Every night, settling into bed, I don't know where I'll be. I could be at yet another variation of Walt Disney World, making sure I don't forget to ride Space Mountain (as I did many times many years ago), or at another school campus, deciding I could miss math class without consequence, or climbing opulent marble staircases to the roof of those campuses to get such an expansive view of the city around the campus. In the past few months, I've gotten back a dream where I'm walking the streets of a very shiny-looking town, easygoing atmosphere, with some stores bearing bead curtains as entrances. The big square of this town has many brick buildings surrounding it, and though I haven't seen what's in those stores yet, I'm just happy to be amidst such peace, and such a big town to explore. I don't even remember seeing any cars driving by.
Lately, my dreams have been giving me creative injections to put toward my projects, whether or not I'm currently working on them. I had a dream last week that I was interviewing George Kennedy extensively for Mayday! Mayday!: The Making of the Airport Movies, and I came up with questions I didn't even think of while I was awake. Then last night, I had a dream involving a time-travel idea. I can't say whether it's a unique time-travel idea because I don't know. It may have been on the level of that time-jump device thing that's used in the upcoming Men in Black III, which I don't like. It seems like merely a screenwriting device just to get Will Smith to the late 1960s, rather than anything remotely imaginative. I know that my dream didn't have anything as creative as the DeLorean or the TARDIS, but I know that the guy I saw in this dream had time traveled somehow, but very low-key.
I don't want to write a screenplay for this because I've been near enough to Hollywood for eight years, and been to 20th Century Fox in Century City, to know that I do not want to ever get involved in that merciless muck. I'm thinking of a novel, but I don't want to get fouled up by what's come before me. That's not to say I won't read what's come before as inspiration, but I have to remember that it is inspiration, and I can try this however I want. I'm not going to work on it right away, since other books have priority (Not just the Airport book, but the ones I want to write after), but I'm going to start reading time-travel novels to learn what's been explored. And yes, I've read The Time Machine. I don't think I could call myself an avid reader without it.
None of this compares to a dream I had that still haunts me. In it, I had an idea for a fully-fleshed out novel, characters and all. I knew how to write it, where it was going to go, and as soon as I woke up, it faded before I could write anything down, as if the Fates were telling me, "No, no, you do your own work." I know I could have had a first draft in a couple of weeks. But in the year that followed that dream, I realized that I was being told that I could do this; I could write more books. And that's exactly what I'm working on right now, and why I have ideas for six other nonfiction books after this one, why the number of novels I want to write has risen to two, why I've got a few ideas for plays that I want to attempt.
There are some dreams where I'm at a Six Flags-like park, but it's much larger than the average Six Flags and sometimes, I'm walking right next to a rollercoaster. I always look closely at the color of the coaster, the mechanics, the ride vehicles, marveling at how I'm right there, right where I want to be, my imagination never letting up. I'm in the right line of work, right where I want to be, and I hope dreams like these will pay off in the years to come. I'm going to try.