I have to admit to being an incurable optimist, a pie-eyed (why "pie-eyed"? Must look that up*) dreamer. Think "Cock-eyed Optimist" from South Pacific. Think "Could Be" from West Side Story. Conversely, I am daily be-deviled by a Sadistic Inner Critic (SIC) whose sole aim is is to persuade me that whatever original merit or originality I once brought to my writing vanished some years ago, and would anyway be out of fashion if I did find it again. It makes for an interesting life.
The reason for the previous paragraph is to explain the story I'm going to post today. Up till now, I've had a clear aim every time I've chosen a story to post here. Some of those aims still hold--I still believe that every story written wants to be read. I still accept that many of my stories may disappear without that happening, so that posting one here gives it one last chance to find a reader or two who may love it.
But today it's been hard to pick a story to post, because my stubborn dreamer looks at a possible selection and says, "Wait, don't give up on this one. It has some possibilities. Someone may publish it yet." (Don't forget, each story is my baby, and I am a fierce mother.)
Then I hear the snide voice of SIC who peers down at the selection and says, "By all means, post that. Let people see how weak ( Or perhaps, because SIC has an extensive vocabulary, "trite, unoriginal, verbose, commonplace," etc.) your writing really is."
I'm stymied. I'm paralyzed. I decide not to blog anymore. Why am I doing it anyway? I start to close the file drawer, then stop. I close my eyes, reach in and pull out some paper-clipped pages. The dreamer in me says, "This story is loooking for someone. It wants out."
* Most dictionaries, as it turns out, indicate that the prime meaning of pie-eyed is intoxicated. (They vary in their assessments of how intoxicated, some saying "slightly," some saying "extremely.") That's not what I thought it meant when the word spilled from mind to fingers to keyboard. I must have been influenced by a subliminal association with the expression "pie in the sky" and by preparing to mention the "cock-eyed," (another intriguing phrase) optimist Mary Martin sang about. This conclusion is the result of a half-hour or so of happy, irresponsible web-dictionary wandering, and this is why tonight I'll go to bed wondering again how I managed to accomplish so few of the things on my to-do list. All I really meant to do was intensify the meaning of dreamer, but now I'm wondering if a glass of wine wouldn't help clarify my thoughts.
How weird. This isn't something I've given up on. It's just the short prologue of a middle grade novel I am still sending out. It's in this file because I have read articles that advise against prologues. (And of course it's common for a writer to be told that the first one or two chapters of his or her novel are actually unnecessary.) I may still include this prologue. But in case I don't, and in case the novel is never published, here it is--for some reason.