In the last month I’ve had several reasons to panic. Not good reasons, but reasons none the less.
I panicked when I discovered that somewhere, deep in my filing system that is less a system and more a jumble of things I wrongly think I have to save, I’d lost my birth certificate.
Not normally a problem right? After all, how often do you have to prove you were born? Apparently the answer is one more time. Seriously Passport Canada, you saw it last time. It hasn’t changed. But not to worry, I found it. Eventually.
Then I panicked when I Andre calmly told me, while spinning at 70 km – 218 feet in the air – on a ride with FEAR in the name “we’re higher than the Drop Zone now”. NOT. HELPING. In his defence he had to tell me how high we were because my eyes were closed and I was chanting “I’m in a car. The windows are open. I’m in a car.”
Btw, the Drop Zone is one of may rides at Playland on my Hell NO! list. AtmosFEAR has now joined it.
And finally I got to panic when I went to buy groceries and realized that I didn’t have my debit card. (I think the nice folks at the Husky station have it.)
Each time I felt my blood pressure rise. There was a deep sense of dread and some part of me (probably the part that remembers being bitten by the family dog, chased by a rogue lawnmower and targeted by thousands of stinging insects) was screaming that the end was near.
It’s the same feeling I get whenever I give my writing to someone else to read.
In good news, none of those things has killed me yet. In other good news, I think my willingness to write despite these feelings means I’ve finally found that illusive “something” in my life that’s worth suffering for. Half a chapter left and I’ll be ready to send “Super” off to a beta reader. “I’m in a car. The windows are open…how come it’s not helping this time?”
I wrote today and was inspired by the image of the red and blue of police lights strobing. In my case I was imagining a character coming home to the lights illuminating their front yard screaming danger. I didn’t want to just describe the lights strobing and say my character was afraid or apprehensive, so instead I thought about describing how the patters of shadow and light of those strobing lights would change the character’s house and the neighbourhood.
Choose a scene that is lit in an unusual way. Perhaps a flood light, fire or police strobes. Then try to convey the emotion of your character without saying how they feel, but instead describing the way that light changes the character’s environment and perception.