Dream Diary

I was researching something dark and sinister. I crept into abandoned churches and read ancient manuscripts by candlelight. I was on the right track, at any moment a major piece of the puzzle would be revealed; I could feel it. So when the dark force overcame me and wrestled me into submission, I wasn’t surprised. I was surprised at the way it happened though. Walking down a deserted country road, I was thrown into the air by an invisible force and slammed into the pavement. I had just enough time to realize what was happening, as I was lifted once more. I tried to recite the prayers I had known since childhood, but they came out a jumbled mess! I was most definitely scared, but determined as well. I did not wish to avoid being dragged to Hell, I just wanted to keep my mind set on the task: find the answers you seek, and then find a way back.

It wasn’t at all what I was expecting. I awoke in a forested clearing. There were a few rough looking men milling about, guarding me in a relaxed sort of way. their clothing had a very medieval feel to it. They knew I was awake but paid me no attention. I slowly stood up, and as if that were the cue, the mood of the men was suddenly charged with electricity; not menacing but almost excited. I noticed a tall, handsome man leaning against a large stone. He came towards me and I instinctively backed away until I was up against a strong tree. His stare was so intense! The light green eyes bored into my own, switching from caring to empty, and back again. Instantly I was drawn to this man, with his tasseled hair and athletic build. I both feared and desired him. Who was he? As if I had spoken aloud, he said “You know where you are, so who else were you expecting?” My mind could not accept that this person standing before me was the Prince of Darkness! “I prefer Lucifer, myself” he smiled, “It has a softer ring to it, don’t you think?” He leaned into me, his breath tickling my ear, as he slowly exhaled and then breathed me in. He lifted his head and looked into my eyes. I couldn’t discern what I saw in those depths, but I willingly jumped in.

‘Luc’ and I formed a special connection. I wrestled with myself, wondering how I could feel so strongly for evil incarnate. This connection afforded me a certain amount of protection though, so I convinced myself that it was akin to a business arrangement. At times, Luc didn’t seem at all interested concerning my quest, but when we met at the Big House, things were different. At those times, he took on a form and personality that I didn’t like at all. This Mob Boss persona was solely concerned with my investigations, even encouraging them. My protection all but disappeared then, and he seemed to enjoy watching the mishaps I stumbled through. Sometimes he inflicted pain upon me himself, prodding me with a cattle prod or causing the ground beneath my feet to turn into a lava filled stream, forcing me to precariously jump from rock to rock until I landed back on solid ground. On those occasions, the Luc I preferred would eventually appear to me again, back in the forest, to tend my wounds. It was at this point that I started to realize that Luc wasn’t who he led me to believe and that the Mob Boss was not aware of my dealings with him. Boss tolerated me being in his realm because he needed me. One of his fallen angels had been sneaking away to Earth without his knowledge, playing double agent, on his way to redemption. This is what my research had led me to, before I was originally taken. Boss seemed surprised and just a bit annoyed that I was there, which means he didn’t give the order to capture me in the first place. but as long as I was there, he’d use it to his advantage. and once I did track down the elusive angel, he’d know who it was and stop him.

It soon became obvious that Luc was the one. Our connection included the ability to read my thoughts, which the Boss could not do, thus the need to continually be summoned to the Big House for updates. Luc secretly followed my theories until I came to this conclusion.”Don’t ask me why or how because I won’t tell you.” he said,” If he suspects you really do have the answers, he’ll turn up the torture .” Frustrated beyond measure I asked, “Why the deception?” he smirked and replied, “Would you really have taken a trip to Hell, voluntarily, to help a fallen angel?” He took my hand then and transferred intense feelings of regret, shame, and hope into my mind. then turned to walk away. I blurted out, “I’ll do it!” surprised, he sincerely asked me why. I said, “True minions of darkness don’t hope” and to myself I added, and I could never fall in love with a demon. he whispered, “I’m not a demon, I’m an angel. my wings are just a bit tarnished at the moment, but I’m working to change that.”

On my next meeting at the Big House, the Boss had a proposition for me: I’ve been there 3 weeks. if I wished to remain longer, my human body must go through a form of death. it wouldn’t be pretty, I’ll wish I were truly dead. He was willing to waive the death throes and let me leave right now, if I told him everything I had discovered so far. I wasn’t looking forward to the sickness but it would only last one day. I couldn’t sell Luc out like that, not when he was so close to succeeding. Boss was not pleased with my answer but he accepted. I walked out of the house unharmed, with the knowledge that I couldn’t leave until I found his answers. But secretly I knew my soul wasn’t meant for Hell, so I couldn’t stay indefinitely either. The question was: how long? As I awaited the death throes, I contemplated my decision to refuse the deal I had made with the devil. I knew I couldn’t trust him to uphold his end of the bargain, but I knew there were rules about me being there that he had no control over. Was the coming agony worth the extra time with Luc? For that matter, what was my goal at this point, redeeming a fallen angel or saving the man I loved? But he wasn’t really a man at all, was he?


