Night Ward Dreams: Love of Past and Present

Here we are, the last almost nine hundred words of the final scene of the penultimate chapter of the longest day of the school.  Really:  the first scene of Chapter Nineteen, was finished on 8/02/2014, and this was finished last night, 10/07/2014.  Two months to get through one day.  Not bad when I’ve written 46,777 words for Part Seven, this part, so far.  As I’ve said before, it’s about twenty thousand words a month, give or take a thousand here and there.  Now I can think about Chapter Twenty-four and bringing the final section of the penultimate part of Act Two to an end.

Yule is looking so much closer now, both in the book and in real life.

Yule is looking so much closer now, both in the book and in real life.

Annie remembered a dream she’d shared with Kerry, one that he seemed to remember as well.  Annie was seeing things that had happened a few years in the past, and Kerry–well, it’s hard to say what he’s seeing.  But he seemed to know what’s going on based upon their conversation . . .

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

There wasn’t a need to prompt Kerry: he immediately knew who was asking the question, and where it was being asked. Still staring up into Annie’s face, his eyes unfocused as he answered in much-younger boy’s voice. “Um, reading.”

“Uh, huh.” Annie felt a childish amusement come over her, just as it had that moment five summer ago. She imagined herself as she was that day, standing in her pajamas—she hadn’t learned how to create different clothes around her in a dream yet—her hands behind her as she swayed back and forth with a slight grin on her face. “What are you reading?”

A sheepish tone crept into Kerry’s voice. “Science fiction?”

“Science fiction.” She chuckled. “I don’t know much about that.” She nodded towards Kerry as if she were nodding towards the book in his hands all that time ago. “What is it called?”

A Fall of Moondust—” He paused a couple of seconds. “By Arthur C. Clarke.”

“Sounds interesting.” Annie twisted around and sat cross-legged on the bed, facing Kerry. His hand remained in hers. “What’s it about?”

“About a boat on the moon that sinks.”

“Really? Can they do that?”

“Well . . .” Kerry tried to shrugged but winced instead. “I don’t know. It’s an old book. But it’s good; I like it.”

 

I’ve said that one of the first two adult novels I read was A Fall of Moondust, and I was a little more than seven at the time, so Kerry’s got me beat in the reading department.  I love that novel, even though we know–as Kerry hinted–that the scenario laid out in the novel couldn’t possibly exist, it was a great, fantastic book when it came to opening up one’s imagination.

Now Annie is a cheeky girl, and probably more so back when she was approaching her seventh birthday.  She’s even more cheeky now, and she’s not only got her boyfriend calmed down, but she’s reliving a special moment with him, one that she remembers clearly.

 

“I see.” Annie scooted a few centimeters forward. “Would you like to read to me?”

“You want me to read to you?” Kerry looked surprised, just as he had the first time.

“Yes. I’d love that.” She remembered that was the first time she’d used that word with Kerry.

He didn’t seem to know what to say next, then a smile slowly grew across his face. “You’re the Chestnut Girl; I remember you from other times.”

“Uh, huh.” She nodded. “And your my Ginger Hair Boy.” She giggled. “Remember?”

“Yeah, I remember.” His smile softened as his eyes shifted to the left. “You can sit on the log there and I’ll read.”

“I have a better idea.” In their dream she’d done everything from his left side, but that was broken and immobilize. She’d have to work with his right side, and she wondered if it would cause a problem with his memory of this event and bring on another bout of déjà vu.

Annie slid off the bed, then pulled the covers back and slid back on. She nestled herself between Kerry’s torso and his right arm, nestling her head in the crook of his shoulder. She figured that the dislocation and the broken rib on his right side was completely healed by now: when he didn’t wince or twitch she knew she was correct. She reached for the covers and pulled them back into place, covering them both. “There.” She sighed and snuggled closer. “Much better.”

Kerry didn’t move, didn’t complain, didn’t even ask what she was doing. His question was one that a six year old boy who was asked to read to a girl would ask. “How am I suppose to read to you? I don’t think I can hold the book.”

Just as he asked the first time. Annie looked up from her place next to him so she could see his face. “I’ll tell you what: I’ll hold the book and turn the pages when you say so. That way all you have to do is read.” She rubbed her head against him. “Okay.”

