It Was the Worst of Times/It Was the Best of Times by Diane Gaston PerkinsWhen dreams come true the sandman sometimes forgets to tell you that within every good dream, there is a nightmare.
I’m living my dream-come-true of writing Romance, getting books published, and even getting money for it. In this dream, I have the security of two publishers who want what I most love to write-Regency Historicals-and I have book contracts lasting into 2007.
The nightmare is that there always seems to be some sort of monster at the door. Two weeks ago, it was my critique group saying my Christmas (2006) novella, due Jan 15, lacked enough conflict. So I swallowed my pride and emailed my editor that I’d be one week late. Secretly, though I thought I’d be done yesterday.
But another monster popped out in the form of a nine-page revision letter for the book I just turned in. And another one when I realized my last two chapters of the novella were stupefyingly boring and the re-write needed to be re-written. And another when I remembered that I have a whole other book to write by the end of April and I haven’t figured out one of the main plot points. And then, of course, I remembered it is my day to blog...
I’m not complaining, because it doesn’t seem right to complain about having one’s dream come true. The point of all this is, that even in a nightmare, there can be a good dream, too.
Because, in the middle of all this stress, The Phantom of the Opera came on HBO. I never saw Phantom in the movie theater, and my Blockbuster card is so dusty pulling it out makes me cough, so discovering Phantom was a whole new experience for me. I mean, Gerard Butler. SIGH! What a wonderful job of acting. I can’t think when I’ve seen an actor portray such sensuality, such ecstasy, such pain. Singing, too! The Phantom has been a blessed relief from my woes, a treasure in the midst of a trash heap, a--good dream inside a nightmare. After I’m brain dead from writing stuff I throw away the next day, I turn on Phantom (now copied) and look at Gerard Butler.
I’m guessing that whenever life is turning stressful or dark or full of demons, if we look hard enough we can also see things that give us joy. Even in our worst days. The death of my friend Maryanne, put me back in touch with the joy of knowing her. When my mother died, I discovered how many people in my life cared about me. When I made the difficult decision to retire from my day job, a week later I sold my first book. When my daughter had to move out of the apartment she’d just moved into, she wound up witnessing the cat in the new place have kittens.
And this week, my joy is:
(Peek at Diane’s other blog, Warner Women, for a more thorough discussion of the Phantom’s character- an analysis on dark heroes)