And yet, after all this time, I'm writing about my dreams?
But a different kind of dream.
Once upon a time I had a wish, a desire, a dream. If someone had given me a short time to live, I would have put my first priority on going to England. I would have put it ahead of food and medicine, I think, because the idea of dying without ever having been there was deep tragedy to me.
Fortunately, we went to England without such a dire threat hanging over my head. And went back again, and again.
The dream of “England” has never faded, never died, and every trip (five so far) has just made it stronger.
And finally, I found myself writing about England. It was a romp of an action script (science fiction, but that’s a tale for another day). It had a subplot that was set in 11th Century England, complete with castles and lords and ladies and swords and danger and passion and such. Because the entire script was parody, I found that dabbling in the dialect and culture was rockin’ good fun. I didn’t worry over it, the way I would have if I’d been writing a novel set in the same time period. The research was done, but not fretted over. And that script (DREAMERS) was a finalist in the Nicholl in 2000.
A couple of years later I wrote another script set in England, but this one was much more challenging. This one was contemporary, was populated with many English characters and the idea of writing English characters speaking English dialogue that was believable was daunting. And yet, it was exhilarating and fun. This script ended up under consideration at the BBC, and was received really well there. I have that rejection letter in a special file because it was a personal success on several levels.
And finally, a story seized my heart and soul that demanded even more of me. It demanded that I not just write a script, but that I write a novel. Not just a novel, but a trilogy. That I immerse myself in English history, religion, literature, and life. It terrified me and demanded everything I could give it, and more, and that’s where I’ve been living, writing and dreaming for the past couple of years.
Dreaming. Yes, dreaming. The research is a thrill and a joy. The trip we took this spring was heaven itself. I am immersed in this dream of mine, this dream of England. I am writing my dreams, living my dreams.
I have created a magical universe set in an alternate England, and populated it with people who never lived. And yet this universe exists, and these people live. And what sets them apart from any others I’ve written about is that it is all woven with the threads of my most passionate and beloved dream, with the essence of the England that is in my heart.
This has nothing to do with what happens when I close my eyes at night, and everything to do with how I spend my waking hours.
I waited twenty years to discover this bit of magic. Honestly, it took me that long to absorb enough from the movies, books, television shows and friends I adore to feel comfortable writing this. But I am here now, living in my dreams, and writing them.
Tomorrow, a practical application of dreams.