Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dream On

The Great Lake stretches to the horizon like an ocean. People traverse the pebbly shoreline, enjoying late October sunshine. To the west a wall of water rises fifty feet into the air, Cecil B. Demille style. Impossibly it holds there, appearing to stretch from the U.S. coastline clear to Canada. People on the beach stare in confused wonder. Some pull out their cell phones and snap photos. A few dart for their cars, escaping as fast as they can. One carload of escapees happens to have a topography map. They manage to unfurl it and read as they head for higher ground. An entire day is spent racing away with tidal waves crashing just behind their bumper. That is how I spent last night, racing tsunami waves in a carload of people I don’t know. Just before I woke up, Bruce Willis had a close up and got erased by a Niagara-size rush of water. The whole story took a Sixth Sense type of turn when he reappeared ghost-like. It was an excellent movie, I’m glad I dreamed it up, spectacular special effects, brilliant acting.
Do you have excellent dreams?  What I’ve noticed frequently is that I’m rarely in my dreams. I think I’m usually just the writer in my dreams too.

Summer has had a recurring dream all her life. She dreams she is in a field, no bigger than the daisies surrounding her, basking in sunshine. Far in the distance are two giant washing machines with the lids open. Summer knows someone or something is going to put her in there, and WASH her. She doesn’t want to go in. They’re far off, huge and inescapable. To this date the dream ends with the lids slamming, and Summer waking up. Summer also has a dream where someone gives her a box with a very tiny dog inside of it. It is her responsibility to take care of that wee dog. She’s worried that when she talks to the dog, her great big voice hurts his teeny miniature canine ears. Imagine the sensitive hearing on a three inch dog, she points out. Imagine what Freud would say I point out. “Dreams are the royal road to the unconscious.”
Angel has a dream she really likes, where her house fills with four feet of water. Not usually anyone’s dream, but Angel says it is sparkling clear tropical water, and now she can swim and float around her house. Angel also has a dream where a panther lives in a closet at the end of the hall. It wears an apron, and when guests ask about it, it tells them it is celebrating Halloween. Angel says it is a creepy dream, because it isn’t Halloween and it is a real panther hiding in a pink apron, and that disguise does not fool her.

I love the nonsensical nature of many dreams.
Once my buddy Zeus told me that he’d dreamed he flew cross country to visit someone. I do not know what made me ask, “In an airplane?”  To which Zeus replied, shaking his head and holding his giant arms straight out at his sides, “No. Like this.”  Flying dreams are my personal favorite. Do you have them?  I always ask for particulars on flying dreams. Zeus flies like a jet or an aircraft carrier (he is a giant after all), he just zips through the air at high speeds. Summer said she often is stranded on the ground, watching others fly around her and unable or unwilling to try it. I tend to fly like I’m swimming through the air, and I often take deep breaths and hold them while I do it. Dear Hubby has poked me awake in mid-flight because he thought I was holding my breath far too long. Do you fly high or low?  I tend to keep just above the tree-tops, in case Hubby pokes me awake and I have to land quickly. I used to have trouble controlling my direction. That problem was taken care of years ago. Oprah showed me how to steer with my foot.

Usually I argue with creepy dreams, but aren’t the strangest ones when they tell you something you’re missing in real life?

At some point, years ago, I started to put my magical steering foot down if a dream turned dark. Some conscious part of my brain will actually say, “I will not have this dream.”  And then I change it. So it disturbed me when I had several back to back dreams where something wicked emanated from the ground beneath my house. It kept trying to get inside and make me sick. I thought about it for a couple of days, as it repeated. I even tested the water, and it was fine. The dream stuck in my mind though, because I’ve been sick for a couple of months now. Turned out that I have a type of mold inside, and I’m very allergic to it. Doors and windows are being torn off my house and replaced, and standing outside looking at the dark mold I experienced déjà vu. Then I realized that this is exactly like that dream, and wow, the subconscious is an amazing thing.

Now I’m holding out hope that tonight’s dream will give me a clue about some plot twists I’m working on. My conscious is moving slowly with it.  A boost would be nice. Has your subconscious ever alerted you to something you missed?  Do you ever dream full length movies, and you’re not even in them?  Has your cat ever fixed you fabulous French toast in a dream?  Oh, and do you fly in your dreams?  Dish.  


  1. I've had strange dreams...stranger than most. I've never found meaning behind them, or been able to change them the way others have told me they have. I either have good dreams, or bad dreams.

    Mainly, they are just weird dreams. LIke the time the mermaids were turning men into zombies and I had to stop them by drawing them to the light.

    But I'm always aware that I'm in my dreams...I mean, that I'm a part of them. Sometimes it is like a movie or a TV show before me, but usually there's a part of my brain that knows I'M watching the movie. Then I'll become part of the movie.

    Or I'll be someone else. I've been various people, all different genders, races, and creeds. They've all wanted something different, and my goal hasn't twice repeated when I'm someone else.
    I think that's where the writer comes in. I become the other people and discover what they want and how to get it. The thing is, I'm the person, but I'm not the person. Like a character we've written. I'm in charge, but it isn't me. It's like following inside someone's head.

