Nightmares of a Writer’s Mind
Posted on December 13, 2012
I joke about having nightmares regarding a certain unnamed author named Patricia Logan, but, really, can one have nightmares about a living nightmare? No. I do, however and in all honesty, continue to have nightmares about my university years. And I don’t mean for you to think that anything bad happened back then. Nothing did. It’s just prior to beginning a new semester or prior to finals, I would start having nightmares about suddenly realizing I’d never attended one of my classes, so how could I possibly pass the final exam? Or I’d need to find a building that was no longer there. Or I’d forget what classes were on what days and be in a panic to find a schedule. I had one of these dreams last night and received a friendly e-mail this morning from a friend who still teaches at GVSU who mentioned this week is finals week. Coincidence?
I’m told that these types of dreams aren’t entirely uncommon, especially about school. I used to have the same dreams about high school when I was still attending high school, then they changed to college. Oddly enough, I’ve never had a dream about being late to work or not being able to find where I worked. Apparently jobs don’t count. Or do they? Do they for you? Nightmares for me are very difficult to predict because they happen with no amount of regularity. Being under a great deal of stress is no guarantee that I’ll have one either. They simply manifest themselves when they want to.
There is, however, a time when I can predict nightmares on a regular basis and that’s when I’m running a fever and/or on medication for some illness. Anything that alters my body in some way, even helping cure it, completely and totally messes with my dream state. The results can be excruciatingly bad. My dreams have their own reality, their own logic and own way of playing out. Mess with that by playing with the proverbial control knobs a bit and it can be like entering a house of horrors that doesn’t leave me rested or feeling better in the morning. Once the illness is gone and the medication stops, things return to normal.
One funny thing is I expect to dream about my husband far more often than I do. He’ll sometimes make a guest appearance, but never really plays into the dream like I’d expect him to. This also means he doesn’t show up in nightmares all that much either. Once in a while? Yes. All the time? No. And when he does, it’s typically for something completely outlandish and nonsensical. Like he’d ever leave me for someone who made less than $200,000 a year. Bitch, please. And it may have crossed my mind when he started in the IT field something like that might actually happen.
I think the hubby and I can both safely admit nobody is going to put up with our personality quirks at this age. Nobody. They can go out and find themselves a twink to mold before they’ll get us to budge from the way we do things. He swears I’m going to turn into my mother and we both figure he’s going to turn into his Hong Kong Grandmother. The world is screwed. The only record of us that we’ll leave behind are these blog posts and my books. Can you imagine an alien civilization visiting earth one day after we’re all gone and being able to download everything ever on the Internet? What if they got around to translating these posts? Stories of the Hong Kong Grandmother and Patti Logan would live on!
And start whole new nightmares on worlds they never visited…
So, what are your nightmares about?
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
12 Responses to “Nightmares of a Writer’s Mind”
December 13, 2012 at 10:29 am
Interesting topic, which made me realize that the definition of “nightmare” varies from person to person. I wouldn’t consider dreams of concern or stress to be nightmares…they’re just part of everyone’s life. To me, a nightmare is a dream of utter terror or unbearable sadness, and fortunately the number of the nightmares I can recall throughout my entire life are probably outnumbered by my fingers and toes.
But thanks for once more getting me to thinking.
December 13, 2012 at 11:04 am
I’ve only ever had a few dreams of sadness and I’m grateful they’ve been few. An odd thing is I’ve woken myself up before crying and talking to a relative who’s recently deceased. Those definitely aren’t nightmares, but I believe support the idea that a dream state allows our mind greater flexibility to see beyond our own reality than we give it credit for.
Patricia Logan says:
December 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm
In truth, I have two batches of new kittens, which you know Dorien. I had a hideous nightmare the other night that all of them were taken and set fire to. All died but one mother, the cat I love the most. It was horrible. I’ve had similar dreams about my dog Rocky. I wonder what it is about the pets. I don’t dream about the kids, just the pets. Weird.
December 13, 2012 at 6:22 pm
And I do dream about my former dogs from time to time. I like to think they come to check up on me once in a while.
B. Snow says:
December 13, 2012 at 1:15 pm
My husband got his PhD in 2000, and he STILL has those school nightmares, where it’s finals week and he suddenly realizes he hasn’t been to one of his classes all semester.
I occasionally have the work version of that, where I’m back in Japan teaching English, and I realize that I went to the the first class of the session and forgot to go back every week after that. Worse are the travel nightmares, where I step off a bus just for a second and it drives away with all my luggage and ID.
Oh, I forgot about the nightmares where my teeth are falling out. 😛
Those are the dreams I’m more than happy to wake up from. Have you ever had the kind where something amazing is happening, something you NEVER thought would happen in real life but it finally is, and then you wake up? 😀
December 13, 2012 at 1:21 pm
It’s funny you bring up the teeth calling out dream. I’ve never had that, but a number of my friends have told me about it. As for something amazing happening, I’ve been able to fly in my dreams before. It’s rare, but I’ve done it.
One thing I catch myself doing is commenting on the quality of the special effects in my dreams. I think it comes from years of film criticism, but I will actually almost take myself out of a dream commenting on how lousy the budget of the dream must be to warrant such awful effects.
Patricia Logan says:
December 13, 2012 at 4:29 pm
My nightmares are about a chance meeting because some crazyass author decided to unite us! What a hideous foible on Amanda’s part *punches the cop* What the fuck were you thinking, bad girl? That said, and done, I want nothing more than to see your nightmarish ass at whatever the hell you have planned in May… just remember this Kris… it’s do or die… BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
December 13, 2012 at 6:26 pm
It’s always a pleasure to hear from you, Patti! Despite how you may feel, I hold you up as a constant positive reminder of that feeling when I first get up in the morning after a night of eating spicy food and run for the bathroom. =)
sue laybourn says:
December 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm
Way back in the mists of time (30+) years ago, I used to be a DJ at a small Pittsburgh radio station. Ever since then, my ‘anxiety’ dreams have been that I’m on the air and realise I don’t have the next record queued up.
December 13, 2012 at 6:28 pm
Interesting! I never would have thought of that. lol I wonder, too, if given the same circumstances, I would dream about playing the wrong record or not being able to find the right one.
Lloyd Songal says:
December 13, 2012 at 11:10 pm
When was an adolescent male I had hideous recurring nightmares of a black hooded monk who chased me every where I’d hide, just like he knew where I was hiding.
Now as an adult my favourite dreams are those in which I realise the absurdity of the dream; and that it can not possibly be happening, and I wake up laughing.
Sweet Dreams All.
December 13, 2012 at 11:31 pm
Black hooded monk? Sounds like a previous life interfering in the current one. =)