Monday, May 10, 2010

Nightmare Imagery

I think it's safe to assume that just about every writer out there, published or not, has at one time or another fueled one of their stories on something taken from a dream or nightmare. Be it an entire story idea, a setting or just a quick image, I'm sure we've all done it. The other night I had a dream that was filled with such nightmare imagery that I fail to see how I cannot use it in a story. The subjects of the dream? Tarantulas.

Now, let me be clear. Spiders rank number two on my list of things that cause instant heart failure and/or the spontaneous calling for "Mama!" If you must know, number one on that list are sharks and some day I will regale you with the story of my long vanished surfing days, when on one fateful day I had a close encounter with one of Satan's fishes. But that is a story for another day (or ask Mercedes Yardley, she's heard it). Anyway, back to spiders. I hate them. They freak me out big time. This stems from waking up in my crib as a baby and seeing a huge specimen just a few inches away. I cried and screamed and hollered up a storm that would have put a banshee to shame. So what if it was just a piece of stuffing from my teddy bear? I thought it was a spider and ever since then, spiders have been the enemy.

The really strange thing about my tarantula themed dream from the other night is just that: it was a dream and not a nightmare. Despite the abundance of eight legged hell spawn, and their proximity to me in the dream, I never felt any sense of fear or loathing. It was quite odd. I awoke with such an odd feeling of awareness, as if on some subconscious level my mind had come to a realization about the dream spiders that I had not yet processed. The images and ideas in that spider dream would normally have freaked me out big time (especially the part where I was concealing tarantulas in my mouth), but even in the dream things were calm. I plan on using those ideas and images in a story at some point, because I'm sure it will scare someone. I just need to be patient and wait for the right story to come along.

10 comments:

Alan W. Davidson said...

Dude, I'm surprised you don't have nightmares every night with the number of horror movies you've watched. Spiders freak me out too. I won't get into the story, but it involves waking up one night, as a teen, and feeling something moving in the forest of my leg hair...

Rebecca Nazar said...

Seems your psyche is healing itself. Sorry, that's some very amateurish psychiatry on my part. Or maybe it was a dream woven by Anansi--not a bad spider as far as spiders go. Okay, I'll stop now.

Good luck with the story.

Cate Gardner said...

I totally share your spider hatred. Shudder.

Aaron Polson said...

Oh...sharks. Nothing is more terrifying than a great white--I even worry about them in the pool.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I am slowly getting over my fear of spiders but I don't think I shall ever go into the ocean because of my fear of sharks. Good luck with the story.

Natalie L. Sin said...

Your mouth???

Danielle Ferries said...

That could lead to a very interesting story.

Jameson T. Caine said...

Rebecca - I think my fascination with tarantulas and the research I've done on them over the last couple years has lessened my knee-jerk reaction to them...which is to run screaming. I've even contemplated getting one as a pet. At least, I did until the wife said that idea was a big HELL NO.

Nat - Yup. No doubt that was inspired by a stupid pet tricks segment on Letterman a few years back when some fool stuck his pet tarantula in his mouth.

K.Hinny said...

Hey James! My entire writing desire/career/basis/life (whatever you wish to call it, began with a dream. So I'm with you on that.

It's funny that your dream held tarantula's in them and that's what you are second most afraid of... maybe your subconscious is telling you to rid yourself of the fear, writing the most horrific horror story you can and thus you and tarantula's can live in harmony.

I stopped saying I wasn't going to write about stuff, bc anything I said I wouldn't write about I suddenly had a character talking to me... :D minds are fun like that.

Happy writing. Remember, it's just a story!

Shadow said...

Unfortunately I do not share your fear of spiders. I am one of those weird people who pick them up and take them outside.

It is strange that you were calm in your dream though. Perhaps you need to do some research into those creepy crawlies that will help you get over your fear. Then use that knowledge to write a chilling tale.