Have you ever had a dream which was telling you to write an entire book; a novel? I had one of those last night, and it went so far as to tell me exactly how to go about doing it. The only problem was that the two protagonists were fluent in a subject I know nothing about. Thus, to actually write the novel would require going back to school and becoming an expert in quantum mechanics. I don't think I have enough time or patience for that, so I'll tell you what the basics of this dream were and (if you're a brilliant physicist) perhaps you can take the ball and run with it here. All I ask is some small mention in the foreword.

There are two older gentlemen, perhaps in their late 50s or early 60s. Both are established professors of physics at a prestigious university and both have written copiously on some "Big Issue" in physics. Perhaps the General Theory of Relativity. I don't know. It doesn't really matter what the issue is, just as long as it's very complicated and yet theoretically possible to explain. It could be some issue which has already been explained, but that would take some of the genius out of the book you're going to write. Anyway, their views on this issue are dramatically different and seemingly contradictory.

One is white and he has been married for 30 years to the woman of his dreams. The other physicist is black and, unbeknownst to the white husband, has been carrying on an affair with the same woman for almost as long. The woman has recently passed away and both men are grieving her loss. It also turns out that both have written a "secret novel" about their lives with this dead woman. Someone (me?) has read both of these autobiographical novels and has agreed with the authors that there is promise in each of them, but that something is missing and that without finding that missing ingredient, there is really no sense in showing these novels to anyone who might be interested in publishing them.

There is also a son involved. He is ostensibly the son of the white professor and the dead woman, but he hair is just a little too kinky and his complexion is just a little too tawny. He has all these questions in his own mind about how he fits into the Big Picture, but has never really entertained the idea that his dad might just not be his "real dad." All he really knows is that he spends a lot of time being confused.

This is all backstory for the real achievement which needs accomplishing. Someone (not me, because I know nothing about physics) will find a way to convince the two professors to give them the two separate novels they've written so that they can be edited into one book. When this amalgamation of the two stories is finished, the mathematical writings (which are necessarily a large part of each man's supposedly fictional words) will entwine to show that their two theories about the Big Issue are not contradictory at all, but that they were being looked at through eyes tainted with each man's ego. The theories will intertwine throughout the book until they culminate in the Big Answer to this supposedly insoluble mathematical puzzle.

The story will be told through the eyes of the son who, while reading the book, understands his mother and the two men in a way that leads him out of the murky confusion he's been in his entire life. As he is reading the book, he will grow and the story of his psychological growth will be almost as valuable as the maths being explained by the book.

Oh, and it will become the Great American Novel. But no one will know that for several decades.

Good luck.

Several vignettes were behind my eyes last night. I don't quite recall what order they were in.

I dallied with my brother's girlfriend. We talked, we exchanged oral sex. I don't remember what we said, but I protested. After the sex part. I told her that she was beautiful and attractive, but - I don't remember what I said after that.

I had joined the military, and my unit was staying in a large hotel that was not a very pleasant one - maybe a Holiday Inn or something. I didn't like either of my immediate superiors. One was an Asian man who didn't speak, but he didn't trust me, nor I him. The other was a bearded Anglo fellow who told me frankly that my being skinny annoyed him. I promised him I'd try to put on some muscle. I did my laundry, twice. I saw people that I had worked with at Target, who were also part of the unit. They were at the other end of a corridor. They also recognized me - we waved and exchanged a few words, then moved on.

I saw my computer's BIOS. It was halfway through a reboot, and stayed there.

I saw something like a scene from Ramses the Damned, which I read recently. A woman talked to a man, then became invisible and infiltrated something that was like a tomb. It was unlike a tomb in that Edwardian-era Britons and their servants were all over the place, preparing for some large event. She passed through a room full of gold clothing, then sat on a throne. A door that wasn't supposed to be there opened, and she had to hold still. She had some trouble with that. People commented on her, debating whether she was a statute or a performer. Everything was dark before the situation resolved itself. I was certain at the time that she was a Solar, but she may not have been.

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