Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Stuck in a Dream

I have to come clean... I haven't been writing much lately. I don't just mean with the blog, I mean I haven't been working on any stories since I finished up my Bebo Author Contest submission. What's weird, the thing that has me at odds with everything, is that story ideas are starting to take over my life. I think I opened the floodgates with that last short story and I'm almost a little afraid of what keeps bubbling to the surface. I'm having the most vivid dreams, so much so that it's hard to wake up in the morning because I seem so drawn into the stories that unfold around me. It's exhausting, really, almost too much so.
In my job I do a lot of troubleshooting. It's hard and a little slow at first because I require a deep level of understanding for even the simplest of tasks. I can't be satisfied with "just because" - it just doesn't work for me. The more I absorb the easier answers seem to just come to me out of thin air. For example, and this will sound weird, the other day I was working on a migration that seemed to be fighting me the whole way through. When I first started out I would have stopped and uninstalled and then reinstalled and tried again. Now that I know so much more about how things work I pressed on. At each failure point it threw me a wrench and almost out of instinct each problem was resolved without a second thought. What was really strange is after getting it to the midway point and fixing yet another weird occurrence, I upgraded the software to the final version, when this happened the application threw an error that it could no longer attach to the database. In an instant an image flashed in my mind. It was my own writing in a notebook I had taken notes in when I first started. I distinctly saw the line of text where I had written the forgotten solution in the event that it ever popped up. I went to the config file and sure enough, there was an added line of text that I had to delete. The application worked perfectly once I made the change. The whole thing seemed a tad bit surreal and I even took a few minutes to thumb through the notebook but couldn't find that line of text through casual skimming, but I know it's there.
Time just feels so different lately. It really seems like I'm stuck somewhere between wakefulness and a dream, a very lucid dream. I don't want to scare any of you away. I'm not intentionally being weird or paranoid. There's no conspiracy theory. I just can't make the connection. If material is so handy, if ideas and plot and conflict are so easy to come by, why am I not writing? This is what has me worried the most. I should be capturing all of this creative energy, whatever the source, be it my subconscious or just a flash of creativity. Right? But I feel somewhat hesitant for some reason. I wonder if it isn't because I'm afraid that the fantasy will end if I give it an outlet, or perhaps I fear that this is something that should be more controlled?
I guess you could say that I may be a bit mistrusting. Nothing in life has ever fallen out of the sky before me, so why should it now?
Have you ever written something that was so powerful to you that it changed the way you thought about things, even just a little? I definitely feel that we make a connection with our writing that other people may never realize, that even at times we may never realize. The way we think, the way we put things together, it's all a part of who we are and what we've experienced, how we think, how we feel, how we love, and even how we hate. That's why two people will never write the same exact thing, with the same exact details. Some may be close, but they will never write like you do. You can copy style but you can't duplicate genuine thought. So the question is, is this creativity a product of things about myself that I'm ready to face? If I truly open up to whatever it is that feels so determined to surface, will I be able to handle what finally emerges?
The vivid dream I told you about the other day was about aliens harvesting memories from us, even going to the lengths of creating simulated memories, which ended up causing them some problems when they attempted to assimilate, something that they had not yet discovered. These complications were the basis for the whole thing. And like I said before, it was a very realistic dream. I can't really go into the specifics of my role in it all, because that would give away far too much of the story that I do plan to write and share.
What I remember of the dream I had last night is still a bit vague and sketchy. I forced myself to wake up so I didn't end up late for work, thus I didn't take much to time to try and remember. What I do recall is that I was the child of someone very important. This important person's fate was in question and 'the enemy forces' were drawing near. If they killed me they would win. I wanted to fight, I wanted to avenge my father. I wasn't me though, in fact, I was a girl, which I don't think has ever happened before. I mean, I've had dreams where I was someone else, but I don't recall ever being a girl in any of them. Just odd, but not a big deal. Anyway, the part of the dream I remember involved some adviser-type people trying to usher me off to safety and me trying to stand my ground to fight the oncoming forces. There was a distinct feeling that they were trying to tell me, or her, that there were things in life that are bigger than all of us, and sometimes we have to let go of our own struggle to see the larger picture in life and the impact our actions could have on others. Who knows, I could be full of it.

Creative Writing Exercise:
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