Category Archives: Guest posts

Acquainted with the night, by Victoria Field

I’m delighted to welcome writer, poetry therapist and tutor Victoria Field into the House of Dreams today. I’ve attended several of her poetry therapy workshops over the past few years, which I can highly recommend, and I always look forward to reading her blog

Victoria Field
Victoria Field

I have always been aware of my dreams.  I still remember one from my pre-school years in which I went to watch a Punch and Judy show at the bottom of the hill where I lived.  I sat on my tricycle and was both drawn and repelled by what I saw happening on the stage of the booth and feared I’d be sucked in.  I’m not sure I’d ever seen Punch and Judy in real life.

It seems dreams are informed by more than direct experience.   I know that on residential courses, participants report shared dreams and that when I was married, my husband and I somehow occupied the same dream space as we shared a bed.  As a student, I often dreamed of tents.  I loved back-packing but there was also something mysterious about my dream tents and when I recently sat in a Bedouin tent in Kuwait, it felt familiar.

Many of my poems begin with a dream image and they find their way into prose too.  Several years ago, I began writing down an exceptionally vivid dream that centred around finding a white horse in my tiny kitchen in a terraced house in Chester.  As I wrote, the dream took on a life of its own and eventually turned into a novella of 16,000 words recounting what happened next.  The white horse can stand for many things in my life and like all dream images is mutable and outside time.  Writing happens in a liminal space and to my surprise, the horse surfaced again in a comic short story. 

I’m also aware that dream-work happens without our conscious mind being involved.  I often tell an anecdote when people ask how I became involved in poetry therapy.   My first encounter with the practice was when John Fox, an eminent practitioner based in the US gave a workshop in London in 1999. It was a two day workshop and on the second day, I felt utterly unable to keep my eyes open, in spite of being fascinated by the work.  I’d had a leg injury and was on pain-killers which I blamed for my sleepiness.  I excused myself and found somewhere to put my head down and went into a deep sleep for a couple of hours. I can’t recall any dreams but I woke up thinking utterly clearly, ‘I want to be a poetry therapist’.  And so began my journey of the past decade and more.

So, if people fall asleep on my courses, I never object.  Important work is being done as we sleep, whether we know it or not!

9781906742614
Victoria’s latest collection

Victoria Field is a writer and poetry therapist.  More information is available here http://www.poetrypf.co.uk/victoriafieldpage.shtml  and she blogs at www.poetrytherapynews.wordpress.com

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How tiny dreams can be big openings into writing, by Nicole Tilde

One of the reasons I love having guests in the House of Dreams is because they can surprise me with a new angle on writing and dreams. Here, Nicole Tilde talks about the creative treasure that can be found in what I call dream fragments, or ‘tiny dreams.’

Nicole Tilde
Nicole Tilde

She said to me in a dream, “Give me your knees child!”

And I did.

It got me thinking about poetry And how it starts with the knees

If I were to teach a poetry class

We would begin with the knees

I would teach the importance

Not of kneeling

But in hard work In finding your true north

We would walk through tall grass

And find the mud

That sinks

Deep Into the lines

Of our skin We would clear paths

And uncover ourselves

From beneath the bloodstone

And polished quartz

We would wander in silence

And not write a thing

And wait

Wait for that moment

When the healing of the work

Runs through your skin

Like a shimmering blue skink In the mapled wind

This poem was inspired by a Tiny DreamTiny dreams are the little vignettes or scenes that are often ignored or discarded as random. Tiny Dreams come to me as colors, objects, phrases, or flashes of feelings. They are not always connected to plot, place or scene.

One of the most common comments I hear from people is that their dreams are random or meaningless. But I wonder what a random dreamer might think of someone grabbing their knees and saying, “Give me your knees, child!” For me, the meaning in this short dream segment was large, full and sweeping. It was a window, a door, a threshold into poetry. We can find these openings everywhere if we are open to the experience.

