zeborah: Zebra standing in the middle of the road (urban)
In the end I did completely rest yesterday, and went to bed at 8:30 to allow for plenty of sleep. I don't think I needed all of it in the end but decided to enjoy the dreams.

(As opposed to the dream that ended yesterday afternoon's nap on the couch, a flash in which a cyclist ran over my foot and I woke with another (painless) muscle spasm. A little adrenaline, not too bad but still, just the once is just fine by me. It reminded me of a dream I had right after the February quake, again a flash of slipping in liquifaction and waking with a jolt.)

I got picked up at my gate by a friend/colleague, who likewise returned me to it this evening. My ambition is to at least bus to her place and back, but discovered (getting from carpark to office) that my arms aren't quite as strong as I'd thought. The supermarket trip on Thursday fooled me, probably because while it took a long time, that time involved lots of stopping and standing. So, darn. The bus home might be within my capabilities though: the busstop that way is particularly close to my house.

At work I put a dalek under my desk and a cushion on top for my foot. This was about as perfect as one could get without a custom-made desk so not perfectly comfortable but pretty good. At one point for a tea break I tried sitting on the bed in the sickbay (next to my office!) with my laptop, but the wireless in there is hopeless so I won't be remoting in from there any time soon.

So, as probably anyone with any kind of mobility issue already knows, fire doors are an accessibility nightmare, specifically the spring-loaded ones. I bet there's ways to make them not be, because there's ways to do anything you're willing to spend money on, but my workplace hasn't implemented them. (Honestly I consider it one of my major achievements last year to have got momentum going to get a glass pane put in that particular fire door. It's a major thoroughfare coming from the tea room and the number of near-head injuries and near-scaldings was terrifying.) Slightly counterintuitively, it's a lot easier to pull the door (because you can pull it all the way open and then just go through) than it is to push it (because you aren't forward enough to push it all the way open so have to try and do it in stages which does. not. work).

I got stared at by All The Students as I crutched my way through the quiet study zone to the lift to take my ACC forms down to my boss.

Also everyone I work with wanted to hear the story. For some reason "I ran in front of a car" just inspired more questions, though I once got away with "I ran in front of a car. Don't do that." I should have made little cards with the URL of my blog post printed on it.

By the end of the day my foot was holding up pretty well. A bit of swelling, I'd guess, but not as bad as even Saturday after just a few hours at the 90th birthday party. Will duly rest for the remainder of the evening of course. Also my colleague doesn't work Wednesdays so I'll take those as work-from-home days for the next few weeks.

The scab on my knee has reached the point where any member of homo sapiens sapiens (and a lot of other species of mammals, come to think of it) would want to pick at it. I am womanfully refraining, not only for the usual reasons which, to be honest, probably wouldn't suffice, but also/really because there's a numb patch of skin about there so I wouldn't be able to tell if I was picking to the point of would-be-pain. --I didn't notice the numb patch until today because that area's always been Bruise-Don't-Touch!!! but nerve damage seems unsurprising all in all and neither my intuition nor Dr DuckDuckGo find much reason to worry about it at this stage.

My hearing seems to be coming right! <knocks on wood> Not normal yet, but a definite improvement. I'm testing by rubbing my fingers by my ear: before I started the olive oil treatment the doctor suggested, I couldn't hear a thing by my right ear, now I can hear the lower tones, just still missing the higher ones.

State of the Scaredy-Cat: hiding from the crutches behind the couch, which seems an improvement on fleeing the house.

<ponders icon choice> Oh oh I can't believe I didn't think of this one for my first 'got into a road accident' post. Better late than never! --LiveJournal users will have to either click through or live without my frankly awesome array of thematically deployed zebra (with occasional Helen Clark) icons, sorry about that.

(Need more thematic zebra icons. Never too many.)
zeborah: Zebra with stripes falling off (stress and confusion)
I must be going through a patch of getting enough sleep, because OMG the awesome dreams that result.

I won't bore you with the Criminal Minds stuff that feels, for no obvious plotly, thematic, or setting reason, like it begins this dream sequence. Nor even the fairly standard sequence in which I was trying to escape people through a maze of a high-rise's corridors and capricious escalators which also feels somehow linked.

It really started on a road that wends along the Heathcote in suburban Christchurch. Specifically here (google street maps link).

