Do dream catchers really work?

When I have a lot of things on my mind, that are bustling through my brain, caused from over thinking some things, under the others, exaggerating worries and creating concerns out of the tiniest seed of thought, my dream rate increases. Every-night I can expect vivid imagery and seemingly hallucinated story lines. This isn’t inception, its just my brain going into a frenzy, I don’t dislike dreaming but only when the story-line soothes me, it is appealing but obviously if it gets too weird, too scary, too intangible then I start to seriously consider the positive effects that a dream catcher might have. I don’t understand what they are ‘supposed’ to do, I remember a friend who had one when I was younger, she said it was meant to keep out the bad dreams and only let in the good ones…Do they really work? Because I’ll take two.

It has all started since I began reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula. (I’m on a reading mission to read classic books and tick them of my ‘must read’ list) At school we studied Frankenstein, it was a toss up between the two for our Gothic horror class in literature and teacher chose Frankenstein bypassing Dracula. Thank goodness, I wouldn’t have been able to handle it when I was that young. I don’t get scared watching horror films because the gore is just off putting, barely realistic and when its time for the rolling credits to roll, the film has very much ended and so has my thinking surrounding it. But when reading, you are alone with the words and characters, perhaps in a quiet room, with just the pages in-front to distract you.

Reading Dracula is such a powerful experience, I’ve had one or two dreams that concern vampires since, not the Twilight kind either, the scary Stoker kind. Having an effect over me, like a bitten victim of the Count’s canines, I awoke in the middle of the night confused disorientated and trying to recall my spooky dream. My cat has obviously been dreaming to, maybe its Halloween approaching, as twice she has woke me up by falling off the bed. At least I have her for company.

I won’t be sleeping tonight…

Yet, despite waking in a hot sweat and questioning ‘what the hell was that noise?’, I still  keep reading for more. Dracula is comprised of diary entries, telegrams and newspaper clippings from those who have experienced the vampire, Count Dracula, as I turn the pages I feel alone, flicking through personal accounts, my position as the reader is isolated and vulnerable. Reading these different private forms adds tension yet, even though it is fiction, from the style it adds factuality.  I yearn to know what the next entry is going to supply me with, how I’m going to respond, will this fear that Stoker installed remain until the final page?

One of my favourite things about reading is, when I carry on thinking about the plot and content once my bookmark is set in the page, when the narrative doesn’t end with a full stop and the tension translates.Which is exactly what a great novel does, it’s just, I didn’t expected to feel such a response from Dracula. I start to visualise my position as an onlooker in the story; I build and architect the scenes in my head, zoning out from the present, zoning into the realm of fiction. Exceeding my expectations and lingering all day long somewhere in the back of my head through the day and to my dreams at night. The supernatural element, unknowing and alien, causes me to devise realistic solutions, relating it to my everyday or to a world that I can familiarise with. I think this is affecting me more than other books because it is unworldly, incomprehensible to our reality.

I haven’t finished Dracula yet, and I hope I get to sleep tonight but this is my definite Halloween read. It comes with a warning, and if you are or prone to nightmares of ghouls, goblins and all things with oversized canines, make sure you have a dream catcher because I don’t think you will dream well.

What book has made you think above what you expected? Do you dream about a book you’re reading? Is Dracula really scary? Am I just a coward? Are vampires real?  Do dream catchers really work?

Daily Post Challenge: Du Maurier.

The weekly writing challenge invites you to write in a style of an author that you love, replacing your existing techniques and experimenting with another. As you have probably guessed Daphne Du Maurier has been the author that has inspired me to write. This is an homage to her as I attempt to stylistic imitate her suspenseful and mysterious writings. My first weekly writing challenge, I think I am a little late on this one but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try writing in my favourite authors style.

Last night I dreamt about what I thought I would forget, not knowing why this vision crept into my mind I awoken early with the uneasy feeling that I was not alone. I looked around in search of the time and found that I has slept right through to morning, the blood rushed from my face as I remembered I had an engagement, I looked for my nearest dress, undesirably left hanging from the night before, and adorned myself with haste.

