For authors, that can be while you're waiting for an answer to a query, a revision on a proposed contract, the night before a book launch--or the result of a review by Publisher's Weekly or Booklist. (brrrr! gives me the shivers just thinking about it!)
For non-authors, it can be anything else. There are a number of authors and bloggers doing posts about what scares them. Some are funny, some are serious, some are 'Are you kidding me?' Being totally forthright, here's what REALLY scares me:
1. Immense suffering, especially if it's near end of life. Okay, I'm wimping here, but having had a fractured skull and assorted broken bones, an ulcer and numerous surgeries, I know what pain is. I can't imagine being in unrelenting pain for days, months, years...
2. The future of the world for my children. Let's face it, a number of countries, like Iran, Syria, Libya, some of the Baltic states, Venezuela, have leaders or terrorist groups that are probably certifiable. There is the possibility that one of these will 'go nuclear.' They don't care about anything but winning at that moment, and looking down the road to a world food/water/air supply choked with radiation just doesn't figure into their what-happens-the-day-after plan.
3. Internet security. I'm barely able to maintain this blog and it frightens me when hackers can get into the Defense Department, my credit card, ANYWHERE. People who spend their lives hacking don't do it simply for fun; they do it to show they can, and that they have control. The TV show "Revolution" might not be so far fetched and a hacker could someday shut it all down.
4. My children being drug or alcohol addicts, being diagnosed with a mental disorder that ruins their lives, or having severe health problems. As a parent, the hardest thing in the world is seeing your children suffer. And woe to the person that causes that...
5. Freaky aliens like in "Aliens." Really, that movie scared me so much, it's the biggest fear I have about space exploration. I wonder if Captain Kirk met Alien, or Predator, if he would have survived even with all his technology. I have more faith in Captain Piccard, but still... gruesome way to die, see no. 1 above.
That's my black cat, Mink. Does he scare YOU?