What do I know about knees? Why would I give the power of my knees over to anyone? Unless perhaps, she came to heal me. Unless she was the crone who visits me so often, the Baba Yaga of my personal myth. The one with the faces of many.

I opened myself to the message. I let the window sash fly.

I garden on my knees. I might greet the wonder of the sun on my knees. I might approach someone younger than me on my knees. I could pray on my knees. We get on our knees to do the hard work. When I am full of regret or spinning off my center of conviction, I might lose the strength to stand on my own two feet, become weak in the knees. I might also become weak in the knees when I’m falling in love.

Knees are pretty important. I could see the significance of what I was asked to give in this dream. It was not random at all.

Just as we give ourselves over in our dreams, in poetry there is a moment of giving the writing over to the story beneath the story, to the river of awen. And beyond this there is a process of collecting the objects, events or dream symbols we’ve noticed, and then connecting the pieces.

I went to the river.

During the days prior to this dream I had worked in the yard, cutting paths through a corner of the property. I had been in the garden a lot, and I was reminiscing about how the hard work of gardening was a lot like writing. The pieces from this experience connected with the meaning of ‘giving over my knees,’ and I sat down and wrote this piece, ‘Poetry Class.’

What kind of class would that be, just wandering in silence, not writing a thing? What kind of poetry class offers you the chance to notice the blue skinks, this is what we call the blue lizards here in Georgia, and the maple leaves dancing in the wind? But this is exactly what I would teach. Afterwards, I might send everyone home with the instructions to dream.

Poetry is about noticing, collecting, tiny-dreams, the stories that drift beneath the stories. It’s about being present. It’s not about analyzing, but letting the events of our lives sink in and run all over our skin.

And the hard work? We give over our knees by doing the daily work of being a writer, a poet, an artist, by doing the hard work every day. To find true north we walk every day towards the star of our desire.  One step. One word. One line. One sentence.

She said to me in a dream, “Give me your knees, child!” And I did.

Nicole Tilde is a prose writer. Her work echoes the many storytellers who have gone before her. The storytellers who have unknowingly pitched for emotion by opening readers to feelings they thought were lost.  Her stories are of the everyday, of finding the sacred in the mundane and recognizing everyday objects as talismans. She publishes within her membership site at dream-speak.com You can find samples of her writing at nicoletilde.com or you can connect with her on her Facebook page.  

 

Using Freewriting to Take Down Writers Block, by Bryan Cohen

I’m delighted to welcome my guest today, successful self-publisher, creativity coach and actor, Bryan Cohen, who is tapping the unconscious in the House of Dreams.

Bryan Cohen
Bryan Cohen

The unconscious mind has ways of making you stop. You have a deadline and only a certain number of hours to write a certain number of words. And yet, despite all that pressure, the cursor or blank page is staring at you with all its emptiness. It’s writer’s block, that all encompassing, vague term describing why you can’t get the thoughts you know are in your head onto the page. Writer’s block can strike, even when you’re in a seemingly perfect writing situation. You can have writer’s block even when you have a comfortable chair, a mahogany writing desk and a closed door to keep out all the distractions. The problem of writer’s block seems to exist in the unconscious mind.

In writing and self-publishing 32 books to Amazon, I’ve found one of the tricks to unearthing this unconscious problem. The trick to stopping your unconscious hurdles to writing is to go into your unconscious to determine how to knock them down.

People use freewriting or stream-of-consciousness writing for all sorts of purposes. Freewriting can be an emotional release or it can be a way to capture your thoughts at a particular moment. This activity can also be used to answer a question. If you’re experiencing writer’s block at a subconscious level, you can use freewriting to ask yourself how to defeat the problem.

