Ask Dayton 103 – Do Writers Dream of Typeset Sheep?
What kind of pleasures or horrors torment the mind of Dayton when you sleep? Do you find any of your dreams or nightmares inspire your writing?
Do you have any idea what you’re asking? Are we sure we really want to go down this rabbit hole? I mean, I can’t be held responsible for any mental scarring you might endure on this particular journey into the macabre. FYI, yo.
So, how best to describe the subconscious mind of Dayton Ward? Well, the closest comparison I could ever hope to make comes to us from the venerable Rod Serling himself:
There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone Dayton’s Sleeping Brain.
Yep, that’s pretty much it.
There’s been one of those picture meme things going around lately, offering a flippant attempt at explaining “a creative person’s mind.” It reads, “If you ever wanna know what a creative person’s mind feels like, imagine a browser with 2,857 tabs open. All. The. Time.”
That’s just when they’re awake. Now try going to bed with all that, active and pinging away. I can’t speak for other writers or creative types, but for me, it doesn’t matter how tired I am at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter that my mind has congealed into oatmeal. Even as my head hits the pillow, there’s almost always something clicking and clacking up in my brain housing group. You don’t just shut off that noise, so you have to wonder where the line is drawn between pre-sleep mental gymnastics and actual dreaming.
Fuck if I know.
And to make things worse, I’m one of those people who don’t do very well remembering most of their dreams. So, you know…thanks, Mister Sandman. Bring me a dream and then yank that shit away when the alarm goes off. You dick.
That said, I do remember the odd nocturnal delirium, and it’s usually one of the flavors most of us tend to experience when we dream, like falling or being chased. I’ve fallen off bridges and cliffs, and been chased by everything from bears to zombies to Darth Vader. Maybe all of that happens at the same time, depending on how much I’ve had to drink that night, or if I opted for FourthMeal at Taco Bell.
As for nightmares, I can’t remember the last time I had an honest-to-goodness-holy-shit nightmare that was something my brain made up just to dork me out of a good night’s sleep. When I do have the occasional nightmare, it’s usually some twisted version of an unpleasant memory I’d rather stay buried. So, I wake up sad or mad at having that thrown back in my face, and yes, I often find a way to channel that into my writing because fuck you, head, for making me start my day like that.
I guess you can call that sort of thing cheap therapy, right?
“Come on, Dayton,” I can hear somebody shouting from the back row. “What’s the weirdest dream or worst nightmare you’ve ever had?”
Well, there’s this one that recurs every so often, in which I’m trapped in a dungeon and forced to answer question after question given to me on scrolls passed through a hole in the rock wall.
What the fuck’s up with that?
But, wait. There’s more.
He is the co-owner of Busy Little Beaver Productions and is the producer and co-host for G & T Show and Gates of Sto’vo’kor. He’s directed voice actors, and produced and edited audio podcasts and dramas because he doesn’t have the face for video. He plays well with others and is always on the look out for the next project, the next thing, the next next. If he wasn’t working on something with a half dozen other projects waiting in the wings, somebody please check to make sure he’s still breathing.
During the day, he’s a mild-mannered computer repair man who dabbles in web design in his small, rural, Central California community. He lives with his lovingly dysfunctional family and loyal canine companion and spends most of his time in the closet concocting some hair-brained scheme or another. He’s got an unhealthy obsession with Lego video games, Klingons, and Star Trek Online that borders on the neurotic.
Despite all this, he still finds the time to write the words. Find out what he's doing here.