CRAZY dream

Listening to: Season of the Witch

I just had a crazy dream. In it, we were on a cruise and stopped at places like a haunted house movie theater, an antique house that was actually a large amusement park ride, and a giant water park of similar design. As we went to each place, my friends and I (there were a lot of them, like 7) were constantly accosted by people trying to steal my bag or my iPad. I kept checking I had them, and if didn’t, it was Danger Panic time.

We went through everything the first time getting through panic without knowing why. Then the dream repeated, showing me all of the details I or the others had missed.

One villain in particular proved to be the author of all our troubles. An ageless Witch needed all of my devices–the contacts list on my phone, some unsynced notes on my iPad, and some pictures and an executable file on a flash drive. All stuff in my bag (none of it with a real life counterpart)

She befriended me on the train, but when she stole two of the things out of my bag, one of my friends caught her and stole them back. He told our oldest friend, sort of the group Dad, and he counseled secrecy.

This sort of thing kept happening. At the amusement park house, I caught her and made sure I got to my bag first as it came out of security. I also made friends with a guard who kept watch on the Witch on the cameras for me. When I found a spell in my bag, I told him her true name ( one of my seven original friends had snooped it out) and asked him to burn the spell papers in a bin under his desk and get that image into a collage that’s part of a scary bit of the ride.

She got the message.

The Witch kidnapped one of our friends–one she damned as silly–and found he had his phone. She let him keep it because she could monitor his use, and all he did was send selfies to his boyfriend.

What she didn’t realize was that his boyfriend was in our group of 8 friends and every one of those photos was of him posing or blowing kisses in a spot that, when combined, gave us the layout of the water park she had booby-trapped. We navigated the traps, got him back, and defeated the Witch.

I can’t write this as a story, it’s too disjointed, but it was one of those really vivid dreams that makes it hard to breathe when you wake up but you’re really ALERT afterwards. Maybe not even rested, just super alert.


Why I Don’t Like Up


Listening to: Lilac Wine – Jeff Buckley

I think we should stop using the word theory for fan theories. Theory implies that it’s an idea one feels to be true, when there is not really such a think as truth in fiction–only accuracy, intention, or honesty. My thing about Up is not a fan theory, it’s a way that I have analysed the repulsing affect this movie has on me. I apologise if I’ve repeat anything I’ve said before. Also, I probably spelled names wrong and totally forgot one of the character’s names, but I’ll just have to be forgiven. I want to post this and if I don’t put Owen to sleep right now, he’s going to IMPLODE.

This morning, Owen was watching Up, a movie that I have never cared for, and he watches on effing repeat. A lot of people say that the beginning is too sad, and I agree, but probably not for the same reasons. After the tearjerker open, the rest of the story tugs gradually less at the heartstrings. It actually parallels fairly well with the increasing levels of silliness. At the saddest possible moment, when Mr Frederikson is seconds away from being forced to leave his home (which he seems to have as a placeholder for his wife, to the point of conflation, in an emotional sense) the whimsy kicks in.

It’s a great moment, but everything that happens afterward is zany. I hate that word, and it describes exactly what it’s like to watch this movie. As in a dream, elements of Mr Frederikson’s life are combined and spat back out in unlikely ways that give him things that he wanted in his life, which were never possible.

Russell’s character is obvious. The Frederiksons wanted to have children, but were unable to do so. So his mind takes the actual child he met and crafts a believable fantasy. Not just a kid to bond with, but one who slowly erodes whatever defences he built up when he learned he wouldn’t be a father (“I don’t like kids anyway” kind of thing) and then provides a fulfilment of the protective instinct by needing a father figure where his expected one failed.

A blurry one is the dog, Dug. From what we saw of Mr Frederikson’s family, they appeared to be repressed and strict, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility that he was one of the many boys who wanted a dog and couldn’t have one. It also looks like he lived in a city (I assumed Manhattan for some reason) so there’s another reason a dog might not happen. And don’t even get me started on the significance of dogs in dream interpretation.

The last and zaniest fantasy is that of meeting his childhood hero. This one is a giant Torgue-y level of explosion noise, psychologically speaking. Mr Frederikson doesn’t just go to that long-promised vacation spot. He meets the explorer whom both he and his wife admired as children. This is basically what brought them together. And upon meeting the man, he discovers that he is psychotic, murderous, and although his accomplishments remain the stuff of admiration, the man himself goes from hero to threat.

