I hurt my finger.
Baking Christmas cookies.
I kid you not.
I bake a lot of cookies, dozens of cookies, a gross of dozens of cookies each year for gifts and to put out for Christmas dinner.
I make biscotti and pizzelles using my Italian grandmother’s recipes. These recipes call for kneading the cookie dough, and in the case of the pizzelles, squeezing hard knots of the mixture between wooden-handled irons over the flame of the stove.
(These are not the sissy, liquid pour-and-bake that you buy in the store, or that many folks resort to making because they can’t find the old-fashioned irons.)
I literally wore out my hands kneading the dough. It was so bad by the end, that I couldn’t squeeze out a sponge to wash down the counter tops.
It’s getting better now that I’m wearing a splint, which I’ll likely sport for a few days more. It’s been incredibly enlightening to see how such a minor injury has affected the activities I do daily: signing my name, brushing my teeth, typing.
And strangely, this one injury has beget another: a blister has formed on the pad of my middle finger. From what? I know not. Perhaps the minor rubbing upon it as I still try to do things with this splint (like knit!).
Here’s Your Prompt: Injure your character. Make it as minor as a finger splint or as major as the loss of a limb. See how it affects the plot of your story. What things can your character still do? What things are out of the question?
(Believe it or not, I’m typing with this splint. It’s slow, and I can’t feel the keys I touch with it, but it’s working…)
Do personal research: pretend you’re injured. Put nails in your shoe to make yourself limp. Put a popsicle stick on your finger and pretend it’s broken. Try walking without using your leg. What kind of frustrations do you experience? What thoughts do you have? Attribute these to the character in your story.
If you’re journaling, instead of writing fiction: describe a time when you were injured. What happened? What did you hear? Feel? Think? Was it an accident, or did someone injure you deliberately? What did you feel afterward? What are you still feeling about the injury?