Jan 13, 2012

Every Experience Can Be A Writing Experience

Even a scorpion sting?

The night was pitch black, a bit cold, and I tip-toed across the room to my side of the bed, hoping not to trip on a toy. Derek was fast falling asleep as I pulled the covers up over my body.
“Good night, honey,” he said and leaned over to kiss me.

I shifted my weight towards him and felt a prick in my leg, like I rolled over on a piece of dry grass. 
I didn’t think much of it, especially when considering the things my boys bring into my bed, but as I rolled back I felt it again. It was now a tingle, like my leg was falling asleep and I shifted it around again. Suddenly, I felt a pain in my arm and I jumped out of bed.

“Going to write,” Derek said with sleep running through his voice, but of course, the sarcasm was still there. He loves to remind me I can’t sleep unless I write for several hours before hand.

“I think I just got bit by something, maybe a scorpion.”

The bed was a firecracker of blankets and sheets as Derek exploded out of bed.
“Where is it,” he shouted with my hair brush suddenly in his hand, ready to pound it.

“I don’t’ know, but it got me five or six times,” and I rubbed my arms around my body. My own touch freaked me out and in less then a second I was in the buck, but not completely naked if you count the scorpion I was wearing on my arm.

I correct myself, as it momentarily was on my arm and then crawling out of my shirt as I threw it on the floor.

The weapon of choice that Derek courageously picked (a natural wood therapeutic brush, if you must know) was then used to smash that creature. In moments of Cheverly, my husband will use profanity and I thank you for that, honey.
So, the scorpion was dead and I began the search of puncture wounds on my thigh and arm. How many would I find? Seven, eight? Does a person survive that many scorpion stings? And just as I started to feel helpless, I realized I didn’t feel too bad. They say the larger the scorpion, the less toxic and this was the largest scorpion I'd eve seen.  I was even grateful (talk about stretching the whole look-at-the-bright-side-of-things) that it stung me instead of one of my babies, so we said a prayer and I calmed Derek down so we could go back to bed.

The next morning was a bit like a hangover (I hate to use this specific cliché’ especially since I’ve never actually had a hangover), I was numb, tingly, a little unsteady, but don’t feel sorry for me. I’m a writer and I beg for things like this to happen so I can write about it later.  I can use the fear, the anticipation, the uncertainty; all those feelings and emotions will help bring to life a scene where my character jumps through the page because of her intensity.  Finding the miracle, the humor and my husband's reaction grant me depth as I look at experiences from a different perspective.  Knowing my next story/adventure is just around the corner keeps my senses alert and aware that every life experience is one step closer to a great manuscript.  What's even better is if my experience is too personal, I can share it in 3rd person, thus providing therapy through life's challenges.  Writing has so many perks!

What crazy life experience have you had, then later been intrigued to write about?


  1. We writers, and actors I might add, are a strange lot in how we view things, aren't we?

    Gotta love this perspective. We all do this, don't we? Don't we? Please tell me it's not just Laura and I. :0

  2. Oh! My! Heck! Laura! While I was reading your account of the "attack" my heart was thudding wildly. I know how poisonous scorpions are. Then I finally scrolled down far enough to see the picture of the scorpion and saw how terribly small it was. I was really frightened for you. If it bit you, you should be calling 911 for emergency care. When you called it big, I almost fainted--swooned, like I wore a too tight corset. Good grief! Where do you live? I've heard that the bigger the scorpion the lesser the poison too. The babies are the most poisonous. Down here in southern Arizona, the adult critters are the size of our palms, plus maybe a digit or two. Rarely do we have them crawl into bed with us, though. Eeep! I'm glad you're okay.

    Whew . . .

    Have you ever had the gas stuff when having dental work done? I had a tiny cavity filled last month and I don't like needles so I asked the doc to use the gas so I don't care what he does. "No problem," he said. The tech put that little cup over my nose and the hissing began. At first I didn't think it was working. I just felt kind of suffocated, but then suddenly the dentist's voice began to have echoes, like rings on a calm pond after throwing in a pebble. I looked up at him, and I saw swirling trails of color being left behind. The music that had played softly in the background pulsed louder and then faded away in the same echo effect as the doctor's voice. I struggled to lift my arm, trying to get his attention, and I'm not sure, but I think I asked him if I was supposed to be having a "psychedelic" experience . . . I never got another word out before I passed out. I woke up with my mouth numbed, and I wasn't totally sure he didn't complete the filling. Sad to say, he didn't. I refused anymore gas and suffered through the drilling totally awake.

    All the while I was having that weird experience I hoped I would remember every bit of it knowing I could and probably would us it somewhere in a story. Yeah, we writers are a strange bunch.

  3. GAHH! I read this post with my legs up off the couch, shuddering with horror every second! We live in Nevada where scorpions are a real possibility, but I've only seen one in my life--at girls camp in California so many years ago. It was a tiny one which--I still have no idea how--crawled right out of the campfire!

    I laughed so hard at your pictures, but this still must have been really a horrifying experience! As someone who freaks out when a spider crawls over her, I know I'd probably die of shock if I ever shared a bed with a scorpion!

    I have a friend who keeps them (and tarantulas) as pets, and goes out on night expeditions with her family to find them with a UV light. Crazy lady. ;) A couple weeks ago, one of her biggest tarantulas escaped its cage, and her arachnophobic husband was not happy. LOL

  4. Love your re enactment pictures. I have to agree I worried when I saw how small it looked in the picture. Your story made my skin crawl. I too try to remember sensations and experiences with the hope they might come in handy in writing.


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