Saturday, July 7, 2012

Rainy Days, Lollygagging, and Nightmares

Monsoon Season

We're finally getting a few days of the seasonal rain in Colorado known as the monsoons flowing up from the Gulf of Mexico. Yes, it's helping to extinguish the fires, but the rain is also causing mudslides and flash floods in some parts of the Front Range. Lots of those folks whose homes were saved are now looking at washed-out driveways, sliding hillsides, and black runoff pouring into the streams. Here in town, we're watching our lawns green up and the gardens recover from sunburn.


The rains have put me in a strange mood. My short nap on Friday turned into a two-hour snooze during the dark, wet afternoon. Sure felt good.

I've also spent a lot of time reading and playing Spider Solitaire.

What I'm Reading

I just finished Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury and am already more than halfway through the latest mystery in Sophie Littlefield's Stella Hardesty series A Bad Day for Mercy. Sophie never disappoints me.

Two Nightmares Last Night

I don't know what triggered these scary dreams, but here they are:

#1 -- I went into a totally dark room without turning on a light and someone grabbed me, scaring me half to death. In the past, I tended to yell in loud unintelligible sounds that woke my husband, so inside the dream, I made the decision to scream for help loud enough and in clear enough words that this time I'd be understood. I yelled, "Help me, help me," ...or so I thought. My husband did wake up but says I just yelled loud unintelligible sounds.

#2 -- I was driving at a pretty good clip down a country road at night and there was a car ahead of me going to the same location (I know not where). The other car came to a bridge and then suddenly dropped off the road as though the bridge in front of him was gone. I was going too fast to stop so the car sailed out over the empty space...but I was now out of the car watching it disappear because someone had a tight grip on my ankles, saving me from disaster. I woke up but could still feel that someone had a tight hold of my ankles, and that totally freaked me out. I was afraid to look down toward my feet to see what dream person or creature had followed me out of the dream. I began moving my legs and doing ankle rolls to shake the sensation and finally was able to get back to sleep. I'm still a little spooked by this one.

Another Indie Bookstore Closing

Reader's Cove bookstore and the attached Half Moon Bay Coffee Shop in Fort Collins, Colorado, closed on Friday. It's a tough business to be in these days.

What About You?

What are you reading?
Doing any lollygagging (aka lallygagging) this summer?
Do you have crazy nightmares? If so, have you ever used one in a story you're writing?


Michael Allan Mallory said...

I'm reading "A Brutal Telling" by Louise Penny and, here and there, "The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century," a fat 800 page anthology that came out in 2000, stories collected by Tony Hillerman and Otto Penzler.

Heat has been oppressive here the past couple of weeks, record temps this week, so extra naps are in order and doing much outdoors.

I've never used a nightmare in a story I've written. I don't get many nightmares and almost all my dreams are disjointed. I would LOVE to dream my next book, see it play in my sleep like a movie and remember it the next morning. Wouldn't that be great?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad it's raining but mudslides can be deadly.
Reading an ARC of Nancy Thompson's The Mistaken. Riveting story!

Viktoria Michaelis said...

Reading a few local crime thrillers from Germany at the moment. Just had a wonderfully cooling dash of rain; pity anyone who was outside!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Michael, my Illinois relatives have been suffering from the heat wave too. Let's all close our eyes and wish for temps in the 70s with moderate rainfall and no more violent weather extremes for the rest of the summer.

Hi Alex. Even the road from Loveland, CO up to Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park was closed last night due to a mudslide. And we'll be getting more of that rain today. At least my garden is loving it.

Viktoria, thanks for stopping by. I'm fond of crime thrillers from several European authors but don't think I've read any from German writers yet. Pass on some recommendations and I'll see if they've been translated into English (my one year of high school German wasn't very useful).

Kay Theodoratus said...

Got a bad case of the drags too ... Am trying to finish the middle of the last scene of a novella so I can send it out for critiquing.

What am I reading? Just finished Carol O'Connell's The Chalk Girl. Again she does not disappoint if you're into noir. Next? Mercedes Lackey's new Elemental Masters book.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Kay, "the drags" describes it perfectly. I think I'll take another nap today.

I have been getting into noir more and more lately, so I'll take a look at The Chalk Girl. Thanks!

Rini K said...

Hi Pat, sorry to hear about your nightmares. I don't remember much of my dreams but I've had nightmares (mostly of being chased lol). But they don't really make it into my stories. I guess I do some lollygagging - after all, I am not done with my spring cleaning project ... :)

Right now I am re-reading some novels, in the middle of Sharon Shinn's Twelve Houses series. I just found a book I've been meaning to read for a very long time called the Mute's Soliloquy by Pramoedya Ananta Toer, who was a political prisoner despite being a hero of the Indonesian Revolution. This book is a memoir of his exile on Buru Island.

Dean K Miller said...

I am in a period of intense (though not nightmarish) dreaming. A lot of standing in line, unfinished business, etc. Maybe related to the "friend" that followed me home from Steamboat Springs.

Finishing Chuck Barrett's second book "The Toy Maker" and looking for a copy of Carlos Castanada's "The Second Ring of Power." Just finished "A Bridge to Healing: JT's Story" from local medium/psychic Sarina Baptista.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Rini, just be done by the time November 1 rolls around so we can do NaNoWriMo again. :D

Dean, you're reading interesting stuff too. I have Chuck on my list. I don't Sarina, but that sounds interesting too.

Rob-bear said...

Busy reading The Origins of Christian Morality: The First Two Centuries. Yes, I prefer non-fiction.

Being "relaxed" — painting, photography, writing, clearing out my study. Finished working (again) at the end of last month; time to re-focus on retirement, which was interrupted in the spring.

I often have strange dreams, but haven't had one that scared me. At least not lately.

Anonymous said...

I thought about using nightmares in a story, but haven't done so yet.

I'm reading several books. I'm closest to finishing Hello Kitty Must Die.

I've been taking plenty of naps this summer, which means being sleepless at night.

Helen Ginger said...

I'm rarely struck by nightmares. Can't even remember the last one.

Sounds like a horror book may be in your future. Start writing them down and they'll go away or become your next project to knead into a book.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Rob-bear, focusing on retirement sounds like a really good idea. I'm going to do that again soon.

Medeia, I must look up Hello Kitty Must Die. The title intrigues me.

Helen, my writing is getting a little darker, I admit. I have this new story idea where I could definitely use that ankle-grabber.

Helen Ginger said...

I think writing, for all of us, evolves. It may get darker or funnier or sexier, whatever. And then it'll shift again as we continue to write.