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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Writing Update and Dreams

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Writing Update and Dreams

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Last night, I was on a roll working on Alina's birthday story-turned-monster and I happened to glance down to that little bottom toolbar thingy...seventy pages!!! Now that's deceiving in a way because I include an extra line between paragraphs of stories that I intend to post just after writing. It's one less formatting thing to monkey with before clicking UPDATE. Nonetheless, I had figured the story to be around thirty pages, and it is coming close to ending, but wow, was I ever way off in my estimates!

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?
  • (no subject) -
    • Eek. That does sound very scary. I wake up shouting sometimes about things that I swear I've forgotten, but I know that's more anxiety-induced than anything (so I'm trying to condition myself out of it. A psych degree may not get me a job in my field, but it's handy in daily life!)

      Demonology and "possession" are interesting because they're found across cultures...but it they're actual possession...like you, I do not know. It's scary to contemplate, though.

    Hooray for writing! I can’t wait to read those stories of yours!

    Re: dreams & nightmares. Yes, I have them too. But they are not the same as yours. One of my most frequent involves me getting into an elevator, but it is never the elevator that I want—I always have to settle for another one—and once inside it, I find it is a 110-storey drop to the bottom. I press the button to go down and the elevator (and my stomach) begins dropping like a rock, while I open my mouth to scream.

    When I was about seven years old, I woke up in the middle of the night. The door to my bedroom was open, and there was a dim orangey glow from the lightbulb in the hallway. I saw a woman dressed in white come up the stairs, turn to her left, and go toward my parents’ bedroom at the end of the hallway. I was freaked out, but I got up anyway and followed her. I woke up my mother, who was concerned for me, and tucked me back into bed with assurances that she had checked her room thoroughly and no one was there except my father. But to this day I believe the woman in white existed. And I saw her one more time after that.

    Once when I was about twenty-four and working downtown, I was hurrying through a long ceramic-tiled corridor that led from the subway to an underground shopping concourse, and I was quite alone. But suddenly I had the feeling someone was following me, and I stopped. I couldn’t hear anything, and would have turned around to look behind me, but for some force holding me back. At the same time a thought penetrated my mind, and told me: “If you turn around now you will see something that will change your life forever. Are you prepared for such a change?” I froze for a minute and then thought, ‘WTF?’ And I just ran as fast as I could toward the concourse where I would find people—I just needed to see some people! Once I got into the shopping concourse I was fine. But that experience freaked me out—it was like being caught in a weird time-warp vacuum or something. I’ll never forget it.

    Lately, I’ve been convinced there is the ghost of a dog in my rec room. I’ve sensed him before, and have caught tiny glimpses of him out of the corner of my eye. And just the other day—Friday—he came up on my right side while I was on the computer. I turned to see him and he vanished, as he always does, but not before I could feel him brush my arm! So WTF is that?

    Rationally, I know there are probably explanations for these things. My husband has weirder nightmares than me. And experiences, too. I could tell you some real doozies of his.

    • I have falling dreams too, though I am usually running across a field and I step into a hole and start to fall. Sometimes, I'll be skating and start to fall...then I wake up. It seems to be a pretty universal dream experience, but I don't have a nifty trivia on it, unfortunately, or even know what causes it.

      I also had an experience with a ghost-woman when I was younger, though I was about 14 and awake when it happened, sitting on my bed talking to my sister. Sharon had her back to the door, and I saw a woman in white flit past. Because Sharon was younger, and I was afraid it would scare her to tell her what I saw, I had to pretend like nothing had happened.

      Later, though, I told my mom about it. My mom is inquisitive and tends toward agnosticism, like me, and she's always had a strong "spirit" sense. When I told her about what I'd seen, she got really quiet, and when I asked her what was wrong, she said that she and my dad had both seen the same ghost-woman on several occasions, only they'd never told my sister and me because they didn't want us to be scared.