    Dreams are crazy.
    But you know that.

  2. I love dreams! Mine are usually crazy! Wild! Nonsensical, but occasionally I will get what I call a God dream, it has so much allegory that it can't be just a normal dream. Usually outstanding dreams will make it into my books, like the sentient tornado, the dragon fight, the armored warrior princess, love scenes, the glowing heart people, landscapes...etc...

    I do dream that I fly, usually it is a floating kind of "Flying Nun" type of flying, but sometimes I am flying an airplane.

    My nightmares are usually about really high overpasses that go up and never come down, or elevators that shoot straight up and have no walls.

    Most of the monsters I dream about I make friends with or go all Xena Warrior Princess on them. lol.

    Dreams are great! Sometimes they come true.

  3. My dreams seem to span the spectrum. They're incredibly vivid, but when I wake, their gone in seconds. I need to start keeping a dream journal.

    My bad dreams are always about my kids or having to go back to Iraq.

    My good dreams are usually about seeing my son Jacob again.

    Like LaDonna, my dreams where I have an enemy, I usually end up taking them on and just going all BA Baracas on them. But I will say that I remember nightmares from my younger days that still stick with me.

    Flying dreams come along once in awhile and at first, I have the hang of it, have to figure out stuff and then I'm off and going, usually super fast and it's just fantastic.

    Dreams are an amazing phenomenon of our minds- I think I missed a potential calling as a psychoanalyst. :)

    Love your topics, Steph.

  4. Okay, so I have a dream that tops most other dreams, mainly because I did exactly what you have said. I ended up just watching a movie of what happened after my part in the dream ended.

    Short version: During a zombie apocalypse I saved a friend of mine (Owen) and we both were hiding with other friends in a loft apartment in New York.
    We were suddenly with a group of strangers, who also had a think for killing people. Owen allowed them to HANG ME and then throw me out of the ten story window. The rest of the dream I watched (even thinking to myself, 'man I hope I didn't survive that fall. That would hurt') as Owen uncomfortably followed the rest of them, only to be hit by a car.
    The others then tried to get away but the zombies overtook them.

    Tell me I win something for that. Even if the winning is a chance to tell you the dream in more detail. It was pretty weird ;)

  5. I tend to have movie-like dreams in which I switch perspectives and can feel what happens (got my guts eaten out once - it tickled). Last night I was observing a coven of vampires that seemed to be suffering from some kind of leprous disease. Some were missing appendages and they had large boils on their skin. I think they were working on a cure though, because Wolverine was there and they were running some tests.
    In the underground areas of this "city" there was a human woman - apparently the daughter of a ruling human - who had been kidnapped as an infant. However there seemed to be some confusion as to whether or not she was the original or a replica. If she was a replica, they were going to eat her (she was very adamant that she was not - understandably so).
    I have detailed dreams...

  6. Kelsey! I really want to see the mermaid dream. Did you win? Did you stop the mermaids from turning men into zombies?
    Just last night I had a really fun one. A long bus ride stoppped at a pool - so the passengers could swim. (You know if real buses did that, they'd get far more business, just a thought.) I didn't want to get my clothes wet (everyone swam in their clothes). So I went down the long spooky tunnel alone. I love to do that. Well, it came into a lighted spot and was full of snow, only it was warm. So I played in the snow for a bit. Until I realized it was a trick to get me to shovel the tunnel! Cannot trust those bus drivers. It was fun though, until I realized it was a trap.
    BTW - this is a code for an itunes gift card. Hidden inside The Glitter Globe on 10/25/2012. So we will see who finds it. If anyone finds this - please leave me a message right here and tell me! I will wander back someday and use it myself probably! Unless it is already gone! So the code, the code, oh yes: XXMP4VYTS3Z4YS5H - Watch out for those 5's & S's they look the same, but they're not!

  7. LaDonna - Oh my gosh, sentient tornadoes, if I had a dime...I'd have at least $2. They're still not very cooperative, even when sentient. And it is hard to threaten them, but sometimes I can negotiate a deal.
    Love that you make friends with the monsters!

  8. Rob - It is interesting how bad dreams stick. Once I had a job I really disliked, stress-stress-stress, and even years afterwards I will dream that I'm there, working, trying to meet a deadline. One of my kids is a baby and I'm trying to pacify the baby too, while I hurry. Oh and the office is filling up with water. Yeah. That one don't need no Freud, right?

  9. Okay, Owen does not get a Slinky Dog - possibly ever - for all of that Kelsey! You know what you won? I sent that car for Owen, Yep. You're welcome.

  10. Heretic - Honestly? I am at a loss. That is an excellent dream. Are you writing this? Did you defend her? Did you know if she was a replica or not? Hey, we need to write some flash fiction on these dreams. Not just because I want to see LaDonna dressed as the Flying Nun either, though that is a perk.

  11. YES! I rule! Okay, wait. Stephanie, you rule. That was totally awesome! Bazinga-cha-ching!

    I probably just looked like the most frantic person of all time!!! LOL