CRIME BAKE, 2018
We’re going to Crime Bake again this year, my writing group and I, and I’m looking forward to it.
Walter Mosley is the guest speaker, and I’m a fan of his Fearless Jones crime stories. Not because of Fearless, who is indeed fearless, but because of his sidekick, and the series protagonist, Paris Minton. Paris is a bookstore owning wimp. I don’t own the bookstore part, but I do own ‘wimp’ and can feel his fear when, through no fault of his own, Paris is led down the garden path into danger time after time. When will he learn? Poor guy.
I love driving down to the conference with my writing group buds, rooming with them and at the end of the day comparing notes. We’ve made some friends over the years and will try to find them in the crowd. Maybe they’ll find us; we’re definitely loud and numerous.
The conference has a way of revitalizing that old, lagging muse hidden away somewhere in the brain. I think it’s the brain. Maybe it’s the heart. What’s definite is that it is hidden and needs to get out and breathe some fresh air. Stretch. Do some deep knee bends and then come and tell me that we’re ready for a new project.
‘From Where You Dream,’ by Robert Olen Butler is one of my more recent reads. In fact, I’m rereading it. I’m intrigued by the sub-conscious-centeredness of his muse and the way he accesses it. His inspiration, he says, and maybe mine (?), is indeed hidden away in the place where dreams come from. That place you cannot reach while awake. Oh! So how ya gonna access it then? You know how fast dreams disappear the minute you wake.
Actually, I did retain a snippet of a dream yesterday morning when the alarm woke me from a sound sleep. Two men were delivering an empty fish tank to my house, and I, lounging in my lawn chair watching, pretended to be asleep. Does that mean I’m in denial? The last thing we had in a fish tank the size of the one they carried to the door was a 17-year-old African clawed frog my son had raised from a tadpole. A homeschool project that went on forever.
Denial or not, that snippet is still fresh. Why aren’t the useful, as in grist-for-the-mill type dreams remembered? Maybe if I set my alarm to wake me every hour, I’d have a higher percentage of memories.
Robert Olen Butler describes his dream state, how he gets there, and how he utilizes it to keep his words flowing. It’s a fascinating concept, and maybe it could work for me. It would be nice if it did since I’m not a plotter and my pantsing skills, such as they are, need a few good, swift kicks to get the juices flowing. I’m counting on the conference to help. Figuratively speaking.