What are Nightmares made of?

You may or may not know already that my current work-in-progress is a horror/thriller novel temporarily being called Dreamsters (that title is far too fluffy for the nature of this story so it will absolutely change). In the book, nightmares are a reoccurring thing.

I’ve personally faced graphic, realistic nightmares since I was a very small child (ask my mom, she can attest to this) so it’s pretty easy for me to pull ideas from my own history on this matter. But I realize that some of the scariest things to me might not be scary at all to someone else. For example, some of my scariest dreams don’t always have a frightening plot, the scariest part about them is that I can’t scream for help (like my mouth is sewn shut) or I can’t open my eyes wide enough to properly see the thing creating so much panic in me.

So, in an effort to make sure I cover all aspects of fear factor with these nightmares, I thought it would be wise to find out what others are afraid of; what nightmares they consider the most frightening and why.

Tell me about your scariest nightmare! What keeps you up at night?


Anonymous Success

Lately my parents have been saying things in regards to my creative side and dreams that leave me confused and a bit sad.

First, there was all this push for self-publishing, which I have no intentions of doing (because we all know how unsuccessful that can be). I want to believe my work is good enough to actually be published by a real publishing house, not just fall back after a few queries and self-publish because I think I know I’m good enough. I have no interest in self-publishing. Period.

Then, around Christmas, when briefly explaining my old book to my father he cut me off to ask why I wasn’t using a penname. The question struck me odd because why would I? I mean I’ve even already had conversations with my fiancé about the fact that if I’m published after we’re married, that I will still use my maiden name (Whisted) instead of my married name (Harris) because 1. Whisted is a lot more unusual than Harris and 2. It’s the end of the line for the Whisted name in our family. There are no boys to carry it on. I would have thought it’d make my family proud to see the Whisted name on a bookshelf.

Last weekend both of my parents approached me about ghost writing and how they’d read that it’s one of the best jobs for older people, bringing in an income around 200K a year to write books for others, without your name being attached. They seemed to love this idea, saying that who cares if you don’t get credit for it, 200K a year is worth it. All I kept thinking was: when did this dream career hold any monetary value? It’s not about the money it will bring in. Sure, I’d love to make enough to work from home and write books for the rest of my life, but if I can’t that doesn’t automatically persuade me to just give up the dream. It’s not about making it rich. When was it ever?

And then yesterday, after having another really successful photo shoot with my nephew on Monday, I asked my parents if they’d seen the pictures. First my father said that I have all these creative abilities that I hardly take advantage of (I’m sure the piano is included in that, as if I have an option to still play when I currently don’t have a piano). When I corrected him and said that I’ve actually been studying photography lately to improve my skills and actually giving thought to taking pictures of people other than my family since I’m getting so much better he said, “That's good,” but then followed it up with, “But it’d be better if you posted these pictures anonymously. You shouldn’t need to be credited for this.” What?!  Then the same comment was thrown at me in regards to my book. He wondered why I couldn’t just be satisfied with only my family enjoying it (which is just baffling in itself since none of them read my work). It really feels like they’re trying to talk me out of my dreams or something.

I am so confused right now. I’m trying to tell myself that there’s not some deeper meaning to this sudden push for anonymity in regards to my creativity, but honestly all it feels like is that my family will be ashamed having a tie to my name if/when I make it out in the world.

What does that say about me and the talents I think I have?



Writing, dreams, yadda yadda yadda…

New desk makes me work. I love it. I’ve been really focused writing wise lately and it feels good to finally be getting stuff accomplished again.

In relation to writing this week:

– I asked Heath to act out a romantic scene with me for my book to make sure the way I wrote it was natural. Somehow he turned it into a comedy. He whacked me in the head in a Heisman pose, walked towards me like a thug player, and knocked me over once he reached me. It just didn’t work; he couldn’t be serious enough to do it the right way. I wanted to be mad, but I couldn’t help but laugh.

– I told my mom that I was thinking about killing off one of my characters. She lost it when I told her it was the dog. She said, “I won’t read the rest of your book Sarah if you kill that dog!” Every other thing I brought up about my book after that she interrupted me to further illustrate how much she didn’t want the dog to die. “I’m serious Sarah, don’t kill Déjà.” She’s too funny.

And then semi book related:

I woke up this morning from a creepy dream – mainly because of how real it felt. I had to write it down as soon as I got up.


It was early summer when I found out I wouldn’t live past Christmas. They said, “The cancer is out of control Miss. I’m sorry there’s nothing we can do for you.” They handed me a stack of informational packets, a series of medications to make my last days “enjoyable”, and sent me on my way.

When I exited the hospital I just stood there on the sidewalk stunned. The sun blinding my eyes, my arms rendered useless with all of the crap in my hands, and feeling oddly glad that I was alone right now.

Cancer, really? I’m not sure why I was so surprised, several family members on both sides have fallen victim to cancer. But the difference was – they were sick and got better. I wasn’t even sick, but I was going to die. I had simply went to the doctor for a routine check up only to find out my body is riddled with death and my days are numbered. I’m only 28 and generally healthy, how freaking unfair is that?

Suddenly my knees hit the hot concrete; the junk in my hands fell into a pile around me. I stared stupidly at a pill bottle escaping the mess, finally stretching for it when it was almost too far to reach. People passed me by, no one offering to help me up. I didn’t really care, or notice them truthfully; I was trying to swallow the knot in my throat.

I’m going to die. My mind kept repeating it to me as if I needed a reminder. Everything about this news hurt more than one might expect because today had so much potential. How could it be that on the day I find out my book will be published, I also find out I will only be alive for maybe a month more after it’s release? It didn’t feel real. It felt completely real. Finally I cried.


*Note – My book is not being published, nor do I have cancer. It was just a dream.*

Outside of writing this week, I finally got to play Rock Band and Guitar Hero after a years wait for our xbox to be fixed. I was all pumped up to play, plugged in my guitar – handed Heath the wireless one and NEITHER of them worked. One of them has never even been used, how can it not work?! I was so irritated. So I played with the remote like the old days, but it was no where near as fun.

I’m looking forward to the weekend for no particular reason. The weather is supposed to be nice and there is a carnival at the fair grounds – been a while since I’ve been to one of those, so maybe… I’ll probably stay in and write though, because that’s what I usually do being a creature of habit and all.

Peace – Sarah