December 7, 2009
I once wrote a novel called Waking Dream. For a long time (until Bad Blood) it was the novel I was proudest of. I think that’s because I live in dreams.
When I was little I didn’t have a lot of friends who “made things up”. Maybe that was just my group of friends but it was always a surprise to me when someone admitted to “telling themselves stories” or were willing to play a “make believe” or “let’s pretend” game. It was surprise because most of the time my schoolmates and classmates and other contemporaries were alarmingly literal. After about age 10 it was virtually impossible to get any of my friends to play with dollshouses, action figures or the most basic of imaginative games. Approaching secondary school I found myself doomed to a life of gossip and chatting and no more make-believe.
Even my reading friends were too old to play out games. Instead we turned to writing shared world stories or sharing book recommendations. Everything in text because our school didn’t prmote drama. Then later at a school that did promote drama, putting on a play. But forever the world of make believe, true make believe, was lost to us by then.
The play’s the thing to catch the conscience of a king
But when does the wild rumpus begin?
Make believe exists in dreams and as much as I live in a world of fantasy, I exist in dreams. I have, at times, kept a dream diary. But it’s virtually impossibile for me to capture every aspect that incorporates the reality of dreams. In Waking Dream, the novel, I tried. But in using a pastoral arcadian quest story mythic resonance canvas I missed out so much of what dreams are about. The missed train, the unpacked bag, the doors in walls; there’s just so much I could have said in that novel and didn’t have the space for.
So, just to begin with, some dreams I’ve mentioned in places elsewhere:
- The Tooth dream
- In this dream there is a problem with my teeth, they are crumbling out of my mouth and although I try to put them back in they won’t go.
- The Packing dream
- In this dream I am staying somewhere on holiday and need to pack to leave. But the room is full of things belonging to me, I have no sensible packing materials, not enough cases, and then I realise that there are bookshelves full of books and tonnes of fragile ornaments and bits and pieces of stuff that I can’t possibly get packed in time. For bonus points I have my cat with me (and no cat carrier). For extra bonus points I have multiple cats.
- The School dream
- In this dream I am back in school or college. I am behind on lessons, I need to study, I am late for class but I don’t know what my time table is and I can’t find my way around the buildings. (This dream can be linked to the Moving House dream or the Bus that never seems to get anywhere dream.)
- The Moving House dream
- In this dream I have moved out of my lovely house and into much less suitable accommodation. I am living with a bunch of poorly-chosen people in a house where there are not enough rooms and some of us will have to share rooms or beds. Only then do I notice an entire wall of the house is missing and replaced with clingfilm or some equally unsuitable and structurally-lacking substance. (This dream is sometimes combined with the Gate Crasher dream)
- The Gate Crasher dream
- In this dream I am having a party and it has been gate-crashed by some people I either know but do not like or don’t know at all. They won’t go and when I try to get them to leave they laugh at me, they take over my bedroom and start using/breaking my stuff. I ask my friends to help but they think it’s funny.
- Rooms opening into other rooms dream
- I am in a house, possbly a new house that I’ve just moved into, and discover new rooms that I did not wot of through unexpected doors. This can be a positive thing unless those rooms are occupied by confused or aggressive strangers who did not realise their house connects to mine
- Flying powers are failing and can only slightly float dream
- Everyone loves to fly but sometimes my flying dreams don’t work and then I bob about ineffectually.
- On a bus that never seems to get anywhere dream
- For bonus point combined with Failing At University dream
- People I know have been replaced by doppelgangers dream
- Creepy dream in which the people I love behave inconsistantly with how I;d wish to believe they’d behave in real life.
- Witch can see into my mind and is going to come and get me dream
- See Ghost of a Chance, coming in 2011 from OUP
- Not Enough Pies dream
- In this dream I am making a quantity of food for myself and others. When the time comes to serve there isn’t enough to go around.
- Eating Weird Objects dream
- In this I am for some reason able to consume things one would not normally think of food. Last night it was a light-bulb. I don’t like this dream because it makes my throat feel sore and I can taste the lightbulb and feel the glass crunching when I bite it. It burns.