It seems the yesterday’s post touched more than a few people in ways I hadn’t suspected. About a year ago I had someone start following the blog, only to send me the following comment two days later: “This isn’t just about writing, is it?” He stopped following me the next day because, yes, I don’t always talk about writing, and this upset him greatly. Probably had something to do with him being a nutso control freak, which manifested in a couple of online writer groups I was in, but that’s another story.
While I write about writing, I also write about how I feel about writing, and how it makes me feel. It’s not always good, and it’s not always pleasant but it’s usually honest. As a writer we have to be honest with ourselves, at least that’s what I think. You can spend all your time writing stories that involve having sex with your step-kids, but at some point you have to be honest and say, “This is really sort of crappy.” If you aren’t saying that, well . . . you’re not me. Which probably isn’t that bad a thing, come to think of it.
I try to pay attention on everything these days. As Johnny Cash said, “You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” That’s me these days: I look ahead, but remember what has already come before. Because I do know what it’s like to be pinned down by your past, and how it can gnaw at you until you can’t move forward any longer. It sucks hard, and I don’t need that negative energy in my life these days.
So what is this about Paloma, you say? A dream, I say. After editing two chapters last night–editing and formatting, I should say–it was off to bed, because it’s not like anything else is happening in my life. It was raining lightly last night, and I love to hear soft rains, so I was off to sleep pretty fast . . .
That’s when the strange stuff happened.
Whatever I was dreaming, I was in world burning mode last night. It seemed as if things were really crappy, that things weren’t nearly as good as they are today, and yet, it wasn’t entirely a crapsack world. Tre Funky, yes. But I still had a car and internet, so it wasn’t a total hole.
For some reason I was trying to move a bunch of kids from my part of the country to a new job in . . . Paloma, California. For some reason I thought this was a great idea, because I’d have a fantastic job and I’d be able to take care of everyone, and so forth and on. It stuck with me so much that after I got onto the computer this morning I did a quick map look for Paloma, California . . .
And was duly unimpressed.
It’s a small collection of buildings in the middle of nowhere east of Stockton. There’s a church, some roads going elsewhere, and that’s it. A couple of nice houses, but no business that would make me willing to pack up a bunch of kids and haul them a few thousand miles.
Why did this happen? Maybe there’s a story there. Maybe not.
I’ll keep my eyes open, though–just in case.