Dream, Fiction, Imagination, Inspiration, Musings, Novel, Power, Short story, Words, Writing

Dreams, daydreams, and nightmares

We write fiction because we are dreamers. Whether we dream by day or night, whether our dreams are sweet or nightmarish, our stories and novels come from that place where real and imagined combine.

Rêverie (Daydream) – Paul-César Helleu, 1901

At the mere mention of that place, some of us may drift off to ponder the nature of reality. Before long, we’re crafting a tale of some fantasy “I wish” or historical “what if” or futuristic “it could” or contemporary “it does.”

What power we writers hold. We create. From a lock of hair, a tilt of head, a room, a city street, a desire, a fear, a thousand other details, we fashion a character, a locale, a situation. We write a thousand words, a hundred thousand. “It’s alive!”

Some of us write brilliantly. Most of us less so. But we are writers all. We record what we dream because we have that ability. Because we want to. Because we have to.

We give life to our dreams out of despair, joy, hope, fiendishness, playfulness, cleverness, daring. What else can we do?

We are dreamers.

We write.


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Blog Stuff, Dream, Poetry, Real Life, Writing

Out with the old, in with …

As you can see, this old pig blog is wearing a new dress. The font is smaller than on my old theme, but it’s hard to find a newer WordPress theme that isn’t hard on my eyes. Never fear. I use the Firefox add-on called NoSquint, which lets me enlarge the font on any webpage. I think I got all the kinks out, but let me know if you see any problems.

Don’t forget! November is a special month for us writers—no not that—it’s National House Cleaning Month! That zany 30 days designated for us obsessed writers to step away from the keyboard and rediscover the vacuum cleaner, the bottom of the laundry basket, and exactly what lies beneath that pile on the dining room table. If you’re joining me, let me know and get your counter set up, so I can keep an eye on the competition. I’ll also add your name and a link to your blog on the NaHoCleMo page I’ll add on Monday. Watch my counter in my sidebar —>

Things I afflict you with. I haven’t talked about any dreams, nor have I inflicted one of my dreadful poems on you lately. Guess what? Your luck has run out.

MIRAGE

I wrote something fabulous
in a dream.

I read,
heart racing.

Exhilaration.
Elation.
Anticipation.

I woke,
deep sighing.

I wrote something fabulous,
in a dream.

So there you have my Weekend Whoop-de-doo. I wish you a Happy Halloween, Samhain, or whatever your weekend holds.

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Author, Dream, Fiction, Goals, Motivation, Musings, My Books, Novel, Publish, Reader, Words, Writing

The why of want

I want to be published. I really want to be published. I talk about it. I dream about it. I fantasize about it. I hope, pray, and wish on stars for it. Below is what I wrote in the small notebook I carry in my purse:

“It is 2:49 pm on Wednesday, 21 April, 2010 and as I sit in a McDonald’s Playland full of squealing children I feel certain I will be a published author.”

Yes, I want to be published. I don’t care about fame, in fact I’d just as soon not have that. Money would be nice, but that’s not my motivation. I want validation. I want to know that all the time I spend writing has a better purpose than avoidance of housework. I want my words to mean something to someone besides me.

I have no illusions of grandeur. I’m fully aware that nothing I write is important. It has no power to change the world. It will never be studied in a classroom. Yet it could transport readers into a time, place, or circumstance other than their own for a while, and there is worth in that. To see through another’s eyes, feel through another’s heart, think through another’s mind has purpose. I want someone to experience this through my words. I want to share the stories given to me.

I want to be published.

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Books, Dream, Life, Memory, Reflections, Writing

Witch Hunt

Lately, I’ve had several vivid dreams, though I only remember snatches when I wake. The other night I dreamed I was standing in the dark, looking at flames. I felt … odd. I woke at that point, but the dream stayed with me as I stepped into the bathroom. I realized what I felt was a mixture of things, a contradiction—power and fear? joy and despair? Not until the next morning did the location of this dream scene flash before me.

They say there are strangers who threaten us,

In our theaters and bookstore shelves,

That those who know what’s best for us

Must rise and save us from ourselves.

from “Witch Hunt” — Lyric by Neil Peart

This was a scene from my past. A memory of the night I stood in the parking lot of Windsor Village Baptist Church and participated in a book burning. This was the mid-70s, the era of The Exorcist, and my church was in the midst of Satan-mania.

Whenever this memory surfaces, I try to remember what books I burned, though I’m sure I’ll never have the complete list. I had little money to buy books, and probably owned no more than twenty—mostly paperbacks and used library books. Ironically, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 was one of the books I burned.

Other fiction thrown on the pyre was Ira Levin’s Rosemary’s Baby, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, and Jacqueline Suzanne’s Valley of the Dolls. But even non-fiction like Jess Stearns’ The Search for the Girl with the Blue Eyes or Marian L. Starkey’s The Devil in Massachusetts or—unbelievably—Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings did not escape my zeal. Nor did Khalil Gibran’s poetic The Prophet. I ruthlessly routed out their potential “demonic influence.”

I was a different person then. I was one of those the Rush song refers to, thinking I knew what was best, I became one of those strangers—to myself. The memory of that frightens me. The thought I might again be so easily influenced, frightens me even more.

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Characters, Dream, Fiction, Musings, Novel, Writing

What if?

Yesterday was my first day with a totally quiet house again. I wrote a short poem, revised a query letter, and thought about starting another blog—and then things really got crazy. I had intended to return to writing my next novel, but instead I spent the afternoon asking myself what if? Actually, I have starts on two novels, but a couple days ago, the novel I had decided to wait on spoke up. I agonize over choices, so that’s partly why I hadn’t started writing.

If you want to know the truth, I was killing time on Twitter. I asked Kayla how her edits were going, and she asked me what my next novel was going to be, and zap! I remembered a dream I had a couple weeks ago. In the dream, I had torn my last novel apart and made it three novels. I remember telling someone it was the logical thing to do. Then Kayla left for the gym and I got up to start laundry and assorted other housewifey things. But all the time, I pondered, What if …?

I have three main characters and three parts in my last novel, so I probably could divide and expand to make three novels from it. Why would I even consider that?! It’s crazy. Well then, I could write a prequel or sequel—or both. Would I write about Meredith? Jalal? Renee? Where would I start their story? Where would I end it? Ideas started popping like corn.

Now, I’m aware that this could be some sort of post-novel withdrawal symptom. Or laziness; it would be a little easier to write about characters I already know than to create new ones. And I don’t write genre where a series can be the norm, so I’m not sure I’m up to the logistical challenge. But I have to tell you … asking what if has certainly revived my excitement over writing.

Have any of you done something like this? Does anyone have tips or book recommends, for writing prequels, sequels, or a series?

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Photo credit: icanhazcheezburger.com