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Posts Tagged ‘fear’

  1. If I Have to Go On Tour (Gulp!)

    February 7, 2014 by Diane

    writing a novel

    I decide it might be a good idea to run the whole “what happens if I have to go on tour” thing by my Wise Self. Get her take on the situation. So I dial in.

    You know that book I’m writing?

    The novel.

    When it comes out…if it comes out…I’ll have to go on tour.

    Is it published now?


    Is it finished yet?


    So you’re still writing it, she says.


    Do you have fun writing?

    Fun? I repeat.

    Do you enjoy the writing process?

    Mostly. When it’s going well. When it’s not, I want to burn the pages and give up writing forever.

    That’s a long time.

    Well, maybe not forever. Maybe just as long as it takes to walk around the neighborhood and clear my head.

    So you enjoy writing.

    I’m driven, I say.

    Then write because you are driven to do so.

    But when it comes out…if it comes out…I’ll have to get on a plane.

    Are you on a plane now?

    Nope. Well…part of me is. My Inner Protector. He’s off in a possible future scoping things out.

    Good. Let him fly to Hawaii. Maybe he’ll relax.

    You don’t like him much, do you.

    It’s the job of the Inner Protector to worry. It’s the job of your creative self to create.

    I feel a lecture coming on.

    Finish the novel.

    Short, I say, but to the point.

  2. If the Book Gets Published (Gulp!)

    February 3, 2014 by Diane

    writing a novel

    I’m taking a break from writing, shooting the breeze with my Inner Protector, when he says, When the book comes out, what then?

    I tour.



    Don’t want to tour.


    Don’t like to fly.


    How about if you phoned it in? He suggests. Skyped the whole thing.

    Not a bad idea.

    Do you think the publicist would go for that?

    Probably not.

    You could hope, tho.

    There’s always hope.

    How about this… how about you send the book out to do its own tour. People can read, can’t they?


    So let them read the damn thing.

    Could work. It just might work, I say.

    The publicist probably won’t go for that, either.

    Probably not.

    So you’re stuck.

    Looks that way.

    You’re going on tour whether you like it or not.

    Probably so.

    Unless the book never gets published.

    There’s that.

  3. Sunday After the Shootings

    January 27, 2014 by Diane

    white church

    On Sunday after the shootings, a small Midwestern community gathered in their local church, stunned by the news reports. They murmured in groups as they filed in, the children tethered to their mother’s hands. From the pulpit Father O’Hare gazed out at his congregation, at their tight faces, the men with their blazing eyes, the children squirming in their mother’s embrace. He knew the evil that had consumed that young shooter; he knew the evil because it brushed against him now—that out of control anger—and he sensed it in his parish, felt it wafting through, clinging to the men with their tense jaws and the women clutching their children with fierceness.

    Father O’Hare asked them all to rise, to sing Nearer, My God, to Thee. Even Joe Peterson, who never sang, held the hymnal and bellowed the words. After the last note Mrs. Smith at the organ dabbed her eyes and folded her hands in her lap, and the choir in their blue robes sank down.

    “It is with heavy hearts that we are gathered here today,” Father O’Hare began. “And our prayers are with the families of the wee victims. I don’t have to tell you that there is a question we are all asking, one question: why? Why would a young lad commit such a horrible crime, a child of God no less—”

    Mr. Peterson reared up. “That boy was the Devil!”

    “He was screwy in the head!” Mabel Fricks hollered from the back of the church. “He should have been locked up.”

    And others chimed in.

    “Where does a boy that age get his hands on an assault rifle? Can you tell me that?”

    “It’s the government’s fault!”

    “It’s the NRA! They’re nothing but a bunch of bullies!”

    “Amen!” someone shouted from the choir.

    Father O’Hare came out from behind the pulpit and held up his hands until everyone had quieted down. He didn’t have a passage to point to, nothing in the Bible about twenty innocent children being gunned down in the middle of the day. All he knew is that the evil that overtook that boy’s soul was beckoning to others, a curl of smoke that made others follow blindly, luring the nation with its deceptive tune. He had to stop that evil energy from permeating his flock, from spreading further into the world. He had to tell them that the only way to defeat the dark was to turn toward the light and remember the good. To remind others. And to never forget, even after this day was long forgotten.

    “We’re trying to find something to blame,” he began, “instead of looking for something to cherish.” His eyes swept the angry faces and settled on Mr. Peterson’s. “Joe. Your beloved wife sits next to you, the mother of your children. When was the last time you held her hand? And Sam,” he turned to the choir director slumped in his chair, “this fine morning when you walked to church, did you give thanks for your sturdy legs?” Father O’Hare spread his arms to the congregation. “Did any of you notice the morning sky?  Did you marvel at the gold and the orange and the pink all swirled together, and let it settle in your soul?”

    Everyone was still.

    “Now then, here is the question we ought to be asking ourselves: Why do we let our anger blind us to what is good in the world? It’s not our job to find blame. It’s our job to find love. Take the hand of your grieving neighbor and lead them to the window and show them the sunrise, remind them of the good that survives.”

    Joe Peterson grunted, and folded his arms. His grandson was six. He would be hard pressed to find something good in the world if it had happened to little Joey.

    “Let us pray.”

    Joe refused to bow his head. When the choir rose he refused to stand, refused to pick up the hymnal again, refused to sing. But Joe’s wife did, her voice thin and trembling and off key. The skirt of her pale yellow dress brushed his knee as she swayed with each note, the lightest touch, a butterfly’s wing. Mr. Peterson closed his eyes and let the touch settle, let it take up residence in his aching heart.