Sandy's Articles

Finding Inspiration: Delve into your Dreams
by Sandy Kastel

I always keep a pen and notebook by my bed so when I wake up in the morning to write down my dreams. I find them a great resource for ideas. Here’s one example.

“I am on stage with Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox. We are rehearsing for a show and Brad Pitt runs into the theater, up the aisle and jumps on stage. ‘Do you need anything from the store?’ He picks me up like I’m a rag doll and swings me around planting a big kiss on my lips. My face must be burning red because I can hardly breath! I look into his baby blues and melt when Tina brings me back to reality, ‘Alright, that's enough, you, two! I have to wait till I get home to get any.’ Brad grins and my knees go weak.’”

In this dream there is enough information for the start of a story. In this case my ‘story’ is being told in first person with a specific setting, public figures (whose names would be changed) and a love interest. Let’s continue…

“Reba pokes her head in from upstage. Her hair has grown out and she's wearing a top from her new line. "What's shaking, ladies? We gonna have some fun tonight?" Aretha leans back relaxing in her favorite red leather chair. ‘We've got all the basics covered. All we need to know is when you and Dolly are going to bring out the big guns.’ In walks Dolly from stage right, her arms full of freshly baked goodies as we rush to help her. Once we settle in the green room, she looks around for the director’s chair. ‘Well, how y'all doin'? I made my favorite recipe for double chocolate chip cookies. I sure hope you love eatin’ 'em as much as I love makin' 'em.’ The table is dwarfed by the platters and bowls full of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and chocolate chip cookies. ‘This is my momma’s recipe for fried chicken. And honest to goodness, it’s the best fried chicken North of the Mason Dixon Line’. As everyone gathers around the table she throws her hands up in the air. ‘I may have overdone it a little, but I wanted to make sure you girls had a good home-cooked meal tonight. Now, who wants to say grace?’”

The characters have already begun to develop as the roles they play in the story. Dreams are a hotbed of ideas when you pay attention. Even if you are not planning to write a story about the characters in your dreams, there may be elements that might be mined from the texture woven into your subconscious while you are sleeping. What is it they say? If you drill a ton of ore, you might find an ounce of gold? If you can find one special nugget of a story you can build upon to entice your readers you will have a gold mine! The important thing is to use the tool. It’s a gift, if you choose to use it.

Sandy Kastel, Author Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths