Sorry it’s been a whole week! For a few days there, I decided hijacking Lacey’s blog was more fun than doing mine, I guess.

Okay, so here’s today’s exercise in Tessa Validation – Tell me about your weird dreams and nightmares. Because I seem to be under a wee bit of stress at the moment (which may or may not have to do with my book being out on submission), and it’s manifesting itself in some pretty gnarly dreams.

I’ve been having most of those standard under-stress dreams – showing up for the final exam after skipping class all semester, freaking out because I couldn’t remember who was taking care of my baby. But then some of them are just … incomprehensible.

For example, the other night, I had a dream that I ate Crazy Glue. Don’t ask me why I ate the Crazy Glue. But in my dream, I vividly remember making lines of it and licking them up. (And no – never in my life have I done lines of Crazy Glue or any other substance.) Then, about three seconds later, it hits me that this may not have been such a brilliant idea, to eat the Crazy Glue. I start feeling a bit sick. So I turn over the tube, and – wouldn’t you know it! – right there it says, “DO NOT INGEST.” Okay, so in my dream I’m trying to decide whether or not to go to the hospital. I read a little further on the tube, and under the ‘First Aid’ bit (you know, where it usually tells you to drink a glass of water, or make yourself vomit?) the tube tells me that my only hope of survival is to get kicked in the stomach repeatedly, so that the Crazy Glue does not congeal in my gut and obstruct my intestines.

So get this – I’m too embarrassed to ask someone else to kick me in the stomach – I mean, really, how would that conversation go? And, Dream Tessa is thinking to herself, I didn’t really eat THAT much Crazy Glue. Surely not enough to obstruct my intestines. So I go around for a couple of hours, drinking little swallows of water and every so often punching myself in the gut. Are you laughing hysterically yet?

If not, read on…

Because my own punches feel too feeble to have much impact, I attempt to recruit some passers-by and friends to join the gut-churning efforts, but as predicted, they just stare at me like the nutcase I am. Finally, I decide I really should just go to the Emergency Room. I do. I’m talking to a guy – receptionist or something – in the waiting area. At first, I’m quite hesitant to tell him why I’m there. I mean, how do I explain to him that I’ve spent my day licking up Crazy Glue and punching myself in the stomach without earning a one-way ticket to the looney bin? Well, as the minutes tick by I can feel my intestines knotting up, and I am increasingly certain that I must own up to this idiocy or die of it, and eventually I get some version of the story out. Hospital Dude says, “Oh, is that all? Nah, you’re not going to die. We had a girl here last week with the same thing. The docs suctioned her stomach, and she was fine.”

Relief washes over me. Not so much because I’ve been assured I won’t die. No, mostly because I’ve been assured I’m not the only Crazy-Glue-slurping idiot around. It’s a regular epidemic! Who knew? But then, Hospital Dude gives me the metaphorical kick to the gut. “No…wait… that was the girl who ate eight pounds of caramels. Crazy Glue, hmmm? Okay, you might be in real trouble.”

And then I woke up.

This has to be a metaphor for pursuing publication, right? I mean, what other pursuit has you punching yourself in the gut, then asking friends to hit you in the gut, only as a way to work up to letting other people – professional people – kick you in the gut? Or maybe I am just going insane…

So, feel free to play “Shrink Tessa’s Head” (or “Kick Tessa in the Gut”, for that matter) and tell me what this all means. And please, share some weird dreams of your own.

17 comments to “TMI Tuesday – Dream a Little Dream…”

  1. Lenora Bell
    · September 24th, 2007 at 11:12 pm · Link

    Aww…Tessa. That dream must have been terrifying. You probably woke up with sore abs because you’d been clenching them to ward off the dream pummeling. I love your interpretation of it. This is a tough business. But I have a feeling you’ll be getting gently rubbed down with almond scented praise instead of punches.

    I’m starting grad school on Wednesday and I’ve been having anxiety dreams where I’m late for the first class but then I realize I’m in China and my class is in Oregon. Doh!

