“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt
A lot has happened to me over the past few weeks, and none of it involves my writing, sad to report.
Until last night, that is.
Before I shut my eyes and went to sleep last night, and for weeks prior, life came at me in all directions -- with zero good intentions.
I finally started back to work as a substitute teacher and Para-Pro after sinking a ton of money into my car only to have said car die on me again.
Well, it isn't dead, just brake trouble.
But, the real trouble with the brakes is that I sunk a majority of money into having them fixed the first time, so why all of a sudden is there a line leak?
It says so right on the work order: check lines for leaks.
New pads, new rotors, checked for leaks.
The guy who did the initial work gave me that smug, "It ain't me!" look and then proceeded to claim it would cost about $2,000 to fix because of corrosion.
I took back my car, went to a local Hardware store and bought a small bottle of brake fluid, tipped off the right box under the hood, and the brakes work just fine now.
I've also had two sinus infections within a few months of each other, and this time it is a doozie.
Not just my nose but also my ears, eyes, and throat are also affected.
Still trying to figure out if it is because I'm surrounded by cruddy kiddies all day, cooped up inside overheated classrooms with dry, dirty air blowing through antiquated registers, or if it might be the weather, which has been dismal, dreary, WET, cold, windy, and gray since mid October.
Probably a crud-combo of both, eh?
So, while the car is on the mend and so am I, it afforded me the chance to take some time off to recuperate mentally, physically, and yes, even spiritually.
While cuddled up in my jammies with hot tea, chicken soup, and my Kindle, I've been reading a lot more than usual, sleeping much more (or, should I say with more quality), and being allowed to daydream without having to worry that some snot-nosed 4-year old will dash out of the room with his pants down around his ankles to make me look like someone I'm definitely not.
Para-Pro's generally look after high-risk and Autistic children, so the above scenario is not only possible, it actually happened to me on two occasions.
And, no, I wasn't daydreaming at the time.
Let me Tell you About my Dream
“Dreams are the touchstones of our characters.” ― Henry David Thoreau
I know, Mr. Thoreau means our personal selves, but it still somewhat applies to my post topic.
For a few years now, I've been working on a 4-part Fantasy Romance, and in all that time I've managed to figure out the main characters, their personalities, their dilemmas, and even their eventual romances.
What I haven't done is complete a single first-draft on any of the novels, which are still floating around inside my head and do tend to crop up at the most unexpected moments in the daytime.
Until last night.
Last night, in the dead of sleep, I was physically transported to one of the story ideas, and it was the most fascinating, amazing times I've ever had in my life.
It was real, it was touchable, and it was even audible.
I could actually hear the voices of my characters as they spoke to one another, argued among themselves, and even as they fought a minuscule battle that was immediately interrupted by the h's father -- a fierce King ruling a big realm on a distant planet -- which I happened to be standing on in this dream.
It was the only thing I could say to myself while in dreamland.
"I remember this part, and how I couldn't decide precisely how to get these giant robotic things to cease fire before anyone got hurt or was killed."
Then I saw the H in the story, still as handsome and clueless as ever, brand new to this far-off planet and still struggling to take it all in while wrestling with not only his mother's death but his having just learned of her being an alien.
Then his mother begs him to fly her to a mountain range northwest of his Talkeetna home.
As the two make their way up a snowy mountain path, she confesses to her only son about her reason for being on Earth, and that she wishes to return after her death.
He's shocked, but more about her claiming to be dying than anything else.
He'd always known something was strange about not just his mother but his parent's quiet relationship, the seemingly major age difference between her and his father, who died ten years ago an old man while his mother remained the same.
He'd been able to sense things prior to their occurring, and his ability to deflect objects was something he'd needed time and patience to tame as well as conceal.
He certainly didn't want his mother to die, though, and he definitely didn't want her to vanish into thin air, leaving no trace of herself for him to mourn afterwards.
She collapses against her son and the two end up on the snowy ground, he holding her close to his chest and shedding tears while she smiles and weakly tells the rest of her sad, somewhat terrifying tale of woe, abandonment for the sake of the realm, and a stubborn determination to have her way.
He had always noticed a faint red glow surrounding his mother, and now that red glow had changed to an alarming green.
"If all is well where I'm from," she tells him, clinging to his strong arm, "They'll come for you. Don't be afraid. Your rightful place is with them as their ruler."
He's confused and angry and still determined to keep the woman alive when he notices dark figures appear out of nowhere to surround them.
There isn't enough time to rise up, much less protest when darkness cloaks him, and in another instant, he's on another planet.
Of course, there's more to the story, and I did manage to get a bit farther than that in a rough draft that never met completion.
That was a few years ago, though, so to have the dream hit me as it did, out of nowhere and with such vivid clarity, was a complete shock to my system and made me not want to awaken.
Which probably explains why I am so overly tired today.
As a writer, it is impossible NOT to have daydreams about some of the weirdest, most impractical things imaginable.
As a writer, it isn't uncommon for us to overhear a mundane conversation but have a single word or sentence send us off on some fantastic journey inside our minds.
What IS uncommon, I think, is for me to be so ill-equipped to handle two things at once as not to be able to work outside the home AND write when I return.
Since I began this substituting position last spring, I have barely written a word of anything, save my Inigo novel, which I was pretty close to scrapping after repeated remarks about Tell.
My admittedly scathing review of a very popular author's SEAL romance novel does make me feel better about myself as a writer.
I am learning to trust myself as a writer and to believe in myself as a writer.
My writing may just be different from the common herd, that's all, but it certainly isn't bad writing in any way, shape, or form.
I've read enough bad writing to know it is true.
So, now my goal is to teach myself how to do two things at once and believe that I can concentrate on work with the wee ones during the day and work with the make-believe ones after dark.
Some of you out there have admitted to writing more than one story at the same time, and I commend you.
Some of us do have more than one idea simmering at the same time, and some of us are capable of drafting more than one novel at a time.
I do have several of my own in my Writing folder.
When the idea strikes, I begin to write what is going on inside my head so I don't forget, or the urge to write that story is so great that nothing else matters.
Until the urge fades and I either lose interest, ideas, or stamina.
Or all three, which is where I currently reside... a kind of Writer's Limbo, I think.
I'm dead due to lack of writing in general, but I'm not in writer's heaven or hell.
If I take the dream literally, to mean SOMEone is trying to get me back behind the keyboard, then it was one powerful shove by one powerful source.
Vivid dreams are rare (for me) but surprisingly lasting.
It isn't likely I'll forget the dream any time soon, so writing what I experienced is probably a good idea.
And, I'll be sure to keep you posted on my progress.