Do you ever have those moments as you wake up, when the images of momentary dreams slip from your grasp like wisps of clouds? I'm sure most people have those moments. How often have you thought, "I was dreaming, but I can't remember what," in the moments after you awoke?
There is a place between conscious and unconscious where dreams and reality meet. A place where the unreal seems real, and the real is unsubstantial. Maybe you're not sure what is real and what isn't.
I often refer to "my muse" or "the muse." Henceforth, I will just refer to "Muse" as if it were another person. Muse exists in my head, almost like a person and without it, my writing would be non-existent at worst, or dull and boring at best.
Often, I will see something unexpected and Muse paints images in my brain to make up a mini-story. Not quite flash fiction in most cases, but something to go with the images I am observing. Usually it happens in the space of a few seconds, but sometimes it takes place over a longer period of time.
And sometimes, if conditions are right, Muse writes without painting pictures or images. Recently, I was visiting "Writing With Both Sides of My Brain," one of my favorite blogs and written by Angela Masters Young. Angela spends a lot of time musing over
Once upon a lifetime ago I was a remodeling contractor. I built all sorts of things for people and redid their kitchens and bathrooms, finished their basements and built decks around their swimming pools. And thus it was that, early one spring, I found myself finishing a basement for my brother.
The last part of that job was installing a maple window shelf along a knee wall that ran alongside the wall of windows in their walk-out basement. The shelf was made up of twelve-foot long boards and since I had just laid all new flooring in the basement, I was taking the trim-work outside to cut it. The door to the basement is a set of French doors and I opened both doors to facilitate my going in and out with the long pieces of maple.
My brother and his family live in the country on a beautiful piece of property. You see deer, ducks, geese and many songbirds. During the previous two weeks, I had seen a flock of turkeys saunter by, a big tom herding his hens along and keeping track of them. His tail was fully displayed in the annual rituals of spring.
Once upon a lifetime ago, I was a remodeling contractor. I used to meet all kinds of people, go into their homes and tell them how to make them more beautiful or help them fix their problems. I'd size up the cars in the driveway and the exterior of the house, make note of the neighborhood and figure out what kind of job it would be―extravagant, modest or cheap.
Now you might figure that the best neighborhoods were the most desirable to work in, but it simply wasn't true. No one will nickel and dime you as well as someone who can afford a few extra dimes and nickels. One day as I was driving from one potential customer to another, the phone rang and I answered it. "Mrs. Potential Customer" spoke and in less time than it took you to read this sentence, my muse painted a picture in my head.
Willy was a member of our family, my best buddy and will forever remain alive in my heart. He left us for the rainbow bridge last year and while he was alive, he changed forever how I perceive and understand the way some animals think and act. One day when Willy was about nine months old―almost but not quite full grown―Marg made spaghetti for dinner and as on so many other occasions, what ensued next woke up the muse...
"Boy oh boy does that smell good. I can't wait for dinner. She's been cooking that stuff all day and I just can't wait for dinner. Mike ALWAYS shares with me and I can't wait."
The mind's eye creates images in the space of instant. You see something, you hear something and the picture forms, and then it never leaves. Eventually something triggers the memory and you remember and new images form new thoughts and the muse writes and if you're lucky, it won't be a tangled mess...
"I'm never going to get back. I'm stuck and I may as well shut it off and lose everything. But if I shut it off, will I get out? Will I be done? Is it over?"