by Gina Sestak
Where do your stories come from? Do they spring fully formed into you mind, or do you have to spend days, weeks, or years weaving the plot by hand? If you're anything like me, you've answered, "Both." The idea may come by magic, but the fun part of translating that idea into words can take awhile.
J.K. Rowling claims she got the idea for her Harry Potter series while riding on a train. Misery came to Stephen King on an airplane. You don't have to travel to come up with ideas, though. Every night, every one of us creates fiction in our sleep. We dream.
According to the first on-line dictionary Google found under the term Dictionary, "dream" can mean a succession of images, thoughts or emotions passing through the mind during sleep. "Dream" may also mean an aspiration or goal. For example, this video illustrates the first meaning: These Dreams. This video illustrates the second: Dream On.
[Aside: Has anybody else noticed that the button for embedding videos has disappeared?]
Regular readers know that I post every summer about attending a dream conference, the annual meeting of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD). Over the past few years, IASD conferences have been held in Washington, Berkeley, Bridgewater, Copenhagen, Sonoma, Montreal, and Chicago, all great places to visit.
It may surprise you to know that I'm attending another IASD conference right now, from the comfort of my computer room. No airlines to fool with, no hotel rooms to reserve, no passports to renew -- this conference is taking place solely in cyberspace.
The PsiberDream Conference is a yearly on-line event that mirrors the annual conference in all ways but one -- nobody goes anywhere to attend it. Dreamers from around the world meet on the internet and that, I think, is the fulfillment of the second kind of dream. Next to PsiberDreaming, the slow exchange of hand-written letters seems as antiquated as Hogwarts mail which, as many of you know, requires the use of owls. To our ancestors who relied on ships to carry messages, the kind of instant communication we enjoy must have seemed like an unattainable dream. And so, I'm communicating with the world about dreams from within a dream. Who knew?