Archive for the ‘SORRY TO TELL YOU A DREAM’ Category

Ideas Machine

July 30, 2017

Once, when I was lamenting to a friend that I didn’t have any projects in the pipeline, she tried to console me by calling me an “ideas machine.”  To which I could only respond by pounding my head forcefully into the nearest hard surface.

But it occurred to me a few weeks ago, that I do in fact have a lot of ideas.  A vast majority of these ideas, however, I am definitely the wrong person to see to completion.  Perhaps there is something like an ideas broker, in which I could maybe sell the ideas to the best candidate?  Here is just a taster of what’s to come:

1. From the Times of London obituary of Helmet Kohl, former German chancellor:

“In late 1944 [Kohl] was sent to a pre-military training camp as part of Hitler’s desperate effort to save the Third Reich by enlisting boys and old men, and ended up in Bavaria. At the war’s end he and three classmates walked 250 miles back to Ludwigshafen through a country in ruins. They scavenged for food, were attacked by liberated Polish prisoners, and saw the bodies of deserters hanging from trees.”

BAM!  Movie.  Right there.  Three boys wander through the German rubble.  Maybe there’s a bear involved, or is that a little too Stand By Me?  Anyway, you’d need to have a thorough, localized understanding of World War II, be able to write adolescent dialog, and speak German.  Well, preferably be German––I think this would work better as a film if it were made in Germany by German filmmakers.

2. Recently I read a long piece in The New Yorker about Augustine, and it commented on how in Confessions, you never hear from his longtime lover and baby mama, who is summarily tossed out of his house when A’s Oedipal nightmare moves in and asserts her power:

The woman with whom he had been living “was torn from my side, because she was supposed to be an obstacle to my marriage,” Augustine writes. “My heart, which had fused with hers, was mutilated by the wound, and I limped along trailing blood.” Of his mistress’s feelings, he gives us no glimpse, noting simply, “She went back to Africa, vowing to you that she would never know another man.” Then she is gone from his account, leaving him with the gnawing sexual appetite that she had served to appease.

So––what about a historical novel from a silent figure?  A la Colm Toibin’s book The Testament of Mary?  This would involve “world-building,” and I do not care to delve into the research on the Roman Empire in North Africa, among other things, enough to do this.  But I think it could be great.  Highest bidder!  (Question: should this service be financially based, or require the applicant to submit a proposal of sorts?)

 

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Is it just me

November 2, 2015

or does this immediately strike you as gross?

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 9.00.46 AMVia the Guardian, which I really didn’t think was porn, but maybe I’m wrong?

PS In my dream last night, a book reviewer called me “chubby” and then I was so upset that they (reviewer and whatever publication they were attached to, I guess?) offered me $1.1 million.  I was still upset, which should have been the clue that I was dreaming, because in real life I’d like be, “SO worth it!”

Twenty-First Century Anxiety Dream

May 8, 2015

The other night I had a dream that my iPhone screen cracked in a million places, and I was super upset about it, and I realized (mid-dream) that it might be the modern equivalent of dental problem dreams?

Interesting

January 9, 2015

I woke up in my sleep last night because in my dream, I got shot in the foot.  I was driving through Baltimore at the time.  Shoulda known better!

My Approval Matrix

August 26, 2014

A work in progress.

Help me fill it in!

Help me fill it in!

Also, last night this was in my dream. 

Feeling Sick

June 16, 2014

I feel sick––like, physically unwell, although I’m also rather sure that I’m making this up in order to avoid certain writing projects that seem daunting right now.  I keep moving from room to room to see if the change of environment will make me feel better––Nabokov called this a fallacy, and so far my anecdotal evidence tells me he was correct.  I wish there was a large, clean, well-lit library around here that was open 24/7 so I could assure myself that I could stay up all night working, but alas, there are only bars.

In the meantime, I’m thinking of putting myself into the kind of treatment Paul Hammers’ mother does in Bullett Park.

“I went into my room to unpack.  The plaster wall was thin and I could hear my mother talking through the partition.  At first I thought someone had joined her after I’d left but then I could tell by the level of her voice that she was talking to herself.  I could hear her clearly.  ‘My father was a common quarry worker, often unemployed.  I had read somewhere that the trajectory of a person’s career could be plotted from their beginnings and given such humble beginnings I thought that I accepted them I would end up as a waitress in a diner or at best a small-town librarian.  I kept trying to tamper with my origins so that I would have more latitude for a career.  Having been raised in a small town I was terrified of being confined to one…’

I went down the hall and opened her door.  She had taken off her shoes and was lying on her bed, fully dressed, talking to the ceiling or the air.

‘What are you doing, Mother?’

‘Oh, I’m analyzing myself,’ she said cheerfully.  ‘I thought I might benefit from psychoanalysis.  I went to a doctor in the village.  He charged a hundred schillings an hour.  I simply couldn’t afford this and when I said so he suggested that I get rid of my car and cut down on my meals.  Imagine.  Then I decided to analyze myself.  Now, three times a week, I lie down on my bed and talk to myself for an hour.  I’m very frank.  I don’t spare myself any unpleasantness.  The therapy seems to be quite effective and, of course, it doesn’t cost me a cent.  I still have three quarter of an hour to go and if you don’t mind leaving me alone…’  I went out and closed the door but I stood in the hall long enough to hear her say: ‘When I sleep flat on my back my dreams are very linear, composed and seemly.  I often dream, on my back, of a Palladian villa.  I mean an English house built along the lines of Palladio.  When I sleep in a prenatal position my dreams are orotund, unsavory and sometimes erotic.  When I sleep on my abdomen…'”

Treif Alert!

April 2, 2014

More freelancer problems: some days you spend all afternoon trying to draw portraits of Clarice Lispector, and they all turn out wrong, because she just looks too damn happy.

This week, if nothing else, at least I finally read The Passion of G.H., which has been on my list for at least five years.  It was strange and boring and exhilarating and transcendent and crass all at once.  Thanks, Lispector!  In the translator’s note was this fittingly eerie anecdote about Clarice’s interaction with a super fan:

“A friend in Brazil told me of a young woman in Rio who’d read Clarice Lispector obsessively and was convinced––as I and legions of other Clarice devotees have been––that she and Clarice Lispector would have a life-changing connection if they met in person.  She managed to get in touch with the writer, who kindly agreed to meet her.  When the young woman arrived, Clarice sat and stared at her and said nothing until the woman finally fled the apartment.”

Holy fuck!  Can you imagine this face staring at you for even more than one second?

Clarice-Lispector

In other news, two days ago, while napping after reading a passage, I dreamed I very reluctantly choked down grilled snake.

Oof

November 7, 2013

“Lately I have been having nightmares.  I am always stealing heads of fresh lettuce from dead men.”
~Diary of Ruth Straub, nurse at Bataan in 1942, excerpted in We Band of Angels: The Untold Story of the American Women Trapped on Bataan

Writers’ Dreams

July 25, 2013

I had a dream in which I overcame the fact that I was taught to type TWO spaces between sentences and started to instinctively (and correctly) only use one.  Pathetic.

Typical Teeth Dream

October 4, 2012

So most people even basically familiar with dream imagery know that dreams about losing your teeth indicate that the dreamer feels out of control, so I’m wondering if my dream the other night, in which I had a minor cavity that was somewhat annoying but not scary, means I’m feeling a mild (and perhaps appropriate) amount of discontent with the amount of control I have over my life?