      Right after my Uncle Wodie died, I would sense him sometimes and one time, in the middle of the night, my ukulele suddenly played for no reason. Then my step-grandfather Phil died a few months later; he had molested--possibly even raped--several of my older male and female cousins, and my mom had been his primary caregiver after my grandmother died. Shortly after he died, I was walking down the hall in my parents' house and I got the feeling that you described, coming from their room at the end of the hall: like there was someone there watching me from the darkness, something sinister. I was nearly 15 and old enough to "know better" but I ran like hell down the hall and into my room! Again, I said something to my mom, and she got really upset and said that Phil was in Hell where he belonged (of course, she doesn't even believe in Hell, but I think it was meant to be a consolation. :^P)

      Bobby and I are really interested in paranormal investigation and will probably get some stuff to do some electronic voice phenomenon work when we get home from Puerto Rico, but what you experienced in the underground and I experienced after Phil died both sound like paranormal experiences. Am I saying that they are ghosts or demons? No...but they're experiences that many people have had that can't be explained with our current knowledge alone. Being in the presence of a "ghost" is said to give one a heavy feeling, like being watched. It's supposed to be hard to tolerate and makes a person want to escape. If what happened with Phil is any indication, I can believe that!

      As an alternative, areas with high electromagnetic fields are said to cause the same feelings, so if you were near--for example--to a generator room in that tunnel, that might have caused the feeling, though it does not explain the thought you had.

      As for explanations, I remember on my first day of Biopsych back in uni, studying sensation and perception, our professor likened human perception (versus what actually exists) to being closed inside a cardboard box with a pinhole punched in the side. We can perceive only what is visible through the hole, but there are all sorts of things going on outside our awareness. (If this sounds familiar, my protagonist in "Cold Hands" conveniently had a Sensation and Perception professor who said the same thing. ;^D) So though I tend to look for explanations for things before crying "Ghost!" there are things that defy explanation. Whether they are caused by that which remains outside of our awareness or by "spirits"...I don't know, but I hope to find out! :)
    • (no subject) - ssotknapsack - Expand
    • (no subject) - digdigil - Expand
  • I am jealous. I rarely remember my dreams though I used to have recurring ones as a child. Nightmarish ones about my family turning into all manner of ghoulish, bat-like creatures. I think that was anxiety. Now I dream, and do not remember a thing. I do have lots of free floating thoughts as I go to sleep. My mind just sort of slips in and out of things. Not sure if that counds for anything. I envy people who remember their dreams and such. It seems an untapped resource.
    • My hubby also remembers next to nothing of his dreams. There might be one per year that he remembers, although he doesn't envy what I go through! (But I wouldn't trade it for anything.)

      It is a good resource at times, especially if you can get past letting the emotions of the experiences rule your life to analyze why and how it works. And I've gotten ideas for stories from dreams or just have fun scaring hubby with tales of faces peeking through doors. ;^D
  • My dreams have always been weird and I guess I have at least one nightmare a week (when I think of it, I'm practically never having "nice" dreams). It is never about something palpably scary. Rather like I'm in big empty building with long corridors and I feel threatened for no reason. Sometimes I dream about stuff from books or movies, but always in a bizarre, unrelated way. Remember that bank institute from Da Vinci Code? I was dreaming of escaping from there last night. I managed to do this by hitting the person trying to get me with a book. I could swear it was my Silm-paperback. ;)

    Sometimes I find myself in places from which I know it's a certain place, even though it looks completely different in my dream.

    I also have often dreams from which I woke really physically exhausted, which was beyond strange. Like I really had been running with pausing all night long.

    Then there's the dropping elevators (which isn't strange since I'm afraid of using elevators) and the plane crashes (which are strange because I'm not one bit afraid of flying, not even when the weather gets rough).

    And I also see things that are not there when I'm only half-awake. Sometimes it's visible stuff like persons or other things in my room that are not there (I once had a huge hairy spider climbing over my TV), other times I'm convinced that certain events that took place in my dreams were really real. It usually takes me a long time to fathom that this was only in my mind and not "really there". Sometimes it's scary, so that I'm really, really happy when I realize nothing of this was real.

