When I was in my first year of college I wrote about dreams for an essay. I had a very good reason why. Months before I'd had a dream that my relatively older (I was 18, him 23), snowboarder boyfriend—#firstlove—had moved to Colorado without any goodbye but a letter. I woke up from that dream, sobbing, to him calling me. Understandably, I told him of the dream, and at the time, he assured me he'd never do such a thing.
Fast forward to a month after my freshman year in college, and there came the day I couldn't get a hold of my boyfriend. No pages (this was almost 20 years ago, so pagers were the norm) were answered. No phone calls returned. A couple of days later with still no word from him I was told by his friend's mother that he'd moved to Colorado. He'd been too chicken to say goodbye. Prophetic much? Now a married woman, I've long made peace with the heartbreak of that time. But the dream still haunts me.
After the essay, my English professor recommended that I read Inner Work by Robert A. Johnson. So I bought it. I did read it, and while I don't remember much of it, I've always been impressed with the idea that dreams are messages we're trying to tell ourselves. Perhaps therein lies why my very first book holds dreams as a main element to the story. It is, after all, called Fractured Dream. And to the main character, dreams are incredibly significant.
In fact, parts of Fractured Dream were inspired by dreams. I think they're important. Just the other day, I dreamt there were bats hanging around my house. Now, according to SleepCulture.com, Bats "are very sensitive to the other members of their group and constantly communicate with them. A dream of a bat suggests issues associated with free will and freedom as well, since bats can fly!" Now I think the dream could have been spawned by my obsession with all things Halloween, but I've also been very affected by the election and political climate, so much that my husband has voiced a number of times that he'll be happy when it's over so I'll stop worrying.
I've struggled with my platform, wondering what I could offer that isn't already covered in full by authors— writing tips, editing tips, getting published tips, nothing if you're big enough and don't have to blog anymore. I think my thing is dreams. I'm going to use this blog as something of a dream diary. So tell me your dreams. I think some of the most kick-ass ideas come from the craziness of our brains in after hours. I I know I've got lots of crazy dream stories to tell.
1. a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight,amount, etc.
2. something used to produce equilibrium; counterpoise.
3. mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior,judgment, etc.
4. a state of bodily equilibrium: He lost his balance and fell down the stairs.
verb (used with object), balanced, balancing.
18. to bring to or hold in equilibrium; poise: to balance a book on one's head.
19. to arrange, adjust, or proportion the parts of symmetrically.
Source: Dictionary.com (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/balance)
People seem to scoff at the term "resolutions" quite a bit nowadays. As if they're a joke, a trifle. But there's reasons people grip onto the idea of resolutions at the end of another year. They want to be better. And that is always an admirable goal. This is a year when I truly embraced the resolution. Not resolutions to chat about and then throw out the door as soon as the clock strikes midnight in the new year because they can't be maintained. But realistic resolutions. Ones to live by. To live a healthier existence and thus be a better mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, editor and writer. To sleep more. To not take on SO much all at once. To find balance. These may seem like a lot, but it's really not. I believe it just requires some serenity and a few moments to take stock, slow down, and realize what should be priority.
Balance. It's a word underused and under-appreciated. And yet, there's quite a few literary thoughts on balance that don't see eye to eye:
“Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terror, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.” -Anaïs Nin
(Perhaps a tad dramatic, eh? I like to think I can obtain balance and create something great without great terror or instability.)
And on the flip side, we have:
“Without balance, a life is no longer worth the effort.” -Olen Steinhauer
(Again, this one seems a bit over the top.)
Personally, my favorite is Ellen's. She's always spot-on with her observations:
“My point is, life is about balance. The good and the bad. The highs and the lows. The pina and the colada.” -Ellen DeGeneres
Yep, right on, per the usual.
Balance can play different roles in life, but my personal imbalance comes from several years of running myself ragged trying to keep up with life's demands and ones I've put upon myself. I've suffered from guilt while writing my own books or spending time with my son or husband because I needed to do work, and I've felt guilty for working when I felt I should be devoting more time to my family. So I'm working on ridding myself of that guilt and taking on only what I can reasonably handle.
Over the years, I've found I can obtain balance best by incorporating a number of past-times and activities into my life:
-Experiences v. stuff
-Afternoons soaking in sunlight and fresh breezes (will have to wait for spring, I suppose)
As 2016 takes hold, I wish you all a balanced journey, and I will be working toward bringing a steady and guilt-free equilibrium to my world. And that includes spending more time writing what I love, connecting with readers, and finishing projects.
K.M. Randall writes fantasy and paranormal for both a general and young adult audience. Her debut novel, an epic fantasy called Fractured Dream, launched in June 2014, and her second book, The Reaper's Daughter, launched May 2015. Randall also published Fairytale Lost, a prequel to Fractured Dream, as an exclusive on Wattpad. She blogs about dreams, female heroines, and activism and its relevancy to the literary and fictional world. And when in the season, sometimes she just likes to talk about Halloween. She is currently hard at work on the second book in the Dreamer Saga series, Shattered World.