I Have a Dream [or That Time my Son Burst my Bubble]

by - January 14, 2019

I am a dreamer. That may seem flighty and romantic, but it's really the only way I get anything done. An idea plants itself in my head and I live with it in all its various evolutions until it pops out as a physical thing. You know, just like having a baby. Only with less consumption of sour cream mixed with chopped up dill pickles*.

I dreamed I'd write a book. So I did.

I dreamed I'd start a magazine. So I did.

I dreamed I'd climb a mountain... just kidding! Yuck**. Who said that?

Last week I had a vision while getting ready for work. I dreamed of a creative space that would serve the creative minds of my community. Stay with me. Let me paint you a picture...

creative collaboration

Envision a brick building. It's got some history. Maybe it's an old Post Office or Library or coffee shop. Maybe it's got one of those concrete bricks embedded in the side that says its was built in 1897. It's got strong bones and is full of character. Inside is a large open space. There's a platform in one corner and a sales counter along one wall. Open shelves hold French presses, a grinder, coffee beans, and mugs. There are mason jars of loose leaf tea and a chalkboard sign that says 'Caffeine for Creatives'. There's a tip jar. It's a help yourself kind of establishment. Another corner is wrapped in bookshelves and cozy seating forms a lazy place to flip through magazines and novels (all published by my own imprint, of course). There's a fireplace, and sure, let's put a piano up on the stage for good measure. There's a great sound system and stage lights for author readings, poetry slams, and open mic nights. A long harvest table owns a huge bit of real estate, with electrical access in its centre for all the laptops that will fill that table when I host writer's groups, seminars, and anyone who wants to use the space to work on their various projects. Small café tables are scattered around for those more comfortable working alone. The wifi password will be 'myspace' —not because that platform was ever a good idea, but because this one is and it belongs to everyone who uses it. Upstairs will be a fully furnished apartment with amazing natural light that can be rented out to anyone looking for a personal writing retreat location. I will have a big office that is open to the main area. It will be the official headquarters of my publishing house and my storage solutions for all the ugly necessities of such an endeavor will be gorgeous and catalogue ready.

Are you still with me? Are you ready to drop everything and come be part of this thing I built in the span of a few minutes one weekday morning?

Sigh.

This felt so real to me, I actually set up an account with an online real estate site and started looking at what was available in my area. Yes. I'm that invested!

At dinner that night, I spilled my dream out on the table like some giddy five-year-old emptying their Christmas stocking.

"Yes," said my son. "That's nice. But how will it make money? How will you pay for it?"

Way to take the wind out of my sails, man! So rude!

And the answer is, I don't know. The retreat apartment wouldn't rent out until it was established and I wouldn't want to charge much anyway because writers are poor and I want the space to be a gift—cheaper and prettier than a motel.

"Maybe I could charge a monthly membership fee," I suggested. "Like a gym. It could be like a members-only creative club."

"Who would actually pay for something like that?"

"And I'd want it to be like a storefront to sell books and magazines so that wouldn't work anyway..."

"I think you need to think about this more."

Always the practical one. Who died and made you a seventeen-year-old know-it-all?

So, I called him a dream-killer and vowed I'd prove him wrong and looked at more real estate listings. I figure if someone dropped half a million in my lap I could really make a go of it, so... whadoya got?***



* True story. With regular potato chips. No wonder I gained sixty pounds that time around! (See what I did there?? 😜)
** I'd like the view without the work.
*** I mean, if you ever win the lottery or something and feel like 'what in the world am I going to do with all this money?' I'd be like, 'don't worry, I can totally lighten your load!' I'd even put up a plaque thanking your for your generous donation and that kind of recognition is just a gift that keeps on giving!

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© Alanna Rusnak