Tag Archives: dreams

I had a dream: the writing life

Last night I had a terrifying dream.  It was so real my lungs closed up and my limbs became paralyzed.  Even after waking, I couldn’t shake the physical affects of my nightmare’s ghostly grip.

I love dreams–even the scary ones.  I love living in them, directing them (I’m a lucid dreamer) and remembering them upon waking.  I also love writing about them.  In fact, my first paid byline came from a dream.  I woke up, wrote furiously and subbed my short story. 

Sorry for the short post, but my fingers are itching to hit the keyboards and bring my dream characters to life.

And so I ask, dear friends, how do you dream?  Are your dreams vivid and realistic to the point of pleasure or pain?  Do you remember them in full upon waking or do they slip away into the morning mist?  Can you lucid dream?

Fellow scribes: have your dreams ever prompted you to put pen to paper?  How successful were you at this?  What difficulties do you face when translating dreams into stories?

Curious minds want to know.

Am I dreaming

Last night I was visited by Mr. Toad from the Wind and the Willows.  The night before, the Weasles sang their way through my nocturnal musings.  I’m not strange, I’m just a very vidid dreamer who appears to incorporate the characters around me into my subconscious for later digestion.  In fact, I can not read Jurassic Park or The Lost World without being chased by dinos.  For weeks.

Other memorable characters have been Cassie Logan from Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, the demon Bartimaeus from his named trilogy and White Fang.  Jules Verne constantly led me on adventures as a child.  Most recently, Kristin Cashore’s Gracelings have blessed my slumbers.

I love when these characters debut for me in my own personal stories. 

Do characters haunt your dreams?  If so, who are the most Famous MC’s that have romped through your night?  What have they done?

How Great Thou Art

Nope, I’m not singing in the choir.  Mainly because I can’t sing well and I know it.  I’m under no illusions that I should go on national television and belt out any rendition of any song. 

A few years ago, my DD asked me: Mommy do I sing well?

Now, I love my dearest daughter and weighed my choices carefully before answering.  “Honey, I love when you sing.  I’m glad you’re in choir and do well in it.  Now should you go on American Idol?  I don’t know about that, because I think God gave you other talents.”

We both laughed and jumped into a conversation about her acting abilities.  She’s amazing on stage. 

If other parents were so truthful, their kids would not go on national television and become the butt of America’s jokes.  Simon would not have to grimace so much and far fewer people would walk away hurt and angry because everything they had been told was a lie.

Before the inception of AI, I might have lied to my DD.  “Yes, honey.  You are amazing.”  I hope my honesty saved her from pain while still giving her hope.

I would kind of like that honesty with my writing.  I would love to find someone willing to tell me if I was on the right track or if my God-given talents were waiting for me somewhere besides the written word. 

My mom is good for the requisite back pat.  DH doesn’t read much beyond golf and health magazines and my kids are my kids.  My critique buddies are awesome, but I know I would never crush anyone’s dreams by saying “you stink” so assume they feel the same way.  To date, their kind words haven’t felt anything close to brutal and have not deterred me from dreaming the dream.

So far Simon limits himself to ripping apart singers and has not debuted in the writing arena.  The minute he does, I will join the ranks and put my hopes into his hands.  Unless someone can be honest with me and say from the bottom of their hearts, “How great thou art?  Not very.  Honey, God gave you other talents and now would be a good time to find them.”

Would you like an honest assessment of your writing ability to know if you should continue to pursue publication?  If you heard it, would you believe it and quit writing or would it strengthen you for those times you’re ready to throw in the towel?  Would you use an unfavorable assessment as a challenge to overcome?  Or, would you rather plug away at your dream and die trying even though the editors and agents laugh and cringe every time your ms comes across their desks?

I know this is a lot to chew on and I’m not really sure myself where I fit in.  However, I’d like to hear what you think and how you would react if you are ever (un)lucky enough to find out that your dreams and your talents don’t jive.  Or conversely, that you may be the next superstar…in ten years.

Shout Outs Can Open Doors

Last night I had the perfect post in my head.  Somewhere between the teen party and falling asleep with the littles, I lost it.  Which might be okay in the long run, because if there’s one thing I’m not short on, it’s words.  If I can write them down.

By nature, I’m an introvert and do much better conveying myself on paper than in person.  A dream I had last night confirmed it.  In this quasi nightmare,  I was at my in-laws and the whole fam was there.  The house was abustle with seventeen bodies.  I sulked in the corner and watched as kids got dressed to go ice-fishing with the boys and the girls (sisters and mother-in-law) set out crafty stuff and spent the whole afternoon putzing together. 

I’m a lucid dreamer and can consciously alter my dreams as they unfold.  Knowing how wrong the craft party was without me, I stood up from my little corner, all shades of green, and said, “Hey, what about me?”

A small tidbit about  my DH’s sisters and mother, they are not Becky Homeckies in the crafty kind of way.  Painting, gluing, cutting and all out froofrooing for hours on end does not float their boats.  In real life, the project would have had them ripping out their hair in seconds.

Cartoon style, they cocked their heads and murmered things like: Did you hear something?  Nope.  Nothing.  Hmmm.  No big deal.  And they bent their heads back to their tedious task of beading minute glass orbs onto a thin wire.

“Fine,” I said to my dream self and picked up a notebook.  “I have nothing important to add.”  To which dream self snorted and replied, “I work better by myself anyways.”

Now that’s an extreme, but the dream got me thinking about how seldom we writers actually tell people what we do–or aspire to do.   We are either introverted, shy or scared to death to spill the beans in case someone grinds them into paste rather than making a delicious stew.

Two days ago I not only spilled the beans, I threw them in the air like confetti.  I sent an announcement email to a large chunk of family and friends letting them know about my blog.  Over the last year or so, I had made very tiny steps in this direction and have been amazed over the responses.  Much to my delight, support and interest topped the list of comments. 

Yesterday, however, I got an email response that really knocked my socks off.  One of my DH’s Cousins (yep, it was a far-reaching and scary toss of the beans) replied that he KNEW the OWNER of a publishinng company.

 Unbeknownst to him (because he didn’t even know I wrote juvenile lit), it was one I have been seriously considering for a manuscript.  Eeep.  DH’s Cousin offered to INTRODUCE us.  Double Eeep.

My point is this: we should never be afraid to talk about our passions (even if our aspirations include sled dog racing at the North Pole), because someone-somewhere will know someone-somewhere who may be able to help us reach our goals.

That’s not to say that DH’s Cousin’s Friend will be my golden meal ticket (though a girl can dream).  It simply means that networking takes guts and effort.  It is far easier to succeed if the kind, loving and generous people in our lives know how to help us.  Had I sulked in the corner and kept my mouth shut, he couldn’t have put forth his generous offer to introduce us.

It makes a gal wonder how often we squander opportunities to connect with the right people because we say to ourselves, “Self, we have nothing important to add, and we work better by ourselves anyways.”

Do you have success stories about having that proverbial door opened through an unexpected contact? 

If so, we’d like the hear the nitty-gritty.  You never know,  your story might inspire others to step out of the closet and share their dreams. 

~cat