The bridge was wider, but we'll come to that, and the sky wasn't so conspicuously grey. It may even have been sunny, because you could see in the north right to the police station in town, which was in my dream the tallest remaining building in the city.

Except that as I looked I realised it was getting shorter: floors were being teleported off. The [bylaws|algorithms?] ruling the city had decided it was too tall and the excess floors had to be relocated. One was already on a site somewhat southeast of me.

Such is Christchurch: buildings come down, buildings go up. I must have mentally shrugged and decided to go on home, a route that takes me over that bridge. As I mentioned, in the dream it wasn't a mere footbridge. It was, specifically, the size of a building site, and it had a number of strategically placed knee-high pillars ready to be foundations.

About half-way across I put two and two together and dropped to the ground to avoid being crushed by the floor(s) of police station that might materialise at any moment. I was worried my backpack extended above the safe crawlspace. Rather than wait to find out I crawled back to the road I came from.

Now, on the other side of this road were three or more booths, each about the size of that from which Lucy dispenses advice for 5c, except proportionate to an adult. At the leftmost, a customer (if a WINZ would-be beneficiary can be called that) was given a plate holding a scattering of cola-flavoured mini-jellybeans and told to use them to spell the word "food".

As I passed, the customer challenged me, "Can you spell 'food'?"

"F-O-O-D," I retorted at once; I don't know why so coldly.

Then the woman staffing the next booth over called me across for my own (medical) tests. I had no legal choice but to obey and go to her, but I did it reluctantly. I'm not sure if I knew that the idea of my body being a medical map to the city's health was scientifically suspect, or if I just recognised that the consequences of this pervasive politico-cultural belief were unjust and threatening to my life and limb, but either way I argued.

Particularly when I learned that taking blood wasn't going to be enough this time: they suspected one of the city's major organs was failing. The implications were unstated but clear, and being fond of all my major organs I argued.

In vain. The woman tried to reassure me, as hands held me from behind, "Actually your muscle mass is doing really well."

The hands were forcing my right forearm out for her scalpel. I pointed out, "It's not going to do my muscle mass much good if you cut out my veins."

But the city's roadways were fatally congested, you see: they needed my veins. So as I struggled desperately against the hands, she sliced into my wrist. It hurt. It was some small relief that she turned out not to be aiming for the larger blue veins but instead extracted a thinner purple one: a red thread in the air as she pulled it out. This did not, need I say, make the process any the less excruciating.

(When I woke, heart hammering, I could still feel the distinct memory of that pain, transferred to my pinkie finger. I had to rub at it for a couple of minutes to make it go away.)
zeborah: TV with a zebra body surround, displaying two zebras (tv)
My dream has implicit spoilers for the season 5 episode 2 of White Collar, and for season 9 episode 5 of Criminal Minds.

I honestly don't know how much sense it will make if you're not familiar with the characters from either/both of the shows. If anyone is familiar with the characters from either/both, do you want to beta-read a novel-length crossover fanfic? It'd actually be particularly helpful to have a beta-reader who's only familiar with one (or even neither) since - being aware that the crossover between the fandoms is limited - I'd like it to be comprehensible by people who only know one or the other.

Anyway, the dream plays out as an act excerpted from an episode. )
zeborah: Zebra with stripes falling off (stress and confusion)
So I was sleeping badly anyway due to my nose having a tendency to block. (Winter, new gas fire drying it up, something like that.)

Then I dreamed I was back in Korea taking a taxi to our apartment, and accidentally got it to drop us off in the wrong apartment block. So we were walking through to get to our own, and came around a corner to where just a few fragments of brick walls remained - fragments of murals painted on what had been the inside - and I realised it was the church I'd last visited there before the quakes, and even though I'd only been there the once it hit me really hard. I had my hand over my nose and mouth just sobbing and sobbing and sobbing...

...and woke up sobbing and sobbing and sobbing, and got the waterworks going too, and then suddenly I thought: Wait, am I actually emotionally affected here or was this just a breathing problem? And I took one deep breath to stop the sobbing and then I was absolutely fine.

So that was anticlimactic; and then my alarm went off before I could get back to sleep. Le sigh. OTOH I've just had too full snowdays off work so I suppose I can't complain too much about going in to work for today.

