Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I dreamed I was in the Twilight Zone...

I had a dream that involved me being a novelist writing gritty '30s detective stories, and I was staying out in the woods and having writer's block. I just couldn't finish the novel I was working on.

So I was driving down these muddy dirt roads, trying to clear my head, when I saw a bunch of paperback books laying in this puddle on the side of the road. I pulled over and picked up the waterlogged books, and it was one each of all the novels in my hard-boiled detective series, including the novel I was currently stuck writing, with my name on it and everything, and the copyright date was this year. I had no idea where this book came from or how it got printed or what it was doing on the side of the road.

So I called a friend of mine (a generic dream friend, nobody I know from real life) and we met on this disused railroad trestle and were discussing the possible implications of the book. Should I just transcribe it and send the finished product to the publisher? Can you plagiarize yourself? Or at least your "self" from some alternate universe?

My imaginary dream friend was giving me his ideas. Then Lady Gaga came flying down the road under the trestle on which we were standing in a Porsche 550RS Spyder and very deliberately steered it right into a bridge abutment, going up in a spectacular ball of magnesium-and-gasoline flames. Then I woke up.

21 comments:

reflectoscope said...

Usually if I have a dream like that is the result of spicy food the night before. Anyway, it sure beats going to school in your skivvies.

Jim

David said...

Shame you woke before getting to watch Lady Gaga burn up...

Tam said...

All I remember before waking was that imaginary dream friend was upset because he was apparently Lady Gaga's agent or something...

John said...

Sounds like y'r Muse is stirring. With all the assorted Lit and History in which you soaked -- nay, marinated, there is a whole library shelf waiting to be written.

Or,the late full Moon's waning may have something to do with your Dreamworld. Sacrifice a mastodon thigh at the Shaman's doorway, eat his moss and mushroom Rx, and sleep tighter, if not so much entertained.

Hmmm..'greement'?

Anonymous said...

If you want wild dreams, have a ton of electrolytes right before bed. An evening of full strength Gatoraid guarantees rockin good dreams!

McVee said...

Hmm. I wonder if Lady GaGa in a dream is the dream version of Godwins rule...

Tam said...

McVee,

The funny thing is, I can't even really picture what she looks like and only know of that one song she did, so I have no idea why my subconscious decided to tag that particular avatar as "Lady Gaga"...

McVee said...

Yup, the all dreams eventually succumb to GaGa! :)

Here, enjoy:
http://youtu.be/6tZG5j1nGsA

Lady GaGa, Christopher Walken and Cartman.

OH!

Jay G said...

Tam,

What the hell do you eat before bed???

Tam said...

The dream friend's idea was this:

Use the finished book to reverse-engineer a manuscript, send it in to be edited, and see if it came back matching the book I had found...

I thought that was kinda cool.

Anonymous said...

The Lady Gaga part makes perfect sense. Dunno about the rest.

Standard Mischief said...

Entertaining blog post, but are you secretly hoping one of us had just been huffing the vapors over at Delphi?

Stretch said...

Using Absinthe to wash down the ol' Peyote Pizza?

w/v = "chultia"
Chultia was Cthulu's youngest offspring.

Oh great, now I'm gonna have Cthulu dreams all night.

Jenny said...

I think you'd drive Joseph to drink.

"Gah! Not you again! I told you lady, I got no idea! Not about the kazoo, not about the jelly sandwich, and not about the freakin' midgit in the balloon! No idea, okay?

Can't you dream about something normal for once? One freakin' cow maybe? God, ever since the one schtick with Pharoah.. I have so got to find me a new gig...."

Ancient Woodsman said...

On the other thing, Fogerty v. Fantasy found in favor of Mr. Fogerty that no, you cannot plagiarize yourself.

Have at it and see in what universe the re-engineered reprint shows.

Heath said...

GaGa ate a bridge abutment in your dream?


Alls well that ends well :P

Charles Pergiel said...

You have the best dreams.

kishnevi said...

Did you perchance ever read The Anubis Gates (Tim Powers)?

Isaac said...

Typical of Lady Gag (not a typo) to ruin a perfectly good dream....or anything, for that matter.

Larry said...

GaGa was a red herring. The secret is in the abandoned railroad trestle.
Apropos of nothing I suppose, even though I am a vociferous reader I cannot read in my dreams. The words either do not make sense in and of themselves or are not in a context where they make sense.

Brad K. said...

@ Tam,

I kind of like this dream, it has a recognizable beginning, and a tidy wrap up.

The 1930s detective stories were, by and large, pulp fiction. Amusing and interesting, but mostly churned out to spec, with little emphasis on helping the reader to real personal growth; that is, craft or utilitarian, not art.

You find the collection of your 'works' abandoned and uncared for. This reinforces the 1930s detective story genre, as a symbol for a momentarily useful, mundane thought, and not an Einstein moment of world-shattering inspiration.

You consider cheating for the answer to how to complete your thought - the chat with yourself about copying as if you had already solve the conundrum.

You realize that you need inspiration, assistance - or just to drop the idea for a time. Thus the distraction of a treasured auto driven Lady Gaga - who can't tell the difference between fabric and leather, and food, and how to use each - and end the sequence in a ball of smoke and flame.

You had an idea, couldn't bring it to a useful conclusion, and with mixed feelings watched the fireworks of the end of the effort. The mixed feelings bring a respected car, a symbol of social regard, and a spectacular display of the power of fuel and fire.

- or -

You envision that gun you wanted, and see it as the vivid centerpiece of bad pulp fiction, blasting through tome after tome of successful adventures. You run out of ways that just having That Certain Gun will answer every situation, though, thus find that even the successes, lying discarded, had dubious lasting social value. And, yet, you venture out into one more foray, out along that lonely and risky trestle. The respected gun (the car), suitably tricked out with the right upgrades, engravings, improved trigger, etc. (Lady Gaga), all bringing you together (the trestle, the car) in a glorious explosion of fire. As the gun goes off, the satisfaction is complete. So you woke up.

And you didn't think you regretted leaving that gun behind, at last week's show.