Once, just a few short months ago, I had a dream I was sitting in a parked car in an abandoned parking lot outside of a supermarket. It was nighttime. I was in the passenger seat, eyeing the driver as he thumbed threw a hefty stack of papers. In the dream, I recognized the man to be Richard Matheson. He was considering the pages with a cryptic glare. Meticulously he'd finish another paper and hand them to me.
When he finally arrived at the end of this, maybe 200 page book, he nodded and set the paper down in his lap.
"So," I remember saying, "Is it good? Should I continue?"
He turned to me then and said, "Yes, it's very good. I think you should publish it."
In a snap, the dream ended.
Since then, I've been feverishly compiling my ideas, making lists, really getting down to work. I feel very upset that Ray Bradbury, a very good writer, has passed. I feel more upset by this than I did when J.D. Salinger passed for some reason. It could be that he was born in Illinois. Maybe that's why it struck so close to home.
The night before, Venus passed the sun. These two pivotal events conjure up so many images in my mind. Often this sparks the ideas or concepts I wish to work on.
SPACE. AGE. MORTALITY. COSMIC COINCIDENCE. IMMORTALITY. GRIEF. THE LEGACY. THE STORYCOLLECTER.
Every day, Ray Bradbury would go to his desk and start a word list, similar to the one above. Then he would try to craft stories around those words. Did you know that?
Recently, I finished his book Zen in The Art Of Writing. It was very profound. A classic. I have a feeling that's the last how-to book on writing that I'll ever need.
I guess I'm not surprised that he had written every single day of his life since he was ten years old.
Why not? He loved to do it.
To him, breathing life into words was not a chore...it was a privilege. One that he had the opportunity to practice for 91 years.
Now, as I sit at my desk, I pay tribute to those who have sat down like I have, fumbled at the words like I have, walked away from it and then come crawling back to it like I have.
I think Gene Wilder said it best:
"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams."
Meanwhile, I'm still swamped.
I just sent a CD of a voice demo to a talent agency here in Chicago. Soon, I'll send to the other three.
On the writing front, I'm nine pages away from completing the final edits.
I'm jazzed to get back into writing some more novellas and hopefully tackle that next novel.
One of my friends wants me to collaborate with him. That's exciting.
As for inspiration? That will come later.
The important thing is to write.