I’ve always wished I was an artist, of the drawing or painting type. My mind is filled with visions of beautiful things, but I’ve never had the talent or patience to learn to create them. What comes out on paper is always so far from what I envision that it’s just frustrating.

My stories all start with a mental image. Some bit of music or a sentence someone says and I suddenly see something in my mind’s eye. Dream sequences will also live in my head if they have a story to tell. It’s rarely the whole dream, but one part of it will gnaw at me until its time comes. That one image or dream scene, no matter how small, is the beginning of everything I write.

These little flashes always feel like I’m seeing another world. I rarely understand them or know who the people in them are. That’s something that comes with time as I reflect on them and the feelings they bring up in me. It’s exciting to find these pieces and slowly build a bigger picture of what’s happening.

I have one right now that’s pounding in my head, demanding attention. It’s a single piece of a dream I had the other night. I was standing on the lower slope of a hill with the earth rumbling, reverberating up through my feet into my bones. A herd of wild horses crested the hill, stampeding towards me. There was a sense of loneliness and inevitability about them, like they were a force of nature, more than a mob of animals desperate to escape something.  

I’m still unsure what story those horses are trying to tell me, but I know without a doubt that they’re part of one. There was a lot more to that dream, but I know it’s the horses that are important because they’re what won’t leave my mind. The thunder of their hooves keeps demanding my attention. Eventually they’ll lead me to the other pieces of the tale. It might take days, it might take years.

My visuals are so strong that one of my early attempts at writing my book was actually a script for a graphic novel. The first scene I ever saw for it was burned into my mind so clearly that I didn’t want to mess it up by trying to write it down. I wanted someone else to draw it for me. I didn’t trust myself to be able to draw it with words any more than I could draw it with my hands.

I’ve since written that scene, and I think I did a decent job of painting it with words. I think I did an even better job in my novella that started with a dream I had on the subway. The story I published in Legacy was based solely on an image of a man on a battlefield looking for a sword, and it’s now grown into a two-book series I assume I’ll start writing when the current trilogy is done. What a joy to have all these worlds in my head!

The even greater joy is that I don’t want someone else to paint my pictures anymore. I trust myself to do it now. Little by little the words are coming together, and they’re painting the pictures I want to show you. In the new year I’m going to be focusing on submitting short stories for publication, and I’m really hoping for some success so I can share them. It’s strange to be at this point of finally wanting to show my writing to people, but I can’t because journals and magazines generally don’t publish things that have already appeared elsewhere. Fingers crossed for future successes.

I won’t be updating next week, as I’ll be visiting family for the holidays. I thank all of you who have been joining me on this journey so far. Whatever this time of year means to you, I hope you get to enjoy it with people who matter. Much love to you all.

1 Comment

  1. Eric Whiteley

    Look fwd to seeing some of your work.Hope we get to see you while you are down here.

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