23 May 2007
Part of the Dream Team?
They say hindsight’s twenty/twenty and looking back, I’ve noticed something. I use dreams—a lot. I haven’t done it consciously, it’s just something that’s woven its way into my stories, by chance or circumstance. A recurring nightmare to show that a character has been haunted by something for a long time; another slightly warped, Dada-esque type nightmare involving a bride seeking bouquet for comedic effect and my favorite by far, a cutely naughty dream I used to hook the reader into believing that my character is having a steamy poolside affair with a hunky foot masseuse whose name she can’t quite recall. I don’t use them to further the plot, or wrap up a story, but dreams are in almost all my stories at some point and time.
Why am I drawn to use them time and again? I have some vivid ones myself, especially during that state between sleep and waking when the imagination roams wild and free but awake enough so I don’t get those dreams with say a purple elephant like the one in the picture that speaks German in them, which jolt me awake and make me say. "Huh?" I either don't remember my dreams and am left with strange impressions that don't make much sense, but leave me vaguely disquieted or else I am haunted by them for days. Once in a blue moon, I have nightmares, though nothing as freaky as the painting shown above. If I have to have a motif, why not eels or ostriches? Why dreams?
A very dear friend did a reading for me once and told me I was the King of Cups. Now while it’s good to be king (uh huh thank ya thank ya verra much) I didn’t understand what it meant, except I was in charge, and I liked that! Then she explained that it meant I’m a visionary or a dreamer. Well, that explains my preoccupation for the nocturnal transmissions, huh?
Are other authors drawn to particular themes in their books, or am I the only sucker for sameness? While I never use them as a plot device, I like the un-reality of them, the whimsy in some cases, the contrast in others. The way they jolt the character and/or the reader out of their comfort zone, shifting them somewhere else.
For many, like mystics, and wise men and women, dreams or visions have been used as a form of travel albeit temporary to other places or even planes of existence. The only traveling I do with my ‘dream theme’ is page to page, chapter to chapter. I just hope my quirky ‘dream theme’ gives my stories a touch of whimsy that the readers will enjoy as much as I do.