February 22, 2024 Post

I don’t remember most of my dreams. I’m not complaining—it’s probably a good thing, saving me thousands of dollars in therapy. For whatever reason, one of dreams surfaced after I woke up the other day. It was more like a nightmare than a dream. The subject was my writing, not something I’ve ever remembered dreaming about.

Here’s the nightmare as it played out. I had written one of my 101-word tales, and I was feeling pretty good about it. As I usually do, I left it open on the desktop of my computer so I could revisit it in the next day or two and make whatever revisions I would discover that almost invariably would make it a much stronger story.

On the screen, it began something like this:

The beer-stained, decrepit couch had, elxve by rstolx gxmedw3, ntruvx lxmixerx vnxedr. Mrnxwpqed, jrstlieds drpsq ptwreti su kgws to blsop drkucs.

Yeah, that’s what I read as I went through the story that I knew had been written pretty well. For some inexplicable reason, everything after the opening few words were now scrambled, and while I remembered the gist of the story, my palms filled with sweat as I tried to figure out what happened and how I could resurrect the entire tale. That’s how the nightmare ended. I don’t know if I ever managed to get back to the original gem.

It got me wondering about something. It’s well documented that a frequent nightmare cops have is the “my-gun-won’t-fire-right-when-I-need-it” scenario. I remember having it more than once. In my case, I remember seeing my revolver (yeah—I’m old enough to remember that we carried “wheel guns” when I came on) fall apart. Pieces of the pistol hit the deck as I pulled the trigger. This leads to a question for you. Are you or were you in a profession where there are/were common dreams or nightmares you and your peers experienced? If so, I’d love to hear about them. Firefighters where their backpack tanks run out of oxygen or hoses that go dry? Power outages at ice cream shops? I don’t know if this nightmare thing happens in lots of professions, but if so, please share. Might even give me inspiration for another 101 word tale. Speaking of…let’s get to the Story of the Week (prompt provided by Tania S).

How They Got Their Just Desserts

The kids in Livermore were embarrassingly slow—especially when it came to the latest Internet trends.

The newest craze was the “Ice Cream Challenge,” where future Darwin winners entered stores, opened ice cream containers, licked the top, and left—all broadcast on TikTok.

Determined to end the prank, store owners used dry ice to super-freeze the ice cream. Kids licking the surface discovered a new-found attachment to ice cream, sending several to the E.R. where they were later arrested.

“They weren’t first up, but they definitely got their last licks,” was how cops described it on their own TikTok channel.

Prompt: Oh no—not in Livermore.

Just a quick update on the novel… I finished my “pleasure read” this week. I read the book from my Kindle, and I gotta tell you—for the most part it felt like I was reading a real book! Kinda cool. I did my best to blow past the obvious mistakes. I highlighted typos but the only real notes I made were things like suggestions for chapter breaks (based on the great notes all of you awesome blog readers provided). Next step: I’ll create a new outline for the second draft. At this point (and I may be completely delusional) I know I have some structural work to do but not much (he lies to himself). I’ll have more for you next week on it. Until then…

Thanks for listening.

Scotty out

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