Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Channeling Evil

As a homemaker/household engineer/WHATever, sometimes it can be challenging to channel a sinister mood. Communion with the dark side is important if you’re creating murder. But it can be especially hard to channel if you’re in between laundry loads and oven timers and looking to write for 15 minutes. Nothing very foreboding about the house…well, except for the spider that sneaked under the hutch in the dining room. Or maybe that stain on the 7 year old’s cute new Kelly's Kids skort that you have a sinking feeling won’t be coming out. You KNEW you shouldn't have let her wear it to Bible School. They used paint there and it WASN'T the washable kind. clip_image002

This is when it’s useful for me to close my eyes and conjure up something scary. It's build-a-mood. Things like the Anderson County Fair--the 1970s version of it, anyway. Oh my. There were some scary looking folks that both attended and worked there…especially the fellow who wouldn’t stop the double Farris wheel ride, even though my little sister was about to puke. I mean, come on--we were the only kids on the ride, anyway…would it have killed him to have stopped it? He grinned a gap-toothed grin and ROUND we went again a few more times. Terrifying.

Fairs still scare me. They’re loud and I'm a quiet person. The flashing lights are alarming if you’re prone to migraines. The huge stuffed animals you win are frighteningly hefty if you lug them around for a couple of hours before you leave. The amount of money you pay to ride the rides, eat the greasy food, and park is also scary. There are hordes of people there and I'm an introvert. The nausea-inducing rides are absolutely diabolical (paired with tortuous shrieks). I used to run for the animal/agricultural areas to detox from the overstimulation. This blog has become a tribute to a phobia, but point being, the memory of the fair can transport me to a menacing place that sets the mood for murder.

Other genres also require various moods. Would it have been hard to write a chick-lit book like The Devil Wears Prada if you were slopping around the house in sweatpants? What about romance writers? They have to set an amorous mood in their books—maybe that’s hard to conjure if you’re miffed at your significant other.

So, I’m curious. How does everyone gear themselves up to write emotional scenes—whatever the genre? Inquiring minds want to know. :)