A Night of Strange and Vivid Pictures

I had a sleepless night last night. Not a ‘deep dark tea time of the soul’ kind of night, more a ‘strange vivid pictures in the head’ kind of night. About midnight the first paragraph of a story I’ve been considering for some time came to mind. I worked on the story for an hour or so, but when I tried to turn off the light my mind just would not let go of the thing. I kept getting back up and scribbling a few more notes. So by morning I had the opening of a new story, and an eight hour sleep deficit. When I did sleep I had weird, visionary dreams that were so close to real life I kept thinking I was awake. Then when I was awake, my thoughts were so dislocated I wondered if I was still asleep. Then I went out for breakfast and made notes about dream addiction and drug induced psychosis in aboriginal shaman (which is an idea I encountered in The Hero With A Thousand Faces).

As 2010 approaches I realise I’ve had the pleasure of making many, many new friends this year, so to friends both old and new, Happy New Year!

A few catch up links and some news..

Jeff Vandermeer has been hosting a fascinating debate on Paying it forward, Paying it Back, Using Your Leverage. I think Jeff’s Booklife articles are becoming essential reading for anyone in the writing game.

If you can spare a few coins, consider supporting the Spider Robinson fundraiser (You will get a really cool e-book in return)

My short story Cthul-You will be repeated on BBC Radio 7, 6th January and 18:45 and 00:45. For UK residents it should also be on iPlayer for a week following that date. You can read the ‘Uncensored’ version here.


Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.

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