Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

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Posted by shannonclark on June 22, 2002

Dreams and Mosquitoes oh my oh my.

Last night, well to be fully truthful, this morning as I did not get to bed until almost five, I had a very cool dream, one that I hope will come true some day. Now, if only I could remember the full details…

In the dream, I was having a meal with a bunch of people, including a publisher. The publisher had somehow seen some chapters of a book that I was writing and decided to buy a whole series from me, for a very large advance. Okay, so this is truly a dream, but it was so much fun in the dream, and whats more, there was something in there that I do hope to use – and the idea of selling the book(s) well thats a bonus.

I really should be in the habit of keeping a computer or at least a notebook near my bed for nights (or days) such as today. In the dream I went through a very complexly imagined series, not at all like either of the novels I am in fact currently working on. Even the overall tone of what I can recall seeing of my writing in the dream was not the style that I have been using (which may be my subconcious telling me to consider some changes in my writing?)

It was just such a cool dream, and so unlike what my dreams have been for many years – which is why I make note of it.

In part I am sure it because I have been hanging around so many writers, which is a very good thing, but it is also a mental shift for me to dream about myself.

Perhaps this is unique to me, but I do not generally dream about myself (okay, we’re leaving aside waking fantasies for the moment) – rather my dreams tend to be mini-movies with complex stories, often multiple characters and almost always camera angles – that is, my dreams tend not to be from the perspective of one character but tend to be of movies or stories happening to someone else – very rarely at least in the past few years – have I dreamt dreams specifically and clearly about myself.

Also, my dreams do not normally include my friends, but this dream did (I won’t however name names) – my friends were there and offered congrats etc in the course of the dream.

My thoughts have been turning towards not just finding time to write, but actually thinking about what I am writing and why I am writing it. I know that within me there are many stories to tell, that I can string words together (and even sometimes thoughts), that I have perspectives and views that are unique (and hopefully interesting), and that I should be able to distill from the readings that I have done and liked a sense of how to create and tell stories that people will want to read and experience.

I also know that my interests being what they are, that I will probably cross genres and mediums in the course of creating and telling my stories – I tend to think in a very visual manner, though my writings may not always do my visions justice, so I know that I will want to create not just stories or books, but also visual versions of these tales – whether that means plays, tv shows, or movies I am not certain.

In a great conversation I had last night with a friend we talked about writing and many other things. She suggested to me that an advantage of mastering short stories is that they offer a means of getting quick feedback and input – that over time getting multiple feedbacks on many short stories will help point to your blind spots and problem areas on which you should work. This is not something I had considered before, but then I have been writing into a vacumn for the past many years – most of what I have written has been unread by anyone (if you are interested in reading some of it, drop me an email) – this is very much like working without a net.

On the other hand however, there are some large sections of my writings which have been read by many people over the past few years – these are my letter writings, especially to online discussion groups such as Minciu Sodas where I have frequently written three or more long messages in single day. These have been read for content, not for writing quality – so the feedback has been towards my ideas and less towards how I convey them – though I do seem to have had an effect on at least some of my readers which is a very satisfying event indeed.

My impulse also is to write to tell somewhat complex stories, usually stories that I myself do not know until I complete them, that is, I set up the scene and the characters, but then in my writing I am learning what will happen and who the characters are – the times when I have had a plan of what I want to cover I have found my energy for writing much diminished.

Tonight I think that I will write for a few hours at the Starbucks near my house (perhaps also while doing a few loads of laundry – my major weekend chore, though I may do that tomorrow morning while preparing food for the potluck). In my writing tonight I will try to write from the impulse that inspired my dream – that is, write something (perhaps as a part of something I have already begun) that is deliberately intended to be read and sold – this is very different from my other writings which have been frequently inwardly focused and not at all clearly meant for others to read and buy.

We shall see if I can recapture the magic that I sensed in my dream.

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