It was an uplifting experience, although strange.
I was with several groups of men. We’d decided we were changing countries. I connected with a few others to hunt for country candidates. An adviser was telling us what our options were.
My first choice was Japan. I headed to the JP room with a few other men and our adviser. We entered, and then our adviser had us wait while he checked on availability. Coming back, he told us, “Sorry, but there aren’t any openings.”
A little disappointed but still optimistic, we selected another place. I knew the name in the dream but I don’t know it now. Our adviser checked and confirmed, “Yes, eight openings are available.”
Only three of us went, however, with the others backing out. We had to answer questions to be accepted in the new country, and also to put on a shirt with cultural significance to that country.
After putting the shirts on, we entered an office. Bleachers filled with people were to one side. Most of the people were young women. The first man of my group went to a desk. There he was asked eight questions. He passed.
It was my turn. I went to the desk and was asked the eight questions. They were so simple and basic, such as, “What is your name? What is your favorite color?” The process amused me as I wondered, are there wrong answers? I passed and then waited for my friend to go through the process. Then the three of us were sworn in as new citizens and congratulated. A spattering of applause followed.
Now citizens of another country, we walked toward the exit. I remembered that I still had the other shirt on. Wanting my own shirt, I took the shirt off, gave it to someone, and then walked back, shirtless, looking for my own shirt, with everyone watching me. I found this quite funny. The dream ended with me finding my shirt, but leaving it off, I left.
To me, the choice of Japan was interesting. When I lived in Japan, it was a successful and enjoyable time, and I was very happy. That it wasn’t available meant, you can’t go back, but there are other choices. These will give me new experiences (changing the shirt, see?), but they’ll be like Japan, successful and enjoyable.
And it’s my choice.
Many recent dreams have been like movies or television shows. Often feeling they’re part of a larger series, I often don’t see myself in them. Instead, I’m a viewer.
So last night’s dream was a break from that routine. My and my jet were the primary leads.
Living in a huge, hyper-modern city, I became aware that it was going to be attacked. Warnings were going out. In response, me and another person climbed into our jet-aircraft. In design, they seem like single-seat twin-engine F-15 Eagles, but flatter and smaller, and dark, dark blue in color. Blue dominated the dream. Except for the jets’ exhaust flames, which were blue with yellow, and the final celebration rockets, everything was blue.
Incoming aircraft were reported. We scrambled, lighting a darkening dusk sky with our twin after-burners. I was lead. My wing-man was immediately attacked. Unable to lose his attacker, I stalked the aircraft, causing them to break off their attack on my guy. Flashing around the city’s sky, the other tried and failed to lose me. My aircraft was incredibly responsive, and I displayed a staggering mastery of its capabilities, so much , that in the dream, I thought, the aircraft and I are one.
Finally lining up a shot, I fired a missile at the attacker. It struck his aircraft, causing it to begin breaking up, giving him time to eject.
Afterward, I took my aircraft high over the city and throttled back. My companion joined me. The air was clear. It was night. It felt like we were on the edge of space.
Other aircraft were inbound to attack. He and I went at them. Multiple intense aerial combat scenes followed. Most vividly remembered is a scene where I was being chased. I took my aircraft down along the frozen blue river that bisected the city. My aircraft flashed under blue bridges at hyper-sonic speed. Unwilling to follow me there, the enemy broke off and climbed. Standing my aircraft up on its tail, I climbed up after him, and took him out.
That’s what was interesting about the dream. I was often in my cockpit as me. But other times, I could see myself in the cockpit, or I was watching the action from a third person POV. Whichever happened, I always knew it was me.
After we’d thwarted the attack, I radioed back to the command center to inform them that the city was safe once again. Feeling so brave and pleased with the result, I took my aircraft on a high-speed acrobatic flight over the city, and then, in a surprising twist, fired off colorful sky rockets to celebrate.
It was a damn good feeling.
I had no trouble relating this dream to my life, especially my writing and publishing efforts. My moods travel through a monthly cycle. I’m trending up this week. That translates to being incredibly optimistic and hopeful, truly on top of the world, ma. The dream reflects those emotions, taking off flying, being in control, and winning.
My last writing effort, Four on Kyrios, is out to several agents, awaiting their response. Meanwhile, the newest novel, April Showers 1921, is being dictated at breath-taking speed. I’m struggling to keep up with it. Its pace has startled me, and it’s twists and turns surprise me.
All of that fits with the dream. Even the dream’s blue coloring is cited as being optimistic by one source: “The presence of this color in your dream may symbolize your spiritual guide and your optimism of the future. You have clarity of mind. ” Of course, in their next sentence, they say, “Alternatively, the color blue may also be a metaphor for “being blue” and feeling sad.” But I like the first one better.
Time to write like crazy at least one more time.
So many of my recent dreams have been like watching adventure movies. I can’t recall seeing myself in many of them.
I starred in last night’s dream, though. The dialogue was often too fast for me to hear and capture, and there weren’t any captions or replays available. But I was happy, cheerful, and, well, unstoppable, overcoming everything.
