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My Freedom Flame

Motivating Writers Worldwide

Tag: strange

Strange, Vivid Dreams, Part II: One Wild Dream

My Vivid Imagination, C’est la Vie

I woke up at seven-thirty this morning and not because it’s Labor Day. Instead, I was up until one-thirty-two o’clock last night fetching some blog ideas. Little did I know today’s topic would find me while I was sleeping.

 
That was one wild dream. Wow. I remember many details, so I’ll give you a rundown here. I post these at times because I’ve always believed some of our greatest writing ideas come during our subconscious hours.

 

Blasts from the Past and Weird Stuff

Okay, so when I state blasts from the past, I’m not fooling around. There were tens of them. Here’s a rundown:

 
1. Between 2013 and 2015 I texted about a dozen girls (no real relationships lol) and my favorite one from that time and I texted about power metal. Weird.

 
2. Once upon a time, my primary gig focused on personal training over writing. This has since changed, but what didn’t change in this dream were the faces. In fact, there were faces present from every single place I’d ever trained clients in.

 
3. My singer crush and I hit it off well (Dianne van Giersbergen, hence the power metal convo). Why she was here I have zero idea.

 
4. This gym I trained clients was in a freaking skyscraper and let me tell you, their locker rooms were top-notch. And the group training area…whew!

 
5. One of my least favorite bosses ran the place, but for me it somehow wasn’t an issue as he was never present except for a few seconds.

 
6. The Browns were playing the Buccaneers on the big screen, it was Week Three of the 2018 season (they don’t even play Tampa Week Three). Anyway, they went the first two weeks of the season without scoring a touchdown and Duke Johnson finally broke the barrier.

 
7. There was a strange locker room party, which is just flat out weird.

 
If you’re still reading this, you may be a little too interested in my weird, random dreams. I woke up and checked my phone for the time (what are alarm clocks, these days?) before remembering what the heck it was I’d just dreamed about and why.
As for the why, I still have zero clue.

 
All I’ll say is I must be staying up too late and these eleven in the evening gym sessions might have something to do with it, as I wrote a post about a string of strange, vivid dreams a couple weeks back.

 

Book Motivation

I don’t know about book motivation, but strange, vivid dreams might provide some decent motivation for your next blog post. I know it’s a strange place to garner ideas, but you may take an element or two, or base a character on someone involved.

 
Not just that, if you’re interested in submitting some work to literary journals or sites that buy short stories, they may serve as inspiration, too. Obviously, not every dream, but here are a few of my own that might make their way into a story.

 
1. A relative’s house is raided by burglars overnight at a massive family get-together while everyone was asleep. I was the only one who woke up (in the dream) and heard the commotion.

 
2. My neighborhood is standing on the site of a chemical plant explosion from the 1980’s that killed everyone in the plant (not in real life, at least to my knowledge!).

 
3. I’m sneaking into a house in the dead of night (and sometimes this occurs in the daytime) and am racing against the clock before either someone inside catches me or the homeowners make it home. This one’s a thriller.

 
4. I’m falsely accused of committing a crime and am on the run from the feds.

 
5. Something like a gang war is taking place in my neighborhood and I’m running for my life. Talk about your heart pounding when you wake up.

 
6. Either my house (or a friend’s house) has changed into a three-story, old mansion and is haunted by demons. For some odd reason, it’s either my room if it’s my house or I find my way into the room if it’s their house.

 
7. I’m ghost hunting in a huge house which always contains a long hallway.

 
8. A more light-hearted one, but I’m watching the Browns play in the AFC Championship Game (like that’ll ever happen).

 
9. I’m in a store that’s about to close permanently. The shelves are half-full, and people are fighting over snagging the remaining items as if it’s one giant Black Friday sale.

