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Readers, do disparate books fracture your dreams?

A friend of mine on Facebook whose been watching H. G. Wells movies said that her dreams have turned into H. G. Wells movies.

thecityMy dreams never turn into the exact movies: more like some fractured mess of the movie where everyone’s crazy and all hope is lost.

The same thing happens to me with books. I read books most often before falling asleep. I’ve been cursed with “the ability” to see scenes of my own invention out of the book I’m reading if I ever doze off–or even rest my eyes.

My scenes seem real to me as though I’m propped up in bed still reading the book. Then the cat bothers me or I fluff up the pillow and realize I’ve been making it up “reading” something that’s not in the book, but that could be in the book. This happens every time without fail. When my wife finds me dozing, she thinks I’m asleep rather than writing new scenes for another author’s book.

There doesn’t seem to be a cure for this.

Dreams and reality get fractured when I’m reading more than one book at a time, say, Dean Koontz’ “The City” and Sue Monk Kidd’s “The Invention of Wings.”

So, there I am holding Kidd’s book about life on a plantation and suddenly Sarah and Hetty are walking down Fifth Avenue. That’s rather jarring since the plantation is in Charleston.

wingskiddThe nonsensical scenes that arise out of this jolt me awake faster than cats and twisted pillows.

The plot further thickens (AKA, gets messed up) when I’m working on multiple writing projects, say, one set in a swamp and one set in the mountains. Sometimes I open up the file and find myself planning to write a scene that belongs in the other book.

Fortunately, sentences like “the grizzly bear stood next to the Ponderosa Pine forest” tip me off that I’m not currently in the Florida swamp manuscript. If I see a cottonmouth moccasin, I assume I’m not in the Montana mountains.

I don’t know if readers have this trouble or if it’s just writers. I feel like I’m juggling realities like on of those old-time performers juggle bowling pinson the Johnny Carson show.

There are says when it’s best not to step outside because I don’t know if my front yard will be there or something our of a Stephen King book.


SunSinger4coverMalcolm R. Campbell is the author of contemporary fantasy and magical realism which explains a lot. His fantasy, coming-of-age novel The Sun Singer is currently on sale on Amazon for 99 cents.

  1. Characters and plots from the books I’m reading often get mixed up in my dreams too. You’re right, it does make for some interesting juxtapositions.

    June 2, 2015

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