Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Guest Blogger - Jan Hudson

WINNER! WINNER!

Linda Henderson you are the winner of Jan's book. Please send me your snail mail address at christie (at) christie-craig. com.




I don't know about you guys but I've always been fascinated by dreams. That's why I so excited to have romance author Jan Hudson as our guest blogger this morning. Jan is a dream expert in her other life and she has very graciously agreed to share an excerpt with us from her unpublished book proposal on dreams.

Jan has helped me figure out several of my own dreams and her insight was amazing. But Jan is also one heck of a writer. And today, she'll be giving away a copy of her book. So make sure you leave a comment and pop over here tomorrow morning to see the winner announced.

So, take it away, Jan!

CC

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The following is an excerpt from an unpublished book proposal by dream expert Dr. Janece O. Hudson aka Jan Hudson author of THE MAVERICK, Harlequin American Romance, May 2010. (Last of the Texas Outlaw series.)



DREAMS: MOVIES OF THE MIND

Last night, 1,438,225,000 movies of the mind played in the bedrooms of the United States, all of them unique, many of them vitally important for the people who dreamed them. By ignoring the dreams that you had last night, did you fail to heed a message that warned of the early stages of breast cancer or heart disease? Did you miss the stock tip that could have made you rich or the creative idea that could have made your life a thousand times easier? Did you miss an answer to your prayers or a key to greater happiness and fulfillment in your relationships?


Learning to tap that wondrous inner source of wisdom and to work with your dreams is the greatest gift you could give yourself. The world's finest diagnostician, market analyst, creative thinker, sage, and counselor is as close as your pillow.

The advice is free. Deciphering the advice takes a bit of effort.

Psychologists have constructed elaborate theories to explain the mysterious content of dreams; other analysts, more arcane and less scientific, propose their own sets of meanings to dream symbolism--many of which strain credibility. All strive to make sense of the movies of our minds with tomes filled with incomprehensible psychobabble or dictionaries of outlandish definitions for various dream elements.

Grab your popcorn and a package of Junior Mints, and let's briefly explore the wonderful world of dreams, those movies of the mind that entertain us (or scare us) every night while we sleep.

“Oh, I don't dream," you say.

Not true. Scientists have discovered that everybody dreams from four to seven dreams each night--unless they're three sheets to the wind or on certain drugs. With a little practice, you can learn to recall and record your dreams.

-- It’s simply self-suggestion. Try these easy steps before you go to sleep at night:

-- Place an open notebook and pencil beside your bed.

-- Suggest to yourself that you will remember your dreams.

-- When you awaken--before you move--try to capture some-thing (a feeling, a fragment, an entire dream).

-- Write it down in as much detail as possible. Include emotions/body reactions.

-- If you get nothing, roll over in bed and see if something comes.

-- Date your entry and write a brief account of the previous day’s activities (like a diary). Include thoughts, emotions, fights, awards, dilemmas, etc. (Dreams are about current events in your life.)

-- Repeat each night for a week. You’ll get results. I guarantee it!

"Why would I want to record my dreams?" you ask. "Aren't they all about Freud and sex and hating your father?"

Nope.

Most contemporary dream analysts agree that dreams are about a wider variety of subjects than those Freud suggested. The things that fill your days also fill your nights. (If all a person dreams about is sex, we wonder what’s going on during the day.) Dreams are about work and play and family, about relationships and aspirations and disappointments. They are about physical, emotional, and spiritual needs--and about a world of other things, including the past and the future.

I think of dreams as messages from our inner counselor and agree with Carl Jung and a number of other psychologists who tend to think of dreams as instruments to help keep us in balance and headed down the road of growth, self-actualization–or whatever they may label becoming the best that we can be.

My experience indicates that dreams, including nightmares, are very often about our needs as defined by psychologist Abraham Maslow–everything from the most basic physical ones (food, water, shelter, and yes, sex) to the most wondrous spiritual ones. They run the gamut from the profane to the profound, from suggesting the best brand of canned tuna to buy to those that take a man to task for hurtful behaviors toward his son, and those that are clearly prophetic.

