Monday, September 12, 2011

Crazy Dreams



I'm a dreamer. Most novelists are, I suppose, but the kind of dreaming I'm talking about here are night dreams, the ones we can't control. I know there have been a lot of books written about dreams and how to interpret them, but I'm not sure how much I buy the psychology behind dreams. Sometimes I think my brain just needs to play.

I have multiple dreams every night, most of which I remember upon waking. And I even start to dream before I'm fully asleep these days. In fact, that's how I know I'm close to falling asleep--I start to see dream people or scenes. Just little snippets.

My reason for writing this blog, though, is to know more about your dreams. I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours, as it were.

One of the weirdest things about my dreams, to me at least, is that every single time I dream I'm in my house (which is fairly often), it's nothing like my house, or like any other house I've ever dreamed about. The setting is different, the layout, the decor. Sometimes it's much larger than my real house, sometimes far smaller. I'm beginning to think I have a frustrated architect lurking in my subconscious. Why does my mind keep creating new houses? It doesn't make any sense to me, not when I've lived in this one for thirteen years and I both live and work here. You'd think that just once I'd dream my real house. But no. Never. It's always some place I've never seen.

The actual dreams themselves are sometimes the usual 'I need to be somewhere and can't seem to get there' dreams. But more often than not, they're crazy. And in a weird way, fun.

Two nights ago, I dreamed I was in a group getting ready to run a race. A marathon-type road race, I think. My mom was standing beside me in lime green high heels and I was in flip flops, thinking we hadn't prepared for this very well. The race was indoors, but not on any kind of straight track. The track was dirt and quickly disappeared from sight after the first length which was at a solid forty-five degree angle to the ground. And, okay, climbing a forty-five degree angle dirt incline with no hand holds would have been tough, if not downright impossible, but this was my dream. Just as the race began and my mother went zipping up that incline in her lime green high heels, all these rats and mice started pouring down the path as if looking for an escape. My mom's terrified of mice, so I was glad she hadn't seen them, but it occurred to me that animals escaping like that probably meant we were about to experience a natural disaster, probably another earthquake. I shrugged, decided I could run pretty fast, and headed after Mom.

In last night's dream, I was in a house with several others. We'd realized, too late, that the aliens/monsters were in there, but there was no escape. Our only chance of survival was to lie down amongst the bodies littering the floor, pretend we were dead, and hope they couldn't tell that we weren't. I remember thinking that most of the bodies were lying on their backs, but there was no way I could fake it like that, so I laid down on my stomach, partially hiding my face. After awhile, my DH, who had followed the monsters out, came back to tell us they were gone. Now, this should have been a nightmare, but I don't see dreams in detail, not full detail, at least. I see snippets and my brain fills in the rest. I never saw the dead bodies except out of the corner of my eye, and then only a hand or face here and there, and no blood. I remember thinking I was breathing too hard. The monsters would know I wasn't dead. But my heart wasn't racing. I wasn't really afraid. It wasn't real enough to scare me, just real enough to be kind of exciting.

I have these kinds of dreams all the time. The latter, especially, I call my action/adventure dreams and I love them.

Oh, and another thing. Sometimes, in my dreams, I'm one of the teenagers. Sometimes one of the adults. And it can flip in the same dream.

What about you? What I really want to know is, do you create new architecture with every dream, like I do? Do you dream you're a teen (if you're not any longer)? Tell me anything about your dreams (even that you don't remember them) and I'll choose three posters to get a signed copy of Hunger Untamed.

Happy dreaming!


Tracey O'Hara said...

I am exactly the same. I don't have nightmares as such, well not the monster dreams. I have several story ideas from dreams. Sometimes I am a lucid dreamer. I know I am dreaming and can manipulate the dream. Not all the time - just some times.

Sharon Stogner said...

Unfortunately I don't sleep well enough to dream often (or at least remember them), which is kind of sad because I miss it. When I do remember I am always in a collage setting. Sometimes I am a student, sometimes a teacher. I am trying to solve some sort of mystery.

Maybe you dream about different houses because you have so many different characters living in your head .

Casey H said...

I don't remember ever building a brand new house in any of my dreams. But I do have some really crazy dreams.

The other night, I dreamed I was sitting in the front seat of a truck when Rob Thurman appeared next to the window. Except in my dream, she was blind and riding on a black mechanical horse. She was looking for my boyfriend (because they were best friends) and after thinking to myself that I'd have to kick his butt for not telling me he was best friends with one of my favorite authors, I told her I'd take her to where he was staying. She grabbed my hand then and sniffed it before telling me to get on the back of her horse. I woke up right after that.

Honestly, that's not even my craziest dream ever, but it was fun to "meet" Rob. *grin*

Amy Valentini said...

