Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dream a Little Dream with Me

Zan Marie Steadham copyright 2010

To write is to dream....

That is how my morning pages started off this morning and what followed was an outpouring of understanding of how my stories are all connected. Cherry Hill is a lovely town, but hiding in it's streets and houses are all flavors of nightmare, abuse, and wounds unhealed. And all of this comes from a simple dream of a retired teacher meeting an abused child during a church-hosted party for foster children. There's so much fertile ground for my books. All the Cherry Hill stories come from that dream. When Laura Grace met Samantha in that dream, I found a town full of hidden stories. Stories that had been hidden for various reasons.

Laura Grace tries to hide how much pain she has lived due to grief for her husband and childlessness. Samantha hides from a life of abuse. To feel would be beyond painful, but to hide means the wound isn't open and subject to further damage. But it isn't open to healing either.

Rosemary hides abuse because if she admits it's happening, she will have to say that the appearance of domestic bliss is all a lie. If she can hide the pain behind the perfect family facade, she thinks she will be able to control it. Her son Dean hides his abuse because to show fear invites a heavier load of it from his father and older brothers.

Mack hides long ago abuse among the memories of combat and his grief for Sandra. It's another pain that can't heal until opened to sunshine and new love.

I could go on with several more of my characters' hidden hurts.

What about you? Have dreams influenced your stories?
Do your characters have a few dreams or nightmares that need exploring?