When I was a young girl, I couldn’t fall asleep if my ears were not covered. I believed in the Ear Monster, and the Ear Monster tore off all the exposed ears of sleeping children. So I slept with my covers pulled tightly over half my head.
I shared a room with my sister at the time, and I remember being absolutely blown out of my mind that not only did my older sister sleep with her ears uncovered, but she also slept facing the wall, leaving her back exposed to the outside. Another big no-no for me.
We slept in separate twin beds, pushed up against walls directly across from each other. The wall on my side was my safety, my shield. If I wanted to lie on my side, I had to lie so my back faced the wall–always. To lie the other way, with my back facing open space, meant that any monster under my bed, or in my closet, could have sneaked up on me and snatched me from my bed, and I’d never see it coming.
I needed to feel prepared, facing the direction of any possible incoming attacks from the monsters that only came out at night. I must have scared them off with my ready-to-defend-myself position because they never came after me one time –not once.
I had forgotten for a long time about the Ear Monster, but I thought of my childhood nemesis when I remembered my college Creative Writing professor, who had once instructed the class I was sitting in to look to children for inspiration when we were struggling to write because children have highly imaginative and creative minds.
My professor was right. My childhood imagination ran amok, especially at night.
I am currently writing my third book, a book I had planned to have completed months ago. I’m near the end, but for the past few weeks I’ve been getting stuck in certain places, unsure of the path to take the story while on my way to the ending I’ve already written. You can say I’m blocked.
I need my old childhood imagination. I need the Ear Monster.
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