Jennifer Hillier

Baby brain, fast cars, and Halloween

Oct 31, 2014 | Personal

I’m on the last lap of my pregnancy (less than three weeks to go, unless the baby decides to come early), and am pretty much running on fumes these days. I’m trying desperately to finish the first draft of my current book, and I honestly thought that I could write at the pace I usually do… but I totally underestimated how tired you can get just from SITTING and THINKING while in your third trimester. Like, wow. Six-hour writing shifts now feel like twelve-hour writing shifts, because frankly, my back can’t take it, and neither can my brain, which seriously feels like it’s shrinking the closer I get to my due date.

The biggest challenge of being pregnant while writing is that it’s really fucking hard to kill people. Chelsea Cain told me last summer that she wrote her first thriller, HEARTSICK, while pregnant, and that the experience was great for her (and if you’ve read her books, then you know how dark and gory her stuff is). She told me to use all the hormones I was plagued with and channel them into my work, and while I’ve been trying to do that, it’s not quite working out for me the way it did for her. I do have these crazy, vivid, violent dreams at night, but for some reason, it’s not translating to the writing. I haven’t killed or tortured nearly as many people in this book as in the first three, and as a writer of psychological thrillers, that sucks donkey balls.

The problem is, I get emotional now. I get weepy. A few weeks ago, driving home from a doctor’s appointment, I cried listening to Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Cars” on the radio. I’ve heard that song like a million times over the last two decades, but for some reason, I found myself carefully listening to the lyrics, and then I started crying. “Don’t go with him, girl!” I said out loud as I stopped at a red light, my hands clinging to the steering wheel. “Don’t be seduced by the fast car! He doesn’t have a job! You have your whole life ahead of you!” It was pathetic, and so not me, and I hate that I get weepy over stupid shit, and that I don’t feel at all like myself right now.

I want murderous Jenny back, the girl who’ll gleefully chop your hand off with a cleaver and not think twice about it. But I don’t know where that girl is. And like I said, that sucks donkey balls.

I was challenged by a friend the other day to cartoon myself… and this is what I came up with! Because a cleaver looks good on everybody.

At this point I’ve figured out that I’ll probably have to go back and murder people in rewrites, and that’s okay. All good writing is rewriting (and I forget who said that, because remember, my brain is shrinking).

Speaking of the new book, I should have exciting news to share soon, so stay tuned!

Also, it’s Halloween! GO SCARE SOMEONE! (Because God knows I can’t do it.)

Throwback Halloween pic. Me at age 9. Because clowns are scary.
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