Button Sunday

If that doesn’t make you nervous, it should.

I don’t talk about writing because I’m not writing. Also, I’ve become one of those writers who generally feels that talking about writing is boring as shit. Actually, through the years, I’ve laughed during a lot more conversations about shit than about writing. But I digress.

Certainly I think about writing. The other day, while I was in my car, I heard a song that reminded me of a character in my first (unpublished) novel. I thought of him all the way home, and sporadically a few times afterward.

Which brings me to another subject boring to many of us: other people’s dreams. I guess because he stayed at the edges of my waking thoughts, this morning just before I woke up, he and four other of those characters came to me as if to show me how their lives had turned out after the final page I typed (and edited) so many years ago. It was lovely and comforting to see them, to think of their lives as they continued somewhere deep in my subconscious.

I miss them all.

Button Sunday

A few nights ago, The Brides were taking their tour of [the new house is still unnamed], and as Rhonda passed through one room to another, she commented that it reminded her of a dream she’d had. She was in a place she knew well, then suddenly realized there was a part of it she’d never seen before or had forgotten was there.

I’ve had those dreams, too. I remember in one of the first I ever had, I opened the door of a kitchen pantry that really existed in our Army post quarters when I’d have been maybe five or six. But instead of seeing a small pantry, it was a huge room, its shelves filled with all kinds of children’s games. And I had this, OH! Now I remember this! moment. When I woke up, I’m not sure whether I was more disappointed that of course such a room never existed, or that I wasn’t actually a little kid anymore.

In those dreams, whether the rooms are full or empty, whether there’s a sense of, Yes, there IS this place, or Oh, I never knew this was here!, dream interpreters generally concur that a house in dreams represents the dreamer. We are each of us, of course, full of mysteries, of unexplored rooms, of places within that can be called Narnia or Middle Earth or Wonderland.

I do have an actual physical wardrobe, and probably if I ever opened it and heard the laughter or shouts of children from somewhere beyond what I think is its solid wooden back, it would terrify me!

Legacy Writing 365:345

Monday morning, I was having a long, convoluted dream (as many of mine are). One of those cast of thousands dreams. Just before I woke up, I dreamed I was sitting in a room and my mother walked in. She was laughing, and in the other room, I could hear Debby telling our father a story, and he was laughing, too.

“This was a good idea,” Mother said, “us coming here. She always makes us laugh. We’re so proud of her.”

I was smiling when I woke up, and I could distinctly remember a day when I was either at Mother’s, or she was at The Compound, probably in the year or so before she died, and she was talking to Debby on the phone, sometimes hollering with laughter. “I’m SO glad you called,” she told Debby. “You always make me laugh, no matter how I’m feeling.”

Debby has that effect on me, too, and the dream and that memory reminded me of one of my favorite photos. It was 1990 and we were all in Salt Lake City. David had taken his brothers-in-law skiing, and Mother, Debby, and I had lunch out, went to a movie, did some shopping in the mall. On a whim, one of us said, “Let’s get our picture taken with Santa!”

As soon as we received the photo, Debby said, “Look at the expression on Mother’s face. She looks like Santa’s goosing her!”

“Gave me a chill all over my body,” Mother said and cackled.

Nightswimming…in fear

There’s something so unfair about waking oneself up from a dream in which the town is about to be massacred by gun-toting mercenaries only to fall back asleep and dream of being at a high school class reunion. Nobody deserves two terrifying dreams.

Plus in the reunion dream, the building we were in had a disembodied female voice that would ask for my birth certificate number every time I walked through a door. Which I don’t have, being an alien and all.

Button Sunday

Another button from my days in the bookstore.

Last night I had a very long and complicated dream about working at Borders. Usually when I dream about working at a bookstore, it’s Bookstop, and I generally have those dreams when I’m under a lot of stress.

This time, however, I know the dream is because I’ve been reading articles about the last few days of the final Borders stores. It seems to me both chains followed pretty much the same trajectory. They were begun by people who had a passion for books. The unique approaches each founder bought to the bookselling world resulted in fast and furious success. They expanded to their breaking point, then sold out to a larger corporate entity who wanted to cash in on their success. Regardless of how passionate the chains’ booksellers, customers, and local management were, from the top down the stores were driven by profit without regard to the products and services provided. They lost all the qualities and practices that made them a success to begin with.

And in time, they failed and shuttered their stores.

The cities and towns where they once existed have lost a place to discover new books and rediscover familiar writers, meet authors at book signings, enjoy a community where a cup of coffee can be read over a newspaper or magazine, find knowledgable people who can help answer that plaintive question Can you tell me something good to read?, join readers’ groups for lively discussions, hook up a laptop and do some work in what many people (including me) feel is one of the best settings in the world–surrounded by walls and shelves of books.