Setup your freewriting session by sitting in a quiet place with as few distractions as possible. Turn off your phone and switch off the internet on your laptop. Set a timer for 15 minutes (though you can always write longer if desired). Start with a simple question or a “prompt” if you will. For instance, you can ask something along the lines of, “Why do I have issues writing in the afternoon?” Write the first thing that comes into your mind over and continue to write down the thoughts that naturally follow the first thought. Don’t edit yourself, even to correct spelling errors. Let one thought flow into the other. Even if you get off the topic of writers block, let yourself take the trip to keep yourself in stream-of-consciousness mode. If you find yourself looking at the timer or otherwise not writing, get yourself back in the game as quickly as possible. Don’t stop. Push yourself. Even if what you’re writing doesn’t make any sense, keep going at least until the timer goes off.

Here’s what I find happens in nearly all my free writing sessions that begin with a question. I take at least 3 tangents. I also retread a lot of what I’ve said out loud on that particular subject. But in all of that, I find at least one actionable step I can take to solve the problem. It’s a banner day when I come up with three or four possible solutions, but even one method for solving my issue is good enough. Besides, it’s easier to put just one idea into practice anyway.

When I put one of these steam-of-consciousness-generated solutions into practice, it almost always makes an immediate impact. In my opinion, this proves that most unconscious issues have an unconscious solution lying around in your brain alongside it. You just need to do a little digging.

Try starting a free writing session with a question that’s been nagging at you. It could be about writer’s block, weight loss, your relationships, your bank statement or anything at all. As long as you trust yourself to write without censorship during your session, you’re bound to find at least one solution to your unconscious issue.

Try a session on for size and discuss what you come up with in the comments!

About the Author

Bryan Cohen is an author, a creativity coach and an actor. His new book, 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts, Volume 2: More Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More is now available on Amazon in digital and paperback format. His other books include 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts, The Post-College Guide to Happiness, and Ted Saves the World. He has published over 30 books, which have sold more than 20,000 copies in total. Connect with him on his website, Build Creative Writing Ideas, on Facebook or on Twitter

1,000 Creative Writing Prompts Volume 2 Cover

In honor of his new book, Bryan is hosting the “1,000 Prompts, 1,000 Dollars” Writing Contest on his website. Click the link to find out how to enter!  Click the next link to check out the rest of Cohen’s blog tour!

 

Dreams and the creation of music, by Travis Wernet

Today, I’m delighted to welcome my first musician in the House of Dreams. Travis Wernet is a professional dream teacher with three studio albums under his own name and musical moniker ‘Outlaw Dervish.’

Simone Weil called attention prayer. I think she was onto something. When we listen to music we are paying a special consideration to sound. Over recent years I’ve become increasingly observant of how, when I am dreaming, I seem to be engaged in an attentively mindful space of awareness. As a musician, there are even ways that I see how I’ve got to give attentiveness to the instruments I am playing. This serves the evocation of sounds that feel the most fulfilling as they emerge, seemingly out of the invisible ethers surrounding the instruments in the space where I am creating. How similar this seems to my experience of the way dreams appear!

In my experience, dreams can influence the creation of music, they can feature and contain music and, as it turns out, music also influences the creation of dreams.

While recording the didjeridu tracks for my meditation album, Yoro Yoro,  dreams synergized with the work we did in the studio one day. As we gathered tonalities for various songs, I remembered a dream from the previous night.

In the dream I am in the company of three aboriginal people… The first, a tribal elder, invites me to spear fish with him. Next, I see a woman and a man who are sitting in the ocean meditating. I notice all this and then the scene becomes somehow ethereal. I drift up into space and see the earth, which shape-shifts into what I know are the call letters for a radio station “K Be Radio”. Upon witnessing this I float back down to earth and witness a peaceful scene near the sunny seaside where softly blowing sands mix with waving grasses in the wind.

At the time we were recording, the energy of this dream supported a fluid ability to get what are called “one-takes” for the songs we were crafting. This simply means that in the studio, the first effort to add the didjeridu tracks turned out to be the most satisfying to our ears, minds and hearts. The tone of our collaboration in this sense felt effortless and energizing. Exactly what we wanted for the meditation album! The ambience of connection with the meditators and the vision of the globe, as well as the hint at an aura of pure being, with the “it’s okay to be” radio station, all added a felt dimension to our project.

