Well if you think my first Blog was when I began to develop my idea into a story, you'd be wrong. I am a procrastinator. I had used the excuse; I need to meet the character I envisioned for my story. And I had used that excuse for a long time.
I was introduced via email to Derick Carver. Physically, the young veteran was exactly what I had envisioned for my character. Derick emailed me and told me he would be glad to help me in any way he could to gain insight into a war veteran who comes back from serving in the military as an amputee. At the time we connected, he was busy opening a gym so I told him no rush, I would send him some questions to help me develop my character.
We corresponded back and forth for a while and I sent him a list of questions as they came to mind. I kept a folder with all the notes and made a few futile attempts to outline my story. What I learned was, in order to write a really good story, you must dedicate 100% effort and time to it.
My husband kept encouraging me, but I was not accomplishing much. Remember, the excuse I used before was that I needed to meet a character that matched my idea. Finally, the idea did begin to gain momentum, but I still made excuses not to dedicate the 100% effort to make it happen. At some point I remember thinking I'm not sure I even want to do this.
Then something happened that changed all that.
During one interview with Derick Carver, he said for me to comprehend what it is like for a soldier to be deployed and then return disabled he would send me the diary he had to keep while recovering at Walter Reed Hospital.
Remember, I was raised an Air Force Brat and have always had a special place in my heart for all the men and women who have served our country. Imagine reading the most intimate feelings a man has when recovering from an injury where he can no longer do what he loves to do.
Army Captain Derick Carver was a platoon leader in the 82nd Airborne Division. These guys are the best of the best. He was leading his outfit on a foot patrol in Afghanistan to help open a school for 2,000 Afghan children (the school was closed because the local village elders allowed girls to be educated) when his platoon was ambushed. He was hit by an IED and the blast destroyed his left leg and much of his right thigh. He was 28 years old. His foundation was gone in a millisecond. At least that was how he felt during recovery.
His diary and interaction with the therapist were very enlightening and moving. I won't share what it contained, but, it was the catalyst that made me get off my butt and put in the effort necessary to write my story. The character in my book is called Derick Carver and there are several aspects of his life and some personality traits incorporated in the story, but it is not him. The real Carver is a beast. He is amazingly strong. He owned a gym and is co-founder for a team called Some Assembly Required (SAR). SAR is an amazing team of adaptive athletes (people who have a limb missing) that compete against able-bodied CrossFitters. These adaptive athletes inspire everybody to adapt and overcome. And women…he is dark and handsome.
We live in comfy air conditioned homes and eat out often and complain a lot. We find excuses not to do something because it requires too much effort.
On motivation, Derick Carver said in an article:
"People tell me I motivate them to be better. To stop making excuses and to get off their ass and start taking steps to become the person they want to be. I’m humbled, even embarrassed, that I serve as an inspiration for others. Because it’s the guys in the hospital I met that motivate me.
When I feel sorry for myself, I think of them and how much more they are suffering, how much more they have lost and still push on. It’s easy for people to take for granted something as simple as taking a piss in the middle of the night without having to think about it but that’s a luxury not everyone has. Think about it. Next time you’re tired, you had a long day, your head hurts, shoulder hurts or feet hurt just think: there is someone out there like me that would give anything to be able to call that a bad day."
Mr. Derick Carver, I am honored to have been motivated by you to get off my ass and write my story.