“That sounds okay . . .” His voice took on a sleepy tone, as if he was finally winding down from the sorrow that had gripped him moments before. “I can . . .”

 

Lay there in a hospital gown with your girlfriend snuggled against you?  Cheeky girl.  But she’s also calmed him down and put him back in the mood to sleep, so . . . she did here job.  She was a friendly face that talked him down.  It’s also the first indication that Kerry does know Annie is his Chestnut Girl–he seems to know a lot more now.

It also looks as if Annie’s in for the long haul in Bed #2 . . .

 

Annie saw Kerry’s eyes flutter, and in that moment she wasn’t an almost seven year old girl sitting in the crook of the arm of a six year old boy with whom she was sharing a dream—she was back in Bay #1, cuddled up next to her soul mate. “Kerry?”

“I’m tired, Annie.” He turned his head enough that he could see her lying snuggled next to him. “I feel so tired.”

“Then you need to sleep.” She laid her hand part-way across his chest and circled it over his heart. “I won’t go anyway. You’ll be safe.”

“Okay.” He rubbed his check against the top of her head. “Good night, Annie—”

She was about to tell him the same when Kerry finished his thought:

“I love you.”

 

And there you have it:  he finally says the magic words.  It could be argued that he may not know what he’s saying, but someone else could argue that he’s pulling those words from his subconscious, and it’s something he’s wanted to say for a while–and with the filters off, he’s saying them.

It doesn’t matter to Annie:  she heard them.  And she reacts the way you might expect her to act.

 

Annie gasped in a near-silent voice. “Good night, Kerry. I love you.”

He chuckled as he fought to keep his eyes open. “You’d say it in Bulgarian.”

She chuckled as well. He would know that.  “Yes, I would . . .” She leaned up and kissed his cheek. “Leka nosht, Kerry. I az te obicham.”

“Um, hum.” His eyes closed and his breathing slowed as she sunk back into sleep.

Annie made herself comfortable against Kerry’s torso. She only now realized that his right arm was draped over her torso, making sure she was secure against him. “That’s it, my love.” She stopped rubbing his chest and left her hand there. “Sleep and dream. And remember it so you can tell me in the morning.”

Sleep began to take her as she wished her soul mate into dreamland. “Dream of your tree in California.” Her eyelids fluttered. “Dream of reading to your Chestnut Girl.”

Her eyes closed as she sunk into the same sleep that was claiming Kerry. There was only one thought left that needed saying before she joined him in unconscious bliss . . .

“Dream of us.”

 

They are off to a different dream land this time, and as the next scene is Waking with Coraline, one could guess that, well, they’re going to wake up with Coraline.  What is that going to look like.

I’ll write it tonight and show you tomorrow.

Sweet dreams.

Night Ward Dreams: the Tree

When we last saw Annie and Kerry, its was the middle of the night, Kerry had just come out of a bad dreams, and he was crying and going on about his Chestnut Girl–who, it appears, is Annie, as she admitted as much.  But now . . .

What is this tree thing in the ward?

Like I said, this last scene will probably raise as many questions as it could answer.  This is, by far, the most personal moment between Annie and Kerry, and right now we’re into the lead-up to that point in time where so much is going to be exchanged.  At the moment, however, there’s a wildly sobbing boy in Bed #2, and Annie’s feelings are all over the place . . .

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

Kerry wasn’t listening, however. He was lost inside something unseen, and it was driving him into uncontrollable crying. Annie didn’t know what she should do: even though Kerry now remember her from his dreams—and believed she’d left him, for some reason—she knew the hazards of pulling someone out of déjà vu. The last time Kerry was stuck with déjà vu he’s suffered blinding headaches: would pulling him out this time hurt him even more.

That’s when Annie was struck with a realization: What if his nightmare wasn’t about the events of the day? What if he was dreaming about me? What if that’s why he called my name—because he was seeing the last time we were together over the summer.  She couldn’t ever know, not unless Kerry could remember his dream and tell her . . .

 

Annie wouldn't probably  look like this at the moment--okay, she might if Kerry had said Emma left him.  Yeah, definitely.

