Perchance to Dream

Photo by Donovan Reeves courtesy

(This will be a short post today as I am hosting the most adorable granddaughter who ever walked the face of the earth and her friend for a sleepover. Pizza Hut stock may go up a point or two. I will still be answering comments though I may be somewhat late in doing so. Thank you.)

Regular visitors to TKZ on alternate Saturdays are probably aware that I am somewhat dream-conscious. I’ve written here and there about dreams inspiring my writing. They do more than that, however. Occasionally they scare me. Badly. 

I had an extremely frightening one this morning. The duration in dream time was extremely short. The entire dream consisted of me opening my front door to find the Angel of Death standing there. No “Hey-how-are-ya,” no “Are you making as much money as you wish you were?” or “Would you be interested in selling your home?”… no nothing. It just filled the doorway and I was swallowed up in blackness. Badda-bing-bang-boom! I woke up shouting, and, of course, couldn’t get back to sleep. I may not be answering the door for a few days. Or weeks. Maybe not until after Halloween.

The flip side of this concerns my favorite commercial of all time. It ran on MTV for a while in the late 1980s. Death played a prominent role. Even if you never watched a second of MTV or any music video you might almost certainly appreciate how clever it is/was so I have ever so thoughtfully included it here.

So…what has been the most recent dream that you have been able to recall? Do any of your dreams bother you? Have they ever come true? Have you used one or more for inspiration? Jack Kerouac made an entire book out of his. Please share if you are so inclined, and thank you as always for stopping by. 


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About Joe Hartlaub

Joe Hartlaub is an attorney, author, actor and book and music reviewer. Joe is a Fox News contributor on book publishing industry and publishing law and has participated on several panels dealing with book, film, and music business law. He lives with his family in Westerville, Ohio.

21 thoughts on “Perchance to Dream

  1. First! Good morning, Steve! I usually don’t answer the door anyway. People who know me text me first and as for the rest I have a NO SOLICITING sign. Death apparently wasn’t buying it. Have a great weekend!

  2. I dream like crazy, and crazy dreams too, so yes, I get it, Joe. This morning I was dreaming about sleeping on what I later realized was my parents’ couch, in my parents’ living room – a room and couch I haven’t been around since my father died, 15 years ago. It DOES make me wonder if the mind is just taking a subconscious trip down memory lane, or if spirit forces are at play, inviting me to join them. Or maybe they’ve arrived early for my going away “party.” Nevertheless, I’ll go on whistling by the graveyard, like most of do when we reach a certain age.
    Take care of yourself and enjoy those kids and their energy!

  3. Yes, some of my dreams bother me. I reckon everyone has a nightmare now and then. I recall a recent one where an intelligent, anaconda-sized, white snake chased me. It could speak and it taunted me, and it was tactically skilled, and the thing slithered through the air rather than on the ground. Well I couldn’t let THAT go to waste, so I put it in the pages of a WIP.

  4. Thanks for sharing and for your good wishes, Ed. Please take care of yourself as well!

  5. Often, I dream in series. Not on consecutive nights, but I dream about places, people, and events that are connected to dreams I had four-five years ago.

    I have, for example, a series of dreams about huge flooding in Phoenix. I take the same streets, see the same people, go to the same restaurants, churches, or malls that I know from dreams of a few years back.

    I dream about a little town, Oklahoma City (where I’ve never lived but my family and I used to pass through on family vacations. There’s a bookstore in a downtown street mall, and a cafe (not a restaurant) that serves great chili. Once, I joined the First Baptist Church there so I could introduce that late and great Gospel singer, George Beverly Shea.

    And so forth.

    I also have the occasional bad dream–often involving our children who are all adults, most of them married.

    I never have a dream that makes me think I’m reincarnated. (How come people who dream they’re reincarnated, or who go to fortune tellers and psychics, come away believing they’ve been Cleopatra or Nostradamus or led an RAF Spitfire squadron to victory over those guys? How come they’re never the guy who once saw Cleopatra, or someone who tried to persuade Lady Godiva to put on clothes instead of taking them off?)

    I supposed the strangest dream of I’ve had was about my Grandfather. Our tribe called him a storm-talker. That is, when bad wind storms or tornadoes would approach his family home at Saddle Mountain, he would stand on the porch and talk to them. My mother said she witnessed that when she was a teenager. A tornado was approaching the house–it was probably two miles or so away. My Grandfather stood on the porch and talked to it in Kiowa. When it got closer–apparently not critically closer, but still or a mile or so away–the funnel swept to the side and away from the house. In my dream, I saw my Grandfather John do the same thing.

    But the most worrisome thing I’ve heard about dreams lately was from a program on one of the science channels. The program was about very long distance space travel–journeys that might take hundreds or more of years. They would put the space travelers, the astronauts, into a deep dream state to try to prevent aging or dying (if you’ve seen Sigourney Weaver’s alien movies, you know what I’m talking about). But, the problem would be is that the space travelers would dream–there’s apparently no way to prevent that. And if the astronaut were to continually dream he or she were being, for example, chased by a monster, or trapped in an abandoned insane asylum (you’ve seen the programs), then the person might grow mad and, upon awakening, be psychotic and perhaps a danger to the other space travelers.

    Well, on that scary note, I wish you pleasant television programs, and not bad dreams.

    [cue music: Big John singing the Teddy Bear’s Picnic to Sparky]

    • Thank you, Jim. I have recurring dreams of a city somewhat similar to though not identical to Akron, Ohio, where I spent my formative years (I almost said “grew up” but I haven’t done that yet). I see the same folks each time and go to the same stores, particularly a newsstand that has a great selection of magazines and paperbacks that don’t exist on this side of the curtain but are published there.

