The Plant Stand, or, Next Time Don’t Get Off the Bus

I’m in the habit of writing down my more noteworthy dreams the moment I wake up. I find that in that first 5-10 minutes of wakefulness, I remember my dreams pretty well, so it’s the best time to jump on it.

My latest dream (just this morning) was so bizarre that I not only wrote it down, but I tried my hand at some visual reproductions of the scenes. The whole sequence struck me as completely random and simultaneously hilarious, specifically because of an unexpected companion on Dream Me’s travels.

I don’t know what the point of this dream was, but I was in some sort of task force group thing with two other people. One I’m pretty sure was a girl, the other was a Ryan Reynolds look alike. We were in this organization thing for doing stuff? I seem to remember having to meet other members of this organization or something, and our team was new so people wanted to give us a hard time. The first bit was actually kinda cool if only I could remember it.

Anyway, after a task meeting, we were given these assignments. We three had to go into the city and take care of some duties, and then rendevous for one that we’d be performing together. So I go off to take care of my tasks. I took the bus into the city which only got me about halfway before traffic came to a halt. I abandoned the bus, deciding it’d be quicker to walk than to wait. And it was certainly quicker, only I got to my first destination and that’s when I remembered I was carrying this fricking huge plant stand. “Oh, right,” I thought, “What the hell was I supposed to do with this?”

So I call Ryan Reynolds for help. He tells me I was supposed to take it to Circuit City, and that will be a bit of an ordeal because I can’t just walk it right in, the back door will be locked, I have to wait there until someone walks out and then prop the door open yadda yadda, other things, anyway he’s willing to meet me there if I want. Besides all that I’m like well crap, I could have stopped at CC on my way here but I passed the stop ages ago. And I’m already at the second point, what am I supposed to do?

Dream: The Plant Stand

He doesn’t answer, he’s no help at all, the tool.

I check my watch and it’s only around 3 and… for some reason the first two tasks are time-sensitive and need to be done now, but the final important thing we all have to do together doesn’t have a time stamp on it. So I tell him all right I’ll go back, it should only take 20 minutes to get there. Okay cool, we hang up and I catch the next bus heading back the way I came.

For some idiotic reason I get off at the very next stop, like oh hey sure this is close enough. Only, this stop is inside a tunnel or under a huge bridge or something. I think I was concerned how long it would take to come out the other side, and I should be able to get to CC pretty quickly from this point. And it’s true, I probably could have, except the moment the bus passes I see some crackheads sitting on the other side of the road. I was just in the process of going to dig in my purse for something (probably money) when one woman immediately gets up and comes over to beg for money. I clutch my bag to me and I’m like nope sorry, no money at all, and I start walking. She walks with me.

Dream: The Crackhead

Remember I’ve got a frickin’ plant stand with me. It’s iron painted green with circular glass plant holders and… why is this the crux of any plan?

Also I seem to recall having a dream about this woman previously in this sequence of dreams, so I remember her. And she was giving a talk about her life and trying to get off of drugs, of all things.

So meanwhile I’ve realized I’ve gotten off in the shadiest place ever conceived, and I make a mental note to never get off a bus in strange surroundings. Meanwhile, the lady seems to know I’m looking for a way out, and rather than letting me continue walking through the tunnel, she opens a door in the wall. “This way,” she says. I peer in while she’s holding the door. It’s this narrow hallway that goes down some stairs and continues on to a dead end. And milling about are three people shadier than this lady is, only they’re dudes, big ones.

And I could go in there, sure. But around this time I’m thinking, “You’re going to be mugged and gang-raped and left for dead before you leave this tunnel. It doesn’t help that you’re carrying around a fricking plant stand, either.”

Dream: Team Mug n' Rape

While I’m having this mental debate the lady has moved on, and I have no clue if she’s being legit or just handing me gift-wrapped over to her muggy gang-rapey friends, or how else to get out of this tunnel alive (because honestly walking the length of the this dark, smelly tunnel by myself isn’t appealing either). So I go in, and I see that what I thought was a dead-end was actually a turn. And I follow it to another well-concealed turn, and up I go, and eventually it leads to the inside of a mall. And not a safe-looking mall, a seedy looking one like Security Square in Baltimore – in essence, not much better than the tunnel, but probably better lit and with more eye witnesses should I be shanked.