Annie wouldn’t probably look like this at the moment–okay, she might if Kerry had said Emma left him. Yeah, definitely.

And her hypothesis is valid because she doesn’t know what’s going on inside Kerry’s head, how much he really knows.  And since it seems he can’t remember their dreams together–

So what is going on, because obviously he’s remembering something.  Annie knows this, and decides on a course of action.

 

What should I do? What to do? There was only one thing to do, and though it was a risk, she felt there wasn’t any choice, for to leave Kerry stuck in his current state of déjà vu, remembering a dream that was obviously painful, would harm him, possibly even injure him more severely.

Annie had to replace that dream with one that she knew would make him happy.

She had to do it now.

“Kerry—” Annie kept her voice low and comforting while holding her fact close to his. “Do you remember your tree? Do you remember?” She wasn’t certain if that would be enough to get through to him, but it was one that she knew was happy. If there was anything that would bring him out . . .

The sobbing didn’t stop, but it slowed—enough that Kerry was able to speak through the tears. “My tree?”

“Yes.” A faint smile played on Annie’s face. “Your tree.”

 

There’s the tree!  And what is that tree?

 

“Yes.” A faint smile played on Annie’s face. “Your tree.”

His breathing began to slow though the tears continued flowing. “My tree.”

“The one you used to sit under when you used to read when you lived in California.” Her smile grew broader. He’s calming down. “Why did you go there?”

He said nothing for about five seconds. Kerry sniffed three time, bringing the tears under control. “It was at the end of the lane, and away from my house.” His breathing slowed. “I wanted to get out of the house; I didn’t like being there alone all the time.”

“You weren’t very old.” Annie hoped he didn’t slip back into another fit state of déjà vu because she brought up things that only he should know. “About six, right?” She ran her fingers over his wet cheek. “You parents didn’t mind?”

“They didn’t know most of the time.” He swallowed hard, then looked to his right and left. “They were always at work.” His voice grew faint, the words interlaced with sniffles. “My mother only cared when I wasn’t at home.”

 

Kerry’s parents worked at ILM, so because Daddy was busy with the sound effects, and Mother was doing visuals, Kerry spent a lot of time alone.  Sure, the grandparents weren’t that far away, but still . . . since dad had to make blasters go Pewh, pewh, pewh, and mom was rendering Jar Jar Binks, a six year old boy was sitting under a tree reading and being visited by Bulgarian girls.  It’s all your fault, people.  Just remember that.

 

Now that he wasn’t sobbing, Annie had to see if she could break past his déjà vu. He’s calming down; he’s growing more aware. She had to see if she could make him remember. “Kerry—” You have to ask: you can’t not ask. “Do you remember the first time you read to your Chestnut Girl under your tree?” She had to ask one last question . . . “Do you remember the first time you read to me?”

Kerry didn’t cry or wince, but instead started silently at Annie for about ten seconds. Finally there was a long, tired sigh . . . “Yeah.”

Annie felt her heart swell with joy. “You do? You remember?”

He blinked twice. “I remember . . .” He slowly turned his head to his right. “You were standing there, weren’t you?”

 

Now it’s getting interesting because not only is he remembering, but Annie is as well.

 

“Yes.” He’s remembering. I can’t believe it . . . “I was right over there, about three meters away, standing jut on the other side of the log that was there.” She kept her voice low and soothing, least she jar him out of the moment. “You were so young—six, yes?”

“That summer.” He barely nodded. “Yeah. I was six.”

“And reading off on your own.” Annie stroked his cheek. “I remember standing there, seeing you sitting against that tree with that book in your lap.” In that moment she could actually see the moment, and it wasn’t the broken boy she loved laying in the bed before her, it was her Ginger Hair Boy, the one she’d already known for a few years, the one she’d grown up seeing maybe ten times a year while he lived in California. “I remember saying—” She pulled her hand back and sat up straight. “What are you doing?”

There wasn’t a need to prompt Kerry: he immediately knew who was asking the question, and where it was being asked. Still staring up into Annie’s face, his eyes unfocused as he answered in much-younger boy’s voice. “Um, reading.”

