Nightmare -vs- Bad Dream

I have been having horrible dreams off and on since I was fifteen. They always varied from not able to find my brother during bad times, to shooting my grandfather, to finding my mother pulling a butcher’s knife on me.

Yeah, I know that those kinds of dreams are usually triggered by something traumatic – mine was burying my mother. I buried her at fifteen and the dreams started.

However, they have been non-existent for a while now &&& I was hoping I was done with them. Today, a day I don’t work, I’m awake at 4 o’clock in the morning thanks to a bad dream. This one – was about possession.

It wasn’t really scary – I didn’t have my moment like the people in movies and television shows where I roll around in bed, sweating, moaning, and then JUMP really high breathing heavily trying to figure out what was happening. No. I am a quiet bad dreamer, if you will.

This morning the boyfriend was wandering around the room and so I just sat up, normally, and looked at him. Eventually grabbing paper and drawing what the “demon” looked like. My Boyfriend – LOVES scary movies – so I figured if I drew it for him he might tell me where I saw it, heard of it, or maybe just passed by it.

He looked and brought up Jeff the Killer – but his eyes were wrong. Plus, in all of my years, I have never heard of “Jeff the Killer”. It might be half because I am not an artist, in the least, but I think I did pretty well for someone who did not inherit any form of drawing gene from anyone in my family.

Dream Demon.

I don’t know, it may have just been random. I have yet to find anything important from my dreams. Except maybe the ones with The Brother – only thing I could think of, anytime I REALLY needed him, he wasn’t anywhere around. Now, you have to keep in mind I stopped having dreams about him when I was around seventeen. Him &&& I are as close as ever, so the dreams have stopped.

Most of them stopped – actually. Once The Boyfriend came into my life. I have had a couple in the past five years, but nothing that made me stop && think, what just happened? Until now, of course.

There is more to the demon dream, but as a writer, I just cannot bring myself to share it. Never know, one day you might wander through this world and come across a short story all about Mister Demon. That is, if I can connect to that side of my brain.

If I could go the rest of my life without having another nightmare/bad dream, it would be too soon.

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Once in a dream…

When I was younger I had a dream. It seems silly to me now, but as a child, it’s what I aspired to. I dreamed about what it would be like to stand in front of a crowd, chanting my name, holding lighters up wanting more.

I wanted to be a rock star!

I didn’t want to do it for the money or even the fame. If I wanted that, my choice would have been to be an actor – I just wanted to sing – to be on a stage.

That’s half the reason I chose to be in band – the other half, because I love music. Being in band (I played clarinet) gave me the opportunity to be on a stage multiple times a year. But it wasn’t enough, so in middle school I signed up for the talent show. First year I sang a Britney Spears song, yes, seriously, I was in middle school in the early 2000’s. The second time I sang an ‘Nsync song. (It may be the other way around – I’ve slept a lot since then.)

I may have lost both years but it was by far the best moments of my life. (That’s sad, right?) I probably would have kept entering it but thanks to a group of guys and their screamo, they stopped holding it. They eventually started again, but it was after I dropped out. (That’s for another day.)

As I have gotten older the feeling has calmed however the feeling still appears. My job has an event center which of course has a large stage. Sometimes we’ll have classes and I’ll space out staring at the stage – daydreaming.

The feeling has exploded but not exactly for the stage. I may still get that fuzzy feeling for the stage, but now I get that feeling for the printed word.

I was told once, “If you’re meant to do something you’ll always be thinking about it. When you go to sleep, wake up, and in between.” When I was younger it was singing, performing; anything dealing with the stage – that I thought about all the time. As I’ve aged my thoughts have changed and it’s always thinking about writing.

When I’m not writing, I’m thinking about it. That’s, I think, why I get so frustrated when I get “writers block”. It’s also why I get so angry at myself when I think about ‘Frost’.

I know I question whether I’m supposed to be a writer or not a lot, but it’s not because I don’t want to, but rather – shouldn’t it be easier? Is it normal for someone to take over six years to write a book? I mean, technically, I ‘finished’ it back in 2015. Since then I Have been attempting to edit it – all I seem to do is change things. I basically rewrite it, become aggravated, stop writing for months just to pick it back up – starting over at chapter one, to begin rewriting it again. I swear I have rewrote ‘Frost’ at least thirty times.

I’m never happy with it. I even know that I’ll always be my biggest critic – so why do I do this to myself?

I have this plan! My plan! A great plan! Since I am my biggest critic, and I will probably never like my writing, I decided that after it’s finished – COMPLETELY – I would offer three people the chance to read it and tell me what they think. People I know won’t sugar coat it, or lie because they don’t want to hurt my feelings. I know it’ll be rough, most first books are – I am not going to be the next Jane Austen (I find her work hard to read). I just want to find my voice, my way – be the best Barbara Hightower I can. That’s all I can achieve. I can’t try to be another writer – just me. Because I know, if I am not, I’ll always be disappointed in myself and that’ll be a crappy life.