    But my dreams are not good for stories at all. They are far too bizarre, far too strange, the things that happen do usually not make any sense and cannot be explained by reason. They might make a nice David Lynch-screenplay, though. (I've already said this somewhere else, I think...)
    • I have those sorts of dreams too where it's not any scary event so much as an atmosphere to the setting. I had one once that I still remember of this strange house in the woods that I was exploring. There was something evil about the place, and it might be one of the most--if not the most--scary dreams I've ever had. Since then, I try to figure out what created that atmosphere and do the same in my stories. Probably, it was biochemical in nature and can't be replicated, but I keep trying! ;)

      When I have a cold, I tend to have exhausting dreams that replay over and over again until it feels like I never sleep and I wake up, convinced that I haven't slept. One of the reasons that I will take Nyquil when I have a cold is because it knocks me out to where I don't dream. Otherwise, those nights are horrible.

      My whole dreams rarely work for stories, though I do occasionally get bits and pieces to use. Kinda like salvaging junk. ;) The nightmare the other day is being put onto paper almost in its entirety, though, except that I am changing the PoV to the person who gets "killed" in the story, from my own PoV as an onlooker.
  • Last night, I was on a roll working on Alina's birthday story-turned-monster and I happened to glance down to that little bottom toolbar thingy...seventy pages!!!

    *THUD* SQUEEEE!!! *does really manic happy dance* Now, only 13 days left 'til my birthday. THAT MANY?!?! *wails*

    Seriously, you are slowly killing me and if it weren't for Jenni and her fabulous "I Could Never See Tomorrow", I'd go nutz with anticipation.

    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.

    Gah! I read your PKD experience last night, and how what should have been an excellent, entertaining day, went down the drain due to invisible work being done by invisible workers, on public roads. I do feel your pain, especially since I know full well what it's like and the roads in my country are horrific. But muses can come in handy in a crisis situation like being trapped in traffic for a long time. ;)

    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.

    He, he... this reminds me of that *I* dreamed last night... and I'm not making it up, either. I had lots of trouble falling asleep and I drifted in and out of it until about 1:30 AM, when an idiot decided to give me a ring ony my mobile and wake me up completely. Then, to make myself fall asleep again, I started thinking about pretty Elves, of course. And I ended up dreaming that I had a house in Tirion and all SEVEN of Feanaro's sons visited me regularly for... well, you know what. And no, I did not dream about the specifics of that (unfortunately!). However, when their FATHER showed up at my dorstep, in the dead of night, looking disheveled and vulnerable... I took him in and did things to him that I'd like to write about, one day... *wiggles eyebrows*

    That over and done with, the dream continued to a few days later, when Glorfindel and Ecthelion, drunk as sailors, decided to pay my "establishment" a nocturnal visit, to see if they could get lucky as well. Buuuut... I drugged both of them and dragged them to a guest bedroom, 'cause, you see, my services were only for the Feanorians. While awake, I was like WTF?! at this.

    I woke up really, really tired... O_O!

    That scary face you mentioned, Dawn... *shivers* Fortunately, I have few nightmares and even when I do, I usually realize that I'm dreaming while still sleeping, so I don't become scared. There is only one weird thing about my dreams. When they're not filled with hot, fornicating Elves, I usually dream myself in a hotel, at the sea-side. It's a place I have never seen before, in RL, either up front, or on TV, but, every dream that takes place there is different. And, while dreaming that I'm there, I recongize the place, the decorations, the furniture and I remember bits of previous dreams... Pretty funky, eh?
    • Wow! Those are awesome dreams! I rarely dreamt about Elves until lately; now I dream about the projects I'm working on or whatever I watched/read right before bed. It's strange, though I hope it indicates more immersion in my stories, i.e. my stories getting better, versus Dawn going crazy. ;)

      What did dream!Feanor look like? Do you remember? Is there any particular picture that looks like him? (I'm just curious!)

