This blog used to be all writing all the time. Then I headed into Gerard Butler world and have seen him in everything I write. There is a definite connection between that actor and a story I wrote many years ago. The odd thing is that old manuscript was based on a dream I had about a different actor, Jon Erik Hexum, the night before he died. The two men have no obvious connection other than the one my brain has made.
Over the years I've learned to pay attention to my subconscious, even when I don't have a clue what it's trying to tell me.
There's a NASCAR driver who raced to the front of the pack in many of my dreams a few years ago. Entire lifetimes together, including the occasional scrape against the wall, occupy my nights. During the daytime I'm mystified. I'm a fan of the man's driving and competitive confidence but hook up with him? I think we'd take each other out on pit road. I have to admit how strange it was to spend a good chunk of time last year in his hometown visiting with a real life, non-celebrity man. I was terrified we'd run into the driver and I'd end up saying something that sounded stalkerish.
I'm aware of that line between fantasy and reality, truly I am, but spending so much time with someone in that subconscious state lends a false sense of familiarity. It doesn't help that I spent a fair amount of time researching him for a game on which I worked a couple of years ago. It's that very essence of fact underlying all the fiction that could easily make me sound unhinged.
As a writer, I weave fantasy and reality together in a seamless blend of entertainment. Regardless of whether the book is plot or story driven; character is what engages the reader. These men are interesting characters to me. They aren't real. I don't know them. But there are elements to each of them that compel me to revisit the connections time and again.
It's that sense of the familiar that comes from perceived connections. Whether it's the dreams, the hometown or mutual acquaintances that give me that idea of being connected, the truth is irrelevant. There are times when I have to stop for a moment and think about whether I actually had that conversation - despite the fact that we haven't met.
Maybe I'm losing my mind. Or maybe I'm letting my imagination run with all the scenarios and possibilities so that I can write the most complete, real and flawed characters I can.
What do you think?