 
10. This real strange dream where I’m near the bridge taking one from Steubenville, Ohio into Weirton, West Virginia, but traffic has multiplied one-hundred-fold and there are these tunnels resembling ones leading into Pittsburgh to take you across the bridge. On the West Virginia side, Weirton has become a minor metropolis while the Ohio side is a barren wasteland.

 

Speaking of Number Ten

This one strikes me as very, very interesting. Weirton and Steubenville, a little background on the two cities, lost more population percentage-wise than any other “metro” area in the United States from the 1970’s until the early 2000’s.

 
The two cities and the whole area became one of the most depressed in the country during this time and it continued into the early 2010’s.

 
During this time period, I knew many students attending Franciscan University of Steubenville, one of the most popular Catholic Universities in the world. So popular, two members of Luxembourg’s Royal Family attended the university in the early 2010’s.

 
Well, today, in 2018, the two cities couldn’t be moving in more opposite directions.

 

Starting in the early 2010’s, Weirton sought to develop and turn away from its checkered past. Steubenville, on the other hand, despite my friendly words in a recent article has fallen into deeper economic despair (unless one’s uptown, and it’s like another world).

 
In the past year alone, Weirton has embarked on a project, garnering new developments in different locations throughout the city and are in the beginning stages of tearing down the old steel mill, which has sat crumbling in the heart of downtown for quite some time. Throughout late-2017 and 2018, two-dozen new businesses sprung up, with more on the way. Weirton lost the old K-Mart, but who isn’t these days?

 
As for Steubenville, the Fort Steuben Mall’s about had it, filled to about twenty-five-percent capacity. Business after business are leaving, some having been in the area for generations. The steel mill will never come back, as Weirton realized. Unemployment is high, poverty has followed, and old paintings from a roaring time now lost to history provide the only evidence the city once had a treasured history.

 
More on the two cities later, but I wanted to get across the one recurring dream that really jumped out at me because, well, it relates more to real life than anything listed above.

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Strange, Vivid Dreams

Unforgettable Dreams the Last Few Nights

You know you’re a writer when you experience strange, vivid dreams. Well, during my bodybuilding/men’s physique days I took a supplement called Bullet Proof by Muscle Pharm and man, did it spark the mind. Even the product reviews stated you’d get some strange dreams. After Muscle Pharm did away with the product and came out with a newer one, which was ZMA-heavy, the strange cycle of dreams started again.

 
These days, I’m supplement-free because for the most part, your supplements are loaded with fillers, sugars, and some have even been protein-spiked (claiming a product had more protein than it really did). In fact, I eat one actual whole meal a day and snack on healthy food during my other waking hours.

 
So, my fitness lifestyle shouldn’t have anything to do with the strange occurrences in my dreams.

 
Three nights, three whacked-out dreams.

Tuesday Night: Running in Heat, Snow, Ice, and Storms

I’ve always had a recurring dream that I’m running either in or outside Wintersville, Ohio, either on a backroad by the oil fields and distribution center, or on a road leading to Main Street. The time this happens is either morning or evening.

 
Last night, I’m proud to say I made it to Main Street! At 5am! Before any businesses opened their doors. For some odd reason, a high school stood on this part of Main Street, contrary to where it really stands across town, and I had my own locker in the teachers’ lounge. Strange, I know.

 
Thing is, I wasn’t a teacher in this, and if you all know me, I’d never work in a public school even if they paid my six-figures. So, my morning routine in this dream, since we all have our own life histories in dreams, is that I’d sneak into the lockers, eat or whatever, and bail before any other teacher arrived.

 
Well, this time a teacher did come, and they thought I was just another teacher. Keep in mind, it’s not like the schools in the area I live boast thousands of students; more like hundreds. After staving the teacher off and conducting my run while summer rapidly changed to winter yet people still rode their motorcycles, I returned to find the teacher sitting there. They ask me which class I teach before I’m forced to admit I’m not really a teacher, but am allowed a locker (a lie, obviously).

