When the Dream is Over, Turn on the Light
Part 1: Fundamental Misjudgement
I had a dream. I would write a novel called Waking Up Pink. It would be based on experiences I had in a strange but wonderful commune back in the early 1980’s. There, in my mid twenties, I struggled to become a man. There, under the most romantic of circumstances, I met and fell in love with the woman who would become my wife and mother to our two children. There I encountered what it was like to be in the Buddhafield of an enlightened master. There I was involved, in however minor a role, in a grand social experiment that ended up going rather hideously wrong.
I worked hard to make that dream come true. I knew that though, along with the vast majority of all sentient beings in the universe, ‘I have always wanted to be a writer’, my writing chops needed serious work. I spent years on writing sites, making poetry, short stories and even writing a haiku-a-day for an entire year. Throughout I wrestled with what kind of novel I wanted to write. Memoir, even fictionalized memoir, was definitely out. Too boring. I was determined not to write another serious, angst-filled Canadian novel. I wanted to entertain. I wanted to share with the reader something of the absurd, transcendent bliss of bliss of being in an anything-can-happen Buddhafield.
A Buddhafied is, as far as I know, a term coined by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (currently known as Osho) back in the seventies. It refers to the felt aura of bliss that surrounds an enlightened being. When that being attracts other beings (disciples or sannyasins) who also strive for enlightenment, then the effect of the Buddhafield is compounded. Hearts resonate with each other on an energetic level creating a feeling state of endless possibility. It is somewhat akin to a crowd being lifted in spirit by a the performance of great musicians, or even an athletic event where people rejoice mutually in the home team's victory. Hearts are buoyed by the experience of something greater, something transcendent that would not be experienced on one's own.
Then novel called Waking Up Pink was completed back in early 2010. Thanks to feedback, most importantly from Brenda L. Baker www.Bren on Bren.blogspot.com and from Kirkus Indies (Brenda charged far far far less for her insights, and more on Kirkus later), I tossed Waking Up Pink in the recycle bin and after more than a year of re-structuring and re-writing, transmogrified it into Waking Up Gilligan. I felt like I had finally succeeded, in a skewed and satiric way, in re-creating the Buddhafield. Feedback from many readers (check out the reviews page in this blog) have convinced me that this feeling is correct. However, in the grander scheme of marketing the book, I've apparently made a fundamental misjudgement, one that depresses the crap out me to the extent that I'm going to address it here at some length.
To be continued...