I love writing, it was my first ever passion. It predates astronomy, science and came long before acting even got on my map. I didn’t even realize how early of a passion it was until I recently re-discovered my first “novel” written in 1995. Those of you who know me may do the maths, and like me you may find it slightly incredible but I assure you it’s also true. I’m also proud to say that the craft has evolved somewhat. Like I know how to finish a story nowadays. It still bugs me that I can’t remember how that novel ended. It just stops. In the middle. Who does that? It is the greatest cliffhanger I’ve ever unintentionally written. I remember thinking about it, mapping it out in my head, the dialogue and all that jazz – but as so many countless times afterwards, I never got round to writing it down. When will I learn?
Whenever I write I often find my characters facing the same kind of obstacle within their otherwise quite different worlds, that what is and what appears to be are not the same at all, that thinking and doing are two very different things. The first one is up for philosophical debate, as it has been for the past couple of thousand years. The latter is common knowledge. Yet the latter stumps us more than it should. Seems to catch us by surprise in a “what ever do you mean?” sort of way.
“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” - Jack Kerouac
For instance: Miracles aren’t so rare as we are made to believe, but we never see them. We never hold on to those moments that come every once in a blue moon. If it’s not the past that occupies our minds, the couldves, wouldves, lost possibilites and whatnot, we get too stuck in the future, in a plan, in a goal. And we see a road but we miss the shortcuts. We get too comfortable on the highway and ignore the scenic route, either out of fear or out of procrastination. What’s the point in knowing it’s there and not seize it? We want the goal but we skip the journey. I’m the same. I know I’d like to teleport every so often, if only to not jump between airports for eight hours at a time for once, but that’s not possible. Not yet. Instead I get to spend some time in a world that was only made available to us a hundred years or so ago; the world above the clouds. I get to sit on a chair in the sky, where the sun always shines no matter how many clouds there are and where the stars will always twinkle. So I guess I’m trying to say, just as much to you as to myself; enjoy the roller coaster ride.
When I asked my brain for a challenge I didn’t quite envision Forever. I might’ve had something simpler in mind but now I’m hooked and I need to finish the story. But it stretches the concepts of time and space and my mind boggles. I know I will get there. To the end. Somehow. With these characters who doesn’t know quite how brightly they burn. And with a lot of research. So what’s it about? Well… Good question. it explores the fact that you spend a lot of time in one world doesn’t make it more real than any other. Doesn’t make dreams impossible or anything improbable, just because you happen to be on another road at the time. That was the basic idea, the inspiration behind Forever. On the surface it deals with the conflict of one mind possessing several realities/worlds at the same time, Lizzie’s dreams are real and they have consequences. Beneath it all it’s a story about loss and love and finding your way back to yourself even when you can’t see it. And that’s as much as I know at present.
So. That’s me. I don’t always know what I write but I write a lot. And in my head I star in all of it. Naturally. Because when I write, I write down my dreams, and I write about the person I was in them and who I was a long time ago and who I want to be. I don’t usually keep early production notes on the scripts I write but I found this one about the premise for Forever, tucked between the pages of a completely unrelated book;
“What if dreams transport our minds to another world, like Narnia, Oz, Neverland or someplace altogether different? That when we fall asleep here, a new day dawns for us somewhere else. Dreams are always real when we live them. And it always seems like a lifetime has passed in just minutes. What if it has? What if déjà vus are real? Same situation, same people, different sky? People who believe in magic and fairytales and time travelling superheroes, they know this, they know what the world is made of. People who don’t, they’re afraid. They’re unhappy. They settle. They create bubbles of their own little paradise. They don’t go to one, not like us dreamers. Because they’re scared. Authors, storytellers, they are not afraid. They’re the only ones who aren’t. They are the only ones who see. We are all just a story. We are all stories. When we die, it’s when we fall off the page. Fall between the lines. Lost among the sands of time but never forgotten. Cause once written. we can’t be unwritten.”
I realize now how much books have affected and formed the way I think and create. That and a quick google search usually jolts me upright. It must’ve been a decade since I last read Sophie’s World and yet the what-if that gave birth to Forever was a form of this quote that still lingered in the deep recesses of my mind.
What if we are in aeternum?