Beyond this, I can see over recent years how that dream was helping to set the stage for current creative endeavors. I’ve become very fascinated with and involved in musical dream incubation. This is the use of certain kinds of sounds and music to invite and receive helpful, healing dreams. Alas, that’s a story for another time.

Receiving and imagining the dream of “the Three Aboriginals and K Be Radio” has also afforded me the message of a deep spiritual experience which set me on a path of renewed authenticity wherein I have sought to tune myself to the frequencies of who I am at an essential level. In addition the dream has inspired me to share its messages with others, through music and my work with dreams.

Travis Wernet
Travis Wernet

Following years of international travel, co-leading ceremonies from the Great Pyramid in Egypt to the Lotus Temple in New Delhi, Travis shares his work at home in the US and offers online video dream groups, workshops and private sessions. To find out more about his work, check out his blog and website

‘Dreams, therapy and creativity are at the heart of my work’ – in conversation with Brenda Mallon

I met Brenda Mallon at a conference of children’s authors and she kindly agreed to read the MS of my book, ‘Writing in the House of Dreams’ and to be interviewed for this blog.

Brenda has over thirty years experience of working with dreams as a researcher, teacher and therapist. She has written 18 books on the subject, presented a Channel Four series ‘In your Dreams’ and sat on the board of directors of the International Association for the Study of Dreams.

Brenda in her study
Brenda in her study

Could you tell us a bit about your own personal journey in dreams, Brenda? How and why did you start to remember them, and how has your relationship with dreams developed over the years?

I can recall dreams from my childhood that have stayed with me. I was probably influenced to some extent by my mother. She talked about her dreams and had dreams which were precognitive. She didn’t call them that but would say, ‘You watch, it will happen.’ I think she was psychic in many ways and dreams were just one aspect of that ability. So, over the years I was fascinated by dreams . When I was completing my  Diploma in Counselling I based my dissertation dreams. I  recorded and worked on my dreams over a sixth month period and was amazed by what  they revealed. After that I wanted to focus on working with and researching dreams and to find out what other people’s dreams meant to them, so when I wasn’t working in my full time job in the Child Guidance Centre, I was sending out questionnaires and interviewing woman about their dreams. Over 900 woman took part and the findings were covered in my first book ‘Women Dreaming’ which was published by Harper Collins.

I greatly enjoyed your Channel 4 series, ‘In your dreams.’ Could you talk about how you work with dreams as a therapist?

Thanks, I enjoyed working on the series and meeting such a variety of people who were not coming for therapy but to discuss their dream life in general.

As a therapist, my role, I believe, it to accompany people as they seek to find a way to resolve issues that are distressing and to help them find their own way forward. I generally ask clients to write down their dreams when they recall them and to bring them to the sessions. I should add here, that not all clients do remember their dreams so I work in other ways if that is the case. When a client talks about a dream I ask them if they can make a connections to their waking life and explore the emotional aspects of the dream as well as the symbolic significance of the content. Sometimes, I ask the client to draw their dream and use that as a basis for our work. These techniques, including recording your dreams, using metaphors and symbols, taking the dream forward and dream amplification are detailed in ‘The Dream Bible’ (Godsfield/Octopus)

I like working with dreams because they empower the client to work on their own dreams once they get used to the techniques. This can take just a few sessions and it is something they can  access on their own for the rest of their lives, if they wish to. Also, I have specialized in working with people who have been bereaved and, in many cases, dreams can bring great comfort. They form part of the continuing bond we have with those who have died. In ‘Dying, Death and Grief: Working with adult bereavement’ (SAGE) I show how valuable such dreams can be.

As a children’s author, I’m interested in your work with children’s dreams. What would you say are the main differences between talking with children about their dreams and talking with adults?