Anxiety made a dreadful accompaniment to an empty stomach, I called out to the maid and asked for my eggs to be scrambled, knowing I would perhaps not be able to consume them. I remembered the dream again, it crept up on me as quickly as I had awoke from it this morning. The familiarity posed confusion, I knew this place all too well, I had seen the many faces, the different people that had been there, the man who worked solely on his garden row, the old women in her shawl who stared at me blankly.

I was brought back to reality with the present situation, my eggs came with a welcoming smell, but as I presumed I was in too much of a rush to eat them. As I ran from the front porch I heard the maid call out to me, her words were a mixture of urgency and shocked dismay at my swift departure. I could not look back, to miss this engagement would bring more harm to us, my car was brought round and I left my little house, thinking of returning when the clock reached 5pm was a moment of content joy for me. This was the first of many days to come, I knew I had to provide myself with a means to live, this office is a way I shall do so and I shall not and will not look back.

I’ve not given up but, I’ve moved on. Its an expensive habit and I did what I needed to do.

Whilst at university I studied Contemporary Devised Theatre, a degree that is consuming in the most fantastic sense of the word. I immersed myself into every aspect, analysing art and the everyday and putting my heart, soul and spare-time into the whole course. I wouldn’t read anything but contemporary readers and non-fiction performance books, artistically written so they jump up and perform in-front of you. Through fault of my own I neglected the other books of the world, the novels and classics and wonderful poetry and prose. I didn’t feel proudly about this, but in contemporary art it surrounds you and that’s what it did to me, so much so I wouldn’t read anything else. With the books back in the library and a summer of free time ahead of me, I thought about those books that I have ignored, the stories I haven’t read and the classics where I knew their names but knew nothing about them. Invitation to reading accepted, I picked up my first novel Jamaica inn by Daphne Du Maurier.Oh how ignorant I was, how blind I was to the wonderful world of reading, for pleasure. I’ve studied literature but reading for pleasure, that was a term that I have rarely used. I have reignited an old flame, I love reading, addictive and powerful I was hooked, I am hooked.

I was close to finishing Daphne Du Maurier’s Jamaica inn, Her name as beautiful as the way she writes as the words were reeling of the pages I soon realised I had a reading rate of 1 book per week. Luckily Du Maurier has written enough for me to read for a while, but I ran into a problem. With a rate like mine I would finish one book before I had another bo0k to move on to. I will just order another from Amazon, no need to panic.

My book will be here in 3-5 days Amazon told me, I knew this and I knew I had to be patient but, I love reading, give me books, give me more. The thought of going without a Du Maurier on my bus journey to work shook me to the very core.  Book-less, I was faced with either reading a stale copy of Watership Down or Oedipus Rex from my dusty old library that was established in 1991 or read my newspaper app on my phone where I would have to strain my eyes to read the headlines, neither as you would guess, enthused my desire. To be honest I don’t know how I got through those 3-5 days but I did, and I would never put myself in that situation again.

Working in marketing I am hounded with the term ‘forward thinking’ . that’s it, i will take what i learnt and put it into practice. I was forwardly thinking and planning how to avoid being book-less. I thought about ordering a bulk of books from Amazon, but that would be too expensive. I thought about going to a book shop, but that would be too expensive. I’m not broke but I’m still in student mode so as you can appreciate parting with my money still hurts a little bit. And then I thought about an eReader, light, small, perfect for the commuter, this is sounding like it has my name on it,  loaded with hundreds of classics, classics did you say? I was listening. No, it doesn’t have pages, no it doesn’t have that new book smell, no you can’t use a book mark, but yes you can have books on demand any time anywhere. I was sold, I brought a Kobo today, our relationship is very new but I can’t see myself waiting for 3-5days again. I have not given books up, I’ve just moved on.

Here is a view from my favourite reading spot, idyllic and romantic. The classics have affected me in more ways then none.