Though I tend toward wanting honesty, logic, and a sense of realism in life, my preference for fiction in any media (books, movies, tv) runs toward the romantic, especially when it comes to books. An escape if you will that makes my heart happy. However, the amazing chaos that is my life has prevented me from reading much over the last year or two. My entertainment story-wise is usually Netflix or Hulu as I can have that on while I am working on other things. For a little over a year now, my reading has mainly consisted of whatever kind of fiction is submitted for critique each week to the writing group I am in. Those pieces range from mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, erotica, poetry, and, you guessed it, horror.
Unlike me, almost all of my friends in the group enjoy scary things. So much so that it crosses over into their writing. One friend in the group seems to write primarily horror. Recently, she was in the midst of editing her first novel (which she is set to self-publish in the coming weeks) and lamenting how many errors she was finding in her proof copy even after her and the group had went over the story multiple times. Critiquing of her book by the group ended a few months after I started attending the meetings last year so, though I had heard a lot about the story, I had only actually read bits and pieces of it. Because I often find myself wishing I'd had friends to help edit my novel before I published it, and because I like being helpful, I offered to go through and look for spelling or words errors.
Just a few years ago, I probably wouldn't have offered to go through it for her because I was afraid of almost everything. Anything scary was off limits and something to be avoided at all costs. Her book was creepy and a bit gory in some places, which isn't something I usually enjoy, but I read all the way through to the end. I honestly can't say whether or not the book actually scared me because knowing what was going to happen in multiple instances may have kept me from being as creeped out as I probably should have been. Either way, the story was written in a way that made me curious to see HOW it all happened even when I knew what was coming.
So, why does this qualify for my Year of Being a Badass? Because for the first time in my life I read a horror novel. I learned that maybe I'm not as easily scared as I have always thought I was or maybe the idea of horror rather than the actual genre is what has had me avoiding scary things my entire life. It was one more test I gave myself in order to see what I was capable of, and I am happy to say I found that I was capable of more than I thought.