I think younger children are more open to talking about their dreams and less concerned about how others might view them. I remember, one four year old I spoke to told me that dreams were ‘pictures in my pillow’. His dreams were in his pillow which came into his head when he slept. (In fact, I later used it in ‘Children Dreaming: Pictures in my pillow’ (Penguin). So, small children feel they have little if any control over dreams and their content and are less defensive than adults sometimes are.

Children are usually happy to enter into the playful aspect of dream work. For example, a girl whose brother had died, had a distressing dream in which a lion came into her bedroom and wanted to eat her and her brother, who was alive in the dream, She talked about what frightened her and how she was sad that her brother no longer came into her room to play.  She drew the dream, including the fierce lion. I asked her what she would change in the dream if she could change it. She thought for a while and said, ‘The lion could turn out to be nice and then it could go away. I could play with my brother again and that would be lovely.’ So, we talked about what they would play and games they used to play. She then did another drawing of herself and her bother playing as they had done in the past. She knew her brother was dead and would not return to her home and family but talking about him and playing with him gave her comfort and a chance to recall happy times in the past, which is part of the grieving and healing process.

Working with adults is also a pleasure. Adults however may have more pre-conceived ideas about dream interpretation which may lead to being more guarded about what dreams they share. However, once they understand dreams are powerful tools to help them through their crisis or distress, they truly value them, even those nightmare ‘wake up’ calls.

This blog is mostly about using dreams as a creative resource. I know you also teach creativity and writing workshops – do dreams feature in that work as well?

Artists, writers, scientists, musicians and actors speak of the importance of dreams as a source of creativity. I use dreams in my own writing and many members of the creative writing courses I teach use dreams as the springboard for their writing. Sometimes an image will be so vivid that the  dreamer cannot get it out of their mind. This kernel of an idea then grows to encompass characters, plot, further imagery and a developed story line. In other cases, the whole story or song appears in the dream. Robin Gibb, of the Bee Gees, told me his song ‘Stayin’ Alive’ came in one of his dreams as did Paul McCartney’s ‘Yesterday’.

I include sections on creative writing and creative dreaming in ‘A Year of Creativity’ (MQ Publications) as I think dreams are central to our creativity.  The more we pay attention to our internal treasure trove of dreams the more enriched we are.

A Year of Creativity

Who is your favourite author on the subject of dreams?

I like the work of Kelly Bulkeley, Robert Van De Castle and Patricia Gardfield. All members of the International Association for the Study of Dreams who have made vitally important , accessible contributions to the understanding of dreams. Also, Carl Gustav Jung, who could leave him out!

And your favourite book?

This is a hard one to answer. Probably because it is one of the earliest books I read that introduced me to the significance of symbolism in dreams is ‘Man and His Symbols’ by C.G. Jung.

As an author yourself, which of your own books are you most glad to have written?

Another difficult question! As a therapist, I think ‘Dreams, Counselling and Healing’ was an important book because I was able to put down my experience of working with clients and to show how powerful working with dreams is and to share techniques so others could use them.  My latest dream book ‘The Dream Experience: Your complete dream workshop in a book ‘, which includes a CD featuring exercises and inspirational music, is interactive and is, I hope, a guide to deepen  awareness of the creative heart of dreaming.

 Dream experience 2

You can find out more about Brenda on her website http://www.brendamallon.com/

Guest post: Writing in the space between sleeping and waking

My guest in the House of Dreams this month is the author Alison Boyle, who attended one of my workshops a while ago. I love the idea of ‘writing in the space between sleeping and waking.’

Alison Boyle

In the space between sleeping and waking I found a way of expressing the internal voice of a main character in my latest book ‘from Pakistan to Preston’.

‘From Pakistan to Preston’

Most of the narrative is in the third person, and I’d been looking for a convincing internal voice for Tommy O’Reilly that exposed the indecisions whirring round his head. Tommy’s self-expressive flights, which I scribbled on scraps of paper at the moment they occurred to me and not a moment later, bring a change of tone and perspective to the story. Through this voice I hope that readers feel they understand – and feel – Tommy’s struggles in loving Sunehri Saleem.

