Saturday, March 10, 2007

Dreaming About Reading and Writing

One of the most fun, and most rare, dreams I have is that I'm reading a book and it's really really good -- exciting and detailed and moving and lovely. Then when I wake up, I'm thrilled to realize that since I was dreaming the book, I in fact made it up and now I can write it!! Whee!

Then it dawns on me that the book is actually not so great, that the premise is ridiculous or something. Oh, well.

When I took up the piano a few years ago, I started having a new kind of writing-related dream, one that conflates the two kinds of keyboards. In these dreams, I'll be trying to play something I usually know how to play but find it impossible because the keyboard has turned into a computer keyboard (once it was even one of those old Texas Instruments membrane keyboards).

I think the point of these dreams is to contrast the happy ineptitude with which I approach the piano to the agonized ineptitude that characterizes my writing, these days. Anyway, there's something about practice, mastery, skill, performance... I can't figure it all out.

Last night I dreamed I was listening to my old piano teacher play, but when she turned around I saw she was actually my old writing teacher from college. You have to practice a lot! she said. You need to have calluses on your fingers! And you need a teacher!

The human mind is so weird.

1 comment:

Beda said...

Follow your dreams. Along with many others, no doubt. I am waiting for another book from you. Yikes! The pressure is on. Sorry. I picked up After Life at a used book store and could not put it down. You are a brilliant writer. Your characters are real, if odd (that's good) and your story moves without let up. The atmosphere you created was so natural I could almost feel snowflakes on my cheeks. Your story is woven beautifully and just the right false clues sprinkled about (icycles and crowbars). I am hungry for another literary hole to snuggle in as I did with this book.