      I'm like WTF?! too at your treatment of Glorfi and Ecthelion. I mean, sheesh, least you could've done was drug them and put them on a plane to Baltimore or Toronto for me and Jenni. ;)

      I've also gotten very good at knowing when I'm dreaming and actually observing what goes on to understand my reaction to it. (Does this mean that I'm too obsessed with storytelling, I wonder, when I study even during dreams? :^D) Lately, too, I've been having "meta" dreams of scary movies where I'm not scared because it's all a scary movie and it's like I've had the dream before, so now I'm watching a film of it...it's strange. (And that explanation made no sense on rereading it, so I hope you kinda sorta understand it? :^/)

      I wonder if you'll visit that hotel some day. Maybe it's the hotel farthest east on Tol Eressea that you'd reach first when sailing to Valinor. ;)
    • (no subject) - atanwende - Expand
  • (no subject) - satismagic
    • Interesting, certainly! :) I'm just grateful that they they're not so severe that I've believed myself abducted by aliens yet!

      I think you and Bobby have talked about this before, but I find it intriguing that certain Bible passages do help in instances of "demonic" haunts or "possession." It makes me wonder what it is about those passages that make them work. Do they actually have some sort of spiritual power? Or is it the belief of the person using them and the energy of that belief that combats whatever is creating the haunt? Goofy me, I love to ponder such things.

      I felt Evil once, after my child-molesting step-grandfather had died, and I ran like hell! Honestly, that was a very scary experience. I've seen/experienced other paranormal activity that has just made me hungrier to learn more but that one.... *shudders*

      Here's to your assignment finishing soon so that you can resume the writing you are meant to do! *raises glass of iced tea*
  • Wow, your dreams and ghost stories are intense. Often I think I'm glad I don't remember my dreams. I know that I did dream, but unless immediately upon waking I think about/tell someone about/write down the dream, I forget it pretty quickly.

    Most of the ones I do remember do relate to my stories or things I've read, or else are complete stories of their own. I don't know if that's because there's something to trigger the memory later, or if those really do make up a large percentage of my dreams. Sometimes it's totally random - I read Terry Prachett's Monstrous Regiment the other day, which involves a minor plot point of someone trying to make a coffee substitute out of acorns (long story). The next morning I was thinking about the book, remembered that part, and thought, "Hey, that could work - there's that random coffee/acorn product I read about or saw somewhere." Then I did a mental double-take and tried to track down where exactly I thought I'd seen coffee/acorn stuff. It was in a dream; I think I was taking a tour of the factory or reading an explanation of how the product was made.

    The dreams I do remember are either in story form or seem completely real. The bizarre acorn-coffee convinced me momentarily that it existed, but most of the dreams I remember I know are dreams and have characters from things I've written or read. I've dreamed about all of the Fellowship at various times, and OCs find their way into dreams quite often. Usually I don't remember much more than their presence, though. Or, sometimes, a dream will be a story in its own right; I'm not experiencing the dream, I'm literally reading a book. Usually the text in those dreams fades out about a chapter before I reach the end, which makes me really mad.

    Nightmares, of course, convince me they're real. Luckily I don't have/remember them often; there are just a handful I remember now from my whole life, and I can't remember the last time I had one. But the few I remember can still terrify me. I had one in which I was convinced I was a murderer. There were murders going on and I didn't remember committing any of them, but I *knew* I'd done it. I was terrified. Even after I woke up, I couldn't tell anyone about it because they'd know what I'd done. I can step outside it enough now to recognize all the problems with the scenario, but I can still remember the paralyzing terror it invoked. Things like that make me glad I usually don't remember dreams.

    I've never seen things upon waking, thank goodness. I think I'd be terrified. I have sensed presences around me at times, but they're never visible. They're always benign, too; with my background, I assume they're angels. I've never sensed the evil side of that, for which I'm very grateful.

    • I've had that too, dreaming about reading a book or watching a movie. The other night, I had a dream that I was in a horror movie, running away from some sort of monster. Except I knew that it was a movie--in fact, I had the sense that I had dreamt it before and a movie had been made about the dream--and so I wasn't frightened and seemed to know what was going to happen before it did. I don't know if I'd actually dreamt it before or not, or if I just had the sense that I had. While I was reading Middle Age recently, I would dream about reading chapters, but I could never remember them upon awakening.

