“What did you dream last night?”
That was the question my father asked me every morning when I was growing up. And since I lived to please him, I quickly taught myself how to remember my dreams, in colorful detail, to share with him during breakfast.
How does this tie into MEDIUM? Well let me tell you. I’ve been writing for a little over a month now. Three individual publications have accepted me as a writer and three of my stories have been published. But none by MEDIUM, the Big Dog, itself. With nine stories submitted, I think I’m forever in what they call curation jail. And things are starting to look so grim, I’m having those dreams again.
My dream patterns have themes. Don’t yours? I have tornado dreams, elevator dreams, and the shitty type of dream I had this morning. The lost and confused dream.
The locale is always Chicago. I’ve lived in Atlanta now for twenty-seven years but Chicago is home, where I was born and raised, and this dream theme always takes me back home. Always. It adds to the frustration. That’s what the dream is really all about. Frustration.
My friend Faydra and I are shopping. I’m happy. My hands are filled with shopping bags and new purchases. We’re in a brightly lit department store, probably the old Marshall Field’s (it was our favorite) and I run into an acquaintance who informs me that a woman who I considered a close friend has had a baby. She didn’t tell me. I’m bewildered.
Things go downhill from here. Suddenly Faydra cuts our time short and abruptly informs me that she has to go. Go where? She won’t say. She turns and walks away leaving me even more bewildered. And now I’ve been abandoned, too.
I try to get inside a subway train station. I have a pocketful of change but black-eyed peas* are mixed in with my coins and I can’t count out the correct fare.
Not only that but here it is, the moment of ultimate frustration I face in every single one of these damn dreams. It never fails. Either I’m trying to make a specific train while one roadblock after the other is thrown in my way or like now, I’m at the subway station but I don’t know which fucking train to get on.
Worse? This time I don’t even know where I’m going. Seriously?? This is home. ChiTown. My old stomping grounds. I used to run this city from edge to edge and beyond. But I’m standing here now lost and confused, holding up the line like a tourist.
Back inside the store I spot yet another girlfriend. I’m relieved, and we hang out a bit until suddenly she has to leave, too. Her outfit morphs into something colorful and festive and it’s clear she’s heading off to a very cool event. But she doesn’t invite me to come along. So now I’m feeling snubbed. Snubbed, bewildered and abandoned. Not a good combo.
The worse part of all? I’m losing my shopping bags! One-by-one. I sit down on a bench, get up, and leave a package behind. Finally I have just one bag left and again, I’m struggling to count my change and get on a subway train before I lose this one, too. But it’s like I’ve got on mittens, I’m clutching the bag with everything I’ve got in me, and I can’t separate the coins from the peas.
I’m so familiar with my Lost in Frustration dream theme that when I open my eyes they instantly roll to the back of my head. Again with this? But I know right away that the dream was MEDIUM-induced. Of course it was. The initial rejection? Then the nibbles followed by more rejection? Frustration in trying to figure it all out? Sounds familiar? Struggling to separate the coins from the peas.
The thing to remember is, there are about a million others out here working the same room as you...and being good oftentimes just isn’t good enough.
Writing is not my first calling. But I’ve been writing for a long time. The thing to remember is, there are about a million others out here working the same room as you. No matter what it is you’re trying to do. And being good oftentimes just isn’t good enough.
I’m not knocking the MEDIUM set-up. But their process of curation is a bit whimsical. It seems to depend on which curator’s lap your piece happens to fall into and their frame of mind on that particular day. But it’s their game. You want to play, you accept their rules.
All day yesterday while cleaning out my garage, I pondered over whether to continue this thing. Writing for MEDIUM. Maybe I should just kick off a publication of my own like Shaunta Grimes or Courtney Stars? But again. Writing is not my first calling. And as much as I enjoy it, along with the positive responses from writers I admire who actually follow me, perhaps I should step away.
After all, it’s distracting me from other things I’ve got cooking online and the energy I’m putting into MEDIUM could go elsewhere. I haven’t decided yet. Not yet. But it’s creeping into my dreams and that might not be a good thing. But then again, who knows? Maybe it is?
*I thought the black-eyed peas were a sweet touch. In Southern cooking, peas represent “coins” on New Year’s Day, along with collard greens as “dollar bills”. A wish for prosperity in the new year.