 

He’s gonna tell you what he’s reading, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for that.  And yes, Annie:  you mentioned he’s six.  I’m gonna have to go back and make sure you don’t repeat yourself, because you’re the sort of girl who doesn’t.  And there’s a good possibility that I may finish this tonight.  May.  Because . . . well, this sort of dream doesn’t go on forever, does it?

Night Ward Dreams, the Beginning

Writing last night, writing this morning.  Here it is, almost nine AM, and I’ve been at work on the story for nearly and hour and a half.  I know that because I’m playing the recording of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway concert recording from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, and they’re playing Riding the Scree now–and the time mark is 1:36:00.  Gotta have my music when I write.

Since It’s going to be a busy afternoon I needed to get this out now, least I miss it later tonight.  And I didn’t want to do that because this is an important point in the story–and one I’ve been dodging because of the feelings it brings out in me.  That’s one of the nice things about writing in public:  you can’t stop and begin sobbing openly in a cafe unless you want people to come over and ask what’s wrong.  do you say, “I’m upset because I’m pouring my emotions into my fictional character?”  Yeah, that works.  But only if people already think you’re a little off.

We left Annie in the bay with Kerry, and she was watching him sleep.  Yeah, we got Team Annie hard at work.  But let her explain–

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

She finally looked over to Kerry’s bed. The whole med bay was silent—all the equipment was set up not to make sounds at night—and there were only a few things glowing softly in the dark, which made it difficult to see him, but not impossible. He was out, sleeping peacefully, not making a sound save for his slow steady breathing.

Annie wanted to lay back on her pillow and drift off to sleep while watching him sleep. She remembered what Nurse Gretchen told her that first night, that she was doing something seriously strange. She didn’t care: there was something comforting about watching her soul mate sleep. In their sleep were their dreams, and that was where she found him, learned about him, and grew to love him.

In a way sleep was their bond. She missed what they once had; now, she could only watch him and hope that they somehow reconnected—

Kerry’s right arm was outside the blanket: his fingers began twitching.

 

That makes some sense:  Annie is suppose to have met Kerry in their dreams, so why wouldn’t she feel connected to him when he sleeps?  But now he’s waking up, and that’s going to bring out another connection . . .

 

Kerry’s head turned lightly to the right. He moaned softly.

But it wasn’t a moan: it was a sob. She’d caught the intake of breath just before it returned as a low, long cry. He turned his head further to the right and this time there was no mistaking the sorrowful whimpering. Kerry’s head jerked to the left then back to the right before he took a deep breath and the tears came streaming down his cheeks.

Annie was frozen on her bed. Kerry wasn’t awake, but he was under some kind of distress. She believed he was having a bad dream, one that likely had something to do with the experiences of the day. She questioned the wisdom of waking him: on one hand she didn’t want him to suffer, on the other he’d be through the the dream shortly, and there was always some danger involved when waking someone from a nightmare . . .

Kerry clenched his hand into a fist and moaned louder than the first time. As his hand unclenched he twisted his head around as if he were trying to avoid a blow. With tears streaming down his face he quietly cried out one word:

Annie.”

That was all she needed to hear. Annie was out of her bed and standing next to Kerry’s, leaning over so she could see his face. She didn’t worry about the consequences of waking him: she laid he hand lightly against his chest and began shaking him gently while calling his name in as soothing a tone as possible. “Kerry. Kerry. Please, wake up.”

 

Nurse Annie to the rescue!  She doesn’t want him to suffer, so she brings him out of whatever nightmare is troubling the boy.

 

She shook him for another few seconds, careful not to press too hard against his chest least she hurt him. Finally his eyes opened normally and started up at the ceiling. She wasn’t shaking or convulsing as people did in movies when they came out of a bad dream: he lay there fighting against the hacking sobs that didn’t want to stop.

Annie took his hand before leaning towards his face. “Kerry, it’s okay—” She gave his hand a squeeze. “It’s okay. You’re safe now. There’s nothing to worry about.” She hesitated for a few heartbeats, then slid up onto the bed next to him, his hand still locked in hers. “Shush, shush . . . It’s okay. I’m here.”

