The Business Trip Dream

I was working with someone from RL. They weren’t my boss or in my chain but was a director. They came to me and said, “Hey, Mike, I’d like you to come with me on a business trip.” (He always called me Mike, when I’m one of those who goes by Michael.) I was surprised, a little flattered. He explained briefly that we were going to corporate headquarters. Then, we were side by side walking with our luggage, then, poof, we were there. Now it gets crazy.

I was wearing business casual but I’d brought a suit for some serious meetings. First I checked in. I disovered that my room, a large space with several beds, no closets but racks for clothes, and a large bathroom seemed to already be occupied. I thought that a little strange but guessed it was due to budget cutbacks. As I unpacked my clothes and hastened out go to meetings, a young woman dressed in shorts and halter tops.

After an awkward silence, I approached her and mentioned that I’d been assigned this room. Yes, she replied, she lived here. I clarified that she wasn’t just staying in the room for a meeting; no, she lived here with her co-worker. He arrived then, and we exchanged names. Then they started talking about their business while she took out an ironing board and iron and ironed clothes.

Outside, I discovered that I should be wearing a suit for this meeting, because I’d been in the same clothes for two days. Knowing I was due to be here three more days, I went back to the room. The other two weren’t there. I pulled out my suit. It had huge wrinkles on it. I found the iron but couldn’t fine the ironing board. Impatiently, I decided that I didn’t need it and dried ironing my suit on the bed. It wasn’t going well. As it progressed, the guy returned and watched me while he did other things. His presence flustered me.

After ironing it, I dropped my suit into a muddy puddle. Yes, our room’s floor was suddenly a pot-holed, cracked piece of asphalt. Trying to get mud off that part of the suit, I dipped another section and muddied it. I now discovered that I was doing this outside. It was cold and icy. My roommates came by and asked why I was ironing my suit outside. As I struggled to reply, they mentioned how strange it was to see someone wearing a suit. Neither of them ever wore one.

Dream end.

A Witnessing Dream

I, and another man, were rushing down the street through clear, sunny weather, eager to get to work. Each of us were on the sidewalk. He was ahead of me. The road and sidewalks were wide, and well-maintained. There was no other traffic.

Another friend, an elderly and short retired doctor who often reminds me of a garden gnome (except he never smokes a pipe, and he’s more slender than your typical garden gnome) was rushing head-on toward another friend.

Garden gnome wasn’t in a car. The other friend was in a red car, but it was like a cartoon car. I could see into it.

Watching them close on one another (with garden gnome hailing them and grinning), I thought, they’re both going too fast. They’re going to crash.

They did.

I slowed to watch, worrying and expecting many of the standard things seen in a high-speed crash. The two came together but the one in the car was ejected straight into garden gnome. They both slid down the street hundreds of feet, coming to rest in an intersection.

Oh, no, I thought. There’s traffic. They’re going to be run over.

The garden gnome stood, grinning, unfazed, astonishing me. The other was also unhurt. Collecting herself, she hurried away as the garden gnome tried to speak with her.

Reassured (but astonished) that they were okay, I carried on. Getting to work, I encountered the garden gnome. We exchanged insights about what’d happened. We were laughing about it, since he was okay. I was enthralled by the slide he’d taken. It’d been monumental. I’d never seen anything like that before. He was still interested in talking to the other person, the woman, he said, but she was avoiding him. Then, seeing her, he rushed off again, calling her as he went.

I continued on to work but then was hurrying down the sidewalk along the street again, eager to get to work. The garden gnome was racing toward another friend. She was in a car. He wasn’t. They were weirdly like a video game.

I thought, I just saw this happen. Is it going to happen again?

It did. They crashed together. She was ejected. They slid along the road together.

The crash had been greater than before, sending debris into every direction. I rued not checking on them the previous time, so this time I went back to check on them. Both were fine. Each rushed off after reassuring me of that.

Well, that baffled the hell out of me. In the dream, I thought, I witnessed the same accident twice. Do these things happen in threes? Will there be a third?

Then I was called to work, except work was over, or that phase that’d been going on. We were continuing on to another phase.