But first – I must finish ‘Frost’ – which I say a lot. For most, that’s a simple request, but for me – Queen of Procrastination – not so much.

I figured I would end this with a poem –

Silence! I scream loud!
A void, I feel deep, expands,
Forming frustration.

Until next time!
Peace. Love. && Fried Chicken.

PROOF! That I am in fact, editing Frost. Was able to get two chapters done yesterday.


Missing…

I miss being able to write poetry. It’s something simple but I’ve lost grip of it.

Some of my saddest moments logged many poems (that I no longer have). It was a way to unclog my mind when I needed help but wouldn’t ask for it. I have tried recently to write a simple poem – maybe I’m not sad anymore. Depression isn’t as strong, hasn’t been for almost five years.

Shouldn’t I be able to write about happiness? Write about love? I should be able to write about anything, right? But when I sit to write a poem, all I get is blanks. Unless you ask for a Haiku. They may be silly but I can write them all day long.

Haiku is actually the type of poetry that got me into writing when I was in fifth grade. After I wrote my first one, it opened my eyes to the beauty of words. My love for words has grown into a passion.

Writing – my first love. My first soulmate.

As I have aged, so has my writing. Has it gotten better? I’d like to think so, but that’s for others to decide, not me. I hope, just with any writer, that mine has gotten better – I at least know for certain it’s gotten better since I wrote my first poem.

All jokes aside – it’s been twenty years. Gosh… twenty years. Never realize how old you are until you break down the years. For example: my mother was fifteen years younger than my father. Fifteen years doesn’t seem much – until it’s broken down. My mother was born in 1962 – in 1962 my father was fifteen. At 18, my father enlisted into the military and had his first son – my mother was three. This was in 1965. Everything seems hunky -dory until it’s broken down.

Twenty years… writing has been my longest relationship. My best friend. The one thing I can turn to when I needed something that I couldn’t get from another person. I just hope one day that I will have something to show for it.

Like… a novel – or three.

But here, my darlings, just for y’all… a haiku:

I’m great! I’m awesome!
One day I will be published.
For now, I will write.

It’s not ‘traditional’, but I’m not from Japan. >.<

Goodbye 2018 : Hello 2019

2018 – was horrible.

I’ve noticed a lot of people seem to agree with me on how horrible last year was. I honestly cannot think of anything good that happened – just bad. Buried my grandfather && a close cousin. I watched as the days passed showing me nothing but grey skies and sadness.

But as I sit here, January 2, 2019, I am hoping for a better year. I would say it couldn’t get any worse, but that’s not true. It could get 10x worse, but I refuse to allow that. Hopefully.

2018 I made one resolution. One I honestly thought I could fulfill. I did not – so I am keeping it for this year too: finish Frost. Completely.

But for 2019, I am adding a new one: to get healthy. To be a better me. What it will take? Only time will tell.

For now, my top goal is my book. It may never be published through a big company, and be found on every bookshelf worldwide, but at least I can say that I finished it. Wrote it. Something that I have wanted to do since I began.

So, that’s where I sit. 2018 was crap. 2019 HAS to be better. 2018 I accomplished nothing. 2019 I HAVE to accomplish something. 2018 was not my favorite year. 2019 shall be the first of great many years to come. 2018 was not my worse years (that would be 2003 && 2011.) But it is up there. 2019 – please be better.

Night Owl to Early Bird…

As the alarm clock blares its music at four o’clock in the morning, I hit snooze and wonder how much longer I can sleep before I’m late for work.  I have to be there by 5:30, so it doesn’t give me much time to continuously hit snooze.  But I do – over & over again.  The alarm blares again, I stare at the time: 4:30; crud!  That’s all I think.  I need to get up, I’m sure there is SOMETHING I have to do before leaving for work.  Shower – maybe?

I fling the blanket off of me but I don’t move.  My legs are glued to the bed with memories of sleep dancing around my head.  I wiggle my toes trying to get the determination I need to get up.

 I sit up and stare at the wall.  My bedroom is still dark, && dark means sleep – so why am I not still sleeping?  My feet hit the carpet and they begin moving around the bedroom and into the bathroom – I leave the light off, it’s still too early for lights.  (At this point, I still haven’t put on my glasses, because glasses means it’s time to get the day rolling, &&& I’m not at that point yet.)

To move around my bedroom I have to pass my bed multiple times && each time it gets a little harder to not get back in it, cover up, and pretend the world doesn’t exist. But I tell myself – Barbara, you only work three days a week, that’s it!  Three!  You can do this.

Yes, that’s right.  I work three days a week, Saturday through Monday – So I’m off Tuesday through Friday.  Sounds great, right?  It is!  I love these days, I have been doing it since 2011, so I must like the job.  I do like my job – would I rather be a full time writer that sits at home every day writing the next novel that people carry with them in their hearts/souls and tells everyone they must read it? 

