Peggy’s Post: When Handed Lemons, Make Lemonade

lush-life Do you remember the old adage: when handed lemons, make lemonade? Well, that is exactly what I did while writing my 8th book, The Lush Life, in my Samantha Jamison Mystery Series. I was trying to tie up that mystery and could almost see the end in sight, but unfortunately, a terrible accident happened. As I was researching a scene in the book (which involved climbing & descending 150 year old dimly lit steps in an old Victorian cottage) my foot went off the edge of a lower step on the way down. My right foot twisted to the side and bent sideways. I heard bones crack as I fell hard to the enclosed landing in a heap after bouncing off the walls.

I literally saw stars, rocking back and forth, breathing in and breathing out, practically biting my lip to the bleeding stage just to deal with the pain trying to straighten my useless swollen ankle that was clearly broken. I was lucky I had people there with me to practically carry me to the car and take me to the ER at the hospital immediately.

I had suddenly found myself sidelined from finishing my mystery, seeing weeks and months of recovery ahead of me. After x-rays, I found out my ankle had a clear break on one side laterally and was fractured going up on the other side. But in a way I was lucky. I didn’t need surgery with screws implanted, just a leg cast to my toes, dealing with excruciating pain, being wheelchair bound, using crutches, and eventually ending in rehab learning how to walk all over again.

After a week of being flat on my back with my leg elevating my purple toes and thinking, I figured I had to make this work for me somehow. So I did the unexpected. I changed the ending of my mystery to incorporate my whole experience, which included being wheelchair bound and being confronted with the antagonist at the end in a climactic scene. It was very cathartic to express my emotions and my experience at the hospital (which included going into mild shock) and getting all those details down before they became hazy with time.

I had found my ending!

Who says you can’t save the day on your ass after the evildoer steals your wheelchair from you?

too-close As a matter of fact, I began my 9th mystery, Too Close For Comfort, while still in rehab learning how to walk again, taking the reader through what I went through to keep it true to what I (I mean, Sam) was experiencing, having someone approach me while in rehab and dragging me back in time to a mystery from my past and it worked perfectly!

To this day, I marvel at how I was able to turn the tables on an unfortunate situation into one of a creative process that kept me from going stir crazy and also stayed true to the facts at hand as I merged it into my fictional mysteries.

And I did it with humor to boot!

When I was handed a bunch of lemons, I turned them into lemonade with a sweet finish!

Remember, everyday is a blessing. Don’t take it for granted.

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8 Responses to Peggy’s Post: When Handed Lemons, Make Lemonade

  1. Terri says:

    I admire your stamina and always enjoy your books. While I hope making lemonade from lemons is not a habit with you, please do continue writing and I look forward to the next book. Terri

  2. Pat says:

    Loved this blog, Peggy…..Everything happens for a reason although that is difficult to absorb with so much pain!!!! Keep ’em coming! Everything that happens to writers can be a source of imagination!! And opportunity is not usually at the front door….it is a subtle tap on the back window…..And you have proven that over and over again…..

    • Although a firm believer in fate, I could’ve done without all that pain. But when I look back on that time, I realize it’s the pain that jarred me to be prepared for anything, and I mean anything. I’ll tell you one thing, I walk real careful down the stairs now. You know, I think Victorian people back then had much smaller feet…just saying…chuckle.

  3. Jan Romes says:

    Peggy, I didn’t realize this happened and I can’t imagine all that you had gone through. Glad you kept a positive attitude and things worked out. It’s hard to keep a good woman down!!! 😀 The covers for your series are lovely, btw. Hugs to you!! ~ Jan

    • Jan,
      When I look back at what I went through, I marvel at how determined I was to step through that doorway of pain without letting it defeat me mentally. I had great parents, who had a strong mindset when it came to looking at the positive side of life. Things happen to you for a reason. It’s what you do with the situation that determines how it all turns out.
      Thanks for the positive feedback on my covers. I always love to hear I am doing something right.
      Warm regards, Peggy

  4. Connie Liddic says:

    I remember emailing you at the time of your injury, and in an attempt to cheer you, saying that I hoped you would somehow include it in your book, and that I would be looking forward to it. I have found in life and have shared this with others, that when we are faced with difficult situations, or setbacks, or illness, or injuries, that it is important to push through and overcome them. It’s not the circumstance to be conquered that is so important, but rather how we get through them. Your experience and your willingness to share it with others will have far-reaching impact to your readers and to those they share it with. You may never know the total impact, but that doesn’t matter. The Lord can use very ordinary people and their experiences in his master plan.

    • Connie,
      You are so right when it comes to getting through what could defeat you mentally and emotionally. I chose to look at my glass as half full, not half empty. With a loving family and great friends who supported me, I came away with a greater appreciation at how precious life is. Like I always say, everyday is a gift. Don’t take it for granted.
      Warm regards, Peggy

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