Tag Archives: dreams

Day of Accountability

Last night, before sleep, I had a terrible premonition.

Then in the middle of the night I screamed so loudly (from a bad dream) I awoke Caitlynne.

The screaming in my sleep has been happening a lot. I’m not sure why. Before, I used to have a terrifying recurring something (dream? I’m not sure) that I was worried would continue after my divorce. That’s all I’m going to say.


Except–I awoke this morning with the beginning of my 100 word story.

And I know the end, too.


How are you doing with your plots?

Have you been playing? Preparing for NaNoWritMo? You should have 7 plots now. One for each day (not including the weekend).

I wrote down 16 plot ideas and have been fleshing them out as I have time.

My final goal is to have 20 completed, plump, story ideas by the time October 31 rolls round.


I have a post by Debbie Nance but can’t get it because Yahoo! is down. I will post ASAIC.


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Three Things Thursday that’s Really Four

1. So last night I had two dreams that I thought would  make great novels. I never woke completely to write the ideas down but I have a new goal for myself. I am going to have these things on my bedside table from this point on:


dream journal,

scripture study material,



Each night before sleeping, I will open my dream journal to the appropriate place so I have at least two pages to write on.

Then, I’m going to remind myself that I have this pad of paper to help myself be more successful as a writer.

Maybe I will write a before-bed note to myself about my novel.

Maybe I will put a question down on paper that I want to dream through.

My dear friend, Rick Walton, has come up with complete book ideas–that he’s later sold–while lying in bed at night.

Why not really try to use that part of my brain while I sleep?

I’ll let you know how it goes!

2. The people next door (sort of) have a dog. It’s not a new dog. But the dog is still a puppy. A beautiful chocolate lab. Every morning about seven they put the dog in the cage. She (I don’t know if it’s a boy or girl) barks for more than an hour. She can see into her owner’s home, maybe can see them eating breakfast and getting ready to go to work at BYU. Anyway, she just stays, rain or shine or snow or massive heat (we haven’t had that yet since she came to live with them, but this is what they did with their last poor dog) out in a ten x six foot cage. All day. Every day. Every week. She’s let out a few minutes each day. Sometimes. I can hear her barking now (it’s 9 am).

Carolina, who has been looking up the life spans of dogs since Violet was killed, said, “Mom, that dog has eleven more years in that cage.”

It makes me sick. But did you know as long as there is shelter and food and water for an animal you don’t have to do anything more than that for it?

Ugh. Now I am awfully sad.

PS I noticed last night that the dog on Modern Family has a huge grin on her face. Pampered! I bet that dog makes more money per episode than I do per year!

3. My good friend, Dave Farland’s 16-year-old son, Ben, was in a terrible, terrible accident. PLEASE go to the Facebook page A Book Bomb for Ben to help out this family. (I wish I knew how to do a real link.) Ben’s injuries are so severe that medical bills are expected to exceed a million dollars. My heart goes out to Dave and his family.

I’ve gotten to know Dave at Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers (www.wifyr.com). He’s a great guy. Once, on stage, I read a winning piece to a contest we ran at WIFYR. Huzzah was in the reading. I’d only seen the word (once? Maybe once?), never heard it, and I read it wrong in front of everyone. The audience laughed at me (something I am used to– as many of you know). Dave came up on the stage as the room cleared and taught me the proper way of saying the  word, explained how it came about, and was just so kind to me.

He’s helped many, many writers over the years. He is generous and good-hearted. Please consider helping this family. Every little bit helps.

I know prayers would be appreciated, too.

4. This is my last Thursday with my students.

I’ve really lucked out this semester. I have fantastic writers. Fantastic students. Amazing people who I have loved getting to know. If they keep working hard, I will have lots of books dedicated to me, these writers are that good! They let me be dumb in class, corrected my mispronounced words (only after I asked!), and worked their butts off.

So, my last part of this post today is to my wonderful writing students. Keep going. Keep writing. Don’t stop. Stretch. Reach for the hard parts. Keep thinking. Don’t settle. If you really want to write, do it. You’ve become my friends and I always feel lucky to make good friends of the people I teach. Every time I receive an email that someone I taught finished a novel or got an agent or sold a book, it’s almost as good–maybe even better–than when I sell something myself. I truly want you to succeed. Thank you for making this semester amazing.


Filed under CLW, Life, Publication, three thing thursday, writing process

Accomplishing Your Dreams


[dreem]  noun, verb, dreamed or dreamt, dream·ing, adjective



1. a succession of images, thoughts, or emotions passing through the mind during sleep.–Did you know that creative people have more nightmares than non-creative people? Yup. I read that somewhere.
2. the sleeping state in which this occurs. Once I arose at 5 every morning to write. Chris Crowe can do it (every morning at 4), why couldn’t I? Cheri Earl gets up early and writes. Sometimes. But when I did it I was so sleepy, I couldn’t even remember what I wrote or IF I wrote. Find your best time to write. Stick to it. Write when you can, put best you on the paper.
3. an object seen in a dream. Having something recur in a story makes the object important. It must play a role in the climax of the novel in some way.
4. an involuntary vision occurring to a person when awake. I won’t tell you of my really scary recurring nightmare that had to do with a large man. That I think may have been more real than I want to remember.
5. a vision voluntarily indulged in while awake; daydream; reverie. I used to dream I’d make enough money to live on. Sheesh! There’s nothing to see here! Move on!
6. an aspiration; goal; aim:  This is us, as a group–We’re writers dreaming for something big, something exciting–to hold our published novels in our hands. Can we do it? Will you? Will I keep putting in the hours? Will Ann Dee? Kyra?
7. a wild or vain fancy. Our writing? Is our writing a vain fancy? Or are we really going after the dream and making it a reality?
8. something of an unreal beauty, charm, or excellence. Do you ever write that one great line and think, “Wow! Woweekazowie! That was inspired! No one has written a line like that. I may not have written that line. I think an angel helped me on that gem.”
Just remember, inspiration SHOULD help you form a good, strong thought.
Here’s a dream:
I have a not-so-secret crush on Ryan Reynolds. He is tall and my agent, Steve, has seen Ryan on the streets of New York.

A most beautiful dream, written, recorded and worth listening to often.

‘I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope.’ Martin Luther King, Jr. August 28, 1963

(look for the blue word HERE to hear the speech)
“Every novel should have a dream in it.” Louise Plummer, not an exact quote, but from my memory.
I used to always dream about one house in particular. It was huge. I could go anywhere in the house except behind specific doors because something evil was behind there. I don’t know what it was. But this was a recurring dream. And the house always had glass door knobs.
What do you think about your dreams? Are they attainable?
What about your nightmares?
So there!
I tried to put Johnny Depp on here, but he disappeared off the page.
I guess I won’t be marrying him after all.
(PS I will edit this after I get back from taking Cait to work. Please excuse any mistakes.)


Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Dictionary.com 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.
3.an object seen in a dream.
4.an 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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