Thursday, April 9, 2009

How Dreams Are Like Books

When I woke up from a very strange dream this morning I realized dreams are a lot like books. There was a protagonist. Me. (But there was no hero, love, or sex, so it must be a women’s fiction book and not a romance.) I was trying to drive as many miles as I could to make headway on a very long trip (goal). But it was getting late and dark. I also had to stop and get dinner but couldn’t find anything to eat (obstacle).

My first stop was a convenience store where the proprietess tried to tempt me with a sandwich made from their “special” bread. To me it just looked moldy, so I passed (refusal to take the easy way out). As I drove around the labyrinth of a parking lot, I ended up on a dirt road while it got darker and I got hopelessly lost (raising the stakes). Like a stubborn heroine, I forged ahead in pursuit of my goal.

Then I ended up in a town and, using intuition, turned left (scene and sequel - I realized being lost really sucked so I decided to buy a good GPS very soon). I parked at some big building and went inside, which was full of people. There was some sit-down buffet in there that wouldn’t be served for hours and looked pretty paltry anyway -- lots of lettuce and gelatin stuff. I finally left but since I made no note of where I parked, I also lost my vehicle (raising the stakes even more).

Like all good writers, I was really torturing my heroine, making her consider if she still wanted to pursue this stupid goal. (But at least I had the decency to give her comfortable shoes.)Unfortunately, I woke up before it was resolved. But like all good books, it left me with questions. Where the heck was I going that was so all-fired important? Why was I alone? Why did I leave so late? Why didn’t I think ahead and research where I was going or at least pack a sandwich using fresh non-moldy bread?

Maybe I have dreams like books because I’m a writer. (Or maybe I just eat too much chocolate before I go to bed.) But I did have a dream once that inspired a whole novel. The muse works in mysterious ways. Until next month…

Afton Locke
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