Tagged: pain

March 8, 2017 Scribble 0

You can read this if you wish although it consists of thoughts and fragments as I attempt to free write 750 words every day. Some of this may end up in a Story or a Conversation. Anyway, this is how one learn and shapes up The Craft.

In Bishop, I slept in a room carved out of the garage. Not a hovel; more of an addition. A large loft bed hung at the end of the room and it made for a nice space to hide. The concrete floor kept the room cool in the summer and a bit too cold in the winter. Still, I ran around in the room barefoot. One day, I managed to find an errant metal shaving, which entered the pad below my right big toe. Since the room had been part of the garage, there was garage trash littering the corners. In any case, I stepped on the piece of metal, felt a sharp pain, and because it seemed to go away, I went to sleep and forgot about it.

A few weeks later running around the track a sharp pain bit into my foot. I hopped over to the grass, took off my sock, and looked for the piece of metal. I found nothing. Yet, the sharp pain returned every time I stepped down. For the next few weeks, I walked on the side of my shoe so the pain would not bother me.

Walking with my right foot rolled to the side worked for a few more weeks. However, the pain made even that solution unworkable. I finally complained and my dad agreed to take me to the doctor.

The doctor was on West Line Street next to the post office. I don’t remember his name. He was an older man and I remember thinking his office wasn’t very modern. I told him about my toe and he had me remove my sock. He then looked at the toe and seeing nothing, he turned to my father and told him it could be fixed with a band of copper.

He described how the copper would draw out the cause of the pain. That afternoon, dad took me to the hardware store where we found a 10-gauge copper wire, which dad fashioned into a ankle bracelet.

I wore this bracelet for a few weeks still walking funny to keep the sharp pain from shooting up my leg. The pain was still there and the copper wire hadn’t drawn out the metal shaving. I decided to operate.

From the age of five I wanted to be a doctor. I still have the porcelain doll my mother painted of a young doctor with a mirror on his forehead and a stethoscope around his neck. I worked for a doctor taking vital measurements. I had seen a scalpel and I figure it couldn’t be that hard to dig into my toe.

A small callous outlined the pad under my big toe. It felt like a button and when you pushed on it pain shot up my leg. I knew something was in there but I couldn’t see it. I cut around the edge of the callous with the knife. I cut off a tough layer of skin. At this point nothing hurt unless I pushed on the button.  until I reached the most tender part of my foot.

I kept digging. Like a wildcatter, I dug down into the callous through layers of hard skin. Then I touched the sliver. I became nauseous. The pain rolled like a wave. I took a deep breathe. I touched the sliver again. Same rolling pain.

I pulled the tweezers off my Swiss Army Knife. I dug around in the hole until I guessed the tweezers were around the metal. I then pulled until I found an 1/4 inch piece of metal, long and jagged, at the end of the tweezers. Blood poured out of my foot and I grabbed some tissue. I pushed on the callous and the pain no longer shot up my leg.

I examined the metal sliver. It must have come from making a screw hole in a piece of metal. Maybe it came from the homemade solar panel on the roof. I wrapped up the sliver around the tissue and tossed in the garbage.

I rubbed some iodine in the hole and covered it with a band-aid. I no longer walked funny and my foot felt lighter. I slipped on my sock, then my tennis shoe, and ran outside to play with Sandy. The spaniel chased after the ball before walking out into the middle of the pond. I sat down on the grass and watched the dog. The pain in my foot was gone. It had only taken a little exploratory surgery to make everything better.

Finding the Character’s Pain 0

Sunshine and rainbows. We all would like to have a life free of stress and full of sunshine and rainbows. A life of bliss only leads to trouble. There is no excitement, no drama, no life.

Writers need to run as quick as they can from sunshine and rainbows. At least when developing a story everyone will want to read. Can the main character end up in a land of beauty and peace? Sure. Just don’t plan on writing a sequel.


Courtesy Pixabay

Pain, wounds and disaster are what we need to strive for when writing a good main character. Give a character pain and a past full of strife, trouble, and challenges. Allow them to triumph. And then smack them again.

Wounds provide the best motivation to overcome an obstacle and move the story forward. Give your characters a reason to fulfill a basic need for love, faith, understanding, and belonging. Make this character pain so intense they must do something to overcome it.

Pain and suffering also suggests your character has a basic flaw that leads them to more pain. A character weakness that they must hide or tackle in order to move the story forward. Allow the character to show they have the strength to overcome their weakness.

The whole goal is to make the story move from scene to scene. The best way to do this is by finding the pain.

[plain]What are your thoughts about character development? Post your comments below.[/plain]

That’s a Wrap 0

His knee slipped and he hit the door frame hard.

“Son of a bitch!”

The unbalanced bag of dog food pulled him around the frame and into the stucco wall. The dogs bounced below his feet threatening to entangle him further. His knee and this new bump on his head each provided an equal measure of pain.

He let out a sigh.

Unfortunately, the abuse returned in the shower with the knee giving out again slamming his body into the wall. Another bump on his forehead.

“This getting old sucks,” he shouted through the glass panels.

Two more near slips and he was done. He climbed out of the shower wet, went back to bed, and called it a day.

Copyright 2015, Michael S. Sommermeyer. All Rights Reserved.

On the Path from Small to Large 0

Brownie Cottage.
300 square feet.
Enough room to sit.
And maybe spin all around.
The size of a gingerbread doghouse.
If the dog was a small mastiff.
A big dog with a very large appetite.
With no place to store the dog food bags.
The minimalists say we all could stand to slim down.
That our mega mansions, stuff, and stacks of books signify waste.
But the very thought of living in a one-room cabin frightens me:
Like Thoreau living in an urban forest with no solitude or private pond.
The stacks of books, hand selected, some with gold leaf edges are precious friends.
Even if they spill off the shelves and pile up in towers on the floor.
“You’re a hoarder,” say visitors who look down in disdain at my collection of wordy excess.
And although I attempt to purge, sort, and reduce the pages, it is hard to part company.
They all contain dreams, fantastic journeys, ginormous thoughts, hidden truths, ineffable fruit, obsolete wisdom, scientific hypotheses, and farce.
Put them on a Kindle, they say, yet most are out-of-print, esoteric, or hand-me-down treasures.
Which makes it all the more difficult to release them to a better place; a Goodwill, or a book sale.
So they stand stacked like beleaguered sentries circled in spindly towers keeping silent watch over words cluttering the floor.
They wait and watch with dread wondering when they will be released into the world and set free.
Each knows I haven’t the courage to sort, pick, or drop any of them into a box.
A certain belief none of them will be downsized to shoehorn them into a tiny house.
Or are they mistaken to express this joyful expectation that they are so highly regarded?
Unfortunately some must be labeled, screened, and stacked for certain delivery to the curb.
The house must shrink from 3,500 to 1,700 squares, albeit not a one-room schoolhouse.
It is still smaller than the library where the sentries now stand guard.
The childhood adventures remain and the college texts with inspired margin notes.
Each is carefully stacked next to the poems and dime-store mysteries.
The free classics will find a home electronic and portable.
Words stacked neatly alphabetical in my library virtual.
I will sneak in some Steinbeck or Holmes.
The rest will be donated for free.
To give others pleasure or pain.
The words will worm inward.
To plant a seed.
An inspirational spark.
To think.

Copyright 2015, Michael S. Sommermeyer. All Rights Reserved.

[plain]This shape poem works from one to 20 words and then back to a single word. Pick a topic and write your own shape poem. Add it to the comments below.[/plain]