Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Things That Scare Me

Alright, I don't dig scary movies. I just don't see the value of screaming, twitching, jumping, or convulsing when there's popcorn in your hand. Really, people--priorities. Besides, there are many things that scare the crap out of me in every day life.

Wolf Spiders

Yeah. I'm not good with spiders in general, but these spiders can be huge depending on their type, and they BURROW INTO THE GROUND. So that they can JUMP OUT and NINJA ATTACK THEIR PREY.

Now, I'm not a big fan of things that jump out at me in general (I mean, really, what's that about?) but a spider? That like actively attacks? A wolf spider can take down a raccoon. How far a cry is that from a person? I mean, it could definitely kill a kid. It's like a natural born terrorist or something. Ehgkk.

Pettiness and Idiocy

I understand that controversy is usually a good thing. It means people are active, engaged, even outraged--it means there's passion and excitement in the mix. If you ban books, it probably means that more people will read them. In the end, I have more faith in curiosity and a love of knowledge than I do hatred and fear (despite this post), so I believe these things will come down on that side of intellectual curiosity. BUT. Being small, petty and mean are different things entirely, because often they're cruel with the guise of "integrity". That's pretty fearsome, and sometimes, the right side does not win out over pettiness.

If you don't know what I'm referring to, check out Libba Bray's reaction. Or this. Or this, an excellent cross-webs recap.

Weird Ambient Noises

My father's house (aside from being a renovated church) also has a basement that is really just a dirt pit. The structure is really old, so it has a foundation, but nothing was ever really done with it and it doesn't really have access points. So since people can't be down there, animals are. Supposedly there are feral cats, and god knows what else. At night, you can hear scratching, rustling, and general creepy noises.

Basically, it's just the fear of the total unknown descending on my head in the darkness.


Some edits are scary, some are not. I was totally cool with copy edits--it was basically just yes/no/change kind of thing, and didn't require too much actual creativity--but the first round of edits with my editor was possibly the scariest thing in my life so far. Mostly because at that point, I was still very skittish from having several rounds of edits with agents that would ultimately not sign me, so edits still felt like this trial by fire wherein they might decide they didn't like me after all and would not, in fact, take my book to prom.

Beyond that anxiety, the cool and scary thing about edits is that your editor will inevitably suggest changes that make so much sense! seem so cool! are totally awesome! and then you need to, you know, actually figure out how to write those into existence. On a deadline.

But then, I guess that the coolest thing about edits is when you actually DO what you have to do in the time you have been given to do it. Facing your fears usually works out pretty well, and you come out the other side stronger and smarter.

But don't think for a SECOND that I'm facing down a ninja spider.

AC Gaughen is the author of Scarlet, a retelling of the Robin Hood legend that reimagines Will Scarlet as a butt-kicking girl. Check it out February 14th, 2012 from Bloomsbury|Walker. Or just come visit her website. Or come stalk her on Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not a big fan of any of these things, either, although the spider sounds pretty awesome (I happen to think tarantulas are fuzzy and cute). I'd love to see your father's house - it sounds very cool!!