I fell of the ficti0n wagon for a good week or so. I know it’s because I was painting and working on my room and bathroom, mostly. And at work, I’ve been pretty busy without a lot of downtime to spare, so not much has happened on my book or to get my latest short story cleaned up and ready for the writer’s workshop. Oh yeah, the workshop. Riiiight. I haven’t gone to that either.
I don’t like that this happens– that I get preoccupied and pulled away from my writing like this. I need to try harder to make it happen, even when things are busy or distracting. I think about Stephen King, who said in “On Writing” that he would designate one hour in the morning every day to sit and work on his writing back before he ever published anything. If I recall, he would write in the laundry room in the tiny apartment he and his wife shared… he’d write on top of the washing machine. The important thing was making time for it, and DOING IT. I’ve long known that I need to make my writing a habit, by scheduling it, and yet I never do it. I wait for the mood to strike and carry me away. I don’t think that is enough anymore. I need to make it happen.
I’m thinking about this today because I woke up dreaming this morning. I was dreaming another one of my very vivid, detailed dreams that could very well lead to a new story. The dream was so compelling that when my alarm went off, I hit snooze for 30 minutes just so I could dive back into the dream and keep going. And then I did that again a couple more times, with 10 minute or 20 minute snooze intervals, until I finished the dream. This meant that I got out of bed ONE HOUR LATER than I should have! Good thing I took my shower last night.
I wasn’t even late to work, which was cool. Sure, I am having a very, very bad hair day, but that doesn’t matter. My dream was worth it.
So what was my dream about? It’s long and complicated, but here’s the main idea: I was a trainer working at a SeaWorld type park. It wasn’t SeaWorld, it was a competitor park that didn’t have as much money. Anyway, one of the whales started messing around with me one day in the pool. It was licking me, in the face, and trying to keep me underwater. It was playing, but it was scary. (In the light of day, I know I dreamed about this licking-me-on-the-face thing directly because of Gremlin, who constantly does this to me and wakes me up. It hurts! His tongue is painful!) I knew I wasn’t in real danger for some reason, because I understood the whale’s behavior somehow, but it did get me, the trainer, thinking about the wisdom of having people in the water with these giant animals all the time, and the next thing I knew, I had turned into an outspoken activist. I quit my job, and began talking to the media and other groups about the mistake we were all making by keeping these animals in captivity like this.
The next part of the dream was darker. The corporation that ran the park kidnapped me to shut me up, and they basically kept me prisoner for about 8 years. There were other trainers there with me, and in a creepy as hell twist on how these marine parks treat their animals, the trainers were forced into a breeding program themselves to create kids who would grow up to be trainers. They’d take the babies away and raise them. Yeah, it doesn’t make sense, but that’s how dreams work sometimes. I found out I had a daughter who was afraid of going in the water, and they were threatening to kill her because of it. So the rest of the dream was me trying to find her and rescue her.
The dream’s not perfect, but it was an interesting idea in some ways. I think there is something there that can be mined for a story. It would be cool if I found multiple ways to create fictional stories that get my own personal agenda across. Sure, my main book is meant to speak about the evils of captivity and using animals for science, but what if I wrote other stories (short, probably) that were even more direct in illustrating the sense of horror I feel about marine mammals in captivity? That would be pretty cool. I’d like to almost make people sick of reading my stuff because they know it will be unsettling.
What’s wrong with me, that I want people to be disturbed by my writing?! Is this a normal thought for a writer?
Mehh, whatever. It’s what I think, and what I want to do. I want to stand up for something and use my one talent, writing, to do it. Besides, the stories that challenge and disturb people are the ones that people REMEMBER.
I wish I didn’t have to do work-work today. So, I guess I’d better get busy with that, so that later on I might have some time to do fun stuff. Because if I don’t finish my work article here in the office today, I have to bring it home tonight. Yuck.
In other news, nothing much is going on. I spent the weekend doing errands and things around the house, like weeding the backyard and cleaning the kitchen. I didn’t finish painting, after all. I had a headache that appeared to be the start of a migraine on Saturday, so I took some Goody’s headache powder, drank a green detox juice and napped in the afternoon and as a result: headache was gone! It’s these sinuses again, damn it. I can’t seem to clear them out. Grr. Anyway, Saturday night I went to my sister and BIL’s house to watch the Tim & Eric Billion Dollar Movie, which is OnDemand right now. We ordered pizza and had beer. I loaded up. WHEW.
Sunday morning I didn’t feel so great. My stomach was rejecting that pizza and beer, so I was stuck in my house until it all passed, so to speak. I missed the dog adoption event I was going to help out on. I made two more juices to help things move along and they did help quite a bit. By dinner time last night, I was feeling pretty normal again. I walked Hurley and worked on my work article (and got a lot done!) in between checking out the Puppy Bowl and trying (and failing) to see any commercials during the Superbowl. Oh, and I went to the carwash and the grocery store and it was awesome… no lines! No one was out on the road! Superbowl Sunday is definitely the best day to be out doing things.
Time to get down to bidness, as they say. This article ain’t gonna write itself. I wish it would.