Friday, September 23, 2011

An Ode to Dreams Come True

I'm in awe of those writers who keep up their blogs. I'm either a procrastinator or time is now on supersonic speed and days fly by faster than ever before. (Probably a little of both?)

So, today's post is an ode to dreams coming true.

First, my awesome friend and college roommate, Christi, is inches away from being a REAL PUBLISHED AUTHOR. She signed a two-book deal some months ago and the first book debuts in early January. She's just released the cover to NIGHT SCHOOL -- which makes me all tingly because it's tangible evidence of a dream come true. Congrats, dear friend!

Second, my dear friend Carson celebrated the opening of her photography studio last night (Red Scarf Shots). I arrived to find the charming little space packed with friends and supporters. I'm not joking when I say you could feel the love! Recently, I was a subject for Carson's next photo exhibit (December in Durango, and February in LA). When she put out a call for subjects, I emailed immediately and said "Hell, yeah, count me in." She was in awe of my response. I told her that it was a no-brainer. I trust and admire her artistic vision and am honored to be part of her journey. Dreams-come-true are better shared, right?

The fact that I was able to go part-time with my day job and carve out full days like today for writing is also a dream come true. As is the fact that two of the most successful agents in the country have a copy of my manuscript at this very moment! (Talk about feeling all tingly!)

"Living the dream" is possible on so many levels. Wherever you are today, I hope that you're living at least a part of the dream that you envision for yourself. And it you're not, why not start now?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Don't Wake Me If I'm Dreaming

In the novel Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell, two characters (Emma and Stephen) are forced each night to attend balls in the Faerie kingdom of Lost-Hope, where they dance all night long. During the day, they have no knowledge of this ‘second life’ they lead — and understandably, they’re exhausted!

Ever since I was a child, I’ve had vivid dreams — and multiple dreams — every night. Some are just odd or whimsical, some frightening and foreboding. I often liken my overactive ‘dream life’ to the fate of Emma and Stephen. It sometimes seems that I lead two lives and that if I didn’t dream, I might feel more rested. (Hey, it’s a theory.)

What I find most fascinating about dreams are the unique, extremely specific details. Last night I dreamt that my cousin Kathy and I visited an antique shop. I entered a storage room to view an antique table and chairs from China. The details were so clear: the black and red lacquer finish, the intricate carvings on the tabletop, the red silk of the chair covers, the ‘feet’ of the table legs that resembled lion’s paws. Next, I browsed dusty shelves where I found an old leather-bound church hymnal. It was square and the spine of the cover had pulled away from the browned and aged pages inside.

Have I seen these items somewhere before? Or are our minds capable of storing a million (billion?) tiny bits of data that we draw on to construct these dream worlds? Do we tap into a collective unconscious as Jung would suggest?

I don’t have the answers but as a writer, the questions compel me. When I construct a world on paper, what images do I rely on? My own memories? The images absorbed through movie, television, books? Or, do our imaginations — like our dream worlds — draw on the collective unconscious?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you dream? Where do you think your dreams come from?