Dreams are tricky little thin. It isn’t that they are slick, or slippery so much as they are like the air around us – we cannot see them but without them we die.
Sure, the death of a dream won’t necessarily kill us, not the day to day us, but it kills a vital part of us. It kills the hope that pulls us through the darker times. Dreams, even the silliest and loftiest of them are the things that drive us when there seems little in life that can shine in our hearts.
Dreams and hope are vital to being a human, and vital to life itself.
And if there is one thing I have learned over the course of this year it’s that the worst thing that can happen to you is not to lose your dream but to give up on it because it is the easiest thing to do. And the heck of it is that the people around you, no matter how supportive they are, how loving they are, can never realize how much a dream means to us because it isn’t their dream, and if it isn’t their dream as well then it can seem a passing fancy, easily forgotten. Once you give up on a dream though, give up on it while there’s still life to it, that sick feeling will never leave you. That sick feeling will be a phantom heart beating beside your own heart, reminding you what could have been.
For me, dreams have always been in abundance. They were in abundance but I let go of a lot of them because I talked myself out of pursuing them. I talked myself into the negativity and doubt. In the last few years I have been lucky enough to live long term dreams. I have always wanted to paint and now do, hell, I have sold art, imagine that from someone who gave it up at eighteen after being told he was no good? I wanted to put more books than my first, Back From Nothing, out, and have. I ran into someone at a comic con who inspired me to look into self publishing seriously and that was how I found Create Space. I had always wanted to get my work out in the world and so I began doing comic cons, then a horror con, then art shows, and while I am sure not getting rich I am selling books and art to people I don’t know, which is huge for a person with as much self doubt as I have. And there have been other dreams, some large, some small, but there are always other dreams.
But there was the Other dream. The bigger one.
I have always wanted to write and be a writer but that’s not so much a dream. Publishing was the dream. And sure, I want to find a traditional publisher and an audience and all that but that is a long shot that I don’t get too hung up on and it relies on too many people to happen. Writing I could do, people or not, it was something else that was gnawing at me, deeper. Well, two things but this, friends, is about ONE of those two things.
I have talked about it before at length so I won’t repeat myself but the idea of bringing a convention, a HORROR convention to Flint has been in my head since the ’90s. I have lived in this area my whole life and while there have been a few comic conventions, and a couple funky media conventions there has never been a horror convention. I wanted to do that. I wanted to bring that to Flint. Not just to Flint though but to this whole region. Ah, but it’s all about money, brothers and sisters, it’s all about money. Without the money the dream cannot live.
But it wasn’t just money, it was doubt.
I didn’t believe in myself or my dream so it sat on a shelf and gathered dust.
Sometimes that’s a very good thing though. Dreams need, at times, to let their roots sink deep into you so you can’t get rid of them so easily. And sometimes the dream is just a little too big for you so you have to grow into them. That was the case with the convention. I needed to grow into it. I needed to do more cons, see how they are done, see what I liked and didn’t like. Had to do events, put together and work on events so I got used to what went into it. I had to sit on the dream and ALMOST forget about it until it was time.
Now is the time. I had more coming back to me in my tax return than I ever had before and took that extra money and used it as the seed to build the convention. It was time. I had waited long enough.
And that was the start, the re ignition of that spark. That was the beginning. After that, well, it’s been a hell of a trip. I have wished several times I had documented this thing because sometimes I don’t believe it and believe all that has happened and that we are still where we are. Maybe after the con I’ll give a better account of it all. Maybe.
I can say that I find myself extraordinarily lucky to be where I am, less than two months away from the convention. With the support of an awesome girlfriend, great friends, and the trust of a lot of people we are rolling right towards a dream I have had for some fourteen or more years.
I am scared at what might be coming next but can’t wait to see. And ya know the best thing about dreams? The best ones, when you live them, lead down a hundred different paths, and at the end of each one is another dream, and that is a heck of a thing.