Thursday, July 28, 2011
Fear and Loathing in Dallas
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.
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!
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).
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.
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!