Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Young Writer Sticks to Facts . . . and More

I urge young writers to capture their (mis)adventures on paper (or computer). After experiencing pain and/or embarrassment, they might as well get something for their trouble. A writer never knows when today's mishap will creatively turn into a character's misfortune. Initially, don't worry about perfection. Just record as many details as possible. The piece can be edited later.

My daughter, Suzanne Sherwood, a college student and sometime fiction writer, finds it easiest to record her mishaps on Facebook. Looks like she's forgotten I'm a Friend. Read about her latest sticky situation--before she un-friends me. ~Roxanne Sherwood


It was a Comedy of Errors.

So, as some of you know, I managed to break my sunglasses in my microbiology class. First, I sliced my finger open on a piece of metal hanging off one of the lab desks. Blood went everywhere. It was great. But I ended up stumbling onto my backpack and breaking my own glasses. Lame, or what?

Yes, the fun blue ones (Kara thinks they are ugly, but I think they're great!) Anyway, these sunglasses are still wearable, but then I got the bright idea to super glue them.

(Other people suggested that I attempt to repair them--I should have slapped them and run the opposite direction. I didn't.)

It started with a Super glue bottle. One that was glued shut. I came to this very scientific conclusion after spending several minutes trying to force the thing open. And, while normally my determination is able to open even the most stubborn of pickle jars, it was no match for a tiny super glue bottle. I gave up on it and tossed it in the trash and resigned myself to a quick trip to Wal-Mart.

Lo and behold, my mother came downstairs bearing a minuscule package of cute one-time-use tubes of Krazy glue! She saved me the annoyance of Wal-Mart lines! I should have burned the glue (briefly inhaling the fumes, of course--if only to feel woozy) and run for the hills. I did not.

The first tube ended up being used, and after I spent several minutes trying to engineer the glue out of it (remember that determination? It tends to rear its ugly head more than once), but I gave up after cutting the tube in half and finding a solid lump of glue. If I remember correctly, the correct and usable form of glue is viscous, isn't it? I moved onto the next tube. It had not been opened, so I figured I had scored.

If you've never seen one of these cute and tiny tubes of evil incarnate, let me illustrate a picture for you. They are about 3/4 of an inch long and highly pressurized. Or maybe I was inadvertently squeezing too hard--I don't know. But when I poked a hole in the top, it spilled out and down the sides, almost coming into direct contact with my finger. It was a close call, a little too close.

Next, I tried squirting some of the glue on the glasses, between the frame and the plastic lens. Then, just to be on the safe side, I spread some all around the frame and lens, hopefully, binding the two together in holy matrimony. It didn't really work, even after I said the vows and blessing.

Then, while I was holding the partially mended frame and lens together, I realized that some of the glue had gotten on me.

I'll admit, I panicked. I might have even squealed.

You see, when I was twelve or so, I got Super glue all over my hands and had to use steel wool to get it off. I'm the type of person that can't handle sensory deprivation. Anything blocking my sense of touch (Or sight. Or hearing, etc.) drives me absolutely crazy! I can't even wear Band-aids on my hands or fingers because of it. So having glue on me is a nightmare.

But this time, there was a blob on my index finger. Then, there was another on my other hand, on my ring finger and middle finger! It was multiplying! I tried to switch the glasses around in my hands to keep the glue on my fingers from touching anything--when I realized, I had glued my finger to my glasses.

Now I was really in trouble. Securely and painfully, I had attached my own tissue right to the blue frames! At least I would never lose them, right?

While I was wailing and moaning about joining the circus as a freak, my mother calmly came up and yanked the glasses off of my finger. A large hunk of skin was left on the glasses, which was kind of gross, but there was no blood this time.

Why yes, I'm nineteen-years-old, I've gone through several black-belt tests, and yes, I still need my mommy from time to time.

But don't tell her I said that. She might get the wrong idea about me being independent.

~Suzanne Sherwood


octopusmom said...

Though not as colorful as Suzanne's story, I once superglued my finger to the tube. I used nail polish remover with acetone to disengage my digit. It was not as quick but certainly less painful than she described.

Roxanne Sherwood said...

Thanks for the tip about the nail polish remover. Unfortunately, I doubt this will be the last person who Super Glues a body part.

Beth K. Vogt said...

Oh, yes ... who said that truth is stranger that fiction? Is was that funnier than fiction?
I can so see this ending up in a novel somewhere ... but names will have to be changed to protec the not-so-innocent, who is your daughter.


This is why your mother should never be your FB friend.