The dream behind ‘One Wolf Howls,’ by Scotti Cohn.
I have always had an active dream life. The content of my dreams ranges from the mundane to the bizarre. Many of my dreams are lucid or ‘conscious’ dreams.
About fifteen years ago, I had ‘the wolf dream.’
In the dream, I am running on a paved road in a rural area. I can feel each of my four paws striking the road as I run. I realize that I am a wolf – specifically, a black, female wolf. Up ahead, I see three or four men with rifles. I immediately veer off into the tall grass. I creep closer, crouched low, watching them warily. I am very much in the body and mind of the wolf.
Animals of all kinds fascinate and delight me. In addition, I am intrigued by the idea of totem animals. This dream made me wonder if the wolf was my totem animal. I sought out pictures and books about wolves and watched television specials about them.
One night in 2003 I was about to fall asleep when an image formed in my mind: a lone wolf howling, with a full moon in the sky above. My mind began to play with the image, and produced the lines: ‘One wolf howls in the winter moonlight… Night light, dim light, midnight soon.’ The word ‘winter’ felt too general, so I tried ‘January moonlight,’ and liked it. I continued to create lines in my head, moving from ‘one wolf’ in January to ‘two wolves’ in February, ‘three wolves’ in March, and so forth.’
After many revisions and submissions to editors, my children’s book, ‘One Wolf Howls’ was published by Sylvan Dell Publishing in 2009, with marvellous illustrations by Susan Detwiler.
I dreamed of being a children’s book author my whole life. It seemed fitting that my first published children’s book was inspired by a dream.
8 thoughts on “Guest spot: the dream that sparked the book”
Very exciting and inspiring! Thanks
Hi Tessa, thanks for commenting. It has been exciting for me too!
Inspiring to read about the beginnings of such a wonderful book! Thanks for sharing. Awwrrroooooo…. Robyn
Thank you, Robyn, my Sister Wolf Lady. 😀
So nice that your creative talent can be expressed this way! Thanks for sharing.
This is inspiring. I love the way you developed the idea of “my totem animal”on in such a beautiful way with the wintry beginnings growing into the months of the year.
Thanks for stopping by, Debra!
Thank you, mooncakelizzie. I feel privileged to have had this experience (of the dream and creating the poem), very fortunate to have found a publisher who shared my vision, and thrilled to have been paired with an illustrator who understood what was in my mind and heart!