A Writing Conference Dream

Fun dream. Happy, satisfying, and rewarding.

I was at a huge writing conference somewhere. Fair weather and a seaside location favored us. Though staying onsite, I’d rented a silver Ford Mustang to run around.

We were there to write novels. The intriguing aspect was that after I’d finished my novel, the other participants were able to live it to test its authenticity. They announced themselves impressed with the results, which pleased me. Meanwhile, I was mentoring a young writer. He’d not been able to write a novel but did turn out a short story. I read and critiqued it for him. It was a good story, and I told him that I thought he could sell it.

I’d also been helping a young foreign student who was present. He couldn’t speak much English. I’d ended up in the role of helping him navigate the conference. In thanks, he came to me and offered me, “Noelle.” I replied, “Noelle,” with confusion. ‘Noelle’ turned out to be a chocolate candy. I accepted it with thanks and laughter, and then ate it with gusto. He also later gave me a small ceramic basket, exquisitely done. I don’t know where it came from. I accepted it but with protests that he didn’t need to be giving me all of these gifts. It’d been a pleasure helping him. Yet, he returned one more time to give me another “Noelle.” By the way, that spelling comes from the dream. I actually think it was a subtitle.

In high spirits, I prepared to leave. The maid service had packed everything up for me. I’d also been given another ceramic basket as a gift by someone else. Since I had two, I offered it to the woman. She was tremendously flattered and embarrassed, insisting that she couldn’t take it because it was too beautiful, and I’d already tipped her and had done too much for her. After a few minutes of going back and forth, I finally won.

Then it was to the car to leave. I offered others rides but none were going with me, so I left in the Mustang to drive to the airport, alone but happy.

*Photo is for illustration purposes only. Wasn’t exactly like this in the dream; it was better.

The Crashing Dreams

What does a smoking motorcycle, a Mustang without brakes, and a double-decker tour bus have in common? Well, they were all part of my dreams last night.

In the first, I stepped out of my house and walked down the street. What’s striking for me is that this is my real house and street, where I’ve lived for the last fourteen years. My neighbor, who’s resided beside me that entire time, was on his motorcycle with his girlfriend. (Said neighbor typically has six to nine motorcycles in his garage.) This one was a gray bike with a sidecar (which he does not own). I paid little mind to them other than to wave, as they, talking and on the bike, passed, heading down the hill. But I heard her say, “It’s smoking.”

Watching, I agreed; the bike was smoking. I couldn’t tell where the smoke originated.

Backward, they came back up the street. I thought he wanted to say something and prepared to tell them that they motorcycle was smoking, but after passing me going up the hill backwards, they went down back down the street trailing growing plumes of gray smoke. As they reached the bottom, the motorcycle burst into flames. The then rode back up the hill toward me.

The dream ended.

In the next one, I was at home with a female friend. We were chatting as we sat on the sofa. I asked her if she wanted something to drink. I offered cranberry juice, beer, wine, and, of course, water. Before she answered, my wife came home.

Several people, including children, were with her. One man carried a complicated toy. As this all happened, a Ford Mustang appeared. An older model, it’s on golden jacks to hold it up. Parts are strewn around it. Someone says, it’s a project car.

I played with the complicated toy. A basketball-sized light grey sphere, it had multiple buttons. Pushing some caused wings and wheels to extend or retract. Pushing another caused videos to play in a small screen.

After playing with the sphere, I checked out the Mustang. Its wheels and tires had been removed. Despite that, I got in with intention of moving it forward a few feet, as it was blocking things. I did move it by releasing the parking brake, but then discovered it wouldn’t stop. With the guy yelling, “Stop, hit the brakes,” while running behind me, I gently came up to a stop against a square metal rod that was sticking up.

“Why didn’t you stop?” he wanted to know, catching up.

“This car has no brakes,” I answered. Though it was still on jacks (how the hell it rolled forward, I have no idea), I pointed out that the brakes had been removed.

Despite that, he insisted, “It has brakes,” though I kept pointing at the empty wheel wells and telling him, “No, it doesn’t, look.”

I finally walked away from him in exasperation. My female friend was standing close by. “Oh, my God, I forgot your drink,” I said. “What would you like?”

“I’m just leaving,” she replied.

I then realized the guy and the Mustang was gone. “Where’d they go?” I asked my wife. “He doesn’t have brakes. It’s not safe. We need to stop him.”

The dream ended.

Next, I’m driving on a narrow street through a town. Though it’s two lanes, it’s extremely narrow, crooked, and uneven. A white, older van tries to pass me. He swerves dangerously close as he does. I speed up. Ahead is a double-decker tour bus. I can’t believe it’s on these streets. It’s swaying back and forth, threatening to tip over to one side or the other.

I want to pass the bus. I can’t because the white van is in the other lane. The white van turns off but the road has narrowed to one lane. I can’t pass the bus now. As I feared, it wobbles hard right. Falling against a building, it crashes to a halt, blocking the road.

The bus is leaning against the building. I stop. First, I need to see if everyone is okay. Second, I want to get pass this bus and go on.

I enter the bus. I’m on the top level. I find that it’s actually three levels. I call out, “Is anyone hurt?”

Various replies come back. Many say, “No,” but some say, “We’re alright.” Others say, “Are we there yet,” and “We’re hungry. When are we going to eat.”

I explain that I’m just checking on them, I’m not part of the company, but someone will be coming along. Meanwhile, I work my way to the front of the bus and then down the steps. Once down, I exit the bus and leave.

End of dream.

Puzzle #11 Is Finished

We finished the “Dream Garage” (Michael Fishel) jigsaw puzzle today. Took us three days to assemble the 1,000 pieces.

While the odd shapes put me off, I enjoyed the puzzle details and vivid colors. Remember how gas stations often blazed with neon signs? Seeing those logos invited television jingles into my head.

Lots of Coca Cola memorabilia, but give me A&W Root Beer!

“STP is the racer’s edge.”

“See the U.S.A in your Chev-ro-let.”

“Only Mustang makes it happen, only Mustang makes life great. Mustang, Mustang, ’68!”

“You can trust your car to the man who wears the star, the big bright Texaco star!”

Then the cars. Four of them were the sort of cars I slobbered over as a fourteen year old in 1970: Mustang, Corvette, Camaro, and Challenger. I ended up only owning a Camaro. It was a fun, memorable car, good gas mileage, excellent performance, and reliable. It was just a 327, though, not an SS 396 featured in the puzzle.

Besides the Coke and car stuff, there was a cigarette machine (how long since I’ve seen one of those?), a Wurlitzer jukebox (in the puzzle’s center), a pin-up calendar (over above the purple Challenger) and movie posters for Some Like It Hot and Bullitt. (See Steve McQueen up there in the right hand corner by the clock?)

Be a few days before we begin the next one. We have several in the closet awaiting their turn, but I’ve been eyeing a few on the net, so…we’ll see…

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