Boundbytheword Blog

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The F-Word June 9, 2010

Filed under: What's Up? — Noelle Bickle / Abby Brooks @ 11:41 AM

Fear rules me, lately. That balance between living through fear, and living through love – it should be a no brainer; but fear is a powerful force. It’s easy to get sucked into that deep ‘fraidy-cat hole.

Yesterday, just minutes down the road in Oro, a bear chased a woman on a bike. She was unharmed, but understandably, she was afraid. In turn, I walked my dog this morning and got my daily dose of fright when a tiny magpie fluttered out of the long grass two feet away from me, disguised as a bear. Or at least it looked like a bear in my pre-tea stupor.

I screamed loud enough to wake the neighbouring cows; and my golden retriever, Maalik, came running towards me in record speed – my hero!

As he stood behind me, all 90 pounds of him, bewildered and trembling at the monster magpie who’d long flown away; I decided fear is a sneaky beast. Out of nowhere – unexpected and all together irrational; fear had stopped me in my tracks.

It isn’t the first time this week I’ve been momentarily paralyzed by the F-word. This morning, it was more physical or instinctual; earlier this week the fear was psychological. Twisted roots of uncertainty tangled all around my ego and esteem, almost holding me back…almost.

The source of my trepidation? I applied for the Humber School for Writers Summer Workshop; a week long writer’s symposium that incorporates seminars, workshops, lectures and readings. You’re placed in small groups with a mentor – who just happens to be an accomplished author. The top two facilitators on my wish list? Miriam Toews and Wayson Choy. What an opportunity – to have my work critiqued, and my ideas for my new novel shaped by authors I admire. Could anything be more exciting than that?

So I wait – as writers often do – for my work to be evaluated, for my sweat and tears to be analyzed; and for acceptance into a world that has its share of barriers.

I’ll have try to pass the time gracefully between now and the week of June 21st, when I’ll find out if it’s all a go. If I’m in. If I’ll get to sneak away from my regular life for 7 whole nights, basking in the abundance of creative energy that comes with sitting in groups of other writers.

During times of stress, I bite my nails, so I painted them. I eat chocolate, so I threw it in the garbage (ok, I wet it, then threw it in the garbage, to hinder any regret-ski dumpster digging); and I write, which I’m doing now. Exposing the monster under the bed, flipping on the lights in hopes that the shadows will disappear, and a sunny day will stand in its place.

Here’s hoping, with fingers crossed, that my writing cuts the mustard, and I am accepted into the 2010 program. Maybe you can bite a nail or down a chocolate bar for me. I’ll let you know how it goes. You might just want to cross a finger, too.


8 Responses to “The F-Word”

  1. Erica Montgomery Says:

    I love reading everything you write. I look so forward to your blog updates. I’m sure you will get into that writing program! You faced your fear of writing! It’s only the beginning!

  2. Jan Wright Says:

    Dear Noelle,

    I cannot tell you how proud of you I am. I love reading as much of your writing as I can find and looking forward to your published book. I can say….hey, I know a real author (besides, John Green, that is).

    I am a bit envious of your ambition and stick-to-it persistence! I have been told most of my life that I have a talent for writing but I never take the leap. During the last few years I have stuck my toe into the world of the written word by being a proof reader for a food magazine and received a real satisfaction. Imagine, I say to myself, how I would feel it I actually put pen to paper!

    I wish you the best of luck with your writing seminars, etc. this summer. Also give you “props” for being the wonderful wife, mother and great person you were when we knew each other.

    You go, girl!!!!

    Jan Wright

  3. Kellye Says:


    I will cross my fingers, toes AND eat chocolate for you!!!

    Good Luck!!!

  4. Melanie Munro Says:

    I found myself laughing as I read your blog Noelle. It made me think of a time in my childhood days in Courtice. One of our neighbours bought a huge German Shepard, I was told it was a guard dog and never ever dare to go near this dog.From that day on I was petrified of this dog named “King”.
    My parents were avid dog lovers and would allow any dog that ventured into our backyard into our kitchen, so I knew King was a dog to stay away from.
    Every evening my sister would take her son to North Courtice to play in the park, a normal event that I always joined.One evening my sister had left before I arrived home so I told my mom that I would walk alone and join them at the park. As I was walking down Jane Ave. who should out of nowhere appear at my side….King..He sat down right in front of me. I swear my eyes were at the same level.I was honestly paralyzed with fear, saw my 9 years of life flash before my eyes.I began to walk down the street with King following right behind me.Luckily, Mrs Marsh was gardening outside and King ran up to her. Taking my opportunity to get away, I ran as fast as I could to North Courtice where I told my sister my near death experience.On our journey back my sister retrieved King from Mrs. Marsh.It turned out King was just a big puppy, very friendly and simply wanted to play. I will cross my fingers and toes for you.

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