Writers Have the Coolest Dreams

Okay, I wracked my brain for something inspiring, meaningful and life-altering to share with you today, but alas…this ain’t it :D. Today is Free-for-All Friday so it’s time to relax and have some fun. Maybe I’m partial, but I happen to think that writers have the coolest dreams. We should in that we use our imagination almost more than any other field. Unlike film or music or painting, we have to evoke entire worlds and all five senses using black letters on a white page. WOW!

I have always had really vivid dreams. In fact my dreams are often better at seeing truths that I maybe am too chicken to face. For instance, when my life is all disorganized and I am being lazy and not tending what needs tending…I dream of tornadoes. When I have some person in my life that I need to confront, I dream of sharks. Not too long ago, I dreamed I was walking up a road where I used to live, and a wild rhino had escaped the zoo. Anyway, the sucker chased me and ran me over like a freight train. So how did I interpret this? Hmmmm….maybe I need to be nicer in critique group :D.  Perhaps my subconscious was showing me how I was making others feel *shrinks in seat.*

I still have this dream where my high school guidance counselor knocks on my door and tells me there was a mistake. I never really graduated high school and thus my degree from T.C.U. is null and void. And, because it has been so long, many of my credits no longer count, so I am expected to start tenth grade on Monday even though I am 36.

Oh and there is the personal favorite, the dream where I am enrolled in school but apparently I haven’t been showing all semester. As I walk into a class I have never seen, I am handed the final exam. GASP!

I hear these last two are pretty common dreams for perfectionistic overachievers. I have no idea why I would be having them *whistles innocently.*

Yet, the odd thing about dreams is that sometimes it just seems like my brain is defragging, because that is the only conceivable reason I can imagine that Michael Jackson and a chorus line of squirrels could keep company in my gray matter. I loved those sleeping pill commercials where they guy would see Abe Lincoln and the talking beaver in his kitchen. I can so relate.

Anyway, all of this brings me to my point—yes, I do have one. Sometimes my brain is so weird it freaks me out, and I think, “Only in the mind of a writer.” This last week I watched American Psycho with Christian Bale…right before bed. Yeah, probably not the brightest move, especially since I think Christian Bale is the Jack Nicholson of our generation. He’s just got that you need an ax energy.

So here is what my brain did with this information. In my dream, I was married to Christian Bale Dark Knight Bat Man. Not only was I married to him, but apparently we were going through a nasty divorce and custody battle. To make matters worse, apparently Bat Man didn’t want a divorce and had kind of gone all Sleeping with the Enemy. I have a feeling that I finally got the nerve to leave him because I was tired of him freaking out every time I didn’t fold his bat cape correctly or organize his bat tools facing forward. Just guessing. Anyway the entire dream is me—normal person lacking any cool gadgets or super powers—trying to run away from a superhero who has gone foaming-at-the-mouth-raving-crazy. I ran through parking garages and dove under cars and just about the time I found a safe hiding place? Our infant son starts crying, giving away our position in the bushes. WTH? I know. It was actually pretty terrifying.

But it did make me think. Can you imagine being Mary-Jane Watson dealing with a Spiderman who didn’t want to pay alimony? Or the daughter of Super Man who wanted to go necking with her boyfriend on prom night? Ah, the dreams writers have.

So after a week pondering this dream, I am just tossing it in the box with Elvis and the Slip and Slide unless you guys have any bright ideas. But that’s enough about me. I want to hear about you guys. What is the scariest, weirdest, coolest dream you’ve ever had? I want to know, and to prove it…

Leave a comment and I will put your name in for a drawing, and you can win an autographed copy of my book We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media. I’m going to gather all comments until Halloween and then the winner will be announced November 1st. Trackbacks count as an entry, so you can double your chances to win by leaving a comment and then linking to any of my blogs.

So bring on the crazy dreams!

Oh, and happy writing!

Until next time….

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  1. #1 by Ann Brennan on October 15, 2010 - 6:10 pm

    That’s funny, I just wrote about dreams as well. I have very vivid dreams just before a race. The one that happens most often is in the middle of a marathon. I stop at a port a potty and come out to find no body running by. I take off in the direction I thought was the right way and try to catch back up to the crowd but somehow take a wrong turn and run through people’s houses, up into an attic and slide down a slide. That’s when I see the finish line and realize I have taken a short cut but nobody will listen so they give me the big check..

