Okay, peeps. 2016 is both at the top of the calendar and on the clock. Let’s face it. Last year, for many of us, was both a challenge and a disappointment. It’s time to switch things up and make things better.
That’s why I’ve decided to do something totally different this year. Firstly, I’m going to start putting out a monthly newsletter in February. For any who don’t wish to get it you’ll have the option to opt out once it’s up and running.
Next on the docket is a weekly post with an excerpt from one of the stories I’m working on
at the moment. Right now, that could be from any of four different novel-length manuscripts. I might even ask for suggestions or criticisms on the excerpt of the day. I haven’t decided yet.
Lastly, I’m going to write one confession piece each month. It won’t be salacious, but it will reveal something about me that few know. It’s not about exhibitionism. It’s about connection between me and my readers. As human beings, we all share common experiences occasionally. I, for one, like to know that I’m not the only one treading deep waters or falling down and skinning my knees.
And since I haven’t got the newsletter ready yet, and I’m hip deep in revision mode and wish a break from it, I’ve chosen the confession for this week’s post. Here goes.
Errant Thoughts and Where They Take Us
Somewhere between sleeping and waking, a twilight period exists for all of us. Whether at night or in the morning, our minds fall down the tunnel of free thought, without direction or intent.
The experience is different from daydreaming, for the thoughts scatter to the mental winds, never pausing longer than it takes for a butterfly to drink the nectar of a flower blossom.
Once in a while I have one of these stray shooting-star thoughts bring me into full wakefulness, ready for action. The driver of that action is curiosity—not just about where such a thought or image came from, but also to ask myself if I’ve ever encountered it before.
View over the stone desert of Hudson Bay, Canada, during low tide with rocks and stones in the tidal pools
Take the other morning as an example. I woke, slightly dazed, from a sound sleep. Two words and an image greeted the inside of my eyelids, in bold type and a strong sense of imperiousness: OWL RIVER
I knew I’d never heard of an Owl River, which presaged the question as to why it would wake me. I couldn’t resist the compulsion to find out what it meant. I got up and flicked on the computer. Google is a wonderful tool.
Owl River exists at the top of the world, emptying into the Hudson Bay at the far northern edge of Manitoba, Canada, near Churchill. Okay, so now I had its location. But the question remains as to why the place would pop up and wake me.
Churchill Polar Bear Survey
Question: did I have any connection to the river? Answer: no. Did I have any connection to someone else with a connection? Answer: Yes, actually. About twenty years ago, I worked with and learned from a man who went to Churchill to film an annual polar bear study. My friend was a nature documentary filmmaker.
Question: had I heard anything about Churchill lately to trigger the reference? Answer: I’d heard
Western Hudson Bay, Manitoba, Canada
only that the town had had more trouble than ever with polar bears because of melting sea ice and shortened freeze time in the Artic. The bears weren’t leaving after the autumn snows began.
Question: did I have any connection with Manitoba in general? Answer: only that I’d had a friend in the late ‘80’s who lived in Dauphin, five hours north-northwest of Winnipeg. I’d not heard from her in years.
So, where does that leave me? Well, if I take the paranormal route of thought, there are possible answers. Either there’s something happening with Frank or with my Canadian friend, Danika. Or, there might be something newsworthy up on Hudson Bay around the mouth of the Owl River.
On the other hand, it could be a simpler answer. A fragment of dream, unremembered, triggered memory associations I’m unaware of and the reference simply popped out to startle me at waking.
Take your pick, as to which is more plausible. Personally, I like the paranormal answer, but then, I’m weird that way.
Regardless of the true reason, I believe that many people have experiences similar to my early morning wake up call. I also believe that sometimes, we get messages from an unknown place. Whether we recognize them or not, these messages find us and ring a bell for attention.
If you’ve had something similar happen, drop a comment below and share it with the rest of us. Until next week; take notes, write often, and save a place in your world for wonder.