Oh look! I made you a bonus haiku thing:

I thought, "Wait for spring
to see the cherry blossom," but
here are snow and dawn.
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
We were all the same age, 11 boys and 3 girls. At a certain point, about seven of us went to live with Garak on Cardassia. One by one he killed us off, but he liked me, believing I took after him. Unfortunately he then learned (by means of a device on my finger(*) that put me into a virtual reality he could control) that my admirable duplicity was in aid of the less pleasing goal of reforming (my pov) / corrupting (his pov) Cardassia. This discovery was a great disappointment to us both, but we handled things in a civilised manner: we sat down to read a book together so that he could reach behind me and stab me in the back. I was a little concerned whether he was sufficiently advised of human anatomy to make it relatively painless, but please note this was not an anxiety dream of any kind: it was a touching father-son moment.

I did wake with a sensation of a tinge in my back, though.


(*) Boots has got rather more matted fur than I thought, so yesterday I started attempting to comb a bit of it out. I got sufficient fur to make a mouse, and a gouge in my finger pad, so I was wearing a bandaid overnight.
zeborah: Zebra with stripes shaking (earthquake)
It's official: my old anxiety dream about trying to get students out of the library at closing time but they keep refusing and meanwhile more are coming in...

...has transformed into a new anxiety dream about trying to evacuate students from the library after an earthquake but they keep refusing and meanwhile more are coming in (earthquake? what earthquake?) and also Security won't let me get my bag-that-goes-with-me-everywhere.

(Though otoh, the students were so slow at leaving that I had to stay inside to keep shouting for their attention and must have evaded Security after all because in the end as we were making our way to the assembly point I triumphantly showed someone I had my bag after all.)

Also, level 2 was a maze of a layout complete with bridges to other sections of the library, and the gazillions of fire escapes included a spiral slide made of sleek polished wood. I slid down it. :-)
zeborah: Zebra with stripes falling off (stress and confusion)
Or possibly a year and a half of living with earthquakes, but I'm going to blame the Hunger Games (which I watched yesterday with my siblings, despite having not read the book, and enjoyed a lot) on the grounds that earthquakes haven't given me nightmares before. A few anxiety dreams, but not waking-up-with-heart-racing nightmares. Not that movies ordinarily give me dreams either, but.


So in my dream -- there's various ordinary dream stuff, like showing my juvenilia to someone and someone else playing with a... reptile-bird-thing? and getting something in my hair that I'd just washed and having to time to wash and dry it again.

But then I was going somewhere along a forest path and realised I'd left my mini backpack behind. (This is my zebra-striped mini backpack that for the last year and a half has gone with me everywhere. I mean like the other night I thought, "I'm tired, I'll just leave it in the other room while I go to bed," and then I thought, "Don't be stupid, you can't go to bed without having your keys and wallet and cellphone and expired passport and ereader and notepaper for emergencies by your bed," and then I thought, "This is an irrational yet valid point," and went to get my mini backpack in order to go to bed.)

So in my dream when I realised I'd left it behind I immediately turned around to go and hunt for it. And came across Dad who had with him not one but two zebra-striped umbrellas, and I was trying to figure out which was mine. About the time I decided, Dad made a comment about a storm coming and I turned to look at the clouds he pointed out (the forest had now turned into the Ilam Fields) and I said something like, "That... kind of looks like a twister."

So we started running away from the twisters. There were at this point dozens or hundreds of us, all running across the Ilam Fields, and I was thinking there was no way we were going to be able to outrun all those twisters.

And then I noticed a blue robot next to a tree on the edge of the field we were going to run past. It was about small-adult-height, but it had no legs, being blocky like a toy, and it was toy-blue, and it had a toy face with a big red dimpled smile. And it shot bolts of energy at us as we came, and the people it shot died bleeding, and it smiled at the blood.

(Think of the creepiest monster you've ever seen on Doctor Who. That's how creepy it was.)

And then I saw another robot on our other side, also shooting, but we had to keep running with the twisters behind us, through this gauntlet of robots, and part of me was making sure I stayed in the middle of the crowd so I might be able to get through while they shot the people around me, and part of me was thinking, was I seriously using the people around me as human shields? and the answer was yes, yes I was, because twisters and creepy smiling shooting robots.

And then I got shot anyway - it hit my umbrella but the shock still knocked me to the ground and I woke before finding out if they'd have noticed I was still alive.


