Fanciful Dreams of the Author
Jessica Amanda Salmonson
I would like to write two or three books which remained perpetually in print. They would sell barely enough copies each year that I could live frugally but well. If this could happen, I would do many enjoyable things around the city, & never write another book as long as I lived.
I would like to write one book that met with such phenomenal success that it made me very rich indeed. I could then spend the rest of my life writing other books which a mere handful of people would recognize as having immortal properties. The multitudes would find these later works confusing or personally difficult to connect with. Yet I would never despise the masses. I would be grateful for their continued support of that single monetarily successful book which freed me to write these others.
I would like to destroy all the books I have written so far, then refuse to write others, for the people of this world do not deserve them.
I would like to write many books & not allow them to be published in my lifetime. In this way, I could wish for a more deserving populace in the future. If my wishes prove to be impossibilities, & people remain terrible & foolish, I won't have to be alive to know about it.
I would like to write books of the sort which are wanted & deserved by intelligent people, who are secretly in the majority, rather than books which publishers insist on encouraging.
I would like to keep writing exactly what I've been writing so far, with a few other sorts of things thrown in, because these books have been enjoyable for myself & others.
I would like to write a lot faster & make more money by so doing.
I would like to get more money for each book I write so that I could write fewer of them. In this way I could be more careful with each one.
I would prefer to write no books at all & get the money anyway.
I would like the landlord to become very senile & forget about me, yet without getting sick & dying.
I would like nicer editions on acid-free paper so that fortunate readers can find my books in antiquarian bookstores several hundreds of years from now.
I am relieved to know most of my books will disintegrate rather soon & I am glad they were printed on such cheap paper, for their survival would embarrass my poor spirit.
I want my books to appear only in handmade editions. The paper would be created by old methods. Antique type would be hand set. Every part of the binding process would be done with the finest material & expert craft. Because of the care taken in the production of each book, there would not be very many copies of any given title I had written. Only a few people would know about me, & count themselves privileged. They would take very good care of the books I had written & these books would become family heirlooms.
I want my books made in the cheapest way possible so that everyone in the world will be able to afford copies & I can be interviewed more often.
I would like to have an editor who was honest, helpful, & pure of heart.
I would like to have a publisher who became ill if I went two whole years without finishing a new book or collection of some kind. I would like this publisher to welcome whatever I completed, with enough trust & goodwill to believe, or better still to understand, that each work had certain merit.
I would like a publisher or an editor who was even concerned about books with inherent merits. This would be a most unusual experience.
I would like to meet great artists. There don't seem to be any.
I would like to be a great artist. I don't seem to be one.
I should like the opportunity to strive for artistry, without restraints or hindrance. If I could not create books of tremendous humanity & worth though allowed every freedom to try, at least I would never have to wonder if I had wasted myself by doing other work which is successful.
I would like to stop worrying about what is art & if I am an artist. Many things which are great art are completely dull. It is better to appeal to the multitudes than to impress the haughty few, who are more commonly the sorts I cannot sit with in the same room.
I would like to have less recognition, for the finest artists are rarely recognized in their lifetimes. Buffoons alone are noticed right away.
I would like to have more recognition because presently there is not half enough.
I would like everyone who dislikes me to die first.
I would not like to outlive anybody.
I would like to find out about a place, perhaps in a forgotten corner of London, which has not changed since the 18th Century. There would not be many luxuries such as we know them today (no motorized vehicles; no electricity; no cinema or television; no CD players or radios; no watermelons in the wintertime), but it would be an opulent & decadent place in its own right, with pantomimes & chocolate houses, dandies & roaring girls, marionette operas & fancy dress balls. Having found out about this place, I would like to be invited to live there. I would like to have the good sense to accept the invitation & never regret it.
Or I would settle for discovering a very old, well preserved brownstone apartment house, in which every tenant was as quiet as myself, & the city completely muffled. We tenants would get together on the top floor from time to time for coffee & crumpets. At these times we would share abandoned conversations, usually regarding some aspect of creativity, mixed liberally with fanciful appetites & speculations.
I would like to know someone who really is a vampire or a devil of some kind, but who is very generous to me & not at all dangerous. This would be very different from the many vampires & devils I already know.
"Fanciful Dreams of the Author" copyright © 1994 by Jessica Amanda Salmonson first appeared in Stephen Brown's Science Fiction Eye 13, 1994
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