Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fear and Loathing in Dallas

Today I feel kind of like this. I've been put through the wringer and spit back out again -- all because of a literally hair-raising experience. I decided to woman up (yes, I really did type that, instead of man up) and cover my gray, just to see if I liked it. I've been prematurely graying since I was 21 and it doesn't bother me, but recently my writer's imagination started dreaming about what it would be like to have hair all the same color again just for fun. So I went to Walgreens and bought some dye and half an hour later, there I was on the phone to my hair stylist in tears after calling the hot line number on the box because my PERMANENT hair color was bleeding out from my hair into my clothes and my towel. Of course, I was told by Clairol this was all my hair's fault.

I tried scolding my hair, "you naughty, naughty hair," but it didn't listen. Eight shampoos and three conditioning treatments later, and my hair still bleeds for me. I'm sure there's a story in there, but right now, I'm just filled with a deep loathing for anyone with normal hair not straight out of a horror film.

This hairiffic experience led me to ponder things that I might fear now. Previously, I had written I had no deep, secret fears, but then I read a few interviews by Stephen King and I thought to myself: Yeah, I am kind of afraid of that. I guess I didn't think they were fears really, because I don't think of them often. I'm like a turtle. I'll just hide in my shell with my bleeding hair, thank you.

But fear is a powerful emotion and can lead to really good storytelling. After thinking more, I realized that some of my deeply repressed fears have actually ended up in print -- going insane and falling down the stairs are just two.

Soooo ....

My List of Fears

1) Being alone -- not just for a few hours or a day or a week, but waking up one morning and discovering that everyone you loved has passed and no one cares about you anymore.

2) Falling down the stairs. This one probably stems from watching my brother the daredevil cartwheel down the basement steps when I was younger. It kind of left an impression on me. He wasn't injured, but I'm sure if I had fallen, I would have broken my neck!

3) Unknown insects in strange states -- just because you never know if they will bite.

4) Losing my mind -- literally. What bothers me about this one, is that if it ever happens, I probably won't know.

5) I admit it; I am afraid of what's under the bed, but hey, Stephen King admitted the same thing in an interview once, so I'm in good solid adult company here.

6) Stephen King also admitted being afraid of the dark, especially in unfamiliar hotel rooms. I get this, Stephen -- because of you, I cannot go into a hotel bathroom without thinking of the scary ghost lady in The Shining. Thank you so much for that! *shivers* (Oddly enough, when I actually stayed at a haunted hotel last December, the scary ghost lady didn't seem so scary any more).

7) Getting bit by a snake. Now, yes, we have one as a pet in our house, but really, Ludwig belongs to my husband. He was a birthday gift. I pick him up, I give him water, and I wouldn't let him starve, but I'm not bonded with him or anything, even though he's a "gentle" snake, according to hobbyists.

8) I'll also admit to being afraid of suffocating, but this is a logical fear. I have asthma and growing up, asthma medicine wasn't as effective as it is now.

9) Never making it as a professional writer -- now this one is a normal fear, even though writers don't like to talk about it.

10) My father dying while I am still living out of state. This one really gets to me. My father is 78 and has emphysema. I moved away in 2006, when he was doing okay, but now he's not doing so well. Every time the phone rings late at night, I automatically assume it's about him.

11) Waking up to discover the person you are sleeping next to has died during the night. I don't know why I worry about this, but it would just be creepy. Think about it. You slept next to a dead person all night and didn't realize it. *shivers*

12) Finding my elderly pets dead somewhere in the house. This one is normal. Nobody wants to lose a beloved pet and the shock of discovering them is horrible. I hope this one never happens.

I'm going to stop here before I reach lucky thirteen because it seems like a good place to end this.

What are your fears? Explore them and they might lead to one of the best stories you ever wrote. You just never know.

As always, happy writing and happy reading to all!


shah said...

Fab post - lol. I must concur with most of these fears actually - they are all logical. I don't fear snakes as a rule, but if I lived somewhere where their bite could kill me that would change. I fear spiders - ilogical in UK (and Dubai where I presently reside) I think because they're not harmful. Just really ugly and creepy. Gotta say though, there is more trouble wiuth tiny yellow ants here than spiders. Think I've only seen a couple since last October.

I fear suffocation, though thats more to do with panic-attacks, I do have mild asthma too. Logical!

I fear an apocolyps for the same reason you fear l;oneliness - I hate the idea of waking up and being the only person alive/alive who loves me/alone forever. This is why zombie movies terrify me. I'd shoot myself - I would NOT want to live in a world with zombies!

Yeah - its surprising how many fears we have when we really put our minds to it.

BTW - my blog is playing up - I lost comments and it only loads up on my computer if I use Internet Explorer. If you left a comment - its probably gone. So sorry and thank you for your time and for linking up! Have a great weekend. X

Laurie said...

Great Post.....I laughed at your hair experience and loved the black kitty cat!!....poor kittie...when I was much younger I loved to color my hair and I did it time I colored it too soon after getting it permed.....eek it was like light green straw for months afterward!! At least hair grows...keep conditioning!!! I'm following from Shah's Weekend Creative Hop...Unfortunately my linky pic looks like a kid did it..... I thought I would have the opportunity to adjust and fiddle with it but no such see, just like fears..we all live and learn, everyday! LOL Have a great weekend!
Laurie's Thoughts & Reviews

Nora B. Peevy said...

Shah, we have fire ants here and tarantulas and rattlesnakes. LOL And very large cockroaches and other assorted creepies in Texas, but they aren't as bad in the city. In fact, I saw my first big bug this week after three years of being here. I have not seen a snake or a tarantula. I hear they are more country or garden critters. However, both are no concern. The rattlers are more scared of you and so are the tarantulas. Still wouldn't want to antagonize them, though.

Thanks for the heads up on your blog situation.


Nora B. Peevy said...


Glad you could laugh. My hair isn't damaged and wasn't before the dye, so I don't know why this happened. Neither does my stylist. I called him a panic yesterday! LOL

The cat is my Bombay, Toshio. I was mean and took pics of him in his time of strife. LOL


ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Good that you are getting the fears out and writing about them ~ you are not alone ~ You can 'slay those dragons" ~ Trust yourself ~

Come read my blog ~

There is a lot of psychology on the blog besides art ~ following from Weekend Blog

Nora B. Peevy said...

Hi ArtMuseDog,

I did try to stop by your blog, but it wasn't loading right. I could only look at a little bit and then I couldn't scroll any more. This happened a bunch. I waited five minutes and tried again and the same thing happened. Just wanted to let you know. I don't know if it's my browser or if your graphics are large and loading slowly. LOL

I love the dog pic at the top, though.

I am a photographer and I do watercolor as well. I also scrapbook and make cards.


KristinCanRead said...

Oh snakes! I HATE snakes. I also fear the dark. I don't like walking in a dark room. Thank goodness for cell phone display lights. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am now following yours! Yay!

Nora B. Peevy said...

You're welcome. Thank you for the follow.