… chasing fireflies …

Fireflies 1

Fireflies 1 (Photo credit: ShutterSparks)

Curiosity of children is an amazing thing.

I love seeing their imaginations at work as they reason with and negotiate through and interact with their world.

The simplest concepts can become complex mysteries that want solving; like fireflies lighting up the night in a petite fireworks display.

That’s how we spent last week … chasing fireflies … entertaining our 2 nieces along side our 2 dudes. (Remind me to tell you later about parenting 4 kids for 10 days when you’re only used to 2 kids. Ages: 9, 8, 6 ½, and 4. Yeah, we were busy.)

What makes fireflies light up? Bioluminescence!

The kids all understood, at a high level, the complicated truth thanks to the children’s movie Curious George. It’s a defense mechanism.

But at it’s core, the elementary truth, is that it’s fun. They want to capture the light between their fingers and watch it blink in their hands.

And so, we spent hours waiting in the fading sun, trying as the sky darkened, laughing with hope and reaching for the little miracles.

When they were successful, they would preserve their prizes in plastic water bottles and plastic sandwich bags without air holes. In their enthusiasm they smothered the little bugs, forever extinguishing the light and lives.

Sad. I know. I tried to explain the value of life but to no avail.

From their inquisitive point of view there would be more fireflies to chase the next night … and the next day … and the next day. Youthful optimism.

This experience made me think of dreams. Okay, I had some help. Yesterday, blogger buddy, Britt posted a little ditty titled:  What’s Wrong with Having Dreams Anyway? She says it brilliantly. Which made me think of this post I’d started.

A post which I originally thought would lead to me telling you the story of how busting my bout of baby fever but instead it’s turned into a post about running hard and fast after something as elusive as fireflies.

Dreams, if your lucky come true.

Wait!

That’s not right.

Like chasing fireflies … if you want to catch your dream you have to be diligent and patient. You have to put effort into the result you want. You have to accept the fact that you are not like everyone else.

Being a dreamer is not easy. It’s not for the faint of heart. But I’ve said something like this before, here.

Dreams can be snuffed out if they’re locked away in an airtight container or ‘real life’.

Isn’t it odd how quickly we give up our dreams? How they end up by the way side? To Britt’s question I say, there’s nothing wrong with having dreams.

I’m a self-proclaimed dreamer. And that may be weird to some of you. But I embrace my weird.

My big dream is finishing my novel, being recognized as a best selling author some day. My small dream is to write every day.

I know … it’s kind of a single track. But like my kids this past week, hanging out in the front yard while darkness descended; chasing fireflies … I am chasing my dream …

I’d love to hear from you … What fireflies will you pursue? What dreams will you reignite?

Images from Zemanta

Advertisements

Dreaming is Hard Work

dreams and wishes. 62/365

As the New Year rolled around, my mind immediately went to goal-setting and resolution-making, which is to be expected. But, the other night I realized it should have gone toward dream-chasing.

If you didn’t know before today, I’m here to tell you, being a dreamer is hard work. Don’t be fooled by those who make it look effortless.

For me, there aren’t enough gaps in a day, between what’s “required” and “expected” to contain what’s “desired”. It overflows and quite honestly my goals should lead me to my dreams. That’s the hard work part.

I never dreamed of success. I worked for it.” ~Este Lauder

Ask anyone who’s reached their dream and I’m sure they’ll tell you they had to fight for it. The movie, The Pursuit of Happyness, comes to mind. Dreamers often equate work with the realization of their dream.

Recently I noticed I have calluses on my hands. I’m not sure what has caused these rough patches to appear on my palms.

Usually calluses are associated with repetitive motion and hard physical labor. I think of cowboys or ranchers or farmers … not a person who sits at a desk all day and taps away on a keyboard.

Maybe my mind manifested the calluses in response to work I need to do; for the dream I am chasing.

But as a writer who aspires to novelist or finished first draft of my novel, I don’t think I should develop hardened patches on my hands even if they are the instruments for putting down words.

Wouldn’t I instead toughen the mind muscle; the imagination maker? And how would I know that I’ve toughened it up? Maybe this is it:

If you’re not lying awake at night worrying about your novel, the reader isn’t either. I always know that when I get a good night’s sleep, the next day I’m not going to get any work done. Writing a novel is like working on foreign policy. There are problems to be solved. It’s not all inspirational.” ~James M. Cain

For most of the holiday season, my characters have been silent. My main character, Baby Girl, didn’t say a word. She let me sleep in. None of my characters distracted me from professional pursuits or leisurely lounging.

To the point where I considered, for a millisecond, abandoning them to the unfinished projects pile. I didn’t though. I waited. 

Where was the hard work part in the past two weeks?

Please know that I was still going about the hard work of a writer.

I read … I buried myself in someone else’s story until mine called me back. I read three books and my writing partner’s manuscript. I listened to podcasts on writing and dreamt of incorporating the advice. I read blog posts and articles. I searched for writing rescues and conferences for 2013.

My dream of writing was still at the forefront.

Then came the familiar ring. “Vacation is over,” Baby Girl called out. “Back to work.”

I hit my normal routine and my characters met me there. I couldn’t fall asleep last night. I couldn’t quiet my brain. As I grabbed the notebook from my bedside table and wrote:  plot notes, character ticks, missed opportunity lists, and dialogue, by iPhone light.

My poor husband. He’s so patient with me.

I am excited again. Anxious, once more, as I rediscover their story. I am having “roar” moments instead of whimpers and whines. Frustrated and worried about how to make it all come together.

Dreaming is hard work. If you’re a fellow dreamer you know what I mean.

What’s your dream? And, what hard work comes with it? Do you have the calluses to prove the hard work?

Photo Image from Zemanta