Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Script Frenzy. From the NaNoWriMo Folks

In April, I will write my very first graphic novel (or screenplay; I haven't decided). Or more precisely, I will take my second completed novel, Blue Loco, and turn it into a comic or a movie script. The challenge is to write 100 script pages, using a standard format, in the 30 days that April hath.
Prompt: Care to join me? scriptfrenzy.org

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Better Living Through Alchemy

I had a dream in which, instead of renting a house or staying in a hotel, I was painting a house all white on the inside. The house is mine in the dream, and even though it's small and the yard is tiny, I feel happy. When I woke up, I wondered why I was painting it white--that seemed boring.

Before going to bed, I was reading Robert Bosnak's A LIttle Course in Dreams, just enjoying a book I've read several times before. In it, he talks about the stages of alchemy: the nigredo, or blackening, associated with darkness, chaos and rot; the albedo, or whitening, associated with silver, purification and the moon; and the rubedo, or reddening, associated with the sun and flowering.

It occurred to me that maybe the dream is telling me that my nigredo is over. Perhaps I'm purifying my house, like I did with my real life house to get rid of the smoke-yellowed paint. Perhaps I'm gessoing my new creative house, making the canvas ready for the next phase of work.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Internal Priscilla

I had been rolling in the meadows of lush me-ness that my last bout of shadow-eating brought me. Then, for two weeks, my dreams were filled with toilets, bathrooms, dirt, and chicken shit. I knew I needed to ask for some shadow... but I couldn't name it.

In my daylight hours, I struggled with the twin evils of envy and criticism. I was harsh about my own work, but also that of others.  Rereading Pride and Prejudice gave me my strongest clue; I thought, "This isn't as good as I remembered."

Last night, I dreamed about the handsome neighbor I had as a child, Chuck, who is the only person who has ever sicced his dog on me. On waking, I realized that I've also been dredging up other ghosts these last two weeks:
  • Teachers who called me juvenile delinquent (first use of dictionary in 7th grade), whitehonkybaptistnigger (that just baffled me), and bitch, or said that the reason no one liked me was because of my laugh. 
  • Getting beaten up by the other girls on the playground, right in front of the coach, more than once.
  • Being teased about my hair, weight, glasses, braces, grades, language, clothes.
But about Priscilla.
She was the childhood friend who began calling me "Mary Soup" in a sweet voice that sounded like acid-laced honey. The one who asked me over to play, then told me she didn't really want me to come and teased me for crying. She did this kind of thing right into junior college, where peer pressure finally backdrafted.

I don't like to be criticized, and yet I am a brutal critic. I fear embarrassment the way other people fear violence. I can't watch I Love Lucy. I hate people who make fun of others.

I haven't forgiven those who did it to me.

Priscilla, Chuck, tormentors, all, please give me back my shadows of criticism and envy. I have missed them, and you must have felt them as a weight on your shoulders all these years. I'm sorry I cast them on you, and I call them back.