Friday, May 25, 2012

Snow in May and Cannibalism in the Rockies

Today, I'm training at a camp at a Christian-based summer camp out west. I'm in the mountains and it is snowing.

Now, I'm well aware that mountains are colder because of their higher elevation, but we aren't anywhere near the summit. They--the year-round staff--tell me that this is unusual weather. That Colorado is sunny 300 days of the year aside from sporadic showers of lightening, which I may die in if I get caught above the tree-line.

They say it should look like this.

I suppose I should trust the directors and coordinators. However, one spoke mostly of bacon during his orientation speech. He had a stubborn widow's peak despite an obvious affliction of baldness, and 15 pieces of flare on his lanyard. The ex-Brooklynite--I say ex because he has lost his accent completely and I can only take his word on the fact that he ever once lived there--said he'd ordered bacon for us as a break-time snack but the dining staff had given him apples instead. The "apples" became rewards, and he gave us his extension so we could call him when the dining hall actually served bacon. He was fiercely and haphazardly funny; he gave another man a scar after an alpine slide incident involving a ground squirrel.

In any case, he informed us--the lowly seasonal staff--that the weather had been in the upper 90s only two days before. Then again, he also told us to never go on a hike with a man whose name I've forgotten because we will get lost indefinitely and possibly resort to cannibalism.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Literal: Writing is Nothing More than a Guided Dream

Photo by Passion Hannah and/or Jimmy Bishop

The title quote is from Jorge Luis Borges.

Lately, I've been having what normal people would call nightmares. Pandemic viruses and bio-chemical warfare take over the community. Family members are die and go missing. A few times, my sister has been kidnapped. Explosions flip semi-trucks over my head and it is clearly the end of the world.

Already knowing my mission, I move quickly. I am never confused and always more determined than scared. I have memories that weren't there before; memories of how I interacted with family, friends, and relationships. I know a different childhood, and the events that have led up to the situation.

I am not me. I am someone new.

My missions don't always succeed. I've been beaten to death, waking up with back spasms. Once I was captured and put in a camp an with electric fences. Another time, I visited ghosts of the past in order to take back my sister. The ghosts, who wished to release me from my immortal body, set me on fire.

An old switch is like my brain on dreams.
Photo by Passion Hannah and/or Jimmy Bishop
Years later, I'll have these dreams again and, if I get lucky where, I can try to change the outcome. I remember what has come before and what will come next. I memorize every scene down to the dialogue.

If I have time, I write these stories down when I wake up. My best works have come from it. Here are three:

The Prince's Wedding - A prince is betrothed to the neighboring country's princess as a gesture of peace. The only problem is that he cannot stand how her her spoiled nature. One night, he sneaks out of a royal celebration and heads the peasants' quarters to get away from her. Also rushing into the night is the daughter of the bride's seamstress. The girl has torn the bride-to-be's wedding gown and needs to fix it before anyone finds out. They literally run int each other.

Unk's Catholic Poor House - A virus breaks out in the poor section of New America and the government turns a blind eye. Rhea Unk, a homeless girl, follows her cat to an abandoned YMCA building. She builds the Catholic Poor House from the ground up, which grows quickly as she takes in orphans and small families. But who will listen to a squatter, especially when she begins to turn people away?

To Be Alice Wutherford - Sold into slavery, a mulatto girl starts work as a servant for the fat Mr. Wilfordshire, but he isn't as rich as he seems. When he sets his estate on fire during a dinner party, nearly everyone attending is killed. In the chaos of darkness, the unnamed main character pretends to be Alice Wutherford, cousin to Wilfordshire, so that she will not be sold again. The townspeople pay her no mind and she flees into the mountains.

Now just to polish and publish them.