But it was so strange that when I woke, I hand wrote almost two pages of notes. Here's the epiphany. Here are my notes transcribed.
I wrote a story about secret passages and getting from A to B. Jeff VanderMeer told a story about the same, but made it about seven different levels of passages. He added danger, cultural relativism, trust between two people gaining in their relationship, of decisions on all levels and by people not mentioned in the story. I told mine in the paper, he told his on the radio. Mine was a boy and girl getting to class. He was a girl must trust a boy she doesn't fully know to take her hand and lead her through dazzling cultural events, college parties and the underworld criminal drug gangs and opium users to get to the end where they realize only together could they have escaped with their lives and sanity.
You win, Jeff! (editors note: as I remember I said this out loud in the dream)
(editors note: these are single sentences I wrote around the periphery of the first page) People wanting to thwart the couple, try to distract them off the path. Underground circus life. I made it about a path, Jeff made it about a whole world. I made it weird and strange, Jeff made it a mad midnight carnival.
(Editor's note, I laid back down here, but got back up to write another page, it's slightly redundant, but since I'm being honest here I'm including it)
I told a story about getting from point A to B. Jeff made a story about trust, of putting her hand in his. In mine, he was clever. In Jeff's he was out of his depth and likely to get them both killed. In mine she went confidently. In Jeff's she was filled wiht doubt. There were internal journeys and passages (ie. traveling) of the characters. Did I mention the stilt walker stalkers Jeff added? The feeling I gave (was) "They're going to make it." How Jeff's story was filled with "ZOMG they're not going to survive." In mine, if they don't get there they missed out. In Jeff's if they didn't make it they lost everything. In mine they were going to make it. In Jeff's (it was) anything but making it.
I grok some of that now, but there was a lot more I understood when I woke up. I certainly hope my subconscious remembers it and has internalized those lessons.
I don't remember dreaming the rest of the night.
Also, this is why you should have writing paper and a pen or pencil by your bed (well, at all times actually).