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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Is Truth Stranger than Fiction?

Is Truth Stranger than Fiction?

I’ve always wanted to be one of those writers who dreams their story, gets out of bed and writes it. But no, I have weird dreams that are incoherent and tangled. Is there a magic way to get your mind to have logical dreams?

I actually did have one dream that turned into real life. I’d forgotten about it until the other day when True Love magazine sent a call out for essays on how you met your soul mate. I met mine in my dream when I was 14 years old. My cousins and I had heard if we counted seven stars for seven nights without missing a night you’d see your future mate in your dreams. If you had a night without stars or went to sleep too early you had to start over again.

Young teens are very gullible, so we decided we absolutely had to do this. In my dream I saw a blond man with military short hair and wearing a blue suit. But his face was blurry. I don’t know how many blonds I dated over the next five years, but instead of being that frog I would kiss and instantly get my Prince Charming, I kept dating toads.

At the ripe old age of 16, I thought for sure I’d found Prince Charming. My Dad thought for sure I was dating the devil himself. There was some truth to that. He drove a Harley and wore leather jackets. I still love the smell of leather. Unfortunately, my dad’s guy radar was on target. Prince Charming was a toad. 

When I was 18 years old and graduated high school I went to work at a supermarket. My Prince Charming actually found me. I thought he was full of it when he told me he wanted to go out a few times before he went into the military and when he came home on leave we’d get married. Now that’s a line no one would believe even if reading it from a romance novel. 

I was sure since I was approaching 19, I was destined to be an old maid. And by then I’d forgotten my dream of meeting Prince Charming. Our first date wasn’t the best. He took me to see Old Yeller. For those of you who have seen it and are animal lovers, you know how it made you cry. 

So off to the military he went. We had phone calls and letters and he was determined to marry me. I found it rather embarrassing. How would I tell people I was not only going to marry a stranger, but he was a year younger than me? This wouldn’t even make a good romance story and I read all those confession magazines and romance novels. This is not how things worked out for them.

He came home on leave. I bought a wedding dress—not the one I wanted—and went to the church with family and friends to marry this young man.

Surprise! He was waiting at the altar in that same blue suit and the same hair cut as the man in my dream from when I was 14 years old. 

Now if only I can start having dreams for the novels I write. My perfect dream would be for the book to write itself out in my dreams, night after night, until it was finished and a publisher would think it was the best thing they’d seen since peanut butter.

Dream on, Dee!  

Dee Gatrell


diane said...

Great blog, Dee. And, of course, I agree that it would be SOOO nice to dream your book into reality. Plotting for me is the hardest part of the writing. I get a general idea, start to write it down, and then it looks more like swiss cheese filled with holes than a solid plot. Just once did dreaming work for me. My latest book, Double Identity, started out as a dream about a letter between a dad and daughter. Too bad I can't dream more often---and I'm STILL waiting to dream about and find my prince.

Warren Bull said...

I sometimes have the other problem. My writing mind notices errors my awake mind missed and will not let me sleep until I make notes or correct the errors. If my sleeping mind wrote a whole novel I and got me up foe every paragraph I would be seriously sleep-deprived.

Sandy Cody said...

Love this post! Maybe the perfect book will just find you in the same way your prince did. However, I'd advise you to keep writing. Hard hard is more dependable than dreams (even if less fun).

Dee Hendershot Gatrell said...

Thanks, everyone. Let's all see if our muse will come visit us and soon!

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Dee, I wish I could dream dreams with a final outcome; mine are like yours -- garbled ... with unclear meaning. However, my husband dreams coherent, plot-filled dreams. Too bad he doesn't write. These types of dreams are wasted on nonwriters, darn it. I do get my inspiration from song lyrics and blurbs. But there by no means the complete picture. Great blog!

Pauline Alldred said...

Interesting blog, Dee. Somehow I think it's going to be easier for you to find a prince via dreams than the perfect novel.

Like Warren, I sometimes wake up knowing what I've got wrong in a story. I also wake up with a new slant on a life decision I was about to make.

Gail M Baugniet - Author said...

Interesting post, Dee. I don't literally dream up my stories but I do often find myself working out a scene before I'm fully awake. That just confirms that my subconscious sometimes works harder than I do.

Ellis Vidler said...

Dee, what a sweet story! Talk about believing in your dreams--it's lucky you did. I think the idea could be the basis for a story. Hope your HEA lasts a long, long time.