Into the Woods

woods

I have been having some funky dreams lately. They’ve been really weird. Like take Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and turn that on its head. Yeah, that’s about right.

Some have been terrifying…and some have been tons of fun.

In one, I was living in a society where those who were accused of crimes had to swordfight to the death. They would pit pairs against each other and most of the time, it was an unfair fight. I happened to be friends with a guy accused of…something…and he happened to be madly in love with me. I, sadly, was not in love with him, but he said the hope of us being together one day would protect him from the battle. I nodded stupidly. Of course, he didn’t win and I was distraight.

I clearly had The Hunger Games on the brain.

A week or so ago, there was a dream about a girl who was getting married to the wrong guy, but luckily an attractive woman singing a Melissa Etheridge song (“The Only One” – stereotypical, I know) swooped in (via helicopter, naturally) and whisked away the bride to be to this alternate world where you can travel by a single red balloon and aquatic flippers.

Photo by flicker user "james studiosushi."

Photo by flicker user “james studiosushi.”

Lord only knows where that one came from.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Something along the lines of, “This chick should lay off the cough medicine”?

I do feel drugged, but it’s not from cough medicine…or wine…or weed…or sugar. I’m high on creativity, because I’m spending a lot of time in the woods these days – metaphorical woods, not literal ones. And that is because I’ve finally decided to write a legitimate novel – and actually finish it this time around.

It’s a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, but much darker thanks to buckets of magic, love triangles, and some vicious plotting. My imagination has been working overtime and thus, my dreams are the crazy aftermath of spending my day in landscapes crafted by magical realism.

Photo by flickr user "andy castro."

Photo by flickr user “andy castro.”

(By the way, just coincidence that my dreams are all wonky while I’m writing a new version of Sleeping Beauty, the chick who slept forever? Yeah, I think not.)

Other symptoms of novel writing?

The feeling like there aren’t enough hours in a day. Professional novel writing is a full-time gig, but since this is my first and I have yet to grace the New York Times Bestsellers list, I have to balance my regular job with caring for my dog, and being a great girlfriend, and maintaining a social life, and cupcake orders and, oh yeah, sleeping. I took my laptop to get my oil changed last weekend. Lunch breaks? Writing time! It may be a far-fetched goal with my lifestyle, but I’d like to have a solid draft of this novel done by the end of June. Eek!

Yet another symptom is fear. When you embark on a project this big and it’s so personal (as any writing is), you start to question yourself. Is my writing good enough? Will I actually be able to finish this thing? What happens if I love it, but no one else does – especially since this could very well be the first piece of writing with my name attached to it that I shop around to publishers? Is my story good enough? Are my characters compelling and likable? Is it too dark?

Of course, I choose to bat all of these questions to the side, because at the end of the day, I believe in myself and my writing, come what may. Finishing will be half the battle and I intend to crack open a very special bottle of wine when I do. What happens after that…well, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. For now, I have a story I want to tell and it’s time for me to tell it. That’s enough to keep me going.

I really want this. I really want this to be my moment.

And I want to continue to have weird ass dreams, because that means I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing – living in a fantasy world that someday I’ll share with all of you.