One day I watched my almost-eight month old defy death. Nothing tragic really, she just decided to crawl off of the edge of the bed and plummet head first to the ground.
I was watching, mind you, and got my hands on her fat little trunk before she got all the way over the edge, but it was clear her intent. Yes, she wanted to crawl off the bed. No, she didn't know it would hurt her. She hasn't any concept of 'I could get hurt,' or 'that might be scary."
In fact, she really has no real sense of fear. Now, don't get me wrong, she'll get afraid after the fact. Also the dark. But things that she can see and reach for, things she can touch or taste, or somehow experience, no, she hasn't any fear. She just reaches and pushes and explores with little concern for the consequences.
Sometimes, she'll storm her way across the couch at a full crawling clip towards the desk where my husbands computer sits. The purpose for this? Apparently, her only desire is to grab on to the printer/scanner monstrosity on his desk and hang from it. There's no where else she could go on the desk. She just wants to hang and climb and challenge herself, and gravity be damned! My husband thinks her suicidal need to hang from the printer/scanner has something to do with scanning her butt like those drunk secretaries do at company Christmas parties.
I've even found her attempting to climb my book shelf. Maybe to get at my books, or maybe, more likely, just to climb -something.-
I remember shortly after she was born. She would roll onto her stomach and cry and cry, mostly we figured, in frustration that she couldn't move. She couldn't go. It was so sad to watch her little head bob up and down, and her little feet kick no where to get her somewhere. The moment when she first got to her knees and really honestly crawled for the first time, she literally squealed with joy. Joy at being able to move and be in control. The dangers and perils that come of being in charge of your own movements just don't matter. Moving matters.
Willy Shakespeare says 'Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.'
What does this have to do with creating, with writing? To be honest, I didn't know at first, I just watched my daughter and her fearlessness and kept being nagged by a sense that there was something I ought to learn in it. I realized it was trait in her that I respected, and envied it a little. Which is when it occurred to me, of course, I'm a dummy. I'm afraid. I'm afraid of putting my out there that it's going to be rejected. That after all this time I'm going to find out I was never a 'real writer' after all. Whatever that means. I was afraid to take a risk just because there might be a consequence.
In that silly little moment of realization, I put together what my daughter was trying to teach me, unknowingly perhaps, when she tried to crawl off the edge of the bed.
I've decided to shrug off fear and doubt, and dive head first into the thing I'm the most afraid of. (You know, other than motherhood, 'cause that's one I was gleefully thrown into, rather than dove.) So I'm putting my writing out there, out everywhere. I'm biting back my fear and taking a chance, because, like my daughter, I don't know if I'm absolutely going to fall if I climb up on the scanner, and so what if I do? I've got plenty of people who love me and will catch me.
So anyway, thank you Tina, for being fearless, and reminding me how. /gooey mom time.
Also: Updates on the Anthology I was included in, you can download a sneak preview.
Three of my White Wolf titles are out, buy them at your local Dork Store. Immortals, Ancient Mysteries, Ancient Bloodlines.
And, my article for Pyramid Magazine is now out, here.