Thursday, September 06, 2007

Ever so slightly masochistic

I used to suffer terribly from impossibly tight muscles around my neck and shoulders. It was probably due to poor posture, because as soon as I stopped spending 8 hours per day hunched over a computer monitor, my neck started to look noticeably longer.

Anyway, for a few months during that time, I used to make weekly visits to a Chinese masseuse who did business nearby. Although she was an extremely petite woman (about my height, but half as wide), her fingers could've cracked walnuts. For $70 I would get an hour of pounding and poking, often so hard and deep it literally brought tears to my eyes.

You would think perhaps, that a massage this painful might well be the last one. But I kept going back every week for more of the same. I did it because, somehow, I knew that it was a good pain. But even now, I hesitate to say this to people in case they think I'm a raving masochist.

These days my muscles aren't quite as knotted, but I've been reminded of the Chinese masseuse because of last night. Last night was when I brought my story into class, to be ripped to shreds. (Other people's stories got torn here and there a bit too.)

It kinda hurt to be given a long list of what's wrong with my literary baby. But it was a good hurt.


Cathi said...

Wow. Your class sounds tough.

I suppose it's better than them all clapping and telling you how fab it is. You are there to learn, I guess.

Some people might be put off for the next story, knowing what's going to happen. I guess it depends on whether the class is aimed at people who seriously want to get published. You need a thick skin for that.

Violet said...

You probably do need a thickish skin, but it's so essential to get honest feedback. Having said that, I tried to tell a woman that her story had no plot, by saying it was light on plot and heavy on character. But she didn't (or wouldn't) take the hint. I shouldn't have been so subtle.

Nigel Patel said...

Part of why I don't do a lot of fiction.
I feel like I can do some things but I can't bear to read my own dialog.
And not being able to have characters talk at all is kind of limmiting.

Angela said...

I can't wait till I finally get licensed as a massage therapist! The date is coming up quick.
I did not take many writing classes in college because, well, I hated them. I did not like it how the instructor would pick on the choice of story line I picked. I would not mind giving me other suggestions, but still criticism on writing was hard for me because I felt like I put a little piece of myself in the writing.

Violet said...

nigel: yeah I find dialogue hard too, along with action scene, sensitive emotions and creating characters who don't resemble myself in any way ;-)

angela: I know what you mean - you put all this effort into it, to create a piece that really means something to you, and then someone trashes it. But the teacher should have been criticizing it constructively and it sounds like he wasn't.

Nigel Patel said...

I had a whole thing with Rocky from Thunder Bay living in The States and doing a show in a skeezy bar but I had these characters in an apartment and damned if I couldn't make any of them talk.

I've got it! A silent novel! Like a silent film but instead it's a book about mimes.

Violet said...

nigel:'d have to be pretty good at describing their body language then!

Avery's mom said...

tha'ts such a funny comparison.
i've been doing massage therapy for the last 10 years and size isnt where it's at. I've got the worlds pointiest elbows and its all about placement lol

Violet said...

avery's mom: it's funny because I've been massaged by 4 professionals and 3 of them were very petite women!