Wednesday, June 3, 2020

June 2020 IWSG: A Giant Chicken

This month, the IWSG wants to know: "Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?" 

I'm not sure how much of a secret this actually is, especially to anyone who knows me, but here goes: I am a Giant Chicken. 

Yes, I read, watch and write horror, but I do it all with many, many nervous glances over my shoulder. 

Yes, I am a grown woman, but I still cower under the covers. (Mostly because I'm not sure I can fit under the bed.) 

Yes, logic and reason tell me - logically and reasonably - that most of what I create, read and watch couldn't or wouldn't happen. But, as a Giant Chicken, I must point out that's exactly what every Doomed Character says right before they go into the pitch-black basement where the light bulb has, of course, burned out but it's too much trouble to go back for a flashlight, so they keep going until they die a horrible death by way of teeth and tentacles. 

I'm a worrier from waaaay back. The anxieties and fears are worse now, and some days are extremely hard. Some days I wish I were different – braver, stronger, more normal. 

But I'm learning not only to manage my issues the best I can but also to accept how my mind works, even embrace it. So, I will continue to wring the fear from my terror-soaked imagination and splatter it on the page for you all to read and - hopefully! - enjoy. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to evict some dust bunnies from under the bed. Just in case. 


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52 comments:

  1. I bet you're fun to watch horror movies with!

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  2. I think you have a lot of courage to write about what scares you.

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    1. Such a nice thing to say, Liza. Thank you. Especially since courageous is the very last thing I ever feel.

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  3. I'm a worrier and get scared sometimes too. Since living alone these last six years, I've had to open the fear door and what right into what I'm scared of. Mostly I'm finding it's not that scary.

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  4. I think I read that Stephen King is a bit if a chicken too. That's where he found his inspiration in the early years. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. I believe a lot of RL Stine's stories came from a boyhood of being scared of things and of telling scary stories to his younger brother. :)

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  5. At first I thought you meant you really were a Giant Chicken. I love chickens! Okay, so that's not what you meant. It's okay, humans are great too. Being human is something I understand. I also understand caution, anxiety, fear of heights, fast boats, flying upside down.... Happy IWSG Wednesday, Madeline!

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    1. I am such a chicken that I wouldn't be surprised if I started sprouting feathers. And I'm sure my husband would say I already cluck and squawk. :)

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  6. Anxieties are no joke. I have a few family members who truly struggle with this issue. I've experienced several moments of panic over the last few months. What if this runs out? What if we can't go to see that doctor? It's so bizarre, but the boredom, chaos, and never-ending chores of daily life keep things in perspective.

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    1. Sounds like you really understand that it isn't a joke, especially for those family members who struggle. Unfortunately, I've had some family members dismiss/ignore/mock my issues. Thankfully, my husband is a huge help. :)

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  7. Hi,
    I admire you. I have terrible nightmares so I stay away from horror.
    All the best and thanks for being a part of the IWSG.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. It's funny because sometimes the things I read/watch/write give me nightmares but oftentimes they don't. My dreams tend to be more weird and/or exhausting than scary anyway.

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  8. I am a big chicken too. Sometimes, it's not the story that scares me, but my imagination going overboard after the fact.

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    1. Our imaginations are awesome . . . except when they're not. :)

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  9. LOL, me too! But I think that's what makes writing horror so much fun. See if you can scare others!

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    1. It is fun! I love when someone tells me that my stories creeped them out. :)

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  10. I wonder if this is why you write such good horror. You really know how to describe super scary stories and suck in the reader.
    Way to use "what you know" to write some really cool stuff!

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  11. Hi Madeline, a big hug...I used to be a worry wart earlier, a compulsive worrier. Everyone has some or the other fears but most of us have learned to control it!

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    1. Thanks for the hug, Rachna. Managing the anxieties and fears has always been a struggle for me. It's worse now, but I'll keep working on it.

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  12. This is definitely a time of high anxiety, and plenty of reasons for it, too! Writing horror perhaps give a voice to the voiceless. I do a lot of stuff to people in my fiction that would raise eyebrows in polite society. As for going into the basement? The only thing I'm afraid of are the spiders waiting to murder me. I'm always armed with one of those bottles of RAID that sprays 8-10 feet.

