Dreams

Tom commented on Chapter 30:

“Interesting dream there. Wonder what that portends. And, why was there not more commentary on it by Rick? Seems a little strange to me that he would have this dream about sacrificing Lacey and then not really be bothered by it.”

I never realized just how large a part dreams play in my novels until I was doing the serious editing pass on Return from Avalon (and Points West).  In that book, Arnie dreams almost every night.  Whoever or whatever (can’t tell you, because that would spoil the book for you when it comes out any day now) is driving his life uses dreams to communicate.  He dreams constantly about his spirit guide, an older man with fire flecks in his eyes.  He dreams about Civil War battles, and about dying or being a ghost on a battlefield; he even finds a cannon that he dreamed about a few nights before.  He dreams about King Arthur, particularly about a fictitious battlefield where Arthur returned to fight the French in the 17th Century.  He even dreamed the death of the original Arthur.

Strange Bedfellows, by contrast, didn’t have many dreams.  Walter had one at the beginning, that he interpreted as permission to use his lottery winnings to leave Honey.

I was outfitted in camouflage, face paint and a bush hat like some pudgy, middle-aged Rambo, hidden up on some mountainside, watching the valley below.  Through my binoculars I could see a steady stream of 18-wheelers pulling up a vast, tree-lined circular driveway to a mansion fronted by a perfect row of Doric columns.  There a man dressed in butler’s garb directed a squad of forklifts unloading pallet-loads of Twinkies and stacking them in front of the massive front door.

And of course, Amy has her “special dreams,” erotic fantasies that Aunt Morgan sends her.  But dreams don’t play a big part in that book.

Now they’re back.  Rick is dreaming pretty regularly about the golden-haired woman.  Dreams that place her in a much older times, among the standing stones that aren’t on the island but have left their marks.

So, what is the point of these dreams?  Are they “sent” by the golden-haired woman?  Or is it merely Rick’s subconscious working out all the stuff that’s going on in his life, just like you do in your dreams?

I can’t answer that for two reasons.  First, it would definitely be a spoiler of things to come–there’s one VERY important dream coming up before the end of the book.  Second, I’m philosophically opposed to the author “telling” what’s supposed to be happening.  You get it from the story, not from the writer’s commentary.  If at the end you’re unsatisfied, the author did a crappy job.

NOTE: isn’t that the coolest thing about reading a book serially on a blog?  You get to TELL the author he’s doing a crappy job, right on the spot. 

But I’ll tell you why I didn’t have Rick didn’t react more to that dream: I think the symbolism is obvious, both to Rick and to the reader.   Rick has just learned that George “sacrificed” his relationship with Lacey for the golden-haired woman; now his subconscious is playing out the scene.   Once he wakes up and realizes that, he just gets on about his life.

Here are a couple of altars and stone circles today, both in Wales.  Maybe you’ll dream about them tonight.

altar and stone circle, beacons national park, walesAltar stone and standing stones in Beacons National Park.  The  two formations do not appear to be related.

This altar stone and circle of standing stones is in Howard Parc.  The altar is “ruinous”–i.e., some of the stones have fallen and their original positions are not distinguishable.  The size of the standing stones and their relationship with the altar are closer to Avalon, S.C. in this arrangement.

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5 thoughts on “Dreams

  1. Just now read your explanation of Rick’s not commenting on the Lacey dream. I had already given that as my interpretation in a reply to Tom’s comment. WooHoo. I got it!

    Do you think perhaps that you use dreams as a way to shy away from narrative symbolism? How’s that for English major speculation? 😉

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