Cassidy was being mean to me the other night.
I know that statement makes no sense without a conventional framework in which to place the comment, so as they say on The Mary Sue, allow me to explain:
Thursday night was just another night for me: come home from work, chat a little–which I did–write, then sleep. Pretty much what I do every day at The Undisclosed Location. Sometimes my dreams are boring; sometimes they are very vivid and they stand out enough that remember then until the next day.
And then there are times when some of my dreams stay with me for a very long time.
I awoke during the night, which isn’t unusual for me. I got up and checked the time on my phone, which is something I always do as well. I normally get up about 5:15 every morning so I can get ready for work, but if it’s like 4:30, or 4:45, or even 5:00 AM, I just start the coffee and fire up the computer, ’cause I know there’s no point in going back to bed.
That wasn’t the case. It was about 2:10 or there about, so I went to the bathroom, then headed back to bed for a few hours.
That was when she came to me in a state of high pissed off.
I’ve blogged about Cassidy before. After the explanation of gave of her origin, some people might believe she is sort of an alter-ego of my character Kerry. She’s not; she’s him. She’s Kerry as another gender. She’s a very cute girl: sort of short, freckles, and–being she takes after her Irish mother–she has long, curly, red hair. If she were a animated character, she’d probably look a lot like Merida, who is the main character in the upcoming movie, Brave. Just replace the bow and arrow with a wand, and the dress with a school uniform, and she’s be pretty close to how I’ve seen her in my mind.
Oh, and don’t forget the stylish black and pink rimmed glasses . . .
So, I’m asleep. And I start dreaming. It doesn’t seem like much at first. I remember this landscape, long and green and pretty flat, with hills way off in the distance. At first I was sort of seeing it through a monitor, so I wasn’t really there. But, just like that, I was–that’s the way dreams are, you know that.
I was there a few moments alone–and mind you, I knew it was me–then suddenly, she was there, standing no more than six feet away.
Cassidy was wearing a white blouse, and a short gray skirt with matching jacket, and black knee high boots. She looked really nice, but then–hey, I created her, and in my mind she always looks nice. While she looked nice, though, there was something in her eyes . . . they weren’t happy. They were disapproving. They were sort of . . . mean.
I knew that whatever was coming wasn’t going to be nice.
She glared for a few moments, then spoke. ”What are you doing?” she asked. There was just a hint of something in her voice that matched the look in her eyes. ”What do you think you’re doing? Why aren’t you doing what you said you were going to do, huh?” Then the hands went onto the hips, and the venom really started.
“You’re disappointing me,” she said. ”You’re not living up to your own promises, and I don’t like that!” She pretty much spat out that last. But she saved the worst for last: ”You don’t do these things, and I feel it. I feel it, and you know why! So stop it! Oi! Get your ass in gear and stop being lazy!”
And then it was over.
I can’t really say how long that dream went on, because what is time in a dream. All I know is I got up a little after five, started the coffee and computer, and did my post for Friday. Got ready; went to work; came back to the apartment; packed; drove home; wrote tired as hell . . . then drifted off to sweet, sweet, merciful sleep. Sans any memorable dreams.
Cassidy is still with me, however. I can’t get her out of my mind. Because I know what she’s say, I know what she’s implying–and I truly understand her last statement.
After I finished Transporting I said I’d get to finding publishers. I indicated that I could start in on that and find places to send out work while I did an edit on one of my other works–that work currently being Couples Dance. That was, of course, my plan–
We know plans fall apart, don’t we?
The editing part I’ve been doing, but the “Looking for people to whom I can sell my stuff,” part–yeah, not so good. In fact, not so doing at all. The thing is, I know this, and so do others. I was chatting with Trusty Editortm Thursday night, and she made a comment about exposure. She said, “You, more than others, need to put yourself out there. You need to be seen.”
See, to make this writing thing work, I have to push on to get people to read me. It’s like being a singer: doesn’t matter if you have the greatest voice in the world, if all you do is sing in the shower, it’s not helping you if your dream is to do it for a living. Maybe you’re never going to be famous–or infamous, if that’s what you’re shooting for–but if you want to be known, you need exposure.
Writers are the same way. Sure, you can post stuff on the Internet these days, but is that what I want? I’ve done that. It felt good to have fans of my work, but in the end what did it get me? Well . . . it got me fans who are no longer with me, because I don’t write that sort of stuff any more.
If I want to sell my novels, if I want to sell my stories, I gotta do some leg work and find people crazy enough to not only like my work, but who want to pay me for the privileged of printing it.
So why was Cassidy saying I was hurting her? Why did she say I know why she’s upset?
Damn, it’s really simple if you think about it.
A writer puts a lot of themselves into their characters. I’ve done that with a couple of my characters, so much so that when it came time to do something bad to them, I felt it. I’ve stated on a few occasions how much my character Kerry means to me; it’s no BS when I say there is a big part of my own feelings and emotions inside that kid.
So, logically, if a large part of me is inside Kerry, and Cassidy is Kerry, it goes without saying . . . I’m Cassidy.
Her words leave one with the understanding–it’s not her that I’m hurting a lot, in as much as I’m really hurting myself.
She my little Welsh/Irish-American conscience that wants the best for me, but isn’t afraid to get into my ass when I’m slacking. That’s what she was doing Friday morning; it was time for Ray to get slapped around for being a slacker, and she isn’t afraid to do it–
Not to mention, if Cassidy is there, it’s a good bet Annie was nearby watching this all happen. And I know exactly how Annie feels about me . . .
Damn. All these women in my life.
It appears they wont remain content with the idea of me becoming a failure.