Into The Wormhole

Writers often wonder about the source of inspiration. Some people say it comes from dreams, meditations, or the moments of in-between daily life and fantasy.

Could it come from the wormhole of general anesthesia?   According to my brief research at several medical sites, there are many kinds of fancy pharmas used to put you under and several methods of delivery for these drugs. All that is well documented. Even so, no one seems to know how general anesthesia works in the brain. Imagine that. And, even more amazing, the professionals admit it.

When you’re floating below the surface of consciousness, do you dream? The articles I read said no, no one dreams during general anesthesia. Well, maybe not, but how the hell can they tell?

During pre-op, I had an interesting conversation with the intake RN. I asked her if I would dream. She looked at me for a moment, as if gauging my receptiveness.

“I know the experts say you don’t dream,” she said.  “But that’s absolutely untrue. I’ve dreamed during general anesthesia, and I’ve been with patients who didn’t want to open their eyes, mumbling I was waking them from a wonderful dream.” She smiled at me. “Keep one thing in mind, though. When you’re readying for surgery and they push the sedative into your IV, go to the special place you love the most. The way you float into unconsciousness is the way you come out. Go in happy, come out smiling.”

“So,” I asked, “if I go in questioning my muse about the plot for a sequel to my novel, will I come out inspired and full of ideas?”

She grinned. “Maybe. Just keep a pen and paper handy. You’ll want to write those ideas down quickly.”

I still haven’t figured out how to smuggle a pen into surgery, so I just have to hope whatever ideas come to me will find their way to my consciousness later.

They usually do. I’ll keep you posted.

In the mean time, you tell me. What was your most amazing visitation by your muse?

Paint ’em like you seem ’em

Have you seen James Gurney’s book, Color and Light? Wow! His gorgeous blending of fact and fantasy inspired me to paint again!

This time, however, I won’t paint bold abstracts or Colorado landscapes. My characters will be my subjects.  I’ve always wanted to paint using that wonderful subtle realism that makes you say, that looks almost real.  Remember the full size issues of Analog? The illustrations were as fantastic as the stories.  Sometimes you see similar art in graphic novels and, occasionally, this type of illustration still appears on book covers.

So, I’m going to give it a try. I want to slide my folks into paint form, but I’ve had a few second thoughts. Once I’ve created this art, I’m not sure I’ll show it to anyone who might read my book. It’s funny how the mind works, but the moment I see a character translated into 2D art my brain will automatically revert to that picture – no matter what. Is it like that for everyone?

My question for is you is,  if you could paint your characters, would you? And, if you could choose any cover art for your book, what would it be? Do you want to solidify your picture of your characters in your readers’ minds, or do you want them to create their own images?

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