Friday, June 03, 2005

I think I can, I think I can

I had a student dream last night. You know the one: you're late for the final, can't remember where it was supposed to be held, forgot to cram for it anyway, and when you finally get there you're naked, the proctor is your great aunt Helen in a black corset (with red trim), and she intends to punish you severely, young man if you haven't brought three sharpened #2 pencils -- Well, maybe not that dream. My all-time favorite student dream: after racing around trying to find the final, I get there an hour late. The first question is 1. Tamarind is to homily as espresso is to A) 2.01 B) 5,134 C) 0 D) pi E) all of the above and the rest of the questions make no sense at all. If I remember my Freudian bullshit correctly, and I doubt that I do, student dreams are an indicator of performance anxiety. So here's my analysis. Karen isn't getting pregnant any time soon. I've already done my tough surgical cases for the week. The only 'performance' I have to be anxious about is my novel. Tomorrow, I start righting my second-to-the-last chapter. You need a sense of scale. This mother is going to be at least 270,000 words when it is finished. I have five major POV (point of view -- although I think most of you out there are either writers or writer-wannabes like me, and knew that already) characters, three almost-major POV characters, and two characters who are important enough to require a bit of time in the big climax. I'm wrapping up a trilogy. This is my Battle for Gondor (if I'm mangling that, forgive me; I like Lord of the Rings, but I'm not a big enough fanboy to remember the details). So far, I have thirteen scenes mapped out. It'll have to be twelve or fourteen, since I'm superstitious about thirteen*. After I finish a-bloggin', I'll reread all my notes and do what I always do before starting a new chapter -- I'll sleep on it. Here's hoping I'll have better dreams tonight. D. *I dated a girl in college who wore a gold necklace -- a '13' -- her grandmother had given her. Gran was a Northern Italian witch, Carmela told me, and the villagers burned her workbook after she died. Carmela had recurring dreams that she was a young virgin living in ancient Greece. The girl in the dream aged along with real-time Carmela. My Catholic almost-girlfriend Carmela told me (repeatedly) that her father would kill her if she got pregnant. She left to my imagination what he would do to me. How Carmela would get pregnant is still something of a Catholic mystery to me, since we never even kissed. We didn't last long. Nevertheless, I think of her fondly.


Blogger Jona said...

I get housewife dreams. I can’t get to school on time to pick up the kids, and even after I’ve bribed and begged people to let me use a phone to call the school, there are all these people in my car who won’t get out. I don’t need a Freudian analysis to know it’s a reflection of the lack of control I have in my life!

I didn’t realise you and Karen were trying for another baby, you’re in my thoughts, prayers and wishes.


6/04/2005 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Egad! Did I leave you with that impression? No, one is enough for us, and if it weren't, we would have to adopt. One of these days I'll tell the story about Jake, the Miracle Baby (especially a miracle since none of us believe in miracles).

But your prayers and wishes are appreciated, nonetheless.

1500 words so far today. My two 'short' scenes at the beginning aren't as short as I had hoped. Funny how it always works out that way.

6/04/2005 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger Jona said...

Oops, sorry Doug, I took it as part of your performance anxiety! I must admit I thought it courageous as it’s a heck of thing to start over, when your eldest is approaching adolescence and life is gradually becoming your own again.

Glad to hear the chapter is coming along. I've caught the kids bug and am grumbling my way through the weekend!

6/04/2005 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

What, me courageous? Nah.

6/04/2005 03:59:00 PM  

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