I suspect a dream expert would have a field day reading this blog but I dream similiarly to you, Pamela, in that my dreams tend to be located in the same place but they are never quite the same from one dream to the next. Mine are generally located in a place (my home or school) from when I was teenager. Sometimes, I'm teen me involved in the dream and other times, I'm the adult me watching. I have many very weird dreams but the other night, I dreamt I was caught in a flooded roadway but the water was whipped cream ... woke up laughing at that one. I suppose I dreamt about flooding because I drove home Thurs nite in that awful rain from Lee - was very relieved to get home - but the whipped cream? Only a dream expert knows why. LOL!! My fave dreams are the ones that include an incredibly sexy man and we have sex in many unusual places ... does that mean I'm sexually frustrated or I've just got a dirty mind?? ; )

alainala said...

i have very strange dreams usually.. like im at a tea party and all the guests are like frogs and snakes and hedgehogs all dressed in their finery.. other times i dream im birdwatching and catch birds doing unusual things

Sullivan McPig said...

I don't invent new buildings, but have some archetypical buildings that keep returning in my dreams.

When I dream about a library for example, it's always the library I went to as a kid.
Or when I dream about work, it always takes place in the school I went to as a teenager.

Stuff like that.

angel said...

There is always something the same in my dreams, whether its the people or buildings.
The strange thing about my dreams is that they like to continue where they left off the last time. It may not be till days later but they start from where i left them.

stephanie said...

I love dreaming. When I was younger, my dreams were always very lighthearted. Now, not so much, but each night when I go to sleep I hope for a light dream. Sometimes my dreams are so vivid w/ emotion, rather than visual detail, that I wake up thinking it was all real and my mood will be effected for the whole day..for example .dreams (or nightmares) when I am fighting for survival cause me to awake at night in real fear and then I can't go back to sleep. I have also dealt with.a day filled w/ guilt for w/ someone besides my husband in my dream. Then there are the dreams where i show up to work naked. As for my surroundings, they are always familiar while I am in the dream, but never resemble the reality.

Amy Valentini said...

Stephanie, you shouldn't feel guilty about having sex with someone other than your husband in your dreams ... it's imaginary. Of course, if you're having sex in your dreams with someone you know personally in real life then you might have a problem. Unrequited issues perhaps. I'm married too and have absolutely no guilt about having sex with imaginary lovers even if they are celebrities ... it's my subconscious and not real. I would never cheat on my man. Btw, I've had that naked dream, too, only I'm back at school and late for the final exam and didn't go to class all semester on top of being naked. Talk about stress dream. LOL!!! : )

Amy Plum said...

Pamela - I have a lot of dreams like the one you mentioned where monsters/assassins are in the house or chasing me and I have to lie flat down on the floor and pretend I'm dead. And the last one like that my son and I had to lie really flat side-by-side because they were shooting through the house low to the ground so we were making ourselves as FLAT as possible.

But one of my worst recurring dreams is being chased through my house (which is nothing like MY house, but rather like a haunted Victorian mansion) by beings in long cloaks with hoods and red eyes.

Who knows what it all means, but it sure is adrenaline-packed! (Great blog post!)

Julie said...

I don't usually remember my dreams, but what I do remember upon waking is a sense of continuity--I seem to have those dreams that continue their story night after night, like a TV show. They usually involve people I know in real life, as well. I'm just thankful that I don't really have nightmares!

Jessica @ a GREAT read said...

Generally I can't remember my dreams. I can recall fragments of them when I wake up but they fade away pretty quickly. Lately some of them have been involving people from high school, which was 5 years ago for me. They're crazy! I can never remember what happens but there are times when I am unconsciously aware of them or something because I remember in one I said something out loud and heard myself say it, was even thinking that I needed to say it because I was asked a question!

But yeah, mine are pretty weird. And that's just what I can remember!

Kershia said...

I don't dream that often and when I do, I normally don't remember what happened, just that something strange and/or different happened. If it's a really good dream I try to repeat it to myself a lot to see if I'll remember it later. The ones I really hate are the ones where I feel like I'm falling and I wake up when I'm supposed to hit the ground. It jolts me awake and I wake up scared, disoriented and with my heart beating a mile a minute.

Chelsea B. said...

My dreams are very random, and very realistic. Sometimes I will even have to ask people if something I dreamed of really happened, because I just can't be sure :-) I have only had a monster nightmare once, that I can remember. It was about that creepy chick from The Ring...

Amy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy said...

Pamela, I love how you phrased the question as "create new architecture with every dream"! This concept totally describes the movie Inception (and it is a really fascinating and awesome movie that I highly recommend). I don't dream as much as when I was younger, perhaps due to almost never getting enough sleep nowadays. Sometimes the nightmares feel so real that I breathe so heavily when I wake up. When I have a good dream, I cling onto the feeling for the whole day afterwards, even if I don't remember the details of the dream.


Na said...

I've noticed many of my dreams are living the what-ifs of my life. It's like I am haunted about my choices and I think it's influenced from my subscious. They do make me restless and challenge me to start something new or start something I have been putting off for a while. The dreams that I can deem nightmares and occurs rarely are those involving anything bad happening to a loved one. My worst fears and when I awake it's such a relief!

