Please contact E. B. Davis at for information on guest blogs and interviews. Please join us between Thanksgiving and New Year's when our authors present original holiday short stories. We hope they will add to the season's festivities! 11/28 Annette Dashofy, 12/3 E. B. Davis, 12/8 KM Rockwood, 12/13 Korina Moss, 12/18 Tammy Euliano, 12/23 Warren Bull, 12/28 Paula Gail Benson Have a wonderful holiday! -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Dream a Little Dream By Kait Carson

Do you remember your dreams? I rarely do. My Dad was a big proponent of dreams. He must have had 100 dream books in his collection. He would pour over the details and nuances of each dream and talk about them as if they were events everyone could see. Me? Not so much. I remember one dream from my childhood. A giant ant stalking the earth waving its antenna over a small child I always thought was me.

The dream came back in numerous guises over the years. The last time was in the late 1970s. Why so
sure of the date? Easy. I’m wearing my favorite beige safari dress and carrying my brown leather doctor satchel when I confront the ant. The dream disappeared when I caught a Late, Late, Late show presentation of THEM. There was my ant. And most of the story except as reinterpreted by my sleeping mind.

The next time I remember a dream it was of being on the roof of a tall building and having a wonderful dinner followed by towers falling. A few days later, the World Trade Center fell. Back in the day, my first husband and I celebrated our first anniversary at Windows on the World. Compliments of my then mother-in-law. Was it a prophetic dream? Or triggered, as Scrooge would say, “by a bit of bad beef.” 

I’ll never know. After that dream I made it a point to not remember my dreams. Even if bits or pieces of them stuck with me at waking, I made a grand effort to turn my thoughts elsewhere. Just in case there was something to this prophesy thing.  All that has changed and for a very good reason.

An Internet friend of mine, Mary Kennedy, writes a delightful series called the Dream Club Mysteries. They are set in Savannah, a wonderful city, and they are cozy mysteries. I confess, the thought of people willingly delving into dreams spooked me sufficiently to keep me away from the series for a couple of years. But I really like Mary’s writing and I follow the Cozy Chicks blog.

Finally, I gave in. I read the first book Nightmares Can be Murder. This is a delightful book that introduces the sleuth Taylor Blake and her sister Ali. Ali owns a retro candy shop on a side street in historic Savannah and hosts the Dream Club. Taylor finds Chico, the Latin lothario (and dance instructor), dead in his dance studio located across the street from Ali’s store. Chico has ties to not only most of the Dream Club members, but to much of Savannah. And it seems he has not always been above-board. Throughout this mystery the dream club meets and relates snippets of dreams that fill in some detail and clues in the story. I loved it.

All of that dream talk got me to thinking. What’s wrong with dreaming? So as one of the book characters recommends, I made an effort to remember my dreams. And low and behold I made a discovery. I do dream. Most of my dreams are harmless, but in them, I’m in my early 30s. My language, dress, body (thank you God), face (see previous comment), everything, is no more than 32. The same age as Hayden Kent, the heroine in my Florida Keys mysteries.

I realized that in my mind—not in the face of the lady in the mirror—that is exactly how I think of myself. 32. Funny. Brave. Strong. Adventurous. I’m still all of those things, well, maybe not so physically strong anymore, but emotionally, but I don’t dream my age. In all the weeks I’ve been doing this experiment, I’ve never aged beyond 32.

Do you think we have a “set” age? One where we see ourselves the way we want to be (even if it didn’t seem so at the time). How do you see yourself in your dreams?


Jim Jackson said...


These days I rarely remember dreams, but I know if I concentrate on remembering them, I can.The dreams I spontaneously remember are generally stress dreams of some sort. Getting to the end of a semester and realizing I didn't drop a class or that I had forgotten to do a huge project seems to be a classic I share with lots of people (at least lots of people who went to college.

My partner, Jan, thinks sometimes we dream just to entertain ourselves. It's as good a theory as any.

Art Taylor said...

Kait — Such an interesting post here and covering so much territory! Like you, I've sometimes thought that I don't remember my dreams very well, though there are indeed some from childhood that have stayed with me, and there are some dreams that I've remembered dreaming several times.

Occasionally, I've had dreams so vivid that they've been the inspiration for some of my fiction writing. One dream in particular, I woke up, went straight to the computer, and wrote down all of it, as quickly as I could, as the first draft of a story that was eventually published in Needle magazine.

(Now I think I need to keep a dream journal....)

As for age.... I've always thought mid-twenties for whatever reason, though I'm not sure why. 32 was a good age too!

Warren Bull said...

I have a recurring dream that I am lost in a giant hotel and cannot find my way back to my room or to the front desk. I used to have one about being told just before graduation that I cannot go through with the ceremony because I did not take one required class.

