Today’s episode is about sleepy dreams. Dreams and Sleep and everything in between.
As a creative, I am a big proponent of writing dreams down. So much inspiration comes from them, a lot of it admittedly doesn’t make sense, but that’s the wondrous joy of it. These otherworldly places that our minds can imagine, it’s a lot to take in, and it’s very difficult to even put into words, especially if you’re not a natural writer.
Like any exercise, and writing is certainly that just like running, it just takes practice. You can’t run a marathon the first time you start running, no you have to build up to it. The more you do it the better you become.
And of course, what do you need to do in order to dream? You need to sleep.
I really don’t like this culture of team no sleep, always have to be grinding, grinding, grinding! Wake and Grind! Yes I fell victim to it in my twenties. When I was going to school and working full time, I was going non stop, holidays, weekends, every single day. But then, there would always be that one day in the month where I would just collapse, where I could barely even get out of bed.
This brings me back to my first apartment, one bedroom off Broward Boulevard near 15th and Las Olas, walking distance to the restaurant I was working valet at the time, great job while in college, could adapt my schedule around my school schedule, made a lot of cash, was great. Can definitely go more into that job at a later episode, I even wrote an entire movie script about my experience there, as well as a manuscript for a television series.
But yes, dreaming.
I had said in the previous episode, that I can still remember that night in 2009, when I woke up in a sweat, as I dreamed the word Bleace. I could see the face of my main character, his green malachite face with yellow beryl eyes, maddening stare directly in my face, telling me to wake the fuck up and fucking write, what the fuck are you doing with your life?
It shocked me.
It propelled me to learn more about this life, to find out more of what the universe has.
To Go Further.
Granted we don’t remember all of our dreams, and most of the time it’s about the feeling of the dream over specific details within it or specific images you may have seen.
But what I love to do is to pick up my phone in the morning and go right to my notes and start typing/writing down anything I can remember as fast as I can before the memory blurs and how I see it applying to my current life experience.
As we are consciously experiencing the world around us, as our brains are perceiving all of these different incessant sensory inputs, so too is our subconscious mind, it’s internalizing everything in a far different way.
Freud suggests that dreams represent unconscious desires, thoughts, wish fulfillment, and motivations.
How I see dreams, is this unconscious part of the brain the id, and the subconscious, the other self, having a surreal discourse within our mind.
There have been mathematicians who have been working on solving a problem and they end up dreaming of the solution, waking in the middle of the night and writing down the equation. Just so fascinating.
Similar instances have happened to me while writing Bleace and Bleace paradox. Where my characters would seep into my dreams. I could see the scene that I was writing, completely enraptured in it. I would run with it the next morning, going wherever the dream was telling me to go, it didn’t even make sense to me at the time, why I was taking the story in this direction, but sometimes as the writer, you have to get out of the way of the story. The story was literally taking on a life of its own at that point.
Bleace had already arisen from deep within myself from the start, but once I started to see scenes and characters in my sleep, once it crossed over that line, I felt it was real.
If you have read the novels or listened to the audiobooks, you will know how much these lines between reality and dreams get blurred, sometimes to the point of disorienting the reader, but that is precisely the point. I know I flirt with that line of taking the reader out of the story, distancing them from it.
But is that not what alien means? It’s different, it’s far away, unfamiliar, never before seen. That is one thing that bothers me with a lot of science fiction, is that they humanize everything, It’s too human, why would an alien world be so familiar?
It wouldn’t be, which is another reason why I dove so deep into the dream state within writing, I wanted it to truly be alien, I wanted it to be otherworldly, unfamiliar, something you haven’t experienced before, with hints of allegory, of hints knowing where certain elements were inspired by our everyday lives here on earth.
But this is a free-floating planet outside of our solar system with life on it that doesn’t know what humans are. I tried to stay as true to that as possible.
Writing down my dreams, whether they had to do with the story or not, really helped me get there, really helped me escape this reality and go into this other place.
Whether you’re a writer or not, I find it very helpful to write down dreams, there is something that other parts of your mind are trying to tell you, it’s up to our conscious waking self to listen to it.
I have found this process also to be therapeutic. Which speaks to the feeling that these dreams cause, why did the dream make me feel that way?
How can I apply that feeling to what I am experiencing in life right now. Maybe it applies to a stressful situation I had recently, seeing this dream, it’s trying to tell me something, writing it down I can now see the situation from a different point of view.
While writing down these dreams I will just let the brain go as fast as I can type, whether it be on the phone using my notes or if I get up to go on the computer and write on the keyboard, I will just close my eyes and just let it all out, whatever comes to mind.
I will also listen to a set playlist, while writing both novels, I listened to Ludovico Einaudi and I have a playlist of his entire discography that I like to listen to while writing.
Listening to the same music really helps not only on good days, but the days where you don’t want to be writing. It creates this flow state that I am able to engage in from the days of repetition.
Sometimes I will start with the dream, trying to write down as many details as I can remember, I feel there is such a short window while being in this state, the chemicals in the brain still coursing through the bloodstream.
But as I start with the dream, maybe something in the dream, will make me think of something else, maybe something I forgot about.
A lot of my dreams take place back in Manchester, Michigan where I grew up. Scenes on the farm or in the old historic town.
Which brings me to the first question I have received from a listener which happens to be my cousin Jake. Who I grew up with back in Michigan, he lived in and around Manchester as well.
@bleace.com Living & Dreams, What is in between? New Indefatigable Artist Podcast Episode is Out Now! #NewPodcast #ArtistPodcast #IndefatigableArtist ♬ original sound - Bleace
He asks a great question that goes perfectly with today’s episode, If a fan of yours were to go on a literary pilgrimage of their favorite author (you) what locations should they go to? Which places hold the most significance in regards to the growth of Ryan and his inspiration of writing his novels.
