In my critique group, I’ve gotten multiple comments on how I have a really good imagination.
On that note, one of WordPress’s recent blogging topic suggestions was to talk about a time I was scared. I (usually) enjoy reading about folk tales and mythology, so one day I heard about a relatively modern folk story and decided to look up more details on Wikipedia. This is one of the articles I read. Several times since, I’ve had a little trouble walking into my bathroom at night because I have to step past the mirror in the dark to get to the light switch. (I looked at a few webpages about that story that day. -It wasn’t just that article.)
Once upon another time, I was watching Youtube videos, and then suddenly a scream and out pops one of those scary faces. Startling, but totally stupid to be afraid of. I slept with the light on that night (…hating whoever would post something like that on Youtube).
These things said, I don’t want to make you think I have some serious problem with being afraid of things that aren’t there. I still do walk past my bathroom mirror to turn the light on and brush my teeth (as creepy as it seems sometimes…). The thing about courage is not not being afraid, it’s not letting your fear influence your actions. I know well enough that these are silly fears that they don’t affect my actions any more than occationally making it hard to fall asleep or (very rarely) sleeping with the light on. Hard to say I’m brave when these are fears that (I’m guessing) most people have no problem with, but I know how to deal with them.
I have to admit, my fears give me ideas for stories. I don’t regret reading about that ‘Bloody Mary’ story. It influenced my novel. That reminds me, when I was writing the first draft of Out From the Darkness, I watched a movie with a couple friends called “Hot Fuzz.” It’s a funny parody of a action, crime, and slasher movies with a lot of terribly fake gore. I slept with the light on after watching the movie. I wouldn’t say it was scary at all, it just triggered that part of my imagination that likes to scare me. Anyway, the movie served as an unlikely influence to my novel as well.
I think of it as doing something that God likes to do: taking everything I find and using it for good.