I’ve been thinking about stories a lot, at least partly because I’m in the midst of wanting to read my Dresden Files books nonstop, at the expense of EVERYTHING else. Like to the point where I’m more than happy to get stuck in a left turn lane with a red arrow because I’ll have an extra long time to read before the light changes again. (Yes, I read at stop lights. I swear I don’t read while the car is moving.) Yesterday, I sat in the car in the parking lot for a few extra minutes when I got to work to read a couple more pages. I did the same thing in my driveway when I got home. (Which makes no sense. Why not go inside and read? I was HOME.) Are they that good? Well, I enjoy them very much. They’re sometimes dark, but lightweight at the same time, and they move. Lots of action. I care about the characters. (After nine books (more, but that’s how many I’ve read so far), I’d better.)
I’d like to tell you a story like that. Of course, you may not want me to. I’m not good at stories. I can’t even tell a joke. (Seriously, I’ll forget how it goes midway through, and once I remember, I’ll start laughing so hard I ruin it for everyone else. And then I’ll screw up the punchline. Every joke, every time.) But I’d tell you a story anyway. I’d even make one up for you, but I can guarantee it’ll be not good. It’ll ramble (dear god, it will ramble), it’ll try too hard to be funny (and it will fail at that), and it will be full of plot holes. Plot holes so wide you could march a platoon of elephants through them. Like the elephants in The Jungle Book. (Love the elephants in that movie.) So I’m okay reading other people’s stories. WAY more than okay. I get less of an itch to write my own stories than I occasionally have to do musical theater, play in an orchestra, or be the drummer (or singer, or both) in a band. What’s the phrase that means you had a dream you never followed? Or maybe you followed it and failed. Or maybe you tried, but were brutally shut out. There’s a phrase for this.
Seriously, what is it?
It’s not unfettered ambition, it’s not untapped potential, it’s not a dream unrealized…maybe that’s it. But it doesn’t feel quite right. Something like that. Regardless, that’s not what this is. I’m happy to leave the novel-writing to others. As long as they let me read.
(A dream deferred? That’s a poem, so probably not.)