Friday, September 03, 2010
Can you imagine insuring your fingers for a million bucks EACH? Guitarist Jeff Beck did, according to an article on Time's website. He'd cut off the tip of his finger as he chopped carrots, and after the digit's tip was re-attached with no problems, he reportedly decided he needed to insure against more carrot-catastrophes.
As a writer, one of my biggest fears has always been that something will happen to my hands. I type, therefore I am, right?
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Why couldn't she just dictate her stories?"
That evil laugh wasn't me, by the way. That was The Husband, who claims that I cannot tell a story, a joke or even recount my day.
It's true. I am the world's worst oral story teller. I get all long-winded, with a whole bunch of hems and haws and going backwards and forwards just to make sure you have the complete picture. I use a lot of analogies, and that in particular drives The Husband bonkers.
Give me a piece of paper or a computer keyboard, though, and my hems and haws dissolve. Yep, I am the exact opposite of 90 percent of the general, non-writing population.
Back when I taught remedial English to college students, they'd practically break out in hives when they were faced with an essay (which was a lot in my class.) The only way I could convince them that they could write was to sit them down and make them tell me a story that I busily and as unobtrusively as possible transcribed.
Then I'd clean up the notes I'd made (my handwriting is as bad as my oral-story-telling skills) and read back to them what they'd just told me. "See?" I'd say, tapping the paper. "That's all I need."
Poor students. They'd look at me like they were waiting for a trap to spring. "Nah," they'd tell me. "That's too easy."
Speak for yourself, I'd think. I've long been envious of good oral story tellers.
In 2003, when The Kiddo was a baby and I was an editor/reporter for a chain of small weeklies, I was loading The Kiddo in my car's backseat when a friend of mine unwittingly slammed the car door shut -- with my hand still on the jam.
I will admit I said a few choice words, because, man, it hurt.
But the thing that got me was how scared I was that I'd broken one or more of the 27 fingers in my paw. I remember standing on the sidewalk, cradling my hand, my heart thumping in my chest. I nearly dissolved into a puddle of relief when all five of my fingers worked as advertised.
I know writers who have broken BOTH hands while on deadline and miraculously managed to dictate the rest of their books. Me? Well, according to The Husband, I'd be using Word's Find And Replace feature to search and destroy all my hems and haws.
So what's YOUR biggest body-part-fear when it comes to writing? What accomodations would you have to make if you lost that body part?