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March, 2016

Dreams and Inspiration

by Webmaster

In addition to poetry and songs, I've written a long novel and a short novella. I tell myself stories at night, when I can't go to sleep. Last year, I started wrting them down.

I've been stressed out. May through December last year was a series of "adventures," from my neighbor bulldozing my property to a woman hitting my parked car, from a bullet hole in the windshield of my truck to a trip to the hospital in an ambulance.

I started this year overloaded with things I promised to do and mountain of things I haven't had the time or energy to do. Something had to give. It seems, that something was my writing.

I gave myself two weeks away from everything. I didn't go on vacation. I had a stay-cation. I stayed in bed and read and slept. I didn't even answer email.

What happened?

I wrote two cowboy poems last week. Over the weekend, I had a dream which became several pages of a synopsis of a new novel, in a genre completely different than my previous two books.

I don't know where the ideas come from. Sometimes, mine come from dreams. If I'm lucky, I remember a line which becomes a hook in a song. I've never had an idea for a book come to me so completely before. I'm excited about writing it. I want to know how it turns out.

Last month I wrote about writing as catharsis. Anything we get emotional about is fodder for a song or poem or book or article. In December, I wrote about what inspires creativity. What we read and hear can inspire us.

Our conscious brains get full. We have to shut out or forget certain things, so we can concentrate on the important things: driving, feeding ourselves and our family, making money, paying bills.

But our subconscious mind hears, sees, tastes, smells, and feels everything. It remembers everything. It finds ways to communicate with us. It sends us dreams and sudden ideas for songs and poems and books, or paintings and photographs.

We can use these ideas the way we want. We make conscious decisions about what to do with the ideas our conscious mind sends us. I woke up with a desire to write a poem last week. I had a vague idea that it was about a bull or bronc rider at a rodeo. Instead of getting out of bed, I grabbed a pen and tablet (I keep them by my bed), and wrote.

Two days ago, I woke with a sentence from a dream. My first thought was, "Remember this sentence." I did. "Blackstreet and Dun Pandamaniam street dope." I did NOT write it down. I hope I'll forget it, now that I've written it here.

But, it reminded me of something that happened when I was around 10 or 11 years old. I dreamt I heard the funniest joke in the world. I was so excited, I work up and grabbed paper and a pencil from my desk. I stood at the windowsill so I could write down the funniest joke in the world without disturbing my family. I went back to sleep, secure in the knowledge that I'd captured the funniest joke in the world.

The next morning, I woke up, excited to read the funniest joke in the world. I grabbed the paper and read the joke. Some of my handwriting was illegible. Some words were written over others. What words I could deciper were nonsense. Some were not even words, just a bizarre combination of random syllables.

I did not capture the funniest joke in the world. But I told the story to a friend and he thinks that story is the funniest story he's ever heard.

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