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Behind the Black Door: Dreams and Story-writing

Last night, I dreamed I had suffered a stroke that left me unable to speak and with only limited use of my left side. Having already suffered a TIA almost a decade go, you’d think I would take the dream as a warning. I didn’t. Dreams, as we know, rarely mean what they portray.

In the dream there was this black door I had to find:

The black door was, in real life, a ramshackle cracker-version of a Bilco door that led to my basement. I called it my Game of Thrones door since it weight close to one hundred pounds after years of water damage. Anyway, the black door lies in a small scrap heap in my backyard as my house undergoes some renovation work. In the dream, however, I learned that I could make myself well again if I found the black door and passed through it.

All the makings of a story so far, right?

In my dream, the black door was “hidden in plain sight,” a bodiless voice told me. In my stroke-addled condition, I had to wander around center-city Philadelphia with the hope of discovering the black door I had removed from my house in real life.

Are you with me so far? Good.

It wasn’t easy, but I found the black door lying on a sidewalk on 12th Street near Pine. In my dream-stroke weakened condition, I was unable to lift the black door (having a sense that once I lifted the door up a portal would open in the sidewalk and I could fall into it, thus facilitating my cure).

Enter a Sandman, of sorts. A familiar face, who shall remain nameless, appeared next to me. In my dream this gave me a fright since the face belonged to someone I knew in real life, someone who, sadly, had passed a few years ago.

“I can help you,” the familiar face said, “but you have to touch my heart first.”

He opened his shirt to reveal what looked like a brick beneath bruised skin on his chest. I was unable to say anything since my dream stroke left me mute.

Before the dream ended, I shoved Mr. Dead Familiar Face aside with my good arm, gripped the handle of the black door lying on the sidewalk, and yanked on it with all my strength. The door tilted up, enough to reveal nothing but plain old sidewalk beneath it.

My dream ended as I wandered further along 12th Street, distraught over having to remain as I was—nearly crippled and completely mute. Or did it?

The black door is still in my backyard (see photo above). I don’t have the heart to lift it up. There’s no telling what doorway I might find beneath it if I do. Maybe I’ll write a story about this dream instead.

Under the Bronze Moon

Hello.

I am dropping a short note here to let everyone know that my new novel Under the Bronze Moon (Sinister Grin Press) will be available soon.

Here’s a peek at the cover:

About the story:

In Under the Bronze Moon, Professor Harold Miller discovers the otherworldly inspiration for the late writer R.J. Hyatt’s only published novel, The Land of Dust and Honey—a long, dense exploration into an alternate world discovered by a soldier of The Great War and a young girl from a different century. When his publisher tasks him with locating a ‘lost novel’ by Hyatt, the scholar travels to meet Hyatt’s literary estate heir, May Weldon.

There he learns that May wants his assistance in her passing from this world. For his help, Miller is rewarded with a well-guarded treasure and access to the fabled world from which Hyatt drew his inspiration. For a scholar who devoted his adult life to R.J. Hyatt’s work, it is a dream fulfilled. How long the scholar will remember his life-changing experience, after May is gone for good, is something else altogether.

You can pre-order the Kindle version of Under the Bronze Moon and receive it on June 15. The trade paperback will follow shortly thereafter.

Stop by the Sinister Grin Press blog and read all about the cover and Zach McCain who provided the wonderful artwork. You can find out more about Zach by following @zmccain on Twitter.