Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Pipedream

A pipedream is an unattainable or purely fanciful hope or idea. You know, like the hope that when you upgrade one thing on your computer you won't discover your printer, working practices, hair colour and country of residence are all incompatable and need to be changed before you can do so much as open an email.

Compared with that, becoming a successful novelist seems a perfectly reasonable plan.

I did know the meaning of the word pipedream, but not its origin. It comes from the visions or hallucinations experienced by people smoking opium pipes. Obvious when I think about it - presumably I never had before.

Here's an opium poppy, I grew this year. Even without smoking them they raise my spirits.

Do you have any pipedreams, or perefectly reasonable plans, you'd like to share?


26 comments:

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

You grow opium in your garden? And you tell everyone about it?

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

There are some pipedreams I have, but I don't think I'll share. ;) They involve dream agents and dream publishers.

Aelish McMullen said...

Hi, Patsy. I've only just come across your blog, and have enjoyed reading it. I was first reccommended it as a useful resource for free competitions, but appreciate the way you share your thoughts about the 'business' of writing.

Just one other comment from me, which I hope you will take as a kindness. You talked recently about us all being blind to our own personal typos - so true! Might I point out that occasionally you use 'it's' when you mean 'its'. The rule I have always trotted out is that 'it's' should also work read as 'it is', otherwise you must mean 'its'. (The other rule is that personal pronouns - his, hers, theirs, its - never take an apostrophe.)

My pipedream is to be able to write perfectly myself!

Aelish McMullen said...

Of course, if my writing was perfect.I'd know how to spell 'recommended'! Sorry.

Patsy said...

I grow opium poppies, Mac but I don't produce opium from them. Here in the UK that's fine. We aren't allowed to grow cannabis though, even if we have not intention of using it as anything other than an ornamental plant.

Patsy said...

Ah, there's no need to explain, Rachel - I've had that one myself once or twice.

Patsy said...

Ooops - yes I did make that mistake here (now corrected) and it isn't the only time. Sometimes I think it's the little, common, simple things which catch us out the most often. If the word is unusual or thirteen sylaables long then well check. If it's something we use a lot and know how to use correctly, we forget to double check we've got it right.

Hopefully, now you've mentioned, I'll be more careful but I can't promise never to slip up again!

Patsy said...

Much easier to spot things like that just after hitting publish, isn't it? And of course typos are twice as likely when you're writing about them - there's probably a word for that.

Chrys Fey said...

Beautiful poppy! I also knew what "pipedream" meant but not it's origin.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Comes from drugs? That figures.

Oscar said...

My pipe dream is to win the lottery. It would be nice to have a lot of money for a change.

Patsy said...

I'm very fond of poppies, Chrys.

Patsy said...

It does once you know!

Patsy said...

I don't share that one as I don't buy tickets and even I'm not unrealistic enough to win if I don't take part! Not that I'd be against having a lot of money.

Julia Hones said...

The color of that flower is really powerful. I can't explain why but it is very powerful.
Now I'm getting your posts by e-mail again.
I haven't read your article yet but I will.

Patsy said...

Perhaps the colour reminds you of something, Julia?

Thanks for confirming that the email thingy is working again now.

lizy-expat-writer said...

Can't you get arrested for growing those? And your rant about computers sounds as if it stems from recent, bitter, personal experience - are things all better now?

Rosemary Gemmell said...

I like your poppies!

Patsy said...

No, it's not illegal, Lizy, but yes, bitter personal experience!

Patsy said...

Me too, Rosemary - although you probably deduced as much from the fact I grew and photographed them.

L said...

It's good to have a pipedream or two to keep you going through the dark times (like having nothing but rejections since the start of 2015!).

Patsy said...

Yes, we have to hope for the best or we'd never do anything, would we?

Maggie May said...

When I was a young girl we moved to a house where there was a large patch of garden full of these poppies. I didn't know about opium then, but I do know mum and told us they were very poisonous. I have wondered since who planted them and why.

Maria said...

My pipedream is to wake up and find the fairies have been and decluttered my home. In the meantime, I'm working on it one day at a time.

Patsy said...

I think these are the ones which provide the seeds for bread, Maggie but can't imagine the rest of the plant would be nice to eat. Actually I don't like poppy seeds to eat either. It's quite enough to feast my eyes.

Patsy said...

Most of my home is clutter free, Maria - just not my desk, my bedside table or anywhere else I might stack up books and magazines without Gary tidying them away.