So I had this dream that my right arm, just below the elbow, was severed. It was a clean cut — so clean, in fact, that there was no blood. Just a limp, unattached, arm. Someone attended me, a man whose face was, conveniently, out of view. In a rather soothing voice, he said I would have to be cryogenically frozen until they could figure out how to reattach my arm.
I suddenly woke up.
To my relief, my right arm was still connected.
I lay in bed pondering the disturbing nightmare… and then it struck me. Some writer friends were to blame.
About a year ago, Becky Miller invited me to visit a small group of Spec Fic writers who met in SoCal. Up to that point, the majority of my interaction with writers had been over the internet. I’d never been in a real life writers group. So combine that with an aversion to introversion and a reclusive bent, and I was kind of nervous. I had to meet actual people? Nevertheless, I joined Becky, Merrie Destefano, and Rachel Marks for coffee and discussion. We shared current projects, highlights and lowlights from our writing journeys, brainstormed. And laughed a lot. My fears were allayed — these were really fun, encouraging, talented people. We have met four or five times since then. And I can honestly say, this little writers group has pretty much revitalized my writing. From a technical standpoint, a business standpoint, and from an inspirational standpoint.
So last weekend, Merrie asked us to bring “drawer manuscripts” — stories that we have shelved for one reason or another. We took turns reading our stuff. I read the first chapter of a novel I had discarded… and they loved it. They asked questions about the plot and characters, and encouraged me to finish the tale. It was very humbling. Then, after bemoaning my personal quirks, poor time management, and overall ADD-ness, my writer friends reminded me that the devil wants to prevent me from writing.
You know, I’d forgotten that.
I am not one to look for demons behind every distraction, but it makes sense. If writing is a calling, at least a gift from God, it only stands that the enemy would want to stifle it, squelch it, sever the flow and muddy the approach. But for some reason, I just hadn’t connected the two.
And so as I lay there in my bed, pondering the dream, the interpretation seemed obvious. My right arm. The arm I use for shooting a basketball, throwing darts, signing documents, and pecking out words on the keyboard. Severed. Disconnected. Cut off from life. Coincidence?
Call it reaching. Call it creative license. But I couldn’t help but feel it was an omen: the devil wants to sever my writing arm.
Thank you, writer friends, for the reminder. Thank you for your honesty and encouragement, your fellowship and your inspiration. Thank you for nurturing your talent, affirming mine, fighting the good fight, and wising me up to enemy.
And thank you, above everything else, for keeping me from being cryogenically frozen.