Thursday, April 24, 2014
U is for . . .
Image courtesy: Gaurika Wijeratne
One night I had a crazy dream about a long, involved math problem. The paper had twisting snakes of dash lines all over it and I was supposed to count the dashes. Easy right? For some reason I kept messing it up. I'd find that the paths continued on the back or that some dashes had +1 written next to them.
Then the dream switched and I never finished that problem. Instead I was lost at night in the woods with snow falling even though it was September. A huge bear burst out of the trees, pulling something like a sleigh behind him. Before the beast could gobble me up, I awoke.
Something about this last image begged for a story. I created a middle-school aged boy, Josh, for the main character and plunked him down in the tiny town of Caribou, Maine. This boy has mixed feelings about leaving his old town. Josh is relieved his mother finally left his abusive dad, but he liked his old school. Josh is miffed that he'll never find out the grade for his report on the Micmac Indian legend around the constellation Ursa Major.
As a storyteller, I had fun weaving together this legend about three hunters going after the bear Ursa Major with actual hunting practices of bears today. The bear also becomes a symbol for bullying. Josh has a chance to make friends with the bullies in his new school, but only if he is willing to become a bully--something he struggles with after his experiences with his father. Plus, I got to inflict that crazy math problem on Josh.
The novella, Ursa Major, is available on Amazon through the online magazine Wormhole Electric.
Have you ever gotten a story idea from a dream? Or do you dream about your stories once you've started writing them?