      I've had some nightmares like your murder dream (that does sound scary, btw!) that I recognize as unreasonable upon recalling them but the terror of them remains so real nonetheless, even years later. Being that I love horror fiction, I try to pick apart the dreams to find what made them so scary so that I can transfer (in theory) the atmosphere to my stories, but I think that it might be biochemical in nature and not replicable. But I keep trying. ;)

      I sensed my Uncle Wodie after he died; that was benevolent as he's one of the people I've loved most in my life. When my step-grandfather died (he was a child molester), I felt a malevolent presence and that was very frightening; I became completely irrational and ran into my room and turned on all of the lights. My hubby and I are both skeptics and agnostics but we love researching (and one day--hopefully--investigating) paranormal activity, and I can't say if those "presences" were really my Uncle and step-grandfather or just my mind placing that association upon certain strong feelings based around their recent deaths, but neither am I willing to say that it wasn't. Either way, it makes me respect the experiences of people who do believe that they have experienced ghosts or hauntings.

      I hope that you only know angels and never the malevolent side of things. :)
  • Ooh... sleep psychology, dreams/hallucinations, imagination, etc, are hands down my favorite part of psychology! I'm not even interested in ghost/horror stories or that sort of thing (I mean I'm not the sort who goes out and watches horror movies or reads ghost stories--though if I see a documentary trying to explain the paranormal on the Discovery Channel, I'll watch for the sciency part of it), but the idea that the human brain can create (or recreate) an experience for itself that's so vivid it convinces itself it's real--even if only for a short while--how can a writer not be fascinated by that sort of thing?

    And something that's weird to me--I'm an atheist who doesn't actively believe in heaven, hell, spirits beyond the mind and body, and certainly not ghosts who haunt, yet I can still seriously make my own heart race if I simply think of a ghost (to just picture one standing or floating somewhere in the house)--even a nice-looking, harmless one. And I guess part of the freakiness associated with that is not a feeling of "Holy crap, ghosts are real after all!" so much as "Holy crap, I expected to see what I imagined, but not to feel what I did when I saw it! I can't control my own mind?!"

    Though I guess related to "ghosts," I have had experiences where I "felt the presence" of recently lost pets--I remember as an 8 year old, not too long after my old, crippled gerbil Cookie died, I was walking up the stairs one night and saw him limp across the hall right in front of me, and when I tried to follow him into the next room, he was suddenly gone. More recently, up until a couple of weeks ago, I kept hearing sudden yips, whimpers, barks, howls, collar/tag jingles, and dog claws scuttling across the floor, and kept thinking it was Pip or White Sox. I'm pretty sure the gerbil was either just a hallucination (I was a really tired little kid that night) or a different escaped gerbil whose limp I later imagined on recall (memory and its imperfection is yet another thing I'm fascinated by...), and what I've been hearing of the dogs are either everyday sounds that just remind me of the dogs (like jingling car keys sounding like dog collar tags) or my brain being so used to those sounds that it misses them and tries to recreate them or something, but it's still freaky how the brain tries to automatically "fill in the blanks" like that. (I'm not sure if I've ever had a feeling if someone I didn't know before they died was around, though... I know my sister has supposedly seen a sad, blue ghost before, but I don't always take her interpretations of things seriously. ^_^;)

    And I also notice that my dreams tend to get weirder--or at least more memorable--when I'm either writing or dealing with something in my life. A lot of times, they seem to spew back what I'm thinking about or what I saw during the week (even when it's as amusingly boring as this). It's doubly fun when I notice a "theme" to my dreams--either the structure/settings are very similar (many of my dreams have me wandering around places that should be familiar, but somehow aren't), or there's always this one object I'm finding or trying to find. (It's the same object in most dreams, actually...) Definitely fun/interesting to try interpretting (though sometimes, it can be a little frustrating if you take dreams a little too seriously, I guess).

