About two years ago I had surgery to remove a cancerous cyst from my saliva gland, a rather involved four-hour surgery that’s left part of my left cheek and ear numb. About a month post-surgery, two golden spots appeared at the back of my mind. These round spots glowed, and I freaked—OMG brain cancer. The surgeon was wrong. He didn’t get all the cancer and it's spread to my brain. So I googled brain cancer like a mad woman, reading all I could on symptoms and nowhere did it state patients complained of seeing glowing spots in the backs of their minds.
I hated to call my cancer doctor, knowing he’d put me through a battery of tests only to prove what I already knew. Still, I couldn't put it off. I picked up the phone to call and the golden orbs blinked. Blinked, mind you!
Eyes? These are eyes? And they blinked again. Well shoot, I didn’t need a cancer doctor. I needed a shrink! I’ve got freakin’ eyes in the back of my head, glowing and blinking and watching.
So, for a month, they waited and willed me to speak to them. Well, my darlings, I might be half-crazed, but I know enough not to speak to something that shouldn’t be there in the first place.
Then one night, when I was almost asleep, these eyes left my head and floated to the foot of my bed into a large bear. Now, I often think characters search for the right author to tell their stories. So I said, “I’m sorry, but I don’t write children’s books.”
He shook his head. “Oh, you’re not that kind of bear?” He shook his head again and shifted into this dark-haired, muscled, kilt-wearing Scot. He sauntered toward my side of the bed and I reached for my glasses. I mean, wouldn’t you? Would you want to miss one gorgeous inch of this guy?
Again, I apologized. “Hon, you’re still in the wrong writer’s house. I don’t write paranormal.”
He sat on the edge of the bed and I scooted over closer to Calvin to make sure his fine kilted behind had plenty of room. Ah...the Scot's, not Calvin's.
“Aye, lassie, but ye will. Me name is Creighton Matheson. In Scottish, mathe means bear and I am the head of a sleuth of bears. Have ye ever heard how bears came to be extinct in Scotland?” I shook my head. I mean, how could I talk with a mouthful of drool?
He told me this fantastical story of how the Vikings killed off the male bears and imprisoned the sow and baby bears in a cave along the coastline, blocking the entrance with rocks and boulders.
The next morning I googled “Are bears extinct in Scotland?” Chills slithered up my spine. They were. Sources claimed the extinction was due to over-hunting and the government was trying to reintroduce them into the Highlands. But I had a better story; one from a bear-shifter, himself.
Now bears can be determined creatures and mine would have no rest until I started his book. So I set aside my work in progress for a month and wrote a few chapters to quiet the bear. By then I was in love with my bear-shifter, this sexy man with a duality that both wounded my soul and charmed me. I needed…needed…for him to have his HEA.
I was also plagued with a huge problem: I didn’t know the paranormal romance genre. I felt like a fake for even trying to write one. So, I wrote it as my play story. Anytime I hit a rough spot in the story I was currently writing, I'd pop over to my little paranormal and write a few pages. The change gave my mind a chance to work through the problems in my real book. In addition, writing in a world so different relaxed me.
Still, the question remains: Why bears? Why would a bear come to me at that time of my life? From my research, bears are a healing totem, one that requires you to rest (hibernation) and to find your strength. Mine certainly helped me through my six months of recovery and to strengthen my writing.
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