Friday, January 31, 2014

Dream Journaling

I love dreaming and dreams.* Are they—

Omens? Portents?
Some psychic link to the spirit world?
The subconscious delivering messages to the conscious?
A way for your resting brain to blow off steam?
Merely random neurons firing in pretty patterns?
Something else?

Whatever they are, they are awesome.

On two occasions I’ve had vivid dreams that became scenes in my novels.

Many authors use their character’s dreams to show us a different aspect of their character(s), or perhaps past memories that wouldn’t otherwise come up in the storyline. Some books rely heavily on dreaming to carry the entire story. One that comes to mind for me is Stephen King’s Dream Catcher. Here is GoodRead’s list of dream-related books. I also notice on their list Ursula K. Le Guin’s Lathe of Heaven—I’ve never read the book but it was a great sci-fi PBS movie in 1980. I’ve included the link to it, in case you have a couple hours to check it out.

Do you want to cultivate dreams and your ability to remember them?
Keep a dream journal/notebook next to your bed.
Each night before going to sleep, tell yourself: I will remember my dreams in the morning.
When you wake up, grab for the dream journal and write down whatever you can remember.
I find the more I do this, the more dreams I remember and the more detailed my recall is.

My latest dream(s)?
Something about a child running from a werewolf in an abandoned home, being unable to order one additional beer at a new bar I was checking out because the bartender got into an altercation, trailer park vixens and talking with my father who was wearing thick coke-bottle-lensed glasses (he’s always had great eyesight). Interpretations? Yeah, maybe dreams are just random neutrons firing in interesting patterns.

What is your latest dream?
Do you have a favorite dream-based story?
How do you incorporate dreams into your life or into your writing?

~ Mark

PS> An honorable mention to the late Dr. Charles McPhee:

Just because: Mama Cass

*I know I've blogged about dreams here before, thanks for indulging me


Jon said...

It's been awhile since I've had a dream strong enough to remember in the morning. Usually it's all right there on the tip of my tongue when I wake up, but I just can't really verbalize it and when I reach for it, it's gone. Strange how it's so clear for that first split second and then suddenly gone like smoke.

Qlaudie said...

Mark's right, though. The year I kept a dream journal, I found that after a few weeks I started retaining more and more, by the end I could write about them in great detail.
I had a dream in my 20s that my roommate had kidnapped a man and was holding him hostage in our basement for "acting practice." I used that as a basis for a play.

Jon said...

Sure... a "dream"... right.