  2. Darcy Burke
    · September 24th, 2007 at 11:16 pm · Link

    Wow, that’s a seriously strange/funny dream! I don’t remember dreams that often and I’ve never remembered a writing-related dream until a couple of weeks ago. Two nights in a row. Two different dreams. The first night involved the Maggie contest and I refuse to share its content for fear I will jinx myself (no, it wasn’t that I specifically won, it was just a very visual dream and very, very specific). And then the next night, I dreamed I got a request on one of the queries I sent out. Since then, I’ve gotten one more pass (can’t call it a rejection because it really was the epitome of “it’s not you, it’s me” – gotta love that).

    And then two nights ago I had a very disturbing dream involving my youngest child. I never dream horrible things (or rarely anyway), but this was truly gut-wrenching and for an absolutely soul-terrorizing moment, I faced the darkest fear a parent can face and it scared the crap out of me. I won’t go into detail because I’ve bummed you out enough!

    Guess I should try nibbling some crazy glue…

  3. Tessa Dare
    · September 24th, 2007 at 11:22 pm · Link

    I’ve had variations on that dream, Lenore! Realizing I was late for something and – oops! – in the wrong state/country! Oddly enough, I wasn’t really that scared in my glue dream. I was more pissed off at myself for being so stupid. It was like, “here I’ve considered myself reasonably intelligent all these years, but no. Apparently I’m a complete moron.” When I woke up, the first thought I had was, “I knew I could not be that stupid!”

    Darcy – my missing baby dream was really horrible, too. I had similar dreams when my daughter was little. I didn’t go into detail either, because … because you just can’t – it’s too horrible to utter! But I’d bet all moms have similar nightmares.

  4. Tessa Dare
    · September 24th, 2007 at 11:23 pm · Link

    Oh, and Darcy – I’m sure the Maggie dream was not a dream, but a premonition. 🙂

  5. Maggie Robinson
    · September 25th, 2007 at 1:01 am · Link

    I often dream I’m HAVING, not misplacing, a baby, which should terrify me (not to mention confound medical science) but instead makes me yearn for a fifth child. Guess I’ll be settling for grandchildren! I also often dream I’m walking back to the house I grew up in…hope that doesn’t substitute for going home to Jesus.

    Tessa, maybe you were just hungry. Don’t kids eat paste? *g*

  6. Gillian Layne
    · September 25th, 2007 at 3:59 am · Link

    I’m a “behind the closed door” gal. The room is never familiar, and I don’t have an image of what’s behind that door, but I know if I open it the most horrible thing ever is going to happen. And yet I feel my hand reaching for the doorknob, like every idiot in those horror movies.

    Yikes! Glad it’s morning. I’m such a scary dream coward anyway–one is enough to have me up the rest of the night, cleaning the kitchen or watching (funny!!) reruns.

  7. Alice Audrey
    · September 25th, 2007 at 7:25 am · Link

    Naked dreams. I’m always having naked dreams. Oh – and trying to find the bathroom, often in the same dream.

  8. Lindsey
    · September 25th, 2007 at 8:55 am · Link

    LOL Tessa! That’s hilarious!

    I know I had a dream this summer about you & your family, Tessa! I can’t remember anymore what it was about, but the image of being at your house is still very vivid.

    I recently had a really bizarre anxiety dream about Julia Quinn – that her sister was in the hospital and I was responsible for making sure JQ didn’t get too upset. It was one of those vivid, affecting dreams that stick sticks with you – for like a week afterward, it made me anxious just to see JQ’s name.

  9. Tessa Dare
    · September 25th, 2007 at 9:53 am · Link

    Hmm, Maggie – if you’re having giving-birth dreams now, I wonder what kind of dreams you’ll be having after today! (Maggie’s about to become a grandma again, for those who don’t know…like any minute.)

    That sounds scary, Gillian! I don’t think I’ve ever had that particular dream… But dreams where I know I’m doing something stupid and I do it anyway – yep, all the time. Case in point the Crazy Glue.

    AA – I’ve had the naked dreams, too. Although not that often. I used to have those flying/falling dreams from time to time, but not in quite a while. Hmmm…

    Lindsey – You came to my house?? Was it messy?? If so, I apologize. 🙂 You know you’re always welcome. LOL about JQ. You need to tell India about that dream.

