As writers we can battle two-headed monsters with one hand tied behind our backs, leap over slimy armies on magical skateboards, or run faster than speeding chariots. On paper that is. But if we leap too high in the real world, like I did on the dance floor, we end up with torn ACL’s that need repair. Now we are stopped dead in our tracks, staring at our wrapped knee wondering if we are ever going to run or leap again.
So here I am, the day after surgery woozy and scared that maybe having the operation was a mistake, maybe it didn’t work, and I’ll never be able to dance like I did before. Trying to fight back tears I look at these contraptions attached to my leg. With tubes draining excess fluid into a plastic reservoir and a refrigerating machine to keep swelling down, I think, This is not my leg. Someone replaced it while I was sleeping.
Not wanting to deal, I look away and turn to the numbing television set in front of me. But after a couple of hours of this pity party I start to think. If this were a chapter in one of my novels, what would the protagonist do? Would she lay there crying and feeling sorry for herself? Or would this lead her to dig deep inside and find a strength she always had but may have set aside for a while?
Personally, I like strong characters so I grab my crutches, get up from the couch, and do a shuffling lap around the house. It hurts like hell, stinging sharp fingers digging their claws into my knee but I clench my jaw and keep moving. Soon I realize that I have the power. I can approach this problem with as much strength as the characters in my books and battle any two-headed monster that comes my way.