Wednesday, April 23, 2014

My Whacky Dreams. Stressing Over Writing

Last night I had the whackiest dream since I decided to pursue a writing career. Because whacky is exactly what this blog needs--way too serious lately--as soon as I woke up, I decided I had to share it with you in all its crazy glory. Now, if you follow me, you know I always have something like five different projects going at the same time. All of them in different stages of (in)completion. Well, these days the number is more like ten. Yes, I'm working on nine different short stories and one novel. This makes me a very busy, worried, and sometimes confused writer. Two of these stories have me throwing my arms up in despair. I simply don't know how to take the story where I want it to go in an organic fashion, but what does this have to do with last night's crazy fest, you ask?

Well, judge for yourselves.

In my dream I was in a messy apartment. It was an old building in Mexico City. I knew because the walls were made of cement and the window panes were very thin. Around them, a black aluminum frame was held steady into the wall openings by a film of silicone. It was also clear to me that the owner of the place was a reader and a writer. Books were piled up all over the place. Scribbled notes littered the floor and every flat surface.
Kind of like Mr. Morris Lessmore's but creepier
I was wondering how the hell I had gotten there when Harlan Ellison walked in from his bedroom. Yes, by the look of things I was standing in the middle of the multi-awarded, writer of more that 1,700 short stories, and ground-breaking sci-fi anthologist Harlan Ellison's living/dinning room area. Apparently, he and I were on a first name basis, because he didn't threatened me with a baseball bat or tried to call the police. In fact, he acted as if he already knew I was there.

In his hands he held a manuscript, not too big but enough for it to be a short story. He seemed excited and proceeded to tell me all about it. That's when I remembered it was MY story. I had pitched it to him, seeking his advise to resolve the impasse in the plot I seemed to have reached. And what had the bastard done? Take it and write it as if it was his own.


Good thing I didn't tell him the final twist. At least I could use that for a different story, right?  But wait, he kept talking all animated and sooo friendly. Maybe I had misinterpreted him. What if he planned to publish the story like a co-author thing? I mean, Harlan Ellison can publish whatever the hell he wants and if my name gets attached to his... Bum! A career is born. Also, it is more than a bit flattering to hear such enthusiasm from a renown writer about a story you came up with.

So I played along, all excited to see what he wrote. Of course I said yes when he invited me to grab a bite on the restaurant a few blocks from his house! Are you kidding me? Harlan, mah man!

"We'll discuss more of the details there", he says.

Aaaaand then my alarm clock woke me up.

Whoo! What a dream! But you wanna know what takes this whole thing to the next level of weirdness? First of all, and this goes without saying, but either way: I have never met Harlan Ellison. In fact, I have never read anything of his. *face reddens in shame* Also, Ellison's mean streak is infamous! He is abrasive and argumentative, and reputedly a bit full of himself. He in fact has described himself as "possibly the most contentious person on earth."
Sounds like the perfect person to ask for help, doesn't he?
The story he was so excited about is in fact a mish-mash of the two stories I was telling you about at the beginning. And to top it all off, my stupid alarm clock woke me up before Harlan spilled the beans on how to pass that roadblock I'm stuck on!

So what do you think? Do you have any strange dreams you care to share?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

IWSG to the Rescue

I've been absent quite a bit lately. The first two months of the year are usually hard for me as I find my way into the productive streak of before Christmas break. This year has been particularly hard, you can tell because it is April and I haven't found my grove. Last week I thought I had it back, I wrote one third of a new story, completely plotted two more, and put in shape the outline for the novel I'm currently working in. Good, right? Then disaster stroke. I was informed that there is a very high probability that the place I call home now, won't be so for long. We'll probably need to relocate to another country as soon as this August.

Now, this might seem like not so tragic, certainly not writing-related. The thing is that we've moved quite a bit in the past nine years and I'm tired. When we came back to Ct and bought a house, I settled. I let my heart set roots. I pictured my kids running and playing around our beautiful pond until they were too old to be interested in mud pies. I made friends and felt part of the community. Now all that's about to change. Wherever we go, we have to start over, and we ain't coming back. That breaks my heart and has made it very difficult for me to concentrate in my writing.

There are so many things to take care off, so many goodbyes to say. I'm in a constant state of shock and sadness. I also know I have to snap out of it, my writing awaits and I can't keep making excuses to not go back to my projects.

I'll get past this. We'll get past this. And in the meantime, maybe killing off some character can prove therapeutic. Right?

IWSG is the brain child of ninja master, Alex Cavanaugh. Please stop by the many other blogs participating and share a few words of encouragement. The complete list can be found on the corresponding page on the top portion of this blog.