Last night I had a dream. Actually, it was early this morning–in that time after Elizabeth woke up, coughing and congested and got into bed with me–the two of us falling sound asleep again. I dreamt that I had written a book. Except that it was still in the beginning stages, unpublished. I gave the pages to my mother, sister and brother-in-law to edit and correct. But I couldn't be there with them while they edited, because I had to be with my brother–we were out on the lake, on his speedboat, that was somehow kept afloat by balloons on long strings of red and white baker's twine. All the boats on the lake had these baker's twine balloons.
When I returned home, they gave me a copy of my edited writing. They took the liberty of rewriting my work, with their changes, and discarding the original. It was written on wide-ruled lined school paper, in cursive, by my 8 year-old niece. There were pages of kid illustrations stapled to the back, and rainbows and squiggly lines down the sides of the pages. Words were missing from sentences, written in the margins with arrows pointing to where they belonged in the page.
My mother sat across the kitchen table from me as I read, eager to hear how much I loved their changes, what a good job they'd done with it, how it was such an improvement. I couldn't understand where my professional-looking original manuscript had gone. I didn't understand why my niece had re-written this serious work, and how they thought it was remotely "okay" to submit it to my editor. "Well, your sister's typewriter was broken, so we had Abby write it for you. She did such a lovely job, didn't she?"
I read through their changes, their "improvements". They had changed almost everything. My heart-wrenching details were replaced with babyish sayings, and goofy cliches. I felt stunned. Angry. Betrayed. Heartbroken. Perplexed. Bewildered. Defeated by all the work that was ahead of me, again.
And then, because dreams never resolve themselves, never tie themselves up in a tidy bow before moving on, I woke up.
And there you have it, a peek inside the mind of a tossing and turning, fitfully-sleeping pregnant woman. I really had no intention of this being the post I wrote this morning, but it was so vivid in my head, I had to put it down somewhere. I had to remind myself not to be mad at my mother and sister when we talked on the phone today. That it was just a dream.
I'll be back tomorrow. I'm bringing back a "simple question". I need some suggestions, and I know you all are just the people to ask…..