Kerry brought his breathing under control as the tears tapered away. He blinked three times before he could focus on the person sitting next to him. “Annie . . .” The name emerged as a whisper before a faint smile began to play over his face. “You’re alive.”

She chuckled. “And so are you.” Annie tucked her bare right foot under her left leg, letting her blue flannel pajamas keep it warm. She watched Kerry’s eyes move about, taking in his surroundings. “You’re in the hospital. Don’t try to move; the left side of your body is immobilized. You broke your left arm and left, and damaged your knee again.” She saw the awareness of his situation register, but Annie saw how his eyes seemed to say something else. He’s disoriented, just as Coraline said he would. He knows where he is, but at the same time he’s not completely sure . . .

 

Kerry is out of it:  he’s hurt and it doesn’t take long for him to figure out he has a bad concussion.  Annie talks him down out of his confusion and pain, but there are things on his mind.  Things that have been there a while, and that he wants to get out . . .

 

He didn’t appear sleepy, not yet. Kerry continued staring up into Annie’s eyes. “I didn’t know if I’d see you again.” A film of tears appeared over his eyes. “I didn’t know—”

Annie wanted him to relax, not work himself into a crying jag every few minutes. She hushed him. “It’s okay, my dear.”

He sniffed back his tears. “I didn’t know if I’d see you again, Annie. I didn’t know if I’d tell you what . . .” He trailed off and started to look away, but didn’t. “I didn’t know—”

Shush, shush.” She lightly patted his cheek. “You’re safe. You’re protected. Nothing is going to happen to you.” Annie slid closer to Kerry so it was easier to press his hand against her torso. “We have plenty of time to talk. No need to do it now.”

“I know.” He smiled through the remnant of his tears. “I just—” He began to whimper again. “I don’t wanna forget.”

 

He’s not a forgetful sort of kid, but of late his mind has played a few tricks on him–like not being able to remember dreams.  What he keeps wanting to discuss probably isn’t a dream, but Annie’s not ready to hear it now.  After all, Kerry would probably get it all messed up anyway.

However, there’s also something else on Kerry’s mind–something troubling . . .

 

She started to slid off the bed. “Let me call—”

Kerry’s grip around Annie’s hand tightened. “Don’t go.”

Annie moved back to where she’d been on the bed. “I’ll stay.”

He grimaced as a light sheen of tears began to cover his cheeks once again. “Don’t leave me, Annie. Please don’t ever leave me.”

She’d never heard him say this before, and it shocked Annie just the tiniest bit. Why does he think I’d leave him? “I won’t leave you, Kerry. I promise.”

He either wasn’t listening or couldn’t understand what she was saying. “Don’t leave, please. They all leave.” The tears were fully flowing now. “Everyone leaves me.”

What is going on? Annie was growing worried: this was something she’d never heard Kerry express. “No one is leaving you Kerry. I won’t leave you.” She pushed ahead with something she’d told him once before, but felt he needed to hear again. “I’ll stay with you for the rest of your life.”

He was lost in whatever fantasy had popped up inside his mind. “They all leave me. They do.” The tears and sobbing were coming on now. “My parents don’t want me—”

Annie held his hand tightly. “That’s not true.”

“My grandparents don’t talk to me—”

“Kerry, you love your grandparent.”

“They hardly ever talk to me. I never hear from them.”

She shook her head. “That’s because of distance and the time difference—”

She left me.”

 

Uh, oh.  She left you?  If you’re wondering who “She” is, you’re not alone, because there’s a certain Bulgarian girl wondering the same thing–

 

She left you? Annie was confused, because there had never been a mention of another girl—nor did she ever remember talking about one during their dream time together. Is he talking about Emma? She had to know. “Who left you, Kerry? Who did?”

Kerry’s voice rose as he cried out his response. “My Chestnut Girl—she left me.”

Annie release Kerry’s hand as she sat up straighter. There was little that shocked her so much that she allowed her emotions to show, and she was grateful that they were alone, for now was one of those moment when her unfiltered emotions appeared etched across her face. “No.” She shook her head slowly. “No, Kerry.” She slowly learned towards her sobbing love. “She didn’t, my love—she never left you. I never left you, Kerry. Don’t you see? I’m your Chestnut Girl.”

 

“I’m your Chestnut Girl.”  Any time you can shock Annie you’ve done something extraordinarily frightening.  And Kerry just brought up something that has shaken Annie right to her core–something that made her respond with the four words at the start of this sentence.

What does it mean?

You know the answer.

Is it safe to say everyone has miles to go before they can sleep?

Is it safe to say everyone has miles to go before they can sleep?

Matters of Imaginary Life and Death

If you’re expecting to find stories here today, you’re sadly mistaken.  Yesterday–and last night–were some of the strangest there were, believe me.  It seemed as if I spent part of the day busting urban myths–which, by the way, I love doing, particularly when they’re of the heinous and vile kind–before getting into a discussion at the end of the evening where the term “Moving the Goalposts” became not so much an expression as a spectator sport.

"No, seriously, you win.  You've already expanded the argument past three stadium and a cricket pitch!"

“No, seriously, you win. You’ve already expanded the argument past three stadiums and a cricket pitch!”

At least the most interesting thing I learned last night if that if you have uncontrollable hiccups, the only way to stop them is by internal digital massage of your rectum.  Yes, that means exactly what it says.  You’re welcome.

"Go to the other room; I'll be in shortly.  That's a little nurse's humor!"

“Go to the other room; I’ll be in shortly. That’s a little nurse’s humor!”

Since tonight is “Go Out to Eat and Write Night,” I promise to finish up the current scene and start on the next.  I mean, I should be able to rip off over a thousand words tonight, I promise I’ll get cracking on the last scene in Chapter Twenty Three.  I wouldn’t lie.  Mostly wouldn’t.

However, I was working on a few things last night, if only in my head and talking scenes out loud.  One of them had to do with characters having babies–yes, that does happen, particularly to characters in my world.  It seems as if a few people have children:  the Headmistress does, as does Professors Simplen, Salomon, and Kishna.  Though the families don’t live at the school, some of the instructors teleport home and visit when they can–Professor Simplen does this a lot of Sundays.

I was imagining two of my characters discovering they were in a family way, and how they were affected by their feelings, and how they found themselves at that point.  That’s actually what a large part of my non-computer evening was about, and it was fun to be able to do something like that once more, because I’ve been away from doing things like that for the last month, and I need to get back into doing these things.

And then there were my dreams . . .

For some reason I had an extremely vivid dream last night, and it seemed to have something to do with an end of the world event–or maybe it was just the state of Pennsylvania finally running out of money and being unable to do anything.  I know part of it happened down on Second Street here in The Burg, because I recognized a few of the restaurants–one of which was on fire.  Someone must have been displeased with their appetizers.

But a large part of it had to do with getting a family out of the area and to–somewhere else.  I think Boston, because I heard that name come up a few times, and I knew we were heading east. The only problem was no one seemed to be in much of a hurry to get their asses in gear.  It appeared I was the only one with an agenda, and everyone else was like, “Eh, end of the world, let me finish this email.”  Really strange situation, and I couldn’t understand why I was there for a group of strangers who didn’t seem to care that I was there.

Had to be a group of editors.  Just had to be.

Killer of Dreams

Writing is a hard business.  Not just the publishing end of it, but getting down in front of the computer or your typewriter, or even your paper, and you gotta put those words down, one after another, and you keep doing it until you finish the damn thing.  Start, write, finish.  That’s the deal.

Sometimes, however, that becomes easier said than done.  Things wear at you; things tear you down.  We all know stories about authors who are just one step away of completely losing they minds–or, in the case of a few, having lost it completely and they decided to write though the madness.

That’s how I’ve felt for a while; that I was writing though some madness that wouldn’t leave me alone.  It just gnawed at me like a beast picking you apart slowly but surely.

And last week it nearly won.

I had a hard time of things last Friday, and was pretty much at my wit’s end for more than a few things.  It was a tough time, and if not for the help of a lot of friends who came to my aid, I might still be rolling through that madness.

I haven’t forgotten what happened, and I’m truly moving ahead to make things better.  But last night . . . I had some thoughts I had to get out.  Thoughts that weren’t going to stay quite any longer.

