Friday, April 11, 2014

Amish Author Jennifer Beckstrand Reveals Fears

Once I read this blog post by Amish Author Jennifer Beckstrand I had to request her permission to repost the entire article.  She probed fellow Amish authors (and some of my favorites!) for their phobias and frightening experiences.  Isn't it comforting to know that deep down we are all alike? Jennifer ends her article with the website addresses of her fellow Amish authors. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  Next week I will post my review of Jennifer's anything but ordinary Amish novel, Huckleberry Hill, so please come back for that!  Now here is Jennifer's article:

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Amish authors reveal their deepest fears.

There are very few people who aren’t afraid of anything. Since I am afraid of heights, I wanted to find out if there was anything that my author friends are afraid of. You will find their answers enlightening and hilarious. Maybe you can relate.
Do you have any phobias?
Amy Lillard: I am terribly and irrationally afraid of sharks. Yes, Sharks. Now this might not be a big problem because I live in a ‘land-locked’ state. But…I can’t watch sharks on television. I can’t sit with my feet on the floor when something about the ocean is on. Finding Nemo? Fuggetabuttit. It’s totally irrational, but there it is. BTW–I blame my brother for holding me off the side of the top bunk of his bed and threaten to feed me to the sharks when I was little. And Jaws. (Amy shivers). The truly odd thing? I LOVE the beach.  :)
Kelly Irvin:Mine is such a cliché. I am terrified of snakes. When I was a child I had nightmares aboutkes writhing and covering the entire playground of my school. I have no idea why. Living in south Texas is a challenge with that kind of phobia. Friends had a snake wiggle its way through the lint vent to their dryer and surprise her when she opened the door. I told my husband if that happens at our house, we will have to move. He knows I’m serious so when he finds one in the backyard while mowing, he doesn’t tell me.
Jennifer Beckstrand: I am one of those people who has absolutely no sense of adventure. None. I don’t like to travel. I hate to camp. I shun public restrooms, most especially toilets that don’t flush. I avoid getting into cars with teenage boys when they are driving (this is difficult when you have to teach them how to drive). I don’t like to try new foods, new hairstyles, or the new Alpine slide at the local ski resort. The thing I am the most terribly, horribly, irrationally afraid of is heights.
Amy Clipston: I’ve always been terrified of bees and wasps, and my fear was heightened when I was stung by a wasp when I was in first grade. The little devil stung me three times in my hand and finger. Since I was allergic, my arm was in a sling for a while. The fear was so ingrained in me that I used to have dreams about gigantic bees chasing me around our backyard.  To make matters worse, in a high school history class, a yellow jacket came into the room, and randomly chose to sting me. Needless to say, you can count on me to scream and run away like a fool when anything buzzes nearby!
I also am afraid of spiders.  Basically, if there’s a bug around, I scream for one of the males in my house to kill it. Unfortunately, my younger son is also afraid, so he expects me to be the brave one. (When that happens, we usually try to find Daddy!)
Vannetta Chapman: Well, my ridiculous fear IS high bridges, the kind you drive over. Ack! These bridges abound in Dallas, Austin and especially Houston. Houston has the 2nd highest in the U.S. (L.A. is number 1). I’ve learned to avoid them. Yes, I know I should probably be forcing myself up on them, but I’d rather avoid them.
Mary Ellis: I’ve had a lifelong fear of heights, and yet I thought it would be great for hubby and I to walk down the Bright Angel Trail on the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Yes, that’s right…the Grand Canyon. My hair stylist came home with tales of a fun-filled mule trip down to the Colorado River which took 3 days total. I thought: Surely I could manage a couple miles to the first station and then hike back to the car. Ken and I were chatting for the first 500 feet so I really wasn’t paying much attention. Then I gazed across the canyon and down over the edge. I immediately slumped against the rock wall and started to hyperventilate. No guard rails, no grab bars, not even proper shoes. What a mistake! It took Ken twice as long to get me back as it took to go 500 ft.
Amanda Flower: Clowns. *shiver* I hate clowns.
Tell us about an experience that truly frightened you.
Amy Lillard: Once when my husband and I lived in the Caribbean, I was snorkeling. Maybe I should stop here and say that the island we lived on is completely surrounded by a reef wall. There were no sharks in the waters because the reef kept them out. Still I would not go any further out than the depth where I could still dive to the bottom. So I’m snorkeling and I see these bubbles and a huge black body and a fin. I sucked in a ton of salt water and choked of course. Heart pounding and about to pee my swimsuit, I look again. It was a driver in a full black SCUBA suit. Yeah…that afraid! LOL