I originally had this dream after reading ‘The Historian’ by Elizabeth Kostova. looking at it now, I find it interesting how much it reminds me of ‘Twilight’. if only I had published my dream first. if only!


The Man Who Invented Christmas

It’s hard to surprise me. very rarely will you hear me say “I was not expecting that” or “I’m so surprised!” and when I do, 90% of the time I immediately follow it up with “well, now that I think about it…” to which I admit I’m not really that surprised because there were clues leading up to the situation/event that I just hadn’t consciously put together yet. so when I say that the movie The Man Who Invented Christmas surprised me, I genuinely mean it.


I thought this movie was going to be a seasonal comedy, a family film, because that’s the way it’s been marketed. I don’t normally get excited about these kinds of films, although I enjoy them well enough. this one was taking a classic well-known story, one that I’ve seen multiple versions of and always enjoy, and coming at it from a slightly different angle. The premise centers around the writer, Charles Dickens, and how he comes up with the idea for A Christmas Carol. the previews looked funny, the way a disheveled Willy Wonka-like Dan Stevens conjures up the well-known characters and then loses control of them. how they mystically materialize in front of him and then disappear before he can transfer them to the page.


I was not expecting that it would actually be a version of A Christmas Carol itself, with emotional struggles, revelations and redemption, and dark memories that have been locked into a box and buried. while Charles is manically running around embodying the stereotype of a writer who has one foot on solid ground and the other in dreamland, trying to balance the two while in a time crunch with his reputation and finances on the line, he’s also dealing with his irresponsible father and trying not to let the bitterness he feels towards him eat him alive. that’s the story that affected me, that’s the story that had me laughing and crying in equal measure, that’s what connected me to the main character as I empathized with his struggles.


The film does showcase the frustrations a writer goes through when forced to deal with the real life details of publishing a book, financing and printing and illustration, etc. It established the time period of Charles Dickens’s life that we were being dropped into so that we can easily comprehend why his nerves are so frayed, why this book meant so much, and how that all tied into the title of the movie.


My one and only complaint would be: why did they chose to market this film as lite family fare? maybe the intent was to create an experience much like my own, to entice with a lighthearted look at a classic tale with the twist of the writer being the focal point, only to unexpectedly deliver a deeper more meaningful story that may nudge us into looking more closely at ourselves. if that was the strategy, then Bravo! but I fear that many may miss out on what is overall a delightful mix of comedy and drama, because they thought they knew what it was about and chose not to view it based on that misconception.


So go see this movie! Do it now! if not for what I described above, then for Dan Stevens in dashing cravats and waist coats, for Tara the maid’s melodious Irish Accent, for Jonathan Pryce and his eccentric turban, or even just for this child’s giggle:


For whatever reason, you won’t be sorry.  and if you are? then Humbug to you!



Jack was a drifter

Dream Diary

Jack was a drifter that had shown up in our small town. it seems as if I had helped him out of a skirmish with a local police officer (said police officer fancied me but I thought he was an arrogant ass) and we had become friendly because of it. I was in my early twenties, he seemed to be a few years behind at nineteen or so. I spent a lot of time at my grandparent’s house because my grandfather suffered from dementia and was recovering from a nasty fall. I didn’t live with them but my parents were no longer living (car accident), and my grandparents had (begrudgingly) taken me in when I was an early teen. as far as I could tell, I was on my own- no other relatives or friends in town to help the grandparents out or to be friendly with. Jack was seen as a troublemaker but I found a kindred spirit in him.

Jack didn’t just pick our town by accident, he was searching for information about his father. his mother had passed away when he was young and he was put into foster care, which didn’t work out well for him. when he came of age, he set out to travel to the town his mother was from and try to find some answers. I took up the challenge with him and we set about inquiring of the older generation and people who might have gone to school with his mother. my own grandparents were very dismissive when I asked them about Jack’s mother, but it was clear to me that they recognized the name. Jack and I grew closer, and my grandparents did not try to disguise their disdain for him. it was unseemly for me to be paling around with him so much in the first place, I knew, but there was more to it and I wanted to know why.

