All I Have To Do is Dream

[and then spend 30 minutes typing up what I can remember]

By Jeff Salter

I borrowed my blog title from the lovely hit song by the Everly Brothers [see link at the bottom].

We’re chatting about dreams this week, with the topic: “Do you dream often? Do you remember your dreams?

Short answer: Yes, I dream often… and yes, I remember many of them. Furthermore, I’ve recalled enough detail (from hundreds of dreams) to type up a page or two of that content for each dream.

You may be wondering why I’d bother to “document” those dreams I’ve been able to remember. One major reason is because I’ve used many dream images in my poetry or fiction, going back at least as far as 1969. But there are many other factors.

Here’s just one example of a dream – from the middle 1980s, as I recall – that really piqued my interest in further study of what goes on inside my noggin (at night). Several decades ago, I had a dream which featured some interaction with a library colleague who worked in a university setting on the opposite side of the state. A few days later, while speaking with someone from our State Library, I was informed that this gentleman had died… and his death had occurred a day or two after my dream which featured him. Now I’m not saying I “foresaw” this man’s death. But I do find it odd for someone I’d worked with on a library committee to appear in my dream (for the very first time)… and then die a day or two later! I’ve also had numerous dreams in which beloved, deceased relatives of mine have appeared.

Those examples are merely to partly explain why I became interested enough to take the time to type up accounts of the dreams I could remember.

From an article cited below:

Dreams are not under the conscious control of the sleeper but they can feel lifelike, even if the events are impossible. During sleep, the brain creates a conscious-like experience by itself, with dreams often containing experiences, people, or subjects from waking life.

Prior to the covid years (2020-2021), the years with the largest number of remembered dreams (that I “recorded”) were 1993 [after I’d finally been able to get some REM sleep again after a couple of years of Fibromyalgia-caused sleeplessness] and 2007 [the first full year of my post-library retirement.]

But those numbers paled in comparison with how many dreams I remembered during covid. And realizing the significantly larger number of covid era dreams, I decided to tally up some numbers, presented here:

Analysis of (digitally) recorded dreams – 1990-2021

Analyzing the quantity of dreams that I’ve remembered enough to record (type) in digital format.

Taking just the period which would include all / most of the ones I’ve digitally typed (as opposed to hand-written or manually typed) — 1990-2021, here is what I found:

667 recorded dreams in the 31 years from 1990-2021 [ave of 21.5 / yr]

449 recorded dreams in the 16 years from 2006-2021 [Somerset years] — ave of 28.1 / yr

218 in the 15 years from 1990-2005 [final Shreveport years] — ave of 14.5 / yr

2 highest years (prior to covid period):
1993 w 72 drms 
2007 w 47 drms

2 covid years (2020 & 2021):
2020 w 94 drms
2021 w 72 drms
total of 166 dreams for those two years [ave of 83 / yr]

[Not only have the two covid years produced significantly more dreams numerically, but they’ve included some real dillies.]

I honestly have no idea how many of my dream accounts are hand-written, but I know I have at least one or two from 2021 (not included in this total) and others from 2020 (not included).

Plus, prior to 1990, before I was actively saving docs in digital format, I have dozens or scores that may be typed (on paper) – or still hand-written – but not included in this count.

Summary

Although many of my remembered dreams are quite unspectacular, I’ve had several which feature unique and vivid imagery – or even PLOTS – which I have used or may one day use in my AWAKE writing. So I plan to keep documenting as many as I can remember… and that I can find the time to write down before I forget them.

Rather general article I consulted about dreams:

Everly Brothers’ song

[JLS # 590]

About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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11 Responses to All I Have To Do is Dream

  1. jbrayweber says:

    Wow, that’s very interesting. You could literally be a case study since you’ve been doing this most your life. Maybe look into it?
    Every now and again, I have a dream vivid and coherent enough that I could write it down. There have been a handful from which I did jot notes down. And two that I used as the basis of a story—one of which ended up being my first novel. I do dream alot, but by the time I fully wake, the dreams dissipate. I assume that is true for most.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I used to remember detailed dreams, Jenn, but now they dissipate, as you say. I never understood how that happened to others, but I guess that is the way it generally is.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Jeff Salter says:

      Years ago I actually started a story / novella / novel — not sure which — in which the girl and the guy meet in a university dream analysis center. I had planned to use a couple my own dream accounts as part of what these two individuals encounter in their subconscious. But, like a hundred other “starts”, that story is on the stack waiting to be written.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I kept a dream diary for a while; I wish that I had kept it, or kept it up, but you have it down to a science!
    .More tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Patricia Kiyono says:

    With all your record keeping, I’m amazed you get anything done. I would have difficulty keeping all these numbers straight. The story about your library colleague is intriguing. It would be interesting to know what the interaction was about – was he trying to give you a message about something he wanted you do to or remember about him? Oooh, there’s another story!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      I can’t (now) remember any content from that dream… just that he was a featured presence. That dream was before I had an office computer so it’s probably typed on paper in a folder somewhere. I just remember being shocked that this director of the university library had appeared in my dream one day and a couple of days later was dead… and I learned about it several days after that. Gave me a creepy feeling.

      Like

  4. John Babb says:

    Please overlook me in your dreams.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I never even thought to either write down my dreams or count them. I forget most of them anyway. It’s a fun thing to do I expect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      I’m not sure I’d categorize it as fun, but I find it puzzling and fascinating — wondering where some of those images / scenes come from and what they may “mean” (represent) to me.
      In quite a few cases, I’ve been able to spot certain images and link them to recent real-life events… and that’s usually satisfying (in the sense of the detective work involved).

      Like

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