Writing Update and Dreams
I've really been in a writing mood lately. My fingers itch to get to those keys and punch out the stuff going around and around in my head; after sitting in traffic for an hour-and-a-half on the way home from PKD, I was partly pissed because I was really hoping for even a half-hour or forty-five minutes to write.
Currently, I'm finishing Alina's novella, which is an Alina!verse story that assumes that Erestor was loyal to the House of Feanor from the Time of the Trees until...well, forever. What could have been a PWP and done in a day has seized me and turned into a monster. This is not a complaint.
Additionally, I have two ideas for original short stories, one for my sister's birthday at the end of June and the other inspired by a nightmare that I had the other day. Then it's back to finishing "He Came Home," the short story about Earwen and Anaire's roles in restoring peace between the Noldor and Teleri after the Kinslaying (in short). I have the outline finished for the Nerdanel/Feanor romance that will act as a prequel to AMC, so I will hopefully start that some time this summer.
I still haven't started revising AMC. I had hoped to begin posting it on 16 June in archives since 16 June was the day that I posted Chapter One last year and also, conveniently, a Friday. However, I am leaving for Puerto Rico the next day, which means breaking the posting schedule before it even begins, and you all know how I am about my posting schedules. So I will be rewriting the first five chapters of AMC on the beach in Puerto Rico, using the comments and betas that you all have so kindly provided over the last year. I sure know how to have fun on vacation! Then AMC will be posted once I return and get settled back into things.
In other words, there will be lots of Dawnfic in months to come.
I have noticed lately that, since I have gone back to writing nearly every day, that my dreams have become weirder right alongside my stories. I tend to have very vivid, lucid, strange dreams, and I am interested to know which of you share these experiences--or similiar--if you are willing to share.
Firstly is the nightmares: I realized only recently how many nightmares that I have. I have at least one per week, sometimes more, and they are usually pretty gruesome and vivid. And terrifying, of course, but then, they are nightmares, so this is assumed. I've always had nightmares but only a few a year; now, they are a lot more regular. And it's not that my diet of horror is increasing; I probably read less horror fiction than I did as a teenager, although I didn't write it then to the extent that I do now. I also dealt more in "jump out and go boo" horror than that of the psychological variety, which is my interest lately. So maybe that's the reason.
My last nightmare was about a religious cult and is being made into a short story, so I'm not complaining. I find myself getting more skilled at "recovering" from nightmares, analyzing them even to find the elements that made them scary.
I tend lately to dream about what I am writing also. Last night, I was working on Alina's story right before going to bed, so I dreamt about it all night. So yes, I was dreaming about Erestor and Feanor. No, nothing NC-17, just inane daily-life stuff. Or if I am engrossed in a story, I will dream about that. While Bobby and I were watching season one of Lost, I dreamt about Lost. While I was reading Joyce Carol Oates' Middle Age, I dreamt about the character who had been narrating the last chapter I'd read.
This is new. I've never dreamt about stories, books, or television programs before but now it's pretty much constant. Stories become dreams; dreams become stories. It's convenient, yes, but also strange, like real life and the life in my head are becoming more and more the same. Around the holidays, satismagic asked her flist to choose a song that described themselves, and I've always thought Heart's "These Dreams" really describes a day in the life of Dawn's head...and it is becoming even truer as of late.
Perhaps the strangest dream phenomenom I experience is waking up and seeing things. This has been going on for years though not my entire life; for a while it worried me because I have always had bizarre thought patterns (*waits for flist to stop laughing at the obviousness of this statement*) and am approaching the window where women develop schizophrenia (25-35) and thought, "Great. The last thing I need is to develop a psychotic disorder." However, visual hallucinations are not symptoms of schizophrenia but are usually substance-induced. Schizophrenics tend to experience auditory and tactile hallucinations, and while I can put myself into a "trance" to the point where if Bobby tickles me, I can convince myself it's spiders crawling on me and panic (fun times in the House of Felagund), I've never experienced either.
I will wake from a dream that's not particularly memorable and...see things. The first time it happened, my lamp was covered in spiderwebs. The second time, there was a neon sign on the wall. Since moving into the apartment, I've had a wrought iron fence across my bedroom ceiling and a face peering out from the bureau, among others that I can't remember offhand. I will realize that these things aren't real, stare at them, blink, and they don't go away for a few seconds. They've never been frightening (except once...getting to that) because I realize that they're not real. Bobby said that he thought a face in the bureau would be scary, but it wasn't. In the context--a face in the bureau--it was obviously not real. More fascinating than anything.
The other night, I woke up...and there was a face staring in through the crack in the bedroom door. It was scary and grinning maniacally; this is the first time that I've ever been frightened by one of the things that I've seen upon awakening. After I realized that it wasn't real, I stared at it, blinked at it, and slowly it dissipated, rising in little black dots up to the ceiling, and disappeared.
Bobby was watching a program on alien abduction once, and I think that it had my answer. One of the leading theories about alien abduction is that they are in fact the mind's attempt at explaining the "symptoms" of sleep. When the body enters REM (dream) sleep, it paralyzes itself to keep the sleeper from jumping up and running into the doorframe or falling out a window or even flopping around unnecessarily and harming one's husband. If you've ever had a dream where you've tried to move and found that you could not (I've had these too), then you are probably experiencing sleep paralysis. (If you can manage to tell youself this in the dream, I find, it makes it less scary.) Also, the mind sometimes continues to conjure dream images even after awakening, so people sometimes find themselves awake, paralyzed, with a person leaning over them. Hence, alien abduction.
(Bobby and I are also interested in paranormal investigation, and I tend to immediately discount stories where a person sees an apparition upon first awakening. If I didn't know about my tendencies and the rational explanation for such "hallucinatory" phenomena, then I would probably explain the face I saw looking in through the door as a ghost rather than random neurons firing and the brain trying to explain it the best that it can.)
Lately, though, all of these things make going to sleep very interesting. I sometimes feel like a walking sleep psychology experiment (sleep psych was one of my favorite areas of biopsychology if you can't tell!) or like one giant breeding ground for muses for ever-stranger stories.
Does any of this sound familiar?