NOT YOUR USUAL SUSPECTS

A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments! and often have guest bloggers.

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Julie Moffet . Clare London . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A. Miller . Marcelle Dube . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The ghost and the rational woman

When I was little, I had a recurring dream. I was inside a huge, sunlit room that was crowded with furniture. As I threaded my way across the room, long, scaly green arms with clawed hands would reach out from under the furniture to grab at me. I eventually outgrew the dreams. And the monster under the bed, and the one in my closet. Not to mention the one in the basement.

I was now a Rational Woman. Despite this, I am willing to admit that not everything in life can be explained rationally. But since childhood, I haven’t encountered any situations that couldn’t be explained away.

Then last spring I stayed at a hotel where I’ve stayed many times before: a funky older hotel with tons of character and charm.

And ghosts, apparently.

In all the times I had stayed there, I’d seen no evidence of ghosts or felt anything “weird.” The possibility of ghosts never even occurred to me. This last spring, however, another guest casually mentioned that the hotel was haunted. I had a good laugh (at the person’s expense, I might add) and carried on. Then that evening, I repeated the story to someone who is familiar with the hotel and for whom I have a lot of respect.

She told me it was true. She told me that she seen the ghosts, too. And she had been with someone else at the time, someone whom I also respect. They’d both seen the ghosts.

I must have gone a little pale because she assured me that the ghosts were absolutely harmless, even when they appeared at the foot of your bed.

I didn’t sleep much that night. Or the whole time I was at the hotel.

There I was, a grown woman, intelligent, mature, experienced—freaked out at the thought of ghosts in my room. And I never even saw one! I didn’t need to. I actually wanted to change hotels, but I wasn’t about to admit to anyone why, so I stayed. Even after I got home, I still felt creeped out by the whole situation, waking up in the middle of the night and wondering if there was someone—or something—in my room…

The only reason I admit to this now is because I finally got over the irrational fear. I decided to face it in the only way I, as a writer, know how. I wrote a ghost story.

The novel’s almost finished. It started out as modern Gothic, but now, I’m not too sure what it is. It doesn’t matter. Somewhere along the way, after scaring myself silly with some of the scenes, I got over my irrational fear.

I’m going back to the hotel in the fall. I am myself again, a modern woman with a (mostly) logical mind and an appreciation for the rational.

And if I sometimes feel someone watching me when no one’s around…? Well, that can be our little secret… 



6 comments:

Anne Marie Becker said...

Isn't it amazing how our fears can generate story ideas? I think it's the way we cope. ;) Congratulations on not only surviving your stay, but turning it into a story! :D

Rita said...

Woot! Can't wait to read this. Crazy what our imagination does.

Elise Warner said...

Marcelle: Looking forward to reading the book. Suggestion--when you return to the hotel bring someone to clutch.

Maureen A. Miller said...

Oh, Marcelle, I can't wait to read this! I got the spooks just listening to your tale. When I was seven I woke up to find my brother's face at the foot of my bed, with a flashlight shining on it. My screams registered on the Richter scale. :) Damn brothers!

Marcelle Dubé said...

Thanks, Anne Marie. All I can say is thank goodness I can write the fears out!

I guess that's why we're writers, eh, Rita? Imagine if all those ideas just stayed inside our heads, swirling around... ::shudder::

Thanks, Elise. Maybe I'll find a supportive person down there, instead. :-)

Maureen, your brother sounds like a little bugger! I think he's lucky he survived your childhood.

Sandy Parks said...

I had to come back and read this post after hearing Marcelle finished her book. What fun and what amazing things our imaginations can do to us.

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