The dream took place outside in pleasant, balmy weather, and daytime. Accompanied by my wife, I was somewhere that seemed tropical, but I — we — had to get out of there. The question was, how? Other men, in suits, were trying to keep us there.
My wife and I were armed with small black devices. About the size of a television remote control (clicker, as my wife calls it), it had no buttons. Pointing it at people immobilized them. People with stronger wills could resist it, but they could be overcome by pressing the device against them. The stronger their will, the longer we had to hold it against them, but none required more than several seconds.
It was all kind of frolicky. The men in suits would say, “There they are, get them.” They’d come after that, but there’d be no rush. It was like they were going slow, trying to be clever and unobserved. But we saw them and knew what they were doing. Laughing, we pointed and stopped them without a struggle.
A stalemate delivered. We couldn’t leave, so we’re weren’t escaping, just keeping the others at bay. Along came a man and a woman. They were older than us and well-dressed. My impressions of them were they were wealthy and powerful, but also trapped. I didn’t know them, and observing their exchanges, I thought that they weren’t together but had recently met. I think she was called the duchess.
“Take the Ferrari,” the man said. He pointed.
An older white Ferrari was there. I hadn’t noticed it before. I thought the car was from the sixties. (I confirmed this after researching and finding the model. Here it is, a 1966 California 365, except my dream car was white.)
“I can’t take that,” I said, laughing at the audacity of it.
The man said, “Why not?” The woman said. “Yes, you can. Take us with you. Drive us out of here. You can do it.”
So we pointed and stopped the pursuit, got into the Ferrari, and I drove us up through some forest. We couldn’t get all the way out, though. “We need to stop and rest,” I said.
We did that. The dream showed us stopping and then awakening the next morning. Pursuit had caught up to us by then, but they weren’t energetic, and we had our remotes. After doing our point and incapacitate thing on those closest to us, we all got in the car. I was driving and my wife was in the passenger seat, with the other two in the back. I drove us up and out of the situation.
The end. An uplifting dream, it brings a smile to my face as I remember it.
I wrote about a new novel that came to me in a dream the other night (“Spinning Up”). One unmentioned aspect was the newly conceived novel’s cover. I saw it in the dream. The cover felt and looked so real and substantial to me that I was nonplussed. The title, April Showers 1921, was embossed gold letters on a silver cover. It seemed so real that I looked up the title to determine if that book already existed. Without surprise, I found songs, books, and short stories called April Showers, but none had the 1921 addition, and none featured silver and gold covers. I seem safe with it.
I’ve worked on April Showers 1921 some since dreaming about it, fleshing out characters, setting, and writing some scenes, but I didn’t throw myself into it. After two days of that, I wondered, why not? I realized that indecision caused by my greatest weakness, over-analysis, was paralyzing me once again.
It’s a familiar scenario. I overthink something. That drains my resources, and I stop making progress until I resolve what I’m overthinking.
Naturally, this paralysis is all founded on a writing issue, specifically — this time — finding an agent for the Incomplete States series. I think I’ve identified several potential agents. I narrowed my search to one lucky agent. I’ve written a synopsis and query letter. That’s where I stopped.
The Incomplete States series employs several styles. In terms of recent books, it reminds me of Cloud Atlas. My series science-fiction infused, but its mostly literary, except the first novel has a science-fiction military noir feel to it. Fantasy flares strong in another book, while yet another has the sensibility of historic fiction.
Yes, I enjoy genre B&B – bending and blending – whether I’m reading or writing it.
On a side note, the great and all-knowing Internet says, don’t mention any of the rest of the series when seeking representation and publication of the first book.
For grins, I hunted down the rejection records for successful writers. I’ve followed this path before, so it’s very familiar to me.
J.K. Rowling. Her Harry Potter series was rejected twelve times, you know. Dr. Suess was rejected twenty-seven times before he found a publisher willing to take a chance on his Cat in the Hat book. The author of The Martian, Andy Weir, had given up on being published, but kept writing and self-published. When The Martian found success, publishers came running. Kathryn Stockett, The Help, was rejected over sixty times. Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time, had twenty-six rejections. Catch-22, Joseph Heller, twenty-two rejections. Twenty for William Goldberg, The Lord of the Flies. Carrie, by Stephen King, was rejected thirty times. Pretty amazing was that Still Alice, by Lisa Genova, experienced over one hundred rejections. After she self-published and had success, publishers came calling, and her novel was made into a movie starring Julianne Moore, who won an Oscar for her performance.
There was also Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita, over five times, and Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, rejected one hundred twenty-one times.
Reading about these rejections is invigorating and inspiring. You gotta have hope, optimism, belief, and determination. You gotta keep writing for the love of writing.
Writing about my paralysis cleared matters up and broke the log jam. (I now have a featured image of logs floating through my mind.) I’m ready to submit. (Ha, ha, I love how that can have multiple meanings.) All they can do is say no, right?
The day is full of promise. I got my coffee. Time to submit, and then write and edit like crazy, at least one more time.