Searching for the Moon

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


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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