Thursday, February 09, 2006

LS: The Writing Life is Such a Dream

I woke up this morning 45 minutes before the alarm was due to broadcast its utter annoyance into an otherwise perfect setting: darkness, the noise of my beloved fan, warm blankets, my pillow.
Rarely do I awaken to an alarm. A few months ago a switch up occured at our house. The kids came down to the kitchen before school one morning and a hushed yet resonant voice from nowhere said, "The part of Morning Mom will now be played by Dad."

This morning, however, Will sprung out of bed at 5:15 to go meet a friend in our faith community, so it was up to me to bravely proceed into that hideous space of dark, early morning.

Now all that means little. I just wanted to pad things a bit, something you don't want to do in a novel. Considering this post concerns a dream I had about writing, the aforementioned doesn't matter. I figure the best way for anybody to learn is to see real life examples of what not to do.

In short: I was in that on-again off-again stage of sleep and in the final on-again stage, I found myself at a table in a hotel complex restaurant, complete with patty melts, fries, club sandwiches, chips and coconut creme pie . . . and Robin Jones Gunn, Athol Dickson, Melody Carlson, Angie Hunt and Janelle Burnham Schneider. The decor was yellow.

We were all having a lovely time, them waiting for a bus to take them onto better, cooler things, me still staying at the hotel. (And it sure doesn't take a rocket science to interpret that part, does it?)All of a sudden, this man appears who is with some publishing house or other. He's actually a character actor you'd surely recognize but can I remember a single thing he's been in?


And this fellow takes it upon himself to start talking about The Church Ladies.

"You know, it's ratio of 'description to other' is extremely low."

By description to other, he meant 'real happening' to 'inner dialogue'. I just sort of knew that in the dream.

He cleared his throat. "Yes. By my calculations, there's only one word per chapter of 'other' in The Church Ladies. That's just too low. Too . . . slow."


Of course, I'm sitting there defending myself like a kid caught shoplifting at the BP Mini-Mart, my words tumbling over themselves. He stuck to his guns, pulling out Songbird for reference.
And thank you, God, the bus pulled up. And there they went. And I was wondering how I was going to carry two computers, a stack of books Angie left behind, loose papers and more books.

The alarm went off.

Now what could be the point of all this? I'll tell you. If you're already a published novelist with the hope of future contracts, it's too late for you. You're probably already having these dreams.

If you're aspiring to be a published novelist . . . GET OUT WHILE THERE'S STILL TIME! Or you too will be privy to these angst-pitted dreams for the rest of your life.

Unless . . .

That's got me thinking. Anybody want to go in on a lottery ticket with me? We might just be
able to blow this popsicle stand yet!

lisa samson is still bucking against the tide and writing anyway. She's sick that way. Find her thoughts at Find her books at Find her in Lexington KY.


At 8:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll bet I ordered the coconut cream pie . . .

LOL, Lisa! You're right, I have all kinds of crazy dreams and sometimes even edit in my sleep!


At 8:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That dream you had, Lisa? I was the bag lady trolling for newspapers in the bin behind you.


At 9:34 AM, Blogger Patricia Hickman said...

Gosh, I still have that same dream of not being able to open my high school locker. Or hiding in a bush naked. Judging that, I'm about as deep as a paper towel.

At 10:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You carry Angie's books for her in your dream too?

Jack Cavanaugh

At 11:35 AM, Blogger lisa said...

Angie!!!! Stop this! Jack and I have our own books, okay?

At 12:02 PM, Blogger Katy said...

Hilarious, Lisa! I have yet to publish a novel, but frequently have author-laden dreams. I blogged recently about dreaming of Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, Diann Hunt, and Deb Raney. They were survivalists in my dream, and darned good ones, too. I carried their guns.
Katy Raymond

At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sell lottery tickets at a BP gas station. We had a refrigerator with popsicles, too, but my bosses blew that.

At 7:22 PM, Blogger Camy Tang said...

I'm not published and I already have weird dreams. Is there no hope? I thought that was normal writer symptoms. I usually dream that I'm some sort of spy just about to be caught.

At 7:38 AM, Blogger lisa said...

Michael, I'm on my way!


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