(this dream was a period piece, set in the late forties early fifties, I think. I wore tweed skirts and my hair was pinned back in waves like that time period. I had a job and seemed to live on my own but the dream never really showed details about this)

my grandparents were never very supportive or loving with me, in the best of times, but soon my presence seemed to irritate them even more than usual. my grandfather was getting back on his feet again and in a particularly lucid moment asked me why I insisted on hanging around his house all of the time. I said I was just helping out, to which my grandmother rudely said “no one asked you to”. well, okay then. before I left that day I went up into the attic and searched through some of my mother’s old things, hoping to find some clues about Jack’s mother and father. I hit the jackpot when I found a Christmas card that Jack’s mother had sent to my mother- it seems they had actually been friends! and in it, his mom revealed that she never told Jack’s father about him because he was on his way to New York City to follow his dream of opening a boxing gym there. oh boy! I couldn’t wait to show Jack!! he was elated. he had a destination now, even knew exactly which area of the city to look, because the letter from his mother was very specific. what Jack didn’t know was that I planned to go with him.

I had nothing in my little hometown, no one, so I was going to scrounge up some money and tag along with Jack. I didn’t know if he felt the same way about me that I did about him, in a romantic way, but I had fallen in love with him over the months that we had known each other. he saw me, acknowledged that I was a person, was interested in what I thought and felt, we had many philosophical talks together. I listened to him pour all his hopes and fears out about tracking down his father, now that he had a name and a location. we talked into the night and had fallen asleep in the abandoned shed we had been meeting in. when I left early the next morning, the police officer had apparently seen me and drew his own less-than-innocent conclusions. I didn’t see Jack for the next two days and was getting worried that maybe he left without saying goodbye. I happened upon him by chance as he seemed to be hiding out. he was battered and bruised, like he had been in a fight, and when I questioned him about it he wouldn’t give me a straight answer. he did say he had outworn his welcome in the town though and it was time for him to leave. I told him I wanted to go with him. he was shocked and didn’t respond. in the meantime, the officer and some of his men started making a racket outside of Jack’s hiding place, knowing he was in the area. I begged Jack to take me with him…and he refused. he seemed remorseful about it but he said I would slow him down, that the officer would chase us if I was with him. I was hurt by Jack’s rejection, but told him to go- I’d distract the officer and give him a head start. we looked at each other, having some kind of silent communication with our eyes that I didn’t understand, and then he left.

I did try to distract the officer, and was slapped across the face in the process. he called me a whore, among other nasty things, and moved to get into his car and chase Jack. I stepped in front of the car and tried to start an argument with him to buy Jack more time, but the officer started up his car and ran me over with it!! I woke up in the hospital with two broken ribs, a broken arm, and I had to get surgery on my ankle. my grandparents had to pay for it all, which they were not happy about. after my surgery I had to stay with them to recover. I had lost my job due to my time away and so I couldn’t pay the rent where I was living. about three months later, Jack sent me a letter. he had made it to New York City and had tracked down his father’s gym, even spying on him a bit, but hadn’t the nerve to approach him yet. he was working a job of some sort which afforded him the money to rent a room. he didn’t want to appear a beggar when he knocked upon his father’s door. Jack’s letter was bittersweet, he sounded fearful but happy. his words made it seem like we were back in the shed, pouring our hearts out to each other. I missed him terribly and I wished he was here, I needed the comfort this time. I wrote him back and poured my heart out to him but he never wrote back. a few more months went by and I sent him a Christmas card, with a short but sweet sentiment included, but he didn’t write back.

it had been a year since I had first met Jack and I was now at my wit’s end with my life. I was depressed, unloved, unwanted, and I needed out. I started making plans to go to Jack in New York City. I wasn’t sure if he’d be happy to see me, as a friend or as more, but I had to get away. if he didn’t want me, I’m not sure where I’d go, but I’d figure that out later. I sold a bunch of jewelry and things that my mother and father had left to me, and had emptied what meager savings I had in the bank. I had let it slip to my former boss what my plans were. he was a nice older gentleman who felt bad replacing me at my job and so he bought me a train ticket, one way, and refused to accept anything in return for it. it was a big help and I was very grateful. so one morning I just left. I didn’t tell my grandparents goodbye or anyone else. my old boss was the only one who knew and he promised not to say where I had gone, just that I had gone to find my own life. I was nervous and I was scared and my ankle, not fully healed yet (due to an infection), was not holding up well under all of the walking but I arrived in New York City and made it to Jack’s address. unfortunately he wasn’t in at the moment, so I sat down to wait for him on the steps of the building.

