On A Beach

embalmed with denigration

drowning in clichés

paralyzed with expectations

frustrated by delays

 

harpooned with envy

mesmerized by guilt

sucked into disappointment

sunken in the silt

 

riding all the waves

hoping in belief

searching for the way

getting stuck on a beach

 

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An Uplifting Dream

Last night’s dream felt so uplifting and positive. I remember taking off my shirt and having my abdomen suddenly beginning muscular, showing off an eight pack. Suddenly, everyone was looking at me in admiration. I’m usually withdrawn and self-effacing, but I was happy for the attention and accepted it with grace.

As marvelous as that was, a woman suddenly sought me . I vaguely knew and recognized her. She said that she was back to get a story from me, fulfilling a promise she’d made a few years before.

Delighted, I was completely taken back by the unexpected request. I wasn’t aware of any promise, but I wasn’t about to question it and scrambled through my files for something.

Nothing was ready. I confessed to her, “I’m sorry, but I don’t have anything ready.”

She said, “Do you have anything that you think is promising?”

“Yes, yes, I have many things partially begun or sketched out.”

“Pick one.”

I returned to my files and began searching. “Okay, I think I have one in mind.”

As I continued searching, she said, “How soon can you get it ready?”

“I’m not sure. It’s going to take some time and work.”

“Get it ready. Finish it. I’m waiting for you.”

The end.

Well, cool. Amazing how something as unexplained as a nocturnal dream can feel so empowering, infusing me with positive energy while it shunts negative energy away.

 

April Showers 1921

I wrote about a new novel that came to me in a dream the other night (“Spinning Up”). One unmentioned aspect was the newly conceived novel’s cover. I saw it in the dream. The cover felt and looked so real and substantial to me that I was nonplussed. The title, April Showers 1921, was embossed gold letters on a silver cover. It seemed so real that I looked up the title to determine if that book already existed. Without surprise, I found songs, books, and short stories called April Showers, but none had the 1921 addition, and none featured silver and gold covers. I seem safe with it.

I’ve worked on April Showers 1921 some since dreaming about it, fleshing out characters, setting, and writing some scenes, but I didn’t throw myself into it. After two days of that, I wondered, why not? I realized that indecision caused by my greatest weakness, over-analysis, was paralyzing me once again.

It’s a familiar scenario. I overthink something. That drains my resources, and I stop making progress until I resolve what I’m overthinking.

Naturally, this paralysis is all founded on a writing issue, specifically — this time — finding an agent for the Incomplete States series. I think I’ve identified several potential agents. I narrowed my search to one lucky agent. I’ve written a synopsis and query letter. That’s where I stopped.

The Incomplete States series employs several styles. In terms of recent books, it reminds me of Cloud Atlas. My series science-fiction infused, but its mostly literary, except the first novel has a science-fiction military noir feel to it. Fantasy flares strong in another book, while yet another has the sensibility of historic fiction.

Yes, I enjoy genre B&B – bending and blending – whether I’m reading or writing it.

On a side note, the great and all-knowing Internet says, don’t mention any of the rest of the series when seeking representation and publication of the first book.

For grins, I hunted down the rejection records for successful writers. I’ve followed this path before, so it’s very familiar to me.

J.K. Rowling. Her Harry Potter series was rejected twelve times, you know. Dr. Suess was rejected twenty-seven times before he found a publisher willing to take a chance on his Cat in the Hat book. The author of  The Martian, Andy Weir, had given up on being published, but kept writing and self-published. When The Martian found success, publishers came running. Kathryn Stockett, The Help, was rejected over sixty times. Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time, had twenty-six rejections. Catch-22, Joseph Heller, twenty-two rejections. Twenty for William Goldberg, The Lord of the Flies. Carrie, by Stephen King, was rejected thirty times. Pretty amazing was that Still Alice, by Lisa Genova, experienced over one hundred rejections. After she self-published and had success, publishers came calling, and her novel was made into a movie starring Julianne Moore, who won an Oscar for her performance.

There was also Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita, over five times, and Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, rejected one hundred twenty-one times.

Reading about these rejections is invigorating and inspiring. You gotta have hope, optimism, belief, and determination. You gotta keep writing for the love of writing.

Writing about my paralysis cleared matters up and broke the log jam. (I now have a featured image of logs floating through my mind.) I’m ready to submit. (Ha, ha, I love how that can have multiple meanings.) All they can do is say no, right?

The day is full of promise. I got my coffee. Time to submit, and then write and edit like crazy, at least one more time.

Good Things

He admired his pile of shiny copper pennies. All were minted this year, removed from circulation when they found his hand.

Counting his shiny pennies, he made neat little stacks of ten, and then admired the stacks.

Such pennies, so shiny and new, had to mean good luck. He had sixty-four of them. One for each year of his life.

He grinned. Good things were coming his way.

Some Dreams

I spy little dreams

secreted behind the schemes

coming and going today

 

Little dreams

hiding in the dark

fearing the people

that break them apart

 

Some dreams

aren’t meant to be

but who could say which one

 

Some dreams 

are down to essentials

like

I just want to live

and find love

A Rising Dream

When I awoke from this dream, I held the last scenes in my mind’s hands and thought, wow, that was empowering.

Only snippets of dream fragments come to mind now. I remember struggling and coping through a morass of frustration and weariness. I don’t know the specifics of that dream’s chapter, but then I started rising. I grew taller, bigger, and stronger. I knew and felt that in the dream. As I did, I took control, because up where I was, I could see how everything connected, and how the mechanics and leverage worked. Up there, I could tell others where to find answers or how to see things. I kept growing until I was a giant. Then I used my fingers to move and show things, and help others. The last piece was that I, as a giant, was showing a young girl where something fit. By that point, the world appeared to be an enormous periodic table to me and I told her, “Forty across, and eight down.” It was then I woke.

The dream wasn’t a great surprise. Just as I fall into dark airless abysses or find myself in caves or tunnels about every twenty-five or -six days, I find myself rising, too, feeling invincible and empowered. When the dark side comes down on me, I hunker down and endure. I’m grateful when the light side lifts me up, re-igniting my hopes and optimism.

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