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Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Beware the Three-Eyed Frog
What do evil three-eyed frogs, giant mutant disc-shaped frogs, and writing have in common?
No -- seriously. What do they have in common?
Usually, my dreams are so freaky-weird and movie-like that to interpret them one would have to be either exceptionally gifted (a Joseph-esque figure, if you will) or high on some exotic drug. For example: I recently had a dream in which two people were fighting off an army of skeletons, and the only way to kill these skeletons was to burn either their skull or a rib bone. Or: The characters from Aladdin and I were scaling a wall with anti-gravity shoe strings. Yep. Anti-gravity shoe strings. You can only imagine the terrors that followed that escapade.
So when my dreams develop noticeable patterns and/or themes, I take notice, because it usually means they aren't insanely well-plotted. Or they are insanely well-plotted, they just have meaning.
Twice this year I have had a dream involving -- you guessed it -- frogs. But not just any frogs. Nope. The first frogs to grace my sleeping subconscious were evil frogs who were trying to remove my eyes to implant an extra eye in each of themselves. Because once frogs get three eyes, they become magical. (Who knew, right?)
The second frogs to hop into my blissfully sleeping brain were frisbee-shaped mutant frogs the size of manhole covers. To move, they slid over the ground like hovercars. (The next great mode of transportation: quick, cheap, and both ecologically and literally green.)
My question is: well, actually, I have a lot of questions, but only one that relates all this nonsense to writing.
How does a story get you to notice it?
When you're coming up with the next great novel idea, does it just hit you one day and it's love at first sight? Or is it a slow process where it comes to you again and again, and you don't really notice it until it's a reoccuring idea? Do you wait for the metaphorical mutant frogs to attack repeatedly, or do you grab onto them the moment they hop into your mind? For the sake of your safety/sanity, I hope you don't grab the mutant frogs at all. But you get what I'm saying.
(BTW: That little picture creeps me out so much I can't actually look at it. Sorry if it creeps you out too. Ewww three-eyed frogs; I shudder to think what magical powers they get from that extra eye...)