time seemed to drag on. I was hungry, thirsty, tired and in need of a restroom but I waited. and finally I saw him strolling down the street towards me, with his arm around the shoulders of a small petite blonde, both of them laughing heartily at a story he seemed to be telling in his dramatic fashion. it made me smile to see, even if part of my heart was breaking with the possibility that she was his girlfriend. I shakily stood when they approached the steps and that’s when he saw me. he was struck dumb, just like when I told him I wanted to come with him. I bravely found my voice and simply said, “Hi, Jack”. he silently stood there. the girl looked between us and moved out from under his arm as she introduced herself to break the uncomfortable silence, “Hello, I’m Cyn. you a friend of Jack’s?” I nodded as I looked away from Jack’s intense gaze and said, “my name is Nancy”, then I looked down, not liking the friend description but fearing it wasn’t even true anymore. Cyn, or Cynthia, as I later leaned,  tried to hide her surprise, which caught my attention and caused me to look back up at her. a big smile graced her face as she said “I’m this lug head’s sister, our Pop owns the gym around the corner”. her explanation seemed slightly out of place but I was thankful for it, she knew what I assumed and she was trying to smooth over the tension. Jack continued to just stand there, but had also looked down and was shuffling his feet. that’s when he saw my ankle, the puffy scar still quite visible. I had taken to wearing slacks to cover it but I wore the dress for traveling, to try and blend in with what I thought fashion was in the city.


Jack bluntly asked what had happened to my leg. Cynthia elbowed him in the ribs, which I found amusing. I looked at him and confusedly asked, “did you not get my letters?” he seemed to close in on himself a bit and cleared his throat before answering, “yea, but I didn’t open them.” now I was the one struck dumb, just standing there staring. oh. deep breath. oh. it seems my fears weren’t silly at all, he didn’t want me. as either a lover or a friend. what was I going to do? I had nowhere to stay, I didn’t have a plan, all hope flew out the window. my eyes teared up but I refused to cry. I squared my shoulders, turned to Cynthia and asked her if she knew a place nearby where I could stay, a YWCA maybe? I didn’t have a lot of money to spare but I was very tired and I needed to put my feet up. Jack looked confused, like the conversation was moving quicker than he could process. Cynthia sympathized and said her father rented out rooms in the same building as the gym. she knew one was vacant at the moment and said I could stay there for the night, no charge. I tried to argue, saying I could pay something just not a lot. she said, nonsense, her father would want to see to my ankle himself anyway. I latched on to her kindness. I didn’t want to be a charity case but I had gone so long without anyone offering anything to me. I accepted.


Jack seemed to come alive then, and grabbed my arm as I turned to follow Cynthia. “Nancy, what happened to your ankle? are you okay? why are you going to the gym, you can stay here” I interrupted him and said, “Jack, I know it was a shock to you, me just showing up like this. I would have written you to warn of my coming but I guess it wouldn’t have mattered anyway.” I scoffed. “I really do need to sit down and eat something, drink something. I’ll go to the gym with Cynthia and you take a bit to think of what you want to say to me, okay?” I took his hand in mine and looked into his eyes, “we can talk then.” he numbly nodded. “I’m glad you found your father, and that you have family now.” I gave him a watery smile and then walked away with Cynthia. we were half way down the block, when she looked back and then laughed softly to herself. I whispered “what’s he doing? pulling on his ear and roughly rubbing his head?” she laughed out loud and nodded her head yes. “good” I mused, “he’s still the Jack I know, then.”


Cynthia was right, Jack’s father did insist on looking at my ankle. he chastised me for walking on it too much and not letting it heal properly. Cynthia said not everyone is lucky enough to have a pain in the ass father to keep you in line. that seemed to mean something to the both of them because he became softer towards me after that. I learned quickly that all of the people at the gym knew exactly who I was, recognized my name in relation to Jack, and seemed happy that I was there. so at least I knew he had talked about me, and favorably, that was something. Jack’s father wasn’t pleased that Jack wasn’t with me, that it was Cynthia who had brought me to see him about my ankle. Cynthia just rolled her eyes and said Jack was definitely his father’s son. again, something that held weight with them that I was clueless about. ‘Pops’ wanted to know what had happened to my ankle and I said it was a car accident. Cynthia asked if I was driving. I said no, and I begrudgingly went on to relate what had really happened. when I finished, the room was eerily quiet. I felt very uncomfortable and didn’t know where to look. when I looked up though I realized they weren’t looking at me, they were looking behind me, at Jack, who was standing in the doorway. his father stood up from his kneeling position where he was tending to my ankle. he patted me on the shoulder and grabbed Cynthia, herding her towards the door. I watched him move pass Jack, leaning down to whisper something in his ear and then shoving him, a bit forcefully, into the room towards me.


