by Gina Sestak
Do you remember your dreams?
Dreams come in the night to entertain or frighten us. Dreams help us to process information, understand the past, and, possibly, foretell the future. Dreams inspire our writing.
One week ago today, I returned from attending the 24th annual conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams in Sonoma, California. Three hundred-odd (some very odd) people came from all over the world to spend five days studying dreams from every conceivable angle. Nearly 150 seminars, workshops, and meetings were held, ranging from hard science to the woo-woo. Presenters included professors and shamans, ministers and dancers, psychologists and artists. Days began with dream sharing groups at 8 a.m. The final presentations ended at 9:30 p.m., followed by parties -- wine tasting, group drumming, a costume ball. It was overwhelming, but wonderful.
I attended many seminars and workshops, including one entitled Dreaming Into Creative Writing. Try this:
Pick a strong character from your dreams and spend eight minutes writing non-stop about that character. Then spend eight minutes writing as that character. Finally, imagine that character taken out of the dream setting and riding on a flying carpet. Spend eight minutes letting that character describe what s/he sees, feels, etc.
I used a character who has appeared in only one of my dreams, a sleeping woman who sits at a desk and writes with a lacquer pen that never runs dry. Imagine my surprise when, awakened and whisked away on a flying carpet, she cussed me out for disturbing her!
Have your dreams inspired your writing, or helped you to find a solution to a writing problem?
If you are interested in learning more about your dreams, come join our local dream workshop.