The other night I dreamt I was in a huge department store (I had been locked in a cage with an echidna before I somehow arrived there - figure that one out).
Anyway, I was in the store but I'd lost my money and mobile phone. My family, who'd been with me, had disappeared and I didn't know how to get home, let alone out of the store. While the shop assistant was polite, she refused to let me use the store phone. I awoke from my dream uttering a strangled moan. I was crying!
My partner Spanner, who says he never dreams (makes sense), reckons I was upset because I couldn't buy anything.
All I know is that for several days after the dream I felt really sad and more anxious than usual. It was hard to shrug off the melancholic cloak.
Dreams are strange and often inexplicable. But they can also trigger the creative spark.
Here's what Stephenie Meyer wrote on her official website about the inspiration for her Twilight series:
I woke up from a very vivid dream. In my dream, two people were having an intense conversation in a meadow in the woods. One of these people was just your average girl. The other person was fantastically beautiful, sparkly, and a vampire. They were discussing the difficulties inherent in the facts that A) they were falling in love with each other while B) the vampire was particularly attracted to the scent of her blood, and was having a difficult time restraining himself from killing her immediately.
More recently, Scott Turow talked about his new book Innocent, which grew from a dream. In the dream he saw a man seated on the edge of a bed beside a woman's body.
That was it. An image.
Turow held onto the idea and, in time, realised the man was Rusty Sabich, the protagonist from his hugely successful 1987 novel, Presumed Innocent. The woman, dead under the covers, was Sabich's wife.
I don't know if my dream is worth developing - unless I can somehow work with the 'echidna trapped in cage with crazy woman' idea?
The moral of this story is - hold onto your dreams, they might come in handy one day.