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PATRICIA MCKILLIP

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I made very few lists of dreams provoked by particular writers, but I made an exception for Patricia McKillip, whose surreal psychological fantasies have consistently stimulated weird and vivid dreams for me--more than, say, Castaneda, and probably more than Jung.

It could be because she invented an artform, and I'm out to do the same. In her Riddle of Stars books (The Riddlemaster of Hed, Heir of Sea and Fire, and Harpist in the Wind) educated people use riddles as a Socratic teaching tool, as scripture. Their tripartite structure, of

riddle (often a bare, strange question),
answer (often a long parable), and, most importantly,
stricture (always a call to wise action--but often cryptic and dreamlike)...
inspired me--why shouldn't dreams, too, have their own customary form, one that maximizes their impact and facilitates their power to teach? They too are tripartite--
waking (events or thoughts provoking a question, provoking a dream)
dream (answering the questions raised, or posing its own)
interpretation (the dream's advice toward some sort of action)
Dreamers over the centuries have often cast their dreams into art, but usually dressed up as stories, twisted into fables, tortured into sermons, squeezed into poetry, or puffed into novels. No culture I know has an accepted FORM for dreams! The formula I've used in these dreams, the simple, three-part
THAT DAY (the waking events triggering the dream)
THAT NIGHT (the dream)
NEXT MORNING (all notes and interpretations),
has room for improvement. For one thing, it starts slow. Perhaps the dream should always come first, then backtrack to the day's events, when needed, and finish with interpretation--with the riddle's stricture. On the other hand, dreams are inherently complex, dreamwork is an artform inherently requiring patience... and catering to short attention spans is probably foolish. So I've mostly kept to this straightforward structure of:
mundane,
outrageous,
aha!
For good or ill, it's all based on McKillip's riddlery.

Though, as I look at these dreams, it's not her riddles that chiefly inspired me--I've only been asked one, in the dream Coeurl. It's her empathy, her hunger to get inside other lives, to write of viewpoints not much seen in fantasy or out, that's inspired me to do the same in dreams. How it feels to be a tree, or a vesta... or a nightmare.

RELATED TOPICS: writers and writing - dreamwork - shamans and mages - dream riddles - my other four dream-provocateurs: Tolkien - Le Guin - Emily Dickinson - Yeats - the links page has McKillip fansites - See also the full INDEX OF SUBJECTS.

What this site is - Add your dreams! - How to read blurbs - Ratings - Copyright - Downloading - The World Dream Bank has 2300 dreams plus 1000 more pages on dreamwork, shamanism, surrealism, fantasy, worldbuilding, creativity and genius. Site © Chris Wayan 2001-2013.



THE BLAMMOR: by Wayan; 1984/4/20, four linked private-eye dreams.
I'm a Fast-Food Detective tracking a kidnapper-sorceress. Castles, magic carpets... and unexpected love.
CAUTION: SEX TALK
COEURL: by Wayan; 1980/2/26, a dream of surprise transcendence .
I'm trapped in an alien hotel, my true love has gone radioactive, and the only way out is to turn into...
CAUTION: LESBIAN LUNACY
THE CYGNET BALL: by Wayan; 1996/3/26, a dream on assertion.
At the Ball, I feel up women, who idly enjoy me like... hors d'oeuvres! Wait, is that what I wanted?
CAUTION: WEIRD SEX CUSTOMS
FOX-BOY: by Wayan; 1997/2/28, a dream fable.
A boy offends his uncle the King, who transforms him into a fox. Grounded! But Fox-Boy runs away...
HALF SHAMAN, HALF STATESMAN: by Wayan; 100K, 1986/4/21, a parallel-world dream: Chapter 6 of UNICORN TAG
I get a scholarship to Shaman U. Some of my classmates are Terran, but I still don't fit in, because...
CAUTION: LANGUAGE
HORTA'S EGGS: by Wayan; 1984/1/17, a dream of re-evaluation.
I fight to save 50,000 eggs that'll hatch psychics. But my friends want to exterminate them! Am I wrong?
I'M A VESTA, NOT A MAN!: by Wayan; 1980/1/6, a dream of when it's over.
I'm the animal guardian of a deep crater, but when a human girl rejects me, I set out to leave...
CAUTION: ORAL SEX, UNREQUITED LOVE, SPECISM
IS GOD GOD?: by Wayan; 1984/6/17, a dream of the school of hard knocks.
God watches over me--to slap me down. If God is even God. So I set out to learn about this jerk-God...
MCKILLIP'S NEW BOOK: by Wayan; 2010/7/23, an epic literary dream
I'm inside a magical novel by Patricia McKillip, full of tricksters, cosplayers, spooks, sex changes, levitation and (sigh) riot cops...
CAUTION: COYOTE SEX
OUR BEST SONG: by Wayan; 1983/10/25, a decade-long dream of song and flight.
The artcops search-and-destroy our flying band, and my wings are shorn. But ten years later, songless, apathetic, I climb through my TV--and the women of Vietnam show me a new way to fly...
CAUTION: LANGUAGE, ATTITUDE, ALTITUDE
SILKY'S WEDDING: by Wayan; 1988/1/6, a dreamtale.
Silky, my often-animal anima, leads me into a strange pagan church where we get married at last...
SLAVES ON RED MARS: by Wayan; 1999/8/15, a dreamfable on will.
As Mars demands independence from Earth, Jovians enslave us all! Now freedom-fighting is personal...
THE STAGMAN: by Wayan; 2000/4/7, waking landscape with dream figure.
A slightly surrealized San Francisco landscape--not that it needed much help...
CAUTION: PINK PAGAN TOES
VESTA ON ISIG MOUNTAIN: by Wayan; 1983? Crayon, 11x14"; viewpoint of a dream character.
Vesta are animal guardians of the land. This isn't a portrait of a vesta, but how I see when I AM one...
THE UNICORN MASK OF IGNORABILITY: by Wayan; 2009/10/13, a dream poem with sketch; Dreamverse #59
My family home's invaded by ancient Egyptian architects. So I put on my unicorn mask and eavesdrop on their plans...


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