Monday, January 30, 2012

Land of Dreams

At the beginning and ending of the movie, "Pretty Woman," a town-crier kind of character wanders the streets, calling out to anyone who will listen:

"Welcome to Hollywood!  What's your dream?  Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams.  Some dreams come true, some don't, but keep on dreamin' - this is Hollywood.  Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin'."

 I've seen that film at least 15 times since it came out in 1990, so I remember the gist of the quote by heart, especially the first three words, "What's your dream?"

 The words kept cycling through my mind all weekend, as I sat surrounded by 1000+ people

who, eerily, shared the same dream as mine.  We had gathered in another "land of dreams," called New York City, to learn how to make our common dream come true.   Granted most had traveled much further than my 12-minute ride on the #4 Express train from City Hall to Grand Central, then a 1-minute walk to the Grand Hyatt's conference center.  But once there, we were tethered together by a glittering cord, embroidered with the words, "We want to be published!"

- The 13th Annual Winter Conference of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators  -

We toted our stories and illustrations around in tote bags, sharing them at Roundtable Intensives, listened to agents and editors talk about trends, "what we're looking for," heard predictions and best guesses about the future of children's publishing as e-books, enhanced e-books and apps continue to encroach on traditional territory. I began to feel Pessimism creep around the edges of my mind as I realized the steepness of the hill ahead, and I worried about my dream.

A dream is a fragile thing like a wispy, white cloud flitting hopefully above the dreamer's head.  It often suffers from limited self confidence. . . "What if I'm not good enough, strong enough, realistic enough?"  And heaven forbid, if a voice out there says, "You're not possible."  The dream's hopeful whiteness can suddenly turn into gray gloominess and, when I'm not paying attention, poof into nothingness.

My dream of being a published writer needs me.  She'll stick around only as long as I get up every day and actually write something.  When the rejections come, she needs me to say those comforting words, "You're important, just as important as the first day I realized that I wanted to be a writer." She needs me to do the hard work to keep her alive.

"Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin'," the man said.

 "and keep showin' up to make it happen," I add.

What's your dream?


  1. I talked with a friend who has left her job in journalism and is now publishing and marketing books. (How's that for timing!) I was talking to her about some of my writings. And then I told her, "Yes, I have some books. And I have some ideas. But, I don't have a burning passion to see my name in print. I have a burning passion to stay at home with my daughter."

    It's funny how dreams change. For so much of my life I wanted nothing more than to be a working actor. And I did it!

    Now, I just want to find a way to be able to stay home, and to keep Lexi home as long as that is what she needs.

    Does that count as a dream?

    (I'd also like a horse. And to go on safari. Those are both long-dreamt.)

  2. But...what did they SAY?? That's what I really want to know. What did they say to you?

  3. Another quote I like is from Andrew Lloyd Weber's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," . . . . "Any dream will do." The important thing is that we keep dreaming, hold on to our passions - whatever truly bring us happiness and excitement. What more important dream could you have than seeing that Lexi gets what she needs? But never forget the horse and safari! :-) I'll email you directly about the SCBWI meeting.


Web Analytics