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    1. I hear you on the basement. I'm so glad I don't have one now. One less thing for me to worry about. :)

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  13. I've gotten better about worrying though having 6 children doesn't help it. I can't watch scary movies, but I love reading horror. As long as I'm not home alone.

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    1. I'm lucky because my husband will usually watch scary movies with me. And when he doesn't feel like it, he's usually only in the other room. Whew! :)

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  14. I love scary but not gory movies and books. Things that are too real and too close to home I avoid. Give me suspense and mystery:)

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    1. I don't care much for gore either. I prefer creepy and suspenseful. :)

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  15. I would never have guessed that you are a chicken. You write such creepy FF.
    I'm also scared. If I happen to be sitting in front of the television when a horror film is on, I cover my face during the scary parts (most of the movie)
    I don't watch much television but when I do, I never watch horror. *shudders*

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    1. Thank you, Michelle!

      I watch parts of scary movies through my fingers, but it's very hard to write that way. :)

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  16. Hehe. I think being a chicken is fine. I know I shy away from horror just because I start getting freaked out, but I can't freak out because then it'll scare the kids!

    And I opt for blankets too. My bed is only like 4 inches off the ground and I'm pretty sure I'd have to be a monster to fit under there.

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    1. Now all I can think is about some really creepy, flat monster that is all ooze-y and slime-y hiding under the bed . . . :o

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  17. I loved this, Madeline! I'm a giant chicken too. I laughed at your post as I read it. I think that if you have a big imagination it's very easy to scare yourself. All the best to you!

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    1. Glad to hear you enjoyed this!

      I must have a huge imagination because I scare myself silly. :)

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  18. Being a chicken is nothing to be ashamed of. I can't watch horror movies alone, especially not alone and in the dark. Same with reading scary stories. The imagination that helps us write, is the same imagine that turns us into chickens. :)

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    1. Someone once told me that our best asset can often also be our worst. :)

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  19. Ha Ha! I'm a chicken too. I can't even watch or read anything remotely scary. But just think how this helps you empathize with your characters when they are scared!
    Great post!

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    1. Yes! If my characters panic, you can bet I have panicked in a similar way somewhere along the line.

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  20. So glad you are a chicken.I thought it was just me. I blame my anxiety and fear of horror stories on a bad experience watching a very scary movie at theater with my older brothers. I spent the entire movie shivering under the seat. You have a great way with words and love our sense of humor. In other words, You Rock! JQ Rose

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    1. I can imagine how that experience would scar a person. Yikes!

      Thanks so much, JQ!

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  21. Power to you for watching/reading horror. I am so easily scared that I decided it was better to steer clear of the genre long ago...although I do love a small amount of chills.

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    1. A small amount of chills is awesome when done right. I love that kind of thing. :)

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  22. I feel your pain. I am also a big chicken and never watch horror flicks. Great post. Thank you so much for sharing!

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    1. It makes total sense not to watch, etc. the things that scare you. But I have never been all that logical. :)

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  23. Understanding and accepting how your brain works is so important! I'm impressed that you can face those fears in your writing. I haven't watched a horror movie for years and years and years.

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    1. There are some actual fears I won't - can't?! - address in my writing, but I'm okay with that. I've got enough other ones to play with. :)

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  24. It might seem contradictory, but I would argue a horror writer should be a chicken! You wouldn't be able to vividly portray the dread felt by your characters otherwise, or summon it in your readers. Great post!

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  25. There are a couple of films, teetering towards horror, that I'm planning to watch on a bright sunny Saturday afternoon. And I'm definitely never ever going to be the person who's 'just going to check that noise out"!

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    1. I always wonder if the person who says that is someone who has never, ever seen a horror movie. :)

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  26. I'm the same - love horror but a real scaredy-cat, lol. If I think a movie's going to push my boundaries too hard I'll probably watch it on a Saturday morning, so I have the whole day to process it (and, hopefully, not have it on my mind anymore by bedtime). :-)

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    1. I'm never usually sure how a scary book or movie will affect me. I've read and watched things that should've given me nightmares but didn't. Then there's the small, quiet, creepy moments and scenes that still haunt me. Shudder! :o

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