For now, we still have Barnes & Noble, a few smaller chains, independent stores, and our libraries. If we lose those, too, and all reading is dependent on devices, will we be returning to an age when only the privileged have access to learning? Where reading is a luxury denied to a majority of people whose lives consist of work and more work and the struggle to provide food, clothing, and healthcare to their families? Where the newspapers are gone, and the magazines are gone, and maybe some entity just a little crazy and greedy and power mad can silence the fibers and air waves of our televisions, radios, computers, smart phones, and e-readers to keep us focused on whatever is needed to keep the crazy/greedy/power-mad at the top of the heap of humanity?

Maybe it was a stress dream after all…

Famous People Dreams

It amuses me when I have dreams with celebrities in them because they never really take the direction I’d expect, nor do I spend a lot of my waking hours thinking about celebrities. Sometimes famous people get all tangled up with people from my real life and characters from my novels and from The Young and the Restless. Those dreams leave me tired.

Here are some famous people dreams I can remember offhand.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I dreamed I was on the waitstaff of a restaurant owned and managed by Barbara Walters. It was a horribly laid out restaurant, with the kitchen a vast distance from the diners. I wonder if I think Barbara Walters is out of touch. Nah, I generally admire Barbara Walters.

Once I dreamed that Ringo Starr picked me up in a limo. (Well, he was in the limo. He had a driver.) We rode all around an unnamed city while he told me stories about his life. At the end of our drive, Barbara Bach (his wife) was waiting on the sidewalk. After I said goodbye to Ringo, I left the limo. Barbara shook my hand, smiled at me, got in the car with him, and they drove away. I don’t remember a single one of his stories, but the dream me was enthralled.

A long time ago, I dreamed that I spent an amorous night with Mick Jagger in a house trailer. I think I remember this one because it bewilders me. I’ve never been particularly attracted to Mick Jagger. And also–Trailer Park Mick doesn’t compute. And finally, the dream was from his Jerry Hall years, and she could totally kick my ass.

In the late 1980s, I dreamed that Bret Michaels had been my brother in a previous life (maybe early 1800s). We were separated by some cruel mischance, but he had given me a ring belonging to our mother so that he’d recognize me if we ever met again. I remembered every detail of that ring when I awoke. Two years and another state later, I worked with a woman who was given a ring identical to my dream ring for her birthday. Crazy, huh?

Also crazy, but not about a famous person: I once dreamed I was with my friend Steve R (it was around 1990, and Steve was still alive) in a movie theater. The movie made us cry, so we ran out of the theater, which was in a hotel, and took the elevator to our room to hide under the covers. There was more to the dream, but here’s the crazy part. Four years later, I stayed in an upscale hotel in Delaware, and my room was exactly like the hotel room in my dream. And there’s a theater in that hotel (though it’s for live performances, not films).

I had a dream that Queen Latifah was my girlfriend. Just because I’m straight doesn’t mean I don’t have good taste in women. I have called her “my Queen” ever since. Women who are lesbians tell me I can’t have her. Bitches.

And of course, already documented on my blog several years ago, I dreamed Laura Bush was Tim’s mother. She was actually pretty cool; also, they smoked the same brand of cigarette. I wonder if she quit smoking, too?

ETA: Probably because I wrote this just before I went to bed Wednesday night, I dreamed that I was ironing shirts for Chris Noth, Steven Weber, and some deeply closeted country singer whose name I don’t remember and who may or may not be a real person. I do not appreciate using dream time to iron.

ETA Redux: Going back through my “Dreams” tag, I see that I’ve had dream appearances from other famous people including that unnamed/possibly fictional male country singer. Also: K.T. Oslin; Rene Zellweger; Al Gore; Bill Cosby; Michael Stipe; Brad Pitt.

Hump Day Happy

Yes, I still have the migraine. And I’m having some really bizarre dreams because of drugs. I’m especially dreaming about other people’s parents. Even when I don’t know their parents. So hi, other people’s parents. Thanks for checking on me while I’m sleeping.

Meanwhile, nothing stops the quest for happiness. So please, for my peace of mind, comment with a page number between 1 and 611, and another number between 1 and 25, and I’ll let you know what this book says you have to be happy about.



Last week, the largest number of votes from people–even ones who didn’t want happiness–was for “bobcat.” This week: mountain lion or cougar? You be the judge.

Checking in

I always feel like a slacker when I go a day without posting. I’ve been dealing with a migraine all day and only want to be in bed. In a dark room. With no dogs barking.

However, I did see a couple of things in my book of literary days that amused me. The first was that Victor Hugo married on October 14, 1822, and at the wedding breakfast, his older brother suddenly went insane. A pre-television sitcom!

Also on this date, Dorothy Parker, Robert Sherwood, and Peter Benchley, who’d been forbidden by Vanity Fair to discuss their pay rates, wore signs around their necks that revealed their salaries.

Finally, during a migraine dream, I learned that a Very Famous Country Star is gay. The problem is, I don’t know very many country stars, and this one’s identity kept changing in the dream. So I’m not really sure who he was. And I don’t out people, anyway. Especially when I’ve only dreamed they’re gay. But it was fun eavesdropping on his phone conversation with his wife-in-name-only. This is what good drugs’ll do for my dreams.