This is a very personal tale of my vanquishing artistic doubts and angst.
Once upon a time, I awoke, in possession of a dream of Gypsies and Oracles in Venice, an inspiration for what was to become the series of books, I call Destiny’s Consent. Years passed. And then more years. To be exact, eight year between all of the research and the subsequent writing of the first two books.
My friends, were, at first, supportive, but over time, though they endeavored to be polite, their mouths constricted with their doubts whenever I brought up Destiny’s Consent. At first I shrugged off their reactions. After all, the ideas came to me in a dream directly from my psyche, I believed. But after eight years, I have to admit I began to feel foolish. After all, who was I to try to write such an epic tale? I certainly wasn’t making any money, and the effort was eating up my life – five hours a day, five days a week. I loved the writing; the connections of fact and fiction; the way the story integrated all aspects of my life….miracles occurred, but…
And so the debate about my art began, fanning into a tempest of uncertainty. Thee was constant discussion and counter-discussion in my head. There was much self-examination, increasing in tempo and frequency until even my artist’s mind got dragged into the fracas.
Like the princess in Rumpelstilskin, I decided to ask my questions to the night, and perhaps spin straw into gold. Here goes nothing, I thought. But okay: “So, am I supposed to keep on writing this book? Is this my task?”
And then went to sleep. Here is the humdinger response in my dream that night. See what you think.
I am in New Orleans. It is Mardi Gras. The streets are not only jammed,
but in many cases, blocked by celebrants. I am not able to go in a
straight line to my destination, but must retreat to alleys, going
this way and that.
I am carrying a present given to me, but it is wrapped in a box, so
I cannot see is what it is. I make a stop, then continue on to a party,
comprised of artists. There I am speaking to an aged man seated in
a chair, and realize in a panic that I have left my present behind.
I jump up to leave.
A radiant crone, her face alight with beam, comes toward me.
She carries a huge pen, bejeweled with all colors of stones, so large
she must carry it like a queen would a scepter.
I recognize the pen as my gift, that what was wrapped up in the box.
WOW! I awoke, my uncertainty converted to surefootedness. I was to write! The universe’s gift to me for this lifetime is a pen, the most precious and magical pen.
And here is the corker for me. It answered another question I had not yet formulated about whether to continue writing stories. Well, this dream spoke directly to my soul in story form. Stories are great solace for the human soul, for they are gentle guidances whispered to submerged parts of the psyche. I know this to be true, and greatly heartened by my dream of jeweled pens, continued on with my writing.
This experience is what I call Destiny’s Consent in action. But remember, I had to ask. My faith in my path was reignited. I have gathered community around me and try to hold each artist, whether poet or writer of prose, within my heart. I have begun reading my poetry OUT LOUD; I am reading from my books with sweeping gestures. I am about to begin Book III in the Destiny’s Consent series. And when I saw a jeweled pen, I swooped it up as a talisman to remind myself of my own destiny….
I am not on the NY Times Bestseller List (as yet), but rest assured, I am a writer who loves to tell you stories.