When a book comes from a dream we can only ask from where did the dream come? Life is filled with such mysteries, many unanswered questions. Will they be answered on the other side? Is there but one answer for each of these questions, or might the answers be as varied as the questions?
My novella, When Fates Conspire, began with one of my dreams. I had been going through a rough time emotionally. For those who don’t love their pets, this might seem strange; but I had a cat, which we had gotten two years earlier from a kitty rescue group. I loved her so. She was gorgeous, long-haired with black and white markings, which gave her a little mask. We named her Pepper. She was very like Persia, who I had lost to old age 2 ½ years before, in the same month Pepper had been born. Pepper was a delight to me. I had no clue that I wasn't to have her for long.
In October, she began to lose weight. We took her to the veterinarian; and on the second visit, he found a lump. We went through three veterinarians finally to grasp what had gone wrong. When we did, they all agreed on one part-- it was terminal. She grew weaker, and the end would have had her gasping for breath. We asked our vet to come to the house and put her to sleep; with many tears, we buried her in the rose garden.
I have many times wondered if pets reincarnate. I’ve had several that appeared to come back to me. After we lost her, I was thinking about that. Would she come back as a new cat? What is life about? Why can’t I figure it out?
The next morning I woke from a dream about spirit guides and life. I had several powerful images from it. It had also given me the bones for a story, which I felt was important to write. For the next four days, the writing was all about fleshing out and bringing life to those bones. The amazing part to me was how so many things I had been researching over the last months, came together perfectly.
I have often credited the muse for my creativity. What then is the muse? That’s a mystery as great as what is life. Did the muse give me this story?
I’ve never used quotes at the beginning of a book, but I knew this would be enriched by them. I went looking and surprising me, everything I needed came from Dante, whose full name was Durante degli Alighieri born 1265 and died 1321. His poetry and books spoke so much to the mysteries of life. As I went through the chapters, time and again his words set them off perfectly. I am glad I hadn’t found him first, or I might’ve thought he influenced the story that began with a dream.
“In that book which is my memory. On the first page of the chapter that is the day when I first met you, Appear the words, ‘Here begins a new life’.” Dante Alighieri