Dreaming is one of my favorite activities. I don’t mean daydreaming, or conscious dreaming. I am talking about the crazy shiz that goes down inside my head as I sleep each night. It never ceases to entertain me or give me ideas or insight into something that’s been on my mind.
I don’t always remember my dreams the next day. Today is one of those days. I know, somehow, that I had a very exciting dream last night and it involved going to NYC, but that’s all I can recall. I do wish I remembered it, but just knowing my subconscious is so active makes me happy. I know, somewhere in my brain’s depths, what happened in that dream. And somehow, sometime, it will affect some other thing in my life. I’m in for the mysteries and the questions. I like not knowing things!
Anyway, I made a list recently when I was submitting my short stories and essays to take note of where each story idea came from. Basically, all of my short story ideas come from dreams. There is only one of my collection of 5 ‘publishable’ short stories that wasn’t something I dreamed about. Of my three works-in-progress novels, one of them is from a dream. And it’s the most fun one, too. I love that I was dreaming about selling weed to wizards and knights. That story, when I get to it, should flow out pretty quickly, since it’s light-hearted, a little silly, and my protagonist is a fun chick. Not a chicken. A lady, a girl, a chick.
(And it’s funny I ended up talking about her being “not a chicken” because it’s this same book that made my Mom say one of my all-time favorite Mom Funny Phrases. She read the first chapter and asked me, seriously, “Is your main character a chicken?” Somehow–I honestly don’t know how– she got it in her head that this girl was a talking chicken. The only mention of chickens in the story is that my character has a pen with a few chickens outside her modest little hut in the village where she lives. Oh man, this just makes me laugh so much, and never gets old!)
Oh, dreams. You are the best. Thank you for being so good to me all these years! And for giving me some of the strangest and weirdest dreams ever, because they amuse me and make people think I’m on drugs. Why would I use drugs? I get this stuff for free.
On Tuesday, April 24, my Writer Ex’s second novel is released. It’s crazy, right? I think so. It was two years ago already that his first book came out, and now this new one hits the shelves. Random-fuckin’-House Publishers. DUDE. That’s still mind-blowing, and it always will be, probably.
The difference between this book’s release, and the first one two years ago, is relatively huge. I’m not upset this time. Not at all. In fact, I honestly feel excited for him. I haven’t read his first book (I know, right? You’d think I’d have done that by now, just out of curiosity, but I haven’t gotten around to it), but I will make an effort to read this one. That’s because it’s based on the novel he was writing back when we were together. It has a new title and, from what I can gather online, the plot has been tweaked… but for the better. I didn’t think it had a plot before, which was one of my criticisms of the book when I read it for him and gave him notes. I really have to see how the story changed from when I read it over a decade ago until now. It’s going to be really interesting. I am even considering going to the book release party. I’d see a lot of old friends there, for sure, but also I could see what a book release party is like for an author. It’s got to be a huge adrenaline rush. And stressful. And fun. (Maybe I’ll see him wet his pants…? And laugh?)
While a part of me will likely always be just a wee bit jealous, because, come on, he’s doing what I want to be doing, that part of me isn’t front and center at all anymore. I’m encouraged and inspired to work as hard as he did to get my work out there. I can’t begrudge him his success, because the fact is he did the work. He wrote, he revised, he submitted, and he did it over and over and over again until things started to happen. That’s not easy. I have to give him credit for doing it. I have only just started this, myself, and I can see how time consuming and complicated it can be to get a fiction career kickstarted. (He’s the one who flat-out told me last summer to ‘get some of your short stuff published, even online somewhere, to help land an agent when the book’s ready,‘ and yeah, I believe that advice.
I’m doing it. And I finally feel like I’m on the right track. I’m a little angry that it’s taken me this friggin’ long to get started, of course. I don’t know why I dragged my feet so much up until recently. I don’t know why I let myself get so distracted from my dream. Why I was relatively lazy and made excuses why I couldn’t write. UGH. However…
…that’s all in the past now. Now, things are different. Now, things are in motion. I may not have gotten accepted to any publications YET, but it’s still only been a couple of weeks. Soon I should hear at least my first rejection, and I can move along and submit that story to one other publication, and so on, and so on… The current Me is taking action and not settling for wasting perfectly good time. And I love that.
I know I’m still nobody when it comes to fiction. Right now, my name’s not on that particular radar. I have a long way to go. But at least I’m on my way, and that’s what matters to me right now. That’s what helps me feel pretty good about myself as I drift off to sleep every night. Sleep, perchance to dream, and so the cycle goes on and on…
I do love being a writer!