Saturday, August 29, 2009

Of Pros and Prose

One question every author eventually faces is the reliable "So what made you start writing?"
Often the response is "I've written since I was a kid" or a charming tale about a supportive teacher's encouragement.
My story is a little different. It begins with sweaty, half-naked and very muscular men -- with names like Nature Boy Rik Flair, Jake the Snake and Hulk Hogan.
Yes, I am talking about "professional" wrestlers. My late husband was a huge pro wrestling fan, and I quickly learned names, stats and who was currently the good guy, soon to be the bad guy. The faces and gimmicks changed from time to time, but some things always stayed the same. Most notably, the tininess of the costumes and the fierce shrill of the wrasslers' voices as they threatened continued madness and mayhem in the ring.
As much as I like to stare at sweaty, half-naked and very muscular men, I prefer to believe I'm a delicate flower of womanhood. After a while, I grew very, very tired of the noise, the overreactions and the scream of the announcers as the battles grew to their usually predictable end.
So instead of curling up on the couch with darling Hubby, I sought refuge at what was then the technology marvel called the word processor. Hubby's escape into the faux world of the squared ring was such that I soon found myself writing on Saturday, Monday, Thursday and Friday in two-hour increments as mayhem streamed from the television screen on the floor above me.
When I first began to write, my children were still at home, one in high school, one in college. My "office," an extremely generous description, was a file cabinet and desk wedged between the electrical breaker box and the cat box in the basement. When the washer kicked into spin, my poor word processor would slow down accordingly and seemed to sigh with relief when all went back to normal.
Eventually, my son left home for his first real job. I bid him farewell on his way to Nebraska from Kentucky with tears in my eyes and a reminder that if he ever moved back, he got the basement because I was moving my office upstairs.
In those succeeding years, the sound of battle royales and cage matches wafted to my second-floor lair from Hubby's domain (a recliner in the living room), and there were times when the gentleness of the hero's touch on the heroine's nether regions ended up something like "And he swings and connects! Did you hear that slap!"
Hubby left us nearly two years ago after an incredibly gallant fight with cancer, enjoying his escape from reality into pro wrestling right until the end. Now the television is off while I'm at my computer, and the world of wrestling entertainment continues without attention from anyone in my home.
So it seems only right that eventually I frame a dedication to the ones who really made my writing career possible -- those studly young men in their spandex and boots who still fire up the television screens of America.

Cammie Eicher

1 comment:

Magdalena Scott said...

OMIGOSH, Cammie, I'm glad I finally got to read your blog! You are something else, lady, and I'm so glad you're here with us at RP!

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