    Fun topic to ramble on, however much sense my rambling makes :D
    • Hey, geeks rule! I loved biopsych (obviously, since I majored in it :^P) because it seems so often to explain the mysterious while also bringing up a lot of really interesting questions. Hubs and I are very interested in paranormal stuff (we watch Ghost Hunters religiously every week on the Sci-fi channel; if you get that channel in your neck of the woods, I recommend it highly, as they try to debunk--rather than prove--hauntings. So it's scientist-friendly. ;) Although they sometimes wind up stumped, the majority of shows center on them proving how the plumbing can cause knocking noises or how a cluster of exposed wires can create electromagnetic fields that create an uncomfortable, "haunted" sensation. But every now and then they do find something that defies explanation.)

      One of the things that my biopsych professor said to us when we were studying sensation and perception that has stuck with me through the years is that human perception is akin to being in a cardboard box with a pinhole punched in the side. What we can see through the pinhole is the extent of our perception; there is much more outside of that that remains beyond our sensory capabilities. Which does not mean it is not there...but we must learn how to measure and sense it with tools rather than with our traditional senses. I wonder--in researching paranormal activity--if a lot of stuff to do with ghosts and hauntings lie in the realm of that which exists beyond what we can perceive. For example, high electromagnetic fields can create a heavy feeling of being watched or haunted; I remember a case on Ghost Hunters where a little girl was terrified of the basement because she always felt ghosts down there, and it turned out that there was a cluster of exposed wires right over where she had her experiences that was causing the sensation. A century ago, we lacked knowledge of and technology to measure EMF, so that would have been explained as a haunting, most likely. What else that we experience can be explained by something that we simply lack the technology to measure?

      There's, of course, a lot of psychology involved too. Just as I recognize that what I "see" upon awakening is more likely the remnant of neural activity from a dream than an actual apparition...but if I didn't have that knowledge, it would be easiest to explain what I've seen as a haunting. Likewise, I used to feel the presence of my Uncle Wodie after he died. Because I'm agnostic, I can't say that it wasn't Uncle Wodie...but it's also possible that I had a strong and entirely random feeling that was easy and comforting to explain as my Uncle Wodie rather than something as bland as biochemistry or operant conditioning, i.e. smelling something that reminded me of UW and feeling that he was with me. I'd like to believe that he was, but I simply don't know.

      On dreams, my personal pet theory of dreams is that it's random neural firing that the brain naturally tries to interpret as it would legitimate sensory input, which is why we have dreams about people or events near in our thoughts or why inexplicable things seem to happen but make perfect sense while they're happening in dreams. Btw, I loved your dream about the cute little gastropod. I would have liked a dream like that too. ;)

      (Also, if I'd had any idea that this admission of my craziness would result in so many fascinating comments, I would have made this post weeks ago! :^D)
    • (no subject) - sinneahtes - Expand
    • (no subject) - dawn_felagund - Expand
  • Hmm...Sometimes I have really weird dreams due to my psychotic tendencies and psychological trauma, but I can't recall any specific instances of my dream being a story. Sometimes The Elves make appearances in my dreams, but it still is some weird nonsensical dream usually. I don't think I've ever seen anything when I first wake up either.

    I definitely had a sort of nightmare about band last night though. Is that bad??
    • You, dear? Crazy?? 9 out of 10 Elves agree; the one who doesn't is Feanor, and he doesn't seem to have a good barometer for sanity. ;)

      I still have nightmares about The Piece, if that's any consolation. It's the only instance of what I can honestly say is a recurring dream: I'm always working--either on the floor or on production--and busy as hell and I can't get caught up because I can barely move. (Sleep paralysis? Probably.) And when I finally finish my task--amassing twenty more in the meantime--which is usually some hugely complicated sundae or platter, then it turns out I've made it all wrong, and I throw food and have a tantrum and wake up crying. And I've been gone from The Piece for almost three years now. o.O
  • When I was preggers with Chelsea I would wake up to find a little girl by our bed, sometimes beautiful......sometimes not so much(the scarier images came befor Brandon did what he did to me)-and she'd always reach out for me. Odd. I believe in ghosts and all that-even caught some images on camera due to my name being called and no one being there and a few other things, but I'd have to say that was the strangest thing that I've experienced. Because of that though I also had a feeling we were having a girl with Chelsea.
    • I wonder what EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) work would turn up in your house?

