What most people do not understand is that a wrinter can’t not get ideas. Whether consciously or unconsciously, the tiniest sliver of a snippet of a fragment of a writer’s life is categorized and jealously hoarded until the day it finds its way to the page.
“This had better never end up in a story,” a very private friend said while cutting her husband’s hair. “I mean it.”
I assured her that it wouldn’t, at least not in any form she would recognize, and to this day I don’t know if she realizes I was serious.
We can’t help it. Everything a writer hears, sees, smells, touches, tastes, thinks, feels, dreams, encounters, will eventually find its way into a story, no matter the genre or intent. When a writer does it right (write?), these tiny slivers of realism help a reader to connect to characters and situations that might otherwise elude them; the press of a crowd; the smell of coffee; someone’s laugh; a quick bit of dialogue; the way a friend holds his soda; the smells of a freshly tilled urban garden; the chill depths of grief; how cotton candy melts on the tongue; the wondrous palette that is green; hearing a newborn’s first cry; being told of a friend’s heart attack. The stories of life become the stories others read.
Pick a scene from your favorite work of fiction and consider what you like most about it. Emotional intensity? Setting? Humor? Plot? Detail? No matter the story, every thread of that tapestry came from the sum of the writer’s life experiences.
Of course, you’ve heard this all before. Nowadays, you can’t click a mouse without tripping over a writer’s blog. Here’s the thing. . .
Early of February this year, I had bilateral eyelid surgery to correct complications from floppy eyelid syndrome prior to undergoing cataract removal for my left eye. Three days later, I was back in the doctor’s office where they took pictures of a woman obsessed with abscesses and infections, aroused by the thought of expressing sickness from her body. When the doctor stepped out of the office, she ran cotton swabs over every surface she could reach, hoping to trap something new that she could later cultivate on her bountiful flesh. Here we see pictures taken before she climaxed during the draining of that glorious abscess:
Samples were taken, IV and oral antibiotics administered. The next day, I went back for more of the same and the doctor was horrified to find maggots squirming in the wounds of the battered wife. They spilled out of her lids and tearducts, writhed down her cheeks, popped like pomegranate seeds when she caught them between her teeth:
I went back two and three times a week at first. The doctor called me daily to see how I was doing. I had a total of 2 CAT scans to monitor an abscess at the back of the right eye socket. The techs were pleased with the progress of armor integration, though the appearance of armored segments on the eyelids and the webbing between the soldier’s fingers came as something of a surprise. Samples taken would reveal mutations in the armor’s DNA coding that would result in a fast growing cancer, making the subject unsuitable for further combat training. Authorities deemed her disposable:
At first the doctor didn’t think it was MRSA, but he treated it as such. Later test results confirmed the diagnosis. More antibiotics, more recurring infections. It’s not that he gave me the wrong meds, but that the MRSA was “particularly resistant.” Here we see a picture of alien symbiote opening its first eye on the new ambassador’s face, one of dozens that would eventually grow over much of the body, requiring their own care and nutrient feeds:
Though it looked awful, things did start to heal. And itch, oh, how it itched! This was to be expected as the mutagens took over. Note how the eyelids pulled back, allowing the eyes to increase in size:
My eyes have now healed. I hope. I have another appointment next week. The plastic surgeons were very pleased how the woman’s face healed after reconstructive surgery. She would later go on to advocate for more stringent drunk driving laws:
So, tell me. . .
What does your story look like?