I’ve been playing with video a lot of late, and getting some of the things I’ve said uploaded to a YouTube account.  I’ve had fun it with, because it’s a different medium and there’s things that come out on video that you can’t hide unless you’re a very good actor.  I’m not a very good actor; when it comes to my emotions, things tend to come spilling out these days, because hormones jack with you like you wouldn’t believe.

I put a twelve minute video together last night, after the television and computer were off, and talked a little about the state of mind I’ve labored under for a while.  It’s a hard video; there’s a lot of feeling in my voice, there’s true feelings coming out, and more than a few tears come out.  I don’t mind that last, because tears are good.  They mean I can’t hold back, and given how things keep welling up inside these days, I don’t want to keep them in.  I gotta let them out.

Jim Butcher was the one who, a few years ago, said giving up on writing is the same as killing your dreams, and there are no truer words spoken.  I mention that in the video, and you can see how it makes me feel to think about doing just that.  It’s a thing I’ve done before, and I know others have as well.  I’m a firm believer these days that dreams should never die, because without your dreams, what do you have left?

Watch if you like, but be warned:  it’s pretty raw.  That’s how stream of thought is–it’s real, and it just comes at you.

Like life.

But if it helps other writers out there articulate what they also feel from time-to-time, then I’ve done something good.

That’s what really counts.

Where the Wild Feels Are

A funny thing happened on the way to the hormone treatment . . .

Let’s back that up just a little bit, because most of this happened long before I started hormones, long before I started writing.  Actually, it started when I was a kid.  I was what you’d say, “emotional.”  That’s what parents say when you cry a lot.  And I used to cry a lot.  Like all the time.  Stub my toe?  I’d cry.  Didn’t like what I was wearing?  I’d cry.  Weather changed?  I’d cry.  Though I loved the rain.  I loved to take walks in the rain, because it was so relaxing . . .

There are some who’d read that and say, “Wow!  Sounds just like a girl.”  Duh.  You’re catching on, aren’t you?  Yeah, that was one of those things, back when I was about seven or eight, when I realized that, in the immortal words of Micheal Jackson, I’m not like the other boys.  It used to drive my parents nuts.  My father hatted it, and my mother–well, she didn’t like it, either, and used to yell at me all the time to stop “acting like a girl.”  And, hey:  it worked!  Oh, wait . . .

The upside of all this marvelous treatment was a lot of depression and teaching myself to keep my emotions locked down.  Because one never knew when I might just bust loose with a laugh or a sob or a smile or a cry.  This was the sort of hell I went through in high school, and then later on in adult life.

I got to the point where I was “emotionally unavailable,” which is another way of saying I just shut everything down.  And because of that, I was always pairing up with people who were either the same way–or, as a person once pointed out, a lot like my mother in that they were critical of everything I did.  I was not good with relationship; I was not good with telling people how I felt.  To a certain extent I’m still like that in that I’m a private person–says the blogger spilling this all out at six-thirty AM.

About 2011 this all started changing.  Why?  Because I decided to start talking about my “secret” and I finally came out to a friend.  And they didn’t run away.  Another thing was happening then:  I was getting in touch with my emotions once again, which was a double-edge sword, because while it’s easy to talk of love and happiness, you can also fall into the pit next door which is sadness and pain.  But it’s all worth it, because, in the end, you’re feeling again.  You’re not some semi-dead hunk of flesh sitting in front of a computer waiting for the end to arrive sooner than later.  You’re alive; you’re writing again.

That’s really what opened up my writing:  being able to feel.  You can only pretend to write about people in relationships with other people for so long and not feel what that’s like before you understand that what’s coming out of you are words devoid of passion.  They are dead, just like the person writing them.

I’ve had people tell me that they love the romance developing between Annie and Kerry.  I’ve already said it’s a grand one, and it’s one that will build in time.  Last night I was thinking of a scene for Act Three, and while I realized that some people who’d read it would think, “Are you crazy to say this?” I don’t think it’s strange at all.  It’s sweet, it’s touching–and at the same time, it’s torturing a person who is deeply in love.  Because it’s what happens sometimes.  And why are they tortured?  Because they’re afraid they’re pulling someone all the way into their love in a way they might not want.

