It helps that I'm a big coward. Always have been. I remember being seven years old and hanging out on the sidewalks in front of our neighbors' houses as my brothers delivered newspapers. I could overhear them from behind the hedges, selling Girl Scout cookies. That's right. Girl Scout cookies.
And no, neither of my brothers was actually a Girl Scout.
I was. And I was too damn scared to ask anyone if they wanted to buy my cookies. My mom figured, if she could convince me to at least go along with my brothers, she'd make them take my order form around. They hated it.
I loved it. I always the top seller in my troop. Even though my brothers would disdainfully point out I was too chicken to come up on the porch myself, my neighbors always bought a few boxes. I guess they caught a glimpse of the skinny red-head hiding behind the bushes and pitied all three of us.
Whatever. I totally raked in the incentives. And it was all because I was a coward. I won't even lie and say it was part of a master plan to delegate authority to my underling older brothers.
Although I could if I wanted to.
I'm still a coward, although I've gotten really good at pretending otherwise. Now I save it for special times when I need a good scare. I love the feeling that I might go completely out of my mind from fright.
I still have a very low tolerance for adrenaline. Now, don't get me wrong. The coward in me is still very much alive and kicking (and screaming.) I am not a reckless thrill-seeker. I do not taunt Death with a thumb to the nose or a well-timed moon as I streak past him.
I have to be in a controlled and safe environment before I can tolerate a good scaring-myself-silly. But when I do…watch out, dog. I'm gonna get squirrely.
Sometimes, a good TV show will do it. I love ghost-chaser shows because, although they never catch a *real* ghost (shucks), I convince myself they just might. Then, I convince myself that ghosts know I'm watching ghost shows and they are angry and they want to get me. I tremble so hard I threaten to shake the couch apart.
Then I don't sleep and my husband yells at me all the next day.
I watch movies from behind my hands or, in the case of The Blob, from around the corner of the living room wall in case it gets so scary I have to hide in the bathroom. And forget Hitchcock and his Birds. I hate them all, the bastards. I can't stand listening to the flocks of starlings that like to mob my trees, screaming and laughing and daring me to come outside. Frigging flesh eating birds.
Other times, I do goofy things like play the game "What if…?" For instance: on our last trip to New York, the hubby and I went to the top of the You-know-what Building. (He hates it so I refrain from speaking it aloud for his sake.) I marched over the edge, looked down at the street below, and thought "What if…I fell over the side?" And immediately I get a surge of adrenaline so huge that I can't feel my legs.
See what I mean about being in a safe and controlled environment? If I'd played that game standing *on* the rail instead of safely behind it, the loss of leg strength would have turned "What if…?" into "There you go!" Game over.
No thanks. I like my thrills to be non-fatal, thank you. Every once in a while, it's not a game. It'll be a moment right before I fall asleep and I imagine a voice. Or I'll be in the bathroom with the lights off and I'll have my eyes shut anyway because maybe Bloody Mary will be in the mirror this time.
Maybe I don't go back to sleep for a while but it's still demented fun. For a coward like me, anyway.
My bucket list might be too boring for most nursing home residents but ah, well. I gotta be me. (Not like I have a choice, but anyways.)
The main character in my soon-to-debut book BLEEDING HEARTS: Book One of the Demimonde, Sophie Galen, is kind of a coward, too. I don't think she ever set out to become a kick-ass action hero, but she has her moments. "Take no chances, risk no defeats" she'd say.
But she also learns that one discovers the depths of a heart only after it's been broken. That's a pretty big lesson for a coward to handle. It helps to have a strong hero to help her, a mission to drive her, and redemption for which to fight.
Okay, so there's a lot at stake, like a dark underworld of bad beasties and the scorn of a really nasty co-worker (sometimes, she can't tell which is worse.) But Sophie isn't so much of a coward that she won't try to face it all down and, in the end, she might even surprise herself.
Somehow, I doubt Sophie believes Bloody Mary lives in her bathroom mirror (I'll ask her the next time I see her.) But one thing is for sure: we both know life has its scared-silly moments and we're both okay with that, as long as we're somewhere safe.
But, not perfectly safe. Life wouldn't be living without a little adrenaline.
In honor of the Bloody Valentine Blog Hop, I'm giving away an eARC of my upcoming debut, BLEEDING HEARTS: Book One of the Demimonde, which will be released March 15th. Winner will also snag a Victorian-style heart pendant (I love shiny things!)
Simply follow this blog either by email or Google Friend Connect (see right upper sidebar) then leave a comment to be entered in this quick and dirty contest. Bonus entries if you Like my Facebook page or follow me on the Twitter!
Winners will be announced Wednesday.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
You can also check out my previous post for another blog hop and contest: "Vampires for Valentines."
Happy hopping and good luck, everyone!