“And here’s the donation jar. It pays for cheese, to put in the coffee.” This was the explanation my new boss gave me in my dream last night. Sound strange? It’s perfectly normal, even on the blasé side, for me.
Everyone dreams. Many people have weird dreams from time to time. A large number of those only remember them for a short period in the morning before those dreams fade away. For the lucky few of us, however, certain dreams stick. And they can provide a gold mine of inspiration for writers.
Take last night’s dream, for instance. I had just been hired to work in a garage (which is strange enough by itself), and my boss was showing me around the shop. Turns out you’re only allowed to put twenties into the aforementioned donation jar, for some reason. The good news is that the fridge was full of gourmet cheeses and coffees–no k-cup nonsense in that garage! And…that’s it. A short, weird dream with some absurdities that made me smile.
Although I currently have no plans to turn last night’s dream into a story or book, I’ve done so before. The last story I had published, Josiah Luck, Plumber (of Oddities) in the Strangely Funny IV anthology, came from a pointed dream. The first thing I remembered upon awakening was a character and theme, which I wrote down immediately: supernatural midget (which later became little person) plumber. As the morning wore on, more details from the dream came into focus. Floating ghosts with huge, corporeal teeth, a gaping hell mouth in a bathroom, a plumber with a giant box of invented weaponry and tools. I incorporated all of these and more into the story.
So, writers, keep a note pad next to your bed. Or be ready to sprint to a tablet or computer once you wake up. Ideas are the building blocks of our craft. You never know what concepts your dreams might inspire in you. Sometimes cheese in your coffee is just what you need.