Writing Lessons from a Dream

I used to dream a lot! Vivid, storyline dreams that made complete sense…until I woke up. But lately those kind of dreams are rare. So when I had a dream about Donald Maass as my drama coach dancing with me ballroom style as I sang “Popular,” I had to laugh! Here’s why…

I’m an impressionable dreamer. I actually DREAM things that my consciousness experiences, usually the night before.

Last night as I ate Ben and Jerry’s as my last hurrah before I went no sugar this week, I watched Drop Dead Diva. There was an episode on where Jane is in one of her fun dream sequences where she’s dancing with a popular male vocal Chip and Daleish group and her old, frumpy boyfriend shows up for a dance. She wakes and tells her friend Stacey about it. Stacey, in her wonderful, ditzy blonde goodness, thinks it’s a sign that Jane needs to date her old boyfriend. Jane reluctantly agrees, but in the end Jane and Stacey learn that the dream really had no meaning, and sometimes a dream is just to dream.

So as I share with you my crazy dream, you decide. Just a dream or a prophetic sign? Whatever you decide, it sure was a fun one!

As far as dreams go, it started out pretty normal. Random craziness with an obscure goal as I traveled somewhere. Vague enough for you?

But when I finally arrived at my goal, I was surprised to find I was in a Donald Maass acting workshop. Yes, acting! While he talked and demonstrated some dance moves, I tried to imitate them, but I was barefoot and everyone else wore shoes. So I put mine on. A pair of black pumps I owned in real life used for my ballroom dance lessons that hurt my feet. So I took them off again.

Then we were asked to sit in chairs in a semi circle around the dance floor. As Don placed everyone in their seat, I tried on a few other pair of shoes I just happened to be carrying around with me and settled on a funky pair of red flat boots with lace up ties. When he got to me, I was the last one and instead of placing me in a chair he took my hand and spoke to me. Oh, how I wish I could remember that conversation, but in essence he told me I was going to dance a scene with him and that it might not be in my comfort zone, but he wanted me to be open minded and try it. At first, I was reluctant, but agreed. Then we started to dance, ballroom style, first cautiously as I timidly sang “Popular” from the Wicked musical. My steps were small and unsure at first, and my voice muffled as I sang with “cotton in my ears.” Then he whispered, “Follow me and take big steps.” And we glided across the dance floor as I belted out the song, “I’m gonna be Popular.”

Dancing felt effortless as I was carried by my partner and sang my guts out. While dancing, I didn’t worry about what I looked like or how I sounded (because I had no clue with the cotton in my ears,) I just trusted my partner and knew by the smile on his face that I was going to be popular.

And when the song ended and I poked a baby alligator peeking up from a drain in the floor (after all, this WAS a dream,) I heard the roar of the applause coming from my cottoned ears, and I knew I was popular. Then I took my seat, not in the semicircle, but in the audience.

Was this dream a sign from God that one day I’ll be ballroom dancing with Donald Maass? I highly doubt it! Was it the result of my crazy weekend carting my kids to their play, reading Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass, working on my WIP after two weeks off, and watching Dancing with the Stars and Drop Dead Diva! Most definitely!

But maybe, just maybe it was also a sign.

If I analyzed each part of this dream it speaks to my conscious dreams, goals and fears!

When I started reading Fire in Fiction this weekend, I was inspired to work on my WIP again. It’s no secret my current WIP scares me on a couple of levels. It’s based on the real life story of my grandmother, and I’m writing it in a new genre, Women’s fiction. I want to do it justice, and honestly, I don’t want this story to be just another practice WIP on my way to publication. I want this to be THE ONE!

So I understand the setting of my dream  most likely resulted from my weekend experiences. Even poking the alligator makes sense to me, but why the song Popular? It’s one of my daughter’s favorites, and we did sing it in the car last week, but we also sang half of the songs on the Wicked cd.

No dream interpretation needed on this one.

Popular, I want to this WIP to be popular and maybe, just maybe I need to turn on the music, sing my heart out, and take giant, scary steps with Donald Maass.

What do you think?

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