Even coffee cannot tame the savage Monday morning

Update (Work in Progress, Book #2)

I finished the first draft of S.C.* back in 2009, but 2010 was so hectic with Issue 2 of Conclave, the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, and the release of The Silence of Trees, that I didn’t get to spend much time with it.

There were a few plot points that needed to be tightened up before I sent it out into the world, but when I returned to S.C. in earnest this winter, I felt like my characters were sleepwalking through molasses. I couldn’t quite get them to do what I wanted them to do.  More likely I was the one trudging through sticky words, making sloooow progress, editing here and there but missing…something. So I worked on some short stories and notes for an upcoming secret project with Madeline C. Matz. I cooked creative recipes and planned this year’s garden. The months were productive, but not as much with S.C.

Until March, when something shifted and woke up. Maybe it’s Spring, maybe it’s my imagination, maybe my Muse was teaching me a lesson or the story was aging like a nice Bordeaux? Whatever the reason, my characters are very much awake, and I’m trying to keep up! This means many more sleepless nights and late night coffees, but I’m happy-exhausted! They’ve surprised me twice this week with revelations about their characters that are helping to reshape the ending in a way that feels more authentic. Yay!

So I’m going to try and finish up the draft this week and send it off to my readers this weekend. Then next week I begin to work on the next project until my readers get back to me.

In the meantime, I have a question for you: What is the opposite of fear and why?

Consider this background research. Many thanks.


* I’m not quite ready to reveal the title of Book #2 but S.C. are the initials. It will remain a mystery for a little while longer.

Published by Valya

Valya Dudycz Lupescu has been making magic with food and words for more than 20 years, incorporating folklore from her Ukrainian heritage with practices that honor the Earth. She’s a writer, content developer, instructor, and mother of three teenagers. Valya is the author of THE SILENCE OF TREES and the founding editor of CONCLAVE: A Journal of Character. Along with Stephen H. Segal, she is the co-author of FORKING GOOD: An Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of The Good Place and GEEK PARENTING: What Joffrey, Jor-El, Maleficent, and the McFlys Teach Us about Raising a Family (Quirk Books), and co-founder of the Wyrd Words storytelling laboratory. Valya earned her MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her poetry and prose have been published in anthologies and magazines that include, The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, Kenyon Review, Culture, Gargoyle Magazine, Gone Lawn, Strange Horizons, Mythic Delirium. You can find her on Twitter @valya.

4 thoughts on “Even coffee cannot tame the savage Monday morning”

  1. Joran says:

    When I think of fear, I think of it as a repulsing/avoidance force. When I fear something, I try to avoid it whenever possible.

    So, for me, the opposite of fear is an inviting/attractive force. At the moment, that word is “desire”. When I desire something I try to attain it whenever possible.

  2. Madeline Carol Matz says:

    I think the opposite of fear is safety and contentment.
    To me fear is being alarmed at a present or looming danger which will upset your present or future well-being. A sense that all is well and will be well is therefore its opposite.

  3. Sharon says:

    Before reading the comments I thought about the question and the word that came to me was contentment. Madeline’s comment says exactly what I was thinking.

    It seems that fear is the sense that what is most important is in danger. So for me, that must safety and contentment. No surprise there.

    It will be interesting to hear what everyone has to say.

    And OMG a new book on the way – I can’t wait 🙂

  4. Melissa says:

    I’m glad that you are making progress on book two!!!

    For me, the opposite of fear is movement.

    I view fear as a powerful force that strives to stifle you, overtake you and scare you into nothingness. So, movement is an equally powerful force to oppose fear.

    Of course, this is just my two cents.

    What a provocative question!

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