Of literary agents and magical goats: one writer begins her "journey"

I have a recurring dream. I'm fifteen again, and I'm back at my old high school in Virginia, sitting in a classroom. I'm dressed like a combination of Little Red Riding Hood and Oz's Dorothy, with red cape and braided pigtails. On the small, school desk in front of me sits my manuscript, dogeared and unfinished.

"Kathryn, report to the literary agent's office immediately," says my principal, over a loudspeaker.
"NOW?" I say, looking up at the speaker with fear. The speaker doesn't answer. I get up, my whole body shaking, and pick up my manuscript. Then I walk. Down a long hallway that seems to get longer and longer the more I walk, and then finally outside, to a sidewalk that never ends. I walk past bushes and rainbows and marigolds, until I finally see it in the distance. The old trailer I used to have my Spanish class in in high school, complete with a dancing Senora Pickeral.

I blink. She beckons me to come closer. I do, and the door opens. There is a bright, glimmering light, and then I'm inside, with the literary agent I want to send the book to.

Except--he's in a bathrobe, and I am completely embarrassed. I turn around and run. He calls me back.
"You're not ready!" I say. "I'M not ready!" I freak. He tries to take the manuscript out of my hands, I finally relent, and he starts to read. I can't look at him. I won't look at him.

He looks up and says, "I like it. Keep working on it." And the colors go psychedelic. Senora Pickeral does her funky dance. The earth moves.

And then I'm back on the path. Except now the path is covered with vines, and the marigolds are thorns. Everywhere I step, there are branches, grabbing me, scratching me, pulling my pigtails. I run, run, run as fast as I can, clutching onto the manuscript, but there are now hundreds--no, thousands--of lavender goats trying to butt me. I run anyway.

I make it back to school, clothes torn, hair a mess. Manuscript intact. I walk back down the now telescoping, collapsing hall, back to my English class, past my senior year English teacher, and sit back down.

I take out a pen and write.


Loved this, Kathryn! I'm glad I'm not the only one who has bizarre, technicolor dreams! Must be a writer thing.
Yeah, they're trippy alright! I just wish I could dream up how to rework the book!
Joni Rodgers said…
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but a lavender goat? There's gotta be some pathology there.

Onward through the brambles, Dr. KatPat!
LOL, and the goats were blowing smoke and floating, too, but I didn't put that in. If only my subconscious could filter through and give such images when I'm awake . . .

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