Confessions of Wildass Dreams

By Holly Lisle

I’d guess that we all have them, and mostly we don’t talk about them, because they’re too big, and too silly, and too impossible. If we confess them, we open ourselves to naysayers and ridicule and reality, and all of those are hard on dreams.

But you only hit the target you can see, and if you don’t put the dream out there, you can’t see it. It’s still some nebulous little cloud-mouse skittering around in the back of your brain, and it will never solidify into something you can see and touch and hold.

I’ve decided I WANT my wildass dream, dammit. I want it a lot. May take me a lifetime to get it, and maybe after it’s floated around in sunlight for a few years it will fade and lose some of its mouse-cloudy luster, but I’ll chance that.

It’s not having a book, or even a bunch of books, on the NYT bestseller list, though having that would sure help. It’s bigger than that.

I have always wanted to have the money to buy a camp somewhere — anywhere from Tennessee or Kentucky all the way up to the wilds of Maine. Eastern USA, four seasons, no water rights issues, apple blossoms and hyacinths and dogwoods and trilliums and autumn hardwoods radiant in their seasons. Lodge, single/double rooms. Maybe a house separate from the lodge. Cabins. Maybe a barn and some stables for horses, but that would just be a side thing; it isn’t part of the Dream.

And my family and I would live in either the house or some part of the lodge year-round, and most of the year I’d rent cabins to writers for expenses only (or, if necessary, expenses plus a modest sum to help keep the places in roofs and pipes), so that these writers could work on books away from distractions and in the company of other writers. And a couple of times a year, I’d open up the lodge and any extra cabins for one helluva big writing getaway, for beginners to work with pros, for everyone to spend a month (for the big getaway) or a week (for the small getaway). Classes, the pressure of others working hard to give each participant a push, everyone reading everyone else’s stuff and pressure-cooking it along with their own, everyone pulling each other up the mountain a few more feet. We would all learn from each other, ask questions, find solutions, carve a few more dreams out of the ether and set them on the ground and breath life into them.

I’m forty-two and the money isn’t raining on my head yet, and realization dawns that it might never; if I want this dream, it has to get out of my head and into the light so that I can paint a bullseye on it and start shooting.

So.

That’s what I close my eyes and think about when the house is quiet and I can daydream. What about you?

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