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  • Writer's pictureJeannie Moon

Thunder and Lightning

And Facing Fears


We had some big storms last week. Loud thunderboomers. And although I’m better than I used to be, I’m not a fan.


Yup.  I’m afraid of thunderstorms.  Little ones don’t bother me—you know, those gentle rumbles in the distance—very relaxing. But the big ones?  The kind that rattle windows? They scare me to death.  To death.  


Many years ago when I was an elementary school librarian, there was a bad storm while I was at work. I was so obviously nervous the first-grade class I was teaching that period started to sing so I wouldn’t be scared.  Not kidding. They were adorable and so very sweet. After the song, we all huddled together in the story area and read—appropriately—Kevin Henke’s book,

(Go read it…it’s brilliant.)


I hear you chuckling. But listen, it’s been this way since I was a kid. Hurricanes? Bring 'em. Nor’easters? Child’s play. Blizzards? Cozy up with cocoa. But thunder? You’ll find me under a blanket, clutching one of my dogs like a furry life preserver.


The thing is, I have to deal with it. So, when I can’t put my husband in a death grip or hide, I’ve found other ways to cope. These include headphones, loud music, a book, and sometimes maybe a little wine.  It works for me. That’s what we have to do when we’re scared of something…cope or let it consume us.


It’s that way with writing. Whenever I let someone read what I’ve written, I feel fear. The idea that I’ve left myself vulnerable, or that what I’ve written is truly horrible, is terrifying. But like the thunder, I have to deal with it, or the fear will keep me from completing a book for the first time in three years. Quite simply, that’s not an option.


So, I keep writing. Rejection? It’s a heckler in the front row. Bad reviews? They’re critics with megaphones. Naysayers? LA-LA-LA…not listening. Because the need to create is etched into my DNA.


I discovered that the idea of quitting was scarier than failing. And the thought of not writing was the scariest thing of all.


Even scarier than thunder.

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