Monday, October 21, 2013

In the Land of Dreamy Dreams... Yikes!

I know, I know. I lied again. I’ve been really, really, really lax in updating this—so much so that I doubt if anyone even reads it anymore (if more than a few people ever did anyway). I’ll give it the good old college try from now on, but I can’t guarantee anything!

So, you ask—what has inspired you to break your blogging silence, Cathy? O, please—DO tell us!

A troubling dream.

A very troubling dream.

I’m going to toss this out there for any and all to interpret, so feel free to plumb the depths of my psyche, if you dare.

Here goes:

This morning just before the alarm went off I had a dream where I boarded a ferry, destination unknown except that it was departing from somewhere in Europe to somewhere else in Europe. I boarded this ferry with the full knowledge that terrorists were rumored to be lurking in the hold of the boat, planning to jump out and attack in mid-voyage. Not only did I somehow have prior knowledge of this rumor, but I had written about it in my journal under the pseudonym Grace Coffey (the name of the protagonist of my novel—the first draft of which has been finished for several years, languishing, waiting for me to revise it before sending it out to victims dear friends to read and review). I had this journal with me.

Now, in real life, I cannot imagine knowing that something like this is likely to happen and NOT telling someone about it, much less boarding the vessel on which the attack is rumored to occur! In the dream, I struggled with myself about whether I should take the chance or not right up until the ferry left the dock and it was too late. I even considered warning a former colleague with whom I’d developed a couple of rounds of leveled readers—she was also a passenger on this ferry, but if she had heard the rumor about the lurking terrorists, she didn’t let on to me.

Everything was pretty calm until about halfway through the voyage. Then, as expected, the terrorists emerged from the bowels of the ship armed with machine guns, and they started firing. I dove under a huge piece of canvas on the deck, and that’s all I remembered until I became aware that I was on dry land at the ferry’s destination, being “debriefed” with other survivors. My bag was missing and my journal with it, and the police were looking for a Grace Coffey—a person of interest who appeared to have had prior knowledge of the attack.

Uh oh.

In typical dream fashion, I spent a lot of time wandering winding corridors and climbing on timbers under the pier and such, trying to avoid the authorities, but eventually they caught up with me. I confessed that the journal was mine, that Grace Coffey was a pseudonym, and that, yes, I wrote the entry, but it was only a writing exercise—I had no idea where I had heard the rumor, or if I had heard the rumor at all. I might have just made it up and it was a coincidence that it really happened.

I was really in hot water!

At that point, I forced my dreaming self to wake up—a strange sensation for anyone who’s ever tried that. (It’s happened to me quite a few times—and the attempt is successful about half the time, I estimate.) About a minute later, the alarm sounded.

This is one of those dreams that just screams that it’s your subconscious trying to alert you to something—and I’m sure it’s not a warning to avoid ferries on which terrorists might lurk.

Ideas, anyone?



Blogger James Robert Smith said...

No ideas. But the take of someone having written a journal of prior knowledge of a crime that falls into the hands of the authorities...that' pretty cool.

I also, have willed myself awake from very painful nightmares.

10:32 PM  
Blogger Cathy VanPatten said...

You know, I DID wonder about the possibility of turning this into a story this morning as I was trying to process the dream! Hmm....

10:58 PM  
Blogger Cathy VanPatten said...

Okay, I have to share Gary Dalton's Facebook comment on the link to this blog entry because I think he has hit the conundrum squarely on its head:

"Tell the authority figures lurking in your brain to bug off, quit hiding under the canvass, embrace your true self and drop the pseudonym, and by all means, let your fucking terrorists loose, cause the ferryman (or, in your case, the ferrywoman) is gonna get you to the other side! In short, finish the damn novel already!!! All copays must involve chocolate."

Chocolate on its way, Gary!

10:00 AM  
Blogger Kellin Smith said...

Hey! :)

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We're getting the word out to some local bloggers, and would like to send you a free bookoo t-shirt (no strings attached!). If you would like a free t-shirt, will you send me an email at with your address and shirt size? I'll get it out to you right away!

Check out the website:


2:03 PM  

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