Gone Dreaming

gone clamminIt’s officially the offseason here on Cape Cod. Houses are boarded up and the beach is turning into a wasteland of blowing sand.

It must be liberating to put up a sign like this while going off to pursue a dream. I’ve never gone clamming so my sign would have to say something like “Gone Dreaming.”

There’s never enough time for writing or dreaming. In A Moveable Feast, Hemingway describes trying to write in cafés while ignoring anyone who interrupts him. He makes himself unpresentable by wearing old clothes and growing his hair out so that he won’t be tempted to visit friends. I’ve been doing that for years now and it hasn’t helped.

Sometimes we have to be hermits. We have to go off and dream, even while other people are around, so that we can come up with different ways of looking at the world.

The only drawback is that you end up missing everyone. I’ve missed you all. I kept thinking I’d reappear earlier, but then life would get in the way and I’d have to disappear before reappearing. And I’m not even a magician.

I’m still dreaming. After revising for most of the year, I’m in the querying stage. So we’ll see. My hope is that, like all of us, this book will only get better with age.

Whenever I start thinking it might be done or close to it, I’m reminded of this quote by Paul Gardner:

“A painting is never finished – it simply stops in interesting places.”

It’s the same for novels. Maybe they’re only done when they’re published, but even then, are they really? Each reader brings something different to a book. So then, it’s continually recreated with each reading. That’s part of the magic. As the winds pick up around here, I’m looking forward to the magic of books.

book magic

How’s everything going with you? Have you read any great books lately?

42 thoughts on “Gone Dreaming

  1. I love the thought that, like paintings, books are never finished but only stop in interesting places. All the best with your querying.

    And thanks for reminding me of the wonderful solitude of the Cape in winter. When I lived in Boston, many years ago, I sometimes would spend time in Provincetown around Christmas. It was empty and beautiful, and I enjoyed the hospitality of the natives who remained.

    • Thanks Audrey! I’m glad you were able to come and visit – Provincetown must have felt like a ghost town. I love walking around Boston this time of year too. It can be pretty gray and lonely around here in the offseason but that’s a good thing because that makes me want to hibernate with lots of books. Happy reading and happy holiday season!

  2. Congrats on getting to the querying phase. Thats wonderful! I agree–I’m not sure books are ever done. At some point, we have to write ‘The End’ and mean it. Otherwise we’ll never get to that next phase. Fingers crossed for you that you get a nibble!

  3. Great job getting to the querying stage, Sheila! I’ve missed your posts, but I can understand the necessity of putting the blog aside. It can be difficult to juggle everything. I love the “Gone Clammin” sign!

    • Thank you – I’ve missed everyone but it helped to be able to concentrate on the novel for a while. It would be great if we could all put up a sign like that to go off and dream (or clam)!

  4. I love that quotation about painting. It’s often difficult to know when to let go of a creative project but the idea that each viewer or reader adds something to it anyways is reassuring in the end. Congratulations on getting to the querying stage. And keep dreaming, Sheila!

    • That quotation really stuck with me too and I don’t even paint. 🙂 Thanks so much – and yes let’s all keep dreaming!

  5. I’ve postponed writing waiting for the perfect story, but I don’t think it ever happens like that. It will never be perfect, but what is perfect? You write where you are, and it will never be done, not really, because time moves forward and you are always changing. Best of luck with your progress! Good to see you.

    • That’s a good point – if we’re always changing then it makes sense that we’ll always be making changes to our stories – until we say they’re done anyway. Great to see you – I hope everything’s going well with your writing!

  6. Best of luck with your writing…and have an awesome Christmas and New Year! I think being gone dreaming sounds magical in itself. I’m definitely up for it!

    • Me too – and it’s always fun to dream together! Hope you have a great Christmas and New Year (and now you’ve got me dreaming about chocolate again)!

  7. Sheila doll!!! I hope you’re officially back. So good to see you in the bloggerhood! Love the quote too.

    No, any novels we write will never feel done. Every now and then you just have to release your dreams into the wild so you can make room for more.

    • I love that thought – releasing our dreams into the wild – yes let’s do it! I’ll try not to disappear again. 🙂 I missed everyone but thank you for keeping me entertained on Twitter with all those goats!

    • Thank you – it’s nice to be back! I’ve missed your posts on all the beauty that’s found in Ireland. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year and that you’ll get to go swimming again soon!

    • Hahah – I like querying and revising – there must be something wrong with me. Revising for years can make a person a crazy though but a little craziness is always fun. Nice to see you again – I hope you’ve been doing lots of adventuring!

  8. Sheila everything is right in the world because I can read your uplifting posts once more. Very excited for you and wish you every success with your novel. It must have been a powerfully productive year for you. We will await your novel with eagerness to read it when you say it is done.

    • Thanks so much Kath – I’ve missed you! You always make me smile. I’m happy to hear your artwork has been shown in galleries this year – that’s so wonderful and now more people can see how talented you are. Wishing you more happiness and love in the New Year!

  9. “The good part about never being done is that you can squeeze a few celebrations out of it over the years whenever you think it might be done.” How true. Of course after a why, those who know you begin to wonder. LOL But then again, any excuse for a party. –Curt

  10. How can a book ever be done if every sentence in that book has the possibility of being made just a little bit better? 😀

    Welcome back! I’d love to hibernate on Cape Cod for the winter. Talk about bliss.

  11. Wonderful to see you around again. I had a tough time getting into the rhythm of blogging this year. Many reasons abound. But, the writing felt really good this year, and for that, I’ll happily back off from social media.

    I love that quote about a painting never being finished, and I agree the same holds true for novels. That is part of my trouble when I revise. I always end up doing so much more than I originally anticipated. One changed scene affects dozens others and so on.

    May 2015 be your year, Sheila! 😉

    • Thanks Kate – I’ve missed you too. It’s nice to be able to take these breaks so that we can concentrate on the real writing. Then it’s always fun to reappear again. I’m happy to hear your writing went well this year and just think – the more we revise, the better our novels will be. 2015 will be our year! 🙂

  12. You’ve been missed, Sheila! Kudos to you for your devotion to your writing. Seems that all of us in the arts need that dream time…some solitude, some time to hibernate and create. I struggle to find that right balance between creation time and social time…I feel like I’m constantly trying to catch up! At any rate, I’m happy to find you back here…Happy New Year to you!

    • Thank you – I’ve missed your insights and photos and your ability to make me see this area differently. It’s hard to find that creative time, but I hope you’ll be able to because your art is so inspiring. Happy New Year!

  13. Great post Sheila! Sorry I’ve missed so much. I am trying to catch-up… A Moveable Feast was one of several books by Hemingway I read last summer. Some time ago I wrote about the torrid affair I had with the master last year! 😉
    This post reminds me of some of Jasper Fforde’s work (Thursday Next series). If you haven’t discovered that series, I hope that you do. There is magic and even Miss Haversham to guide you around a surrealists literary world. Happy reading! Léa

    • Thank you! I’m afraid I’ve missed a lot too since my extended blogging break. That’s funny – I’ll have to look up that torrid affair. 🙂 I haven’t read Jasper Fforde’s work but I’ll be on the lookout for it. Hope you have a fun weekend and keep on dreaming!

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