Jack sat down beside me, all shock from earlier gone. it was my turn to be shocked because what he did was fuss. Jack was fussing all over me, asking if I was in pain, adjusting my ankle upon the chair. asking if i had eaten, if I was thirsty. finally I laughed in exasperation and ordered him to settle down, like a dog. he looked abashed but then took my hand in his and took a deep breath, “I wanted to be worthy of you, set myself up with a bit of money and stability before I came back for you. I wanted to show you that I was a man now, instead of the messed up boy who left.” he looked so vulnerable and ashamed as he said it. I always saw him as a man, never a boy. I told him as much. I saw him as my friend, my best friend. the person who made getting up in the morning worth it, the person who made me feel like I mattered. the man who whisked into my dreary little existence and opened it up, gave me a peek at really living, really loving, and the possibility that I could be loved in return. that I was worth it. he looked like he was going to cry when he answered, “and I left. how can you even look at me?!” the self-loathing, that was my Jack too. “you needed me, you wrote to me and I was too much of a coward to open it.” I asked what he was scared of, and he said he was scared to read that I could get on without him. that life goes on and our time together was just a moment in time, cherished but easily forgotten.


I placed my hand upon his cheek until he raised his head and looked at me. I had to come see if he found his happiness with his father, if new york city was everything he hoped it could be. I needed to know that one of us got their dream in the end. he told me that he was in love with me, had loved me every moment before he left and every moment after. he didn’t know if I felt the same way, if I only thought of him as a messed up boy that brought excitement to my life. he knew there was a strong possibility that I didn’t return his feelings, that I would tell him not to bother setting up a life for us together, that I wouldn’t come. that’s why he didn’t open the letters. denial. “I convinced myself, and everyone around me, that you would though. if I asked, that you would come. I just didn’t expect you to show up all on your own, without my even asking. not in a million years!” he laughed in disbelief. I was crying, with a big smile on my face, and playfully moved my hand to lightly slap him. he smiled in return. I looked up at the ceiling and tried to pull myself together. all the weight left my shoulders, as I looked back at his waiting face. my lip started to tremble. he worriedly asked what was wrong, what I needed. I said I needed him. needed him to know that I did feel the same way, that I always had. he leaned down and kissed me then, softly, tentatively. and then asked if I was ready to come home with him. home? home to his place, our place, the place he had slowly but surely been preparing for us. I said yes.


To Dream

The best thing about dreams is that fleeting moment, when you are between asleep and awake, when you don’t know the difference between reality and fantasy, when for just that one moment you feel with your entire soul that the dream is reality, and it really happened. ~James Arthur Baldwin


Through the years, I’ve developed the habit of writing down what I dream about at night. not every dream, I have too many to do that! but I do try to record the ones that are still with me when I wake in the morning. sometimes I’ll awake briefly during the night after a particularly detailed dream, thinking “oh! I must write that one down in the morning” but then when morning comes, I’ve either completely forgotten it or it’s too fragmented to piece back together. the dreams I do jot down tend to be filled with descriptive adjectives that I’ve added to help convey what I still see in my minds eye, sprinkled dialogue that may have occurred in the dream- in whole or in part, and sometimes even song lyrics/melodies that do not actually exist outside of my own head. they’re more like short stories, really, but in first person ‘dream’ form. I write it all down in one sitting, before it slips away and is lost forever.

I’ve always thought that many of these dreams would be good foundations for traditionally written stories, but I never seem to get around to fleshing them out. I’d much rather spend my time daydreaming about scenarios that I can control in the moment, instead of going back through and editing something that has already been boxed into a framework. I have an overflowing folder filled with these dreams, pages and pages of notebook paper, that I sometimes revisit to see it all replay again in my mind. while sifting through that folder recently, I lamented the fact that these characters and scenarios will never be fleshed out, that no one would ever ‘see’ them but me. I feel like they’re going to waste in that folder, tucked away in my dresser drawer, so I’ve decided to gather them here instead. some are merely ideas, while others have taken on the ‘short story’ form, but they’re all unpolished. maybe they won’t make sense to anyone other than me, but I think they should be shared. I want to give others a chance to see what I see.

I’ll be tagging them ‘dream diary’. I’ve shared some of my dreams previously in the posts Seat belt? Check3 Recent Dreams of Jamie Dornan, and also under the ‘dreams’ tag on my Richard Armitage fanblog.




One True Sentence

‘All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.’

So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say. If I started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence I had written. ~Ernest Hemingway, ‘A Moveable Feast’