Where to even start with that one? I could liken the childhood hero to Mr Frederikson’s marriage, relationship with his wife, and/or the inspiration and drive to just live every day. His wife’s death was like finding out that the hero was evil. What good is love, if it ends this painfully, one might say. (I wouldn’t, but other people do think that way) I thought that the plot point where Mr Frederikson has to throw out a bunch of his material possessions so that he can save the day seemed tacked on, an extraneous message that didn’t need to be there.

But what if. What if it isn’t just an anti-materialism message? What if the hero/villain does represent the pain of Mrs Frederikson’s death, and letting go of all of the things meant that in order to save himself from that pain, he had to stop living in the past? Maybe he was forcing himself to stop using his wife’s possessions as a crutch to avoid accepting her death. Eventually, the house “dies” with the villain.

The ending is idealistic and the sense of scale is insane. There aren’t any consequences for spending days in South America. The only important thing is that Russell gets to have his father figure fulfill a specific need. The mind is not rational in fantasy. None of this is real.

To me, though, it doesn’t come off like a funny fantasy story, not with a beginning like that. To me, it looks like the last spinning dream of a man who has given up. Manic, frenzied, telling jokes that aren’t funny and then laughing at itself. Nothing feels real because it isn’t.

I don’t like this movie because it feels like watching someone hallucinate while he lies dying.



Travelling via Novel

Just woke up, and I have only a few minutes before Owen has to eat, so this probably won’t be terribly coherent or long.

When I’m really tired, which right now is pretty much of the time, and I try to read just about anything, it affects my mind. Directly. To most people, this simply suggests that I dream about what I read. This is kind of but merely part of it. It changes what I dream. Not just the content, though. It changes how deep an effect my dreams have on me, including in my waking moments.

But it isn’t just what I dream. Maybe it’s because I spend so much of the time that I am tired trying desperately to stay awake, but when I’m reading and I doze off or shut my eyes and fail to open them, I stay helplessly awake but adrift. Even if I mean to sleep and am actively encouraging that change in state, my body physically fights it off. And as some kind of side effect, I think more densely and often rapidly than when I am just awake.

Depending on what I’m reading, those dense and rapid lines of thought can get pretty strange. Everything from shots of random weirdness to fully comprehensible concepts that seem to pertain to a nonexistent reality. To elaborate upon that second sort of happening, it’s kind of like… say I think that it’s Abraham’s turn to pick up the kids from soccer practise so I’d better take the opportunity to work on my thesis. Who is Abraham? My only child is not old enough for soccer. I say “football” 99% of the time. I don’t think I’ve even read a thesis in a while.

It could probably all fall under a heading that’s abstractly set to the music of a Plumb album. There’s a clear link between the different kinds of thoughts and all those factors, and what I was reading. But it’s not a very understandable link. I had a very detailed conversation with Hubby, not a word of it actually spoken in reality, while dozing off in the middle of Stranger on Raven’s Ridge, of all things.

Still, it made me think about the concept of mental travel via fiction. Wouldn’t it be much more interesting if it was more like this than it is like people usually depict it? That way being akin to visiting an amusement park made by people who never actually read the book in question.

Gotta make formula and feed mah bebe.



A really persistent one. I thought I slept fine last night, was up and showered around 5:00, but then I laid back down a couple of hours later and konked out.

Kind of wish I hadn’t. At first I was cold, but I guess I overheated and had a nightmare anyway. I woke up from it a couple of times, but it came back as soon as I fell asleep.

It was in at least two parts, but the only one I remember now was the second half–which, if this had been a book or a film, would have really been the first part. Sort of like a flashback. All I remember of the first half was that there was a man in a house in wanted to kill my husband and me, but less than he wanted to kill everyone else. We got out of his satanic mess alive, but there were coffins and headstones everywhere at the end of it.

The second half was supposed to explain it somehow. He and his sister had been very similar to us (looks and situation, obviously nothing to do with our being a married couple) and while they’d been at a store, some angry white guy had accosted them. The workers there hid them, but he waited for them.

He caught up with them in the parking lot, and mostly picked on the sister. She brushed him off, but in the first part of the dream, someone had said she’d gotten herself killed with a song. That was when she sang it. Basically a jab at the angry guy for being a loser. He pulled out a gun.

