Friday, November 5, 2010

Got fears?

Dana Mentink here, thinking about fear today. We just made it through a scary month, no? I mean aside from the fact that our property taxes are due, this Halloween business can be downright frightening. Seeing five hundred plus elementary schoolers hopped up on sugar and wearing costumes is enough to scare even the most stalwart. It got me thinking about fear and how writing can be the perfect way to get up close and personal with what scares us (without that nasty reality ruining the fun.) So here are my top three fears to date.

#1) Losing a loved one. Oooooh! I hate that one. Since I’ve had children, I now understand the wise person who said it’s like having your heart walking around outside your body. I fear that something will happen to them or Papa Bear or my darling parents or siblings. Imagine if I lost one of my beloved sisters? I spent some time imagining that, and I wrote a book about a gal who does. Talk about getting out all that emotion on the page!

#2) Okay, so I’m a teensy bit scared of the dark. Bad things happen in the dark, you know. So why not face that fear head on by crashing a plane into a darkening wilderness and the only way to survive is to hide in the glacial tunnels bored into a mountain? Uh huh. I imagined that too and to add to the drama, my poor heroine was also grieving over the loss of her twin nieces. Acck! Double whammy!

#3) Birds. I know, I know. It’s silly to be scared of birds, but there’s something about those beady eyes and razor sharp beaks that just gives me goosebumps (if you’ll excuse the expression.) Of course, being a writer, I can deal with those fears perfectly, by creating a heroine who is surrounded by a squadron of rescued sea birds. As a matter of fact, I wrote an entire mystery series with Ruth and her gaggle of naughty birds.
Isn’t being a writer awesome? I can face my fears without ruffling my feathers in the least. What about you? Got any fears that find their way on the page?


Ramona Richards said...

Dana, I love that you've tackled your fears in your books. My daughter is severely disabled, so I've known for 23 years that she could die at any time. I finally dealt with that in The Taking of Carly Bradford.

One of my biggest fears is falling - so I suspect that one will show up in print before too long.

Dana Mentink said...

I will definitely have to look up your book, Ramona. That is very courageous to take on such a topic in such a public way.

PamelaTracy said...

I read Carly Bradford's book. Good job! My biggest fear is flying.