Two distinguished and accomplished people were ahead of me. Still, outside, we were all heading toward a checkpoint. We needed to get past the checkpoint to continue. Some events were planned for the other side.

Each of us was carrying a large piece of something. I’m not sure if mine was a large stained wood object or bread to look like stained-wood. It was huge, requiring me to stretch my arms out, and slowed me a little.

One of the people, tall and mustached, wore an expensive but old-fashioned trench coat. I could tell by looking at it. The other, a younger woman, treated him with diffidence. He was talking, and they were strolling.

I was catching up with them. As I neared them, I heard him make a comment to that nature. Then he saw me and stopped.

We were going up a grassy green slope toward the checkpoint. The man, while trying to be blase, said that they should hurry so that I didn’t arrive for them. He upped their pace. I upped mine. Despite my larger burden, I got there first, pleased, triumphant, and sweaty.

“Did you wash it?” I was asked by the short, plump agent, as I looked back at the others. They remained a distance away. “You’re supposed to at least rinse it off. You guys never rinse them off.”

I didn’t know what she was talking about. I tried telling her, “It looks fine to me.” Waving that off, she escorted me to one of the tables set up for inspection as this transpired. Three tables were set up. Two other agents were present. So, they should be able to handle us in parallel, I thought as the other two arrived with their loads. I tried and failed to see what they carried.

My agent diddled and fussed without seeming to do anything. I knew, oh, they’re deliberately slowing me down. I wasn’t affronted nor outraged, but accepting, okay, slow me down here, others have more urgent needs (read, egos), and I can burst ahead once I get past these gatekeepers. I tried looking ahead to see what was next so that I could plan my actions. While I did, the other two slipped by me and went on, barely scrutinized, confirming my impression of what was going on.

The dream ended.

 

The Wait

I write on a laptop, typing and editing as I go. It has its bennies and shortcomings. For instance, you ever become so excited to write and edit, so looking forward to getting started that the muses are singing in your head and their energy is coursing in your blood vessels? But then you must turn…on…the…computer….

Then…open…the…program…

Then…open…the…document…

And…it…seems…to…take…about…two…million…years..?

Exasperating.

I am exaggerating. It doesn’t take two million years, but rather about three minutes, what with the things that are done automatically on startup, like Internet connections and security software updates. It just feels like a looonnnggg three minutes.

But it’s all open now. I have fresh coffee at hand. Time to write and edit like crazy, at least one more time.

Drum Roll

Do you ever seem to wait literally forever (right, no hyperbole or exaggeration here) for something like pizza or an ATM delivering your cash, so you begin a drum roll, because it seems apropos?

No? Is it just me, then? Are you implying that I’m impatient?

The Winding Road

As the current sub-plot and story line of my work in progress winds along like a leisurely country drive, I curb impatience to be done. If I had to describe myself, impatient is a word I’d consistently employ. I’m continuously monitoring and struggling with my impatient urges to be done, to move on, to get there, to get finished, etc.

Today, motoring through the scenes I planned to write, I realized that I wasn’t as close to being finished with the work in progress that I’d hoped and believed. I’m enjoying writing it. It’s weird to say that it’s a leisurely write, because I write several thousand words a day (knock on wood – don’t want to scare off the muses), and edit it every day. Yes, I’m a writer that edits as I go, because my writing is an organic garden in progress, and requires constant attention. I usually edit the volume in progress (number four), but sometimes jump back and edit the others. They’re all beta, and will require more work when they’re done before they’re finished.

I want this series done so I can go on to other books that I’ve begun or planned. One is from a story idea a fan sent me. “What can you do with this concept?” she asked. Answering her, I ended up writing about forty pages. I stumbled across it last night, and enjoyed what I read, and remembered what else was planned, and I feel like I owe her to finish it.

The second project that I want to continue is the third novel in my Life Lessons mystery series. Readers of the first two books have asked several times, “When is the third one coming out?” Soon, I promise, as soon as I finish this work in progress. I’d written five chapters of it before getting distracted by the current concept, and read some of that last night, and remembered, “Oh, yes, there’s so much to write here.” I had several more sequels planned in the series and had a broad outline of that developed. And, as I write this fourth volume of the current WIP, a fifth volume keeps tugging on my sleeve.