That's the problem with knowing people in supernatural stories:  you put someone in your heart, and before you know it, you're afraid they don't want to be there.

That’s the problem with love in supernatural stories: you put someone in your heart, and before you know it, you’re afraid they don’t want to be there.

I’ve come to realize over the last week or so that my emotional responses are changing again.  They’re not going away:  oh, no.  They’re dialing up; they’re getting more intense.  They’re also becoming what I might call a bit more personal and even maternal.  The one thing I have noticed, and it’s something I confirmed through research–my stress levels are not defined by my job or by money:  they’re defined by my relationships.  Or lack there of if you wanna put it that way.  But the thing that make me the most loopy these days is love.  I do feel it:  for my characters and for myself.  You can blame it on the demon lady hormones taking over my body.

My therapist says I’m tortured–probably just like a certain person in a monster of a novel I’m writing.  I’m not as bad as that, but I will admit to crying before falling asleep, and crying as I was getting up?  Why?  Because I love someone.  They mean the world to me.  They are the person I would die for if the zombies were coming and she needed saving.

But they are not with me, not at the moment.

Will that happen?

You have to wait and see.  You never know what will happen tomorrow.

But I believe you already!

Don’t worry:  I believe you.

Girlfriend in My Pillow

First, the writing thing.  Though there was a bit of a struggle with the writing–motivations just weren’t what they should have been–I managed to squeak out a little over nine hundred and forty words in my newly added scene.  This did some interesting things to the word count–while the count for Act Two is now hovering just before forty-nine thousand, five hundred words, the count for the full manuscript hit a new milestone . . .

Yeah, two hundred thousand.  That could almost be the title for a Stargate episode.

Yeah, two hundred thousand. That could almost be the title for a Stargate episode.

I’ve only passed into the territory once before, and there’s a very good likelihood that this novel is going to surpass that other novel by some distance.  Just gotta keep going, moving forward, and remember that the next scene is gonna involve some math.  Just for me, though:  you won’t see it.  Science, bitches:  it makes writing better.  Or so I’m told.

Let’s put that behind me, though, because there’s something on my mind, something bothering.  Probably because I know the true meaning of what happened . . .

I’ve written a few times about how I’ve felt my dreams were either sadly lacking or simply non-existent.  Some of that has to do with my sleep habits, which are, frankly, pretty sucky.  It seems like if I don’t go to bed late and sleep for six hours straight, I wake up kind of out of it the next day.  Or for several days afterwards.

However . . . the last week or so the dreams have come back strong and with a vengeance.  Exceedingly vibrant as well.  Like last night, it seemed like I was spending a lot of time going to a job that I didn’t walk, and that it was cold and snowy in July, and when I arrived as said word someone tried to take the keys to my car, and I ended up breaking their arm to keep that from occurring.

It was Friday morning, however, that really hit me hard . . .

I’ve been in situations where I can’t tell if I’m truly asleep or not.  It’s like a waking dream; I know something’s going, I know I’m seeing something, but am I just thinking these things, or am I stuck in a dream so vivid that it feels like I’m awake?

Whatever I was feeling Friday morning, it doesn’t really matter.  What I felt was having a woman I’ve known for years, rolling over in bed next to me, saying good morning, honey, you’re up early, then leaning in close to me to plant a good morning kiss.  I leaned in close to receive said kiss and give her one of my own . . .

And that’s when I realized I was alone in bed.  Not only that, but my left hand was slowly rubbing the pillow I keep there to hug when I go to sleep.  I broke into sobbing, and it took me a good thirty minutes before I was able to drift off to sleep once more.

Unlike this young lady, I'm rarely smiling when I'm doing this.

Unlike this young lady, I’m rarely smiling when I do this.

With the return of the dreams have come the return of the emotions.  April was a bad time for feelings, and there were a lot of crying jags.  Tomorrow starts the first of my hormone treatments, or as some might say, “Welcome to Puberty 2.0!” and I have a feeling the next month or two are going to be crazy times at the casa.

Add to this a lot of heart string tugging on my part . . .

I can get through it.  Just takes a little perseverance, right?