Anyone who’s read about my novel, “When the Moon Is Gibbous and Waxing,” knows how important dreams are to my writing. The entire first scene is a nightmare I had many years ago. It made me think about stereotyping, passing judgment, love, forgiveness, and the nature of evil. Eventually the main character walked into my head, introduced herself, and demanded I write her story.
Now I’m working on a sweet romance that came to me in another dream. I know the dream was the result of something my mother said to me about a week before she died and is based on an event in her life. But then it took off in a new and strange direction. I parked it in the back of my head. Then a couple of weeks ago, I dreamed the title and couldn’t put it off any longer. It’s about half done, I think.
I keep a notebook of plot ideas. Sometimes an idea can come from a casual comment. Repeating the quote usually attributed to Mark Twain, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it,” and running across a verse in the Bible about where to find God led to a trilogy of novelettes I’m now writing. (Book one finished, book two started.) So although I also get ideas from things I read in newspapers and books, most of them come from dreams. Dreams are a vital part of my writing process.
I also find it interesting that allowing my dream room to grow into a published novel led to the fulfillment of another long-standing dream. I was at a mystery writers and readers conference in Chicago last month. My novel had just become available in paperback, and I’d furnished copies to the bookstore. I stopped by to check on sales, and a total stranger walked up and asked me to autograph a copy she’d just bought.
Dreams don't get much better than that.