I have often read criticism of Women’s Contemporary Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Chick Lit – call it what you will. A frequent comment is that the seemingly intelligent heroine suddenly does something rather stupid. Readers condemn this as ridiculous , out of character and unbelievable. Now, please bear this in mind as I tell you my sorry tale…
I am not a genius (neither Mensa nor NASA are beating down my door and begging me to enlighten them) however, I am also not stupid. I did well at school (I was a bit of a girly swot, actually) I got good grades in my exams and I hold down a fairly pressured job. Even so I have discovered that ‘stupid’ can strike any of us and any time.
I was printing off copies of papers that needed to be stapled together in pairs – a fairly simple task for someone of my experience and deep knowledge of stationery items (I have a serious stationery buying habit) and a task I have accomplished before unaided and without incident.
I picked up the small loaded stapler and noticing that it’s casing wasn’t firmly in place so I took it between my thumb and forefinger and squeezed (I think you may be one step ahead of me). The staple discharged neatly, but with force, into my finger as far as it would go – which was all the way to the bend. I stared at the blatant evidence of my stupidity but couldn’t bring myself to inflict further pain by pulling it out myself. So I briefed my husband on what was required “pull it out – up and straight” I instructed him. To which he grabbed it and pulled the staple towards himself causing maximum pain and discomfort.
So here I am staring at my poor finger with its neat puncture mark and impressive purple bruising and I’m still in disbelief and cannot understand how I managed to do it. So it seems however out of character sometimes stupid does strike the best of us when we least expect it.
Bella’s first novel, It Started at Sunset Cottage was released on 12th February by Harper Impulse. She was a runner-up for the New Talent Award at the 2013 Festival of Romance and a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Every fortnight, Bella will be sharing her experiences and advice as a new author. She also has her own blog – www.bellaosborne.com
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.