*cover photo taken by Bonnie – overlooking Manzanita Lake up at Mt Lassen*
Dreamwork is the story that started my own journey of Healing Through Writing in the Spring of 2017.
A few weeks after starting Yoga, I awoke from an intense nightmare. I had an overwhelming feeling that I had to write it down! The story was demanding to be recorded. I don’t know how else to describe it. This has never happened before but since then a few more stories have started this way… Generally I only have nightmares when life is deeply painful. Well, it is right now but that part of my life will be kept private until the time is right to share.
Back to that morning. I grabbed my phone before even getting out of bed, with my legs dangling over the side of our tall bed, and emailed myself the descriptive words almost verbatim to what you will read in the story – it is the opening scene. As I got ready for work that morning, cooking breakfast, showering and dressing the story kept coming. I emailed myself 5 times that morning with more of the story each time. I kept thinking, “Phew, okay, that’s good, got it all” then more just kept coming! I texted or emailed (I was in a blur and can’t remember) a writer friend about what was happening and she suggested voice to text or use any way I could think of to get the thoughts down efficiently enough so that I could go about my day and not forget the story parts that were flowing through my head.
All of that day I had the most intense feeling that the rest of life was actually interrupting something important, rather than the other way around. That feeling continues although now I understand it better and have figured out how to honor it. It’s symbiotic. I need both regular life and the space to write what is flowing. It hasn’t stopped! It’s been almost three months.
The title of the story came without any thought. It represents the literal beginning (my dream), the protagonist’s own experiences, and it contains my own quiet dream to one day publish it. It is in the “creative” phase at this time, pouring out freely. I am posting it on Wattpad after a friend suggested it for fun. I love comments! It may need major re-writing but I am not worried about that. I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.
This is the story that is teaching me about the writing, editing and publishing processes – it’s definitely a marathon! Along the way I have already felt changes in my heart related to my personal history – this must be the healing part of the process.
My rather ambitious goal is to take this story through the whole process to independent or small press publishing. I am not a “career writer” & I have no attachment to a monetary reward for this process so I am not envisioning a “Big 5” publishing experience. This is about me, my own healing and desire to explore my own creativity via writing. But, I am completely serious about it.
Embedded in this story are “mini arcs” that are essentially true. Early in the process of writing Dreamwork I became alarmed by my desire to write from experiences that were true as the story flowed. I stumbled (Universe!) upon Mary Tabor’s How Does Autobiography Work in Fiction over on Wattpad Mary Tabor’s Writing Tips article on Wattpad where she writes about truth in fiction. Her essay posits that “self revelation is part of the process in writing” and “any serious writer who denies it, lies.” She goes on to back this statement but I’ll leave the choice to read more about that to you.
This story contains several elements from my initial Why I Write – I.M.M.E.R.S.E. M.E. blog post. To “memorialize family stories” may be the most important element in my personal process in writing this story. So many stories in our lives… so many truths… if any one of them had a slight twist our lives would be completely different. This is what I keep thinking as I write…
Disclaimer: This story is rated Mature due to gun violence & implied child abuse.
Here’s the first scene (link to the story over on Wattpad follows):
Chapter 1 Darkness
He had come back. Loud announcement overhead “Code Black Emergency Room” “Code Black Emergency Room” “Code Black Emergency Room.” The alarm was blaring loudly as doors all over the hospital were automatically swinging shut. Staff was surrounding her, shots fired, it’s as if he’s everywhere! Semi-Auto? Wounded. An X-ray tech falls near where she is crouched hiding behind the crash cart. Too much was happening at once. Chaos. She wraps her arms around him feeling the weight of guilt and shame so heavy she can hardly breathe. “It’s all my fault!” It goes on for what seems an eternity then abruptly stops. She collapses, her head falling down like a rag doll, and everything goes dark.
Lily was wounded but hadn’t felt a thing. The bullet had passed though him into her. They now shared a fate, perhaps guided by the free will of his split-second decision to protect her.
Go here to read Dreamwork on Wattpad , if you wish.
As of this posting, the story has 11 chapters and just over 20,000 words. And it’s not finished! There is much to be worked through on the protagonist’s journey through healing.
Thanks for stopping by!