Bringing a Story to Life – Day Dreams, Sleepless Nights

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I’m not getting a lot of sleep these days, thanks to my Metatron’s Army Project.  But it wasn’t always that way.  In fact, the building blocks used to help me fall asleep.

The project came to life, you might say, some thirty-six years ago.  It was two years after the brain hemorrhage and my mother, brother, and I were living in my grandmother’s basement.

Needless to say, my life was a bit chaotic.

As I write in After Here: The Celestial Plane and What Happens When We Die, I channeled the emotional turmoil I was going through into writing and though I wasn’t writing Metatron’s Army, I was penning my first novel.

Which will never see the light of day.  Not only would it need a total rewrite, it’s a genre I don’t write.

This is when I got an idea for what would later become Metatron’s Army.

While coloring in a Barbie coloring book in my grandmother’s dining room.**

In the ensuing years, various pieces presented themselves and while I typically teased these ideas into short stories, some of them remained visual, in the form of mental movies.

What is fascinating about this project is that I can recall, in vivid detail, where I was and what I was doing when these various pieces fell into place.

I can remember sitting by a pool at my dad’s apartment complex in California (1984) when I got the image of the Iconoclast or laying in bed after moving back to Michigan from Silicon Valley (1995),, writing plot elements and viewing mental movies.

Though I hadn’t planned on actually turning the short stories into a novel, I kept them, figuring they would be useful someday.

If nothing else, they were practice.

And as for the mental movies?  Well, they were useful, too.  They helped me fall asleep at night.

I’d read that when trying to deal with insomnia, it was helpful to do mental movies with dialogue since it engaged both sides of the brain and, theoretically, tired you out more quickly.  All I know, is it worked.  The mini movies that contained pieces that are now finding their way into my project helped me fall into a peaceful slumber.

Unfortunately, that is no longer the case.

Now, when I bring any scene to mind, my brain engages and I begin developing plot elements and characters.  The mental movies, which were once so soothing, now act as slave drivers, leaving me feeling as if I’m slacking off.

Never mind that it’s two am and I should be sleeping.  There’s work to do!

Of late I’ve come to feel a bit like Amadeus in the scene where the phantom is driving him to finish his music.  Fortunately, I realize that I am in control of this situation.

Melatonin anyone?

It’s been a bit surreal to work on a project that has been living inside of me for so many years.

Funny, one of the synonyms for surreal is dreamlike.  Dreams  have certainly played a role with this project.

It’s exciting, too, and challenging.

It’s important to me that I do justice to this story, to the characters, the layers, the stories within the story.

 I now see I had to wait til now to write this story.

I could not have done this story justice before.  I didn’t have enough life experience to match the depth of the characters.

I had to live the ups and downs that life throws our way.

Which led to more insomnia, which led to more mental movies.

I had to dream more.

Explore the World of Metatron’s Army here.

**  The actual army.  Then I had to ask myself – who are these people?  What are they fighting for/what is the cause of their hearts?

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