For the first time in years, I was not online at all this past weekend. It was weird. And wonderful. It actually freed up a part of my brain that I didn’t realize was always thinking about which site I wanted to post and whose feed I wanted to check. When I mentioned this last night a friend told me I should do that at leasst once a week for a 24-hour period. Or more. But he added that I needed to go one step further. I needed to turn off my phone as well.
Just the thought of turning off my phone made me break out in a cold sweat. What if something happened to my kids or my father? What if they needed me and I didn’t know it because my phone was turned off?
And I realized that that’s one of my biggest fears. I have a lot of them; tornados, suffocation, rat tails (not the body of the rat, just the tail), lightning, and a certain smell that I have only smelled a half dozen times in my life that I am convinced is the smell of pure Evil. But being out of touch with my kids and dad is at the top of the fear pile.
And so, in that frame of mind…
“As a child, I read because books–violent and not, blasphemous and not, terrifying and not–were the most loving and trustworthy things in my life. I read widely, and loved plenty of the classics so, yes, I recognized the domestic terrors faced by Louisa May Alcott’s March sisters. But I became the kid chased by werewolves, vampires, and evil clowns in Stephen King’s books. I read books about monsters and monstrous things, often written with monstrous language, because they taught me how to battle the real monsters in my life.
And now I write books for teenagers because I vividly remember what it felt like to be a teen facing everyday and epic dangers. I don’t write to protect them. It’s far too late for that. I write to give them weapons–in the form of words and ideas-that will help them fight their monsters. I write in blood because I remember what it felt like to bleed.”
Today’s Prompt: What are you most afraid of? What chills your blood, makes you lose your lunch? Today, embody that fear. Give it bones and blood, dress it up in skin. Make that fear a human being and then put it in a scene with a vulnerable person who does not understand what they are up against. Or write a scene in which you or a character are cornered with that thing that scares you to death… and there is no escape.
Scribble… scribble… scribble…
Causes Laurie Anderson Supports
American Library Association