(I like to think not. But they were sadists, not stupid. And besides, there were still those twisters to contend with.)
zeborah: Zebra with stripes falling off (stress and confusion)
I got to my desk today to find an email waiting, telling me someone's made an application on my behalf and I need to fill out a questionnaire to complete it. This email sounding startlingly similar to one I received yesterday, I phoned to confirm. After a short discussion, we worked out that I didn't have to.

Then a bit before lunch I got an email whose subject says the deadline has been extended to [closing date listed (possibly accidentally) on an important external website] and whose body says the selection process is well under way and I should hear from them in the near future. I'm not sure if they consider two weeks to be the near future or if their message got a bit jumbled in the confusion.

In between emails, I moved some more hundreds of books, with a brief pause to put into some semblance of order about ten shelves' worth that had obviously all fallen onto the floor and been put back randomly on the shelves by building contractors. This was particularly fun because they're in the internet programming section of the classification range, so these ten shelves of books ranged from TK 5105.888 [etc] to TK 5105.8885 [etc] (through such numbers as TK 5105.88815 [etc]) so one gets cross-eyed very quickly, and then also one discovers a stray TK 5105.85 from the next bay over, or a TK 7182 that must have fallen in from the other side of the stack).

We did as much of that area as can be done right now in the morning; in the afternoon (after an all-library meeting to update us on some technology changes planned for the summer) we went to another area to do some easier straightening of shelves. Not many had fallen off in this area; mostly they were all leaning over. Though we did find a book that seems to have fallen down from the mezzanine level straight above, and yes I mean that if the book had moved in a straight line it would have had to pass through the floor. I suppose there might have been human intervention at some point pre- or post-quake, but I dunno. Things move weirdly in earthquakes.

I've started... hmm. I haven't started actually writing again, but I've regained my interest in writing and am once more glaring at the unfinished short story that I was glaring at pre-quake.

Oh, I had an awesome dream last night that I was writing a bunch of fairytales in verse. Most were bare-bones ones, but there was a longer one in an aabccb rhyme scheme that involved a witch (rhymed with ditch), a princess carrying all her worldly possessions (maiden rhymed with laden) and a dwarf (which I think I managed to put in the middle of a line so as not to have to rhyme).

I rather expect I'll continue having rough moments/hours/days (and I remain easily brain-fried, which means my capacity for socialness, even the basic socialness of replying to comments, is a bit eclectic at present) but purposeful hard labour is awefully therapeutic.
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
I had a story idea yesterday which I wrote down as "locking prisoners' minds in a labyrinth". Ie a mental labyrinth and Our Protagonist would manage somehow to escape or something, but that's all I got and then I went on to doing other things.

Also at dinner with my family the conversation turned briefly to lucid dreaming.

So last night I had a dream in which I was thinking more about this story and in my dream I realised that the escape method would involve lucid dreaming because the "labyrinth" would essentially be a dream. [Also I learned a writing rule that if you're wanting the story to seem to be about one thing before the Sudden Twist to it being about something else, then the optimum amount to write about the first thing is 1500 words. There was a caveat that if you're writing a short story instead of a novel then it's fewer words, but my dream didn't tell me how many fewer.]

And then this morning I was lying in, enjoying the fact that I could lie in, and dozing, and I had a dream about a... mirror, I think? framed in gilded leather or something, and I realised it was a dream, and wanted to touch it to see what it felt like. And so I tried to reach out but I wasn't actually there because it was just a dream so it was like I was going to have to create my hand out of nothing in order to do it. While I was trying to do that, there was a humming and I thought, "Darn, I'm waking up." But either I didn't actually wake, or I woke and promptly went back to sleep, but then it was a book and I managed with a great effort to reach out and turn a page - it just happened very quickly and jerkily, like there wasn't enough processor power in my brain to simulate my actual hand in proper detail and at proper frames per second.

But I made myself read the book, but it was nonsense like the spam you get which reads like language but isn't. I turned another page and looked at the page numbers - they kept jumping around and I had to concentrate to make them go up in proper increments as I turned them. I came to the middle of a signature and it had been stapled, which made me indignant because it should have been sewn. So I concentrated hard and sort of wiped down the fold and made it sewn -- but it was only sewn in exactly the places the staples had been, which made me laugh as I realised this was a lack of processor power again.

