Notes From the Trenches of the Fear Project

Hello minions. We are deep in the middle of the Fear Project. I am amazingly still alive. It is now week 8. The challenges have been interesting. Some more challenging than others. Some have left me scratching my head at the results. But I am still alive. So far, the most challenging entry has been the villain one. I don’t do villains. I do great survivors. Snarky ones. Ones that are perhaps so deep in the heart of survival that the snarky is sometimes viewed as over compensation.

I’ve felt like everything that I’ve written for the Fear project has been good. I’ve been fairly sure and proud of it. Every week I hold my breath on Sunday as I send in the entry and every week I hold my breath until the next Friday when the all powerful David Wellington makes his decision and eliminates someone else. That sounds so final. Elimination. Yikes! I live in great fear that some Friday my name will be there. I guess that’s the point. The fear of it.

It’s all about the validation of it, isn’t it? Deep down inside that’s what we all crave. As writers, as people. I hope that there is some altruism in it all. Discovering an up and coming horror writer and all. I’ve been amazed at some of the stories. And shook my head at others. Every week I analyze every comment, every story. I read the posts that David leaves on the website a thousand times looking for clues. What’s he looking for? What’s next? And then I laugh at my obsession of it all.

I keep trying, though. I still am sending out stories. Not as many as I’d like. And here on the precipice of April, I have yet to sell anything. This balancing of day job life and working writer life is very difficult. I want to just throw up my hands and barrel into doing nothing but writing. And creating. I did manage to finish a couple of crochet projects. I always feel this way as Spring begins to creep into our lives once more. It is way too slow in coming this year. Just as we got our first breath of warm weather, BAM six inches of snow. AGAIN. I felt like crying. I always feel trapped in this space of time between winter and spring. I am truly influenced by the rebirth of things in the Spring. It feels like creativity is stagnant until the warmth begins again. And then it jumps out at me and runs away with me. Spring always feels like an insane flurry of creativity for me. I can hardly keep up most of the time. I hope this spring proves to be the same. I look forward to that little bit of insanity. It feels exciting. Like something is about to happen. It’s that same feeling of anticipation.

So dearest minions, keep reading and keep commenting. Keep validating me! The insanity will be over soon!

Goodbye Mr. Spock and Other Tales including the Fear Project

spock lobster boyLeonard Nimoy died yesterday. I am a geek. I have lots of friends that are geeks. Therefore, my facebook feed was full of news of his passing. As a geek in the geek community, I am touched somewhat profoundly by his passing. Not because I’m a Trekkie, because I’m not. Because of something a little closer to my heart. As a kid growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, there were few people like me on television. Spock was the first television character that I can point to and say, yeah, that’s someone like me. I argue that Leonard Nimoy was the first Asperger’s kid on TV. I know that in the wake of “Big Bang Theory” and “Alphas” that it’s hard to imagine a time without an Asperger-y character on the small screen. But it happened. Spock was that guy. That guy who attacked things from a logical perspective and loved numbers and was perplexed by the ways that humans behaved. I can’t even count the number of times that I nodded in unison with Spock when he told Captain Kirk that some aspect of human over reaction perplexed him. I listened carefully to the explanations that he was given and internalized them for later. Spock made me understand that understanding other humans and striving to be more like them without losing your own sense of self/identity was an admirable goal. He also did this with a grace that I didn’t have the luxury of having. Afterall, I wasn’t a Vulcan. I was a little girl.

Spock also taught me to see humankind from an outside looking in perspective. Observe, record, and then imitate. It didn’t always make sense to him, but he wasn’t daunted in his efforts to be part of the team, regardless of the illogicalness of the team in general. This outside looking in perspective gave me the bravery that I needed to push back on society and interact with it. He calmly accepted the fact that humans in general are going to behave in ways that do not fit patterns, are going to say one thing while they do another, and then fuck green bitches. There I said it. He watched his friend Kirk, fuck everything under the sun, no matter what colour they were. He didn’t get it, but he didn’t stop Kirk from doing it. This was prolly its own little bizarre social experiment, right there. Kirk in turn, gave Spock social stories and gently corrected him when he acted in such a way that he was not fitting into human society. He was usually reminded that Spock was only half human. In my years of growing up, I often wished that I had that excuse for not fitting in, being only half human. I often felt that way. Spock went through his half human lifespan learning about human emotions and often befuddled by them. Just like me!

And who can forget his human side? He often got it wrong, but he made a valiant effort at it. Occasionally, he felt that succumbing to his human half was weakness, but it was a strength all of its very own. Because only while grappling with fear and emotion in that personal way, can we ever truly seek to understand it. There was something about his willingness to face this fear and emotion that moved me. He always looked at it as an adventure of sorts. He often lamented over the concepts of humour and sarcasm. And although difficult, I feel I’ve mastered both of these to some extent. Even made an art form of it. It was through Spock’s gentle probing of these concepts that I learned to interpret them for myself. “To each according to his gifts” as Spock would say.

So, this is why I am sad by his passing. He was basically my first role model in media. And I have very strong feelings for this experience. Now, we have fine examples to relate to. I love the current trend of geek culture and actually revel in it to some extent. Wee Geek looks at “Big Bang Theory” as poking fun at us. I look at it as “Hey, we’re on TV!”. What better indication of the fact that we have arrived on society’s radar do we need? Wee Geek can be  dubious of our portrayal in the media. I am just thrilled to have a portrayal at all.

So today, in honor of Mr. Spock’s passing and all that he represents to weird kids everywhere, I wear my Spock as the amazing Lobster Boy t-shirt.

fear project

In other news, I have survived to the 4th challenge in David Wellington’s Fear Project. It has been a very interesting ride to say the least.  Every week, I along with my competitors look forward to the next challenge and word of who has not survived. Every week, the challenge is interesting and charges me with the task of  attacking some aspect of horror genre. Every week I hope to stretch my brain and writing intellect in some way that is new and focused. This we must do in 250 words. Every week. I am enjoying it. It is creatively challenging and I enjoy seeing what the other writers will come up with. I also feel I must take a moment to thank all of my loyal readers for taking time to read and comment on all of my entries. I know that I need to bug you and beg for comments,  I sincerely appreciate every one that has done so and been patient with my endless begging. I suspect that the immunity phases will be over soon. I am proud that I have won every single immunity so far. I have no idea how this will play out in the end results, but I can’t help but think that it will indeed come into play somehow.  So, every week, I work diligently on the new challenge and try to have faith in my writing ability. I am learning how to edit, that’s for sure. Every year, I get a little bolder. I’ve sent out things to markets that I prolly didn’t have a prayer of getting into, but I tried. That’s what’s important. I am pretty proud that I’ve been putting myself out there. This Fear project has proven to me that I can put myself out there and be successful.

So if you have been following the saga of the Fear project at, then please keep following. If you haven’t, then I have no idea what you are waiting for.