Not enough time, you know? Those are just a few of the dozen items in the writing bucket. But, c’est le vie, this is the writing life.

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

The Major Dream

The Major had a hole in his head.

It wasn’t a hole, like a hole in a sheet of paper, but a hole, like a hole in the yard that the dog had dug.

The hole took up the left half of the Major’s face. His eye protruded out without any bones to support it. But it was a clean hole, shored up inside, and smooth.

I noticed the Major, Holder by name, Army by service, when I was sent over to him.

I’d been queuing with thousands of others in a writhing river of uniformed personnel. We were preparing to go. I don’t know where. Dressed for battle, I was geared up. I, oddly, was the only one with a helmet. I’d brought my own. Others awaited someone to issue them a helmet, and many were complimentary of me that I’d had the foresight to bring my own helmet.

We finally started moving. I was impatient, as I always am. Irritation grew as I awaited movement and direction. Someone from the middle of people called, “You, with the helmet. Where you going?”

Figuring he meant me, the question and tone pushed my buttons. I was instantly pissed. Shoving through the stream, which rapidly made way for me, I went to the man who called, and stated in a hard voice – the one my teams knew so well from me – “I’m Master Sergeant Seidel.”

The man beamed at me. “Good. Here.” He thrust a piece of paper in my hand. “Take this and go over there.”

Mollified, but puzzled, I did as bid after a moment, and discovered myself in a waiting area. That’s where I met the tall and slender, good-humored Major Holder. Gray-haired and lightly tanned, he wore green fatigues and had no gear, but he was in charge of something. He addressed me, telling me to wait. I wanted to know what I was waiting for, but he turned away.

Others arrived. They began complaining about the impositions they were facing, like me, bothered by the long wait, lack of activity, and general chaos. They started complaining about how bad they had it, noting small injuries, injustices, and frustration.

“What’s wrong with you?” I asked them. “There’s a man over here who’s missing half of his face from this war. He’s not complaining.”

They were, of course, words that chastised me, too. But Major Holder, always patient and good-humored, turned and said, “Don’t worry. It’s nothing at all.”

Sour Grapes, Writing Ed.

Yeah, it’s like, bleah. Like work. Ugh.

Published Road Lessons with Savanna this week. It acquired the attention an elephant bestows on an ant. Anxiety and conflicts arise. Depression. Acceptance, the need to be patient, the requirement to market the book. It takes time, I tell myself, and scream back, “Time? Time?” Because time, you know, stirs fear, impatience, anxieties, as I await time’s passage. Time can be a right cruel bully.

That’s my background moodiness as I return to copy-editing Everything Not Known today. A quarter million words, seven hundred plus pages. I have completed editing on seven chapters. 21,000 words.

Oh, boy. This is going to take forever.

Forever? Could you be exaggerating?

Trying to encourage myself, I say, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

“Shut up, you moron,” I answer. “Keep your platitudes to yourself.”

I enjoy the novel, which is good, happy news, even, as it was written with me in mind as the audience. That’s the only audience I understand, so I kowtow to me and my taste. I’ve tried writing and editing to others’ preferences but their guidance, feedback, and input, is confusing and conflicting. So, responding with great insight and maturity, I replied, “Whatever,” and write for myself.

The snarky corner of me notes with withering contempt, “Who do you expect to read your book if you write if for yourself, you marketing moron?”

Ready for that query, I tell myself, “Good to hell.” So there.

Enjoying the novel does help copy-editing it, but this isn’t my favorite pastime, so I chaff, complain and offer childish whines about what I’m doing and most do. Intellectually, I know, yeah, this must be done, and this, too, shall pass, and other pithy, worn encouraging sentiments. Intellectually, I can see into myself and see all the nuances of living and existing irritating me and the ridiculousness of my complaints.Intellectually, I know enough of myself to know it’s part of my cycles of spirit, attitudes and emotions to drift into the dark side. I know I’ll emerge from it in a few days.

Intellectually, I know it’s all human nature.

Intellectually, I still tell myself to go to hell. Then I drink the coffee, take a deep breath, and play a game.

Then I go to work.

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