  10. Ericka Scott
    · September 25th, 2007 at 10:54 am · Link

    Mine are usually just looking for a bathroom that is clean and not overflowing with filth OR sitting right out in the open.

    I have been struggling with a plot line this past week. I had hoped to dream about it…instead, I dreamt up a short story related to the characters in The Werewolf Whisperer. The story was great in my dream and didn’t make a stitch of sense when I woke up. Sigh…

  11. terrio
    · September 25th, 2007 at 1:29 pm · Link

    Wow! That’s a freaky dream, Tessa. Perhaps it had more to do with making something *stick*.

    I’ve always had weird dreams. The falling ones all the time when I was a kid. Those running ones where everything is blurry and you’re running as hard as you can but getting no where.

    One I dreamed in animation. Talk about crazy. But last week I had this great dream. George Clooney was in it. This was obviously before he broke his ribs. LOL! But he was charming and flashing me that smile and even while he was holding my hand I kept thinking I had to get his autograph for someone else. Even in my dreams, I’m a giver. *sigh*

  12. doglady
    · September 25th, 2007 at 1:32 pm · Link

    Now that sounds like a truly awful dream, Tessa. Especially the punches in the stomach! I have had the “showing up for an exam and don’t remember taking the class” dream repeatedly. Still not quite sure what it means, except perhaps that I feel unprepared for . . . something! I have dreams about my late husband and in them we are having a conversation about something completely mundane, like laundry instead of something profound like “what is heaven like” or “what should I be doing with my life?” Gillian, that dream sounds a little too real and too scary for me.

  13. Jacqueline Barbour
    · September 25th, 2007 at 4:08 pm · Link

    What a fascinating (if horrifying) dream, Tessa, and I think your interpretation of it could put Dr. Freud to shame.

    I’m the mistress of anxiety dreams. I have dreams about having to go back to high school because it turns out I never actually graduated (never mind that I have a freakin’ master’s degree), dreams about taking the test for the class I never attended (usually a chemistry or math-related class), dreams about having married my college boyfriend (that would have been a colossal mistake) and all of the lost/injured child dreams you can imagine.

    I am clearly a very anxious person in need of psychological help. Are you available for consultation?

  14. lacey kaye
    · September 25th, 2007 at 6:34 pm · Link

    I STILL have the showing up for a final but I haven’t been in class all semester dream.

    My friend had a dream she was pregnant. More of a nightmare, really. Then she woke up and realized she just had to pee.

  15. Tessa Dare
    · September 25th, 2007 at 6:42 pm · Link

    Ooh, Ericka – bathroom anxiety. Can’t say I’ve had that dream myself, but it wouldn’t have surprised me if I had when I was pregnant.

    Terri! How do I get George Clooney to visit my dream?? Next time he shows up in yours, be a giver and tell him I’ve still got a few good hours of sleep in PST.

    Pamela – I love the idea that you have those mundane conversations about laundry with your late husband! That’s profound in its own way, isn’t it?

    Jacqueline – I don’t know about consultation, but I am always available for commiseration! We really should get together sometime- we live so close, there’s no excuse not to!

    Lacey – What is it about school anxiety, that it persists for years and years? And that dream your friend had – yeah, that’s pretty much what being pregnant is like! Weird dreams and having to pee.

  16. Sara Lindsey
    · September 25th, 2007 at 9:27 pm · Link

    OMG, that is one strange dream. Hilarious, but strange.

    Sadly, I think I can top it. I had a dream where I was a flying juicebox. I know what kind of juicebox I was, too. It was a yellow Hi-C juicebox with Slimer (that green blobby dude from the Ghostbusters) on it.

    I have a lot of strange recurring dreams – must be all the meds I’m on *g* – but I also have the school anxiety ones a lot. Or I have to go onstage for a play but I never learned my lines.

    You might want to remove all the Crazy Glue from your house, though…

  17. Jacqueline Barbour
    · September 26th, 2007 at 9:21 am · Link

    Ah, Tessa, we so SHOULD get together sometime. We are close, although it’s hard for me to get away on weekdays when the kids are in school and even harder on weekends when they’re not :). But with enough advance planning, I’m sure we could work something out. I’d love to meet the Darelings!