Some dreams are funny; some are mundane; some are scary; some are deeply moving. Some dreams encourage us to exercise or cut out sweets; others warn of dangers in our pathway. All are messages to be interpreted, information to be used.

"That's very nice," you say, "but all that weird stuff I dream about doesn't make a lick of sense, so how can I use it for anything?"

You're not alone in your feelings. If dreams are movies of the mind, lots of people feel as if they’ve stumbled into a theater playing a foreign film--with no subtitles. In many ways that’s exactly what they are. Dreams are played in another language, a language of concrete images instead of abstract thought, a language that’s an amalgam of feeling and experience and unconscious scripts, and we have to learn to speak the language to be able to translate the meaning.

Always remember this critical point: Dreams are very personal and highly individual, and you are the best interpreter of your own productions. While we can make some generalizations about themes, characters, props and actions, everyone’s experiences are different. Don’t trust books with lists of symbols and meanings stating such specifics as dreaming of finding gold means you’re going to be rich or dreams about black-eyed peas means that Aunt Harriet is coming to visit next Tuesday. It’s not that simple.

Quick tips for interpreting dreams:

-- Themes: Read over the dream you’ve recorded and see if you can find a theme, a “high concept” if you will. Feeling lost, frustrated, anxious? Is you dream about direction, change, decisions? How does it relate to your actions or thoughts yesterday?

-- Look at figures of speech for clues. Metaphors and analogies often show up in dreams as concrete images for abstract ideas. A bear pushing a person off a building might indicate a “bear market” to an investor; a car with a flat might signal a dreamer who is “flat tired” and needs to rest. (Your car sometimes represents your body.)

-- List symbols and the meaning each has for you. (Writers and English teachers are great with this.) If you dream about a duck, what does a duck mean to you? What do you associate with your sister, an airplane, an office building, being naked? Now can you get a better idea of what your dream is about?

I hope this helps get you started. If you have a puzzling dream, I’ll be happy to help the first five people who e-mail me the complete dream at JanHudsonBooks@gmail.com

Roll ’em.





21 comments:

Faye Hughes said...

Hi, Jan,

What a fascinating subject. I can't wait to buy a copy of your dream book. Is it scheduled for publication yet?

Faye

Donna Marie Rogers said...

Great post! I've always been fascinated by dreams, ever since I was a little girl and taught myself how to wake up out of one. I clenched my fists and squeezed my eyes shut, and when I woke up, I was sitting up with my fists clenched. I would do that whenever I was having a nightmare.

When I was very little, I used to dream of a big tree with gold leaves...never did figure that one out...LOL Dreamt once that I got shot in the heart, and that one still bothers me, frankly.

I look forward to your book, Jan!

Christie Craig said...

Hi Jan,

Thanks so much for coming to play with us at Killer Fiction. I love understanding dreams and I totally agree with you that our minds can be attempting to send us messages via those movies playing in our mind.

Thanks again for being here.

CC

Barbara Monajem said...

Thanks for a great post. I do interpret my dreams now and then, and having been a literature student certainly does help, because of having to write sooooo many papers about symbolism, LOL.

I tried writing down my dreams for a week or so ages ago, and got LOTS AND LOTS of detail. However, after a couple of days I gave up. It was just too much work! The dreams I remember without the aid of pencil and paper are almost always fairly easily interpretable and clearly address my current worries in symbolic terms.

My worst dream ever was a childhood nightmare that recurred whenever I had a fever. Brrr. Just thinking about that one makes me shiver.

Judy Alter said...

I almost always remember my dreams vividly and sometimes they trouble me, so it's helpful to see a fresh interpretation rather than the standardized interpretations on most websites. thanks.

Janece said...

Faye, unfortunately my dream book proposal hasn't been sold!

Jan

Janece said...

Donna Marie,
Interesting comments. Sometimes being shot through the heart could mean that you'd had your feelings hurt (or wounded in some other way) or it could mean falling in love (remember Cupid?).

Jan

Janece said...