The rest of the book is quite grounded, featuring the unusual work setting of an artificial silk factory in the North of England.

I found that the signposts in Jenny’s dream workshop allowed me to travel a little more confidently down some imaginative pathways I had only tentatively explored through my writing before. The biggest surprise was finding that her workshop didn’t activate a warning beep on my ‘Is this new age nonsense?’ monitor.

At the Manchester Literature Festival, Northern Debuts

from Pakistan to Preston by A.T. Boyle is published by Artificial Silk. You can see a 2-minute trailer here artificialsilk.org/video.html  and read about Alison’s event at the Manchester Literary Festival here http://manchesterliterature.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/very-well-placed.html

Have you ever found the answer to a creative conundrum in a writing workshop?

Why you should not spurn your daemon!

The award-winning author Susan Price and I are exchanging emails at the moment for a future entry on the ‘A conversation with’ page on her blog. By a delightful synchronicity, her latest response was a perfect illustration of the blog post I had just written last week, and she has agreed to let me publish it here.

Susan Price
 

There was a time in my life, when I was denying that ‘other’in my head, when I think my subconscious very deliberately worked against me.

I would say something quite innocent to someone – ‘Hello, how are you?’ for instance – and hear myself saying it in a tone, or with an inflexion that completely changed the meaning and made it insulting or aggressive. I had absolutely no conscious intention of insulting anyone, and would be as astonished as the person I’d just offended – but, of course, what could I say? – ‘I didn’t mean it like that! – That came out wrong!’

Sometimes people were polite, but I’d just bitten their heads off for no good reason. It was impossible to explain that the voice they’d just heard wasn’t mine. They would have thought I was mad. I occasionally thought I was mad.

I was at logger-heads with what I now call ‘my daemon’ because I was refusing to acknowledge that it existed, and so it fought me all the way. I would be writing something and would decide to make some change to the plot. What I now call the daemon would object, but I would refuse to listen because I didn’t recognise its voice. I put it down to a mere passing thought, and brushed it off because at that time I was certain that there was only one voice in my head: the ‘I’ voice, which I would now call ‘the editor’.

The daemon took its revenge by withdrawing. The piece of writing I was working on would turn to stone, or dry up, or fall over dead – whatever image you want to use. I had to learn that with writing – or, I think, any art – the daemon does the real work! The Editor may make some great editing decisions, once the real work is finished, but shouldn’t be allowed to interfere with the daemon.

A vengeful, spurned daemon is a dangerous thing, I think. Mine not only stymied my every effort at writing, it played those tricks to embarrass me. It was ingenious at finding ways to make such remarks as,“Yes, please,” and “Yes, I’ve heard of that,” nasty and cutting.

I had to learn that talk of ‘muses’ and ‘daemons’ was not the arty-farty nonsense I thought it, but simply a way of talking about something that we don’t quite understand, and don’t have an everyday vocabulary for. I began to solve problems with writing by summarising the problem and saying to the daemon,‘Solve this for me.’ And it did! The more I trusted it, the faster and more inventively it solved the problems.

I started to give way to it. If it insisted that a particular character should – or shouldn’t – die, I no longer argued, but humbly worked with it to make it so. I discovered that the more I worked with and trusted the daemon, the friendlier it became. It stopped playing those tricks on me!

As a result, I paid it more attention and ‘heard’ it more clearly. I started to see how a piece of writing that I’d ‘made up as I went along’ had sub-texts planted in it, and other subtleties that ‘I’ hadn’t written – so who had? And then I read Kipling’s description of his ‘daemon’ and knew what he was talking about right away.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this taster, watch out for our full conversation on Susan’s blog in the coming weeks. You may also like to check out her ‘Muse Monday’ guest post on Katherine Roberts’ lovely blog, Reclusive Muse, where she descibes her daemon and quotes the passage from Rudyard Kipling she refers to here.

