I had this recurring dream for YEARS–ugh, no, not another YA novel that starts with the author saying, “I had this recurring dream…”–but I really did, so you get to read about it now.
It always started the same way. There was this raven flying toward a small mountain in New England. Not a real mountain, but a dream mountain, somewhere in New England. Sometimes I was the raven, sometimes I was seeing things from her back, and sometimes I was following just behind. As the bird breached the tree line, I could see she was headed towards what looked like a very large, abandoned shed, all stone, or brick, or wood (one of few details that changed), and built sort of into one of the hills on the mountain. Sometimes the bird flew through the small, antique-looking window towards the peak of the roof, like the window was a hologram. Or the window was solid and maybe the bird was Kitty Pryde if she were an animagus. Who knows. Sometimes the window was missing, sometimes the bird settled on the frame for a moment and ruffled her feathers before taking off again.
Some mountainy goodness from pixabay
The building was bigger on the inside (this is not a Doctor Who fan fiction site, apologies). It was also not an abandoned building at all, but a large, well-lit, underground community of sorts. I should mention that the entire time I’m dream-thinking, “Man, I really need to go to Michael’s right now.” So, I’m a bird looking to buy some arts and crafts supplies, flying around this underground (where most of the lighting comes from natural light filtered through semi-opaque skylights in the massive atrium) village-y, mall-looking thing. There are a lot of people walking around With Purpose, en route to work, school, errands, whathaveyou. No one notices the bird. The dream usually ended there.
The feeling, however, stuck with me. Not the feeling of wanting to buy arts and craft supplies, but rather the feeling of discovering an entire society hidden away in nearly plain sight. Of nature acting as a source of entry to other worlds. Of seeking something and finding something WAY better. And, of course, the overall spookiness that comes packaged with a raven flying into mysterious woods, misty mountains, and abandoned buildings. I’ve been trying to emulate and reproduce those feelings and themes and moods in my WIP for the past couple of years. Time will tell (but mostly, so will my beta readers)…