      I can't say that ghosts for me are a simple matter of believing. I think it's best to say that I believe that there is some paranormal activity that cannot be explained with current science and technology, and I cannot dismiss the possibility of ghosts. Among other things. ;)

      If you've never watched Ghost Hunters on the Sci-fi channel (9 p.m. on Wednesdays!) you'd probably really like it.
  • Now you know you couldn’t get into this sort of conversation without sparking the interest of Ye Old Hubby. From what I have researched and read, I think it is safe to say that somewhere around 80% or more of alleged “paranormal” activity can be explained by modern science. I agree with the notion that we have not fully developed the technologies to fully investigate activity that does not fit within the ‘normal” parameters of science. However, when technologies are developed such as EMF readers, thermal temperature gauges, and thermal scanners, the picture surrounding these phenomenons tends to become much clearer.

    Paranormal activity usually takes one of three forms: alien, monster (Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, Chupacabra), or ghost. In each case, human perception and even media influence can have a huge impact on what a person believes they experience or see. Movies, books, popular culture, and personal experiences can cloud perceptions and influence opinions immensely. In political science, perception and “perceptual lenses” are studied immensely in order to help define the motivations of world leaders and the like. In international affairs, perception helps to explain what is in all probability the biggest misperception in world history: the Cold War. If the United States could misperceive cold hard facts such as the number of Soviet ICBMs, it is only logical that people will misperceive events in their lives that do not fit into the realm of “normal” personal experiences. In this regard, psychology has a very important role to play in explaining the paranormal.

    The classic sciences also play a major role in this as well because odd feelings of dread and doom can be explained by electrical currents or certain medical conditions, bumps in the night are usually attributed to bad plumbing or household drafts, and eerie images of people who may have left this world can possibly be attributed to natural rock formations in granite and limestone that act as storage devices for events of the past.

    However, there is that 20% of cases that cannot be explained or measured with current instrumentation. How does one explain a clearly defined image of a man in full Civil War dress that appears on an investigator’s thermal imaging screen, or video footage of a baby’s toy rolling effortlessly across the floor being pushed by an unseen hand? How can science justify an American Airlines pilot report of a cylindrical-shaped object that follows his aircraft for miles before it accelerates at a speed unavailable to modern technology towards deep space? What about a cat purring as an invisible hand strokes its stomach (where finger indentations are clearly visible although no one is there), or a voice recording telling a tenant to get out.

    Do these events represent spirit manifestation or alien encounters, or can they perhaps be explained by something else? Interestingly, while the scientific community has shunned this sort of investigation in the past, barriers that once blocked serious scientific inquiry into the unknown are rapidly being torn down. And why shouldn’t they be? Isn’t science the art of explaining the unknown?

    • Science is now researching Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP), and is beginning to strike bold theories that explain the paranormal and the alien. String theory, and notions of alternate and parallel universes are now commonly held beliefs amongst modern physicists. It is strange to think, but many current scientists (i.e. the sort who hold chairs at the most prestigious universities) now believe that there is an exact copy of every single one of us walking around some distant part of the universe, maybe even in our own galaxy.

      These theories aren’t crazy; they are cold hard-hitting science and mathematics. It is said that there are more galaxies in the universe then there are grains of sand in all of the world’s beaches. Add in several other dimensions and parallel universes that we cannot even begin to comprehend, and you have an infinite number of possibilities for explaining “paranormal” events that is just beginning to scratch the surface.

      Are demons and aliens really just beings from a parallel dimension, the likes of which we currently have no way of knowing or understanding? As science continues to dive into some of these once unapproachable topics, we may finally have answers to some of humanity’s most nagging questions about the afterlife and our place in the order of things. However, as we stand now with our technology and our understanding of these issues. We are in an infinitely huge, dark cave with nothing more than a match to provide light for inquiry.
    • (no subject) - dawn_felagund - Expand
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