I did something that, I am free to assert, no one in the history of all dreaming has done: this one took place on a rainy, mountainous night as I drove along down a lonely mountain road where a policeman pulled me over. He warned me after a ticket not to drive down the wrong way at a fork a little ways ahead. One way led to the continuing road, and the other way led to a mountain cliff the road was built all the way to the edge of. I drove off towards this fork, trying to remember which way the cop said was which--trying to remember whether he had told me at all. I came to the fork, but it was so dark and rainy that I couldn't tell which way led to life and which to death, so I chose at random--
--and it wasn't the cliff.
As I am some kind of a dream-warlock and a possessor of a cryptic text known as the baccalaureus artium in creative writing my professional opinion is that this dream is trying to make me pick between my sundry writing processes which will be enumerated below.
Inspiration is an English noun that denotes what results when invisible aliens re-weave your neurons. On the phenomenal level humans usually experience the random thwap of a good idea against their minds, but on a more fundamental level the aliens through their efforts end up winning bets in space-bars. The following of my writing processes originate mainly after waiting around for my mind to get thwapped, which explains why I've recently stopped updating this site daily.
1. Daily Doofus Process
Despite being composed of numerous proprietary formulae, I am happy to give away this disjointed explanation to the two of you. Every nine days I have a dream that requires some form or other of waking activity on my part, such as driving to a radio tower and staying there all day. Every ninth dream I have requires me to sculpt up a web post on this site. Occasionally I can get away with simply recording my dreams without the night-police coming and taking me away, but sometimes I have to disguise the posts as waking nightmares.
Each time I fire up the file transfer protocol something from space whispers to me that this, this is the post that will ratchet the Daily Doofus up to the 20 hits a day that it has deserved since "Happy National Meaninglessness Month!" The promise has never quite been honored; we're looking currently at maybe 6 hits a day. The aliens were wrong; go figure.
Perspiration is an English noun that shares a number of orthographical similarities with the word 'inspiration' and is hence its opposite: sometimes I have to write even if it means I have to re-weave my own neurons to figure out what will go there on the blank white rectangle of horror. Naturally such labor produces sweat.
1. Quota Process
This only works with longer stories, such as you might find towards the ends of A.T.O.T.S. and I.S.Y.O.A.T.M.S.T.R.Y.C.T. The quota is usually a page: I know the old rule of thumb, that for every 1,000,000 words you write, one word will be worth reading by other people, but since a page, properly formatted, is about 600 words, I am sailing along fast enough to see my very first worthwhile word in just 1,666.6 years. And this is of course if I live that long.
And if I cleave to the quota process every day.
Which I don't.
2. Write Entire Story In One Day Process
This only works with shorter stories, which invariably come out shorter than expected and end up with that zazz all over them that reminds me how desperately powerless I am to form a single stable attitude towards anything I write. My assessments of a story's quality never has a mote to do with what I wrote, as much as what I am thinking about behind what I am reading and whether the two are harmonious or not. I send a story to a magazine because I think it is bursting with every color of flawlessness, then it returns to me rejected and with this gray flaw-scum all over it. If I were crazy I would think the magazines put flaw-scum on my stories and then launch them back to me like fomites.
3. Go In The Other Room, Agonize & Write Very Carefully and Slowly Process
This process is locked in a "dialectic" with my quota process; the only difference is that they agree with each other the way the sun and moon agree with each other during an annular eclipse. All physical rooms are off-limits until the goal is completed: and since all rooms but the Other Room are mere profusions of distraction, I spend a thumb-bitingly long time on each word and each meaning because I don't have the Pleiadians to whisk away my attention.
Between each process there is no tangible variation in the quality of the writing, or considering how gorgeously humble I am, the lack thereof. All too late I now wonder whether I should have written each process description via the process it describes. Of course if I were to make such folly it would mean I'd have only a single process, the first, which would imply that I'd have to post everything I write on this website, and ultimately it would imply not only that my writing processes are entirely uniform but that the entire universe is uniform, that no part of reality deviates in quality from any other part. But I was taught that this implication leads to absurdities.
For I have been trained in the ways of space.