Saturday, August 23, 2008


I had it, and it was brilliant, but I lost it.

The plan was to rush to the computer and jot down the few lingering tidbits of dream that remained, hoping to rebuild it from there. But I thought, "I can hold these fragments while I start the coffee." And then nature called. And now, I sort of still see the back cover...a girl--just a bit too young for the initial thought to be "a woman"--with near buzz cut short red hair besides an older man, both in trench coats and glowing with power, surrounded by dark.

See, I dreamt of a graphic novel...sort of Neil Gaiman meets steampunk in the prelude, and dark gothic by the end. Something jarred me out of deep sleep, and in that forgetful, not truly awake level, one part of my brain wondered about the lingering adventure that turned into a graphic novel even as another part had gone on ahead and focused the writing progress I made last week and what I intend to write today.

Too much was lost by the time the first part realized that it wasn't a story I'd read before, but rather one I could write.

Next time, the coffee and restroom breaks will have to wait.

I feel good about the fact that there will be a next time. And that leads to last weeks progress. From the goal of 7,000 words, I have ::drum roll:: 181. And I'm thrilled. Rather than lamenting about how much I suck and trying to delve deeper into my personal abyss, I feel like I've met the unwritten goal of shocking my system. Think of it as a mental/emotional defibrillator.

There are a lot of reasons why wanna-be novelists stay wanna-be for however long (years, forever). Some of us just aren't novelists. We love to read, perhaps have a bit of the creative spark, and think, "I should do that." And then never do because it's more of a recurring waking dream than a goal. Others never get into the right mind frame and put it off. Doing it after the baby's in school becomes doing it after all the kids are off to college or something. Others get lost along the way. That first attempt gets deleted or put into a drawer...and so does the second attempt, and the third...

And some of us have Issues.

I, friends and neighbors, have Issues. So for me, this isn't a matter of putting it off until later, or thinking that I would like to write but not being a writer. It's like writer's that goes far beyound my fiction, affecting everything from weight to my parenting style. And I do need that occasional dip into the abyss to sort out why I am who I am, and try to fix the bits that seem broken. It's not as simple as "I'll write this many words today."

Setting the goal and making the decision about letting this go if I'm still here in a year got me to understand that I can't. Oh, I'm not taking it back! The decision stands. But writing isn't just something that I do, it's part of who I am, and I never quite got what I meant until it came down to honoring it or losing it forever.


Tez Miller said...

That's 181 more than me - you're awesome :-)

Have a lovely day! :-)

80s Queen said...

Your dream reminds me of a movie I saw in the 80s with Molly Ringwald. Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone.

Gotta love those dreams that are great stories but you forget them by the time you find something to write them down with. I've done that many times.