Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dreams That Go Bump in the Night

Ever get that creepy feeling that something is following you? I did. Right after the moment I learned to string letters and then words together to create writing. Writing followed me from grammar school to high school, college and then my very first "real" job of newspaper journalist. There was just one small problem: I didn't want to write. Oh, sure I could write and lots of times had that urge to scrawl words on paper, but it was next to last on my list of career achievements.

Nope, I wanted to work in music. I come from a musical family and owned my first 45 rpm record at age two. I didn't care what capacity I worked in for my music—from performing to radio to video and all the promotion that goes into it. I also decided when I was a child and saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan that I loved Paul McCartney and that one day I would meet him, not as a screaming fan but as a semi-equal.

To that end I directed every bit of my energy. I worked in radio and then moved on to record labels and yes, I finally did meet Paul and Linda McCartney and Paul told me a funny story about another girl with my name on the subway who slightly freaked when she realized who they were—probably to stop me from passing out when I stood next to him and looked into those big browns! I must add here that Linda McCartney was one of the most gracious people I have ever met! Both had a great sense of humor and even made a joke when they saw my poor sister waiting in the conference room, lol! To this day, Paul remains my inspiration, template and obsession for my (mostly) tall, dark and British heroes.

Yet there it was, still right behind me like a cold metallic hand on my shoulder to drag me back to that one thing I never wanted to do: write. Yet every facet of my life shone with the diamond bright idea of writing for real this time—journalism was a trade for me, fiction was always the "real" writing.

So one day I decided to dip my proverbial toe back into the fiction pool for real. It wasn't like riding a bike. I'd forgotten more than I knew and my first attempts at short stories, while they were published, were terrible in my opinion and so I looked upon it with more than a little tongue-in-cheek. But this time something was different. The more I wrote, the more I remembered about it and how to do it. The difference was my commitment; I actually took it seriously this time.

Something else was there too: maturity. Emotional, mental, and most of all experiential maturity that made my writing something it could never have been when I was younger. In a sense I reversed the process that most writers go through. I started out writing and writing professionally at that and took it for granted, walking away from incredible opportunities to follow an iridescent dream while other writers lusted after it, lacking time or energy or opportunity to follow their own iridescent dream of being an author. They were the authors who struggled (and still struggle) against all odds—marriage, children, heartache, life in general that stood in their way, obstacles to finding time, energy and opportunity to write the stories in their hearts. Those authors I salute—how you do it all I have absolutely no idea. You chose it rather than it choosing you. Writing haunted me until I had no choice. That cold metallic hand at last morphed itself into mine of blood, flesh, and bone and twisted out stories of the future where those same icy fingers grasp at readers to drag them forward into it as well. It's called science fiction.

Sounds like an amazing journey huh? It was. I met people I couldn't conceive ever meeting, did things I never expected, "danced along the light of day" like the song says (Drops of Jupiter by Train). But just like all glistening dreams this one faded into the harsh light of morning and dried up just like dew on delicate grass blades.

And still at the end there it was, waiting for me always, that faithful black and white print of a dream that I could hold in my hand, send to others, and share with whoever in the world was interested. This time I am the creator of those dreams not the follower, I write movies from the reels that run in my head, and premiere them for others to read and watch.

I hope that you enjoy the show from your third row center seat. Just remember the next screenplay is in the studio and your movie tickets in the form of novels will be waiting for you at "will call" under VIP.

~P.I. Barrington
Twitter@PIBARRINGTON P.I. Barrington


  1. It is wonderful to get to know you PI. I looking forward to hanging with you on here!

    Great (and interesting) post!!

  2. Patti, what an interesting journey you've had. I love the Beatles. Mind you I'm a generation late, but George was my #1. I recently met Patti Boyd on Catalina Island last 4th of July. She put together a photography exhibit and was autographing her book. My boys love the Beatles and we have times where we just jam out to them. Andrew's favorite is "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." You have to respect Paul and all his accomplishments.

    I'm glad that metal hand kept reaching for you. Your Future Imperfect Series possessed a unique vision which I enjoyed. Now... if only we could find a day to meet...


  3. Oh, I forgot - Joe's favorite is "Yellow Submarine." Me? While my Guitar Gently Weeps.
    :) Steph

  4. Amazing journey you had there. I'm a Beatles fan too. Love Abbey Road, but like Steph, George will always be my favorite and we must be syncing because While my Guitar Gently Weeps is my favorite song by them, along with a song about a Silver Hammer.

    1. "Bang Bang Maxwell's Silver Hammer came down on her head"...that's one of my faves too JMO! Is it just me or does anyone else think the white album was just a collection of half finished songs?

    2. Patti, Yes! OMGosh, there are a bunch on there that feel half-finished. :)

  5. Wonderful story, Patti. :-) It's great to see where people have come from and where they are. And you write awesome sci fi... gives me the creeps. :-)

  6. Okay Gail, that's just me giving you the creeps, LOL!!

  7. I'm with Steph, George was the best beatle!! I've actually got a story (unfinished as yet) where all the characters names are from Beatle songs.

    I enjoyed learning new things about you on this post!

  8. Hey Patti! Very cool! It's neat to see where writers come from and what inspires them :)

  9. I love it, Patti! Yep, add me to the list of Beatle fans. It is really cool about your music background. Any chance your past music is out there for us to enjoy? I gota say, though, I am glad you are writing now, I love your 'voice'.
    Great post!