Okay, I don’t mean to mislead you with the title. My nightmares last night were not caused by publishing a book. But there is a connection. So be patient with me and let me explain.
Last night I kept waking up to the smell of something burning… the smell of pine wood smouldering, the acrid smell of plastic on fire, the nose-offending smell of human hair on fire… So I get up multiple times in the night, searching the house in my underwear, sniffing about to try to detect where in the walls or under the furniture the smell is coming from. I scared my wife at least once in the kitchen… sometime around 2:00 a.m. And the more awake I became the less I could smell the something that was burning. It turns out that was because it was only in a nightmare that I smelled it. The house was burning down around me in a dream, and the dream lingered after I awoke, even though I had forgotten about the dream entirely as I woke. It was a classic anxiety dream.
What, though, do I actually have going on that causes me this kind of nightmare? I mean, besides Donald Trump being elected President of the United States, the impending end of life on Earth, and Bank of America suing me with hopes of wiping out my personal finances completely?
I am, foolishly, trying to publish another novel.
I promise to tell you a bit more about this novel in the near future. But let me tell you first why publishing it is causing anxiety dreams.
Magical Miss Morgan is a novel about being a school teacher. It is based on real experiences in my teaching life. I used the time my teaching methods were opposed by a school board candidate. I also used the time a principal told me that school shouldn’t teach kids to think because that didn’t turn them into good citizens. I used real kids I once taught as characters. I even used the time that fairies invaded my classroom. Oh, but that last one might be slightly fictionalized.
So, even though the main character, Miss Francis Morgan, is not actually me, this novel is a distillation of my entire struggle to be a worthy teacher and accomplish something good as an educator. My goal during my teaching career was to teach kids to think for themselves, to guide their own lifelong learning, and feel like they were valuable enough as individuals that somebody could actually care about them individually… even the hardest ones to like. One would think there was nothing controversial at all in this goal. But this novel tells how I fought that battle. It is a story that I owe it to everyone I ever taught to tell.
I have turned to Page Publishing to put this novel into print. Not just digital, online copies, but into real print-on-pages books. I have no talent or luck when it comes to marketing, but I am determined to make this book real even though this is a vanity press sort of publisher that makes their money by taking advantage of dewy-eyed writing fools like me. Yes, I am buying the services of their editorial staff and design staff and there will be no money flowing my way any time soon. This is the way publishing has been changing. Publishers are still the farmers and writers have become the milk cows. I just have to hope the milk won’t be sour.
So, I am having nightmares of burning the house down because I am following my dream of making a book. But it is an important book… at least it is to me.