Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


On Monday, I was waiting in a chiropractor’s office to see if my tibia was fractured. As the doctor reviewed my x-rays, I held my breath.
When he told me the leg looked good, it was a huge relief. I’ve been down this road before…so close to fighting, only to break my wrist.

If it had been fractured, it would have been game over for me. Maybe some people would fight with a fractured leg, but I’m not one of them. I don’t want this bad enough to sacrifice my long-term well-being (although I’m probably already doing that, to some extent).

What troubled me was realizing that–as relieved as I was to be able to keep going–I also would have been relieved to stop. And this made me question everything.

My emotions seem to change daily when it comes to fight camp. On some days, I’m determined to do this and looking forward to stepping into that ring. I am proud to think of myself as a kickboxer. On others, I wonder why I want to do this, or whether I actually want to at all.

One of my fellow fight campers loves getting hit in the face. I can’t say I feel the same. There are many things I love more than getting hit in the face. For that matter, there are many things I love more than hitting others in the face.

I’ve been questioning whether or not I am a fighter. I spent some time thinking about everything I’ve survived in my life. And then I remembered one of my closest friends from childhood.

He was small for his age, but smart, and his diminutive size didn’t stop him from speaking his mind. The end result was that other boys were always trying to kick his ass. As fearsome as my friend’s temper was, the most intelligent course of action was to run like hell. So while he ran, there was often only one thing standing between an ass-kicking and freedom.


I was fiercely protective of my friend, and I didn’t give a rat’s ass who was threatening him. I boldly stepped in front of larger guys, meaner guys, and stronger guys. And I didn’t back down. Eventually, they got tired of wrestling with me, and they left my friend alone. I don’t remember getting hurt (although mud balls filled with glass were thrown at us one time–ah, the sweet innocence of children!), but even if I had, I know I would have stood my ground the next time. Because that guy they wanted to tear apart was my friend. And no friend of mine was going to get hurt on my watch.

So maybe I’d rather be your friend than beat you up. Maybe I’ll use words to find a solution before I’ll ever use my fists. Maybe I’ve seen the damage abusive people do, and would rather die than become one myself.

But when something counts, I can–and will–stand and fight for what I believe in. And that’s all that matters.

What brings out the fight in you?

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  1. Anonymous

    For me, it was on if anyone dared talk about my mom. That would bring out the smash time without fail.

    Don’t worry about your upcoming fight. When it’s time to go, I have a feeling you’ll forget about everything else and focus on the task at hand.

  2. ceebee

    Hi Holli,

    Just thought I’d let you know that the fight camp blog is awesome and I’m following it daily 🙂 You have much more interesting things to say than just a daily log of the activities you’re doing -there’s always another story from the past or wherever. Keep it up, friend!

  3. Story Teller

    Thanks for your comments!

    @ Anon – Thank you for the words of confidence. I think the same as well. As much as I may fear the outcome, there’s a part of me that knows that I will do well.

    @ CB – Thanks for commenting! That means so much. It’s quiet around here again these days (guess I need a troll to attack me again). 🙂

    I’m glad you’re enjoying it. I’m not always sure what to say, so it’s good to hear that what I *can* say has been interesting!

  4. Zsanett

    I had to think about this one for a long time cause I am really not a fighter type at least not physically. But I remember a few cases when I heard about some kind of animal cruelty, now that stuff boils my blood and makes me wanna punch those people in the face or worse. maybe I could use some kickboxing lessons just in case 🙂

  5. Story Teller

    Thanks for your comment, Zsanett. You and I have that in common–animal cruelty is something I have real difficulty even hearing about. It usually makes me desperately sad more than angry, but I *am* fiercely protective of animals.

    My cat, Chloe, is my “baby”, and Chris has suggested pretending my opponent wants to hurt her as a way to get aggressive. But I think I’d tear her apart in that case–not a lot of skill involved!


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