Kelly Irvin: When we went to Maui for our 25th anniversary last year, my husband decided we had to experience the “Road to Hana.” It’s a highway (I use that term loosely) that runs around the perimeter of the island. At first it’s two lanes, paved, beautiful, smooth, and then it narrows and narrows some more as it winds through mountains and a lot of cliffs with lovely views of the ocean below. It narrows until it becomes one lane and then until cars have to stop and back up on the cliffs to let the on-coming cars pass. (Rental agencies strongly advise that you not take their cars all the way around). I was certain we would both die in a head-on collision or plunge over the side of a cliff to a watery death. We were in a rented convertible and Tim had one hand on the wheel and the other held a camera so he could shoot all the beautiful scenery right up until our demise. I aged 10 years in about three hours. And Tim got the T-shirt that reads: I survived the Road to Hana. I would’ve added “barely!” Ah, the memories!
Jennifer Beckstrand: A few years ago, I made a dreadful error in judgment. I decided to that it would be great fun to ride the Ferris wheel with my family at our local amusement park.
When you are on the ground looking up, the Ferris wheel doesn’t look so scary. It doesn’t go fast or sway dangerously side-to-side, and when it is the only rider entire family wants to go on, your judgment gets cloudy
Before our spacious Ferris wheel car was twenty feet above solid ground, I started to panic. I wondered, quite justifiably, why by any stretch of the imagination I thought hanging a hundred feet in the air sounded fun. I grabbed the nearest bar for support and held on until my knuckles turned white and then blue. My family chuckled loudly, which only served to make me laugh hysterically and bawl in panic, both at the same time. The wheel made a full revolution, and as we passed the attendant, I yelled, “Can I get off?”
That very nice young man took pity on me and stopped the ride so I could disembark. Tears streamed down my face, and my children had the nerve to make fun of me. As I walked away, I heard the attendant ask my kids, “Is that your mom?”
“No,” came the reply.
My heartless children still mock me about that experience. I’m writing them all out of my will.
Amy Clipston: A few years ago, a wasp found its way into our family room. The ceiling in the family room is very, very high, and I shivered as I watched the wasp nap at the very top of the fan. I asked my hubby, Joe, to kill the wasp, and he glanced around, trying to find something to use to hit it.  He grabbed my son’s Star Wars Nerf gun, loaded it, and then stood on the arm of the coach. While my son and I held our breath, Joe expertly shot the gun and successfully killed the unwelcome wasp! We cheered and Joe shook his head. He said he didn’t think he’d hit it, but he got it on the first shot! Who knew that a Nerf gun was the perfect wasp killer?  Joe is my wasp-killing hero!
Vannetta Chapman: Recently I was in the Dallas area and the freeway was closed. My sister was in the car behind me, and she called to tell me not to worry. Then we saw the police barricade – and that they were routing us up onto the highest bridge. I THOUGHT about telling the police I couldn’t. Then I heard my mother in my head, saying, “Oh, just deal with it.” So I did! I sang “Jesus Loves Me” all the way up and over. I was sweating like crazy and my heart was racing, but I survived.
Mary Ellis: In high school my best friend and I hopped a freight train and rode for a mile. When the train started to pick up speed, we jumped off and rolled down an embankment. We could have been killed. On our walk back we were arrested by Conrail detectives and we had to appear in juvenile court with our parents. I was grounded until I left for college!
Amanda Flower: When I was twenty-five, I got lost alone in Budapest, Hungary. I wandered the city for almost an hour, trying to find my way. Finally, I happened upon a taxi and paid the driver the equivalent of $50 US for a five minute drive to where I needed to be. It was some of the best money I had ever spent. Then when I was twenty-eight, I was traveling to Israel alone and was held by Israel soldiers in JFK airport because they thought it was odd I was traveling to Israel alone. At that time, they were in a military conflict with Lebanon and security was extra, extra tight.  Eventually, armed guards escorted me onto the plane and let me enter the country. To this day, I have mysterious Hebrew writing on my old passport from that encounter. I still love to travel and get into trouble when I do. I hope to go to Belize next year, who knows what trouble awaits!
It’s your turn. What are you afraid of?
You can learn more about these great authors on their websites. We would all love it if you would like our Facebook pages too!
Vannetta Chapman:
 Amanda Flower:
Jennifer Beckstrand:

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