In honor of Halloween, here's a spooky roundup for this week's Friday Five.
The original Halloween is the first scary movie I remember watching in high school. Having seen it again recently, what struck me was how little gore is shown. The violence takes place off screen, yet this film still manages to be frightening. And of course, that music....
The Shining is one of my all time favorite creepy movies. It has so many edge-of-your-seat moments. Stephen King is a master at creating fear.
Throughout college, I had bad dreams about Freddy Krueger lurking in the stairwell of my dorm. I never even saw the whole movie, only snippets, and it still managed to frighten me for years.
This is my most recent scary book purchase. I bought it last week solely based on the amazingly creepy cover. Now I'm actually too afraid to start reading it.
This house is either being demolished or repaired, I'm not sure which. But they left the curtains hanging in the missing window. Doesn't it look like the perfect setting for a ghost story?
Haunted houses, scary books, creepy movies -- do you have any favorites to share?
You know that uncomfortable feeling you get sometimes, like when an overly friendly stranger offers help you don’t want? Or the sense that you shouldn’t get into an elevator with someone, even though you can’t explain why?
This fear can be a asset because our subconscious picks up on details that alert us to danger. One of my favorite nonfiction books is The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us From Violence by Gavin de Becker. He provides many stories of survivors who, looking back, realized it was their intuition that alerted them to a dangerous situation. Intuition, he says, is “the journey from A to Z without stopping at any other letter along the way. It is knowing without knowing why.”
Yet we often try to downplay our fear. What if we’re wrong about the danger? We don’t want to look silly or seem alarmist. We don’t want to possibly insult a stranger by not getting in the elevator. We don’t want to seem rude.
But if our intuition is telling us otherwise, de Becker argues that rudeness is the last thing we should be worried about. Being afraid can save us from harm.
De Becker says, “No animal in the wild, suddenly overcome with fear, would spend any of its mental energy thinking, ‘It’s probably nothing.’ Yet we chide ourselves for even momentarily giving validity to the feeling that someone is behind us on a seemingly empty street, or that someone’s unusual behavior might be sinister. . . We, in contrast to every other creature in nature, choose not to explore--and even to ignore--survival signals.”
Have you ever experienced helpful intuition? Have you ever acted on fear and been grateful for it? Or, since it's October, what's the scariest book you've ever read? Let me know in the comments.
If you like books AND surprises, subscribe to my newsletter for a chance to win a mystery package of 3 Advanced Reading Copies (various genres).
I recently attended a conference and walked away with too many new books to possibly read, so I want to share the book love. I'll select one newsletter subscriber at random at the end of the day on Saturday (Oct 17, 2015) and announce the winner in my upcoming newsletter. If you subscribed previously -- thank you! You're already eligible. (If an international person wins, I'll offer a substitute gift due to shipping costs.)
My monthly newsletter is where I share book news, what I'm reading now, and other goodies exclusively for subscribers. Subscribe here. Good luck!
A previous version of this post appeared at YA Outside the Lines.
A quick note about future blog posts: starting next week, I’ll be blogging once a week for the rest of the summer. I’ll combine Teen Tuesday with the regular Friday post throughout July and August. See you on Fridays!
Fear and phobias
Someone asked me recently how similar my debut novel, Pandemic, is to my current work-in-progress. The stories are different in terms of plot and subject matter, but one concept that they have in common is the idea of fear. Each main character struggles with something that she is afraid of.
That conversation led me to think more about fears and phobias. Here are a few common ones, plus some that were new to me:
What are you afraid of? I have an illogical fear of bees, apiphobia.
Share your fears below. (Unless you have blog-comment-phobia!)
And in case you suffer from atychiphobia, the fear of failure, I'll end with this inspirational video:
One of my favorite quotes is from Eleanor Roosevelt:
"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. . . .You must do the thing you think you cannot do."
As a writer and a parent and a worrier, I think a lot about fear. I wrote a novel about a deadly contagious disease that spreads across the US, after all. Current events give us an almost endless stream of fear-inducing topics. Ebola. Terrorism. Pedophiles.
There's an interesting TED talk about fear from author Karen Thompson Walker called "What Fear Can Teach Us." She talks about fear as a form of storytelling,and says that "how we choose to read our fears can have profound effects on our lives."
Each month, the bloggers at YA Outside the Lines focus on a different theme. In honor of Halloween, October's theme is fear, masks, and disguises. There are a number of creative posts this month. You should read them all! But here are five to start:
Pennywise, Spandex Shorts, and Things That Go Bump in the Night by Jen Doktorski
Writing the Fear Away by Amy K. Nichols
Don't Be Afraid to Celebrate by Laurie Boyle Crompton
The Gift of Fear (by me!)
Author Masks by Sydney Salter
Do you read the news everyday? What fears keep you up at night?
Sign up for Yvonne's newsletter for exclusive content, book news, and other occasional author goodies.