Dream state(ments)

raysAlthough it may sound rather obvious for a writer to say she loves dreaming, it’s true: I love dreams. I don’t profess to knowing much about them, but I love the feeling of waking up out of a dream and remembering it before it begins to sift away. I also love dream-like states while awake. Sometimes, the act of writing is like this: when I’m in the creative zone, it all feels a little unreal, a little otherworldly, a magical suspension of time–the same way a late summer afternoon feels when you’ve got nothing to do but take it in. (photo above of a beautiful moment of river wading in Bright Angel Park, Vancouver Island, BC).

Not long ago, I dreamt I was swimming in wheat—a field of wheat, ripe and blowing in the wind, and I was in it, upon it, swimming, supported, having the time of my life.

Then, a few dream moments later, I was completely naked, walking through the streets, trying to choose which store to enter to find some clothing, knowing it wouldn’t go so well, that I would only make the other customers feel awkward.

That afternoon, out of the blue, my daughter asked me what I’d dreamt the night before. She plugged these two dreams into the oracle otherwise known as the internet, and voila: instant interpretation.

Here’s what she found out:

Wheat=success. A whole field of it=meeting your goals, prosperity.

Nakedness=feeling exposed, uncomfortable with how people see you.

Huh. Or should I say, duh?

This basically sums up the whole process of writing, especially when sharing that writing with an audience beyond myself, a few generous writing buddies and my hubby. I’m not only launching a book of short fiction into the world in a few weeks, I’ve also been writing poetry and creative non-fiction, often about people I know and love… I may not be sure about what I’m dreaming, but I know that the subconscious is no fool.

Luckily, the vulnerability, worry, and uncertainty that come with publishing are counterbalanced, on most days, with excitement, relief and feeling very fortunate to be in this position at all. I’ll be the mama of two short story collections. This is dreams coming true here!

I doubt I will sleep well in the days around my launch, or need to consult any websites to tell me what I’m feeling. Things are already getting pretty darned exciting around here, with three of the stories in The Pull of the Moon having been just recently released in some of my favourite literary magazines:

“Squirrel People” in Prism International

“Damage” in Little Fiction, and

“Weeping Camperdown” in The Danforth Review.

I’ve also got a couple of interviews and guest blog posts scheduled, reviews on the horizon (gulp!) and a soundtrack to the stories coming out in early September. Will I do what Molly Ringwald has done since she was nineteen, and not read any reviews? (I just heard this today on CBC). I’m not sure I have that kind of resolve, but it’s a great idea.

What I’m feeling right now, more than anything, other than a little desiccated from this old-school, amazingly sunny and warm Vancouver Island summer, is thankful. That gratitude list thing going around on Facebook recently was a wonderful reminder, however schmaltzy it could become, of all the goodness in the world, even in times of global chaos and trauma.

So, thank you for reading this. Thanks to my wonderful publisher, Brindle & Glass, for taking this book on. And thanks to whatever stars or planets aligned to give me this opportunity.

Ready. Set. Here we go.