I've always had vivid dreams that I remember with clarity afterward. Which is fun when I have my very favorite dream where I'm moving into a new house and I get to run around marveling at all the rooms and closets. (Yes, I really do get that excited about closets in my dreams!)
It's not as much fun when my teeth fall out and my mouth is nothing but blood and gore. Or when I've sprouted unwanted body/facial hair. Or when I'm running for my life. And I've always found it particularly upsetting when people who've died in real life come back in dreams and tell me it was all just a misunderstanding. Then I have to wake up and deal with the fact that, yes, they really did die after all.
But there is one recurring dream that I've had for years and years and years that is worse than any of those. It's loosely based on something that really happened, but in the dream, everything is twisted around.
This past January, I dreamed this terrible dream again for what feels like the two-millionth time and I didn't want to get out bed afterward. I lay there for an hour, maybe two, and thought, When will this ever stop? What can I do about this? And remembered how I used to have these dreams when I was teenager and how much harder it was then.
That same day in January, I decided to write something and see what, if anything, would come of it. I started with one scene, which led to many more scenes. Now, officially, I'm working on a new manuscript. And I love it! I love my new main character and I love getting to see her story unfold. I keep feeling like this story might be the best thing to happen to me since FREEFALL. I really hope I'm right!
There are a lot of things I don't believe in. I don't believe that "Hey Jude" by the Beatles is about heroin. I don't believe in fate. I don't believe that I've had to suffer having this dream for most of my life so that I would one day be inspired to write this story.
But I do believe that you can "take a sad song and make it better." And that's what I'm trying to do.