I’ve learned to pay attention to my dreams ever since my early writing days when I realized how closely they reflected my feelings about my work. Last night I dreamt that I was on Topsail Island, caught in Hurricane Roberto.
(Very weird side note! I just Googled Hurricane Roberto and discovered it was a category 5 hurricane that did enormous damage in Palixia. Now, I admit to being pathetic when it comes to geography, but Palixia? So I googled Palixia and found a ton of information on a country I’ve never heard of. But something just didn’t ring right. . . For example, the site states that The name Palixia is believed to come from the Spootopolion word pal icks, which means “freaky”. Finally, my googling took me to a site which identified Palixia as a country in a “free nation simulation game,” in which online players create their own countries, complete with economic, military, social–and yes, meteorological–histories. Wow, do I feel duped!)
So, anyway, I was swept into the ocean by Hurricane Roberto. It was frightening. The waves were massive and coming at me from all directions. I knew I needed to swim toward shore. The problem was, I didn’t know which direction to swim in, since I couldn’t see land at all.
The dream reflects perfectly my current state of mind. I have three important things I need to work on. 1) The sequel to BEFORE THE STORM, which I’m currently calling, AFTER THE STORM; 2) Revisions on BEFORE THE STORM; and 3) promotional tasks related to the paperback release of THE SECRET LIFE OF CEECEE WILKES at the end of the year. Every morning, I wake up uncertain which of these three to focus on and I’m tossed back and forth between them the way the sea tossed me during Hurricane Roberto. When I work on one, I feel as if I should be working on another.
So instead of working on any of the above, I Googled what to do in a hurricane, searching for symbolic insight. I think I found it:
- Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies. (I think they mean email in my case. . . )
- Go to your safe room. (Aha! I have not been spending enough time writing at Starbucks lately!)
- Take refuge in a small interior room or closet (Okay, I’ll go to the little Starbucks.)
- Lie on the floor under a table. (Uh, no. They already think I’m weird enough at Starbucks).
I think I just got the answer! Clearly my dream didn’t take place either before or after the storm, but rather during it. So I shouldn’t work on the revisions or on the sequel, but on the promotional material, and that will be my focus tomorrow morning.