      Re: your grandfather, and the space program…I somehow have a number of articles about black holes popping up on my android news feed. One discussed how scientists are seeing a phenomenon which they believe is caused by one black hole swallowing another. They hypothesize that such an event is causing ripples to occur across time and space. If that can occur, your Grandfather speaking to a tornado and turning it away from his home isn’t a stretch at all, but merely the practice of a lost or at least forgotten art. We don’t know everything, do we? Thanks for sharing.

  6. My family and friends are afraid to ask about my dreams. I have had dream-premonitions since I was little. Some involved death and injury, others predicted happy things.

    When I was a senior in high school, I dreamed my boyfriend, wearing some kind of uniform, was thrown the air in an explosion. That night on our date, he told me he had enlisted in the Army that morning and was heading to boot camp. Eight months later he was severely injured in an RPG explosion in Vietnam and medically discharged.

    Two years into my abusive marriage to that boyfriend, I dreamed of being on a honeymoon with a second husband. The dream unfolded like a scene from a movie. My new husband and I were driving along the Oregon coast in a red convertible. I could see white guardrail and blue ocean on the right. A steep cliff covered in trees on the left. It was cloudy but the sun came out as we neared a tight curve and I knew I would have my third child with this man, a girl. At the time of the dream, I had only one son.

    Five years later, after one more son was born, and a gruesome divorce, I met and married a wonderful man. We went to the Oregon coast on our honeymoon. As we entered a sweeping curve, I saw the white guardrail, the blue ocean, and the steep tree covered hill. It had been cloudy, but the sun broke through the clouds and my husband opened the sun roof on our red Peugeot. He was a little unnerved when I announced we’d have a girl and then one year later she was born.

    Twelve years later I dreamed about his death. Four years after that, I dreamed of my third husband’s the death.

    At this point, I was done with marriage, deciding I would remain single the rest of my life. I was forty-eight. God had other plans. A series of dreams promised a fourth and last husband, a man I would grow old with. A year and a half later, my current husband and I were married in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

    I clung to that promise of growing old together through several life-threatening situations. We’ve now been married 17 years and counting. 🙂

    There are many, many more. Too many to list here, enough to fill a book, well several books actually: my paranormal thriller series, Lions and Lambs. 😀

  7. That’s extremely interesting, Cecilia. Thanks for sharing your experiences so honestly. I hope things go well for you going forward.

    I have blogged before about dreaming the year of my death but I have also dreamed repeatedly of the manner and place. In the dream I am driving south on Highway One, north of Monterey. I lose control of the car and go tumbling down the hillside. AMF. That should be easy enough to avoid. Shouldn’t it?

    • Wow! I am not sure I’d want to know the date of my death. I usually know an approximation of time in my premonitions such as near or far future by everyone’s physical appearance or other factors.

      In your case, is it a premonition which will allow you to change events, or is it merely a pre-knowledge giving you time to plan? My dreams have been both.

      In the instances I gave in my comment, I could not change the events. In one I didn’t include, I was able to save my daughter’s life.

      That dream is actually the basis for my books. A woman has premonitions of child abductions. Knowing the time and place of the crimes, she arrives before the criminal and saves the child. Of course, that doesn’t always go smoothly or without later repercussions. 😉

      We’ll hope your dream falls in the later category (able to be changed) and we can have you around for a long while yet. 🙂

      • Thanks for the kind wishes, Cecilia. I’m of two minds as to the issue of knowing one’s sell-by date. I like it less as the day appointed gets closer!

  8. Death in the Tarot and dream symbology often means change.

    A majority of my dreams follow the labyrinth pattern. I’m going somewhere on a journey but never get there. I never seem bothered about this in the dream. Awake, a bit more because it makes me feel like I’m aimless.

    I’ve also had premonition dreams, past life dreams, visits from dead relatives and pets, and straight-up here’s a great idea for your next book dreams.

  9. I’ve had variations on the labyrinth dream too, Marilynn, but I’m always bothered. I’m also often pursued. This has been true since I was nine years old. It’s no wonder I’m neurotic. Re: dream visits from pets, I get those when I’m wide awake. But that’s another story. Thanks for sharing.

  10. I don’t dream much. When I do, they are short, stupid, nonsense dreams or, more irritating, dreams that are illustrative of my frustration in being unable to accomplish a goal of some sort. (Nothing like being hopelessly thwarted during wake AND sleep!).

    However, late this morning was different. I’d read this post earlier this morning and, after a busy morning, I promised myself if it was productive I’d lay down for a short nap since I didn’t get to sleep long last night. During this short nap I dreamed of my beloved Black Lab named Cody (who died in 2007). It was so real that when I woke up I was expecting him to be here.

    But any chance to spend time with Cody again is worth anything, so if by chance your post prompted that dream for me today, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    • BK, I know exactly what you mean about pets vividly visiting you in your dreams. Thank you for sharing.

  11. I don’t write stories about my dreams. They’re often about the past. The ones about death are scary but also crazy. I remember the movie where Bill and Ted win the game of Battleship while playing with Death and get their lives back. Death’s comment was hilarious and snarky. “You sunk my battleship.” My son used to do an imitation of it that always left me laughing. Good luck with the sleepover. 😀 — Suzanne

    • Thanks, Patricia! I had forgotten that Bill & Ted scene, which is hilarious. I hope that the sequel is as funny.

      The sleepover proceeds apace! But not apace enough!

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