Last night, DH and I were watching NUMB3RS. I was fine with the charred body and the blowing up and even the horrible man that ... well, I don't want to even put the word in my blog, it horrifies me so much. BUT, the show was fiction, so I didn't have to fight a desire to run to the bathroom and throw up.
Then, in the middle of the show, a special report on Saddam Hussein kicked in. We had it taped on the DVR, so imagine me, in bed, pulling the covers over my head, putting my hands to my ears and screeching, "Fast forward it! Fast forward it! I don't want to hear that stuff! I'm in bed! Fast forward it!"
DH says, "But listen! This is important history in the making. I thought you were researching this stuff, anyway!"
I turned into a five year old, thumbs in ears, feet up to force the covers to block the vision of the TV. "I can't hear it I can't hear it I can't hear it I can't hear it--"
He hit the fast forward button, and I was fine. The image of a dead, charred body came back and I was fine: it was fiction.
Why do I bring this up? The other day, Allison Brennan said on her blog that the gals at Murder She Writes were going to try to bring in more readers (rather than writer-readers) on their blog. (Worth a look-see, if you haven't already!) In that vein, she mentioned they wanted to add in some posts about true crime.
Yikes! But that's when it dawned on me. A lot of the readers of thrillers/mysteries and thriller/mystery writing blogs are fans of true crime. I've seen it, but it wasn't until Allison mentioned it, that it connected for me.
That made me think, oh no! I hate true crime. I'm a big wimp and it makes me nauseous. It terrifies me and makes me uncomfortable and reading about it makes me feel like I'm watching something I shouldn't be watching.
Underneath this realization is a little fear asking me (as I commit myself to writing a novel next, little fears seem to be abounding all over the place) how I can write a novel with death and violence in it, if I can't even stomach the news of Saddam Hussein's death?
Gosh, please don't think I wanted him to live. I just hate the thought of him being killed, and something about people dancing just made me a little sick. Dancing! I know that throughout history, people cheered at hangings and burnings at the stake. There is something in that, something that I must suspect is in all human nature and probably even a little bit in me, that horrifies me.
And that same, horrified part of me can't read about true crime, even when I can read and rave over Darkly Dreaming Dexter.
I sense that this is connected to a fear I have. I'm more afraid of hurting someone else than I am of being hurt myself. Truly, if I were on the street, attacked, and in a life or death situation, I know that this silly fear could cost me my life. Where does that come from? Why is that? Funny enough, if someone tried to hurt someone I love, then I know I would turn into a mother lion. But until then ...
Maybe what scares me most is that we all have this inner switch. That there's something in humans that will make us cheer at a hanging, or that will make us kill another of our kind. Just writing about it makes me feel nauseous. Since I explore all feelings I don't understand in my writing, I can bet the very thing that makes me nauseous will show up in my novel. Huh.