Saturday, January 23, 2010

Book Idea #100,009

True confession: once every six months or so, I dream of Mrs. Bateman. DR. Bateman. My high school AP English teacher. She was not unkind, nor was she sweet. She was aloof. She graded our papers like a teenage artist under an overpass with a can of spray paint - boldly, with utmost care for detail, a perfectionist. Although I'm exactly 13 years from my high school days (do not do the mental math here to figure out my age. Why waste brain cells on silly notions like that?), I dream of walking into her class, the dry erase marker smell permeating the room, and realizing that a paper is due. I haven't read the book, and I certainly do not have the paper.

I wake up from this dream and shake my head to rid myself of the old haunting feeling that I've failed AP English. And thank God that the only writing I have to do is for my three faithful readers - thanks Sum, Steph, and Alicia for not grading me so harshly!

This morning, though, I ran into Mrs. Bateman at the grocery store. My first thought was, "She eats?!" and my second thought was, "Where's her car so I can egg it?" Just kidding. I wouldn't do that. I had a child with me at the time. Duh. Number one lesson from parenting books - never egg teachers' cars with toddlers in tow.

But it did get me to thinking...[insert smug remark here.]...wouldn't it be fun to see Mrs. Bateman and ask her how her kids are? Then, because she's not so aloof anymore, she would ask me how I am. I would smile and sigh, and quietly admit, "Oh, life is simple. I just change diapers and write bestselling novels."

This is such a better dream than the one I keep having. And I could settle for non-bestselling novels. They could be pamphlets on how to keep a pantry clean, for all I care.

If I ever actually write something other than an occasional email or blog post, I will consider my life completely finished, job well done. At honest moments like these, I need to refer back to my very own Sir Topham Hat post, and let the whole dream go. But, perhaps when the kids are older...when I'm not so distracted...when my brain cells that left the remote control in the refrigerator decide it's time to funnel their energy towards composition...I will write.

And if when I write, I'd love to write a story about a little boy who cannot walk and tries to get to Jesus. Nevertheless, he is unable to get to the front of the crowd, despite help from his friends. After a long, harrowing journey (to be continued when I find my missing creativity - probably in the refrigerator with the remote control), he reaches Jesus. But it's too late. Jesus is on the cross. In hopelessness, he mourns what could have been. Of course, he receives the best miracle of all - forgiveness - and finds true joy. [Deep thought of the day: whether we fly like Superman or crawl on our elbows, the best gift of all is never physical healing, but spiritual healing. Thank you, Mrs. Wannabe-Oswald-Chambers.]

But being the anti-Steel-Magnolias person that I am, we must tie up any and all loose ends. The boy finds himself at the temple much later. He's filled with peace, but still penniless. Begging for money, Peter tells him, "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!" And he does.

Hooray for happy endings! Hooray for book ideas! Now, if I can only get it down on paper...and if only the paper doesn't have Mrs. Bateman's red pen marks slashed across it. She wouldn't do that, would she?

In the meantime, I continue to dream. And laugh. And hunt for the remote control.

Dreaming of Scary Eager Publishers,

No comments: