Hello, hello! I hope those of you who had a long weekend for President’s day got to do something fun. My weekend was quiet. Anyway, you know that space between being awake and being asleep, where you’re never sure if you’re dreaming or if something is really happening? That’s what I want to talk about today. It’s the place many of my story ideas come from. It’s not an entirely pleasant place, but it’s useful. Sometimes. Often, it just likes to scare me silly. I’m really curious about other people’s relationship with this space as well, so think about sharing your own experience with me.
First, I should probably mention that I’m not a visual thinker like a lot of people seem to be, I almost exclusively think in words. People will ask me to picture something in my mind and I can’t. The only time I can think in pictures is when I’m super tired and drifting in and out of sleep. When that happens, I usually start out thinking in words and they gradually morph into a kind of dream/mental movie. I guess that’s part of my attraction to this place. It lets me work through things differently than I normally do.
I suppose the reason that I credit this space with a lot of my story ideas is because it’s a lot easier to remember details from these half awake dreams than it is when I wake up with an idea from a normal dream. Those ideas tend to be vague scenarios that may or may not be interesting. They’re good story seeds, but the ideas that bloom in that weird little realm between worlds are the ones most readily written.
Granted, my time spent in that realm more often than not leads to nothing other than a few scares (those stupid jolt awake moments) followed by my mind running through all the horrific scenarios of what could have possibly woken me. It’s usually noises. There’re the bumps and thumps of zombies trying to get inside. Werewolves are not an uncommon expectation. The train horn usually conjures thoughts of serial killers and creepy clowns jumping off the train and murdering their way through town. Most people (at least according to TV and movies) wake up assuming the wind or something equally as mundane unless they hear something after the initial jolt. Not me. My mind automatically goes to death and destruction and knows the only reason I’m not hearing anything else is because the culprit is luring me into a false sense of security. I might’ve watched and read too much weird stuff as a kid.
So, whether I’m just hanging out in the middle of random thoughts waiting to be jolted awake or having a story bloom in my head, I have an odd love for that space between waking and sleeping. I like seeing my thoughts unfold rather than just telling myself things. What about you? Do you enjoy hanging out in that little realm? Does it let you see everything differently? As always, feel free to comment here or on my social media pages!