers feel something. That’s the goal: make the readers feel… anything. Love. Happiness. Sadness. Disgust. Hate for a character. Anything at all. Give them something to feel and you give them something to remember.
For now, I’m A.J. and I’m out.
~Sniffle sniffle, ah-choo~