On Writing · Writing Life

At the Library with Julia Roberts

This morning after I woke up but realized I didn’t have to actually get up yet, I fell back asleep and dreamt that Julia Roberts and I were best friends. We met at a library and started talking about books. Through our love of words and storytelling, we became fast friends. The dream consisted of me meeting her in the library or in a house (her house?), and we’d talk and she’d tell me all about her life. She laughed her mountainous laugh. Her hair was always wild and beautiful. I was so happy!

I think I had this dream because last night we watched the Golden Globes. It was an interesting show. I watched until the end because I wanted to see who would win Best Actor in a Drama. We recently watched Todd Phillips’ ‘Joker’, and Joaquin Phoenix’ performance blew me away.

Also, he (Joaquin as himself) reminds me of my dad…his eyes…his face shape…I wondered how lovely it would be to watch an award show with my dad if he were still alive.

While yesterday I was thinking about sleeping, today my thoughts are on dreams. The dreams we have with famous people. Do you have them too? I have recurring dreams about Tom Cruise, Madonna, and now, Julia Roberts. It’s really something to wake up and not know where you are because you were so sure you were with Tom Cruise running from bad guys like in a scene in one of his Mission Impossible films…or excited to meet up with Julia at the library or with Madonna backstage after one of her concerts. Famous people. There’s a part of my heart that wants to be famous. For my writing. It would be really amazing to win an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Keep dreaming, V!

Do I want to be famous? I ask myself this question sometimes. I always feel confused about the answers that pop into my mind. They’re never simple. I’d love for a lot of people to read my words and be affected, provoked in some way. I’d love to be able to afford to my craft every day and to help others do the same – but one doesn’t have to be famous to do this at all. I’d love to travel around the world reading and writing and talking with people about reading and writing. But how would that experience change if I were famous? See…not simple at all. I get a kind of tightened chest…tightened by a bit of guilt and a bit of…what is it? Shame? For the little part of my heart that does want to be famous.

I was in a grade three classroom talking about writing and reading. I asked the kids in the class if anyone wanted to be a writer when they grew up. Only one person put her hand up. I asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up. Every single one who answered prefaced the profession with the word FAMOUS. “I want to be a famous basketball player, Miss,” said one. “I want to be a famous football player,” said another. “I want to be famous on youtube,” said one kid who was bouncing as he said it. I didn’t hold back my surprise. “You all said famous before what you want to be,” I told them. They nodded at me like, yeah, miss, don’t you get it?

And so…I enjoy being baffled by young minds and my own mind as it ages…and regresses…and I continue to ask myself questions like: do you want to be famous?!

Speaking of having a lot of people reading words…I’m reading ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens. So far…it’s marsh land poetry. That’s a good thing indeed.

I wonder if Julia read this book? Maybe I’ll ask her in my next dream.

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