I really like that phrasing, literary pilgrimage.
I would say Manchester, Michigan definitely holds a lot of significance for me, not only in my conscious state, but my dream state as well. So many of my dreams reside back there.
In regards to my cousin Jake, whose grandmother is my great Aunt, who recently passed away. May she rest in peace and be remembered for eternity in the memories of all the lives that she blessed, not only in her 37 years of teaching, but all she did for the community. I am so thankful to her and all that she did for me, and tried to do for me but I rebelled like I did everyone during that time, but she was a pillar for the entire community of Manchester.
I remember going to Aunt Mary and Uncle John’s house every day after school to shoot hoops. When Jake was old enough, he was out there shooting with me, then he went and got taller than me and I didn’t stand a chance of winning after that.
A lot of my dreams go back to Macomb street, the first house I can really remember living at. The apartment before, I can only remember a few scenes. I remember when I was forced to move away from that house,
I tried running away and the first place I headed to was Aunt Mary’s. I hated having to leave there, where all my childhood friends were.
Later on in life, I saw this meme, that said, you and your friends went out to play for the last time yet none of you knew it. That hit me really hard, a punch in the gut, that brought me back to that moment of leaving Macomb street, not even getting the chance to say goodbye to everyone.
I remember going back to that house and carving my initials into the porch of that house. Whenever I visit Michigan to see family, I make it a point to drive down Macomb street really slow, to take all the memories in that I had there. Now, I am grateful to have had that time, that time that I will never be able to go back to, that time that was so innocent and free.
For so long after leaving that place, I wanted to go back so bad that it made me severely depressed, then angry. It took a while for that pain to go away and it did once I became grateful for that time, grateful that I had those years on Macomb Street.
As I have said in previous episodes, there was a period in my life where I was bouncing around from family member to family member. One of the family members that took me in, was Jake’s parents, John and Carrie, and I also want to shout out Sam, Jake’s Brother! Love you all, you were there for me when no one really was, you tried to help me, but I didn’t want to be helped at the time. I can’t express enough how much you all have meant to me over the course of my life.
@bleace.com What places hold the most significance to me as an author? #MotivationMonday #NewPodcastEpisode #Author #booktok ♬ Music Instrument - Gerhard Siagian
Another house I lived at for a while, was my step-grandparents farm. Now this was a profound moment for me. I had to stop living with my mother and my stepfather as that situation escalated to the point where cops were called so it was best that I just leave.
So, I went to live at the farm, first time ever living on a farm and being around cows and horses as regularly as I was there. To them I was a “city slicker” as Gary would often call me. That is, until he bought me my first cowboy hat after I had earned his respect through riding horses and helping him with the cattle. That farm really taught me a lot about responsibility and how to care for animals.
I fell in love with being around horses. They have a way of communicating with humans on another level. The connection I had with my horse Bree was something I had never experienced until then, nor have I felt with another living animal since. I really do miss riding horses, one of my goals since then was to own a horse farm, with a serene landscape where I could get lost in the wilderness. I spent every day with the horses, it did take a while for my fear of them to subside.
My first riding experience wasn’t the best, to say the least. Gary, my step-grandfather, put me on this horse named Bossy aka Trouble, threw me on him, he saw the fear in my eyes and so he asked me, “what’s the worse thing that can happen, you die?” he laughed and then proceeded to chase me in this John Deer Gator, it’s like a 5-wheeled vehicle, used to work on the farm and to herd them when needed so they were all spooked by it and would run away from it immediately, which is just what Bossy did, he took off in a dead sprint bucking just enough to get little 11 year old me off his back and into the grass. Gary pulled up laughing as hard as he could possibly laugh, “honey, there ain’t a cowboy that’s rode that ain’t been throwed. Now go get back on that god damn horse.”
I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but it really was a life lesson that I have carried with me. Life may buck you off, throw you down, but as long as you are still living, you have to get back up, what other choice do you have? Try, that is all anyone can do.
When you read the novels, you will see a lot of references to Manchester and to the farm especially. In the novels the town is called Chemster. Manchester Michigan is an old historic village, founded in 1837, with a lot of the same buildings that have been up for generations, it’s a nice quaint town, and am very grateful that I grew up there and was able to have the experiences that I did while living there. Now, I just like to go back and visit from time to time, reminisce, drive around town, sit and contemplate about life, how far I have traveled since then yet no matter where I go, Manchester still occupies my mind through various dreams.
In my dreams I still see faces of people I grew up with. Sometimes I will see people I haven’t thought about in years.
Really wild how childhood sticks through all this time, through all the trials and tribulations, your childhood scene still resides in your mind.
Now, I want to share an example of a morning dream writing that I wrote back in April, 2019, that relates to this topic and specifically how my dreams constantly reside back there, even after all of this time.
I really appreciate Jake for not only listening to the podcast, but for posing that question. I am definitely open to answering any and all questions you may have. That is at the heart of this podcast. Writing and creating art is a very lonely process, a process that has required me to make a lot of sacrifices, sacrificing time with family and friends, so I want this next project to be more inclusive of those I care about. So thanks again Jake, and I hope I answered your question, if not definitely let me know and I can delve deeper in the next episode next week! That is how these podcast episodes will be, a string of thought going from one to the next, not knowing exactly why or where it will lead. But we take it one step at a time, one word at a time, one episode at a time. thank you for joining me on this indefatigable journey, through this fickle tormenting gift of life.
Let’s Go Further Together.