 
The dream changes to where I’m now running (why am I always running in these dreams) in my parents’ neighborhood. Now, it’s early evening and summer again with a storm brewing. Lightning flashes and the sky is pitch black, except for an orange glow near the water tower situated on the adjacent street to my parents’ street.

 
I run to the top of the neighborhood and snap a photo; it’s kind of cool to see the glow, but as I drew nearer, smoke is erupting from the base of the tower. I rush forward to get a better look, dodging lightning strikes, until I come across a group of people; all of whom were friends or former classmates of mine in school. Everyone’s concerned about the tower and whether or not it’ll survive the lightning strike as sirens blare in the distance.

 

Monday Night: Flashback or Present Day?

I’m at my grandmother’s house getting ready for a party. For one, it’s just another recurring dream…starting out anyway. Soon after, people arrive and the boring stuff gets out of the way. Anyway, there’s a large food buffet in the kitchen. I mean, the table and counter are stacked.

 
I head there, only to find the place looking the same way it did in the 1990’s. Keep in mind, my grandparents had their kitchen redone in 2016 and had upgraded it many times throughout the 2000’s.

 
The small, hand-dial TV’s (I think that’s what they’re called) from the 1980’s, pale yellow walls, checkered brown carpet, the works.

 
Even stranger is everyone appears to be younger versions of themselves…. except me. I’m in here, at this party, almost the same age as my parents. Everyone remotely close to my age is anywhere between ten and twenty years younger.

 
I wander into the living room, and a few relatives are speaking of horrific events that happened in that very house comparable to the DeFeo murders (keep in mind that in reality, nothing horrific had ever happened to my knowledge) and now the vengeful souls were on the move again.

 
It’s around the time you hear footsteps behind you is when you wake up, realizing your had an over-active mind.

 

Sunday Evening: Going to School with Special People

This one didn’t have as much of a horror or action/suspense aspect to it. Instead, it was rather cooler than anything else and definitely something I hope becomes recurring. I was hanging out with, well, my main book characters, seeing them the exact way I pictured them while writing.

 
It wasn’t my Lord of Columbia cast, but instead the two mains from my prequel series, Neo and Seneca, a first book in series that will be open-published as soon as today, as late as this weekend.

 
It’s funny, because I created two small novellas (70-75 pages in length) of Neo and Seneca, their purposes being simply funnel and magnet books. The open-published work is a perma-free one that will introduce readers to my writing style with links to both the magnet book and Northern Knights, in case these readers’ interest perked. The kicker here is I started creating these projects the Friday before last and have worked tirelessly on the 11,000 word works.

 
But what was even cooler is their looks, personalities, everything, were the exact way I pictured them. If you’ve read my first work, Northern Knights, link at the bottom of the article, you’ll know I don’t like to describe my characters because I want my readers’ imagination to work.

 
I never found anything so annoying as to picturing characters in books one way only for an author to describe their appearance to be a completely different look to what I had in mind. It makes me have to concentrate on characters’ appearance which takes away from the actual story. So, even though I use vague outlines for their descriptions (Seneca, for instance has blue-green eyes and auburn hair), it’s as far as I’ll go. I might use adjectives like built, gigantic, burly, narrow, etc. to give a base description, but other than that, most characters’ appearances will differ in my readers’ eyes.

 
In addition to seeing Neo and Sen (what Neo calls her) in the book, I hung out, talked with, and became borderline friends with the pair. It was a rather exciting experience to say the least.

 

Whacked Out Short Stories

Who knows, I might create stories from these rather odd dreams. I want to say the weirdest one was last night, simply because of the summer snowstorm which melted by the time I reached my parents’ house.

 
Or perhaps everyone aging in reverse as had occurred Monday Night?

 
Or, maybe even create a story of me in my actual work, hanging out with a couple compelling characters?

 
I’d like to thank everyone for coming across My Freedom Flame, and I really hope I didn’t weird you all out. Please come back soon.

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