be careful, little sister– the bears are near.

I have a fever and I am fairly sure it’s part of the reason my head’s been so muddled. At the same time, I think I’ve been pondering my winter novel (I’m calling it that, since calling it my ‘new novel’ feels empty… besides, both the winter novel and Oak Heart are new, so…) too much.

Let me explain. The winter novel, which Mom and I have nicknamed Bears, is about a city which is surrounded by bears. And I can’t go into much detail, because I am sort of paranoid about putting my ideas all over the ‘net, so please excuse me for that. But I will say that the main character, Zoe, has nightmares about the bears in between attacks (yes, the bears attack the city).
Now I am suffering the same affliction.

The night before last, I had a “Hunger Games” dream, in which I was one of the tributes to fight in the arena. We come to find out (my fellow district-whatever tribute and I) that the arena is surrounded by bears to keep the tributes from escaping. I guess the Gamemakers reverted to more low-tech means after the incidents involving their force-field things (Haymitch and the axe, anyone?). :P 
Well, we somehow found the Gamemakers and questioned them about the bears. They said that they had meant to use the bears as a weapon against the tributes, but they could no longer control the bears, because being Capitol people they’d genetically altered the bears to be bigger, stronger– and, by accident, smarter.
I awoke from that dream feeling pleased, because it had given me an idea about the answers I needed to answer at some point in the novel. And besides, it’s been a good long time since I’ve dreamed about something I was writing. So I must say I was feeling a little proud because I’d actually figured something out as I was sleeping. 

Then last night the fever hit me. I had all kinds of crazy fever-dreams, dreams haunted by quantum physics most of the time. (I need to stop reading about quantum physics, but it’s so interesting! I love to learn about this theory because it always gives me inspiration for stories… Oh, science. I do so like it homeschool-style.)
Well anyway, last night I had the most frightening nightmares about bears. Bears that I, the author, have created in my head! For these bears are not the usual kind, of course.
In the dreams, or rather nightmares, there was always this same bear. (And I do think this dream-bear has earned a spot in the novel by now.)
The bear was in our house. It was trying to get me. It’s all very vague, but I was definitely frightened. Right now it’s barely even unsettling, but while it was happening I remember being so frozen with fear. I was absolutely terrified… and I will remember that bear. If it ends up in the novel, that part will just flow from this pitcher of memory that I have inside me. The bear will practically write itself. 

I don’t know. I was kind of freaked out when I first woke up. Of course I wanted so badly to work on the novel, but I was too ill until just now to even get off the couch. The medicine must finally be working now.

I must say, though– bears are creatures that have long lurked in my subconscious. Not always in such a malevolent way, however. I can remember being very young and always having this dream that I lived with bears, like Mowgli and the wolves, or a different spin on Goldilocks. I suppose I should have seen this novel coming from miles away.

This novel thrills me. I can’t stop thinking about it, writing it, working on it and collecting ideas and fishing for answers pertaining to it. At the same time it is very frustrating, because I’ve painted myself into a corner and I don’t want to write this one scene, but I have to and basically I need to find a good way to do it, to let Zoe take the reins. I think I will be better able to do that now. I feel a lot more connected to Zoe now that I’ve experienced a kind of little taste of what she goes through. Not nearly as bad as hers, but still. I can’t wait to get to work on it. I would now but all I can manage is blogging, since my head hurts and in a minute I’m going to go lie back down on the couch with something cold on my forehead. I won’t be able to stop thinking about it, though. My brain will work on it if my hands cannot. Day and night, conscious and subconscious….

Writing, I tell you, is a 24/7 job.  



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