Friday, March 03, 2006

Nightmares and dreams

Most people I know talk in terms of "a mother's worst nightmare" being something bad that happens to her child. Kidnapping, rape, murder, and serious illness top the list. There's a fifth fear of mine personally: my son witnessing something bad happening to me.

I suspect many mothers agree, though they don't talk about it quite as publicly - part of the maternal instinct is to want to take pain on themselves if it means their child can avoid it. Still, damage is damage. What would my son do if I fell down the stairs? If I had an aneurysm? If the freakazoid in the parking lot...? Well, you get the idea. How would it affect the boy? What kind of adult would he turn out to be?

Sure, all this sounds morbid. A bit of context: I was the kid whose mother culled all the horror stories from the news each day and used them to infuse paranoia in my little head. As an adult, I'm a lot more paranoid than many parents I know; I once woke my son up from a nap to bring him in the gas station with me for the 30 seconds it took to pay for my gas. (Mom's mantra: You just never know. Thanks, Mom!) Paranoia has a price, though. For me it's an overactive imagination. That's why I write crime fiction: to dissipate some of those demons.

That's where this story came from: the part of my head that thinks all this stuff up, and the part that needs to let it out. I'm extremely proud of the fact that my first short story has been published alongside better-known authors' work, and very grateful to Tribe for giving me that opportunity. Please, read with caution. You may not like what you see, but it had to be written.

In the meantime, I'm off to lock my son in his padded room. ;^)


Blogger Meg said...

See my comment on the Comments section of the link. PS: None of those stories were fiction. ;-) You're a good writer!

4/3/06 4:29 AM  
Blogger Tribe said...

You've received some very nice commentary over there...kudos to you. And you're in good company. We'll make a CrimeDawg out of you yet!

5/3/06 4:03 PM  
Blogger Mary Louisa said...

I really liked that story, Christa. The diaper part and the chase game really got me.

5/3/06 4:09 PM  
Blogger Christa M. Miller said...

Thanks again, folks!

ML, I hope I didn't bring you down insofar as you've already got so much going on. (((HUGS)))

Tribe, ah, but I've been a CrimeDawg for a long time. It's just publishing I'm new to. ;) ITA on the commentary and thanks again for the opportunity. It's nice to have a place to point agents and others without having to wait months for zines to "prove" myself.

Also, thanks for stopping by!

5/3/06 6:40 PM  

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