Cambonified {at} yahoo {dot} com

Pamela Palmer said...

I'm loving reading all of your answers! I've been nodding--'Yep, I've had that one, too. And that.' But, I'll tell you, I'm so glad to hear others' dreams are as weird as mine. The mind is a funny thing, isn't it?

Oh, and I loved the movie Inception! Talk about a mind-bender.

Jess said...

I have very vivid and weird dreams, most often than not about places I've never been. But the people are usually people I know. And they're in there at random. For instance I'll dream I'm in a school, but I won't be with my friends from school, but it'll be people from work or other friends who I never went to school with. I can dream I'm a teen again, or I could be much older, it's sooo random.
My most often uttered statement in the morning is "I had the weirdest dream last night" and my husband always says "you always have weird dreams".

I have done a bit of architecture in my dreams too. My husband and I had been discussing house plans for the dream house we'll build "one day", so I guess it was on my brain when I went to sleep. I remember dreaming of a block of land and in the four corners of the block were four very different houses. Three of the four I don't remember at all, but one has stuck with me and I can still remember it.

It was a tower, with the living area the top level - it was like one room with bed, kitchenette, bathroom. To get to that top level though, you entered the front downstairs and had to walk up one of those tightly spiralled staircases which was in the middle of the room. The walls which weren't curved round as you'd expect a tower to be, but more like a square - were lined with bookshelves and FILLED with books!
This section was lit with well placed lights, but was still dark-ish and had a wonderful atmosphere. The top level in contrast had windows on all sides and filled with natural light.

I hope to replicate this one day in our dream house, as it would be totally awesome - but I'm sure it's not architecurally sound or something.

Sara M said...

I rarely remember my dreams. We're talking like three to four a year. Very often, they're just beyond reach, like my brain wants me to remember but they've already fallen through the cracks.

But the best dreams I have remembered through the years have always involved me putting myself into the world of the books I read. When I was much younger, I put myself into the Animorphs series. And in high school, I dreamt I was Harry Potter's twin sister. As silly is this sound, they're a little more on the weird and twisted side. Lol.

I'm sure I dream every night, but I never remember the ones that don't involve books, which I find hilarious.

xander_316 said...

I am a big scrapbooker... so I am always dreaming of different layouts, photos to take, journal entries to write, different ways to manipulate paper and the list goes on and on.... however I do find that the ideas that I dream always end up being my favourite pages :) xander_316(at)hotmail(dot)com

Bonnie said...

I used to use the patch when I quit smoking and I had the best dreams. I also dream I'm in my house, but it's not. It's bigger or smaller, nicer, or a dump. One time I was in a shack trying to sleep and there were rats and big roaches biting my ankles (that was a nightmare.) I have some action ones too. I was being chased by Zombies into a warehouse where I found pink cupcakes that exploded when thrown. Antonio Banderas usually makes a guest appearance but I usually have to save him or any other hot male staring in my dreams from the villain. I do have one reoccurring dream. I'm in a dirt pit trying to climb out and just as I get to the top someone will walk up, I reach out to him and say "help me." They look down at me and take their foot and step on my head so I fall back down into the hole.
Well, those are my dreams.

Barbara E. said...

My dreams usually seem to be based on whatever movie, television show, or book I've recently seen or read. My mind bases the dream on that and then goes off in weird directions.

Barbed1951 at aol dot com

Dakota Banks said...

Very few of my dreams take place indoors--only the ones I specifically start by thinking about them as I'm falling asleep. The rest, the big majority, are in outdoor settings where something's always a little off. The lake is beige or the clouds are pink or the mountains have no snow. Sometimes it's more subtle than that. Odd, but fun.

Register domain said...

I definitely really liked this one. I think it had a different enough tone and message to be unique.

Thanks for pointing out that blog post -- it's always interesting to hear the writer's thoughts like that.domain registration india

Cheryl said...

Well, I dont drem often but when I do there mostly nightmares and re-occuring dreams. The re-occuring dreams bother me the most because they happen to me in life. When I was 7 I had dreams of me running my mom over in one of the trucks we had, after about a month it actually happened. I was terrified. When I go to buy a car I watch my entire family die in a black car with beige interior, guess what car I wont buy. I started having a re-occuring dream about a gun we had in the house for protection, we got rid of the gun. It sounds extremely weird and I probably sound a little freakish but I really dont like to dream.

Alicia0385 said...

My dream usually envole haveing a house full of screaming children and I'm burning dinner or the washing machine has blown up. I only have one boy but I think I'm scared to have a houseful of kids. One is the perfect number for me.


chelsey allen said...

well im chelsey andd im 13 i love hearrin about crazy dreams i love writing im writing a story called the dream andd i was looking for inspiration for my story and hearing all these dreams helped me write it very easly so thanks :)