It's been many years since I have daydreamed - truly daydreamed.
I didn't realize it until just the other day. During all these years of adulthood (in my case, some 40 years of adulthood depending on if you count from 18, or 21) I forgot how to daydream. There are various reasons. But, come to think of it, these are excuses, not reasons.
What happened to the child me? What happened to the girl who dreamed of being Lois Lane during the end of recess when we lined up for what it seemed hours? What happened to the girl who was going to change the world for the btter one day?
Was the girl buried under life? Well, I've been digging these past few days, trying to find my way to the surface. Even if I can't break that surface, I will try to poke a hole in whatever buried me, and breathe in the fresh air of Anything Can Happen.
I've missed a couple of prompts (admission: more than a few) in the Author Blog Challenge I have not been participating in that much. I wish I could tell you it was because I was undergoing a Great Crisis of Belief. In a way, that is true. But in a bigger way, it is still another excuse.
My voice is not fully formed. It tries to be heard, but cracks whenever I try to write, and keep up with the other participants. Like a boy who is reaching puberty, I am beset with doubts. Everyone is staring at me. (Or worse, not reading me at all.) Everyone knows how inferior I am. Why am I even here?
The Blog Challenge to the rescue.
A recent prompt was: "Describe your first book signing. Real or imagined." The next day's prompt was "If a Hollywood agent were to come knocking on your door with an offer to turn your book into a movie and told you that you could call all the shots, who would you have direct and star in it? Write the first paragraph of Rober Ebert's review of your film."
Funny how you should ask, Author Challengers, because a couple of the most terrifying things I can think of are
a. Being forced to interact with mobs of people at a book signing, even if they all love me. I'm an introvert. I love quiet. I like people, but a few at a time, thank you very much.
b. Thinking about Hollywood. I think back to the day we were asked to write a composition in class. I think it was in junior high - what is now called middle school here in the United States. Normally I enjoyed those writing assignments. This time, the topic had something to do with the movies and our favorite actress or actor. I froze. I handed in a blank page. It was humiliating.
You see, I rarely watch movies and I pay very little attention to the actors and actresses. I will not go to a movie just because it has Tom Hanks, or Helen Mirrin, or the latest good looking hunk.
But here, in my daydream, I Am Different. I am energetic, I am not overweight, I do not have a bad back and an arthritic knee. I smile at my admirers. I have no desire to hide under the table until they leave. I am signing copies of my book "The Beauty of Upstate New York As Seen Through My Photographs". People mob me, praising my usage of light, wondering at the ways I captured a bumblebee in flight, marveling at how I captured the essences of sunsets, the redness of a male cardinal in flight, the juicy crunch of an upstate New York Empire apple. And then, the mobs part.
It is Mel Brooks!
Mel makes his way over to me. "What are you doing here, Mel?" I gasp. "This book isn't a comedy! There is no social satire in this book!" "No, there isn't", says Mel. "But I was totally overcome by the beauty of the flowers in Rod Serling's boyhood neighborhood on the West Side of Binghamton. I wanted to bite into an apple fresh from one of the farmer's markets you talk about. I just had to visit Otsiningo Park and walk the Vestal Rail Trail. I even had to see how your area was recovering from last year's floods. Your book is sheer genius. I want to make a movie out of it!. How about Jon Steward plays your long-suffering spouse? And if you want, I can line up Helen Mirrin to play you. What about it?"
As Roger Ebert starts to write his glowing review, my long suffering spouse asks me when I am going to straighten out the pile of papers on the sofa next to me.