Work-in-Progress Wednesday: Dream Studies

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I spoke last night to a fellow writer who admits that he hates to write–he doesn’t enjoy it at all, it’s just a compulsion. That’s a sentiment I understand (see my recent essay, on the Back Road Cafe), but it’s something I seldom experience anymore. In part, I think, because I’ve learned how to spend more time inside the dream of storytelling (and less time trying to perfect the telling).

Inside the dream of my next short story, a quantum version of my twenty-year-old self is the assistant manager at the Elks Opera House in Prescott, Arizona. She’s enrolled in a class called Dream Studies, and she’s in a romantic relationship she can’t quite figure out how to get out of.

Over the course of this story–which I’m just beginning to imagine the opening lines of–she spends a night at work, in part to avoid dealing with her boyfriend, and discovers a network of what appear to be Hopi kivas beneath the hundred-year-old theater. But how is that even possible? How could anyone build one structure so elaborate right on top of another?

In the course of this tale, as you might imagine, reality and dreams converge. I have a few notes–pictured here–which I made this summer, but beyond that, I have no idea where this story will take me.

And that is something I very much enjoy.

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