Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Writing Dreams

Every once in a while I will dream the perfect story.  Have you ever done that? You know in your dream that it is a gem, sure to be a hit, so perfect it will write itself.  But then you wake up and jot down what you remember and see cavernous holes in your plot - like nothing happens, or there is no antagonist.  Still I love those dreams, because like the NY lottery commercials say, "Hey, you never know."

Last night my dream took on a new and disturbing twist. Yes, I did have the perfect story.  In my dream I became the main character.  I was yellow -- not afraid -- but head to toe a golden hue. And I could fly.

But as the writer, I could not write it down. I felt the lift of air beneath my glowing body, and remembered a few heroic deeds, but I could not capture words on paper. To save the flimsy wisp of storyline before it evaporated I tried to give it life by speaking it out loud.  "What if a genie...." (I know it sounds as lame as Tiny Tim, but that's what it was, and let me tell you it would have been a best seller!)

More words would not come. I had to solidify this flimsy form on paper.  Clutching a ragged scrap of paper and a pen, I hurried from room to room in a mansion with white floors, white walls, and white furniture looking for a quiet place where my fading fiction would show itself. But this girl kept interrupting. "What are you doing?" It was no one I know and no one I ever want to meet, because she popped up everywhere. I locked myself in the bedroom and she opened the door. I hid in a corner of the bathroom and she appeared instantly. She even found me perched on the highest shelf doubled over near the ceiling.

In the nanoseconds that I had to myself before the girl would appear, I'd scrawl a word or two, but my useless hand gripped the pen like a 6-month-old trying to hold a spoon.  My illegible letters dribbled away and dissolved with each attempt.

Then miraculously my husband appeared.  Surely he could write the story down if I dictated it to him. So I began.  "What if a genie...." But he wasn't writing.  Instead he was checking out something on his giant poster board computer.  "Why aren't you writing this down?" I cried. "I am," he said and held up the poster board.  On it was a list of random words. Cabbage. Doorstop. Porous.

I awoke depressed and exhausted. Never in my 20 years had I had a writer's block writing dream. It disturbed me. I don't have writer's block.  I'm writing this blog and this morning I worked on my elephant book.  Then I thought about my fictional story that I've been working on for several years.  I hadn't worked on it all summer.  I was blocked on that.  I haven't nailed down my character yet.

But nothing in my dream was helpful. I know that my character is not and cannot be a genie.  And I know he shouldn't be yellow.  I also know that I don't want to linger within those white walls.  I guess the dream gave me a nudge.  No answers, but a nudge to keep going.  And one more thing that popped into my brain a few times today and made me smile -- I love that flying feeling!

Follow your dreams!

1 comment:

  1. You are probably right about your husband. He would be distracted and only get bits of it. Sorry Dear:-(