Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Can Fear turn into Fiction?

What scares you?

When I ask myself this question, I immediately remember summer camp, twelve year olds sitting around a campfire late at night listening to counselors tell spine tingling ghost stories with pitiful sounding titles like “Give me back my hand, or my liver, or my head.” That fear was so real I can remember it vividly – pounding heart and surging adrenaline; I outgrew most that childish type of fear – out grew but never forgot.

In the 70’s I read my first Stephen King novel and my fear again rekindled. This fear caused the tiny hairs on the back of my neck to stand up straight and gooseflesh to bubble on my arms as I read the chapter in The Shining where the hedge animals closed in on the main character . . . I swear I could hear leaves rustling behind me those words were so vivid, so compelling. These are two cool examples of things that have scared me through the years – there have actually been countless scary moments throughout my life.

For the past two decades I’ve worked to turn many of my own personal scares, fears, and nightmares into fictional short stories, flash fiction, non-fictional articles, critiques, commentary, and memoirs. Hopefully this is just the beginning, as I continue to work on my powers of observation.

Not only do I write about my own fears, I'm working on pulling in scary observations from co-workers, friends, relatives, and even strangers on the street, doctor’s waiting room, or at the mall.

My brain likes to play “what if.”
What if I was driving home from the mall and noticed a scrap of the loud plaid fabric skirt worn by my friend Silvia today hanging from the trunk seam of the beat up old Buick in front of me at the red light? What if that scrap of fabric was yanked from my site right before my eyes as I waited for the light to change?

What if the tiny, wrinkled, mild-mannered old lady at the end of our childhood street were really a practicing witch?

What if the unusual plant that you received for your anniversary were carnivorous?

What if . . .

Well, you get the idea.
With this blog, I hope to keep asking devoted readers
the ever-eternal question:“What scares you?”

Because that’s what I enjoy writing about.

The Shining


Anonymous said...

That's what I like to write too. :)

Susan Beth Studio said...

Weezel - love the "what if" scenarios!