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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Fear is Fear is Fear

"let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts" - FDR's First Inaugural Address

I woke this morning with the anticipation of a day for writing. It has been months since I have worked on my WIP. I spent some time with the children, watched some cartoons with them and squeezed in some Lava Girl and Shark Boy action. I then sat down at my computer. Did I pull out my ms and refresh my memory? No, I checked email. Did I then jump into my saved files of research? No, I went to bloglines to check my feeds. Did I then pull out my posterboards with my timeline and character notes? No, I spent an hour reading through posts on Backspace.

I don't need to be a psychologist to recognize delay tactics. I think we writers are particularly gifted with finding creative ways to hide. And, that is precisely what I was doing. I was hiding. Why you ask? I'll tell you why. I'm afraid - afraid of myself. Afraid that what I think is creative, entertaining, and a fantastic plot line is actually weak and unworthy of continuation. Well, acknowledgement is the only true way to combat fear. I read my previous 50 pages, pulled out my posterboard and forced myself to get back into the groove. After 20 minutes the "force myself" attitude was gone. I was suddenly there, in the middle of the rainforest, listening to the sounds of the monkeys, birds and chittering insects. Unexpectedly, a new character decided to join the team. His name is Puchito, a Ka'apor Capuchin. He looks very similar to this, another Capuchin. He's a naughty little monkey, but I think he has a very important role to play.

I spent some time reviewing some pharmaceutical research I'm keeping tabs on... and updated some files on endangered species, I needed to make sure I had the right information as I describe them in my story. 1,200 nice clean fresh words, incorporating two new characters and providing some scientific information that will tie directly to the core plot later in the story. It's tough to write smart stuff sometimes.

I took a break and played some princess monopoly with the Pea Pie. I also walked my heir apparent through the directions of baking a lemon poppy seed bunt cake. While it was baking she said she would like to play in the front yard.

Ten minutes later when the buzzer went off I ventured outside to get her. Lo and behold, she was nowhere to be found. She did not respond to my yells. She was not at the neighbor's. She was not at her friend's house (three houses down the cul de sac from ours). As the panic was rising and I was preparing myself to call my husband (who is working) and the police. I hear her voice carried to me on the wind. I race to the end of the block and see her flying into a different neighbor's driveway. She had decided to grab her scooter and go on a ride with the neighbor boy.

First, I never let my children leave the cul de sac unless they have my permission - which they know. They can't even go inside the neighbor's house without permission. Second, my body was shaking from fear and relief. Not a good combination for me. I marched her inside where I called her father.

As I now sit here while she sits in her room, I realize. I experienced two completely different kinds of fear today. Both of them internal and yet completely different in nature. Both of them powerful. The fear of harm coming to my child is the most primal and overpowering fear I have ever experienced. Even if you only experience it for a moment. That moment feels endless. The other fear is tied intimately with my internal self, a portion of my soul, one might say.

Fear is Fear is Fear.

I don't know about you, but it's a freckle past a hair at my house and that means it's beer time.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Amy Ruttan said...

When EE got rejected I had a fear of admitting it. Fear and shame. I have a fear of resubmitting even though they asked me to submit something else.

It's silly ... I think I need a beer.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Wylie Kinson said...

My God, Rash,... my heart was pounding along with you as you searched for your child! The panic!!
THAT IS FEAR. That claw that pulls nauseous line through your gut.

Okay - subject change because I can't let my mind go there...

Congrats on 1200 words! WOOT! I really need a day like that but sadly, life keeps getting in the way of my creativity.

9:50 PM  

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