I reached the back of the book, and the endpaper was printed with a map of the city which the book was about, and the person who owned the book had written in "calle" and other labels in Spanish. By this point I think my lucidity had worn off, and shortly after that I woke up.

This is the thing about my lucid dreams: I'm lucid for a while, and then it wears off. And often when I wake I'm not sure whether I was actually aware that it was a dream or if I was just dreaming that I was aware that it was a dream. I don't know if the distinction is meaningful but I think it is because it has a bearing on control.

When I used to read up on lucid dreaming, people would write all sorts of enthusiastic things about it, like how you can do anything you want. And I can't. I knew what a sewn signature was supposed to look like but I couldn't make it that way. More fundamentally, my universe was circumscribed: in that dream, there was nothing except for the book. The book wasn't on anything; I wasn't on anything; my body didn't exist, which is why it was so hard to get my hand there to turn the pages. And it didn't even occur to me that I might want to do something that didn't involve the book.

Once the book ended, so did the dream.

So I wonder if I was actually in control or if I just thought I was? And if I was in control, is my control bound within the limits of the dreamiverse I found myself in? Or could I have travelled to another dreamiverse and it's just a matter of practice?

All of this is fodder for the story, it turns out.
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
I do feel it only fair to say that it wasn't actually my idea for my protagonist to knowingly put himself into serious danger of physical harm. I was as surprised as anyone when events transpired as they did. So really it's not my fault that he ended up with some broken ribs. He could have stayed in the Blue Tower if he'd wanted to. I'm just saying.

It's also not my fault that, as near as I can tell, opiates have fallen into disfavour in the time period he lives in. (Happy to be proved wrong! But I will require citations.)

I haven't deprived him entirely of painkillers. I just haven't been able to figure out what kind of painkillers he'd have, so on the assumption that a) they'd have something and b) it'd taste bitter I've mentioned vaguely that his servant has put something bitter into his wine for him.

Anyway. So then I got onto the next chapter in which he gets tortured a bit more (again, not my fault. He could have fled to Germany. I'm just saying) and... when my characters are tense, I'm tense. It's kind of like method acting sort of; it's partly subconscious and partly my way of remembering that these people aren't just talking heads, they also have body language.

And then on Sunday I discovered I'd pulled an intracostal muscle in my lower back. (And then on Sunday evening my sisters made me laugh. A lot. *Glare*.) And I thought I'd sleep on my back Sunday night, but that made my back go into little spasms which were more funny than painful but still didn't seem conducive to sleep. And I slept restlessly (complete with a dream about climbing up a cliff-face to get away from the tide coming in. Tide coming in = time running out ie no more holidays for me as I was back to work today. Then I got to the top of the cliff to discover that this was one level of Hell down, thousands more to go, and the only advantage of this one over the first was that it had supplies of toilet paper, and getting out of Hell was going to be an infinite slog of climbing, getting whatever supplies this level had, climbing more, etc).

And this morning my back hurt more, and the joggling of the bus on the way to work didn't help, and it was, all in all, really awesome when it turned out that a colleague had a wheat pack in her locker. So I've been heating and using that all day and my back's still tense all over but it'd be a heck of a lot worse if I hadn't been. So, though it's more uncomfortable than painful, as the bus joggles it on the way home I am coming around to the point of view that for actual broken ribs, painkillers would be totally awesome.

(ETA prior to posting: I stopped by the chemist on the way home. "Sure," she says, "we've got anti-inflammatories, but come over here and the pharmacist will give you the good stuff." Which he did along with a disclaimer that if it makes my asthma worse I should, y'know, stop taking them.)

So. Does anyone know what painkillers a Danish nobleman in 1527 might have access to? It'd be handy if they left him a certain degree of lucidity -- putting him to sleep for more than an hour or two would disrupt my plot -- otoh a certain propensity to hallucinate would also have its advantages plotwise so really I'm not overly fussy. I just want to make the pain go away.
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
So I've got leave for a week so I can go to bed as late as I want and sleep in as long as I want. So last night I went to bed on time for the first night in weeks. I guess I felt like there wasn't a rush to do as much as possible before work starts again. I furthermore predict that on Sunday week I'll be going to bed really late. Brains are stupid.

