By: Sandra Elzie
One morning a few months ago, at just past four, my eyes opened and I realized something had jogged my mind awake. As my thinking became clearer, I realized there was literally a conversation running through my head.
Now I’ve woke before with a story idea in my mind, but this was the first time my subconscious thoughts had also included dialog.
I immediately got up and went in to my office and typed it down…word for word…and by the time I finished those few lines, I knew the name of the story and that what I had been given was the opening to my first Women’s Fiction book. You see, I usually write 55,000-word, family-friendly books. This one would be different.
Below is the conversation that ran through my subconscious.
“Excuse me lady. Are you the one?”
I started to ignore the young boy staring up at me with hopeful eyes, holding a book in his dirty hands. I even opened my mouth to lie and deny who I was, but I paused.
“It’s for my mother. It’s her birthday and I got it on the table inside the store…with my allowance.” He beamed, displaying a space where a tooth had once been.
He ‘got it on the table inside’. That was another way of saying it was on sale, for pennies on the dollar. It was the story my life had become.
When I turned away, I left the child standing on the sidewalk, staring as I escaped. I left him holding a book he had lovingly bought for his mother. I left him with a scrawled signature: To Mommy, Happy Birthday, Beverly Crystal.
That “dream” or “subconscious” story burned a hole in my computer, so-to-speak, because it had to be written. Even though I was in the middle of another story and I vowed I’d finish it first, Beverly’s story was constantly on my mind. By the time I sat down to actually write that story, I had mentally plotted it out and knew how it would progress. Soon that snippet of a dream became an 85,000-word Women’s Fiction story entitled Pennies On The Dollar that is currently at an agent’s office for consideration.
So where did the story come from? Did you notice that I was even given the heroine’s name? No decision was necessary on my part since the character had already spoken. I’ve certainly never had the experiences that Beverly would have in her story, so why was I given her story and then prodded daily until it was finished and put “out there” where others would read it? Quite frankly, I haven’t a clue, but I believe there must be a reason. Maybe someday I’ll be told that the story touched someone’s life and maybe I’ll go to my grave never knowing, but that part doesn’t matter. What’s important is that I didn’t ignore it. I could have rolled over and gone back to sleep, but instead I got up.
There’s a lesson there for other areas of our lives. When we have opportunities before us, grab them with both hands and hold on like a junkyard dog. Don’t let things pass you by…get in the race and go for the goal! (Okay, I’ll step off the soapbox and get back to the subject at hand.)
This question is for readers and writers alike: Have you ever had a dream that became a reality? Tell us about it!
As to writers, have you ever had an experience where you were given a story in your subconscious that HAD to be written? We’d love to hear about your experiences.
“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream by night. —Edgar Allen Poe