It Was Only a Dream

One of the awesome things about being a writer is that we are licensed to pay more attention to our dreams than the average person. In general, talking about one’s dreams is boorish–no one cares–but sometimes we writers get to use those incoherent narratives to make stories out of.

I have done this many times, with very mixed results. It’s dangerous, because the thing that makes a dream so intense is sometimes the thing that drifted away with unconsciousness. You cannot make stories out of this type of dream any more than you can make an omelette out of eggshells. But I’ve been lucky enough to keep a few dream eggs and hatch them into stories. Maybe even a novel idea.

Dreams also figure into stories often. Character dreams, used to scoot a plot along while everyone is sleeping. I use these, maybe more than I should.

Lately, though, I’ve been dreaming about writing, and especially about the business of writing. To be even more specific, twice this week I’ve dreamed about having stories rejected from markets. Not for the first time, I am thankful not to be one of my characters. Because that means that when I wake up from the dream in which I was reading my rejection email (from a market that I actually have a submission at currently), I don’t have to roll over and read the real rejection email on my iPhone. The good news is that dream rejections don’t count. The bad news is that neither do dream acceptances or dream awards.

Emily woke, finding herself in her own bed. Oh good, she thought, it was only a dream.

It’s a lousy ending for a story. But this is not a story. Or is it?

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