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Blaugust 26: Misusing Writing Prompts

Fiction Prompt (from Poets & Writers)
You know that weird notion that sometimes surfaces when you meet new people–that feeling that you already know them, but can’t remember why or how? Write a scene for a story about two people who both experience the same déjà vu upon meeting, with a plot driven by their need to figure out how they know each other. Use this opportunity to add an element of magical realism to your story. Perhaps they were married in a past life, or maybe they met in a dream. Once they solve the puzzle, how does this impact their lives going forward? Do they even believe the answer, or do they agree it’s too far-fetched?

This reminds me of a story I wanted to write. A story about love and dreams and reality. I was going to have the main couple meet in a dream–except, instead of A dream, they would keep meeting in dreams, and the dreams would vary a lot as dreams do. I was going to have them be birds one time.

Fairly recently I read a summary of a new book that had a much too similar premise to this. Of course what I thought was, I waited to long and now it’s too late. Someone else did it, so I shouldn’t even bother.

Now, I haven’t read this book so I don’t know the details of the plot. And it’s safe to say that this book is not exactly the same as the book I would write. It does seem close enough, though, that it makes me wonder. Because, see, I would much prefer to put writing out there that is unique. I dread the idea of someone reading a book I wrote and thinking, “I could have written that.” I don’t see the point in writing if I’m only doing what has already been done.

Maybe it’s not possible to do something as different as that without becoming China Mieville. The details of his worlds are quite fascinating… but the next person to write like him is just going to be seen as “copying.” Because when you’re THAT different, no one else can just happen to go there.


(Please don’t ask me what the gif has to do with the post… because the answer is nothing.)



Blaugust 13: The Weirdest Dreams

I often get snippets of last night’s dreams at random times during the day. By snippets, I mean anything from a weird impression of a thing that my brain told me really happened while I was in dreamland, to the entire contents of the dream packed into a sudden memory that my mind processes in less than a second. And since dream time is very different, and one dream can sometimes occur as if over many years, that can be quite a strange experience.

Sometimes I’ll only remember the people who were in it and what type of interaction we had, as opposed to what actually happened.

I’ll say from time to time, “I have the weirdest dreams.” When I have this thought, I don’t usually mean the ones where I was talking with a headless demon or giant bugs invaded my bedroom (both of those were real dreams I had). I mean the ones that would be essentially indistinguishable from real life but for the distinct separation, when awake, between the experiences that are “real” and those that are fabricated in the mind.

You might think–well, I dreamed last night that I was a mer-octopus with the head of a lion, so that was weirder.

Is it, though? Because that is most obviously a dream. No matter what you know it is a dream, because that type of dream is so different from the real world.

In a way the dreams that are most like real life, with strange differences (like your best friend looks completely different, or your relationship with someone in your life is completely different, or a friend makes a cameo but they act like they never would in real life…) are weirder. They’re jarring, sometimes disorienting. Sometimes you’ll think “I’m so glad that was a dream,” and other times “I wish that wasn’t a dream.”


I wonder what I will be dreaming about tonight.

Monday Madness: That Awkward Moment

I’ve forgotten everything I was going to write about. My brain is not working at all. Everything that has happened so far today was so frustrating and tiring that I don’t even want to blog. But I haven’t missed a Monday yet. (Except when I was on a cruise. Because I couldn’t get online.)

That awkward moment when Pandora won’t let you skip any more songs, so you have to just jump between stations and hope for the best.

While the dream of being a published writer is still hanging over everything I do, pushed back in favor of being a responsible “adult” (ugh. the worst), I keep coming up with new goals that are all… kind of weird. Not that they don’t make sense, but they’re just not things most people would think of as important goals. Things like having a really nice bed (I guess I could somehow get my mattress from my mom’s house moved, but… either a lot of time and effort or a lot of money) and having someone to bring me coffee–not a significant other, in particular, but maybe an assistant whose job it was just to bring me coffee when I really need it and am either too busy or too tired to get it myself. But I guess that kind of thing only happens for rich people?

I keep thinking about random other things to pursue in my life. For example, I LOVE food. It’s one of my favorite things about life. It’s the original reason I started this blog, although it’s branched out a bit since then. I bet if I found the right angle or audience or whatever I could make a career out of something food-related. I mean, look at Hannah Hart. No seriously, go watch her videos. She’s one of my favorite vloggers. She does the My Drunk Kitchen and Hello, Harto series. (Side note: words that are the same both singular and plural annoy me. The plural always sounds wrong.)

And maybe one of the ideas I’ve had for websites and apps could actually pan out, turn into something, but I know absolutely nothing about coding, and I’m terrible at asking people for anything, and I feel like the ideas are ridiculous until proven worthwhile, so I want to do it myself. But I can’t do it myself. Should I learn coding? Would I even be able to? I’ve really only been good at creative pursuits, not technical ones. But I also haven’t done too badly with languages, despite failing to retain any of them other than English, so maybe…

This morning, when I was walking to the bus, I was so tired and my sinuses hurt so much that I really just wanted to pass out. When I get home, I might do that. After dinner. And if the roasted red peppers I bought over a week ago have managed to go bad (the kind from Whole Foods–plastic container, not a sealed jar), I will be SO fucking sad.

Hey, I just wrote a poem!

I think next time I will do a few food haikus. –Wait, what’s the correct plural of haiku?

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