GOOD: Dreamed I was on a road trip with Dad and some of my siblings.
BAD: As we were driving, the clouds behind us turned black, then billowed orange, and ash fell from the sky. (Yes, I did just finish reading Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn.)
GOOD: Dad drove as fast as he could, and we at least got ahead of the main thrust of the blast, and though we had to pull off the road when the ash cloud hit, we were able to dash into a temporary office building. It wasn’t much more than a metal box on a concrete slab, but enough that the air inside was breathable. AND it had wi-fi.
ALSO GOOD: Thanks to the wi-fi, I checked my e-mail, and found I had a response to a short story I’d submitted recently.
BAD: It was a rejection.
GOOD: It wasn’t a form rejection. There was a good amount of constructive criticism.
BAD: It wasn’t a story I’ve actually written, so the criticism wouldn’t do me much good even if it was from someone smarter than I am, which (being as how it came from my own subconscious) it wasn’t. Also, the only part of it I remember was about a character named Tanya, who was supposed to be a totally ditzy bimbo, but apparently I don’t fully understand the bimbo mindset.
GOOD: The editor provided some helpful tips for improving future bimbos.
BAD: I don’t remember the tips, except that there was something vague about nails and matching purses, neither of which I would take my own advice on. So.
Anyway, I can’t help but feel this dream sums up much about my writer brain and my limitations as a writer. Other sci-fi and fantasy writing friends would have dreamed they led an intrepid band of volcanologists, spelunking deep into a cave on the outskirts of the seismic ring, there to battle past Bigfoot and set charges to release pressure and end the eruptions and save the Pacific Northwest.
Or they’d be an up and coming ice mage destined to defeat the flame mage who has turned a green and fertile kingdom to fiery desolation.
Instead, I dreamed I was alternately whining about slow Internet, yelling at Dad for going outside without covering his mouth with something to keep from breathing dust and ash, and hunkered over the screen trying to understand why Tanya was insufficiently bimbo-esque.