I give very little credit to dream interpretation but last night’s dream was a doozy. Mind you, I have lucid, textured, densely detailed dreams. I dream in technicolor, 3-D, Dolby surround sound like Andy Warhol on LSD with a cast and plot like a Robert Altman film. I almost never dream of myself or anything from my reality but last night, I dreamed of my writing class at Santa Fe suddenly having nearly 100 students. This is a community ed class, folks. Maybe twelve people max. Well, in my dream people were doing performance art and a woman wearing a hajib was reading nude from the waist down and I seemed to be the only person “aware”. It got weirder from there. It is amazing I can wake feeling rested at all. Then I couldn’t get the image/memory of Janet and Michael Jackson in the Scream video out of my head. I know……weird. It is a great video.
I spent the evening editing. I am 100 pages into the book that once topped out at 670 pages and I have cut 4,000 words. At that rate, and I expect the middle space to be fattier and easier to trim. This early part has been written and rewritten the most and is more marbled, harder to get conditioned. I have to focus only the things that develop my main character and the plot lines that push her narrative along. I don’t want to eliminate all the adjectives and examples of who and how she came to exist, but I need to let the reader learn about her as they read. No spoon feeding.
What a lovely allegory. How can I focus my life on the main narrative drive? It is so easy to get distracted and seduced by things. It may even be valuable to pause and relish them but it is important to remember where you are going, where you intend to end up. We can meander….we should meander. Taking direction from fiction…a linear, surgical, bare knuckle race from point A to point B is not a life, nor a good and healthy way to live. It makes for a great movie that has autonomic intentions: pulse rates, adrenaline and fear. But if you want entertainment and sustenance…..you have to meander….and you have to throw in the kooky, baffling, ridiculous character that flips things on end.
So, I get up and want to bake something…something different. So, I make Apricot Gems. They don’t turn out quite like I intended….what in life does? But they are tasty and I think the staff will like them. And, practice helps perfect things and so next time, I will bake them for five minutes and THEN add the dollop of Apricot butter.