Andre Said

As the Cats Watched

Was it a worm, a thread, a nibble, a spark? I can’t codify what it was that happened as I rushed through a few quick chores (with three cats eyeing me from comfortable curls to ensure no noisy machines were engaged). The brain was freed from thinking, and the muses thundered in with one of those OMG shots that started me laughing and saying, “Yes,” (which caused the cats to raise their heads in questioning unison).

As Thomas Weaver reminds me once in a while, many writers begin in the middle, without full awareness of what’s happening. Following the spark of a concept that flames into a story, we let the characters arrive to illuminate events and motives. As I’ve gone through those steps to create a massive arc that covers four novels (each with their own arc of discovery and story-telling) and contemplate the end (which was already written), ideas sparked (or were there loose threads that I pulled, or a worm wiggling into my imagination), showing me that I’d not completely thought out and understood the concept. Even though I’ve been writing about it since July of 2016 and there are over a million words, there was more to know and write about.

This newest addition tickles me, and I think about it with amused excitement. It has a “holy cow” aura. Such fun. And in a few minutes this morning, as the cats watched, I was reminded again how much I enjoy fiction writing, and why.

Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

Writing Time

I became a little distracted while ordering my coffee. That trite statement is an understatement. I didn’t know Sam was speaking to me. Looking inward, listening to other voices, I was experiencing the bloom of another writing concept in my head.

After ordering my coffee and paying, I drifted off with an internal sigh. This concept, too, needed to be kneed aside. I’m on the third book of a trilogy. Need to get it done, and then on to the etcetera of publishing. Once the trilogy is done, it’s back to the third of a novel in a series that’s already published. There are many more novels loaded in my mind in that series to pursue. There are finished drafts that require editing and publishing, and there are marketing needs.

Seems like no matter how much coffee I drink, there’s not enough time to write. Bummer, as I think “Mrs. Elf” could be a fun write.

Ah. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

Entangled Writing Dreams

I don’t know how to describe last night’s dreams. Many and layered, I would awake from them, think about them, and drift back into the dream, or begin a new one.

I dreamed mostly about writing. I would dream I was writing. I dreamed I saw my books on shelves in stores. I dreamed I was signing autographs. I dreamed I was holding one of my books. Of course, I was pleased, proud and delighted to experience these dreams, even as I knew they were dreams.

Then I would dream I was writing again. Some of the dreams were staples of my blog posts of catfinitions. Other times, I dreamed about novels being conceived and pondered, and the novel in progress. I wrote scenes in my dreams, awoke and thought about the scenes, and returned to dreaming and writing. At one point, I awakened from a dream with an insight into something I’d thought of before, regarding ‘the cards’, and the sequencing of them. I hadn’t been comfortable with my execution of this as originally conceived, but here it was, explained in full in my dream. “I’ll need to think about this tomorrow,” I promised myself, because I didn’t want to awaken myself by thinking.

Then, in a break from dream writing, I dreamed I was singing in Spanish. A crowd of people were gathered to hear me. I don’t know what the song was, and was surprised in the dream when I realized it was me singing Spanish, because I don’t speak nor understand Spanish. I didn’t resemble myself in the dream so much as Fernando Alonso, the twice Formula 1 World Driving Champion from Spain. He and I look nothing alike but I knew in my dream that it was me.

In the morning, feeding cats, looking out windows and mentally perusing my dreams, I saw some of it as helpful for the novel in progress and other writing being contemplated. More, though, was wishful, optimism crystallized in dreams.

***

After writing the post and thinking more, I became curious about singing in a language I didn’t know in a dream, and so I did a search. This article was found, to add another twist to the dream.

After reading the article and watching the video, a connection to what I was writing in my novel leaped into my understanding. In it, with all of its entanglements, was the entanglement of a brain coping with something irrational and attempting to apply a veneer of logical explanation. This is done by appropriating others’ memories of the history they’d learned to apply an intelligent setting, from their perspective. In the way that it all works in my novel’s setting, something that works well for one person is borrowed and applied by others as being true, and becomes the basis for the reality of ‘now’ shared to create our impression of our lives.

Fun stuff, and a h/t to my dream brain and Psychology Today for boasting my insights into my writing.

Sat Down to Write

I sat down to write today after a pleasing session yesterday. The baristas had gifted me an extra espresso sized serving mocha in addition to my standard QSM. I sipped it down, delighting in the melange of mingling flavors, and I remembered 

A new character’s name is Ckyl. Came to me last night.

A scene I wrote in my head about the starship, River Styx, and its occupants and description.

And more details about tachyon syndrome.

Changes to Chor. I’d focused on sex and sexual preferences and choosing or accepting sexual identities, but I’d not considered some of the other matters available to my future people. So I’d overlooked that Chor is a cat person.

And Pram wonders why becoming a cat person is a popular choice. People don’t want to be dog or bird people, although he’d encountered some of them. He knew of a few who went the centaur route (with one also managing to incorporate a unicorn appearance). A small society of humans had transgened themselves into dinosaurs, and another group into dragons, and there are small knots of gnome, fairy, demon, and leprechaun peoples, but cat people were far the most popular and most frequently encountered. He was pleased, though, because he remained unique. There were a few Titans out there, and a cyclops, and a couple of Hercules pretenders, Minotaurs, Hulks, and Avatars, and super-heroes from ancient comic books, but he was the only Colossus, even after all these years.

Pram had not asked Chor about why she was a furry human Siamese with diamond blue eyes and a lazy, busy tail. Asking people about their choices is impolite.

Okay, now that I remember those things, my imagination is fired up. Time to write like crazy, one more time.

More OMG

As I walked today, I returned to a favorite concept and toyed with it. I love the concept but lacked a vehicle. Yesterday’s concept that pleased me so greatly yesterday rose up. Ah, what can I do with it?

Blink, blink. The favorite concept could be told through a sequel to Returnee. I’d been wanting to write a sequel to that – there’s more story to be told. (There always is, isn’t there?) Blink blink. And the conceptual basis of the novel could be the new, exciting concept.

Blink blink. Blink, blink, blink.

OMG, yes, the story and setting began cascading into me. Now, now, I chided myself, stay true to the current novel. It’s in progress, must be written, finished, revised, edited, polished, published, released. Yes, but, yes, but –

Yes, but crashed through. Excitement couldn’t be stopped. A first line emerged. Oh, yeah, what a wonderful first line. So I’ll write it, just it, along with, maybe just a little scene. As the setup evolved, I thought, perhaps I’ll just write a chapter.

Okay, one chapter. Just one, just, like 2,000 words.

That’s all. For now.

 

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