I hesitate calling it a nightmare due to the pure absurdity of it all, but from the way my mind reacted to it, I fear that’s what it was.
In my nightmare, all of the reviews I had collected for my books were suddenly changed. As though I had angered everyone who had ever read one of my books, they all went in to change their reviews to be incredibly hurtful pieces of miniature literature, focused pretty directly at me.
Or so I believe.
Actually, I only remember one…from a friend who I don’t believe has actually reviewed one of my books, much less read them. It simply said “This comment has been cancelled. I hate scholars.”
That’s the thing that woke me up this morning.
Now, I don’t want you to think that I woke up this morning and immediately went to check my phone to see if my reviews were still there because of this dream. I do that every morning, even before I had this dream ;-). No, actually, what I did was grab my phone and enter three words into my notepad dealie I have on there for situations in which thoughts come to me at inopportune times…you know, like at 6am.
I hate scholars.
My brain does some pretty weird stuff, as I’m sure those of you who come here regularly, or have read any of my books, or have talked to me for a few minutes, can attest. But this one stuck out to me as weirder than most. These three words, plopping around in my brain at 6am, caused me to wonder one major thing. Am I a scholar? By most definitions of the word, I’m pretty sure you could state that I am…but I had never previously even considered myself as such. Heck, the word is something that is barely in my vocabulary, much less a method I use to define myself.
Yet, in this oddly hurtful review modification, I obviously was defining myself as a scholar…I mean, unless this is some sort of weird precognitive thing where in the near future I will lead some group of anti-social terrorists that call themselves The Scholars which causes even the most faithful of my fans to turn against me in the most terrible way possible…passive aggressive review redactions.
I have to admit that the last little bit there is probably a bit more of why I put the note into my phone than anything else…because I really like the idea of a writer turned angry militant who then angers his fans under the moniker of scholar.
But after I got past the need to prepare for my next book about war and politics…I reviewed the idea of whether or not I am truly a scholar. The definitions for the word are actually quite wide in range, from having an aptitude for study, to being a specialist in a field, to just plain being a student. The funny thing is…I’m not any of those.
I mean, sure, I may be a specialist in writing, as I focus a great deal of my time in there. However, if you were to talk to traditional authors about me, they’d freak out about my hopping genres and refusing to stick to anything standard. Sure…I may have a great deal of sci-fi going on, but jumping from adult superhero to young adult dystopian, to short story horror, to ….well…I don’t want to give away too much of the future. I’m not a specialist…I’m something of a shotgun writer, discussing whatever seems interesting to me on a given day.
Of course, that might mean that I have an aptitude for study, seeing as there is definitely a great deal of research that has to come into play when discussing such a wide breadth of topics. I have to admit…I’m really bad at doing the research stuff. I do it, for sure. I try to focus as much of my writing on truth as possible. However, you’re never going to find any big ol’ bibliographies in the back of my texts like Mr. Michael Crichton or other similar authors…no, I jump from one thing to the other, gleaning the smallest amount of information possible from which to jump off from. I wouldn’t consider what I do to be an aptitude for study…it’s more like an aversion.
Which leaves the final of the three definitions I provided.
Immediately I stick my tongue out in disgust at the idea. Although really young me would definitely disagree, I was never a fan of school (how’s that for a conflicted statement?) I quit college three times within almost as many years. I actually got to the point in my life where I hated school. The idea of being a student past the years that I was required became a torturous concept. The amount of willpower I had toward attempting to glean a piece of paper which might allow me a glorious career in something like…I don’t know…health insurance?…completely disappeared. The idea of being a student any longer was an absolute nightmare.
Well…of course, I should probably clarify. The idea of sitting in a traditional classroom was a nightmare. I love to learn new tricks.
In fact, with my writing, I’m constantly trying to develop new methods, read about new tools for the author’s arsenal with which to craft a picture, develop a scene, and, overall, to create an emotion. Whenever I read a book or watch a movie, I make mental notes about the things I see that I think were done well and consider how I might be able to use these approaches to my own work.
With life, I’m always trying to learn and develop new ways to better myself and my surroundings. I love teaching my kids and learning about how they learn best.
You might say (brace yourselves for cliche statement folks) that I’m a scholar of the world. Of life. Of things.
So…when that dude, yeah, you know who you are, friend who is a whole lot meaner in my dreams, made the comment that he hates scholars. it wasn’t an attack on me. it was an attack on life. He hates those who love life. He hates the world. He hates me…not some weird hatred of those of higher learning.
Yeah…I’m sure that’s what he meant. Which is good…I don’t know what I’d do if he hated college students. Those guys are the best.
This completely random assortment of comments stemming from a rather stupid dream brought to you by my son, who woke me up at 6am to tell me he had crapped his pants. If it weren’t for him, this dream would have disappeared from memory like every other dream.
Hope you all have a great weekend. Have fun out there!