No Phone or Internet Today

until right this second!
And I had a perfect post.
But it will lose something in the lateness-of-the-afternoon translation. says a dream is:

1.a succession of images, thoughts, or emotions passing through the mind during sleep.
2.the sleeping state in which this occurs. object seen in a dream. involuntary vision occurring to a person when awake.
5.a vision voluntarily indulged in while awake; daydream; reverie.

So this morning I woke up from a vivid, full-color dream. (If I had posted this right away I would have remembered the details.)
In the dream my friend, Debbie, from Vermont College was stepping out on her husband.
And that’s about all I remember except there were two guys not unlike the karate chop I-love-technology brother in the Napoleon Dynamite movie–including his mustache on one of the fellows.

Earlier in the night I had a scary dream. So scary I cried out and woke a daughter.
It’s weird. When I have scary dreams, after I first wake up I feel all icy in my joints.
Then the icy feeling spreads to the rest of my body.
And I need a snuggler to snuggle me.
That means borrowing a daughter. Which I can do since I have several girls.

Once, a million (or so) years ago, I heard the amazing Louise Plummer (A Dance for Three, Finding Daddy) say (in a speech) that a writer should always include a dream in her novels. She probably meant his novels, too. But I’m going with the females on this. Anyway. When I heard her say this, it just so happened I was writing dreams in my books–but I had wondered if that was okay. A dream in each story? Sure! Why not! I thought Louise was quite wise. I still think she’s quite wise. She is also funny and beautiful and I’m happy she’s my friend. I love her. She just had a birthday. I have a birthday this month, too. That makes me and Louise practically twins.

We already know the rules about dreams in books: Don’t open with a dream. And don’t end the book with people waking up from a dream as though nothing really happened because–you know what I’m going to say–It was all a dream.
Here’s something else I think about dreams–they need to play a part in the novel. You can’t just throw a dream around and have it mean nothing. Every word must pay off. And that includes when a character has involuntary visions. No willy nilly (double adverb there) stuff.

Miles from Ordinary starts with a dream. The main character, Lacy, wakes up from a nightmare. But the book is a nightmare of sorts and so the dream pays off. And the book I’m working on, my DD? It’s full of dreams that are (hopefully) helping our main character Shiloh learn what she needs to know about her life.

Ann Edwards Cannon (The Losers Guide to Life and Love, The Great Chihuahua Race) does not have a birthday in September but is a writer who can do nearly anything with words. I adore her, too. Once she said (in a lecture) that we should keep a notebook and something to write with next to our beds. I believe she called that notebook a Dream Journal. Did you know if you write your dreams right when you wake up, you remember them better? Well, you do. So there.

My worst nightmare was about a house. Part of the house was evil. And I knew if I walked through the doors that had been sealed off, I would let the evil things out into the rest of the house. I remember the house had glass doorknobs. I’d love glass doorknobs in my house now.

When I was a kid I dreamed something I thought was hilarious. I walked down a street and I heard someone singing, “No school today. No school today.” The singer was super happy–joyful. When I finally caught up to him, I saw the singer was a fish. Get it? No school today?

What dreams have you had that would work in your novels?
What dreams could you add to help–or hinder–your main character?
Feel free to share any you’d like here. Even if it is 2:30 pm.

A final note–did you know that creative people are plagued with nightmares? That’s what I read somewhere and I believe it.


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2 responses to “No Phone or Internet Today

  1. Amy

    You mean nightmares as a result of not doing ..or getting done…all that writing we knew we promised to get done yesterday and didn’t? Yeh, got them.

    On the other hand, I totally agree on having writing materials by the bed. My characters were serious insomniacs, painfully so. If it weren’t for middle of the night writing I might not get any writing done at all.

    p.s. Yes Louise is brilliant and wonderful and Ann is downright delightful …just my 2¢

  2. I stalk both Ann and Louise. And I’m not going to reveal if it’s internet stalking or real *wrings hands spookily*

    I must take this advice. Dreams are strange, but there must be something I can do with them.

    Thanks for this…even late in the day!


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