Wednesday, February 8, 2017

DayQuil, Dreams and Me

Without DayQuil (really the Family Dollar knock-off because it is so much cheaper) I would not be able to write this blog post. Though I am feeling much better today. Monday was the worst between fevers and chills, a migraine and constant napping. I felt like I had a head cold last week but it was going away. Then Bam- my kid gets sick and has to come home from school. Two days later, I have it.

One of the worst things about being sick are the dreams. Normally, my dreams are already bizarre and vivid. When I am sick they are magnified a 100 times which means I wake up more because my dreams are even more disturbing. I get many ideas from dreams. One of my notebooks in One Note is labeled "Story Ideas" and when I remember an exceptional nugget I write it in that notebook. I also have another notebook labeled "dreams" and this is where I place dreams or fragments then look up symbolism on the web- as if I am trying to either figure out if I am psychic or learn more about myself.

Over the years various bits of dreams made it into a story. The giant bronze sun sculpture in Seaspring Briar that turns into a deadly saw blade was in a nightmare years ago. In that dream, the sun sculpture chopped off my brother's head.  Parts of Havana, WV, my novel in progress, were taken from dreams such as the town of witches, the mischievous dark- haired witch,  and the people who live in dumpters.  And in Gone Before Dawn, well there is a story to that one... where the entire novel was based off a dream in a way.

Do you that moment in between wakefulness and REM Sleep is called hypnagogia. According to Wikipedia (I know not the most scholarly, but it is sufficient for this purpose), Hypnagogia is a transitional state which features lucid thought, lucid dreaming, hallucination and sleep paralysis.  One thing that is weird about my sleep patterns is that I can go into REM quickly. There are times when I doze off, have a  fucked up dream, wake up because the dream was fucked up and only a half hour or 45 minutes passed. Anyway that time between wakefulness and dreaming is a fascinating place to hang out. There are some really great things that can be found in hynpagogia. Anyway back to Gone Before Dawn...

I was 17 or 18 and I was in bed almost in REM sleep, probably in the hypnagogic state when all of a sudden someone's voice, a young woman, screamed "someone please help me." She was in distress. And it felt so real, so real in fact I sat straight up in bed. And it unnerved me. I could never forgot it. Nothing like that happened before then and nothing like happened after that. It was like we shared brain waves for that fleeting moment. I still think about it and I can still hear her voice in my head. For years afterward I kept thinking about that moment in my life and eventually Gone Before Dawn was born. In it, Delta screams for help and there is someone that gets the message, Moira Ponds, who can hear voices- voices of those who go missing. Sometimes I wonder if what I heard what was real or not.

One last thing, in Gone Before Dawn, The Puritans are a right-wing,  ultra religious  group of leaders that are in power all over the world three hundred years from our present. I wrote this novel in 2014 as part of Nanowrimo. And during a nap on March 2, 2015 I had this strange dream, "was arrested in Lake Harmony (in Pennsylvania) by Donald Trump who happened to be a cop for bad driving and smacking into a couple of cars."

I think I'm onto something or maybe it is just the DayQuil talking.

Till next time...

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