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.

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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.

More Cars in A Dream

A hard rain pelted the road and darkened the sky.

We had three cars. All were Porsches: a 924S, 944, and 944 Turbo.

All were red.

I was driving on a four lane highway with a median strip of dark green grass in the middle, like an Interstate. I drove the 924S. The road was empty except the three Porsches.

This is where the weirdness begins. I was driving the car, but I was looking down on it from about one hundred feet above it. I could see all three cars, and I could see through them. While I was driving, and they were driving, the drivers and I were all talking as though we were in a room together.

I was telling the others that the 924S was more capable than they realized because of its light weight, and that while the original 924 didn’t have much power, the later 924S had power and excellent handling. To demonstrate it, I drove the 924S around the other two Porsches as we went down on a hill, into a sweeping turn, and up a hill.

1983-porsche-944-white-wallpaper-8
Porsche 944

“You’re right,” one other driver said, and the second driver said, “I didn’t realize it had so much power.”

So ended the dream.

I dream often about cars, especially high performance sports cars, and especially Porsches. Porsches captivated me as a child. First, I loved the Jaguar E Type roader, and then the Chevrolet Corvette, and then the Porsche 911S. Porsches became more dominant in racing, with the 908 and 917 variants arising, so I embraced them with greater fervor. Porsches came to mean performance, success, and style.

I’ve twice dreamed about Porsches in 2018 and wrote about the dreams, calling each dream, “The Porsche Dream”. In each, I’d won, or was advancing, and was thrilled. In this one, I was demonstrating a capability that others didn’t know about.

So, good or bad, right or wrong, hopeful or silly, I take this dream as something positive.

 

A Dream So Powerful

Last night’s main dream started out exhausting. I think of it as the main dream because I seem to recall snippets of other dreams. I know from other times that I often have several dreams that I remember in a night.

This one was the last dream of the night. I know that because I awoke from it, and it was morning. Like many recent dreams, chaos flushed the first part. I found myself in a crowd. It was extremely noisy. Everyone was walking, including me, but anxiety suffused me from a dozen different issues. First, I panicked about having my laptop with me. Then, after a weird struggle of turning around and looking for it, I discovered I was carrying a bag. Stepping to one side, I opened the bag and confirmed my laptop was inside.

One problem was solved, but now I worried about the date and time. I started walking again, but I seemed to be walking against the stream of people. Making eye contact with others, I asked them, “What time is it,” or “What’s the date?” Some answered, but I couldn’t understand or hear the answers.

That cranked my anxiety to higher levels. Around that time, I found myself at a crossroads between several corridors. Walls and windows were on either side. I realized that I was in an airport. It shocked me that I was in an airport without knowing it. Then I remembered that I’d flown in. Knowing that, I realized I needed to get my bags and leave the airport.

Nothing made sense in the airport, though. The signs seemed contradictory, and it was more crowded and noisier than before. People jostled me and ran into me, pissing me off. Somehow, I found the baggage area, got my bags, and left.

I needed to go to a hotel. I thought it was close and decided to walk. With a hot, humid, and sunny day outside, I was soon sweat covered. My feet hurt, and I was tired and thirsty. I also wasn’t sure where I was going, stopping to look at signs several times. I remember thinking, I wish I had a map, and I remember thinking about setting up my computer and trying to get online to find where I was.

I didn’t do that, though. I kept deciding which way to to and walking. Eventually, I realized that I was close to the ocean, and that’s where my hotel was. That excited me and gave me new hope. Seeing a sign for the beach, I went that way.

The beach wasn’t busy. It was flat, with white sand, and a bright blue sea. Walking toward the crashing waves with my luggage, I reveled in the smell, sight, and sound, and then stopped to enjoy it. There was a large rock off the coast about a hundred yards. I thought I recognized from my travels, but I couldn’t place it.

Looking back, I noticed a man in a black suit with a white shirt and a blue tie step onto the beach. I thought it was strange beach apparel, and that a suit was too hot for this weather. No one else was on the beach, so I wondered what he was doing.

I realized he was coming toward me. His approach made me anxious. I didn’t know him or what he wanted. Coming close, he called me by name, and said, “I’m glad I found you. We’re ready to start.”

“Okay,” I answered.

He took my luggage but I kept my laptop. “Is it far?” I asked.

“No, it’s just up here, around the corner,” he said.

I felt good because that meant that I’d been going in the right direction even though I’d been clueless.

We went around the corner of a building. I realized it was my hotel. But we didn’t go there, which surprised me. Without saying anything, the man in the suit led me across the street. People were lined up by a building. As I approached, some clapped. That confused me, and then some engaged me. I realized from talking with a few and looking around that they had a book that I’d authored, and were talking to me about it. They wanted me to sign it. So I stopped and started signing books and talking to people.

The man in the suit tried interceding. “We should go inside,” he told me. “It’s time to start.”

Apologizing to the people, I followed him, and then woke up.

Surprise and confusion filled me when I woke up. I knew where I was, but I didn’t think I should be there. Sitting up, I looked for my laptop bag, panicking when I didn’t see it, and then sought the man in the suit. As I didn’t see him, either, I realized that I’d been dreaming.

It astonished me because it felt so real. After thinking about it, I decided, what a hopeful, wishful dream.

Monday’s Theme Music

Rattle and Hum is an album I favor listening to, although it’s second to The Joshua Tree among my U2 album’s of choice. I found myself streaming and humming “Desire” today, so I thought I’d spilled it out to others. The song’s lyrics touches on how greed and love can become entangled, and reminds me of how often the desire to be wanted confuses the need to be love and be loved. It’s a fever, an addiction, a promise, and a reward.

Sometimes, it’s just a damn hope.

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