  2. #2 by CMStewart on October 15, 2010 - 6:26 pm

    “the dream where I am enrolled in school but apparently I haven’t been showing all semester”- I’ve had that dream so many times! LOL But instead of being handed a final exam, I’m frantically searching for the classroom because I can’t remember where it is, and at the same time I’m thinking of the plea I’m going to give to my professor, and figuring out how quickly I can get all the work done . . I’m so relieved when I wake up!

    Weirdest dream? As a child I had a recurring dream in which I would sneak INTO peoples’ houses through the back door for the sole purpose of sneaking OUT OF people’s houses through the front door. These dream were so vivid and so real that for years I thought I had actually done this. In these dreams I was embarrassed and ashamed of my behavior, but somehow I kept doing it. In my waking life I was so embarrassed I didn’t tell anybody. Years later, it finally dawned on me- these had to be just dreams because in EVERY instance the doors were unlocked and nobody was home! Whew!

    BTW I already have your awesome book in e-format, so you can skip over me in the drawing. :)

  3. #3 by CrystalSpins on October 15, 2010 - 6:35 pm

    I have the school dreams a lot — but I also have a background in theatre, so from time to time I dream that I’m in a play but I’ve missed all the rehearsals and I’m expected to goon anyway. Oh, and sometimes, because I’ve missed all the rehearsals, they don’t have a costume for me, so I have to perform naked.

    Just this week I also had a dream that I was in a threesome with my math tutor and Kristina from Grey’s Anatomy. That was a new one.

    Crystal
    http://www.crystalspins.com

    • #4 by Kristen Lamb on October 15, 2010 - 10:20 pm

      I almost fell out of my desk chair laughing. Thanks for such an awesome contribution.

  4. #5 by Patrick Thunstrom on October 15, 2010 - 7:08 pm

    Wow, My Super-Ex Girlfriend, but serious and scary. . . I would totally read the comic/novel.

    I’m one of those sad individuals that doesn’t remember dreams, and when I do remember them, they are so much like real life that I can barely tell both before, during, and after.

  5. #6 by Robin O'Bryant on October 15, 2010 - 7:15 pm

    I always dream that I’m at school and can’t remember the combination to my locker, and just stand there spinning the lock in panic…AND I dream that my high school guidance counselor calls me and tells me that my college degrees are null and void b/c I didn’t get enough math credits and I have to go back to high school and retake all of my math classes. Writer’s worst nightmare! Glad to know I’m not alone!

  6. #7 by Jason on October 15, 2010 - 7:18 pm

    I go to bed every night, waiting for my totally kick ass dreams.
    Half of the stories I write/wrote came from my dreams.
    I am usually being chased or chasing someone. I can still remember dreams I had years ago. But I do enjoy a good dream. Mine are always action packed. The ones that piss me off the most are the ones where I can fly in the beginning, but then, can’t figure out how I did it, and just hop up into the air, float for a second, then land again. I bet a shrink would have a field day with my creepy ass.

  7. #8 by DaniJo Avia on October 15, 2010 - 8:07 pm

    I love my dreams. Your observation of them being a way of defraging hits very close to home, more your comment about pointing out the things in life that I need to deal with, or have been avoiding. A large portion of my dreams are about the future.
    I can still vividly remember a dream where every sense was engaged, the colors bright and vibrant. I think of this dream as an epic dream because it was in seven parts and impacted me greatly. Since then, I have seen every part of that dream lived out in my life. It was an encouraging, heads up dream. And it taught me to look forward to and to pay attention to my dreams.

  8. #9 by Piper Bayard on October 15, 2010 - 8:40 pm

    What a great post. The school dream I had that mattered was while I was in school. I had a nightmare French teacher. She looked like a kind little old lady, but she was actually insane. Completely missing the taco off her combo plate. She made my life Hell. I was thinking about dropping the class and bagging the language major when I had a dream. I thought I was actually awake, getting ready for class, when I opened my closet. A huge, gray argyll snake with Madame’s face, hair, and spectacles leapt out at me. Lol. I woke up screaming and went to drop the class asap. No regrets. All the best.

  9. #10 by Jessica Rosen on October 15, 2010 - 9:52 pm

    Great post! My dreams hounded me through my kid years. It seems I often processed what I read with dreams. Stephen King’s scary stuff leads the parade of dreams in my memory right now. The Boogey Man in the closet of one of his short stories freaked me out. The worst was the vampires in Salem’s Lot. The windows had to be closed so I couldn’t hear the vampires scratching on the screen to get my attention. I just knew they’d seduce me into letting them in! Every night, my mother came in and opened the windows while she thought I was asleep. As soon as she was downstairs, I’d hurry to shut them again. Vampires. They’re tricky buggers.

