Kage Baker has been in my dreams a lot lately. Behaving rather strangely, too.
I wish I dreamed of her more often. But I don’t. Often, I have dreams where I know (in the dream) that she is around somewhere – I am usually trying to meet her, or find her, or somehow get to where she is … but I never do. And it’s usually while we’re trying to build for a Renaissance Faire, so there is a lot of around somewhere to hide her. Still, there’s a certain comfort in believing, even for the duration of a dream, that she is just over at Mullah’s, and I’ll catch up to her in a few minutes.
That’s something I dream about a lot. Also, that popular mainstay of sad stories, where you wake up and realize that someone’s death is itself a bad dream and not real at all: until you really wake up and find yourself 6 years older and Kage still dead. Oh, and you didn’t win the Lottery, either.
Lately, though, Kage has been a bit more literally visible in my dreams; and she’s been in a really peculiar mood. A few nights ago, I was hunting for her all over Faire – various friends kept coming up and advising me not to search for her, as she was angry at me. Now, a lot of the rest of this dream was arrant nonsense (like a dear friend in her Queen Elizabeth gown, driving Father Christmas’ sleigh from Dickens Fair through the summer streets of Chipping-Under-Oakwood), so I ignored everyone and kept hunting. But when I found Kage – she wasn’t angry, precisely, but she was too busy to wander around with me.
She was transformed, too: much, much taller than me, and dressed in a tunic and skirt of russet silk embroidered with Celtic knot work and Greek keys. Her hair was cropped short and standing round her head like flames. There were flames in her eyes, pupils like candles, and she wore boots of white stone, also all worked with knots and chains. There were chains of opals and padparadscha sapphires round her neck. She told me she had just sold a new novel that was going to be a marvellous scandal and a best-seller, and she was going through the Faire buying everything she had ever wanted with the advance on a gift card.
So she was busy, too busy to talk to me. She told me to get busy, too.
This has bothered me for days. The year 2015 was pretty much a dead loss for me, creatively, and I feel both guilty and persecuted about it. Am I making scary finger puppet shadows on the walls of my skull?
Maybe my unconscious has cast Kage as a Muse, annoyed because I’ve not accomplished much in the last year. Or maybe, against all odds – because I think she has better things to do at the moment – Kage is vengeful about my sloth and is kicking me to get my life back on track. Or maybe I just really have to stop eating kosher dill pickles late at night.
Last night, now … last night we were getting breakfast at one of those hotel breakfast bars where there are giant dispensers of various cereals and toppings for self-service. And Kage was encouraging me to sprinkle pearls and gems all over my Shredded Wheat. When I ate them, they were awfully crunchy and hard to chew – but they tasted like being 17 years old, like rose petals and sea foam and chrysanthemums in the rain …
I started my online screen writing class today. Tomorrow I am going to finish editing an old novel called Knight and Dei, and mail it off to my agent.
I wonder what I’ll dream about tonight?