Anyway, so after waking up this morning at 6:45 to the sound of my alarm clock not going off, I went back to sleep and had awesome dreams. I do keep telling myself that I get the best dreams when I'm not sleep-deprived, but it doesn't help when I'm trying to do as much as possible before work starts again.

Dream the first: I was in a museum. I was going down some stairs to the zoo, which I thought wasn't particularly nice to the animals to never see sunlight, but since they were there anyway I wanted to see the zebra. I lost my way a bit so was trying doors at random. At this point I may or may not have been the Doctor. One of the doors I tried opened out onto the street, but it wasn't the street where the museum was located so I decided it was safest not to go through. Also I was still looking for the zoo. The other doors I tried were also portals into other parts of the city. (It was kind of European with cobblestones, but also kind of... heritagey, like it was staged for tourists maybe.) The last one I tried before the dream faded, there was a woman selling strawberry tarts and strawberry slushies and so forth, and I was trying to understand the money I had (coins shaped like pink foil pea-sized balls) in order to buy some.

Dream the second: I was a Princess on the run / in rebellion against my mother the Queen. (Ie, I was dreaming about my WIP. My WIP is set in Scandinavia, but for some reason whenever I dream about it, at least about the royalty part, it's set in Korea.) I had to get some allies who'd be loyal to me and not my mother, and my Korean isn't terribly good. With some thought I said to a bunch of people something that, upon analysing the grammar while awake, actually means "Is there anybody? To love me." A bunch of people followed me around a corner, at which point I stopped and asked, "Is there anybody? To love [my] mother." There was a certain case marker that I used this time, which I think symbolises my ongoing confusion about how one is meant to use that case marker. Anyway, having narrowed down who I could trust the dream continued with me going into a Bible study class and my sister was there and it started going incoherent and anyway I can't remember any more.

Speaking of the WIP, earlier this week I wrote 549 words of Mikkel talking with the Queen, and then I deleted them. And up through yesterday I wrote 411 words of Mikkel talking with the Queen's lady-in-waiting, and now I've deleted them. I'm planning now to write some number of words of Mikkel talking with the Queen and her lady-in-waiting, and with luck I won't delete them too.
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
So I spent Thursday and Friday moving books, partly so as not to think too much about staffing issues, partly because we have to move every book in the library and some of them twice. --Some of them three times, for that matter.

It turns out that when you spend an hour at a time, a few times a day, moving books from shelf to trolley and taking the lift upstairs, then moving books from trolley to shelf and taking the lift downstairs, then you get
  • tired,
  • dizzy,
  • confused about whether you should be pushing for level 2 or level 3,
  • and occasionally panicked: This is level 2! What am I doing here? I should be on level 3! Why am I on level 2? Think, Zeborah, think: my trolley's empty, so that means I need to be picking up books, so whew, I guess level 2's correct after all.
Talking with colleagues confirmed that it wasn't just me on any count.

Anyway, I'm going to library conference on Monday, and giving two presentations there on Tuesday, so my plan on Friday night was to boil a heck of a lot of rice, eat a big dinner, watch a movie, go to bed, and work on the presentations in the weekend (with leftover rice for a meal somewhere there).

It started going wrong when I ate all the rice at once, leaving no leftovers at all. The movies were good though. Fire over England ("This recording is protected by copyright" - oh no it's not! public domain, mate. Public domain.) is one I'd watched before - personally Queen Elizabeth bores me in it, but when Our Hero goes back to Spain as an undercover agent, there's some stuff that really hits the spot for me. Old movies can be slow, but they can show some startling subtlety of motivation too, which is too often neglected nowadays. And lines like:
The whole trouble comes from treating your enemies like human beings. Don't you see, my dear, that if you do that, they cease to be enemies? Think what that leads to! It's the end of patriotism. It's the end of war. It's the end of... of everything! Now do you see?
When I finished watching that, I thought I'd watch the next one on the DVD, Angel on my Shoulder. The first few minutes bored me but when I looked up again it was set in Hell, and it piqued my interest, and then we met the Devil and he rocked. The plot's a fairly predictable "Mobster makes deal with the devil but the love of a good woman turns him to the side of good," but the mobster/devil interactions are awesomesauce, and the love interest, despite being the eponymous-but-figurative angel, displays sense and spunk at an opportune moment, and then (spoiler in white space) when the mobster makes the ultimate sacrifice of returning to hell so more deserving folk can have a happy life, instead of the writers deciding that this sacrifice exempts him from hell, and sending him up in a cloud of white, yadda yadda -- which should totally happen, but I don't care, because how they ended it was way cooler: on the way back down to hell, the Devil is promising to torture him worse than ever, and he's blackmailing the Devil right back: "Oh no you won't, or I tell everyone down there what a fool you made of yourself."(end spoiler)