Guest post: From making sense… to exploring the unconscious

Penny Babies, by Melanie Benn

Melanie Benn

I love to dream, whether I’m asleep or looking out of a window. My dreams range from the mundane, as if sifting through a cupboard of the day’s events, to something more arcane. Sometimes I see an image or a scene, coupled with a strong emotion.

Once I dreamt I was standing on a shore at night, surrounded by rocks and watching tiny mouths in the water, gasping for air. I tried to scoop them out by turning my skirt into a cradle. I struggled to save them.

St Mary’s Church, Reculver
Some time later a local BBC radio station runs a competition and offers up the first line of a story: ‘Even now, the local historians speak of strange occurrences at St. Mary’s Church, Reculver’. I remember seeing the tall towers of this well-known landmark, standing next to the sea and I go off to do some research. I find reports of it being haunted, something more than wind sweeping round the church walls but babies crying.  I remember my dream and the second line comes to me: ‘sounds of crying or cooing they say, depending on your state of mind’.

Soon I start to weave the tale of shipwrecked babies, floating on the tide. ‘When they washed up on the shore they looked just like dolls,’ my Grandmother told me. ‘Like penny babies. Their bodies white and shiny, like alabaster, tied up in those long thin strips of cloth; not much bigger than the apron on my dress.’

‘Their bodies white and shiny, like alabaster…’

The story’s chosen and broadcast and then later produced for a stage version by a storytelling group in London. It occurs to me that our minds do more than just function when they are able to make connections; they begin to create. We’re able to move from just making sense of everyday events to exploring the unconscious.

Robert Moss, a writer and fascinating dream weaver says that dreams provide an ‘open vista’ of possibilities and for me, the way a story can come together feels like magic! But maybe it’s also the ability to re-imagine that holds the key. My dream brought with it an incredible feeling of sadness as I tried in vain to help the young lives drowning in the water. It spoke to me on another level and started me on a path to transform that feeling. A short story is just one way we might use our imagination to fuse different ideas together and bring something forward.

Melanie has an MA in Writing for Children and has been a previous winner of the London Writer’s Competition. She’s published in several anthologies and Penny Baby is now available to download from the short story mobile platform, Ether Books.

http://www.thewhiterabbit.org.uk/projects/are-you-sitting-comfortably/

http://etherbooks.com/

Guest post: The worlds where dreams may take us

Flying with Fairies, by Bob Cherny

Bob Cherney

We can analyze our dreams for what they say about us, fear them for what they might mean, take them for more than they are, merely enjoy them or follow them into the worlds where they may take us.

My book “Flying with Fairies” is this last. Born of a single brilliant full-color image, the first chapter turned into a second and then into a novel and then into a series. This book was a departure from what I had written previously and is unlike anything I have written since. But then, the dream that inspired it stood out from the other dreams for its visual clarity and symbolic obscurity. It was an opportunity to be exploited and a challenge to be faced. It spoke of pleasure and of hard work at the same time.

“Gatorbait”, a short story published in a Florida based regional publication, was also based on a single image. Where “Fairies” was based on a mid-air collision between a fairy and a flying human, “Gatorbait” was based on a young rodeo competitor and her flying horse.

I have a first chapter of a spy thriller that was so completely formed in my mind when I woke up, I could wait two days before writing it down. I have no idea what I will do with that chapter, but it’s there in case of whatever.

Everyone dreams, but remembering and exploiting dreams takes a willingness to step into a place where few of us are comfortable going. If you wish to write, go there. Take the risk. Exorcise the demons by writing them down and capturing them on the printed page where they can no longer do you any harm.

Do not work for your dreams. Make them work for you.

http://stagewalker.embarqspace.com/

My thanks to Bob for this glimpse into a wonderful dreaming and writing life, and for his insightful comments about exorcising personal demons by capturing them on the printed page. 

How do you make your dreams work for you?