writers are messed-up people, yo

Within fifteen seconds of being kicked in the head during karate tonight, a part of me was thinking, “I should pay attention to what this feels like, in case I need it for a story.”

For the curious: very brief disorientation; swift (and only partially voluntary) decision that it would be better if I put my center of gravity lower for a few seconds, i.e. knelt on the floor; massive radiating heat from my ear lasting for a good half hour or more afterward. (It’s still red now, an hour later, though not swollen.) Oddly, the most painful spot is actually the skin in the crease behind my ear; presumably that has something to do with the cartilege being mashed by the impact.

(I was not kicked with any great force. Though admittedly, when one’s kumite partner is six foot three, “not with any great force” is still enough to be troublesome. And more than enough to guilt one’s kumite partner with — especially when he is also one’s husband. ^_^)

0 Responses to “writers are messed-up people, yo”

  1. galeni

    I did the same thing, working to remember so I could write about, when I was suffering the aftereffects of a concussion from a car accident.

    Guilt can be useful…


  2. rachelmanija

    The advantages of being a writer: a silver lining to even the darkest of clouds!

    • Marie Brennan

      Your icon is more or less how it happened. Except that my part of the yakusoku kumite was to step inside my partner’s reach and counter-punch.

      This becomes a trickier maneuver when the relative reaches of both parties are so very, very disparate.

  3. alecaustin

    Yeah, the “I might need to use this in a story!” instinct is a well-developed one.

    I’ve definitely noticed that often the bits that hurt most after an injury aren’t the bits you’d expect – part of that is shock, of course, and another part is the rate at which bruising and the like develop, but sometimes it is, as you say, that things being pushed out of place cause other bits to get pushed out of place also.

    • Marie Brennan

      I read a theory at one point about how what drops gunshot victims* isn’t necessarily the injury itself or blood loss, per se, but a kind of hydraulic shock caused by all that kinetic energy rippling throughout the body. It seems possible, though the theory is by no means certain.

      *Those who aren’t shot in the head or other immediately lethal location, of course.

      • alecaustin

        That’s interesting! And it does feed into the endless (OMG endless) “stopping power” arguments you get among armorers and gun nuts regarding bullet caliber and gunpowder load and so on in an interesting way. It also makes intuitive sense re: people’s preferences in that regard (larger calibers, hollowpoints vs. unarmored targets), though of course that doesn’t mean it’s true.

  4. niamh_sage

    I put off writing a whole section of a novel until I’d completed the experience of being pregnant and giving birth. It was NOTHING like I’d expected, so I’m glad I did!

    I also mine my various emotional traumas and inflict them on my characters. >:}

  5. marycatelli

    The little imp taking notes for future use would be less annoying if you weren’t aware of his doing so.

    Physical injuries aren’t as embarrassing as fraught moments.

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