Tag Archives: fear

Word Loss: A Great Fear

Since I was a wee child words have been my greatest asset. Word games? All me. Bring it on: Scrabble, Boggle, Words with Friends, even the ever fun family game of Words. I could out talk, and out verbally wit for that matter, just about anyone looking to verbally rumble. Ah, the good ol’ days when the words flowed like a Hawaiian volcano.

Flash forward to 2017 and a 43-year-old writer. A person of words. A person who was  a walking dictionary and thesaurus. Now I struggle for familiar words. The simple everyday words at that. In one story I struggled to recall the word charming. Imagine that. Not some crazy twelve letter twenty-dollar word. I was scrambling in my mind. It sounds like “C’,” like chair, like something yellow-orange (okay, I relate things to colors). It’s a man, like tall man, like that guy from that movie and a chair.

“Loss of words is actually part of the aging process …”

I’m not saying the thought processes of my mind are fluid, but there’s a method to my madness. After finally looking up the name of Cinderella’s dream man, I was able to get the word. Then for ten minutes I shook my head and wondered what the hell was wrong with me. I was worried to the point I was almost physically ill.

This isn’t something new. About five years ago I realized the words were escaping me. A real nightmare for any writer. Since I was twelve I suffered debilitating migraines and was once told, after a brain study, that I had lesions on my brain from the severity of the migraines. My personal research proves this is a possibility, which is why migraine sufferers have a greater chance of having a stroke (sorry, interjecting my medical career there). Back to the point: I wondered if perhaps lesions had anything to do with memory loss.

blurRecently, I spoke with a few other men and women my age and took note that they all searched the vast blue sky for certain words that were “at the tip of their tongue.” After asking if they had more of a difficult time remembering simple words, they all said they did, that sometimes even simple words were a blur. Great!! I mean, not great, but yes. Loss of words is actually a part of the aging process, which is why verbal engagement and mental stimulation is so key as we get older.

I have Thesauraus.com as a favorite on my computer, and such a lifesaver. I try to use new words everyday. I also work to recall a word using any kind of cue I can before looking it up. The computer is  my last resort, though I’ve called in a life line or two.

Me: Dasan, what is that thingy called?
Dasan: What thingy?
Me: You know. You go to someone’s house and you push the thingy so they answer the door. The pushy button thingy?
Dasan: You mean a doorbell?
Me: Awesome. Thanks.

It’s pretty much like that. So when my various writing groups pose the question, “What scares you most as a writer?” My answer is always the same: Losing the words.

What scares you most as a writer? As a writer do you get a little worried about losing words?

Tania L Ramos, RN BSN and author
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Lessons in Writing Fear & Love

In helping a young author learn to write emotions, I gave a simple assignment: write the emotions of a woman who just saw the love of her life walk through the door. Next, write the emotions of the same woman who just saw a stranger with a gun walk through the door. In neither description can you say “love” or “hate/fear,” and you must show without telling.

To be a good teacher, I also participated in this little lesson. We both had the same outcome: writing the emotion of love was almost exact to writing the feeling of fear. I found that quite interesting. It certainly is a fine line.

if u can write






Tania L Ramos, RN and Author

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Hello doubt. Is That You?

I guess this does happen every time I write a book. People have asked why I waited so long to publish? Maybe you’ve heard this, so maybe you can relate? Was it time? Money? Lack of discipline? For me it was none of the above. I’ve always had a story in my heart, boring like some small parasite into the depths of my brain, eating away at me until I just had to get it down paper–or at least enough of it that I could walk away and feel satiated.

But I was never satisfied. Sure, getting part of the story down was okay, but it was never really enough.  You see, I have been writing since ninth grade, and that is a wide span of time to have a dream and do nothing about it, but tease it with small intros to characters and scenes. It aches, it tugs, it gnaws, and eventually I came to realize that a dream can consume me and become my biggest foe. It’s like staring a rabid, snarling dog in the face, but it’s only foaming at the mouth because it wants love and attention.  I never gave my dream so much as a quick pat and the occasional bone to placate it.

Why? This is the million dollar question (though I wish that million was in my bank account): because of fear. Doubt. A general feeling that this dream I have is nothing more than a dream. And what if I write one super, amazing, world-renowned best selling book? Then what? Oh yeah, the pressure to write another equally awesome best-selling book. But, wait! What if my great idea is poop? What if i’m laughed out of the literary world. What if . . .