Gloria Alden said...

Kait, the key to remembering dreams is to think about them as soon as you wake up. Go over them and they're more likely to be remembered.

My dreams are strange in that I'm often someone other than myself. Of course, just like we never think I'm whatever our name is, I don't know the name of the person I am in my dreams.
I have been an old man, a middle-aged woman with a teenage son. In none of these dreams do
I know the people I'm with or exactly where I am. Even more strange, once I was an animal - a pig, who was jealous because my owner had bought a cow and was paying particular attention to the cow. I know where it was, but it was sometime in the early 1800's and the farmer was coming home from where he purchased the cow and we were setting up camp next to the trail for the night. Now that has to be the most peculiar dream anyone has ever had.

As for dreams that are recurring, while I was still teaching, I often had dreams before the school year began that I couldn't find my classroom or my students, I wasn't prepared, or I showed up at school on the first day in my nightgown. Another recurring dream I shared with some of my siblings was driving backwards in traffic looking over my shoulder scared to death I'd hit someone. Often it was going downhill. We finally figured that out as being caused by our dad driving backwards out of the driveway quickly with Mom yelling at him. He always stopped at the road, but I think he delighted in scaring her. Once that was figured out, I don't have that dream anymore.

As for dreams of premonition, I dreamed my first born drowned when he was very young, but that could be because he was hyper-active and sometimes did things that could be dangerous.
Then a month or so we discovered he had cancer, I dreamed he'd died in the basement and I was trying to put him in a garbage bag. I've never had any dreams of premonition on my other children only the one who did die.

Julie Tollefson said...

I don't remember most dreams, but there are recurring dreams from my childhood that come back to me in snippets occasionally. One in particular I remember involved a cracked swimming pool in the basement of a spooky building and a long dark twisting staircase to nowhere. I have no idea where those images came from!

Grace Topping said...

I used to dream vividly--experiencing taste, smell, touch, etc. I can remember one where i was swimming under water. They were episodic and would tell a complete story. My co-workers loved interpreting dreams, so we had a good time trying to figure out the symbolism and meaning of our dreams. Quite entertaining. Then suddenly, I stopped remembering my dreams, which has worried me. My husband who has sleep apnea, never dreams--probably because he doesn't sleep deeply enough. It made me wonder what was causing my loss of dream memory. When I awake, I have a sense that I had a dream, but I rarely can remember it. Puzzling. I wonder what dream experts would make of that.

KM Rockwood said...

I used to have a recurring scary dream in which I was driving at night along a busy semi-urban road (specifically Sunrise Highway on Long Island, and could not stop the car. I'd pull into the parking lots that lined the road, hoping to be able to stop, but I never could and would have to exit the parking lot at the other end and continue my journey. Then one night I found myself driving through a parking lot and under a big street light. I glanced down at the foot pedals, said to myself, "Why, there's a brake and a clutch! You just have to step on them." I did. The car stopped. I have never had the dream since.

All I can figure is that the dream was reflecting a conflict in my life that I managed to resolve, so I no longer needed the dream.

I do remember some these days, but they tend to be fairly ordinary dreams and I can usually relate them to my mind trying to process confusing elements in my life.

Kait said...

@Jim, dream to entertain ourselves. I wonder. In a strange way that makes perfect sense!

@Art, kudos for actually getting up and writing down your dreams and how cool that it resulted in a short story publication. I always convince myself I'll remember the dream, this time, and don't write it down. So far it hasn't happened. I did keep a dream journal as part of a college project. We were told to keep a notebook and pen next to our bed and that we would gradually train ourselves to write our dreams even if we didn't remember waking to do it. My part of the project was a partial success. I DID write dreams (I guess) I was never able to read the scribble!

@Warren, that has to be as classic dream, maybe not the hotel part, but the lost and no way out part. Check it out. There are tons of online dream resources.

@Gloria, what a fascinating dream history. And what unusual dreams. The Mary Kennedy book had a character who was a dream hopper. That was described as someone who visited other people's dreams and sometimes participated sometimes did not. At the reading I discounted it, your stories make me not so sure. Especially the animal one!

@Julie, what is it about childhood dreams that stick? Your description reminded me instantly of my first trip to Viscaya. It was in the process of being restored and what you describe is an exact depiction of the indoor/outdoor pool. Did you ever visit Viscaya (it's in Miami) as a child?

@Grace, I'm with you. I used to remember my dreams, now, even when I direct myself to remember and try to bring them back at first awakening, I am rarely successful. We should research that. Maybe it is indicative of something--hopefully something fun.

@KM, what an amazing dream and great solution. Clearly that dream was trying to talk to you.