Last night I dreamed I was in a camp of poets.
We made bread. And washed a lot of cutting boards. In fact, I only remember washing the cutting boards and seeing the finished loaves.
There was a head poet, bread maker, cutting board washer. She had long blonde hair and had really lived life.
I could tell by looking at her.
There were bubbles in these huge sinks, but only a few, because poets are more natural than I am and don’t use half a bottle of Dawn per sink load.
Also there were these handmade bars of washing soap.
I now remember there was no butter. (What?! All that bread! No butter!)
Anyway, there were wooden tables and the room was massive and then, at one point, I whispered, “This is the sweat tears are made of.”
I woke up right then, and still feeling poetic, I thought, “Wow.”
Now I’m fully awake I still feel the same way.
Life and dreams gives you amazing things to work with if you are a writer, a bread maker, a cutting board washer.
Especially a poet.
Some of life makes you weep. Like yesterday. I cried so much yesterday, my eyes are swollen today.
Sometimes life gives you a Pulitzer Prize line that comes in a dream.
Knowing what’s best to use in your writing, that’s the key.
For example, I used to dream about aliens covered in hair, who snapped whips to find me, because they were blind. They lived in the bed of a semi.
Once I dreamed I cut open a watermelon and my aunt’s head was in it.
I’ve dreamed plenty of times I’m in an elevator that has no walls that tips to the side after I get on it.
Of all those dreams, I’ve only used one in a book.
As writers we get to pick and choose what’s best for our novels. Every word, every detail, every bit of dialog must move our stories forward.
No wasted words. Cut cut cut.
The sweat that tears are made of means we need to sweat over what we write. Cry over it.
Think it’s crap. See beauty in it. Go get real butter, maybe Amish butter, for the bread of life called our books. Because the sweat could be the words and so could the tears.
No guessing around.
What we write needs to make sense by the end.
Let the sweat and tears pay off.
That’s what a writer does, man.