Monday, October 11, 2010


My husband recently told me about a strange dream he had the night before. The two of us and our older son were in a van. The van drove over a cliff and began to fly, eventually landing softly on a picnic bench in a wooded area. I then left the van and began tacking promotional posters for one of my books up on posts surrounding the area.

His dream got me thinking, and I realized that unlike my husband, I never dream about people I know, at least not in the dreams I remember. I have no idea whether this is common or not. However, the first book I ever wrote, and which subsequently became my second published book, came about as the result of a recurring dream.

I have no clue what my husband’s dream meant. Maybe he thinks I should be promoting my books more so that my royalty checks are larger, given the state of both the national economy and our own finances at the moment. I’ve never been one to put much stock in dream interpretation, probably because I don’t want confirmation of one neurosis or another.

But this led me to wondering about who decided what dreams mean. Did Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, and Frederick Perls all get together one day and have a meeting to decide on a standard interpretation of all the things people dream?

I can picture these four men sitting around Freud’s study. Sigmund calls the meeting to order.
On his lap is a journal listing all possible dreams, in his hand, a pen.:

“All right, gentlemen,” says Siggy, “let’s begin. Shall we start with sex?”

“Typical,” says Adler. “you think everything is connected to sex.”

“Let’s start at the beginning of the alphabet,” says Jung. “Animals. People often dream about animals. What do we think it should mean if someone dreams about an alligator?”

“What if the person is having sex with the alligator?” asks Siggy.

“Give it a break, Sig,” says Perls. He turns to the others. “Dreaming about an alligator must mean you have a thick skin.”

“It could symbolize treachery or deceit,” says Jung.

“Maybe it means you need to look upon a situation differently,” says Adler.

“How so?” asks Jung.

Adler shrugs. “Hey, it’s a dream. Who the hell knows? It can mean anything. Maybe the dreamer just wants a new pair of alligator boots.”

Siggy strokes his beard, pondering for a moment. “I don’t care what the rest of you think. It must have something to do with sex. Everything has to do with sex. Or your mother.”

Anyway, I never did “dream” another book after that first one. I even read up on directed dreaming to see if I could duplicate that experience. That first book practically wrote itself. All I did was jot down what had transpired in my head the night before. I’ve had to work at all the other books I’ve written.

ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN, the first book in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries series will be out in January. Lois has already turned in the second book in the series and is currently “dreaming up” Book 3.


Shane Gericke said...

You never dream about people you know? I'm the opposite--virtually all my dreams are about people I know. Unfamiliar places and situations, though. And, great conversation between the Great Head

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Shane! I probably do dream about people I know, but I never remember those dreams. Maybe they're just too mundane to have any lasting impact.

Meredith Cole said...

Like your dream analysis, Lois! I tried to write a screenplay based on a dream once, but it was too strange and convoluted... I hope someday to dream a whole book (and I hope it happens to you again...)

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Meredith! Wish I could figure out the secret to dreaming books. I'd bottle it and sell it!

Rebecca Cantrell said...

I dream about people I don't know most of the time! And sometimes I'm someone I don't know and sometimes I'm the "camera."

I constantly dream parts of my books. And I once dreamed an entire Die Hard movie sequel (WTH?) that involved an underground lab under that Fox building from the first movie. My dream was even able to afford Bruce Willis to star in it. :)

I do also dream about people I know.

Lois Winston said...

Rebecca, maybe you should write out that Die Hard sequel and see if you can sell it.

Graham Brown said...

Great Post Lois - I heard once that Keith Richards used to dream guitar chords in his sleep - umm.. or whatever he did - and he used to wake up, turn on the tape recorder , play the chord a few times and then pass out er... go back to sleep. Most of the time it sounded like gibberish in the morning but one day he found the riff to Satisfaction on his tape.
You never know.