Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday Morning and the Three Black Crows

The familiar roar of the trash trucks. The first ray of sunlight streaming through the cracks in the curtains of my bedroom. My husband's alarm softlly ringing.

It's monday morning. I know because I have a pit in my stomach and I can feel my body almost shaking. For years now, I have come to dread monday morning.

The kids leave for school. Tom is off to work. And I am left alone to face my fears.

I know if I just put one foot on the ground I'll feel better. But my bed feels so comfortable. It's warm and safe.

But until I get up and brush my teeth I will endure the anxiety of monday morning.

I think a part of me looks at the new week filled with dread. I think about the things that can go wrong. My mind worries about all the 'what ifs.' Today was no exception.

I willed myself out of bed. And little by little I began to feel myself again. But this morning I wonder if every morning will feel like monday when the kids are out of the house?

It's the chaos of a life full of everybody else's needs that has kept me sane. Or at least that's what I'm pretending.

I remember the black crows that landed on our lawn and then decided to make our magnolia tree their private retreat yesterday. They remind me of Edgar Allen Poe's, The Raven. "Are they a sign of bad things to come?" I can't help but wonder.

I am sensitive to superstitions.

I am nearing the end of my YA novel. It is a horror story. I am so immersed in the story that I see life in shades of gothic notes. I fear that putting the kind of story I am writing out into the world will bring nothing but bad things to me and my family.

It is a personal story. A very, very personal one that explores a dark and piercing subject matter. And yet I have chosen to write about this. And now that I'm almost done with the book I am afraid.

When I was young, my father produced a film called Rosemary's Baby. After the movie was released very bad things began to happen to some of the people involved in the movie. My father was no exception. The film's composer died in a freak skiing accident, Roman Polanski's wife, Sharon Tate and her unborn child were slaughtered the summer of 1969. And then my dad got sick. He never fully recovered. He died in 1977.

The movie was about the devil. I have come to fear anything that has anything to do with the devil. There are just certain things we should not play with.

So, why am I writing a book that has as its central theme these things that terrify me? Am I trying to come to understand my own journey. Or am I just writing the best story I can?

I have stopped shaking. The pit in my stomach has left for know. But I am left thinking about my novel.

Writing about my fears this morning makes me feel a bit better. I feel a bit childish thinking that I have any control over my destiny. But do I?

Are you superstitious? Do you think there are subject matters too scary to address? How do you approach monday morning? Should I stick my novel in my desk drawer and never look at it again? I would love to know your thoughts.


  1. Of course KEEP GOING! I give you permission to play the mind games I play with myself, coaching myself through hard times, like Monday mornings. Just find a mantra listing the things that are good and well in your life and how therapeutic this novel has been to write and how fun it will be to share it with eager readers....
    I give you permission to FORGE ahead!


  2. Thanks Judy. I feel like I do need permission. If feels like a giant weight lifted off my chest.

  3. Firstly, congrats on almost finishing the book; that's BIG! I don't blame you for being superstitious. I never was really, then I had my last child on Friday the 13th and almost died afterwards. Altho, now I say, I didn't die, so maybe it was my lucky day....who knows, right? The best types of art always deal with the things that challenge or frighten us the most, so I think you're right on target!

  4. Maureen: thank for the perspective. It really helps. At the moment I'm more concerned with my own demons and not the ones written in my pages!

  5. Terry, remember you're a force for good, not evil. In one of my "new age" phases (must have been the 70s!) someone told me to "cloak myself in white light" whenever I felt I needed to and, though I'm not a new agey person anymore, I use that when I need to. I believe in the tranquility that surrounding myself with good and peaceful thoughts will give me, at the very least!

  6. Linda thank you for your wonderful new age thought. I just worry that I am putting bad stuff out into the universe. I am loving your blog. I am so excited the you are getting published.

  7. Facing your fears is one of the most empowering things you can do -- and I am humbled by your ability to do this. I am superstitious in a "knock on wood" kind of way -- but it doesn't change my everyday behavior. I am however scared of writing a book - not because of superstition or fear that I can't do it -- but the task just feels so daunting I cant get started. Wait - maybe that's laziness? Can't wait to see your final product! (We need to catch up!)

  8. I've had a lot more respect for crows and ravens since visiting a raptor hospital in Alaska (long story) where I learned of their uncanny intelligence and problem-solving abilities. Maybe those crows nesting in your tree are there to inspire you rather than scare you?