Monday, July 30, 2012
I don't see myself as a cynic, but who does? Maybe I am. I prefer to think I am pragmatic.
For instance, I don't believe in the muse. I don't believe in waiting to "feel it". I believe in putting your bottom in the chair and your hands on the keyboard. I believe in, when out of the chair, thinking about the characters and story (in that order) then going back to the chair.
I also have never had time to worry about when (or if) the sale was going to happen or if somebody else was going to get there before me. Because it was going happen or not and somebody was always going to get there first and somebody wasn't. Move on.
Stephanie shares this philosophy. That's what you want in a writing partner.
Now Katherine Bone is not a cynic, not even close. She has put herself in charge of keeping up the spirits of those she loves. I guess she had noticed that I don't have any of those little signs around my computer that lots of writers have. You know. Or maybe you don't. They say things like "Never, never, never give up" –Winston Churchill. "Believe", "The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places", "When the world says, 'Give up,' Hope whispers, 'Try it one more time.'"
I have bought quite a few of these things—mostly for gifts for Kathy. Some for gift baskets and such. None for me. None for Stephanie.
So I think Kathy felt a little sorry for me that what I've got around my desk are plotting charts, maps of my towns, and pictures of my characters that I've torn out of magazines. The only thing close to inspirational I have taped to my monitor are some reminders to write the scene in the point of view of the character who has the most to lose and what my current hero and heroine need from each other.
So Kathy brought me a little doodad that says: "Dream: All dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them." Walt Disney.
"Walt Disney was a wise man," Kathy said.
Because I enjoy picking on her a little, I answered, "Walt Disney is a frozen man. And, dream or no, that is not likely to change."
She tsked at me. (She does that.) I then explained the flaws in Disney's philosophy. Let's say for instance that I want to be a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader. No matter what, no matter how hard I try, they are not going to let me be a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader. (Nor should they.) And let's be honest. There is a point when courage crosses the line into pure stupidity. Kathy maintained it was a moot point since I have no aspiration to be a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader.
But you know what? That little doodad was smiling down on me two days ago, when I got The Call—the one that said Stephanie and would be published authors. It sat there while Stephanie and squealed at each other like, well, cheerleaders.
I am going to keep that little doodad forever—or at least until Walt Disney comes back to life.
"The best way to make a dream come true is to wake up." Muhammad Ali.
I believe that. But let's go ahead and factor in a little courage--as long as it's realistic.
What is your view on dreams?