Monday, February 23, 2009

Do You Scare Yourself?

Something woke me at 0525 Sunday morning. Perhaps I heard the door closing as hubby left our bedroom to go to work. But whatever it was, I lay there in the dark listening to a thumping sound for several seconds before realizing my heart was pounding against my rib cage.

My first thought was to run for my blood pressure meds.

My second thought was of the dream I’d been having just before I awoke.

Vivid in its reality, I’d been running through an airport with a ‘bad guy’ just steps behind. I remember running through the concourse, swerving around people of all ages and carts piled with luggage. I needed somewhere to hide, but where? A restroom door appeared before me and I plunged through it, ran a few steps turned right, punched through a stall door, slammed the lock in place, shoved my pants down and dropped onto the toilet seat. Footsteps were right behind me. As I sat there trying to breath as normally as possible, a man bobbed past my stall, trying to peer between cracks in the door. Just when I thought I’d faint from holding my breath, a shout drew my chaser back out to the concourse. I sagged on the seat and listened to my heart beat against my chest wall. And that’s when I awoke.

Several things struck me at that point:

- I was a male in my dream. And if that was so, how’d I get my pants down so quick? I must’ve been wearing sweats instead of jeans.

- airport restrooms don’t have doors. They have wide curving entrances for handicap accessibility.

- it would’ve been obvious to my chaser that I was in the washroom since he would have seen the door closing behind me. Why then did he give up?

And then as I threw my hand over my heart, willing it to slow, I realized I’d been writing my inspy suspense novel, Translucent Trust earlier and just before falling asleep, I’d been working on a plot development which included a chase scene.

So I guess you could say, I scared myself.

Have you ever scared yourself? Do your stories come to life in your dreams?


  1. DebH says:

    I have definitely scared myself in my dreams before. I've even had such vivid dreams that when I awoke, I couldn't be sure if it really was just a dream or if it really happened in real life.

    of course, I've always been more of a visual person and my mind definately uses dreams to process anything i've read, seen or heard. this is one major reason why i DO NOT go see horror films.

    my mind processes things for at least two weeks afterwards.

    on the plus side, if you've scared yourself there's a high probability that you hit a good emotional level with your writing that will connect with your readers.

  2. Yeah Deb, that's it! I can't watch horror flicks either, because the images stay with me. I can even remember the first 'scary' movie I watched when I was 12 and yet no on else in my family remembers it.

    I hope you're right about my dreams reflecting emotion in my writing. It's my first suspense novel so we'll have to see.

    BTW I glanced at the WC board last night and noticed you'd put an entry in. Good show! I haven't been on the board for a couple weeks so I'll have to go back later today and read the entries.

  3. The other night my husband dreamed he had the whole family on the riding mower - it shot up and down hills like a roller coaster, and he drove us all into a lake. LOL

  4. Cheryl, that's too funny. You know, I can envision all sorts of scenarios with this dream. Like maybe he's feeling guilty about going golfing or something instead of cutting the lawn? Or your last words of the night was for him to jump in the lake... LOL

    But then, my hubby dreams that he's flying. And he always lands on something high or he won't be able to take off again. There have been times I've woken to find his arms jerking in bed as he tries to take off from ground level. It's really funny to me but the poor guy is suffering something awful.

    Can you imagine if we have a camp out? Your hubby bobbing up and down as he travels his hills and mine jerking up, flapping his arms as he tries to take flight. :)

  5. Hi Anita,

    All the time. I have vivid dreams that make no sense when I try to explain them to someone, but I know how it felt. So real, and one time, I wasn't able to get out of bed. I stayed until I calmed down. Those dreams tend to stay with me all day long too. Thank goodness for my writing ... where I can escape into something much more fun!

  6. Hey Charlene, it sounds like you don't expand your dreams into your writing. But then, instead of Suspense, your books are of the contemporary and western variety.

    Maybe I should have asked if authors ever dream they're part of their book? Charlene, you'd have some... uh... nice dreams, eh?

    I have this same blog on the eharl site and so far 3 of the comments have been from women who don't watch/read scary shows any longer because the images tend to dwell in their minds. They keep animals like cats around for assurance. If they hear a noise but the cat doesn't react, they don't worry about it.

    Thanks for visiting with me.


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