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Seeking Feedback for Children’s Book

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  • #73015

    Greetings Fellow Campbellians,

    This is Andrew, and I am a teacher in South Korea. I first discovered Joseph Campbell as an undergraduate at Hampshire College. Since then (about 15 years ago), my understanding and appreciation of him and his work continues to grow more and more.

    I have been ruminating on writing a children’s book for about ten years, but never was able to find an artist that I resonated with enough to do the illustrations.

    That unexpectedly changed earlier this year. In April, I stopped by a local coffee shop here in Korea which had some artwork hanging on the walls that I felt immediately drawn to, and the barista offered to put me in touch with the artist. I wound up buying several of his digital paintings, and after some discussion and explanation, he agreed to illustrate the book.

    He does one picture every month; we are currently on the fifth illustration for “the Children Who Saved our Dreams.” The general story outline is finished, and I’m working on writing it slowly, as he finishes the pictures. Most of the story takes place inside the shared lucid dream of two children.

    I am interested in feedback on the writing and illustrations as they progress, which you can see at the link below. I’m following the standard Hero’s Journey model, the phases and archetypes of which you will no doubt recognize.

    Any feedback is welcome; my goal here is simply to tell a great story that will expose children (and adults) to the wonders of lucid dreaming. Also, it’s worth noting, I am a terrible writer; your patience with my limited skill is appreciated.

    If you’re interested in leaving comments and feedback, feel free to do so. The Dropbox interface seems simple and intuitive. If there is any issue posting your thoughts, for example, if I need to add you as a contributor, please let me know. This is my first-time using Dropbox.

    BC will be doing a total of 21 to 22 illustrations, so I anticipate having the first draft completed in around 17 months.

    Story link

     

    #73018

    Hello Andrew,

    I took a quick look at your story outline. I’ll return to it later when I have time to peruse it at my leisure – but seems a sweet little tale.

    As admin, I did take the liberty of changing your raw link so that it opens on a separate page (so forum participants can read it without having to worry about navigating back to the discussion).

    Lucid dreaming is an intriguing subject. I’ve recorded over a thousand dreams in dedicated journals the past three decades, which include several instances of being awake within a dream. I don’t seek those experiences out (I prefer the dream unfolding on its own, rather than attempting to consciously guide it – though your story makes clear dreams still work their magic even if we are aware we’re dreaming). Usually, once I become aware I’m dreaming, the dream dissolves soon after and I awake – but I do appreciate those instances where the dream continues.

    That happened most recently just a few nights ago, when I found myself on an unfamiliar balcony: aware I was dreaming, I carefully examined the setting of the dream, attempting to impress it on my memory, even running my hands over the adobe-colored stucco walls, touching the smooth brass railings – and then slipped back into full immersion, forgetting I was dreaming until the morning, when I scribbled the dream in my journal, including the lucid episode.

    Exactly one week later, visiting a different city to see a production of Hamilton, had a wonderful moment in a hotel where I’d never stayed before when I recognized the balcony outside my room – right down to the adobe-colored stucco walls, brass railings, and the view . . .

    Feel free to peruse our relatively new forum on dreamwork (Myths, Dreams, and Reflections); you can jump in to one of the existing discussions (don’t worry if no one has posted in a while – a new comment is bound to draw others), or open a conversation on the subject of lucid dreaming. In fact, I’d love it if you would add a title or two or more on lucid dreaming to our Helpful Books on Dream thread.

    #73017

    Hi Stephen,

    Thank you for the warm welcome, and for adjusting the link; I agree that will make it much more convenient.

    I completely agree with you, dreams, whether lucid or not, are such powerful and mysterious experiences, often giving us sprinkles of hints of the future that only make sense once they have come to pass, for example, as with your dream of the hotel balcony. Sometimes, I will have a dream and it is only years later, when re-reading the journal, that I make a connection, or connect the dots, as Steve Jobs put it. This gets into all sorts of fascinating questions about the nature of consciousness and time itself.

    One of my own most important lessons, back when I was following a strict lucid dream induction practice, was allowing “the dream to unfold on its own,” as you so aptly put it. I think for many people new to lucid dreaming, as I was at that time, the will comes to the forefront of the lucid dreaming experience, experiencing that power and control is exhilarating, especially at the beginning. But you’re right – dreams contain messages, usually in the forms of images, symbols and story, and when we impress the will too deeply upon the dream, we run the risk of losing that message. Certainly, we can conclude that there is an intelligence, a consciousness, behind our dreams. Is that a part of us, our sub/unconscious mind? Or is it external to us, for example, as displayed in one of my favorite paintings, the Annunciation of Saint Emidius, somehow beaming dreams down to us, as in the painting? These are big questions.

    In any event, over time, I have come to see that the deepest joys of lucid dreaming come not from will and power, but connecting and co-creating with that mysterious presence, and not overdoing it – we need non-lucid dreams in order to receive those messages in their most pure, unadulterated form, untouched by the creative force of lucidity, in order the gain the most from their guidance.

    Anyway, I am sorry, I’ve rambled on so much! I suppose it’s inevitable when it comes to matters such as these, so close to the heart.

    #73016

    Feel free to “ramble on” to your heart’s content, Andrew. You may have noticed by now that conversation in these forums unfolds leisurely, rather than at the frenetic pace of Facebook and other meme-driven social media (where intriguing posts tend to scroll off one’s newsfeed and out of sight in a matter of hours, or days at best, and depth is rare).

    Turnaround is much slower here. It’s not unusual for forum users to let ideas simmer and percolate a few days, even weeks, before replying to a thought-provoking post – and many posts are often “long form,” rather than social media sound bites. An additional advantage  over FB is that this content lives on: there are more than a few conversations that appear to have petered out months ago, which are rediscovered and revived by a new arrival who adds their thoughts, generating further discussion.

    So no worries about writing too much, especially on a fascinating subject like this (though thanks for starting the thread on lucid dreaming – it will make the subject easier to find for forum users).

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