It was five years ago when a vision changed my life – my writing life, that is.
After a long, grueling 10 hour work day, I came home and performed my usual routine: I put my keys on my dining room table, walked down the hall while carrying my laptop, and went into my bedroom. I placed the laptop on my dresser and went to open a drawer. Boom! I stopped everything I was doing and stood idle as my mind opened up, displaying images, words, characters, story lines, and much more.
In the forefront of my mind I saw a lone cherry tree in the dark of night, outlined by the pale moonlight. As I watched, I saw the tree let loose something unusual, something I’d never seen before – sprinkles of snow flakes formed on its branches then slowly fell onto the frozen earth. Then, as if handed to me on a silver platter, a story showed itself.
Well, don’t get me wrong, I’m the first to admit there were plenty of holes in the story – areas I needed to fill in later – but nonetheless, right there, in my mind, I had an incredible book.
A moment later the vision ended. I gasped, chaotically looking for pen and paper. I had to get this down! Looking around, I didn’t see any pen or paper, so I immediately turned on my laptop and typed a quick summary, thinking for sure I’d start writing this fascinating story tomorrow.
Three years later I had two chapters written. That’s not a very good start.
Then it happened.
I had a dream.
I dreamt that I was in an underground cavern, running around, playing with several adults and kids. We were on a flat plateau, hopping from stone to stone, laughing and amusing ourselves. As I hopped, I noticed that the plateau had a steep edge too it – a cliff to be more precise. It interested me, so I walked over to it and looked down the rock face, observing a thin, rushing river below that disappeared under a large rock crevice fifty yards to my left, vanishing from view.
As I went to turn around, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. Across from the river directly in front of me stood a large tree. Its trunk twisted from its base up to its highest branches as if it had grown by spinning in circles all its life. To my dismay, however, the bark was gray, the branches were feeble, it bared no leaves, and it looked either dead or dying.
Then I heard a voice.
“The more you write the story, the more the tree will grow and the more it grows, the more it will thrive.”
The voice was beautiful and female. I looked around to find the source of the voice, but only saw kids jumping and adults playing.
I turned back to eye the tree. The bark had suddenly changed from gray to a healthy brown and leaves were starting to grow. I ran over to an adult, pointing to the tree in excitement. She looked at me and smiled…
…and I woke up.
The next day I started to write again. In response, my dreams kept coming.
I had a dream of several black scrolls. They were rolled out, laying side by side. I noticed that they were lined in gold trim and had ancient writings on them. Then the scrolls were read out loud to me. When I woke up, I quickly wrote down what I remembered, knowing they were going to go into certain key areas of my books. I say “books” because I had decided by this point that there was no way I could cram all of what I had seen in one book. A series was coming forth.
A few days later I had a dream of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams, John Hancock, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin and many others sitting in an area called the PureLight Lands (a place that exists in my books). They were showing me the landscape, where everything was, the map, and how important it was to write these books. They also told me of other books that were important to read, telling me how well written they were, but after I woke up, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t remember the titles. Regardless, I remembered the map they showed me and I drew it the best I could. I knew I was supposed to put the map in the beginning of each of my books. They – the maps – by no means match vivid detail that I saw in my dream, but I think they’re important for the reader to see. It helps the reader keep track of where the landmarks and characters are as they read.
Then I had another dream. This one showed me what the characters looked like, whom are mostly animals. I saw them speaking, traveling together, fighting each other or helping one another. All of which I put in my PureLights Series as well.
I even had a dream of the editor of my books. When I contacted her via email, she gladly agreed.
All throughout this time I wondered if I was crazy for writing this series, for putting on paper what I saw in my dreams. Will people think my story is silly? When I’d want to give up, I’d have another dream or a vision of some sort that would keep me going, driving me to put more of the story on paper. I soon realized that the dreams were inspiring me, giving me hope.
And I’m glad I listened and followed them. They led me to an original, and hopefully, important series of books.
I feel lucky I didn’t ignore them. If I’d thought that my dreams were some meaningless manifestation of my mind, instead of something that was propelling me to better my life, to enhance my writing, to advance my story telling, then I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now – a soon to be published author.
So, listen to your dreams. Enjoy them. Learn from them. Figure them out. And, if you feel so compelled, write about them. Who knows, one of your dreams might become a best selling book one day!
– Brandon, Author of The PureLights Series, www.ThePureLights.com