• Here’s the Story

    I wrote a book called The Forest for the Trees and it’s an advice book for writers. For four years, I blogged every day about the agony of writing and publishing, and the self loathing that afflicts most writers. A community of like-minded malcontents gathered and thus ensued a grand conversation. Now, the most popular posts are gathered in Greatest Hits ( a work in progress) Gluttons for punishment can scroll through the archives. If I've learned one thing about writers, it's this: we really are all alone. Love, Betsy
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If You Don’t Know Me By Now

 

My insomnia continues. And my anxiety about home invasion is at an all time high. Other than that, I feel  great. Look, I know that statistics are in favor of never having anyone enter your home more dangerous than a girl scout, but that doesn’t stop the panic attacks, and by that I mean a powerful desire for a cheese sandwich right around now. Only I’m too afraid to go downstairs in THE DARK. Maybe this home invasion thing is a METAPHOR for something. Fear of clients? Fear of a 1,000 page  manuscript about Nova Scotia. Fear of Nova Scotia. Fear of marketing meetings. Fear of Alberto Vitale. Fear of calendars, magazines, and the environment. Fear of light bulbs, petitions and Thin Mints.

What’s your nightmare?

 

45 Responses

  1. Realizing the lie was true and I am not worth loving

  2. Go downstairs with a flashlight and eat a cheese sandwich. (I don’t have a nightmare.)

  3. That you’ll stop blogging permanently. JK. Definitely that the scenario from The Road will come true.

  4. Being the victim of a fluke.

  5. I lived in Nova Scotia for 9 years. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Just kidding, free shrinks for everyone. Book a ticket ;)

  6. You are right to fear Nova Scotia … Many have gone, few have returned

  7. the big wave. still have that nightmare.

  8. My nightmare is meeting an old girlfriend whom I cannot remember. How could I have forgotten them? How can she remember me? Is it some joke I don’t recognize? A trick? Was I someone else I’ve forgotten?

  9. Stranger in the house? Check. Stranger outside grabbing one of me kids? Yep. Dementia, not recognizing my loved ones, my friends, my enemies? That’s the one that freezes my blood. I made my husband come up with a sign so I’ll know it’s him. I’m becoming a character in a book.

  10. What’s your nightmare?

    A slow painful death.

    My ex mother in law died yesterday. And it was a slow painful death. Perforated ulcer caught too late. Operation – unsuccessful. Persistent leaking. Infection invaded everything. Pancreas. Brain. Liver. Death says, “oh, why not? Thrush, too.” Awareness. Pastoral prayers. Family pulling at her. What ever is on the other side, pulling at her.

    My kids (kids? They’re in their 30’s) stayed by her side, with their father. I would have never wanted them to see Death take her – bit by bit. To watch that kind of suffering. It was their choice. Seeing it through, to the end. I’m proud of them for that.

  11. My nightmare?
    That I won’t live long enough for my granddaughter to remember me.
    Hey, I loved Cape Breton.

  12. Varied and weird. Anything happening to my wife or daughter. When I awake at night — I have no problem falling asleep, but staying asleep is a different story — I reach, lightly, for my wife then look in my daughter’s room from the doorway to be sure none of the horrible images that invade my pysche on the way down the hall have come to pass. My worst nightmare is not being able to control all that could happen. Who says nightmares aren’t real?

  13. My nightmare? That I’m not actually asleep right now and all this shit is real.

  14. That I will become the terrible fish in Sylvia Plath’s Mirror staring back at me. Which is happening. Oh. it’s not a nightmare. It’s a reality.

  15. You have Internet. Your home’s already been invaded.

    There’s a photographer in Nova Scotia who has the same name I used to have, which is one of the two reasons I no longer have that name (the other reason is a painter in Los Angeles).

    “What’s your nightmare?”

    There are so many. Do I really have to choose?

    • I want a different name. I want to start over. I want to reinvent myself. Do new names do that?

      • They can, though they don’t do it on their own. What they can do is to function as a crowbar to leverage oneself into a new perspective. Or to beat one’s old self to death, if that is one’s preference.

  16. I have recurring nightmares about an oncoming tornado and I’m rushing around the house trying to find my kids but I can’t find my kids. A therapist once told me the tornado is my mother, so I’ve got that going for me.

  17. The only person I’ve ever met who has been to Nova Scotia is my ex husband so I’ve always believed that it’s not a real place. Does that give you a clue about my nightmare?

  18. Driving across a bridge with my kids, which I do at least twice a day, over a mile-wide river.

    I’ve learned to resist the panic attacks by going through the possible ways to get them out and to the surface, after we submerge. Supposing we survive the impact.

  19. It’s odd how things that suck can turn out to be gifts.

    When I was a young guy, the military taught me about loathing, terror, risk, and mortality. A career as a cop provided similar opportunities, and more complex things to ponder.

    Thinking, studying, preparing, and all that rational stuff helps keep the irrational from the door. I don’t worry much until I stare some ugly thing in the face, and then I try and get to work on solving the problem. Sometimes it ain’t pretty, but so far, so good. Paralysis, though, will likely lead to a shorter story.

    I fear the loss of loved ones, and I fear losing the ability to sail into the sunset one last time. But I’ve got far better things to think and dream about.

    • Hey Frank, just wanted to say hi. When are you writing a novel about dancing on water and sailing in a snowstorm?

      • Hey, Carolynn.

        I’m still putting together short stories. The one I’m working on now is about a guy who gets washed overboard and thinks he’s about to be rescued by a mermaid, but it turns out to be a merman. Neptune and his wife are involved, as well as a very tastefully decorated sea cave.

  20. Being pinned down and suffocating. When I lie down, I can’t even lay my own hands across my stomach because the weight.

  21. Falling. I saw this movie in which one of the characters claims that it’s not the thought of being pushed or even losing our balance that terrifies us out on the ledge. We’re afraid that we will jump.

  22. That I will never finish this book and will forever, in this life and the next, be making excuses as to why…

  23. Asleep: running but my legs can’t move
    Awake at 3 am: Losing my husband, my sister, my mind, my house, not in that order.

  24. Whenever it gets to be too much:

  25. Breast cancer.

  26. Being buried alive in a box.

  27. When you are away, I might be the only crazy one in the room: quietly, desperately, crazy.

    Since my thoughts betray my sins, I’ve given up on heaven. I’m going for a good job in Hell. All my heroes will be there, anyway.

    Keep the lights on for me.

  28. Hi I’m looking for your contact info for a book review/post?
    Can you email me at EdenLiterary at gmail dot com

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