These are the daunting questions. The questions that sat in my mind so long they began to rust and mold there. But in the year of my turmoil (2011), there wasn’t much left of my brain. Any hope, any glimmer of a bright and shiny future were stolen from me like a thief in the night.  All I had left were the remnants of some molded, rusted over dream and the notion that it couldn’t get any worse. So I stretched my brain, washed it out with a grapefruit diet and nearly twenty pounds of depressed weight loss, and discovered the voices hadn’t died.

I wrote! I wrote and wrote and wrote until all I could see were these characters. And when that was done I stared at my manuscript and FROZE! What if . . . Stupid two letter word that still haunts me to this day. I submitted that manuscript to Bookemon (which is still #1 most read in the fiction category). I was petrified! But I was renewed, so I wrote some more. And when BE Still was finished and I stared at the manuscript, I FROZE! See the trend. The book received rave reviews. Woo hoo!

Wait! Crap! Now the next book has to be better, right? But what if it isn’t? What if Be Still  is the best thing I ever write? What if my career has ended there? What if the next book is literary suicide? What if all I ever am is mediocre? I shudder. I go fetal. I rock back and forth, scratching the words “do better” on my notepad.  Hello doubt. Is that you? You’ve been gone for quite some time now. Wish I could say I’ve missed you, but then again you never really went away. I saw you, sitting in the corner, smiling, poking, lurking, leaving little reminders that I may be pursuing a pipe dream. *sigh*

Whatever dude! I ROCK! And you know why, because failure is not an option in my life. I survived the hell out 2011, and not only did I survive, but I conquered and crossed boundaries I never dared venture before. Nani nani nani. Yeah, I see you, and I’m always aware, but back to the corner you go! This next book will be better than the last, and the book next year will be better. AND I WON’T STOP WRITING, because it is a dream come true.

Tania L Ramos, Author Who Rocked It



Sneak Peek Sunday: Chapter 3

This is a chapter I had to rewrite a dozen or so times because I felt like I wasn’t getting it right.  When I finally thought I had I it right, my hard drive crashed! I had to go back and rewrite chapters 1-11 from memory.  I hurried through them, because I was already done with the book and by this point I wanted to throw the manuscript into a blazing fire.  Ever have that car that was nothing but problems since day one? That car that you said just had to be cursed with bad juju? Or Stephen King’s reason for writing, “Christine?” Well, this book was my Christine, and by the time I hit chapter three in the final rewrite (before rewriting it to point of view specifications), I was fit to murder and/or maim (I was indecisive at that point).  When it was all complete I was actually very satisfied with the chapter and glad the hard drive crashed.  Somethings are worth the rewrite.  Hope you enjoy a snippit into Chapter Three:  The Chapter that wouldn’t die…bwahuahauahahahahaha


*****                           *****                      *****                        *****                ******

Nearly two weeks crept by, and Jack still hadn’t told his son about the illness, though not for lack of trying. This wasn’t the sort of matter to be left to the coldness of an answering machine. Besides, he wanted to tell him in person, to see his expression. Not that he expected any kind of sentimental emotion, but he did not want his message to sit for days on voice mail, or maybe Travis would hit delete before he even heard it. This was agonizing and torturous.

Eventually a solid month passed, and Jack wasn’t finding sleep any better; paranoia about suffocating to death from his disease, coupled with the recurring nightmares, ensued night after restless night. Most nights he awoke drenched in a cold sweat, unsure of what the dreams were about. He figured not remembering it at all would be best, because the parts he did recall was seeing Shannon’s face soaked in blood, her bold and lifeless eyes stained red, almost animalistic, trying to consume his soul with their wild, ravenous gaze. She would call his name long and drawn out, her voice raspy and seductive as a demonic vixen, ensnaring him to go closer where she could steal away his life and end his pain.

*****                        *****                        ******                         ******                    ******

In chapter three the reader is finally introduced to the background storyline between Jack and his wayward son, Travis.  This is a very short chapter, only one full page with about 3/4 of another standard Words page…so maybe three pages in a standard book.  What I tried to portray though Jack was how he truly felt, not some idealistic fairy tale life.  He is a real man.  Full with strangling thoughts, fears, paranoia, and raw emotion.  He’s torn between nightmares and life, which sometimes interchange.  But the point I really wanted to hit was that Jack, above all else, in spite of wanting to die, was very much afraid.  The rest of this chapter goes on to explain why there was so much turmoil in his life, but I couldn’t copy that part.  Then I’d have to change Sneak Peek SUnday to, “SPoiler Alert.”  Hope you enjoyed.