Monday, January 28, 2008

Fun Monday

AOJ, at AOJ & the Lurchers is hosting this week's Fun Monday. In the spirit of being interested in people, she wants a peek at our bedside table. (This is my favourite part of Fun Monday, how it condones and encourages nosiness. As a writer with an unsatiable curiosity about people, I am all for it.)

My bedside table is pretty standard pine unit with three drawers. The top is my junk drawer, the middle and bottom are my underwear drawers. Like a lot of other Fun Mondayers, books play a prominent role, although mine are more stacked around the side of the bedside table than actually on it. (Thanks to my slow progress through Moby Dick coupled my incurable book buying and mooching, I have about 40 books stacked up, waiting to be read.)

I would have to say that the most interesting thing on my bedside table is my dream journal. I've been reading and researching a lot recently about sleep and dreams. Not so much the mystical dream interpretation aspect as in using sleep and dreams to solve creative problems. I want to use this method mostly to assist in writing my novel but I've also found it works with computer programming and technical writing problems. Let me tell you, nothing makes you feel like a genius more than waking up with an answer that's eluded you for days.

My New Year's Resolution is to write in this journal twice a day. I write before I go to bed, to empty out my mind and list things that I'm thinking about or issues I want to resolve. Then when I wake up, I write down little notes or descriptions from my dreams. So far, I've gotten a solution for how to test a computer problem I was trying to figure out and a few ideas for how to better plot my novel. I've also gotten an interesting glimpse into my subconscious.

I usually wake up at least once during the night to use the bathroom. I've known for awhile that between that awakening and my regular wake-up time, I tend to have vivid, convoluted and complicated dreams, but by the time I was awake enough to think about it, I'd have forgotten the dreams entirely. Being disciplined to scribble some notes before I'm fully awake gives me some memories of what I dreamt about, although reviewing the notes sometimes recalls nothing and I wonder why on earth I dreamt about some of these things.

Now I know, there is nothing more boring than listening to a blow-by-blow description of someone else's dream. But I will share a few of the more bizarre highlights:
In my dreams in January, I've......

  • Dug a grave with the devil

  • Driven an RV with a guy named Flash

  • Microwaved bananas until they exploded

  • Seen on Kodiak standing next to a suitcase on a beautiful sunny day

  • Watched a movie about a space travel throughout history - and the movie started in the 1800s.

AOJ wanted a look into my bedside table - you got a look inside my subconscious. Now go check out all the other Fun Monday posters, which are listed in AOJ's sidebar.


At 28 January 2008 at 18:30, Blogger Kaycie said...

Cool, Ann. I love the way your mind works. Dreams fascinate me. I think it's the psychology major in me.

This was much better than a picture of your nightstand.

At 28 January 2008 at 18:51, Blogger Faye said...

I'm going to have to think about this, Ann. Have heard about writing before sleep to "give up" what may be bothering you--or making you happy. And there are days when I wake up with answers to thorny problems or feeling happy about an upcoming event. Don't remember dreams though.

At 28 January 2008 at 19:33, Blogger Alison said...

Interesting dreams. I used to keep a dream journal also, many years ago!!

At 28 January 2008 at 19:34, Blogger laurie said...

you know what's going to happen now, don't you? we're all going to be emailing you our dreams, asking for interpretation.

last night i dreamed i took a walk on my lunch hour (as i always do) and ended up on Superior Street in Duluth.

what does that mean?

and if it helps you solve a computer conundrum, you're welcome.

At 28 January 2008 at 19:34, Blogger Aoj & The Lurchers said...

Ann, that is fascinating. I believe dreams are hugely important and I wish I had your discipline to write things down. I think I might try to start.

At 28 January 2008 at 23:07, Blogger ChrisB said...

I'm not sure I could be that disciplined to write before I go to bed and in the morning. I do jot down things during night so I don't forget !

You have some interesting dreams!

At 29 January 2008 at 02:30, Blogger Cynthia said...

Crazy dreams!!

At 29 January 2008 at 02:46, Blogger Linda said...

I am SO with you on the solving problems in your sleep! I can't tell you the number of times I've woken up in the morning with that AHA feeling. I loved your snippets of dreams - not boring at all - they sounded like ideas for novels! I'm very impressed with you for writing down the dreams before they shred away. I'm always so conscious of waking up the hubs with my scribbling that I just don't do it.

At 29 January 2008 at 03:25, Blogger Mamalang said...

What a good resolution...and interesting dreams. I truly very rarely dream. Wonder what that says about me :)

At 29 January 2008 at 03:58, Blogger Sweet Irene said...

I used to dream very vividly and symbolically, but lately I have been unable to remember any of my dreams. This may be due to some new sleep medication that I am taking. I don't mind not remembering my dreams, as some of them were very strange and troublesome. I don't like to believe that I have such an active imagination at night while I am asleep.

At 29 January 2008 at 08:51, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a dream diary - how fabulous. I'd love to do that but I'm far too lazy. Last night I had that being back at school dream again. Terrifying.

At 29 January 2008 at 19:31, Blogger -Ann said...

Kacyie - Thanks. Dreams fascinate me too and I don't even have the excuse of being a psychology major.

Faye - It's amazing how writing as soon as you wake up can help with dream recall. There've been days when I pick up the journal and am about to write "can't remember" when I'll get a memory.

Alison - What made you stop?

Laurie - Hmmm. I'll have to give that some thought and get back to you.

AOJ - You really should - it's an interesting exercise.

ChrisB - It's sort of freeing because I just write a stream of consciousness without worrying about spelling or punctuation or anything.

Cynthia - Yeah. There were some bigger doozies that I kept to myself. :)

Linda - It's satisfying, isn't it?

Mamalang - I think it says that you're too tired from chasing kids. :)

SI - Do you miss dreaming? I've been prone to night terrors and nightmares and I don't miss those at all. I also find that focusing my mind before I sleep has cut down on the nightmares.

conortje - I hate the school dream - in mine, it's always that I have a test for a class I've never been to before.

At 30 January 2008 at 19:51, Blogger wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

I LOVE your dreams. My son had a dream that my daughter's eyebrows grew down over her eyes and she used her straighteners on them.

At 1 February 2008 at 19:20, Blogger Sandy said...

Probably one of the most interesting entries I read.

Thanks for sharing.

At 3 February 2008 at 13:27, Blogger -Ann said...

WUASTC - That's a wild dream. Wonder what it means. :)

Sandy - Thanks! I enjoyed writing it.


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