Tuesday, November 17, 2009

from a dream and a memory

I woke up from a dream last week and thought: there's a story in this. In my dream, a woman I know (but not very well) told me her engagement story. After nagging her boyfriend about when exactly they were actually going to get married, he exploded, "Four years from today!" And then I woke up. I thought: What if four years from today is a Tuesday?

I kept grabbing at the dream, hoping that there was something more that I'd missed in my groggy good-morning-warm-in-the-sheets-first-minute-of-the-day. But I couldn't find anything.

Later I sat down to write that idea. "Four years from today!" I can easily see some exasperated boyfriend yelling at his impatient girlfriend, maybe lying about having a ring - all of that - just to get her to shut up about getting married already. But what if she holds him to it? Or what if he holds her to it?

In college, I had a guy say, "Maybe in ten years..." he could see us together. It was an awkward conversation and in college ten years is eternity and I skipped ahead to someone else. But those ten years are up now so I do find myself wondering what if? Not because I'm interested in him anymore (a fiery, brief infatuation I kept mostly to myself), but because I am really curious. What if I took him at his word? What if I waited around for ten years until he was done with medical school or graduate school or traveling the world or whatever he needed ten years to do?

The truth is, I am (thankfully) a very different person than I was then. So what would have happened if I had waited a decade and then stood before him, asking, "How about now?" Story possibilities abound.

I started writing from my dream and met a couple of characters who might work. I think I need to aim for a repeat of my Wham Bam story experience. Just write it. So now I've got some good background on my characters, which I may or may not use, and I actually did a loose outline before I wrapped up my writing so that I wouldn't forget a few of my better ideas for the two. I might take the dream idea and my own college experience and smash them together, see what happens.

1 comment:

Sergio en Colombia said...

i love this. the idea, the anecdote, the whole post. it makes me very excited! suerte!