So I step out, and head for the first escalators I see. These happen to be inside this huge Thai wedding store (Thai wedding? Is this even a thing?). I hit the escalators with my plant stand, sure that now I’ve found a way out and I’m not gonna get assaulted after all…

And I wake up.

Clearly, the dream inspired a number of questions. What is the meaning of the plant stand? Should I take significance from its presence, or from its lack of plants? How did I get the bloody thing onto a bus… twice?

And exactly which of us is the main character, here?

It’s aliiiiiive!

Oh my wow guys, here I am posting. I’ve been a busy beaver lately and haven’t had time to write about story-related things as I’d like to, but I do feel bad about letting my blog just sit. I promised myself I was going to get better about blog posting, so um… let’s try promising again lol, and hopefully I’ll stick to it this time. Story posts will be coming, but for now I want to focus on building a posting routine.

Okay well new items first.

If you will be at Otakon at the end of this month, I will also be at Otakon and you should come visit me in Artist Alley. My friends Alice Meichi Li and Jennifer Zyren Smith will also be there! According to the Artist Alley map I should be either at booth B08 or B09 (Alice and I will be together). Man, the last time I was at a con I’d just graduated from my first college. It’s been years. I can’t wait to see how Otakon has changed!

You might be on Twitter. You might be on Tumblr. If so, you might like to follow me :) just use those handy dandy buttons over on the right over the search bar to find me.

Also also, my website got a facelift care of my amazingly talented and wonderful friend Sarah – who recently began her online comic Rumbirds! She also co-hosts a podcast that’s all about music and theatre and movies and Youtube and coning?? (what the what?) and other fun things. Her cohost Timmy is good people – he introduced me to Happle Tea, and anyone who turns me onto awesome webcomics is A-OK in my book.

Some things are afoot that I don’t want to discuss right now, but rest assured I’m keeping busy, and when opportunity allows, you’ll definitely be hearing about them.

Now that I’m actively pursuing art as a career, it seems that most everyone I meet has artistic aspirations. I was just making a late-night run to the grocery store, and I got into a conversation with the cashier. He asked me what I did for a living. I told him that I was an artist. He got a knowing look, and confided that he used to take drawing classes.

Just this past weekend, I reconnected with a cousin I haven’t talked to in years, and I was surprised to learn that she was interested in art as well. She’s considering going back to school so she can enter the health sector, but she confided that it’s not where her heart is. She’d rather be taking art classes.

Back before I enrolled at Ringling, I didn’t know half the stuff about the world of art that I know now. At the time, I was trying to get myself out of the world of marketing, and being an artist seemed like an all or nothing sort of thing. Granted, I’m happy with my choice, but I understand a lot better now that it’s not the only choice. So many people give up on art to be practical, to focus on school and having a well-paying job and taking care of the family, and lament the missed opportunity to pursue their passion. But… why is it all or nothing? Why not do both? The truth is, being a professional artist isn’t for everyone. It can be just as demanding and thankless as any other job, depending on your role and where you work.

But for every professional artist I know, I know someone else who just does their art on the side – I hesitate to call it a hobby because sometimes it transcends that. Maybe they take classes, or paint in the mornings, or run their freelance photography business on the weekends. Or they’re like a number of illustrators I follow and work on webcomics, graphic novels, and other projects in their free time. I’m most familiar with these type of artists because I read a lot of webcomics – artists like Sarah Ellerton and Tracy Butler. Now, I’ll grant you, Tracy’s day job is art-related, but it’s still a day job. Lackadaisy Cats is something she does entirely in her spare time.

…Of course, this post doesn’t address the very important issue of time management. Anyone working a nine to five job knows how hard it is to come home from work after a grueling day of office politics, fighting traffic, running errands and taking care of home responsibilities, and then convince yourself to stay upright for a few more hours and do some art. But… it can be done. Bottom line is, you don’t have to remove art from your life. It can fill as much or as little of your time as you’d like… and if you’re really passionate about it, I think a little time is preferable to none at all.

Speaking of art, here’s a sneak peek at some new stuff I’ll have with me at Otakon (yes, I’m totally into A Song of Ice and Fire right now).

Robb Stark - A Song of Ice and Fire Jon Snow - A Song of Ice and Fire

Salsa - Eternal Sonata