save the day for nightmare cinema show me the way to get back home again

Posted: April 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

Normally, my dreams aren’t very interesting.

But lately, I’ve been having nightmares. And not the usual, I’m-in-a-public-place-with-no-pants kind. I mean full blown journeys into the surreal realm of terror. I’m talking about being trapped in a coffin of rotating knives, or having my skin slowly rot off my face and peel away to reveal gray and putrid flesh underneath. If this were a N.K. Jemisin novel, I’d be gushing dreambile. I’m talking real nightmares, dreams with sharp razorblade teeth.

You must understand. I’m not complaining.

Actually, it’s awesome.

I’m a fantasy writer. Dreams are literally the stuff that fantasy is made of. And because my tastes tend towards the darker side of fantasy, it’s even better. Occasionally I’ve had story ideas or worldbuilding come through in my dreams. Having nightmares– really scary nightmares– is like winning the lottery on Christmas. I wake up from these dreams with adrenaline flowing through me and a big smile on my face. It’s a great feeling, like my brain is giving me a key to into Jung’s shadow. I embrace the horror, and it fuels me.

Am I supposed to be scared by them? Eh. I’m not one of those idiot fantasy fans that the snobs in the Great Literary Circle Jerk think the genre is made entirely up of. I know the difference between fiction and fact, between dream and reality.

But dreams are important, and nightmares doubly so.

So come on, brain. Show me terror. Let me gaze into the ever-burning eye of Hell. Bring me to the edge of death and sanity. I’ll let the darkness flow through me, and turn it into an engine that powers writing like I’ve never done before.

Do your worst.

~ Ian

(Dream Theater, “Octavarium”)


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