Thursday, June 11, 2009

Inspiration in the dark

Last night as I was putting my daughter to bed, she said, "Please, Momma, leave the lamp on so my imagination won't run wild."

Her comment makes me wonder if there's something mysteriously creative about the dark.

I've had friends tell me they've turned their dreams into stories or scenes for their books. And the opening scene of my first manuscript came to me one night just as I was falling asleep. I closed my eyes and, for some reason, pictured the lobby area of a building at my college. I saw this girl, studying her schedule and then a young man rolled up to her in his wheelchair and asked if she needed help. I spent the next month writing their story.

This week I had a dream about a woman who dies and meets God. During my dream, I pictured myself getting out of bed and writing down their conversation. When I awoke the next morning, I was surprised to learn that I hadn't written anything down. Luckily I remembered much of it and now have the first half of a short story titled: "Margaret's Last Day."

Another dream I had this week involved a family dinner. Present were my grandparents (both deceased) and assorted family members. When I went to a closet to get something for the table, there sat my great-grandparents (both deceased for a really long time) in ladder-back chairs, just waiting to be discovered as surprise dinner guests. Unfortunately I don't remember anything more, but I'll bet that was some family gathering.

So, perhaps there's something eerily inspirational that happens once the light goes out, and the brain enters its shut-down mode. Maybe neurons fire and the imagination runs wild. But unlike my daughter, I'm not about to leave the lamp on.


Joan Mora said...

Are you kidding me! Where does she come up with this stuff?! :)

Kim Bullock said...

Great picture, and her comment is priceless. Wish I could have had that dinner party dream. As you know, dreams have been important for my work in progress. Some have been so real I could hear what was being said and smelled everything in the room. I actually stood over Carl's shoulder and watched him paint. That was an experience!

Marianne said...

How precious is that picture!What had she been doing before she fell sleep? I just want to kiss her cheek.

Love, Mother

Pamela T Hammonds said...

She was eating cake and fell asleep at the table. That almost never happens to me!