    I can’t tell you about my freakiest dream as an adult, though. It inspired three novels. You’ll have to wait to read them once they’re published.

    Take care,
    Jess

  10. #11 by vertebraequeen on October 15, 2010 - 10:04 pm

    I only have nightmares, so its a good thing I want to write suspenseful novels! The dreams never inspire whole novels though, just pieces of them. Putting them all together is part of the fun!

  11. #12 by Kathy Kulig on October 15, 2010 - 11:23 pm

    Ah, the dreams that writers have. LOL. I also dream about tornadoes a lot. Someone told me I should try walking into them and I’d gain some great insight. (shrug) Haven’t tried that yet. I’m usually trying to run away from them or trying to take a photo. My dreams are vivid and sometimes lucid. When I tell my dh I had a weird dream, he rolls his eyes, laughs and says, When don’t you? I think it’s hard for writers to turn their brains off when they sleep. All those stories stirring around inside makes for strange dreams.

  12. #13 by marilaglubag on October 16, 2010 - 3:12 am

    I was hiding underground with a bunch of other humans because the ground above had been invaded by aliens. Then comes this cute guy who was good at blending in with the aliens so we rely on him to teach us to blend in. I was going to get married to him but before I do that, I would have to be forced to be operated by the aliens. Needless to say, I ran away. I guess self love trumps doing something I don’t want to do.

    • #14 by Kristen Lamb on October 16, 2010 - 12:48 pm

      Wow….your dreams have like…a plot line! Most of mine are fragmented and involme me leaving the house with no pants to buy ice cream and steal and Atari so I can avoid marrying my high school debate coach. The Bat Man dream was an anomaly. Creepy and it made some kind of linear sense.

  13. #15 by Xandra James on October 16, 2010 - 12:45 pm

    Always have had pretty bizarre dreams, ever since I was a kid – never the run of the mill stuff that I’d hear from my friends and family. One of the more recent freak-out ones was when I was actually waiting for a lumbar puncture and I had the longest dream that involved a samurai sword being swung around and then a dagger that someone was trying to plunge into my back. And then to top it all off I found myself at the hospital waiting for my hubby who’d got lost finding the bathroom! Yeah, that lumbar puncture was on my mind but i think i’m just pretty screwed up in general ;)lol

  14. #16 by Caryn on October 16, 2010 - 3:19 pm

    If you want to avoid dreaming, stay short on sleep, and you won’t dream much. Of course, you’re also sleep-deprived so your brain doesn’t function as well.

    But I can tell you that pinching yourself to see if it’s a dream doesn’t work. Because then I woke up further and could no longer fly. Damn.

  15. #17 by Michelle on October 16, 2010 - 10:38 pm

    When I was a kid I would have these recurring dreams:
    1) A friend and I were running from all the movie monsters, Drac, Frank, the werewolf, and the mummy. I dove under a house and was hiding with eyes closes tight. I chanced a peak and was surrounded by dead bodies (how I got under there without seeing them is the stuff of dreams only) I low crawled out and ran and ran all the way to a dock on a Florida beach were my Aunt Jane was waiting.
    2) I was in the Honeycomb hideout. Daylight out front, night in the back, and a friend was floating outside the back window. hmmm. Both were the full color blowouts.

  16. #18 by laradunning on October 17, 2010 - 5:56 am

    Great post! I have always had really vivid dreams. I’ve had the school dreams you talked about several times. Usually they are telling me they made a mistake and I did not graduate and I have to start high school all over again. Ugh! Last night I had a dream I went to visit a friend in Portland. When I got to the city it was nothing but a long beach with a trail. Running shoes magically appear on my feet and off I go running to who knows where. If I get hot or am sick my dreams usually take a turn for the worst and become really scary. Freddie Kruger type stuff. I’ve turned a copule into horror stories and a few more I probably should. I often dream about celebrities too. Althought I haven’t for awhile now. I even started a blog about it. Would love for you to leave your Christian Bale dream on my blog and anyone else who has celebrity dreams. http://dreamingofcelebrities.wordpress.com

  17. #19 by Donna Newton on October 17, 2010 - 1:27 pm

    LOL, I love this post. I dream nearly everynight and am actually miffed if I don’t dream. Mostly my dreams are nightmares but being an adrenaline junkie I get off on it :-) I am usually being chased by a ‘Michael Myers’ character which mirrors what I write about I guess. Also, I can never run (my feet seem to sink into the ground), and my dad’s house always appears as either a school, shop, theatre – in fact anything other than my childhood home. Perhaps because that is where I always feel the safest.