Somehow in the ensuing frenzy, her brother took him down and the stupid angry guy shot himself. But for some reason after that, there were people who sympathised with him and wanted to hurt the surviving brother. While trying to drive away, injured sister in the back, someone threatened to kill them for their car being in the way. It was absurd. I woke up mad, wanting to kick in the stupid driver’s window and attack him with his own set of stupid-looking knives.

That’s mostly what I remember. Being terrified and hating the stupidity of this person with knives who thought it appropriate to threaten to stab someone instead of waiting for the car park to freakin’ clear a little.

I haven’t written about my dreams in a while. They’ve mostly been nightmares like this. It’s all down to being too hot no matter what I do and for some reason not being able to breathe.


The Beautiful People

I probably should have tried to record this dream as soon as I had woken up, but I had a hectic morning. It involved the ability to actually wash my own hair (gasp!), a Blue Screen of Death, and almost forgetting my cane.

My morning, not the dream.

Anyway, there was one part of my dream that has really stuck with me, in spite of the fact that it was the most mundane part of it. The really crazy stuff was that these people all lived in smarthouses, and that some of them worked for the government as some kind of spies. They were all pretty young adults, and every one of them was conspicuously good-looking. In an unsettling way.

I don’t remember any names, although they did have them in my dream, but there were about five of them that stood out. I guess I could give them names now, but I think it’d just confuse me… Oh well, I’ll try anyway.

Two of them were women, best friends. One of them, let’s call her Heather, had nearly white platinum blonde hair in a pixie cut, with narrow eyes and a generally icy and severe appearance. She was very practical and observant. Careful. Her best friend was a curvy and absolutely adorable brunette named Meredith, but everyone called her Beth for some reason. Beth was agile and amiable to everyone in the world. No one could not love this girl.

Beth’s other best friend was… er, Matt works. He was a handsome rich guy who came from old money and had the nicest smarthouse. He lived with his boyfriend, and his family thought he was gay, but he was bisexual. He pretended to be gay so that his mother wouldn’t try to set him up with ladies and demand grandchildren. Instead, she did that to his brother, and one of those girls she wanted to marry into the family was Beth.

Matt’s boyfriend, who did not have a name or much “screentime”, was cheating on him. Heather caught him, but kept it to herself for a while because other stuff was going on.

Some Japanese agent (who may have been a cyborg I dunno) moved into the neighbourhood and started breaking into their houses. She had basically been sent to kill them all.

One of the other agents, possibly the plainest, was a young woman named… Careigh. She was short and kind of intense. She noticed that things were going missing, so she gathered everyone together. The Japanese agent flooded the room, but one of Careigh’s demon animal sidekick things (my dreams are weird) attacked her, forcing her into the flooded room.

David, the last of the circle of agents (whatever they were) managed to turn off the water, while the others fought the Japanese agent. After it was over, everyone was wet and annoyed. They let David and Careigh take care of business and went home. Beth and Matt tried to act normal and hang out, but then the dream did this weird static shift thing, and kept replaying one scene.

That scene was of Matt’s boyfriend leaving, just the back of his head visible as he walked away, and then Heather hopping down from the trees to talk to Matt. She told him that his boyfriend was cheating on him, and the Beth was in love with him (Matt). She said that she didn’t care what he did about it, so long as he didn’t hurt Beth. He implied that she might love Beth, and she ridiculed him for making such a stupid suggestion (and was quite sincere).

The weird thing is, the things that she told him were backed up by other events I had seen in the dream. I saw the cheating, the fact that only Heather saw it happen and confirmed that it was more than a one-time deal, and that Beth and Matt were sort of star-crossed.

David and Careigh kept their minds on their jobs and their weirdness.


Stream of consciousness

Sometimes when I open up 750 Words to write, I don’t know what I want to write. This can get so severe that I put off writing for much of the day. Usually I can think of something, but it’s always a little bit funny when I do.

Today I got started because I’m probably not going to have any time to write anything today. It’s my niece’s birthday party, and we have to drive out to West Jordan in ten or twenty minutes. You’d think I could have written about that, heh.

Instead, I wrote about this weird dream I had. It was bizarrely calm. Just these two guys talking about their love lives in the basement during a sort of personal apocalypse. One mistook the other for having a crush on one of the girls in their party, and upon learning that his friend had no romantic leanings towards anyone at that time, allowed himself to be coaxed into talking about his own failed relationship with one of the other girls with them.

Writing about it got me a much clearer, more interesting and rather wordy understanding of what had been ‘said’, and I decided that while I probably didn’t like this girl that they were talking about and did find the guy talking to be rather more appealing as a character, it wasn’t because of the topic the two guys were discussing. He wasn’t dumping on her, but I had a feeling I just didn’t like her.