All, I've just discovered that the hyperlink for dream help doesn't work. Try deleting the >. from the e-mail address. Because it isn't presently working, I don't have any takers yet, so there are still 5 openings. If the >. isn't at the end of the address in the article, then it's been fixed. ;-)

Jan (Janece)

Janece said...

Barbara, Judy and Christie:

Thanks for your comments.

Barbara, nowadays, after filling stacks of my own notebooks, I usually interpret my dreams when I awake in the mornings instead of writing them down. Remember though that not only do those dreams reflect current concerns, they usually point to solutions.

Fever dreams (and those from other illnesses) are often scary, aren't they? They reflect the condition of the body. I once dreamed of a horde of tiny Chinese soldiers parachuting from the sky and coming to attack me. (I was coming down with a virus--"tiny foreign bodies" attacking. Got really sick a day or two later. Yuk.)
Jan

Christie Craig said...

Jan,

Your last comment really spiked my interest. I'm working on a scene right now in my YA. My heroine is a ghost whisperer, and often the ghosts give her dreams in an attempt to send her messages or to communicate with her. I'm using a lot of what you taught me about dreams in the book.

Anyway, right now my heroine is getting dreams from a ghost who wants to communicate to her how she died. She died of cancer. Can you think of a dream or a symbol that could mean but could be a mystery to the reader and my heroine for a while?

Ohh, I love this.

CC

Janece said...

Christie,
Your ghost whisperer sounds fascinating. The dreams from the other side could be very clear, e.g. seeing and hearing scenes from the past (ala Medium), or they could be symbolic. How does your heroine think of cancer? Perhaps she could see the ghost as his/her former self in the mirror and see a dark, shadowy area in her body and watch it as the area grows. It could be more gory (as a beast eating her entrails, etc.). That help?

Jan

Loretta said...

Janece,

What interesting information:)Like some of the others have said, I tried interpreting my dreams years ago, and every so often, will try and figure out the symbolism going on now. I had a "killer" nightmare last night...LOL! so waking and finding this was very interesting:)
Loved the advice you gave Christie! And I look forward to seeing your book in print:)

Loretta

Jane Sevier said...

Janece, I sure hope your dream book sells because the tidbit you posted here is fascinating.

I have lots of dreams in which I'm trying to accomplish a task or get out the door to go somewhere, but I'm endlessly caught up in something that goes on and on keeps me from getting where I want to go. Hmmm. As I type that, it seems pretty clear to me what it means.

Any thoughts on why someone never has good dreams?

Jane

Cindy Gerard said...

Hey Miss Jan. Saw your name on a loop and just had to stop in and say HI! You know I've been a fan for forever! Hugs and thanks for the great 'dream catcher' suggestions

Janece said...

Loretta, Jane, and Cindy.
Thanks for stopping by.

Nightmares often are related to deep anxiety or physical problems (especially diet). I've been known to have my 14 taco nightmares (too much spicy food)in which something is after me and my body won't move (and how could it with all that chocolate I gorged on the day before?).

Loretta, if you want help with your nightmare, e-mail the whole dream to me (along with a line or two about what's going on in your life).

Jane, I've never known anyone who only has bad dreams. Sounds more like a case of only remembering the bad ones. Like book reviews, we overlook all the good ones and only pay attention to the bad one.

Jan

Robin Kaye said...

What a fabulous blog! Thanks so much...I'm really hoping your book gets published. I'd love to read it.

catslady said...

I can normally figure out where my dreams come from - something that happened or I saw during the day but as to the future - nope lol. It's a fascinating subject!!!

Christie Craig said...

Jan,

I love your advice about the scene. I'll have to play with that. Thanks again for joinging us today.

CC

Janece said...

Thanks for inviting me, Christie. I always love talking about dreams. I still have a slot or two open if anybody wants help with a dream. Just e-mail it to me. I'm an owl.
Jan
JanHudsonBooks@gmail.com

Linda Henderson said...

This is a very interesting discussion. Understanding our dreams would be very helpful. I'd be very interested to read a book on the subject.

Sandy said...

Interesting post. My husband often has dreams and remembers them.

Good luck with your book, Jan.