What can be better than to get out a book on Saturday afternoon and thrust all mundane considerations away till next week. ~ C. S. Lewis
I find that if I let my mind spew then wander, I answer my own questions, find my own direction again.
The other day I was sooo concerned about writing stories that sounded like me but weren’t me but were me but not really. At first thought, that bothered me. I didn’t want every character to be me. That’s a legitimate concern of most writers.
But, in my case, I see now I wanted these stories to BE me.
I wanted to be the one who traveled back in time, the one who was taken to another planet to take the place of a dead queen. This common-sense-that-I-don’t-always-have made me realize that, in this case, I might be making a mountain out of the proverbial mole hill.
The reason for this epiphany was that on my drive home today I started thinking about going to Paris for a week next year, and how I doubt that I will go. There are a number of reasons for this pre-decision, and nothing is set in stone yet, but you kinda know if you’ve got a chance or not.
I was going to write of my adventures, my visits to cafes and libraries and shops and bridges. What a wonderful journal it was going to be.
So does that mean that if I can’t go I can’t go?
Does that mean that just because I can’t walk the streets myself and eat the croissants and touch the gargoyles I can’t walk the streets and eat the croissants and touch the gargoyles anyway?
Since it seems I’ve already traveled through time and space, why can’t I take this trip, too? Maybe cut my hair, make myself a little thinner, but be the same person exploring new worlds?
Maybe when I sit and look at the glass pyramid at the Louvre I can sit and talk with a young funny Parisian, or fall in love for a couple of evenings with a roguish French man or watch Hemingway drink at a back table at Café du Dôme. I can slip a Hermes scarf into my purse and not get caught, or have dinner at Seb’on without having to pay.
Who will know that lead character is me besides you and me and my friends and family?
You see — I can do all that. Without guilt, without explanation. I can be me and not be me. I can research and look at pictures and watch old movies and visit Paris on my own terms. I can get lost without getting lost. Talk to strangers without talking to strangers.
Being myself in my story is actually a win/win situation.
I am starting to think about starting a new book. A book with a little adventure, a little flirting, and a little café au lait.
Don’t let your inability to go somewhere, to attend something, stop you from doing research and doing it through your art. Through your painting, your writing, your sketching. Whatever world you create for yourself. There is always a way through the clouds.
Artists always find a way.
I’m not going to dream about it.
I bought one.
Really, I bought two.
How many houses can you buy with $1.50 billion anyway?
How many islands?
How many pizzas? Martinis? Mocha Lattes?
Deep down inside, my muse is telling me I really don’t want to be a single winner of this out-of-control Powerball thing. After taxes and lawyers and doctor bills for the heart attack I surely will get, I might not be around to even SPEND money.
I mean, with all the poor, struggling, lost people in the world, how can one even enjoy 1/4 of a ridiculously ridiculous sum of money? How can you fly to Hawaii on a whim when there are driveways to be shoveled and PTA meetings to attend?
I’ve heard tales of people who have won — normal people — who have had strangers throw themselves in front of their car, slip on their driveways, and/or even fall in front of their desk, threatening to sue the winner for all the money they had. I’ve heard of groups of people suing a single winner, claiming they contributed to the purchase of the afore-mentioned winning ticket.
I’ve already dreampt away millions of dollars on wasted two dollar investments. I can’t tell you how many books I’ve published, how many museums and churches I’ve visited in France and Italy, how many Scottish moors I’ve wandered through, how many pubs I’ve visited in Ireland and how many Buddhist temples I’ve visited.
I suppose if you win half of the pot — $700 million — there’s a few more places you could call home. You could build wings on hospitals and update falling apart nursing homes and create 10,000 scholarships in 10,000 schools.
Do you see what I mean?
I already have an ulcer just thinking about how many good things I could do for the country, for the world.
My blood pressure is rising as I barely touch on who I would share the money with, how far my personal connections would reach. Kids? Grandkids? Friends? Friends of Friends? Kids of Friends? Grandkids of Friends?
You see, it’s much too much for me to think about.
Better to be poor and calm than filthy rich and confused.
I bought two.
In my late night cannot-sleep mental meanderings, I often think how cool it would be if the afterlife were nothing more than eternal dreaming. Long after the neurons stop flashing, I’d still love to exist on a dreamplane someplace. Meeting people, doing weird things, drifting here and there, trying to make sense of nonsense.
Although the way I dream, I’d still have to have a “cosmic” wake up now and then.
They say we all dream. It’s just that some of us linger in the twilight longer than others. Hence, not enough deep sleep equals insomnia, dark circles under the eyes, and weird dreams.
Do you remember your dreams?
I would love to remember more of mine, although the more tendrils I pull out of the dream base, the more nonsense I find.
I do a lot of walking from building to building, making my way through warehouses, offices with eternal hallways, crossing city streets, and back through theaters and more underground buildings. I do a lot of “boss” dreaming, too, past and present, in offices I’ve never seen in my life. Strange people show up in my dreams, often TV or movie types, people I’ve often never given second thought to. I also still dream of my mom, although she’s been on the other side for 30 years.
Of course, weirdness is relative. I’ve seen godzillas in the distance but never a unicorn. I’ve flown and jumped off buildings and been able to take giant bounces down the street but have never gone to another planet. I write a lot of time travel stories, but I have yet to dream about going back in time.
In other words, I don’t encounter my daytime daydreams in my nighttime ones.
Maybe on some level that’s a good thing. Not being able to distinguish dreams from daydreams might be the first step to insanity. And I’m already a deal off-kilter.
But then, that would lead to quite an interesting writing career. Wasn’t Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft a bit on the “eccentric” side? (see http://brainz.org/10-writers-who-were-mentally-disturbed/ for a little eye opener).
I wonder what Stephen King or Dean Koontz dream about?
Maybe I don’t want to see where those tendrils go…