March Word of the Month

On my D.L. Hungerford Facebook page, I have a banner that says, “dream”, showing wings at each end of the word. Dreaming has always been an important part of my life and of most creative people’s processes. So let’s take a look at that word and be sure we understand it.

030719 dream in grass

dream [dreem]


a succession of images, thoughts, or emotions passing through the mind during sleep.

the sleeping state in which this occurs.

verb (used without object), dreamed or dreamt, dream·ing.

to have a dream.

to indulge in daydreams or reveries: He dreamed about vacation plans when he should have been working.

verb (used with object), dreamed or dreamt, dream·ing.

to see or imagine in sleep or in a vision.

to imagine as if in a dream; fancy; suppose.

030719 dream under water

Origin of dream

1200–50; Middle English dreem, Old English drēam joy, mirth, gladness, cognate with Old Saxon drōm mirth, dream, Old Norse draumr, Old High German troum dream; modern sense first recorded in ME but presumably also current in Old English, as in Old Saxon

I’m impressed that so much of the definitions of dream in older languages meant joy, gladness. One did not dream of having to weed forty acres in the morning or where the family would get the food they needed for the winter. A positive approach could make all the difference.

030719 einstein

Dreaming also attributed to many advances in technology and medicine and just about everything. This Cracked article lists a few, but I don’t think I would have included James Cameron’s The Terminator as a thing we received thanks to dreams. The rest of the items are practical applications and ideas from a simple night dream.

More of that sort plus more of the creative genius type of creations can be found at The World of Lucid Dreaming. Lucid dreaming is a wonderful practice for writers, composers, and creative types of any sort. The site offers a free Lucid Dreaming course in case you want to put that on your resume. There can’t be much else in the world that may be so helpful for writers. I’m a much better dreamer than a student.

030719 best dreams

My own experience with dreams is something I have rarely heard anyone else claim. I remember a lot of my dreams from years ago. Now and again, a dream is so vivid that it captures my mind throughout the next day, at odd moments. I get a feeling like nostalgia and want to go back into it. Sometimes the dream seems like a continuation of a dream I’d had a long time before. Things I experience while awake often come back to my dreams so I can play with them.

When I was in my 20s, I was still having nightmares periodically. The images and happenings were horrifying to me, though I couldn’t explain them to anyone. Then one time I woke up and told myself that a dream could not hurt me. I had nothing to be afraid of. I went back to sleep and stopped having nightmares like that.

030719 regency ball

My first plot for a Regency Romance came as a dream and involved really one scene. Being a new writer, I tried to fashion an entire plot around that scene. The end result was a lot of fun but nothing I could sell. There are some wonderful ideas there and plans to create something worth publishing, but the time to work on that is a long way off.

Writing dreamy heroes and wimpy heroines was all the rage when I started, but I much prefer the current dream of an intelligent, thoughtful hero and a strong, self-sufficient heroine. I hope you found something of use in this post. Maybe these 11 further dream breakthroughs will add to it. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday to Tweet what I have read.

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