Well, duh!

But I have to be logical about this whole thing.  If it’s something I want, then I have to work for it, and until I actually finish Frost, that’ll never happen.  So it’s this job.  I began working this job in 2011, but I worked nights.  5:30 PM – 6:00 AM.  I’ve always worked nights.  Never had a reason to not work nights.  I was single, lived alone – it didn’t bother people if I came in at weird hours.  But now – eight-ish years later, I’m not single and I don’t live alone.  Nights still wasn’t a problem.  But I recently changed my hours, this year – August.  Now I work 5:30 AM – 7:30 PM.  Why would I do that?

I’m pleading insanity.  People do it all the time.  Go to sleep around ten o’clock at night and wake up at four in the morning.  People have been doing it for a long time.  So why do I have such a hard time with it? 

The boyfriend && I both work in the same department here.  So we cannot work the same shift (I wouldn’t even if I could, wouldn’t be able to do it.  I’m too much of a worry wart.)  He was given the chance to go full-time, which means overlapping into my shift.  Then an opportunity to go full-time led me to another shift.

Its 8:28 in the morning as I type this && I feel like I need a three hour nap.  Maybe 12 hours. 

 But as I finish up getting dressed, packing my lunch, walking to the car and making my way to work – I’m already exhausted.  So I drew up a sticky note to put on the computer screen I sit at to help myself make it through the day. 


“It’s going to be a good day!”

I find myself staring at it at times, hoping it’ll give me that boost.  It hasn’t worked yet, but I’m leaving it there as long as I can.  (All of the shifts share computers.)

Epic Journey…

The Boyfriend & I met in Yahoo! Pool when we were 18 or 19.  We bonded over things, not a lot of things, just some things.  Music.  Movies.  But mostly our love of writing.  He and I realized that we both have a soft spot for writing poetry, short stories, or even EPIC STORIES OF GREATNESS!

After we found each other again (after losing touch) the first question he asked me, “Do you still write?” (Of course I do!)

A few years ago The Boyfriend asked if I needed anything from the store before he came home from work.  I gave him my small list, which contained one item, and after a little bit I get tagged on Facebook and I wanted to share with the world (the few followers I have) what was wrote.  It’s been hidden far too long and I feel like people need to read it.

*Please be advised that as I type it up I will probably change a couple things because I’m OCD when it comes to a few things.

**Originally wrote on December 10, 2014 by Christopher Graves.

Journal Entry 547:

It was a normal day in the kingdom as I was sent out to deliver supplies to the local barters to insure that justice and peace was being upheld.  As I sit upon the horse drawn carriage I began day dreaming about a great adventure full of danger and caution; one the old ones wrote about.  Suddenly, I was disturbed by the Queen’s dove.  In its wing, it held a letter of great importance, since the dove only carries the most urgent letters.  I reached for the letter and as my fingers gripped the parcel the dove quickly flew away leaving a small bag of coins, a key with no teeth, and a map.  I unrolled the parchment and a grave message was written upon the page.

My champion, our kingdom is in grave danger!  The flames of hell are approaching our doorsteps and only you, alone, can calm the flames.  You must venture into the dark kingdom of Wal-Mart and retrieve the relic known as “The Tampons”.

I smile, as if my prayers had been answered.  At once I cut lose my faithful steed, Malibu, claimed my possessions, and off I went to begin my epic journey.

Journal Entry 604:

The days drew countless as I drew near the dark kingdom of Wal-Mart.  The grey sky started to turn black as I witnessed with my own eyes the twisted and hellish gates that housed this kingdom.  As I drew near the smell of death and burnt flesh filled my nostrils.  What lay before me?  Creatures wearing aprons covered in blood and the crowns of dead men that cried “Merry Christmas… Merry Christmas”; fear set in as I placed my back to my steed.  As I crept closer I notice a bucket full of gold – the coin bag!  How would the Queen know?!  I tossed the gold into the bucket and at once, every creature attacked the coin bag, ripping it into pieces sending the coins towards the heaven.  I jumped on this chance and made my way into this hellish realm sending my steed back to safety as I journeyed into the kingdom – along and frightened.

Journal Entry 804:

I fear this may be my last entry as the kingdom has drained what sanity I have left.  The map is of no use to me as it sends me in circles.

Has the flames of hell already taken my home and devoured all I know?

Journal Entry 805:

I found that the map wasn’t false as I had though originally, I just had it upside down.  As I pass many relics and artifacts of wonder, I leave them be, since they are not mine to take nor do they pertain to my quest.  I follow the map far into the back past “cosmetics, personal hygiene and the place known as Pharmacy”.  I take the key with no teeth and insert it into the key hole of a large chest and once it opens I claim my price.

Content, I find a nearby entrance and make my way home… to my Queen… to my Kingdom.