Foxes & Wolves
If you, like me, tend to paint yourself into creative corners at times, you have probably thought to yourself, as Laurel would say to Hardy, “Well, here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into!” But I learned getting between a rock and a hard place as a writer isn’t a situation in which you need to throw up your hands or slam your fists down on the keyboard in a fit of frustration. Instead of peering from your corner wondering how you’re to keep your footprints off the freshly painted floor, waiting patiently for the paint to dry is a good idea; here’s why.
Your wakeful mind is a creative machine, but it tends to get in the way. I’ve learned that my head starts over-clocking and then if the answers do not readily present themselves, I push my brain harder, and harder, and harder until I become overwhelmed by all the possible options. Waiting for “the paint to dry” before attempting to exit the corner means putting the wakeful supercomputer within your noggin into sleep mode and allowing the subconscious mind to do its share of the heavy lifting—it is anyway, but you might not be catching the output because of your busy thinking. The writer inside of you is working whether you’re beating the poor fellow over the head or letting her chill out under a palm tree. You may think the lash gets better results, a la, “the beatings will continue until morale improves;” but I don’t believe that to be the case.
Instead of this:
I’ll give you an example of this from last night: I had a dream. I was walking my dog along a nice verdant path during twilight. The way darkened into night, and the trees met overhead throwing everything into black. There was rustling in the underbrush, and my dog became antsy, I did as well. I looked into the tangle along the lane and saw movement, shadows darting to and fro. Foxes, the noise came from foxes shuttling alongside me on both sides. Foxes seemed harmless enough until they morphed into wolves. It was time for my dog and me to turn back post haste, but of course, my feet couldn’t move fast enough, and the wolves were hungry. Cut! I awoke, grabbed my iPhone and documented the dream. The bit of foreshadowing I needed within part of my story’s narrative was handed to me in my sleep.
I’m going to leave it at that. If you want to know the significance of foxes changing into wolves, you’ll need to wait and read the book.
Until next time,