Ever think so vividly about doing something that you believe you did it? Or have a dream so real, you wake thinking it really happened? I do. Sometimes, those night/day dreams gets me into trouble.
Just yesterday I was working through my email and came upon a note I was positive I answered. With my mind’s eye, I could picture myself typing it, actually clicking on the keys, watching the letters roll onto the page. When I saw that note still in my inbox I began to doubt. Had I dreamed it?
I keep a very tidy inbox, you see. I sort, respond, file emails daily (Sometimes more…it’s one of my favorite avoidance tactics.) I’ve devised an efficient filing system. Notes that need responses are sent to a file, along with my response, so I can refer back to the chain easily, if needed. That’s why that note in the inbox freaked me.
Stories come via dreams, too. The first time, was one of those the Ecstasy and Agony moments:
I dreamed I was in a glass & chrome, wall-to-wall white house. I was waiting for whomever to come out of a backroom, noticed a picture book on a white marble coffee table, picked it up and began reading. It was an absolutely original, adorable, rhyming story about a longhorn bull who finds a lost Holstein wandering in the desert, rescues her and later she rescues him. The last illustration on the last page pictured the smiling Longhorn and Holstein were standing together, in an expanse of was a wide open prairie, surrounded by fluffy white and black calves with tiny horns: Longsteins!
I woke myself up laughing at those adorable babies. And with a raging case of BOOK ENVY. I vivid recall turning the pages, thinking how delightful it was and sooooo wishing I had written it.
Then, I realized “I did!” That was my dream. My sub-consious working. Those were my Longsteins!
The opening lines were playing in my head:
On our walk and talk that morning, I shared the dream with my then writing partner, Ronnie. I told her what I could remember of the story—which wasn’t much—we walk and talked the rest. Over the next weeks and months, we worked on Longhorn Louie. Then sent it out to several publishers. None of them wanted it. They didn’t want rhyme. (Or our rhyme) They didn’t want “Cowboy”, they didn’t want, didn’t want, blah blah blah…
Ever since then, I’ve learned to pay attention to my dreams. Whenever I have one that vivid or interesting, I hold tight to what I recall and write it down. And, when I'm short on ideas, I flip through it. (If nothing else it reminds me I can be creative. subconciously, at least.) I keep a notepad and paper in my nightstand.
Friend and former critique partner, author Kathy Duval, keeps Dream Journals.
“No one is able to enjoy such a feast than the one who throws a party in his own mind.”
Makes me wonder: Do Kathy's picture books comes from dreams, too?
(Her PB Take Me To Your BBQ, about an alien visitation feels like it!)
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
What of you?
What becomes of your dreams?
Do you let them slip away?
Oh yes, about that email response: I'll have to check on it...
I DREAMED IT Playlist:
- All I Have To Do Is Dream, The Everly Brothers
- Everything's Coming Up Roses, Ethel Merman, from Gypsy
- I Have a Dream, Abba, From Mamma Mia
- Video: Living the Dream: Edna Northrup. She dreamed of climbing Mount Everest and at 84, she did!