Sometimes people ask me where I get my ideas, or why I write. This is one part of the answer.
For a number of reasons I haven’t been writing the past month and a half. First there was the post-book lull compounded by Laura needing a ton of help to get her department moved. Then there was the spring gardening madness which has to get done while the weather and the season are right. Now that that’s all almost done, I’m starting to think about writing again, and boy do I need it.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t shut off the creative part of my brain. Whether I’m writing or not, there’s a never-ending spring of strange in the depths there. It works a bit like a reservoir behind a dam. If I’m writing, the sluice gates are open and the weird wells up and pours into the book. If I’m not writing, the levels just keep getting higher until they start to pour over the top.
The main places they go when they do that are my early morning pre-filters conversation and my dreams. Normally, when I’m writing, I either don’t remember my dreams, or (occasionally) I have dreams about the book. When I start to remember my dreams I know I need to direct the flow back into fiction. Generally I do this at the one remembered vivid dream a night stage. I’m up to three most nights.
For example, last night I had two which stayed with me well into today:
The first was a castle break-in dream in which Laura and I and two large brown bears were sneaking into a castle. For some reason we had decided to pretend that we were there for a bear-polka party—which was why we needed the bears. The rest of the details got written over by the second dream.
The second involved Laura and I sitting on stage chatting with Minnie Mouse as part of a Disney On Ice show. This Minnie did synchronized swimming kind of stuff at the midpoint and she and I got to talking about how the On Ice stars all practiced fencing. About midway through this, John McCain showed up and we got into a verbal tussle which led to arranging a duel—cavalry sabers to first blood. After Arlen Specter arranged the exchange of information for the duel Minnie invited me to train with the On Ice crew for the duel because John McCain was always making their life miserable.
Since I don’t want to spend my night polkaing with bears or fencing with Minnie and McCain, I really need to get back to writing.