It is with great resignation and few hours of sleep, even that interrupted by dreams, that I title this posting such. If there were a grand bell tolling the hour, it would just be finishing the last of its six clangs as I start this post to all of you. Trying in vain to go to sleep at 3 AM, I lie there and drifted off sometime before four, but I’m not sure how long before. At 5:15 I was again awoken from the midst of quite an interesting dream by an incessant toothache, of which I am oft plagued lately.
So good in fact was the dream that I lie there consciously attempting to re-enter to see how it would have concluded In my dream reality I was still myself, though encased in the physical characteristics of Marshall Flinkman, a character you will only recognize if you are a fan of the TV series Alias. I have no clue as to why I manifested in my dream as this guy, but it was my brain inside his body throughout which I enacted my REM saga. I was in Los Angeles, working as technical coordinator for a man whose name I can not remember now, the detail having faded as dreams often do upon waking. My counterpart in this dream was a lovely young blonde woman, bearing a tight-pulled executive ponytail and sharp, yet narrowly chiseled features. Her eyes were ocean blue; Caribbean ocean, not that of the Atlantic or pacific, with their darker overtones.
In my dream, we had only two days with which to prepare what must have been a press conference for the unnamed senator. The dream picked up in the office where we work, dark mahogany paneling suffacing every available panel and the scent of lemon air-freshener, reminiscent of a cheap laywer’s office, not that of a senator-to-be. I remember offering to help Lauren coordinate the events’ technical aspects over dinner. It’s funny now to remember. If you know the character of Marshall, you would understand, but basically you have to implant my attitude and flair for the dramatic into a man little over five feet in height and who is a complete and total techno-weenie in every sense of the term. Anyway, most of the dream has faded from me now, but I remember leaning across the desk and offering to take her to dinner to discuss the event, and then running all around LA in my Jeep (which ironically I still drove in my dream) trying to find a car wash that would do a quick laser-wash before I picked her up. I arrived at her apartment, walked in the door, and then I woke up. I’m not sure where the dream came from, why I was in Los Angeles, nor why I was working for a senator.
Quite frankly I blame it all on Tom, who has put me in this creative writing mood lately. Upon waking, I tried to lure myself back to sleep after taking a vigorous dose of darvocet, only to find myself trying to distract myself with thoughts of what I would write, if I were indeed to take on this challenge to try to write something worth publishing.
At first, I simply lie there trying to think of a way to start. Do I write a crime thriller, a police investigative story, a profiler serial killer novel? Deciding to further investigate alternative methods of originating at a plot, I started seeking other plot devices to help me solidify something in this that would allow me to gain a foothold.
Following that line of thought I left my main plot filed under the to-be-determined-later section of my brain and focused instead on the where’s and why’s that would provide the back story of my story. Do I write about places that I know and am familiar with or do I extend myself fictionally to upstate New York or California, about which I know little to nothing? While I few ideas appealed to me, this area of though left me just as undecided. I henceforth moved into character development. Every good novel needs a hero, supporting characters, and of course a villain or multiple villains.
Again… I say with the most deadpan voice I can summon… “Thanks Tom…”
At 5:30, now fevered even more by hunger than I had realized, I got up and made myself a six egg omelette while I allowed my brain to churn out whatever it would. Apparently all this mental straining was quite the work out, leaving me exceedingly hungry at a time when the house is mostly bare of stock with which to make a proper breakfast. Hence, the enormous omelette I concocted in the kitchen.
It is now almost 6:30 and I sit here to document what I have been able to come up with so far, and YOU (pointing out at you, Tom) had better be reading this, for you are now my chief editor. I hope you’re happy. I’m sorry to appoint you to such a post, but Tim isn’t exactly the bastion of literary embodiment I need as a sounding board. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen him read one book in the three years I’ve known him. I did try to use April for advice and ideology considering her love for similar literary works a boon to my newfound creativity, but when trying to explain my concerns about writing to her I was rewarded with, and I quote, “Just shut up and do it.”
So, what do I have you ask? Well, so far I have a main character with no definition. His name is one he hates, one he has had to grow up with, been teased about, and is now old enough to accept it with the dignity in which it was meant. Something like Maximus comes to mind, providing me with plenty of easy-to-imagine literary license for childhood horror stories. Is he FBI, DEA, Secret Service, police investigator, CIA, homicide detective, local pharmacist, rugby recruiter? I haven’t any idea. I only know that he’s at least 40 years old, and has only been in his job for a few years, after retiring from some government career that will leave him with a decent pension and good connections in the world in which he will be created.
I do have my supporting character imagined fairly well for someone starting out in this novel-creating concept. Angus Johnson is a mid forties black man of immense physical proportions, robust without being even slightly considered fat by any stretch of the imagination. Angus Johnson is a medical examiner currently, though that may change as time goes on. Coming from a small town in southern America, he was your atypical high-school jock, athletic but possessing a softer personality, making him friends with those from all walks of life. Possessing a natural skill for football, Angus played defensive end for his high school football team, moving on to play through college on a sports scholarship, but devoting all his spare time to his studies, eventually leading him to his desire to work in the medical profession. Having been lean throughout his younger days, Angus took his football seriously, working out in the gym religiously and at home when time allowed. Over two years his physique grew to match the proportions he thought God intended for a man who has to go through life towering over others at 6’5” tall. Seen through the guise of his helmet in his youth, the only visible aspect of his face was an exceptionally broad forehead, wrinkled with determination as he faced his opponents on the field. Coupled with the intense determination seen by his opposing teammates in his deep brown eyes, he somewhere gained the moniker “Black Angus”, a name that came to be feared by whoever was unlucky enough to sense the presence of the thundering mass of this bull of a man charging towards them on the field.
Suffering a devastating injury to his left shoulder and rotator cuff during his junior year left his dreams of professional football unrealized, and he then applied all his time to his studies, both in criminal law and medicine.
A grown man now, Angus works for the coroner’s office as a medical examiner. A fan of browns and tans, he is most often comfortable in thick tweed jackets, button-down collared shirts of various shades of yellow, green, or similar patterned material, and crisply pressed slacks that come to rest just precisely on his comfortable, yet stylish brown loafers, which he swears aren’t orthopedically resplendent, just trendy. And there we have what I have so far…. not much I know.
Lacking any further information, yet being unable to seek the solace of sleep, I shall now regale you with my tales of the past week while I let my imagination work quietly in the background. It seems lately that I have a guilt complex when I go too long without composing this journal. Often in the middle of the day, my fingers itch to be working at this keyboard, even when my mind has yet to render anything for them to type. It is those times that I find myself getting up to go search out something worth writing about.
This was originally continued but I chose to edit and end it here to begin the new post with a new topic.
Sorry for the discontinuity.
To Be Continued…
Tommy 0705HRS 020907