“That place between sleep and awake.”

(This post was also shared at the Rainbow Romance Writers blog )

Do you dream? I’ve always been fascinated by people who cannot remember their dreams. Or when I am told that most people dream in black and white. Not sure how that happens since we see in color, but it’s supposedly a real thing.

Personally, I dream very vividly most nights and even play puppet-master when I dislike the way a dream is going. Is that interesting or normal? I don’t begin to know because I’m not a dream specialist or interpreter.

So why am I talking about dreaming?

Well, I’m curious if other writers are ever inspired to write a book because of a dream. We all know a certain sparkly vampire that was supposedly from a dream, and I know a few writers who have told me they dreamed up scenes or books.

My book The Grim Life started as a dream… well, sort of. This “dream” wasn’t exactly when I was sleeping, nor was I fully awake. I was seeing a young boy about to take his own life, and before he jumped, a hand reached out to stop him. I woke with a start, tears on my face. Then I was totally awake.

But before that, I was in “the place between sleep and awake”—a place I do some of my best writing.

Did you ever see the movie Hook? There is a scene where Julia Roberts as Tinker Bell tells the adult Peter Pan, played by the late great Robin Williams: “You know that place between sleep and awake, that place where you still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you. That’s where I’ll be waiting.”

Lots of memes attribute the quote to J.M Barrie, but it isn’t in any of his books. It’s a quote from a Spielberg movie.

Regardless, I LOVE that quote.

I’ve had sleep issues my entire life, even as a kid, and I’m often lying in bed daydreaming, though it’s nighttime and, as far as I know, there’s no such thing as nightdreaming (though I’m thinking that would make a great book title. I’m calling dibs!) But I can’t really call this state “dreaming” because I’m not really asleep either.

Hence my love of Tinker Bell’s quote.

I hang out in that place between sleep and awake on a daily basis. I can never seem to turn my brain off when I want to fall asleep and vivid dreams can awaken me and then I just stay awake. I used to take melatonin to help me fall asleep, but I had to stop that because my dreams felt more like acid trips—not that I’ve ever taken acid, but I’m a writer so I’ll just take creative license with that analogy.

Some of my best writing is done in that place between sleep and awake because I’m relaxed and my mind just travels the land of imagination wherever it wants. I’ll add to scenes, come up with the theme of the book, or map out entire stories. Sometimes more than three at a time. My fellow creative types gotta know how that feels lol.

Sometimes I’ll think of a perfect line or quote that ties everything together but I can’t remember it after I’ve had my coffee. But it’s there, somewhere in my subconscious. I like to think it ends up in a book somehow, even if I don’t remember how or where it came from.

What about the rest of the writers out there? Do you dream? Does it help you write? Inspire your next book? Do you lay in bed in the place between sleep and awake, nightdreaming your next novel?

~Deanna

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