When starting to write this blog, I thought of the old Everly Brothers hit, “All I Have to Do Is Dream.” in which there is a line that says, “I’m Dreamin’ My Life Away.”
I can’t remember the name of the first creative writing instructor I had in college, but I can remember how he got me to consider writing a novel. We had just completed an assignment of writing our first short story. Mine was about a boy growing up on a Pacific Island and his adventure at taking his father’s fishing bird out in the lagoon of the coral atoll. Instead of fish for dinner, he catches and kills a shark with just a knife. I assume I must have done a good job with it, because, after reading it and the others in classes, the teacher caught me after class and asked, “Do you have any more of these stories?”
I was caught by surprise, but with little thought I replied, “Sure.” Having spent two years in the Navy flying down to small islands in the Pacific, I figured I could come up with more. “I suggest you write them, then,” he said. So I did. I wrote a couple more for that class and then, after graduation and getting a real job, I wrote every day on the 45-minute bus commute into and out of Boston. The result was The Ages of Oosig, my first novel, which to this day I am still working on publishing. And then I wrote another novel. And then I started on a third.
My intent here is not to brag that I accomplished this feat since all of them are unpublished at this loin. But I wanted to reflect on the fact that, while writing that first story, I was in college as an Electronic Engineering major, a career that I achieve only tangentially as a marketing writer for a high-tech company. I was taking the writing course as a diversion from the complexity of engineering studies. Those few words from a professor gave me a dream that I have carried with me ever since. Now that I am retired, I can work harder at making that dream a reality.
I wonder if you have similar dreams of a future unfulfilled? Is that so terrible?