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.