    Twice I have died in my dreams. Once on an operating table where I floated up out of my body and was looking down at myself as the surgeons tried to save me. In the blink of an eye I suddenly ‘whooshed’ back into myself and woke up. My heart was beating like a good ‘un, I can tell you. The second time, I fell off a cliff and as I hit the rocks below I woke up. It took me a good few seconds before I calmed down from that one!

    ….and Kirsten, as you know, I too already have your brilliant book!

  18. #20 by Claudette Young on October 17, 2010 - 7:26 pm

    Kristen,

    My dad came to visit last night during what little time I slept. The oddest thing was that an old George Clooney was riding shotgun for him. Dad doesn’t do well under the wheel anymore.

    Now George was really peculiar in this episode. (Not that he does episodes in my dreams normally — only cameos.) There he was wearing an odd embroidered beanie (not a kippa) and going all philosophical. The philosophy, though, was geared more toward that of a hobo on steroids with other drug issues in the background. He did seem to like where I lived which was nice.

    My dad had come because he figured it would be his last hurrah and why not visit the daughter who didn’t live a normal life like the rest of the family members.

    It all ended with reconciliation, making mice, and watching George wander around the lushly green and slightly drippy property.

    Not earth-shattering, as you say, but revealing in so many ways. Dad really is going downhill quickly and a visit soon will be necessary. I really don’t live like any of the other family members. I’m a writer, after all. And George clearly represented the next intended phase of my existence due to begin in the spring if at all possible.

    The reconciliation of all those facets of my current life is a good thing, at least from my standpoint.

    Loved your dream, too. I’ve been having complete SF movies running through my nights here lately. It would be great, however, if I could just remember them in detail when I wake so that I can use them for stories. Is that supposed to be part of a writer’s dissatisfaction, too?

    Clauds

    • #21 by Kristen Lamb on October 18, 2010 - 12:30 am

      Awesome….loving it. Some of my nightmares would make Clive Barker scream like a little girl. For years I had to be medicated for horrible night terrors. I wouldn’t sleep for days at a time, was too afraid of what waited for me in my mind. If I could capture a glimpse of that torment in my writing Stephen King would be out of a job. But I like helping people more than scaring them, so I guess it all worked out.

  19. #22 by Colleen on October 18, 2010 - 12:48 am

    The dream that stands out to me recently was not so much bizzare, as it was eye-opening. I was standing in the middle of a room full of people that were supposed to be my family and friends, yelling screaming at the top of my lungs, but no one was listening to me. I was yelling so hard I could feel the pressure in my chest when I woke up. That was when I decided I needed to start expressing myself a bit more clearly, among other things.

  20. #23 by Julie on October 18, 2010 - 7:10 pm

    I, too, have incredibly vivid dreams. I’ve started trying to write them down, but since they are so long-winded, strange and convoluted, sometimes they’ll fill up six notebook pages. So now I aim to write them down 2-3 times a week.

    I totally have the school dreams too. Every time, the class that I’ve forgotten about or failed to take is a math class.

    Last night, for example, I dreamed that I was at a board meeting for my old job. I then took the Chairman and a group of others to my dad’s hunting camp, which was really his actual house on the lake. The car slipped down to the lake and I was trying to push it back up. The Chairman stopped to help me. The water was foaming white, and all of a sudden I was yelling at my nieces and nephews not to go in because they would freeze to death. There were boards missing on the dock, making it quite treacherous to move. I managed to stop the car just before it moved. My stepmother made hot chocolate for everyone, but when I went to look for them, they had all disappeared. I then saw my dad struggling to carry an anchor up the hill and I was so angry at everyone for leaving and letting him do that. I was worried he would have a heart attack (in actual fact, he passed away three years ago). When I got back to the house, my stepmother reprimanded me for playing basketball on the deck and disturbing the neighbors when I’d had some friends over a couple of weeks ago.

    The only common themes I can find here are a lot of “uphill battles,” fear for people’s safety and a sense of abandonment. But how all these things come together in one dream… don’t ask me.

  21. #24 by Terrell Mims on October 19, 2010 - 1:00 am

    The last dream that I remembered dealt with the child sex slavery ring. It was a very dark dream that opened my eyes to a cause I want to fight to end and rescue as many children out of it as possible.

  22. #25 by Tawna Fenske on October 20, 2010 - 2:11 am

    Holy cow, people have some interesting dreams! My husband never remembers his, which I think is kind of sad. Sometimes I think my dreams are more interesting than my real life.

    Tawna

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