But to get to my title. I eventually go to bed. And I sleep well. And I dream that I'm revising two books, and I realise that actually the story I want to tell would work fine as a short story - new guy arrives on spaceship, confrontation scene with captain about how he's really there to investigate his father's murder, a bit of investigation, then there's the song that only the murderer could have known (in real life it's the song from Fire Over England but in the dream it wouldn't have been) and various other very vivid things happened which I've now forgotten because the important thing is that I then woke up and thought, Damn! Because I knew which novels they were, and though this short story is actually a different story it could totally be in the same universe, and unlike most dream-stories it actually is a story, especially with some tweaking, and while I'm at it I'll make it a woman investigating her mother's murder instead, and ooh I could do this, and that, and I want to write this right now!

--But I can't, because I have to spend the weekend preparing for two presentations on Tuesday.

Le head-desk.

---

A day and a half later, I've managed to get the slideshows ready so now just need to rehearse the speaking side of things some more, and I've managed to squeeze in enough time to write several hundred words of the story. It's probably going to be all but unrecognisable from the dream, but I'll know it's the same story really.

Still waiting for my sense of balance to recover from Friday.
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Diddums)
There was the tide-coming-in dream, for when I was worried about deadlines, and there was the packing-anxiety dream, for when I was thinking of travelling somewhere that would require packing. (Actually travelling there was unnecessary: being homesick sufficed.) These have both trailed off because I rarely have deadlines these days and no longer travel much.

What I do do is work at the library until closing time on a Wednesday evening. Enter the library-closing-anxiety dream.

Basic plot: It's 9pm. I want to close the library and go home. But the students won't leave! Worse than that, they keep coming in!

Variations and elaborations:
  • The first time I had this dream, the students were making sandwiches in a discussion room.
  • The second-most-recent time, we were actually opening the library but the students were coming in before they were ready, and also our lending desk had been renovated into oblivion and the students kept coming into the staff-only area to take books off the shelves.
  • Last night the students (instead of being merely oblivious to closing time as normal) actually had a reason for not leaving, to wit, they had assignments/exams the next morning, needed a place to study, and didn't see why I couldn't just go home and leave them in the building. They even went into the floors where we'd turned off the lights, apparently intending to study by streetlight or something. At 9:12 I decided to call Security but I kept losing my place in the list of phone numbers, and then when I found it, it was some formula that required multiplying one of the digits and I couldn't tell if I was meant to carry the one onto the next digit or just forget it.
I actually have an obscure fondness for the tide-coming-in-and-going-to-drown-me dreams, and the packing-anxiety dreams at least mean that yay, I'm travelling somewhere! But library-closing-anxiety dreams? Just Plain Annoying.

[I just arrived at work and asked my colleagues if they ever get this dream. "Every Sunday," says the one who closes on Sundays. "Every Tuesday," says the one who closes Tuesdays. Somehow I feel both reassured and depressed by the inevitability of it all.]
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Traditionally people dream about being in public without any clothes on, or of turning up at an exam unprepared, or of their teeth falling out. (The latter is supposed to symbolise some kind of insecurity, I think. For me it symbolises my guilt about not brushing my teeth often enough. Sometimes a tooth is just a tooth.)

I've had each of those but most of my anxiety dreams have been about
  • being on the beach when the tide starts coming in quicker than I can get above the tideline(*) (symbolising an impending deadline)
  • or packing to go [home from Korea|back to Korea|to France|New Caledonia|America|the Netherlands] and/or trying to sort out passport details at the airport (symbolising that I'm about to, or want to, go home/overseas again)
Except now. Now my anxiety dreams are about the leather on my shoes cracking and splitting through. Dear Dream-Engine: WTF?

(*) I haven't had them as much since a twist on the dream had me on the beach, and a tsunami came in and washed over me and I was perfectly fine. Or alternatively, I haven't had them as much since I left the deadline-rich environments of school and uni.

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