A Scary Place


Ready for scary things at your door?
Ready for scary things at your door?

Took acting class tonight. Did what my instructor calls a freezing reading. No chance to look at it beforehand. You only see the line when it is your turn to say it. You have to feel what the other person says before you look at your line. I loved that! And was surprised at the people in the class who didn’t like it at all.

I felt so good about it, I volunteered for a last extra improv scene near the end of class. I’m terrified of acting and yet…hey, I’m paying good money to be in this class and my life is good–why am I going to sit there wishing to be asked to the dance? The others may have been ready to quit a few minutes early and go home, but I jumped up and after an awkward minute, a fellow joined me up at the front of the class.

For this improv, one actor is given an objective and the other is not told what it is. My objective in the scene was to tell him to move out. Our instructor told us not to give away too much too soon–and if there is one thing I can do well, it’s be evasive.


In other scary places, I’ve committed to doing the Austin Fine Arts festival. It’s like going from first grade to college in a week. I am so not ready for this.

Not ready for NaNoWriMo either, but I’m showing up for that.

Friends I haven’t seen in six years are showing up next week too. We’ve been friends since we were 18.

It’s exam week at school. I haven’t written the exams yet.

And I’m taking my son trick-or-treating.

What scary things are you up to these days? And what do you find scary about writing?

6 thoughts on “A Scary Place

  1. Yay! That sounds like a cool exercise. As long as I have lines to look at, I’m fine.

    Good luck with the arts festival…you’ll do fine!

    I’m not ready for NaNoWriMo either. I think I’ll re-write my novel from scratch with an older protagonist and in first person. I kind of know how I’ll begin it. Other than that, I have no idea….but as long as I begin, I’ll be happy. I do find it very scary, however.

    I am also scared that my husband wants to drive to Chicago in one day (15 hrs at least) with my two-year-old and two dogs. Will someone please tell him he’s nuts? We’ve done it twice before, but not will a little boy!

    You’ll get everything done. You will.

  2. I’m feeling you, yes I am. Very overwhelmed right now. I am waiting for my friend to come pick me and the kids up and we’re going to go to their hotel and hang out for a while… why is that scary? Because traveling stressed me out, and even more so with the kids. Then, I will be removed from my routine. I am still being confronted with my slowness in starting an etsy store… I really have to get moving on that. There’s halloween and trick or treating and I haven’t finished the costumes yet.
    And there’s nanowrimo and I am NOT ready for that (btw, I am rosymamacita on nano, if you want to buddy up). And I’m going away before BOTH trick or treating and nano. And I need to start potty training the girl, although the boy has not mastered it. And we’re still working on getting a new home and a new job for S.

    The thing that scares me about writing is taking it pubic. Not with friends, but with the anonymous unwashed masses, and most scarily, the critics and the hoi polloi. Or people that I went to school with and took creative writing with and knew that I was the editor of the college lit mag. And my professors. It scares me to have them see my work. Hmm. I’ve never articulated that before. What do they think of genre fiction? Do they think it means I’m not good enough to write literary fiction? And while I’m wondering that, AM I good enough to write literary fiction???


    I’m glad the acting class is opening you up. Sometimes we do need to plunk down our hard earned money on something before we actually show up and try to get our money’s worth. It’s silly, but everyone does it. That’s one of the reasons that the next time I do a workshop I need to charge instead of giving it away out of the goodness of my heart and creativity.

  3. Sounds as though the intent of the exercises got through to you. Now we can look for manifestations of it in your writing.

    Fear is such a splendid motivating force; it can cause us to run, develop roots that anchor us to the spot, or get us stepping forth with some kind of plan. Fear is often a friend, waiting to be asked to dance. Fear wears Halloween masks at first. Then the revelation: fear is really Ginger Rogers or Fred Astaire. Why woul Fred or Ginger want to dance with me? Why not, the fearful writer/artist says. Why not?

  4. Sarah

    Scary things: The election. My daughter being a senior and applying to colleges 3,000 miles away and moving too fast with her boyfriend. Wondering what trouble she may get into on Halloween and how to prevent it. My own health. The falling equity in our house which means we may never get out of this neighborhood. The fact that I haven’t heard from the agent who requested my full mansucript in seven weeks. My husband working two jobs and how long he can pull that off without burning out. Wondering if I have the health and energy to write another novel and if not what will I do with myself for the second half of my life. My son, a sophomore in college 2,000 miles away, who is sick with a bad cough. You know- life.

  5. I don’t know about you, Marta, and I can’t speak for everyone else. But I guarantee that at least one reader is gripped by your accounts of all the changes and opportunities before you. Evasiveness, right: no surprise there. Sounds like for yet another time you turned it to your advantage. 🙂

    I’m scared at the moment not by writing per se, but by the extent to which writing per se has taken a back seat to blog posts and re-reading, taking notes on, and re-understanding the Grail book.

    A fear at once both paltry and immobilizing.

  6. Pamela

    Scary things: my school loans, living in this small town, owning a home in this horrible market, the economy, being my age and not having a children or spouse, not want a spouse at my age, my dogs growing old, me growing old, not having direction after the death of a loved one, not knowing what direction to take my career, not knowing when I started to doubt myself or why.

    Writers block scares me. Not telling a compelling story scares me about my writing.

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