What he said about her was that neither of them understood the other well enough to make a relationship work, and that she was the one who had broken it off, that she had given reasons he didn’t believe to be accurate but that he didn’t think she was lying about them. Just wrong in her assessment of what had gone wrong.

Anyway, yeah. I guess I like writing off the top of my head, but I don’t think it makes for very good fiction. Probably not very good blog posts either.


Prose Roleplaying: No Need For Dream Sequences

When writing a prose RP, in email or a forum, wherever, that runs for a significant amount of time, there may come a time when a player’s character is rendered unconcious. This is most commonly either sleep (voluntary or not) or being knocked out by force. Blackouts are pretty much the same thing as the latter. But no matter how the character is incapacitated, or how appropriate to the RP’s events their change in consciousness is, it always has one rather major consequence: the person playing is momentarily out of the action as well.

This is absurd, when you think about it. The way that I have always seen people deal with it is by writing dream sequences, invariably to exposit the character’s tragic backstory. There’s really no need for this at all, an it can be pretty irritating to the other players, especially if the character in question has been harping on “tantalising hints” constantly.

It’s really lazy, and the failure to think of anything else just baffles me. There are tonnes of things that you could do instead, especially if you’re writing in third person. Write about how your PC feels about something relevant to the story. Talk about backstory in an upfront way, using a part of their backstory that isn’t meant to be a shocking reveal later. Take a step out of the character’s head and reflect, about anything.


Curled up in a corner of the big bed, Jamie slept on. Nathan had been missing since the second attack. If he had still been around, she would not have been able to rest so easily. Her companions were noble people, if a little strange, but they didn’t understand what he was capable of. She rolled over; her arm flopped up to cover her eyes.

No dream. And not necessarily backstory-dumping, if the business with Nathan is plot-relevant.

If you’re writing more than one character, it’s even easier. Just don’t write in Blank’s POV while he’s asleep. Use someone else’s.

In first person and only one PC in your hand, I can see why you’d think you have to do this. You still don’t and it’s still lazy and boring. You can write the character thinking in retrospect.


[After being knocked unconsious] I had never been good at this stuff. Fighting. I couldn’t even win a heated argument. Whatever had made me think I could go up against a guy with fists the size of Chrismas hams? A question that would go unanswered. If I was lucky.

Many people will tell you not to write dream sequences at all, ever. Myself included. They are clumsy, generally unwelcome to readers, and pointlessly lazy. But in roleplaying, no one seems to know that there is a different tactic. There is. I just talked about some.


Dreaming in a round

A lot of the time, when I start waking up, whatever I’m dreaming will start to repeat. It may also start re-initiating events, but out of order. Often, when either of these things happens, I am not ‘myself’ in my dreams. The person that the dream centres around (sort of like first person) begins to panic, and events resolve (or fail to resolve) in undesirable ways.

Things can get dangerous, and it’s actually upsetting for me. So when I wake up, even if the dream really was just a jumble of images and mashed up things going on in or recognisable from my life, I feel like I just had a nightmare.

It’s weird.

Ugh, short post. Forgot to schedule the TRoOS update again, so I’ll go put that up in a second. I finished three of the five prosies I need to finish Round 3. One of them is kind of… Iffy. I might rewrite, although I really really don’t want to.


A dream that I fullly intend to write

After a week, possibly multiple weeks, of not sleeping enough at night, I just managed to take a three-hour nap and had the best dream ever.

In my dream, there was a group of friends who all lived in different parts of the world. Two of them, a guy and a girl, shared a hobby of reanimating the dead, and they sent related paraphernalia back and forth, as well as trading stories and techniques. Their other friends did not believe in this nonsense. The guy also practised a form of wand magic.

Another of these friends was a rich young lady who regularly house-sat for various family members around the world. Her father owned an airline and these kids were all of a driving age, so she was pretty prepared to travel. But she would frequently get lonely and allow herself to be swayed by the occasional stranger into sharing her travels. One such person managed to mooch off of her every time she stopped to buy food, and the great conflict of the dream came about when he broke into one of the houses, squatted there without knowing, and then tried to charge a plane ticket to France to her.

This was where their next friend came in. He was a very serious guy, who had been raised as something like a Schattenjäger by his father’s best friend. He and his guardian were in Germany at the time of the house desecration, and while the heiress house-sitter was dealing with the plane ticket fiasco, they told her to go back to that family house and they could help.

