I have three recurring nightmares that happen periodically, with the third one happening most frequently.
First: I have a nightmare that my teeth are loose. Most people do, right? What does this mean? Does it mean we hated losing our teeth, or just remembered the sensation that we went through and our subconscious holds on to that memory? I’ve never been able to figure this out, though many dream books do say it’s one of the most common of all dreams.
Second: I used to have the nightmare that I was in college and I missed the final exam. How many of you are with me on this? Have you dreamed that you get there late and the professor is packing up or you just missed it entirely? Fast forward 20-some years, and we’ve got role reversal. Now I have the dream that I am the professor, and I’ve forgotten to write the final exam to give the students.
Third: My character in BENEATH THE MIMOSA TREE suffered from a recurring tornado dream that she talks to her therapist about in the novel. When people ask if Annabelle is based on me, I always reply that she is parts of me, but not totally me. However, we share these tornado dreams that continue to haunt me to this day. I’ve been having them since college and it’s always the same: I’m getting all my loved ones to safety in the basement while I stand at the door, wind whipping in my hair (in black and white), and the tornado is coming toward us in the distance. It’s so “Wizard of Oz.” I think I’ve been tormented since I saw it back in the theatre when I was five and it was re-released in the 70s. I actually do think it says something about the need for control, which I mention in my novel, but my college friend, Barb, said it meant that there was chaos in my life. Perhaps, or it could just be that I’ve never gotten over how absolutely frightening that scene was to me as a child.