Meanwhile, the two necromancers had gotten in over their heads. They had bodies everywhere, and there was a nasty build-up of unpleasant spirits beginning to haunt them both. The young man especially was unaware of just what was going to spill out over them when the clouds burst. So to speak.

The guardian gathered them all in the house in Germany. He lectured the heiress for not being more careful of the company she keeps, and that she had basically invited some sort of Romany curse into her life. Then he told the other two kids to stop messing with the dead when they don’t understand the richness of their power. But with these lectures, he fully intended to help the heiress and teach the silly necromancers.

Even as they used a body as a carpet surf board and put the souls of women into dolls.

There was at least one other person in this network of friends, but I think I woke up before he or she could get an introduction. I think she was a gun enthusiast who hunted the butterfly people that had infested and conquered her little unknown island nation.

Hm. You know how when you wake up, what you were just dreaming feels immensely cool and possibly productive? But then you write it down and it sounds ridiculous. Haha, I just did that. Oh well. I think I might be able to use something. I sort of have this bizarre ensemble cast that could use a good guardian who is aware of the supernatural.


Lots of writing again

It’s been rather a slow day, but in a good way. In spite of getting back home near near midnight and then proceeding to read in bed for at least another hour, I got up at 7. So that’s still normal. Birthday did not change my bizarre sleeping and waking habits. First thing I did was debate words or shower. Words won, and I wrote Chapter Eight, something that I had been putting off since yesterday morning. It turned out quite nice. I still think that there are some pacing problems, but I try to comfort myself with the fact that it’s a character-driven story and most of the conflict is either internal or in the relationships.

After I finished that chapter, I had the usual feeling of, “Well, that’s another 3K done, I feel done for the day” and went to go wake up the hubby. He was in a chatty mood, so I had no desire to write.

We talked while I showed him the best parts of Quest For Glory 5. That game speeds to the climax after the fourth or fifth rite. Particularly because most of the time-consuming nature of the puzzles is in figuring them out–which I already did more than ten years ago.

The endgame was easy, since Schmendrick basically kicks so much arse just by waving his staff in a threatening manner. I did have him heal the heck out of Toro. I hate when he dies. It makes me sad. And he wades in to fight the dragon the most aggressively.

I did forget to use fireproofing potion. I felt foolish for it later.

After I had words, shower, and entire game series behind me, I felt like I should write some more. It helped that while I was in the shower, I had the first sentence for the ninth chapter pop into my head. I think I’m doing okay at keepng time passing, but sometimes the links from one event to the next are very close.

I didn’t really feel like opening up 750 words again, not when I wasn’t by myself, so I went to Write or Die and picked up the offline desktop app. It’s a nice no-frills word processor in its own right, but the frills it does have are definitely the point.

If you haven’t used the Write or Die web app, go give it a try. I don’t think it has the best word count algorithm (or whatever the right word is) but it does have full screen writing, and it keeps you writing with different levels of severity in punishing you for getting distracted. Never write four words and then wander off again.

I input 3K words as my goal and gave myself 75 minutes, thinking that usually it takes me about and hour and fifteen minutes to write that much in 750 Words. I think I ended up reaching my word goal with about 4 minutes to spare, so that was spot on.

It’s kinda funny. I should feel really super accomplished when I get a good six thousand words done. But I have all these ways of letting myself know that it isn’t really that much.

Probably it’s all in the language I use. It’s “only” two chapters. Two is a small number. Done in only two sessions. Just over two hours. And this is the third time that I’ve done it. When you set your daily goal at 3000 and you reach it in an hour, you know that you could do more than that.

But like I’ve said before, writing is really, really draining. With this kind of speed and momentum, I am very tempted to think that I could join the ranks of those people who can finish a 50K novella in three days. If I spent five or six hours writing, I’d get about 18000 words, right? If I kept up the pace. If no one interrupted me. If I could do that three days in a row.

Now that is a compelling experiment. I still kind of give it the wary eye though. I don’t think I have that kind of discipline, even though there are some days where I can get that kind of time to myself.

However. Raise your hand if you want to sit down for five hours knowing that you cannot get up even to stretch your legs or use the loo.

Even when I was working at the REC, I had to stop typing once an hour. Maybe I’ll try five hours in a day with a 10-20 break in between sessions.


Anyway. 27,778 words at present count.